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From ‘Oppenheimer’ to ‘Joram’ and ‘12th Fail,’ Here Are the Best Movies of 2023

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

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Let us go on a trip down this year's best cinematic gems. 2023 was a feast of some mind-blowing movies! Join me as I dive into the films that blew my mind, both on the global stage and closer to home in Bollywood.

From Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer', to Vidhu Vinod Chopra's ode to purer times, '12th Fail', this list is bound to add some new recommendations to your year-end watching list. Watch till the end!

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The Best Foreign Films of 2023

Let's face it! For most of us, Foreign Cinema = Hollywood! But thanks to some really amazing film festivals, I got to see the best of French, Japanese and European cinema.

Even though films like 'Daaaaaali!' and 'Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person' didn't make my list, this year saw path-breaking films from all around the world.

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5. Asteroid City (directed by Wes Anderson)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Asteroid City' was directed by Wes Anderson

Photo: IMDb

The best thing about 'Asteroid City' was the whole Wes Andreson-ness of it. It is a perfectly and aesthetically shot film, which can only be possible in Andreson's world. As an artist, it makes you emotionally and cognitively stimulated.

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4. Dumb Money (directed by Craig Gillespie)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Dumb Money' was directed by Craig Gillespie.

Photo: IMDb

Craig Gillespie's 'Dumb Money' is based on the book 'The Antisocial Network', a re-telling of the GameStop saga. The film is authentic when it comes to characters and plotlines, and at the same time, it is written as a typical 2000s comedy, with potty humor and sex jokes.

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3. Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (directed by Anna Hints)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Smoke Sauna Sisterhood' was directed by Anna Hints.

Photo: IMDb

The Estonian documentary 'Smoke Sauna Sisterhood' is an entry in the 'Best International Feature Film' category of next year's Academy Awards. It talks about a local tradition where women gather in a smoke sauna and bare their souls to help each other heal.

The best thing about the film is that even after 90% of the film was in the nude, never once did it feel like I'm being titillated.

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2. Beau Is Afraid (directed by Ari Aster)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Beau Is Afraid' was directed by Ari Aster.

Photo: IMDb

Ari Aster's intimate and personal film 'Beau Is Afraid' revolves around a man, Beau, who is afraid, duh! Just as some films make you feel what love is like, this one makes you experience what it feels to have anxiety. It is a three-hour-long cinematic embodiment of a long-drawn panic attack.

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1. Oppenheimer (directed by Christopher Nolan)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Oppenheimer' was directed by Christopher Nolan.

Photo: IMDb

The best foreign film of 2023 is, no points for guessing, Christopher Nolan's IMAX monstrosity, 'Oppenheimer'. The film revolves around J. Robert Oppenheimer and The Manhattan Project, but the soul of the film is not that. It is Nolan addressing his fears, of what would happen if the power that we hold goes unchecked. With a sublime score by Ludwig Göransson, I'd be offended if this film doesn't win ALL awards in 2024!

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The Best Hindi Films of 2023

While I got to watch beautiful films like 'Kaathal - The Core' and 'Jigarthanda DoubleX', I have to admit that the majority of Indian films I saw were in the Hindi language. It would be unfair to judge a film like '2018', or 'Por Thozhil' without having a fuller experience of the full spectrum of non-Hindi cinema. So, here are my favourite Hindi films of the year.

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5. Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai (directed by Apoorv Singh Karki)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai' was directed by Apoorv Singh Karki.

Photo: IMDb

Apoorv Singh Karki's 'Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai' was one of the first films to get a theatrical release after it streamed on an OTT platform. The film has some great performances by Manoj Bajpayee, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtra, and Adrija Sinha.

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4. Dilli Dark (directed by Dibakar Das Roy)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Dilli Dark' was directed by Dibakar Das Roy.

Photo: IMDb

'Dilli Dark' is the story of Michael Okeke, a Nigerian boy living in Delhi and doing his MBA. The film is an exploration of the African community in Delhi. It talks about racism, getting a job, and finding love in a country where people are so obsessed with fairness.

Performances by Samuel Abiola Robinson and Shantanu Anam make this absurd comedy root itself in reality. It also has a small cameo from The Quint's very own Stutee Ghosh.

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3. Joram (directed by Devashish Makhija)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'Joram' was directed by Devashish Makhija. 

Photo: IMDb

The story of 'Joram' revolves around Dasru, a tribal from Jharkhand who is accused of killing his wife. The best thing about this film is how it talks about the people who are considered marginalized.

With exceptional performances by Manoj Bajpayee and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, 'Joram', is one of the most important films made in a long time.

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2. 12th Fail (directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'12th Fail' was directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Photo: IMDb

The next film on the list is Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s '12th Fail'. 'Classical' would be the right word to define the film in one word. The film is a textbook example of pure filmmaking. It uses minimal camera movements, sound design and music.

Based on the true story of Manoj Kumar Sharms, an IPS officer who fails the 12th grade. Vikrant Massey’s performance is one of the best I've seen in a long time.

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1. While We Watched (directed by Vinay Shukla)

Exploring the best of 2023, from 'Oppenheimer' to 'Joram' and '12th Fail', including top foreign and Hindi films.

'While We Watched' was directed by Vinay Shukla.

Photo: IMDb

Leaving aside the fact that it is talking about the death of journalism, 'While We Watched' is a fun watch about a reluctant hero. Now add the fact that it has such an important message, with never-seen-before access into the workings of a newsroom. Vinay Shukla's documentary is definitely the best we saw in 2023.

Wishing you a very happy new year, and looking forward to some amazing cinema in 2024!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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