Action Movies of 2023
A German production, All Quiet on the Western Front re-adapts the 1928 novel of the same name, adding some distinctive scenes and commentary to the story of a young German man, and his friends, thrust onto the “Western Front” to fight the French in the final months of World War I. Accompanied by some stunning cinematography, dominating sound and music, and visceral visual effects, the film reaches new heights in presenting the horror of war. It also adds another, very important message about how events are felt differently depending on where you stand on the social ladder.
Avatar: The Way of Water is a visual spectacle, a story setting up the next three sequels, and, yes, long.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever starts with the death of the former Black Panther and moves through nearly three hours of sometimes beautiful, sometimes action packed, scenes but with so many obligations to fulfill that it is ultimately unsatisfying.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is an insane look at one woman’s romp through the multiverse as she learns what is really important about life. (4.5*)
The Batman is one of this year’s best movies. While nominally an action film, it also is thrilling detective story, told at a human level.
Top Gun: Maverick is this year’s most popular movie. It tells a relatively simple story well, bursting with visual and aural excitement. First of this year’s “popcorn movies” and worth every kernel. (4*)