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2023 Film Awards

2023 is now in the books! But before we look ahead to 2023, let’s look back on the year that was in film; What was the best movie? What studio holds the championship belt? And who will win 2023 Movie Madness? Find out all that and more with The Circuit’s 2023 Film Awards!

Circuit Artwork


If you’ve been following along all year (where the hell have you been if you haven’t!), you know that every quarter poll the number of nominees is half of the number of things I watched, or half rounded up if it’s an odd number. But for the yearly awards, we’re doing 10 nominees across the board (except for the individual genre categories which are 5 nominees). And we’re adding a bunch of new categories to further celebrate the year in film!


Here is the complete list of movies I caught in 2023: 


1st Quarter: 22 2nd Quarter: 26

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Across the Spiderverse

The Boston Strangler Air

Bottoms Are You There God?

Champions Asteroid City

Cocaine Bear The Blackening

Creed III The Boogeyman

Dungeons & Dragons Elemental

House Party Fast X

Infinity Pool Flamin’ Hot

Inside The Flash

John Wick Chapter 4 Ghosted

Knock at the Cabin Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3

Magic Mike’s Last Dance Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant

M3gan How to Blow Up a Pipeline

Murder Mystery 2 Dial of Destiny

Scream 6 The Little Mermaid

Shazam: Fury of the Gods Nimona

Tetris No Hard Feelings

A Thousand and One Past Lives

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey Peter Pan and Wendy

You People Power Rangers Once and Always

80 For Brady Renfield

Still

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

White Men Can’t Jump


3rd Quarter: 19 4th Quarter: 27

Barbie Anatomy of a Fall

The Beanie Bubble Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Blue Beetle Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

The Creator The Boy and the Heron

Dead Reckoning The Boy Who Lived

Dumb Money The Color Purple

Expendables 4 Exorcist: Believer

Gran Turismo Five Nights at Freddy’s

Haunted Mansion Godzilla Minus One

A Haunting in Venice The Holdovers

Joy Ride The Iron Claw

The Last Voyage of the Demeter The Killer

No One Will Save You Killers of the Flower Moon

Oppenheimer Maestro

Strays The Marvels

Talk to Me May December

TMNT: Mutant Mayhem Next Goal Wins

Theater Camp Nyad

Underrated Old Dads

Poor Things

Rebel Moon

The Royal Hotel

Rustin

Saltburn

Thanksgiving

Wish

Wonka


94 films! But there were still a number of movies I didn’t get to. Here is a list of some of the more notable films I didn’t catch in 2023 (so if you don’t see your favorite movie nominated for anything, it’s probably because I didn’t watch it). 


American Fiction

Beau is Afraid

Blackberry

The Equalizer 3

Evil Dead Rise

Fair Play

Ferrari

Napoleon

Paint

Priscilla

Saw X

Sound of Freedom

Taylor Swift: Eras Tour

Trolls Band Together

The Zone of Interest



Favorite Superhero Film in 2023

1- Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3

2- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

3- Blue Beetle

4- The Flash

5- The Marvels


Not even close. 2023 will go down as one of the most disappointing years for superhero movies ever. But in that desert of mediocrity and suckery, the Guardians of the Galaxy rose up and saved us all. 


Favorite Comedy/Musical Film in 2023

1- Wonka

2- Champions

3- Bottoms

4- Cocaine Bear

5- No Hard Feelings


Much like superhero movies, comedies and musicals were also lacking in 2023. While films like Bottoms and No Hard Feelings were genuinely funny, and Champions dribbled its way into my heart, Timothee Chalamet sang and danced his way to the top of the genre in 2023 with his delicious chocolate and even sweeter songs. 


Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film in 2023

1- Godzilla Minus One

2- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

3- Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

4- Renfield

5- The Creator


LET’S GOOOOOO! Godzilla Minus One is hands down the best Godzilla movie I’ve ever seen. The sound design was out of this world. The VFX looked awesome. I cared about the characters. I loved this movie so much. To knock off the Hunger Games prequel on this list, you know I loved it. 


Favorite Animated Film in 2023

1- Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse

2- TMNT: Mutant Mayhem

3- The Super Mario Bros. Movie

4- Elemental

5- The Boy and the Heron


I really dug Mutant Mayhem, and walking out of the theater I had it at #1. But after rewatching Across the Spiderverse, I can’t deny how good it is. A slight win, but a win nonetheless. 


