While superhero flicks have generally underperformed this year, lengthy adult dramas such as Killers Of The Flower Moon and Oppenheimer have proved cinematic successes. Animated films have seen more varied designs and styles with heaps of personality (such as Across The Spider-Verse, Ninja Turtles, Puss In Boots, Nimona and Suzume), concert films made a big landing and the British film industry has seen acclaim for a range of genres (from Rye Lane to How To Have Sex). 2023’s been an interesting year, with more than Kenough, and here are my personal top ten films from it:

10. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour - I may have only recognised about five songs from ten years ago, but the cinematic framing and editing of this concert film provides it with so much power and energy that it’s genuinely one of the best things I watched in a cinema this year. 

9. Polite Society - Chemistry flows in front of and behind the camera to heighten the effective blend of genre influences which showcase an array of great British talent in Nida Manzoor’s smart feature debut.

8. Past Lives - An uncertain ‘what could have been’ performed with tender emotion by Greta Lee and Teo Yoo, capturing the pure elation of a reuniting conversation and the down-beaten feeling of ghosts from past lives providing creeping feelings of varying quasi regrets.

7. BlackBerry - 2023 gave us many ‘based on a true story’ business tales but there’s a self-awareness to this film about “that phone that people had before they had an iPhone”. Focusing on those at the head of the business - with a little-discussed, Oscar-worthy performance from Glenn Howerton - a tight screenplay brings tension into the drama, providing plenty to sink your teeth into.

6. Theater Camp - Not just the funniest film of the year, but the funniest mockumentary since Borat. With each viewing Theater Camp is just as raucously hilarious with its highly self-aware, flamboyant depiction of theater kids of all ages.

5. Till - Danielle Deadwyler deserved all the plaudits for her devastating performance as the bereaved mother of Emmett Till. A powerhouse performance leading a truly affecting drama creating empathy in the face of tragedy, which in turn is used as motivation to seek justice.

4. Broker - A group of strangers detail their personal emotions and pasts to convey a family unit. Hirokazu Kore-eda captures this light multi-character drama with understanding and consideration for the group’s personal feelings in the world surrounding them.

3. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On - Gloriously wholesome, to quote my notes “I love that shell with shoes on”. This is a warm stirring of care and emotions which celebrates the small, subtle details.

2. Rye Lane - Before Sunrise meets the natural dialogue of Clerks in this wonderfully energetic British rom-com, overflowing with style and personality from director Raine Allen-Miller this will hopefully one day be a British classic.

1.  Oppenheimer - Christopher Nolan’s best film yet, the detonation of the A-bomb is spectacular, but the ticking-clock moral drama around it, led by a best-of-the-year performance from Cillian Murphy, has a tight grip with plenty of tense atmosphere.                    

Jamie Skinner