159 Best Movies & Shows Released in 2023 On Netflix UK (Page 9)

Staff & contributors

Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2023. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.

There’s something frightening about being consistently spurned due to circumstances out of your control. This is the main concern of Pulimada’s Vincent, since he’s not marriage material due to his family’s history of mental illness. The twisty plot is reminiscent of old gothic mysteries, complete with a tiger metaphor, but the execution is off, especially since it takes more than two thirds of the film before there’s anything to fear. It’s clear that Pulimada has an engaging, though dated concept, and Joju George’s transformation for Vincent could have definitely gotten there. But entering this tiger’s den feels like a letdown when there’s no risk, no style, no intrigue in the film’s approach.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Actor: Abu Salim, Aishwarya Rajesh, Balachandra Menon, Chemban Vinod Jose, Dileesh Nair, Jaffer Idukki, Jeo Baby, Johny Antony, Joju George, Krishna Prabha, Lijomol Jose

Director: A K Sajan

Read also:

With every chaotic fight scene, ridiculous stunts, and crazy scheme, All-Time High is a wild ride where two scammers lie to each other and fall in love. It’s fun to see these irresponsible people reap the consequences, and it’s fun to see the way Youssef and Stéphanie recognize that they’ve met their match, made all the more fun with the natural chemistry between Nassim Lyes and Zoé Marchal. That being said, the film’s irreverent humor depends a bit too much on stereotypes and gags, and can be a bit too specific for viewers outside of France.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Adrien Essamir, Alexandre Kominek, Ciryl Gane, Guillaume Canet, Gustave Kervern, Hakim Jemili, Hedi Bouchenafa, Ichem Bougheraba, Kenza Fortas, Nassim Lyes, Panayotis Pascot, Yassine Stein, Yousef Ramal, Yovel Lewkowski, Zoé Marchal

Director: Julien Royal

Less homage to Star Wars than it is a pastiche of that cultural juggernaut, a strong sense of déjà vu hangs over Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon. Unfortunately, in plainly appealing to the memory of its vastly superior inspiration so many times, it inadvertently reminds viewers of how much better its muse is. There are far too many direct copycat scenes here for Rebel Moon to craft anything like an identity of its own, but its derivativeness might be forgivable were it not so self-consciously, humorlessly straining for epicness.

Rebel Moon rises with narration from Anthony Hopkins and an operatic score — a promise of grandness it never lives up to. At two-hours-plus, this dreadnought announces its lofty ambitions for future franchise status at every turn, but never once earns it: the dialogue is creakingly expository and the acting is spotty, ultimately making it feel like the film has lazily assumed it's already secured all the interest it needs to justify a potential two further sequels and a galaxy of tie-in media. Though there are bright spots that suggest an actual movie lurks somewhere deep within its 134 minutes, Rebel Moon instead feels like a laborious couple of hours of scene-setting that arrogantly banks on you returning for more, despite doing little to deserve any more of your time.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Actor: Adam J. Smith, Alexander Ward, Alfonso Herrera, Anthony Hopkins, Bae Doona, Ben Geurens, Bonnie Morgan, Brandon Auret, Caden Dragomer, Carolyne Chen, Cary Elwes, Charlie Hunnam, Charlotte Maggi, Christine Kellogg-Darrin, Christopher Matthew Cook, Cleopatra Coleman, Colby Lemmo, Corey Stoll, Danielle Burgio, Derek Mears, Djimon Hounsou, Dominic Burgess, Douglas Tait, Dustin Ceithamer, E. Duffy, Ed Skrein, Fra Fee, Francis Ngannou, Greg Kriek, Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, Isabella Brenza, James William O'Halloran, Jena Malone, Josefine Lindegaard, Kayden Alexander Koshelev, Kingston Foster, Mark Steger, Matt Nolan, Michael James Bell, Michiel Huisman, Napoleon Ryan, Patrick Luwis, Ray Fisher, Ray Porter, Rhian Rees, Richard Cetrone, Robbie Jarvis, Rory Gibson, Samantha Win, Scott Subiono, Simon Potter, Sisse Marie, Sky Yang, Sofia Boutella, Staz Nair, Stuart Martin, Tony Amendola

Director: Zack Snyder

Rating: PG-13

Read also:

Fairytale parodies reimagine these classic tales to reexamine or question its related themes. Once Upon a Crime attempts to do this by imagining Little Red Riding Hood as a detective investigating the murder of a hairdresser in Cinderella’s ball. The campy glamor of the costumes and sets, as well as the incongruence of Little Red’s detective mindset, makes the film watchable. However, the film takes strange twists that stray too far from the original stories. And while the cut locks make an intriguing metaphor, the resulting ending betrays any sense of justice for the characters, most especially the abused Cinderella.