Favorite Horror/Thriller Film in 2023

1- Talk to Me

2- Scream 6

3- Thanksgiving

4- Knock at the Cabin

5- M3gan


It seems 2023 was the year that killed Ghostface (insert sadface). Not as good as 2022, but this was a solid year for horror headlined by maybe the best horror film since Hereditary. Sophie Wilde was sensational (and NEEDS to be in the next Jordan Peele movie), and this film left me shook. Highly recommend for any scare addicts out there! 


Favorite Drama/Mystery Film in 2023

1- Oppenheimer

2- Air

3- Saltburn

4- Past Lives

5- The Holdovers


Hot damn was this category tough. My beloved Air… I love it so much! But what Nolan and co. did with Oppenheimer is something else. All 5 of these films are fantastic; this is like picking my favorite of 5 children if I actually liked all of them! Impossible. 


Favorite Action/Adventure (and sports) Film in 2023

1- Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning

2- The Iron Claw

3- Creed III

4- Gran Turismo

5- John Wick Chapter 4


Shout out to John Wick for making me actually like one of those stupid movies! Only took ya 4 tries. But Tom Cruise once again delivered a crowd-pleasing performance and literally jumped off a cliff for us… how could I not recognize him! 



Favorite Film Scene of 2023

1- Trinity Test (Oppenheimer)

2- Saving Rocket (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3)

3- Mahler’s Resurrection (Maestro)

4- Airport Three-Card-Monte (Dead Reckoning)

5- Escape from Spider HQ (Across the Spiderverse)

6- Who Gives a F*ck About Movies? (Scream 6)

7- Godzilla Boat Chase (Godzilla Minus One)

8- Sales Pitch (Air)

9- Two Ankles Out of the Water (Nyad)

10- Black Friday Massacre (Thanksgiving)


These are some fantastic scenes. Some made me hold my breath, others made me want to stand up and cheer, and one particular raccoon brought me to tears. But what Nolan did with the trinity test, sucking all the sound and simultaneously all my breath out of the theater, was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in a movie. This is a no-doubter. 


Favorite Film Cameo of 2023

1- Bradley Cooper (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves)

2- Hailee Steinfeld (The Marvels)

3- Tony Revolori (Scream 6)

4- Charles Martinet (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)

5- John Cena (Barbie)

6- George Clooney (The Flash)

7- Ann Roth (Barbie)

8- Bill Murray (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania)

9- Tessa Thompson (The Marvels)

10- Baron Davis (Joy Ride)


This year f*cking sucked for cameos. I’ll give the win to Cooper because 1) I was genuinely stunned to see him pop up in a D&D movie, and 2) it was hysterical seeing him play a dwarf. 



Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actress in Film in 2023

1- Rachel McAdams (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret)

2- Rhea Pearlman (Barbie)

3- Viola Davis (Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes)

4- Jodie Foster (Nyad)

5- Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple)

6- Sally Field (80 For Brady)

7- Michelle Yeoh (A Haunting in Venice)

8- Ayo Edibiri (Theater Camp)

9- America Ferrera (Barbie)

10- Rita Morena (80 For Brady)


Some category fraud here? Absolutely. Viola Davis was up for Supporting Actress in the awards race (should have been nominated. Still not over that), but according to us she qualified as the lead actress because she is the lead actress in the movie. So with her out, enter Rachel McAdams! I thought she was sensational in Are You There God? And really made that movie for me. And shout out to Jodie Foster! Her DESERVED nomination was great to see. 


Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actor in Film in 2023

1- Robert Downey Jr. (Oppenheimer)

2- Jonathan Majors (Creed III)

3- Jacob Elordi (Saltburn)

4- Harris Dickinson (The Iron Claw)

5- Jeremy Allen-White (The Iron Claw)

6- Dave Bautista (Knock at the Cabin)

7- Marshawn Lynch (Bottoms)

8- Jason Momoa (Fast X)

9- Jack Black (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)

10- David Harbour (Gran Turismo)


There were some really fantastic supporting turns in 2023, from Marshawn Lynch making my ribs hurt from laughing too hard to Jacob Elordi proving he’s more than just Euphoria. But ultimately Iron Man himself proved that yes, Marvel actors are also good actors and is about 7 weeks away from taking home his earned Oscar. Loved what RDJ did in Oppenheimer, and he easily cruises to the win. 


