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Christopher Llewellyn Reed’s Top 10 Films of 2023

Written by: Christopher Llewellyn Reed | December 31st, 2023

This was a very good year for cinema, especially (to me) of the lower- and middle-budget variety. For some reason, the much-ballyhooed bigger movies of 2023 left me a little cold, even if I may have liked some of them well enough. Below you will find 10 films—as always, 5 documentaries and 5 fiction—taken from the longer list (of 10 and 10) I already posted over at Hammer to Nail (HtN). All have had some kind of release, whether on a streamer or in theaters, before the end of the year. There’s a lot I saw at festivals that has yet to come out for the general public that I also loved, but this list leaves them off.

A quick sidenote: one of my favorite films of the year, The Quiet Girl (which I reviewed in February) was released in select markets at the end of 2022 so that it could qualify for the Oscars (for it which it ended up being nominated for Best International Feature). That means that technically it should not end up on any 2023 “best of” lists, even though it came out in wider release in March. But watching that movie was one of my most profound emotional experiences of the year.

I have already reviewed, in full, all the titles below, and so hyperlink to those reviews, whether on this site or at HtN. They are listed alphabetically, rather than in order of preference. Enjoy!

American Fiction (Cord Jefferson)

Asteroid City (Wes Anderson)

Four Daughters (Kaouther Ben Hania)

Judy Blume Forever (Davina Pardo/Leah Wolchok)

King Coal (Elaine McMillion Sheldon)

The Lady Bird Diaries (Dawn Porter)

Little Richard: I Am Everything (Lisa Cortés)

Past Lives (Celine Song)

Revoir Paris (Alice Winocour)

Thunder (Carmen Jaquier)


Christopher Llewellyn Reed is a film critic, filmmaker, and educator, as well as Film Festival Today's Editor. A member of both the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, Chris is, in addition, lead film critic at Hammer to Nail and the author of Film Editing: Theory and Practice.

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