Films watched in 2023

25
films watched
3.72
avg rating
4
decades

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, 2023 - ★★★½

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, 2023 - ★★★½

I thought I'd like this more than I did. Weird, as most of Anderson's films are. But I didn't really get the wooden narration that underpinned the whole film. Some good storytelling and twee aesthetics, but you couldn't really fall for any of the characters.

Scream, 2022 - ★★★

Scream, 2022 - ★★★

Silly, harmless fun. Literally. When did being stabbed do so little damage? Lots of eye-rolling moments in this, and tropes a plenty. But it was pretty engaging and clever in its own way. Very meta. Kept you guessing like any good slasher should.

Fair Play, 2023 - ★★★★

Fair Play, 2023 - ★★★★

Hugely impactful, pointed drama highlighting the massive gender inequality in society. Emotional, powerful and a captivating watch you can't look away from. Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich are brilliant in their chemistry and their relationship's ultimate implosion. This is such an important subject and so well told. Could easily have been cliché after cliché but it never felt stale.

Thirteen Lives, 2022 - ★★★★

Thirteen Lives, 2022 - ★★★★

A really watchable depiction of a truly miraculous rescue attempt. Gripping and tense, even though I knew the outcome going into it. English Colin Farrell takes a bit of getting used to, but overall the choice of leading cast added some real warmth to the story. 30 minutes in I thought the runtime would mean a lot of filler but it never got boring.

Oxygen, 2021 - ★★★½

Oxygen, 2021 - ★★★½

A decent sci-fi which takes you on some twists and turns. Lots of plot to unfold, considering it takes place in a box. This style of film is starting to feel a little stale though. Still, an entertaining enough watch.

Oppenheimer, 2023 - ★★★★½

Oppenheimer, 2023 - ★★★★½

A visual masterpiece. An engaging and immersive telling of an important intriguing bit of history. One I didn't know a lot about. A-listers galore and the acting was impeccable throughout. It did feel a little testosterone-heavy by the end though. Fast paced, despite the lengthy run time, and somehow never ploddy or dull.

Nightcrawler, 2014 - ★★★★

Nightcrawler, 2014 - ★★★★

Unsettling. Gyllenhaal plays this creepy role perfectly and the seedy LA aesthetic is pitched right out of my comfort zone. A gradual build but when it hits, it hits hard. A messed up world, but a great story...

How to Blow Up a Pipeline, 2022 - ★★★★½

How to Blow Up a Pipeline, 2022 - ★★★★½

Enthralling. Heart racing stuff. This was brilliantly told and excellently produced. A devastating plan, executed almost to perfection. Curious how this managed to be released though! Storytelling at its most gripping. But I yearned for more explanation on the fallout. It ended slightly too soon.

Dune, 2021 - ★★★

Dune, 2021 - ★★★

Just not for me. Visually beautiful and a brilliant world building but I couldn't get behind the story at all. Felt like all the bits I enjoy about sci-fi were lacking. Long, and at times ponderous. A film that took itself too seriously in my book. Little comic or personable relief from the characters. The tech was epic and the score spot on, but it wasn't enough for me to come out satisfied.

Shaun of the Dead, 2004 - ★★★★

Shaun of the Dead, 2004 - ★★★★

Just such a fun, watchable movie. Listened to a podcast recently reviewing this film and I had to rewatch it. A true relic of its time, the quirkiness of the characters and zippy dialog and editing puts a smile on your face. A horror, and suitably gory, but a fun one.

Hold the Dark, 2018 - ★★★

Hold the Dark, 2018 - ★★★

Struggled to get into this. A ploddy, moody story unfolds at a painfully slow and murky pace at the beginning. It picks up, with some really well done shocks and action scenes. But the plot just feels murky and the whole thing pretty lethargic. Some lovely landscapes and cinematography though.

The Whale, 2022 - ★★★★½

The Whale, 2022 - ★★★★½

Heartfelt. Raw. Honest. Amazing how a film can just immerse you with dialogue. A single solitary set. Brendon Fraser deserved every bit of his Oscar. A powerful film.

