The 10 best Netflix movies of 2023
(Credit: Netflix)


The 10 best Netflix movies of 2023

Despite coming to a standstill due to the writer’s and actor’s strikes, Hollywood saw terrific films come out in 2023, from Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon to Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things. Things were pretty shiny, cinematically speaking, on Netflix as well.

This was a great year in cinema for female filmmakers. We had the charming comedy-drama, Nicole Holofcener’s You Hurt My Feelings. There was Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, the biggest summer blockbuster of the last decade. Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn is setting festival trails ablaze as did Chloe Domont’s Fair Play earlier this year. 

Domont’s film was lapped up by Netflix for a whopping $20million, setting a grand precedent for smaller films to find wider audiences on streaming. Netflix did something similar for Pale Blue Eyes, and it became one of the top-viewed films on Netflix in the first half of the year, according to data released by the streaming platform.

Netflix has found big hits in films like No Hard Feelings, starring Jennifer Lawrence and The Mother, starring Jennifer Lopez. Internationally acclaimed films like Pablo Larrain’s El Conde, Atlee’s Jawan, and Avinash Arun’s sublime Three of Us found their way into the Netflix library this year.

This was a stellar year for film, even on Netflix. But before a New Year comes knocking, take a look at our list of Netflix’s top ten best films of 2023.

The best Netflix films of 2023:

10. Love at First Sight

Vanessa Caswill’s Love at First Sight is the perfect rom-com. If you have complained about the lack of well-written, well-performed romantic films for a while now, then this is your answer.

Based on the novel The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, this one is slightly cheesy and formulaic, but it has a lot of heart, quirk, and sizzling chemistry between the leads, Haley Lu Richardson and Ben Hardy.

9. The Killer

David Fincher’s twelfth film, a neo-noir action thriller, The Killer is not for everyone. This one is not a haha-funny film but has a tremendously dry and dark comedic underbelly.

At the centre of it is Michael Fassbender’s titular Killer, who is a mediocre assassin at best with a grandiose idea of life, his profession, and himself. Fassbender as the Killer does everything wrong, and even has the most tensely comic encounter with Tilda Swinton’s ‘The Expert’, which is easily one of the highlights of this film.

8. Leo

Directed by Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel and David Wachtenheim, Leo is the second animated feature from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production house. The film follows a septuagenarian tuatara called Leo (voiced by Sandler), who is a class pet.

An existential crisis sets in for Leo when he finds out that he has one year to live, but before he gets to live his life to the fullest, he has to become friend, philosopher and guide to the students in his class. This one has been lauded for its winning voice acting and slick animations.

7. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in essence is a love letter to the coolest graphic designs and is underlined with infectious delight. The film follows Miles Morales as he teams up with Gwen Stacy to thwart the scientist Spot’s attempt to exploit the multiverse’s power.

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Powers, this serves as a sequel to the acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and should be celebrated for being a visually stunning and action-packed addition to the Spider-Verse saga.

6. Maestro

The biographical drama directed by Bradley Cooper, Maestro revolves around the intricate relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein, portrayed by Cooper, and his wife Felicia Montealegre, played by Carey Mulligan.

The film, produced by Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, explores the complexities of Bernstein and Montealegre’s marriage and displays Cooper’s directorial deftness once again after A Star Is Born.

5. Fair Play

Fair Play is a psychological thriller film that marks Chloe Domont’s directorial debut, and what a stunning debut it is! Starring Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich, the movie unfolds the unravelling relationship of a young couple faced with unexpected challenges after a promotion in a cutthroat hedge fund firm. It’s steamy yet unnervingly atmospheric.

Fair Play explores themes of sex, money, patriarchy, power, corporate intrigue and delivers a very satisfactory ending.

4. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is endearing and nostalgic. Based on the novel by Judy Blume, published in 1970, Kelly Fremon Craig’s adaptation follows Margaret Simon, a sixth-grader navigating the challenges of adolescence along with exploring her relationship with god. Her parents’ interfaith marriage plays into shaping her beliefs. 

The novel resonated with 1970s readers for its relatable portrayal of a young girl dealing with issues like menstruation, bras, and boys. Despite national honours and awards, the book was banned for its candid exploration of sexual and religious themes and continues to be a relevant part of the discourse that deals with faith, gender, and girlhood.

3. Leave the World Behind

Sam Esmail’s apocalypse film Leave the World Behind does a tremendous job of building tension. Based on Ruman Alam’s novel, the film follows the Sandford family, whose lives change forever on a fateful vacation.

When the owners of their vacation rental come knocking in the middle of the night, bringing news of a communications blackout, the Sandfords are not ready to handle it. What ensues is an exploration of human nature in the face of impending doom.

2. They Cloned Tyrone

They Cloned Tyrone is a genre-defying science fiction satire directed by Juel Taylor. Starring John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx, who also serves as a producer, the movie follows an unlikely trio investigating a government cloning conspiracy. David Alan Grier and Kiefer Sutherland also appear in supporting roles.

The film also delves into blaxploitation territory, building a rapidly rising crescendo of rhythming storytelling that is bound to put you on edge.

1. May December 

Taking the cake this year is Todd Haynes-directed May December. Starring a pitch-perfect Julianne Moore, phenomenal Charles Melton, and Natalie Portman, this drama has some of the most stellar performances of the year with a sinister score and moody cinematography to boot.

Based on the real-life story of sex offender Mary Kay Letourneau, the film follows Portman’s Elizabeth, an actor who is about to make a film on Gracie (based on Letourneau) and Joe’s life. Gracie and Joe have been in a 23-year relationship, which began when Joe was 13. If you find Fair Play unnerving, then May December will be even more unsettlingly disturbing.