2023 in Movies

1. Soviet Barbara: the Story of Ragnar Kjartansson in Moscow, directed by Gaukur Úlfarsson (8/10)

The best film we saw at Hot Docs this year, hands down. 8/10 actually feels a little harsh in retrospect. Read the review of Soviet Barbara.

2. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, directed by John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein (8/10)

Really, really fun. I know. I’m shocked too. Read my review of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

3. Vjeran Tomic: The Spider-Man of Paris, directed by Jamie Roberts (7/10)

This is a super processy documentary about a rather incredible burglar and the time he stole 5 famous paintings from the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. Read my review of The Spider-Man of Paris.

4. I’m Just Here for the Riot, redirected by Kathleen Jayme, Asia Youngman (7/10)

A pretty good 30 for 30 about the 2011 Stanley Cup riots that we didn’t know was a 30 for 30 until we got in the theatre. Read the review of I’m Just Here for the Riot.

5. Satan Wants You, directed by Steve J. Adams, Sean Horlor (7/10)

An entertaining documentary about Michelle Remembers, the book that helped kick off the Satanic Panic. Read my review of Satan Wants You.

6. Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, directed by Suzanne Hillinger (7/10)

Interesting but incomplete in terms of the story it tries to tell. Read my review of Money Shot.

7. Wham!, directed by Chris Smith (7/10)

A surprisingly interesting documentary about a band I care nothing about. Read my review of Wham!.

8. Renfield, directed by Chris McKay (6/10)

A great premise in need of more jokes. Read my review of Renfield.

9. The Cemetery of Cinema, directed by Thierno Souleymane Diallo (6/10)

I quite liked the first part of this film. The second part I didn’t like as much and apparently enough to bump it down this far. Still glad I watched it. My first film from Guinea. Read the review of The Cemetery of Cinema.

10. Praying for Armageddon, directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, Michael Rowley (6/10)

A necessary message about evangelicals funding radical Zionist settlers in Palestine is undercut by what Jenn calls “scope creep” and a general lack of focus. Read the review of Praying for Armageddon.

11. Untold: Johnny Football, directed by Ryan Duffy (6/10)

I didn’t know much about Johnny Manziel before watching this, beyond his nickname, that he flamed out in the NFL, and that people went a little crazy about him while he was in College. Read my review of Johnny Football.

12. Kelce, directed by Don Argott (6/10)

Fine. Read my review of Kelce.

13. Time Bomb Y2K, directed by Brian Becker, Marley McDonald (5/10)

This is a funny documentary but just really unsatisfying. I was looking forward to it and I feel like I didn’t get much more than annoyance. Read my review of Time Bomb Y2K.

14. Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, directed by Guy Ritchie (5/10)

This is a bit of a slapdash heist ish film with a pretty high profile cast, seemingly not that great of a budget and, as Jenn put it, the MacGuffiniest MacGuffin. But I laughed. Read my reviews of Ruse de Guerre.

15. The Out-Laws, directed by Tyler Spindell (5/10)

A fatally flawed casting decision makes this otherwise amusing film hard to take. Read my review of The Out-Laws.

16. The Devil on Trial, directed by Chris Holt (4/10)

An entirely too credulous documentary about a 1981 murder where the perpetrator claimed to be possessed. Read my review of The Devil on Trial.

17. A Haunting in Venice, directed by Kenneth Branagh (4/10)

I just don’t think this was very good. Read my review of A Haunting in Venice.

18. Shazam! Fury of the Gods, directed by David F. Sandberg (4/10)

Whatever goodwill was engendered in me from the first Shazam! has been utterly sapped by this stupid sequel, which just leans into every 21st century comic book film cliché. It feels like a bad Thor sequel if Thor was a teenager instead of a drunk who is pining for his ex. Read my review of Fury of the Gods.

19. Fast X, directed by Louis Leterrier (3/10)

Join us next time for Fast XI: Shopping for a Table Big Enough to Seat Everyone Toretto Considers Family. Read my review of Fast X.

20. Simulant, directed by April Mullen (3/10)

An extremely cliched artificial humans sci fi film. Read my review of Simulant.

21. 65, directed by Scott Beck, Brian Woods (3/10)

Science fiction so high concept the concept doesn’t make sense. Read my review of 65.