Favorite Performance By A Lead Actress in Film in 2023

1- Sophie Wilde (Talk to Me)

2- Viola Davis (Air)

3- Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon)

4- Margot Robbie (Barbie)

5- Mia Goth (Infinity Pool)

6- Emma Stone (Poor Things)

7- Carey Mulligan (Maestro)

8- Jennifer Lawrence (No Hard Feelings)

9- Melissa Berrera (Scream 6)

10- Halle Bailey (The Little Mermaid)


If you ask me what the best performance by a lead actress was in 2023, I would have to say Emma Stone. She was unbelievable. But luckily, that’s not what these awards are for! I hated Poor Things like the Dallas Cowboys hate winning playoff games. I thought Wilde was transcendent in Talk to Me, bursting onto the scene and making me anxiously await her next performance. A great list of contenders, but Wilde comes out on top. 


Favorite Performance By A Lead Actress in Film in 2023

1- Zac Efron (The Iron Claw)

2- Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer)

3- Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers)

4- Barry Keoghan (Saltburn)

5- Bradley Cooper (Maestro)

6- Timothee Chalamet (Wonka)

7- Ryan Gosling (Barbie)

8- Matt Damon (Air)

9- Tom Blyth (Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes)

10- Woody Harrelson (Champions)


Efron got hosed! I said it. Murphy and Giamatti were better performances, but I loved everything Efron did in Iron Claw. The ending scene alone, breaking the chain of toxic masculinity, holy cannoli. Some great performances here by Efron was my favorite. 


Least Favorite Film of 2023

75- House Party

74- Peter Pan & Wendy

73- Shazam! Fury of the Gods

72- Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey

71- White Men Can’t Jump

70- You People

69- Power Rangers: Once and Always

68- Asteroid City

67- The Beanie Bubble

66- The Expendables 4


I never plan on watching any of these movies again, but House Party was a level of crap. I often argue remakes and reboots are great because even if they are bad, they still get people to want to go watch the original. Turns out there is a level of bad that makes you want to never watch the original, and this was it! 



Favorite Film of 2023

1- Oppenheimer

2- Air

3- Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3

4- Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning

5- Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse

6- The Iron Claw

7- Saltburn

8- Past Lives

9- Creed III

10- Talk to Me


God Air came so close. So so close. But my favorite director of all-time makes maybe his best movie, one of my favorite actors of all-time delivers his (likely) first Oscar-winning performance, and Florence Pugh does what she does… I can’t deny Oppenheimer the 2023 crown. 


Studio Rankings

1- A24

2- Universal

3- Paramount

4- Sony

5- MGM

6- Warner Bros. 

7- Lionsgate

8- Disney/Fox

9- Netflix

10- Apple


Universal had a phenomenal year! Oppenheimer, The Holdovers and The Super Mario Bros. Movie just to name a few of their hits. But this year was really about A24; I have been critical of this studio in the past, but this year with films like Talk to Me, The Iron Claw and Past Lives, they showed that they can in fact make really great movies and are more than just the weird independent studio that hippies like. I am happy to admit when I am wrong, and I clearly underestimated this studio. Pressure is on now though! Better keep the hits coming A24! 


Film Scoreboard: Nominations (Wins)

Barbie- 6

Oppenheimer- 5 (3)

The Iron Claw- 5 (1)

Air- 5

Saltburn- 4

Scream 6- 4

Talk to Me- 3 (2)

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3- 3 (1)

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning- 3 (1)

Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse- 3 (1)

Creed III- 3

Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes- 3

Maestro- 3

The Marvels- 3

Past Lives- 3

The Super Mario Bros. Movie- 3

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves- 2 (1)

Godzilla Minus One- 2 (1)

Wonka- 2 (1)

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania- 2

Bottoms- 2

Champions- 2

The Flash- 2

Gran Turismo- 2

The Holdovers- 2

Knock at the Cabin- 2

No Hard Feelings- 2

Nyad- 2

80 For Brady- 2

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret- 1 (1)

Blue Beetle- 1

The Boy and the Heron- 1

Cocaine Bear- 1

The Color Purple- 1

The Creator- 1

Elemental- 1

Fast X- 1

A Haunting in Venice- 1

Infinity Pool- 1

John Wick Chapter IV- 1

Joy Ride- 1

Killers of the Flower Moon- 1

The Little Mermaid- 1

M3gan- 1

Renfield- 1

TMNT: Mutant Mayhem- 1

Thanksgiving- 1

Theater Camp- 1


There you have it! The 2023 Film Awards. Make sure to check back in towards the beginning of April to see what films, shows, actors and actresses take home the hardware for the 1st Quarter of 2024! 

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