From blockbuster hits like Barbenheimer to critically acclaimed films such as Killers of the Flower Moon and May December, 2023 delivered a cinematic feast with its diverse range of movies, spanning from comedies to sci-fi epics and animated adventures.
However, amidst the cinematic extravaganza, several remarkable films failed to receive the attention they deserved. As we step into a new year, it’s the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on these overlooked masterpieces. Here are five underrated 2023 movies that demand your attention in 2024—don’t miss out!
1. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
- Director Kelly Fremon Craig brings Judy Blume’s beloved novel to life, featuring Abby Ryder Fortson as 11-year-old Margaret. The film beautifully captures Margaret’s journey through faith, coming-of-age challenges, and the complexities of relocating from the city to a New Jersey suburb. Notable performances, particularly from Rachel McAdams as Margaret’s mother, Barbara, make this heartfelt and relatable coming-of-age story a must-watch for families seeking an insightful, feel-good experience.
- Directed by William Oldroyd and based on Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel, Eileen stars Thomasin McKenzie as a sexually repressed young woman working in a 1960s Massachusetts juvenile detention facility. The arrival of the enigmatic Rebecca, portrayed by Anne Hathaway, takes the story to unexpected heights. With its refreshing honesty and standout performances, Eileen is a unique and compelling tale of desire and repression. The supporting cast, including Shea Whigham and Marin Ireland, adds depth to this subversive gem.
3. A Thousand and One
- Teyana Taylor delivers a standout performance in A. V. Rockwell’s drama set in the mid-90s. The film follows single mother Inez as she kidnaps her son from foster care, navigating the challenges of building a normal life in a rapidly changing New York City. A Thousand and One, though not a conventional “happy” film, offers a rewarding portrayal of motherhood, love, and societal issues. Taylor’s triumphant performance and the thought-provoking narrative make this underappreciated gem a must-watch on Amazon Prime Video.
- In a refreshing departure from traditional biopic subjects, BlackBerry, directed by Matt Johnson, tells the captivating story of the creation of the iconic mobile phone. The film balances wit, humor, and an unhinged performance by Glenn Howerton as businessman Jim Balsillie. Amidst a year dominated by familiar themes, BlackBerry stands out as an entertaining and memorable exploration of an unexpected subject.
- Apple TV+ presents Tetris, an unlikely biopic starring Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers, a game developer who discovers the groundbreaking game during the Cold War era. Blending genres seamlessly, Tetris starts as a conventional biopic before evolving into a political thriller. Egerton’s charming portrayal of the unlikely hero navigating political hurdles makes Tetris a fun, thrilling, and endlessly entertaining film, showcasing the creative prowess of Apple TV+.
As you plan your 2024 watchlist, make sure to include these hidden gems from 2023—they promise a cinematic experience that goes beyond the mainstream.”