Without a doubt, this was the year for “Barbenheimer,” the comically-named mashup of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” which took the country by storm during the summertime, outperforming perhaps even the loftiest of assumptions by those who thought these two incredibly disparate pictures would finally bring audiences back to theaters. It was an unexpected matchup that saw, quite likely, uninterested moviegoers weathering an uncommon double feature for the sake of entertaining couples and other collective outings in a date-night or shared-activity tradeoff. They were indeed both critical and commercial successes that put other blockbuster entries to shame, including the financially-pummeled “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “The Flash,” as well as low takings for “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.” Could it be that theater patrons are finally signaling to Hollywood that they’re tired of remakes and never-ending franchises? The end of the year’s “The Marvels” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” definitely seem to suggest so.
Unfortunately, with the double-whammy of a writers’ strike and an actors’ strike occurring simultaneously, numerous releases got delayed or even pushed to 2024 (publicity for films that were still released was also affected, reducing fanfare), which created a sizable dead-spot in late fall. There were still plenty of offerings, but we didn’t see nearly as many this year as in previous years. As a result, we’re dispensing with the typical selection of ten movies and choosing just a “Top 5,” which more accurately reflects the cream of the crop. As usual, despite reviewing such widely acclaimed movies as “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Poor Things,” and “The Holdovers,” our best-of list has resorted to some less customary choices. So here it is – the Top 5 films of 2023:
– The Massie Twins