Films, games and TV of 2023

My pick of the 260 films, 43 TV shows and 37 games I saw and played this year.

Every night I log what I’ve watched and played in a Google doc. It’s not a sophisticated system, but it’s quick! Here’s this year’s tally.

  • 260 films: 85 new releases or previews, 101 new to me, and 74 rewatches
  • 43 TV shows: 22 new this year, 9 new to me, and 12 rewatches
  • 37 video games: 7 full games, 30 mini games on my Playdate gizmo

Not bad, huh? Quite pleased with that. By contrast I only read 16 books, which is not so great but you can’t win ’em all.

So, what films, games and TV did I love the most?

Let’s not pretend there’s any science to subjective list-making, but I used this ranking tool to figure out the order. It helped a lot, and I think these are more honest lists for it. 

Top twenty new films I saw in 2023

What’s not here

Some biggies are notable by their absence. That’s not to say I disliked them, I just loved other things more. They include: Oppenheimer, All of Us Strangers, The Creator, Napoleon, Cocaine Bear, M3GAN, Close, Infinity Pool (“Jaaaames!”), The Holdovers, Saltburn, Talk to Me, Super Mario Bros, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, John Wick 4, and Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse.

The top ten

Collage of stills from the ten films listed below
  1. The Zone of Interest  
  2. Past Lives 
  3. Poor Things
  4. Barbie
  5. May December
  6. When Evil Lurks
  7. Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves
  8. Theater Camp
  9. Killers of the Flower Moon
  10. Reality

The next 10

Collage of stills from the ten films listed below
  1. Femme
  2. MI: Dead Reckoning – Part One
  3. Godzilla Minus One
  4. How to Have Sex 
  5. Beau is Afraid
  6. Little Richard: I Am Everything
  7. Hit Man
  8. Priscilla
  9. Anatomy of a Fall
  10. You Hurt My Feelings

If I carried on for another ten you’d likely see appearances from: Dream Scenario, SCALA!!!, Passages, Starve Acre, The Killer, Scrapper, How to Blow Up a Pipeline, Name Me Lawand, Is There Anybody Out There?, and perhaps the Wham! and Lewis Capaldi documentaries. 

Top ten older films I saw for the first time in 2023

What’s not here

I’ve limited myself to ten for this list but it was so hard, because:

  • I watched a lot from the Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All Time poll. I loved La Jetee, The General and Modern Times – and admired many others that would likely make my next ten. 
  • There were great releases from BFI distribution including Full Circle: The Haunting of Julia and Dance Craze.
  • I made some excellent discoveries on BFI Player including Deep End, Creature, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Holiday
  • Film on Film Festival introduced me to some crackers including Dial M for Murder and House of Wax on dual-projector 3D. 

The top ten

Collage of stills from the ten films listed below
  1. Another Round
  2. Dogtooth
  3. You Won’t Be Alone
  4. Sorcerer
  5. The Lobster
  6. Babyteeth
  7. Meek’s Cutoff
  8. Mildred Pierce 
  9. The Night of the 12th
  10. A Ma Soeur

BONUS: cult corner

OK I lied, I can’t just do ten. I also fell in love at first sight with these belters:

  1. Birdemic: Shock and Terror (the best/worst “so bad it’s good” film)
  2. The Phantom of the Paradise (brilliantly bonkers De Palma)
  3. Female Trouble (joyous bad taste from John Waters)

Top twenty films I most loved re-watching in 2023

In a year when I rewatched every Mission Impossible in the run-up to Dead Reckoning, most Christopher Nolans in the run up to Oppenheimer, all the Mad Maxes and all the John Wicks, these are the rewatches I loved the most.

  1. Arrival – so good I tatted it on my arm
  2. Whiplash
  3. Jaws (on film in NFT1)
  4. The Cabin in the Woods
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road
  6. Fargo
  7. Jerry Maguire
  8. The Wicker Man
  9. Baby Driver
  10. House of Wax (Paris Hilton edition)
  11. The Way Way Back
  12. Heathers
  13. The Prestige
  14. Animal Kingdom
  15. Election
  16. Eighth Grade
  17. Inception (at the IMAX)
  18. Say Anything
  19. Sicario
  20. Gregory’s Girl

Best new TV I watched in 2023

Mostly reality contests and true crime, plus a spattering of drama. Not listed: various regulars we love like Location x3, Dr Pimple Popper (!) and Catfish.

  1. Succession final season (HBO/Sky)
  2. Lockwood & Co. (Netflix) – I have bias but it’s objectively incredible
  3. Taskmaster (Channel 4)
  4. Hijack (Apple TV+)
  5. Project Runway All Stars (Bravo)
  6. F1: Drive to Survive (Netflix)
  7. Beckham (Netflix)
  8. Dreaming Whilst Black (BBC)
  9. Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix)
  10. Project Icon: The UK’s Next Music Star (BBC)
  11. Who Killed Robert Wone? (Sky)
  12. The Exhibit: America’s Next Great Artist (MTV)
  13. The Sixth Commandment (BBC)
  14. Silo (Apple TV+)
  15. Maxine (Netflix)

In the ‘new to me’ and rewatches count, we mostly binged on TV comedies with the kids. This year we did all of The Inbetweeners, Spaced, Look Around You and Derry Girls – which are all sheer perfection.

Video games I played and loved in 2023

What’s not here

The glaring gap here is Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. My son completed it and I played it just a bit. For some reason I didn’t take to it – it’s too similar to BOTW, and I couldn’t be arsed with all the crafting. 

All games, ranked

Collage of images from the 7 games listed below
  1. Pikmin 4 (Nintendo Switch)
  2. Stray (PS4)
  3. God of War: Ragnarok (PS4)
  4. Cult of the Lamb (Nintendo Switch)
  5. Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS4) – still playing this into 2024
  6. Oxenfree (Nintendo Switch)
  7. Playdate games (x 24 season 1 games and a few picks from Catalog)

I’ve got my eye on Cocoon next. Looks amazing.

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what you agree and disagree with!

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