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy

Actor: Atsuhiro Inukai, Jiro Sato, Kanna Hashimoto, Masaki Kaji, Midoriko Kimura, Miki Maya, Mirei Kiritani, Mizuki Yamamoto, Natsuna Watanabe, Takanori Iwata, Tomoharu Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi Muro, Yuko Araki, Yumi Wakatsuki, 室毅

Director: Yuichi Fukuda

Rating: PG

Starting out with an ad for the protagonist’s practice, Irugapatru clearly advocates for couples therapy and marriage counseling. Dr. Mitra even recommends it as a preventative measure, not just as a cure. However, this well-meaning objective doesn’t feel like it’s been met. The film showcases common fights and situations that any couple might be familiar with, but these instances come and go without seeing any development within each marriage. It dumps a set of psychology theories and therapeutic strategies that might be useful, but it seems to come out of nowhere. But most of all, these relationships don’t feel real, because the characters themselves don’t feel like people, they feel like examples. Because of this, Irugapatru doesn’t really explore couples therapy, it only prescribes it without recognizing the love that was lost.

Genre: Drama, Family, Romance

Actor: Abarnathi, Manobala, Saniya Iyyappan, Shraddha Srinath, Sri, Vidharth, Vikram Prabhu

Director: Yuvaraj Dhayalan

Read also:

Family Switch is a film clearly built to give its ensemble fun acting opportunities, with Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms being given excuses to loosen up more than expected, and Brady Noon and Emma Myers (arguably the movie's MVP) moving beyond mere imitation into more full-bodied performances as adults seeing through their kids' eyes. Unfortunately, the rest of the film saddles them with uninteresting situations that never take the body-switching aspect to more clever territory. Whatever mutual understanding that's learned by the end feels contrived, with the Christmas setting feeling especially tacked on—leaving these otherwise talented actors little to anchor their performances on.

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Actor: Adam Lustick, Andrew Bachelor, Anwar Jibawi, Austin Boyce, Bashir Salahuddin, Benjamin Flores Jr., Bob Stephenson, Brady Noon, Carl McDowell, Chloé Wepper, Connor Finnerty, Cyrus Arnold, Dan Finnerty, Ed Helms, Emma Myers, Fortune Feimster, Hannah Stocking, Helen Hong, Howie Mandel, Ilia Isorelýs Paulino, Jason Rogel, Jennifer Garner, Lauren Ash, Mark McGrath, Matthias Schweighöfer, Naomi Ekperigin, Ned Bellamy, Paul Scheer, Pete Holmes, Preston Galli, Punam Patel, Ravi Kapoor, Rita Moreno, Rivers Cuomo, Ryan James, Scott Shriner, Sebastian Quinn, Vanessa Carrasco, Xosha Roquemore

Director: McG

Rating: PG

The latest installment of Ly Hai’s Face Off franchise has an entertaining premise with some terrible plot twists. With this premise, it’s almost expected to see the worst of the worst of people when given a jackpot, and it’s easy to feel distraught when this happens, because the initial dynamic between the six friends feels genuine. However, the fun and wacky hijinks devolve into seriously messed up plot twists. Some of these work, but certain scenes feel like it was just added for shock value at the expense of other characters. The film couldn’t choose between vilifying some characters and celebrating their friendship. Because of this, Face Off 6 feels like it missed its mark.

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Huy Khánh, Huỳnh Thi, Quốc Cường, Tiết Cương, Trung Dũng

Director: Lý Hải

Read also:

Tagged by Netflix as a stylish thriller driven by a bold sexual adventure, Burning Betrayal feels less erotic and less thrilling than expected. Sure, there are stunning sex scenes, and unexplainable incidents that seem at first the result of a breakup. However, the first half of Burning Betrayal does not adequately set up the last half, as it focused nearly half its runtime just throwing in as much sex scenes as possible. And for what? There’s nothing character-wise that makes any of the men in Babi’s life so compelling, even in the toxic, addictive sort of way. And when the twist comes, it feels like it’s been all thrown arbitrarily. It really just feels like multiple pretty music videos masquerading as a movie.

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance

Actor: Bruno Montaleone, Camilla de Lucas, Giovanna Lancellotti, Leandro Lima, Louise D'Tuani, Micael Borges

Director: Diego Freitas

Rating: R

With the success of Knives Out, many filmmakers have gone back to make new films in the whodunit genre, which reached its peak between the 30s and 40s with Agatha Christie. A Deadly Invitation is one of these new murder mysteries, based on the novel of the same name by Carmen Posadas. Unfortunately, this Mexican film feels ill-timed, releasing months after the Glass Onion. Even if the source novel has been released in 2010, this film feels like a pale imitation of the Knives Out sequel, as it possesses plenty of the same plot points – as an eccentric millionaire invites their potential murderers for a party in the middle of nowhere, along with someone to solve said murder. There are some differences, specifically, the death actually occurs here, but these differences, along with the careless way each info is revealed, aren’t enough to make A Deadly Invitation feel unique.

