The year of 2023 offered some incredible movies, with hits ranging from animated movies that broke barriers yet again, huge foreign films and daring arthouse films, and bona fide cultural phenomenons that generated their own universe of memes. Some of the Atom Tickets staff sat down to think about our favorite movies of the year and these are the movies we each personally held nearest and dearest to us this year. While this list is by no means comprehensive, it gives you an idea of the vast variety of movies was on tap for 2023, with more to come in the last few weeks of the year.

Tell us: what was your favorite movie of 2023?

Godzilla Minus One

Forget Hollywood blockbusters, 2023 belonged to Godzilla Minus One. This Japanese masterpiece wasn’t just a giant monster romp, it was a thrilling hero’s journey mixed love tale that captivated audiences worldwide. Witnessing Godzilla’s epic rise, from devastation to reluctant savior, was pure cinematic magic. From the edge-of-your-seat action to the poignant exploration of post-war Japan, this foreign film delivered a knockout punch. So glad I caught it in theaters – it was an experience!

But Godzilla’s destiny wasn’t set in stone. Humanity, scarred by past encounters, had its own plan: a meticulously crafted capture-and-kill mission, a technological marvel pushing the boundaries of both hope and desperation. The final showdown wasn’t just about survival, it was a clash of wills, a gamble for the future of both monster and man. The thunderous roar of battle echoed across the screen, leaving us breathless and questioning – could Godzilla truly be tamed, or would he rise again, forever a symbol of both destruction and, unexpectedly, hope?

Godzilla Minus One wasn’t just a movie, it was a question mark etched in kaiju fire. It left us pondering the nature of heroism, the legacy of war, and the delicate dance between coexistence and annihilation. If you haven’t seen this gem yet, do yourself a favor and dive into this Japanese masterpiece. Just be prepared for a thrilling ride that will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about monsters and men.

Eric Leino, Product

A Haunting in Venice

In my humble opinion, A Haunting In Venice is a pulse-quickening joyride. Released around Halloween, this film transcends the typical horror genre, offering a suspenseful and intriguing experience that captivates from start to finish. Embark on an unforgettable journey through the mysterious canals of Venice, where the charm of the city collides with a suspicious dark side that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, eagerly unwrapping the layers of the enigmatic plot.

Director Alessandro Bava skillfully weaves a tale of suspense and mystery, seamlessly merging the picturesque backdrop of Venice with an eerie unknown that sparks curiosity rather than sheer terror. The cinematography captures the city’s beauty in the daylight and transforms it into a thrilling adventure as the sun sets, enticing viewers to consider booking their own trip to Italy from the opening scene. 

What sets this film apart is its ability to balance suspenseful moments with a riveting plot. The paranormal encounters serve a purpose, unveiling a dark history that adds depth to the narrative. The cast delivers standout performances, taking audiences on an emotional rollercoaster of suspense and anticipation.

Farah Khan, COO

Anatomy of a Fall

In Anatomy of a Fall, director Justine Triet elevates what could be a standard courtroom drama into something much more thrilling and unique.   The film layers in mystery, suspense, and the question of unreliable narrators with calculated subtlety. A dead body discovered by a blind 12-year-old, a bisexual author whose fiction foreshadows her husband’s demise, and a revelatory audio tape that upends a murder trial.  These feel like sensationalist tabloid headlines that could be treated with melodrama, but instead, the film expertly navigates the horror and nuance found in these situations.    

Sandra Huller’s performance as the protagonist, Sandra Voyter, is astounding, particularly in the courtroom and flashback scenes. Triet’s genius shines through in a brilliantly edited sequence, where she tantalizingly reveals an argument’s escalation without showing its conclusion, leaving the audience and the courtroom to interpret the final moments.

The pacing never feels rushed. The dialogue is some of the zippiest you’ll find in any movie all year, seamlessly blending three languages—German, English, and French—in a rewarding and completely authentic manner.  The film leaves audiences with an impactful lasting message: “Just because the truth is complicated, doesn’t mean it’s not true.”

