As we approach the end of August, it’s the perfect time to update our list of the best movies that Netflix has added this year. Last month brought us some fantastic additions like “65” and “They Cloned Tyrone,” with numerous other films earning a spot in the honorable mentions category.
So, what can we expect from this month’s new releases? Which films on Netflix stand out as the cream of the crop for 2023? And which movies had to be dropped from our list?
In the following sections, we’ll dive into the top ten standout movies of the year, followed by a comprehensive list of honorable mentions that have captivated audiences over the past months. The landscape of this list has evolved over time, but our aim is to provide you with a holistic view of the cinematic journey Netflix subscribers have enjoyed in 2023.
The Top 10 Movies on Netflix in 2023
1. “You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah”
Director: Sammi Cohen
A vibrant tale of friendship, rivalry, and tradition centered around best friends Stacy (Sunny Sandler) and Lydia (Samantha Lorraine). With aspirations of legendary bat mitzvahs since girlhood, their plans get thrown into chaos by teenage whims and the charismatic Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman).
This heartwarming comedy captures the essence of friendship, sprinkled with traditional dances, as the characters navigate their way through adolescence.
2. “The Pope’s Exorcist”
Director: Julius Avery
Russel Crowe takes on the role of Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s renowned exorcist, in this atmospheric battle between good and evil. Amorth’s journey, encompassing a staggering 100,000 exorcisms, transcends the boundaries of a typical horror film.
Crowe’s charisma transforms the eerie tale into an unexpectedly delightful journey, alongside Daniel Zovatto, Alex Essoe, and Franco Nero.
3. “Heart of Stone”
Director: Tom Harper
Gal Gadot portrays elite agent Rachel Stone in a world of covert operations and high stakes. As a member of the enigmatic Charter, Stone is tasked with maintaining global peace. However, a mysterious artifact called the Heart has the power to disrupt this equilibrium.
With Jamie Dornan as MI6’s Parker and Alia Bhatt as Keya Dhawan, the film unfolds as a thrilling blend of action, intrigue, and heart-stopping moments.
4. “The Magician’s Elephant”
Director: Wendy Rogers
A magical narrative weaved by Wendy Rogers follows young Peter on a quest to find his lost sister, guided by an enigmatic elephant and a magician.
Noah Jupe portrays the determined orphan, surrounded by captivating performances from Mandy Patinkin, Natasia Demetriou, and Benedict Wong. This adaptation strikes a delicate balance between whimsy and profound lessons about faith and self-belief.
Director: Oliver Hermanus
Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Ikiru,” “Living” delves into life, legacy, and the fleeting nature of time. Bill Nighy delivers an Oscar-nominated performance as a civil servant diagnosed with a terminal condition, transitioning from despair to purpose.
Alongside Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, and Tom Burke, the film explores the pursuit of lasting significance within life’s ephemeral nature.
Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Adam Driver’s Mills faces the ultimate nightmare when he becomes stranded millions of years in Earth’s past following a cataclysmic crash.
Alongside young survivor Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), they navigate a primeval world teeming with predatory threats. This tight-knit thriller offers a unique twist on survival against all odds.
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
In a future defined by cybernetic advancements, “JUNG_E” takes viewers on a journey involving a cosmic civil war and an AI researcher’s quest to restore peace.
With a mother-daughter exploration at its core, the film elegantly blends emotions, ethics, and cutting-edge technology. Kang Soo-yeon, Kim Hyun-Joo, and Ryu Kyung-soo lead the cast, delivering a poignant narrative.
Directors: Will Merrick, Nick Johnson
“Missing” dives into a digital maze as June’s mother disappears during a Colombian vacation. The quest for answers unveils layers of international intrigue, all driven by the power of the digital realm. Storm Reid portrays June, while Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, and Amy Landecker add depth to this suspenseful odyssey blurring the lines between reality and virtual deception.
9. “To Leslie”
Director: Michael Morris
Andrea Riseborough delivers an Oscar-nominated performance as Leslie, a Texan mother striving to balance dreams and realities.
From fleeting ecstasy after a lottery windfall to the depths of addiction, this film portrays life’s unpredictable oscillations between hope and despair. Allison Janney, Andre Royo, and Marc Maron add depth to the captivating narrative.
10. “The Woman King”
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Set in 1800s Africa, “The Woman King” pays tribute to the all-female warriors of Dahomey. Viola Davis leads the charge as Gen. Nanisca, nurturing and training young warriors to defend their homeland against an impending external threat.
This cinematic experience blends culture, combat, and charisma, with support from talents like Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega.
A Selection of Noteworthy Films Added to Netflix in 2023
While the top ten films represent the cream of the crop, numerous other films have graced Netflix’s library in 2023. Here are some honorable mentions that have captivated audiences:
- A Man Called Otto
- Bird Box Barcelona
- Dog Gone
- Extraction 2
- Luther: The Fallen Sun
- Marry My Dead Body
- Minions: The Rise of Gru
- Murder Mystery 2
- Pamela, a Love Story
- Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food
- Take Care of Maya
- The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die
- The Monkey King
- The Mother
- The Out-Laws
- The Pale Blue Eye
- The Perfect Find
- The Raid 2
- The River Wild
- The Snowman
- The Son
- The Tutor
- True Spirit
- Untold: Johnny Football
- Unknown: The Lost Pyramid
- We Have a Ghost
- Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody
- You People
- Your Place or Mine
This diverse array of films adds depth and variety to Netflix’s cinematic offerings in 2023. From thrilling adventures and thought-provoking documentaries to heartwarming dramas and captivating mysteries, the platform continues to provide a rich tapestry of entertainment for its subscribers.
As the year unfolds, these films will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on viewers, contributing to the ever-growing landscape of streaming content.