Genre: Comedy, Mystery

Actor: Aarón Díaz, Helena Rojo, José María de Tavira, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Julio Casado, Manolo Cardona, Mariana Cabrera, Maribel Verdú, Pedro Damián, Regina Blandón, Stephanie Cayo

Director: José Manuel Cravioto

Read also:

Better known as a podcast host, Stavros Halkias proves that he does have the writing ability and (the lack of shame and/or pride) to come up with effective jokes from his own perspective. But his momentum just doesn't hold throughout this hour-long special; he starts strong and keeps a coherent train of thought throughout the whole routine, but the latter sections begin to rely on gross-out comedy and potshots at the audience more than anything. Halkias knows who his audience is and he's very fortunate to be able to perform in front of people who seem to be very familiar with his style. But for a wider range of people watching through streaming, his more relaxed style of storytelling may come off as him simply droning on without particularly great timing.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Stavros Halkias

Director: Ben O'Brien

Plenty of missing people stories don’t get resolved, so understandably, all their loved ones can do is contemplate the potential horrors that could have happened to them, like being lost and needing to survive, or being kidnapped, or, of course, being dead. Primbon is a story where a missing girl returns home, though her return seems suspicious, at least, according to Javanese superstition. So much could have been made with this premise. They could have delved into Rana’s possible trauma from the reason she was lost, or the way these superstitions hinder these victims from receiving help from others. The film at least shines during the moments between Dini, her mom, and Rana, as they try to get back to normal. But in prioritizing the family, Primbon is torn between being a family drama versus being a supernatural horror film, and ultimately fails at being both.

Genre: Horror

Actor: Azela Putri, Chicco Kurniawan, Flavio Zaviera, Happy Salma, Jajang C. Noer, Nugie, Whani Darmawan

Director: Rudy Soedjarwo

Read also:
With its celebration of Thai dances, excellent costumes, and two male theater actor leads, ManSuang seemed like it would be something akin to a Thai Farewell My Concubine, especially as it starts off with what could have been sex scene interrupted by a murder. The addition of the espionage storyline, as well as the dynamics between the Chinese and the mainland Thai, seemed like the film would be subtle social commentary through historical drama. However, the story feels haphazardly assembled, with characters acting contrary to their goals, and sadly, the film doesn’t showcase as much of Thai culture as we would like. Instead, the film spends more time establishing an overly complicated mystery that gets too hard to follow with its multiple plotlines. ManSuang has beautiful set design, costumes, and a handsome cast, but the writing wastes the potential the story had.

Genre: Drama, Mystery

Actor: Asavapatr Ponpiboon, Chartchai Ketnust, Duangjai Hiransri, Gandhi​ Wasuvitchayagit, Nattawin Wattanagitiphat, Nutthasid Panyangarm, Ornanong Panyawong, Phakphum Romsaithong, Pradit Prasartthong, Sornchai Chatwiriyachai, Teerawat Mulvilai, Thanayut Thakoonauttaya

Director: Bhanbhassa Dhubthien, Chartchai Ketnust, Krisda Witthayakhajorndet

Rating: PG-13

Known for his comedy skits on Facebook, the comedian Kountry Wayne finally gets his own Netflix special to middling results. The character that he plays on the stand-up stage is meant to be highly irreverent, showing a callous disregard to everybody except himself. But while a more seasoned comic (which Wayne could become in good time) might find a way to build these predictable jokes into something truly novel or subversive, Wayne settles for shock value—often relying on exaggerated physical comedy to sell a flatly written punchline. But even this trick he relies on too often, which makes his already impressive stage presence seem cheaper than it should.

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Kountry Wayne

Director: Jeff Tomsic

Rating: R

Read also:

While investigating a gold heist in Johannesburg, Chili (S'dumo Mtshali) is jaded after an undercover operation fails spectacularly. With one chance left, he must choose between following the law and protecting the wealth of higher-ups or going against it and helping a heist crew dole out the riches to those in need. Wealth redistribution is at the heart of the film, with greed on all sides thwarting any prospects of prosperity for the city. The action-crime-thriller examines economic inequality via the lead cops trying to effect change, all while leaning into a warm visual style that shifts cameras to mirror the tensions. It's a nice touch to the average Robin Hood and "for the people" narrative, but the CGI choices and generic action scenes can get distracting at times.

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Actor: Brenda Ngxoli, Deon Lotz, Presley Chweneyagae, S'Dumo Mtshali

Director: Donovan Marsh

Despite an engaging opening that promises to deepen the world already established in 2018's Bird Box, this new installment slips back into the usual routine before long. That is: cheap thrills and an overall lack of scares, not necessarily because of the fact that the creatures terrorizing this world are invisible, but because the film doesn't take advantage of the fear and paranoia that builds among the human characters. A stronger focus on religious belief (or simply blind fanaticism) should lead to more interesting character dynamics, but there isn't a single person here who's defined by anything beyond a few base traits. So despite the efforts of a game cast (including Babylon's Diego Calva and especially Barbarian's Georgina Campbell), the film just can't overcome how boring it is to watch blindfolded people reacting to nothing.

Genre: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: Alejandra Howard, Celia Freijeiro, Diego Calva, Georgina Campbell, Gonzalo de Castro, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Lola Dueñas, Manel Llunell, Mario Casas, Michelle Jenner, Milo Taboada, Naila Schuberth, Patrick Criado

Director: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor

Rating: R

Read also: