In the first half of 2023, some really good films were released, and quite a few of them ended up on Netflix
My goal here is to share with you some of the standout titles that I think are the best movies added to Netflix in 2023 (with several honorable mentions to boot). These aren’t just random picks—they’re movies that have genuinely made an impact on me as a viewer, with their impressive storytelling and unique aesthetics. Let’s have a look at these films and why I believe they deserve your attention.
If you’re interested in reading my weekly-updated movie rankings, check them out here.
The 10 Best New Movies on Netflix in 2023
A Man Called Otto
In A Man Called Otto, Otto Anderson is a curmudgeonly widower who’s given up on life. But when a vibrant family moves next door, an unexpected friendship with the expectant Marisol ignites a spark in his life. Directed by Marc Forster, this dramedy promises to be a heartwarming journey filled with laughter and tears.
A Man Called Otto was directed by Marc Forster and stars Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Truman Hanks, and Mike Birbiglia.
Hunger presents an electrifying culinary journey of Aoy, the fiery matriarch behind a cherished noodle eatery nestled in Bangkok’s captivating old quarter. When an elite invitation from Hunger, Thailand’s most revered luxury chef’s table, lands in her lap, she finds herself thrust into a tantalizing world of high gastronomy.
Hunger was directed by Sitisiri Mongkolsiri and stars Nopachai Chaiyanam and Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying.
Just in time for Mother’s Day this past month was The Mother, an action-charged Jennifer Lopez vehicle. Lopez shines as a deadly combat specialist who steps out of obscurity to shield her hidden child from merciless outlaws baying for blood.
The Mother was directed by Niki Caro and stars Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Lucy Paez, Omari Hardwick, Paul Raci, and Gael García Bernal.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die
A tumultuous storm of deception, invasions, and power struggles engulfs England following King Edward’s demise in the Last Kingdom spin-off, Seven Kings Must Die. Amidst the turmoil, Uthred and his courageous comrades strive against the odds to forge a unified England.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die was directed by Edward Bazalgette and stars Alexander Dreymon, Harry Gilby, Mark Rowley, Arnas Fedaravicius, Cavan Clerkin, and James Northcote.
Missing launches June into a high-stakes rescue mission from LA to Colombia following her mother’s abrupt disappearance. With only advanced technology at her disposal, she navigates international red tape and a convoluted maze of clues, spiralling deeper into a labyrinth where every revelation unearths new mysteries.
Missing was directed by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson and stars Storm Reid, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, Amy Landecker, Daniel Henney, and Nia Long.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody charts the spectacular ascendancy of Whitney Houston, handpicked from anonymity by music titan Clive Davis, and her transformation into an epoch-defining vocalist in the 1980s.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody was directed by Kasi Lemmons and stars Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams, and Clarke Peters.
Murder Mystery 2
In Murder Mystery 2, Nick and Audrey Spitz, previously unassuming individuals, now helm their own private detective agency. A friend’s inexplicable disappearance propels them into a thrilling international whodunit, riddled with peril and conspiracy.
Murder Mystery 2 was directed by Jeremy Garelick and stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Strong, Mélanie Laurent, Jodie Turner-Smith, and John Kani.
The Magician’s Elephant
Continuing its streak of animated masterpieces in 2023, Netflix presents The Magician’s Elephant, a touching saga of an orphaned boy on a magical quest to locate his lost sister, guided by a mystical elephant. This film holds the promise of yet another triumphant entry in Netflix’s animation anthology.
The Magician’s Elephant was directed by Wendy Rogers and stars the voices of Noah Jupe, Mandy Patinkin, Natasia Demetriou, Benedict Wong, Miranda Richardson, and Aasif Mandvi.
As Peter’s life spirals into chaos in The Son, he’s faced with the news that his teenage son, Nicholas, is in crisis. Propelled by paternal instincts, Peter seeks to nurture Nicholas the way he wishes his own father had cared for him.
The Son was directed by Florian Zeller and stars Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, Zen McGrath, and Anthony Hopkins.
The Woman King
The Woman King applauds the advent of women in action cinema, featuring an indomitable all-female warrior ensemble defending the African kingdom of Dahomey. With adrenaline-fueled action sequences and commanding performances, this film sets a new benchmark in depicting powerful, fierce women onscreen.
The Woman King was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and stars Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega.
Here are several other great movies that have been added to the Netflix library in 2023.
- Your Place or Mine – The spirit of early 2000s rom-coms is revived, unfolding a captivating story of two childhood friends realizing they could be perfect for each other.
- The Pale Blue Eye – A veteran detective partners with a young cadet, who would grow up to be the legendary author Edgar Allan Poe, to investigate a series of chilling murders.
- Chupa – In Mexico, a boy stumbles upon a juvenile chupacabra, a legendary creature, concealed in his grandfather’s shed during a family vacation.
- You People – A fresh couple and their families navigate the turbulent seas of modern love, weathering culture clashes, societal pressures, and generational divides.
- The Raid 2 – Delve into the brutal underworld of Indonesian crime in this pulse-pounding action thriller, laced with brutal martial arts, merciless gangsters, and an undercover cop’s treacherous infiltration into the criminal realm.
- Luther: The Fallen Sun – Idris Elba reprises his role as the infamous London detective John Luther, a hardened anti-hero forced to escape prison and track down a deranged serial killer.
- JUNG_E – In a dystopian Korean landscape, this thrilling sci-fi film orbits around a researcher driven to quell a civil war by cloning the brain of a gallant soldier – her own mother.
- Minions: The Rise of Gru – Explore the uproarious genesis of young Gru’s journey to become the most formidable villain, steered by his endearing Minion cohorts, in this comical animated tale.
- Pamela, a Love Story – Dive into this riveting documentary chronicling the exhilarating and tumultuous journey of Pamela Anderson, charting her vibrant life and illustrious career.
- True Spirit – Set against the dramatic backdrop of the vast ocean, this compelling Australian film traces the remarkable odyssey of Jessica Watson as she aspires to be the youngest individual to sail solo around the globe.
- The Snowman – Michael Fassbender stars in this chilling mystery thriller, playing a deeply flawed detective trailing a series of horrifying murders across the frosty expanses of Norway.
- We Have a Ghost – This heartwarming Netflix feature unveils the story of a family whose lives take a delightful twist when they discover Ernest, a spectral inhabitant of their new home, catapulting them to viral fame.
- Furies – This electrifying Vietnamese martial arts film zooms in on three relentless vigilantes who embark on a mission to dismantle a competing crime syndicate.
- Dog Gone – Rob Lowe headlines this poignant biopic about a young man’s unwavering quest to find his beloved dog, lost amidst the vast wilderness of the Appalachian Trail.