165 Best Movies & Shows Released in 2023 On Netflix (Page 5)

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

If you’re looking for exotic locations, glamorous spies, and dramatic shoot-outs, Khufiya is not the espionage film you’re looking for. Like the original novel it’s based on, the film adaptation is a complex, intricate spy story where countries try to interfere with each other’s affairs, and agents handle the dry and dirty work to achieve this. With the true-story-based details of the source material, writer-director Vishal Bhardwaj keeps the story’s historical accuracy, but also adds a personal revenge subplot through the addition of a female main protagonist. The result of the changes complicates the film’s introduction, but if you have the patience, Khufiya still has what makes a spy drama compelling– the double-agent turns, the doubts and mistrust, and a satisfying resolution to the operation.

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Alexx O'Nell, Ali Fazal, Ashish Vidhyarthi, Atul Kulkarni, Azmeri Haque Badhon, Lalit Parimoo, Navnindra Behl, Priyanka Setia, Purnendu Bhattacharya, Rahul Vohra, Shashi Bhushan, Shataf Figar, Tabu, Wamiqa Gabbi

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Rating: R

If you’re new to the story, I Don’t Expect Anyone to Believe Me feels difficult to understand. The film adaptation portrays the novel through abruptly cut sequences, meticulously framed naturalistic frames, and monologue and dialogue that mean more than what’s being said, on top of Juan Pablo’s gradual descent into a criminal network. It’s as disorienting as being in Barcelona feels for Mexican couple Juan Pablo and Val. However, this film feels like a new approach in adapting novels – the multiple perspectives and epistolary portions adeptly portrayed through typed up screens and alternating perspectives (and direction) between the couple. It doesn’t feel like something that you’ve likely seen before.

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Actor: Alexis Ayala, Ángel Zermen, Anna Castillo, Ariana Van X, Bel Gris, Bruna Cusí, Carmen Beato, Clara Roquet, Dario Yazbek Bernal, Jelen García, Juan Carlos Remolina, Juan Daniel Garcia Treviño, Juan Minujín, Natalia Portnoy, Natalia Solián

Director: Luis Fernando Frías de la Parra

Rating: R

Everyone has those days where nothing goes right, but no one’s having as bad of a day as detective Yuji Kudo is in Hard Days. It isn’t just that nothing goes right– everything goes wrong, and he’s just a hair away from losing it all each time. This Japanese adaptation might take a slightly more serious tone than the South Korean original, but it does retain its ridiculous escalation of increasingly terrible things that could possibly happen, with Junichi Okada and Go Ayano letting loose in their detective characters’ morally dubious behavior. Hard Day is a decent watch, if a bit bloated, especially for those familiar with the story.

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Akira Emoto, Go Ayano, Hayato Isomura, Junichi Okada, Kurumi Shimizu, Maho Yamada, Mario Kuroba, Ryoko Hirosue, Ryusuke Komakine, Takashi Yamanaka, Taro Suruga, Tetta Sugimoto

Director: Michihito Fujii

Because the world exploits developing countries as dumping grounds for their waste, more attention should be focused on this issue. The immediate filmmaking response would be to document this reality, but Telugu thriller Gandeevadhari Arjuna takes this idea as the driving force of its story. It’s the reason why the bodyguard Arjun takes this job, as well as the reason why the Minister needs protection and why his family has unresolved drama. While the romance subplot distracts from this issue, Gandeevadhari Arjuna deftly interweaves this real-life problem into sleek action sequences, relatable family drama, and a personalized depiction of the problem’s consequences.

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Abhinav Gomatam, Kalpalatha, Mahati Bikshu, Manish Chaudhary, Narain, Nassar, Ravi Varma, Roshini Prakash, Varun Tej, Vimala Raman, Vinay Rai

Director: Praveen Sattaru

Family is one of the bonds we don’t really get to choose, and for better or for worse, they’re the bonds that form the foundation of our lives. Familia depicts this bond faithfully, as Leo’s remaining family, his three adult daughters, all travel back to the family’s olive orchard to decide on its fate. The way the bond is depicted feels realistic, as each of the family members can confront each other with their choices in the one time of the year they can do so. The film is able to make it work with its excellent cast, and carefully written dialogue that makes the conversation flow naturally. While Familia isn’t a holiday film, it’s a fairly realistic depiction of a family gathering and a timely film to watch before heading home to your family for the holidays.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Cassandra Ciangherotti, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ilse Salas, Maribel Verdú, Natalia Solián, Vicky Araico

Director: Rodrigo García

Rating: R

It’s slower and talkier than you’d expect from a semi-erotic film, but Ehnegard lives up to its title well enough to satisfy. It’s titillating, but in a cheeky rather than provocative way. The dialogues are lengthy, but they’re alternately witty and poetic, so despite the pace they never actually bore. Ehnegard’s real delight, however, is its beauty. Set in the old kingdom of Babenhausen, Ehnegard looks like a fairy tale come to life. The towering castles, the sprawling meadows, the twinkling forest lakes, and of course, the smartly costumed people who populate the scenery—all these and more ensure that each frame has a picturesque glow to it. And with Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen, Westworld) taking charge of an appealing cast, Ehnegard proves to be a charming watch. 

