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Linden’s Cut: The top 10 movies of 2023

Price Wilborn

2023 brought its fair share of ups and downs but the one thing it did deliver was great films. Ranging from big blockbusters to biopics, here are the 10 best films of 2023.

10. “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Scorsese has delivered another cinematic banger with “Killers of the Flower Moon” Despite this not being on the same level as some of Scorsese’s masterpieces such as “GoodFellas,” “The Departed” or “The Wolf of Wall Street,” it still manages to succeed with excellent performances, a gripping story, and superb direction from one of cinema’s finest directors.

9. “Missing”

A sequel to the fantastic 2018 film “Searching” “Missing” delivers standing on its own while being a compelling thriller. What makes “Missing” so unique is that it uses the same technique through the point of view of smartphones and computers to deliver a suspenseful thriller. It’s a film that will keep the audience guessing from start to finish with many twists and turns that I always wanted to see where the film would go next.


8. “The Iron Claw”

Based on the true story of the Von Erich brothers during their time in wrestling, “The Iron Claw” depicts their professional and personal lives through triumphant successes and devastating tragedies. As someone who doesn’t watch wrestling, I was impressed with the amount of care and respect put into the story. This was the best performance of Zac Efron’s career and it makes me disappointed that neither him or the film got any Oscar nominations which is such a shame.

7. “The Holdovers”

Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa and Da’Vine Joy Raadolph each give wonderful performances in this funny and heartfelt comedy-drama about a strict history teacher at a boarding school who is forced to remain behind during the holidays to look over a group of students who have nowhere to go. During this time, he forms an unlikely friendship with a troubled student and a grieving mother. Each of the character’s stories bring poignancy, heart, and humor during the winter of 1970.

6. “Saw X”

Who knew that the 10th installment in a popular franchise would be the best installment that has a great story, a sympathetic and complex character, and some gnarly but creative traps. You can read more in my full length review of this film.

5. “Oppenheimer”

Christopher Nolan has proven once again why he is one of the best filmmakers working in Hollywood today. Through its non-linear structure, oscar-worthy performances from Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy, impressive sound design and haunting score, “Oppenheimer ” succeeds not only as a biopic but also as a riveting character study and thriller. I also got the chance to see this twice in 70mm IMAX at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis and at Regal Opry Mills in Nashville, two of only 30 locations in the world showing it in that specific format. Christopher Nolan has been known for shooting on film like the 70mm, and here it shows his dedication to his craft.

4. “John Wick: Chapter 4”

The fourth installment of the popular “John Wick” franchise manages to increase the action, stakes, stunts, and runtime all with blazing glory. It also features one of the greatest action scenes ever put to film that involves a bird’s eye view and a dragon’s breath gun. The question is, will they be able to top this? The answer in the words of none other than Keanu Reeves: “maybe not.”

3. “Scream VI”

This sixth installment of the “Scream” franchise manages to stay fresh, a rarity for a franchise slaying since 1996 and delivers a killer time for horror fans. The film follows a group of Woodsboro survivors from “Scream” moving to New York City, but their peace is short-lived when Ghostface goes on a bloody killing spree in the city. What I loved about this movie is the setting because it makes the scares and twists much more unpredictable. Unlike Woodsboro, getting help and trying to find other people is far more complicated in New York which will keep the audience riveted until the credits.

2. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is one of the greatest animated movies of all time, and I’m happy to say that the cast and crew pulled off an extremely difficult task of living up to the first film. The animation in this is a monumental achievement. Every frame of this movie is nothing short of awe and wonder. With over 1,000 animators working on the film, it’s clear on display how much love, care, passion and painstaking work was put into this stellar sequel of a masterpiece. When the film ended, I was immediately ready for the next installment, “Beyond the Spider-Verse ” to be released.

1. “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”

Tom Cruise may not have saved the cinemas like “Top Gun: Maverick” but he brought us another phenomenal installment that’s action-packed, thrilling, intense, suspenseful and at times thought-provoking with the premise being about Ethan Hunt and his time racing against time to track down a powerful force known as “The Entity” a powerful AI. The reason why this is my number 1 best film of 2023 is that it kept me completely invested from start to finish. It’s 163 minutes which is the longest in the franchise (so far) but not one single minute was wasted and when it ended not only did I want to see it again, but I couldn’t wait to see what Cruise and the director, Chris McQuarrie have in store for “Mission Impossible 8” especially after a cliffhanger ending that will leave audiences satisfied and wanting more.

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