The Good Nurse, 2022 - ★★★★

The Good Nurse, 2022 - ★★★★

Compelling. I didn't know about this case so I went into the film blind. Some great character building and a decent, steady plot. Nothing ground-breaking, but evocative and an enjoyable watch. Redmayne plays the character of a serial killer with a heart brilliantly.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, 2023 - ★★½

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, 2023 - ★★½

I think I've reached self help saturation point. I've been meaning to read this book for years, but this documentary could've been a 10 minute YouTube video. Manson is charasmatic, in a smarmy kinda way, but his stories don't really go anywhere or pull you in in any way. One of very few films I finished in 2 sittings.

A Quiet Place Part II, 2020 - ★★★★

A Quiet Place Part II, 2020 - ★★★★

Incredibly tense horror. The silence is the true tension. An expert mix of blood-thirsty, unforgiving alien things and meticulous human ingenuity. Can't remember the first but this sequel is as good if not better.

Okja, 2017 - ★★★★

Okja, 2017 - ★★★★

Heartbreakingly close to the bone. It's easy to forget after so many years why I don't eat meat but this is a visceral reminder. A story of common greed and the power of man. Nothing too clever in this; straight-forward, yet poignant story telling.

Two Distant Strangers, 2020 - ★★★★

Two Distant Strangers, 2020 - ★★★★

Hard-hitting short film. Effectively portrays the injustices and criminal prejudice black people face daily in America. The lighthearted timeloop story device did feel a bit awkward and misplaced when the subject matter is so real and raw.

Luther: The Fallen Sun, 2023 - ★★★½

Luther: The Fallen Sun, 2023 - ★★★½

I dunno about this. Loved the TV series but this left me feeling a little empty. Erratic pacing and felt like a mini series crammed into 2 hours, wrapped up far too quick and succinctly. Decent badie, interesting premise and Idris Elba is impeccable as always. Felt a bit like a wannabe, half-baked Bond flick. Certainly watchable, but hardly memorable.

Fall, 2022 - ★★★½

Fall, 2022 - ★★★½

Palm sweating fear and suspense for most of this, and I'm generally OK with heights. Some really stupid decisions were made in the first half of this, but the tension created in the second half made this a good watch. Borrowed a big plot device from a similar (if opposite) film, 47 Metres Down.

Troll, 2022 - ★★½

Troll, 2022 - ★★½

Nonsense. Plot obviously farfetched but I had expectations of a bit of naunce and development. Pacing all over the place. A very flimsy action film with not a single redeeming character. Every action trope under the sun. Some nice Norwegian scenery and half decent production rescued some stars. But don't waste your time.

Stand by Me, 1986 - ★★★★

Stand by Me, 1986 - ★★★★

A short but memorable film. The 89 minutes flew by, and felt a little dated in parts, but understandably for a film nearly 40 years old. There's a simplicity to being 12 years old, and this film encapsulates it wonderfully, whilst reminding us just how much life has changed since the 50s(!). Juvenile, understandably, but earnest.

The Fabelmans, 2022 - ★★★★

The Fabelmans, 2022 - ★★★★

A delightful tale of family, life and creativity. Beautifully shot and lovely storytelling. Meandered a bit at times and was a tad drawn out but at the same time I didn't want it to end. Funny and endearing in just the right amount.

Another Round, 2020 - ★★★½

Another Round, 2020 - ★★★½

Sobering. A real kaleidoscope of the effects of alcohol. Light-hearted and weird in parts, but dreary and hard-hitting in others. A strange plot. At times felt a bit disjointed and low budget, but Mads Mikkelsen kept me hooked. His dancing at the ended the film expertly. A tale of 4 40-something pals in a rut.

Memento, 2000 - ★★★★

Memento, 2000 - ★★★★

Bit of a head-fuck. Takes some doing keeping up with this chronology, but the story keeps you gripped throughout. Brilliantly told and keeps you guessing what's going/gone on until the end. A thriller.

Licorice Pizza, 2021 - ★★★★

Licorice Pizza, 2021 - ★★★★

Sweet. One of those bumbling films that just happily trundles from one thing to the next without really telling much. Fortunately there are colourful characters aplenty and the nostalgia for the era is brilliantly done. The will-they-wont-they trope feels a little worn, but there was an innocent affection in it all.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2023