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alice E. Bier Zandén, Christopher Laesso, Jacob Ulrik Lohmann, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Paul Hüttel, Sara-Marie Maltha, Sidse Babett Knudsen

Director: Bille August

Rating: R

Call Me Kate isn’t as much of a revelation as the star it’s portraying, but of course, it’s still lovely to talk about the incredible Katharine Hepburn. Revealing new footage from one of Hepburn’s close friends, and contextualized with interviews with some of the few remaining people that were close with her, the documentary goes through her life, with a focus more on what she felt about it. Certain letters are read by a voice impressionist, which creates a bit of an uncanny valley, and the way the footage was arranged and organized can be strange. However, Call Me Kate is still able to capture what makes Katharine Hepburn so captivating.

Genre: Documentary

Actor: Katharine Hepburn

Director: Lorna Tucker

With a new, fast-paced media landscape, Call Me Chihiro might feel too slow for people new to the story. Composed of serene, slice-of-life moments, the film starts off feeling plotless, as the titular protagonist builds random interactions with the townspeople. She makes friends with people who seemingly don’t have much in common with her. Despite this, each interaction feels meaningful and genuine, thanks to the subtle acting of Kasumi Arimura. And as these scenes build up, and Chihiro’s friends begin to become friends with each other, these day-to-day moments form a character study of a lonely woman whose kindness and appreciation for life make her feel so admirable. For those wistful Sunday nights, Call Me Chihiro might be a great watch, but only if you’re in that certain mood.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Fusako Urabe, Hana Toyoshima, Itsuki Nagasawa, Jun Fubuki, Kasumi Arimura, Keiichi Suzuki, Lily Franky, Mitsuru Hirata, Miwako Ichikawa, Ryuya Wakaba, Shigeo Ôsako, Toshie Negishi, Van, Wakaba Ryuuya, Yoichiro Saito, Yui Sakuma

Director: Rikiya Imaizumi

Rating: R, TV-14

Pollution disproportionately affects developing nations, and when governments continue to allow the lackluster waste management processes of large-scale industries, sometimes the only option is to leave. That’s what the six protagonists do in Blood Vessel, though escaping the situation isn’t as easy as it sounds. The first half starts out fairly slow, as we get to know the group, but it’s all to bring about emotional devastation as the film unfolds into violent ends. While certain plot elements don’t have a neat resolution, and certain technical aspects sometimes feel distracting, Blood Vessel works through the strength of its six lead performances.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Actor: Alex Budin, Bimbo Manuel, David Ezekiel, Dibor Adaobi, Jidekene Achufusi, Slyvester Ekanem

Director: Moses Inwang

With social media inextricably linked to our lives, the way we navigate relationships is different now. Kho Gaye Hum Kahan is a visually stunning debut that depicts this unique modern anxiety, and its different facets through three childhood friends. Adarsh Gourav, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ananya Panday have the easy, breezy dynamic that grounds the film. This, along with the chill soundtrack and stylish approach of writer-director Arjun Varain Singh took in depicting their issues, definitely match the aesthetic appeal we’re used to from the online world. The film’s conclusion doesn’t fully resolve things– after all, there’s no stopping the interconnectedness between real life and the online world– but Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’s struggles feel relatable, even if it’s as surface-level as the world it wishes to criticize.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Adarsh Gourav, Ananya Panday, Anya Singh, Divya Jagdale, Farhan Akhtar, Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Suchitra Pillai, Vijay Maurya

Director: Arjun Varain Singh

Rating: PG-13

More streamlined and more technically ambitious than its predecessor, yet even less interested in developing an interesting setting or characters, Extraction 2 takes the most predictable route available for an action sequel. The first film's attempts to center its narrative on the unnecessary loss of life of children is nothing but an inconsequential footnote in this movie—which gestures toward the same ideas but never actually allows its already generic characters to be emotionally affected by anything.