Michael Amouyal, Sr. Director, Marketing & Partnerships


Alright, let’s get it out of the way first, because we are all thinking it. Saying Barbie was my favorite movie of the year is easily one of the most basic, stereotypical answers imaginable. But honestly, I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it that I saw it multiple times in theaters. Right as I walked out of the theater after my first viewing, I knew immediately that this was something I had to take others – especially other women – to watch. Now, when I first heard that there would be a Barbie movie, my initial reaction was the same as many others: why? It just felt like such a silly thing! Despite the abundance of Barbie animated films that are out there, a live-action movie geared toward adults seemed like a crazy idea. But you know what? This movie went on to slap me across the face to let me know that the crazy ideas that everyone might laugh at – like Gloria’s (America Ferrera) drawings of Irrepressible Thoughts of Death Barbie and Crippling Shame Barbie – might be some of the best ideas. The concept of a Barbie movie is ridiculous on the surface, but it’s the ridiculousness that works so well because the movie leans so heavily into it, at least in the world-building. For example, in Barbie Land, no one takes the stairs, they simply just float from one space to the next. The food in the fridge is all fake and made of stickers. It’s this silliness that makes the movie fun and comedic.

And while I certainly did question the initial announcement of the movie’s development, it only took one trailer for me to be intrigued by the concept. This wasn’t just a silly little movie. This was about a woman, forced by everyone to be absolutely perfect in every capacity – much like every woman in society – who has finally reached her breaking point. For all the comedy that Barbie leans into with its fantastic script and cast, and truthfully, I don’t think I have ever laughed so much during a movie in my life, the film ultimately serves as a heartbreaking satire to explore existentialism, feminism, and masculinity in society. Margot Robbie of course shines as Stereotypical Barbie, but it’s America Ferrera’s monologue that hits the nail on the head and says exactly what every woman has been thinking. Not only does Barbie shine a brilliant light on the unrealistic expectations that women face in the Real World, but it’s the outcasts like Allan (Michael Cera) and Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) that help tear down and deconstruct both masculinity and femininity. No one can truly shine unless everyone has a chance to shine, and Barbie does a further excellent job at bringing this point home with its diverse casting choices – highlighting Barbies of all shapes, colors, and abilities – and even releasing an American Sign Language version of the film with a live interpreter, not just a subtitled version. Barbie might look like a fun comedy packaged in a bright bubblegum pink box, but its central message of self-discovery is that it’s okay to not be stereotypically perfect, and that learning and growing into something uniquely us, full of our different messes, is what makes life marvelous and just right.

Kaitlyn Nickol, Operations

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

It’s hard to imagine a sequel topping Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, especially with some of the creative team stepping away after the first movie. But Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse managed to top its predecessor and then some. Across the Spider-Verse is a marvel of care and craftsmanship, a brilliant example of what happens when you let creative people be creative and – more importantly – give them time to cook. It’s hard enough to get an animated movie to look visually dynamic while still remaining cohesive, but to do that while seamlessly incorporating completely different animation styles and techniques for each Spider-person is damn near impossible. Yet, the team behind Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse did it, and did it with excellence.

Across the Spider-Verse would be impressive enough as an exercise in visual artistry. What sets it apart and above, however, is the story at its heart. If Into the Spider-Verse was about Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) learning to believe in himself, then Across the Spider-Verse is about all of the Spider-people, including Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld) and Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), deciding what kind of hero they want to be. What makes it compelling is that each hero comes at it from a different place: Miles is trying to balance being a hero and the kid his parents want him to be. Gwen is trying to maintain her integrity while repairing her relationship with her father. Peter is trying to figure out what kind of father he wants to be for his baby daughter (and budding hero), May. Throw in Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099, the secondary (arguably primary) antagonist of the movie, and you have a movie that’s as emotionally impactful as anything in live-action this year – and arguably more.

Alisha Grauso, Editorial Lead

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