So thank goodness that Extraction 2's action is so frequently fun to watch, proudly wearing its influences from movies like The Raid, and from the most relentless of video game set pieces. There's genuine inspiration behind how creative and how brutal the violence can get here, brought to life by crisp sound design and production design that the characters can constantly interact with. So while all the halfhearted character work doesn't give the action any extra weight, the action on its own is already so dynamic, that every set piece is still worth the wait.

Genre: Action, Thriller

Actor: Adam Bessa, Andro Japaridze, Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bernhardt, Dato Bakhtadze, George Lasha, Golshifteh Farahani, Idris Elba, Irakli Kvirikadze, Justin Howell, Levan Saginashvili, Olga Kurylenko, Patrick Newall, Sam Hargrave, Sinéad Phelps, Tinatin Dalakishvili, Tornike Bziava, Tornike Gogrichiani

Director: Sam Hargrave

Rating: R

Straight to the point and without any overly elaborate set-ups or personal anecdotes, Shane Gillis' Beautiful Dogs is a sort of back-to-basics approach to stand-up comedy that proves surprisingly effective. Over the course of about 50 minutes, Gillis' jokes move smoothly and freely—loose in structure but still clearly centering around very American notions of authority and masculinity (revolving around the military and U.S. history), which the comedian is quick to poke holes in. Gillis' humor is definitely of the lowbrow variety though, and while this in itself isn't a bad thing, a number of his jokes begin to repeat their point to no additional effect, usually relying on low-hanging fruit. Gillis skirts and occasionally dips into offensive territory, which he fully acknowledges. And while some of the stuff in this special is a little tasteless, at least Gillis is sheepishly honest about it.

Genre: Comedy, Documentary

Actor: Shane Gillis

Director: John McKeever

After Nimona's long journey to the big screen (involving the shutdown of animation studio Blue Sky, and Disney's resistance to LGTBQ+ themes), the fact that the movie has been completed and allowed to tell its story at all is something to be celebrated. The film itself is pretty standard fare for American children's animation, with a script that spends far too much time on quips, and visuals that don't take advantage of the movie's science-fantasy world. But if you can get beyond its more ordinary aspects, Nimona becomes a surprisingly thorough metaphor of Otherness and queerness—best represented in the title character's shapeshifting abilities, and how people fear and become violent with her before even trying to understand her. It's a film that's sadly become more relevant than ever now, addressing how prejudice is something that's taught and passed down, packaged in an easy, entertaining manner for younger audiences.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Science Fiction

Actor: Beck Bennett, Chloë Grace Moretz, Cindy Slattery, Eugene Lee Yang, Frances Conroy, Indya Moore, Julio Torres, Karen Ryan, Lorraine Toussaint, ND Stevenson, Nick Bruno, Riz Ahmed, RuPaul, Sarah Sherman, Troy Quane

Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

Rating: PG

While marketed as a family drama, Long Live Love! plays out more like a romance film between parents Sati and Meta. Where Meta has dived in, and accepted her role as a wife and mother, former model Sati still clings to the immature lifestyle he’s used to, to the glimmers of fame that he used to have. The premise is genius– there’s something poetic in the way someone who’s constantly obsessed with the look of a photo now has to go on the quest for its behind-the-scenes. There’s something here that questions previous portrayals of toxic masculinity and of marriage primarily because of how they’ll be perceived. However, there seems to be some missing sequences that could have made the ending more devastating.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Actor: Araya A. Hargate, Becky Armstrong, Bhumibhat Thavornsiri, Niti Chaichitathorn, Nopachai Jayanama, Panissara Arayaskul, Pannawit Phattanasiri, Paweenut Pangnakorn, Sadanont Durongkhaweroj, Sunny Suwanmethanon

Director: Piyakarn Butprasert

Being a priest requires full devotion to God, so falling in love would naturally challenge a seminarian and make them question whether priesthood is the right path for them. I Love Lizzy portrays this conflict as the seminarian Jeff falls in love with Bicol tour guide Lizzy, on the break where he’s supposed to make his discernment. It’s an intriguing love story, especially as Jeff and Lizzy heal past wounds with each other, and Carlo Aquino adeptly navigates his second seminarian role with ease. However, it’s clear that more care and attention was given to Jeff’s storyline rather than Lizzy’s. Despite this, I Love Lizzy is a unique, if a bit uneven, take on the seminarian love story that continues to captivate the predominantly Catholic country today.

Genre: Romance

Actor: Barbie Imperial, Carlo Aquino, Meanne Espinosa, Robert Seña, Turs Daza

Director: RC Delos Reyes