Review: Kate Rodger's top 10 films of the year

It's that time of the year when Kate Rodger somehow manages to distil her favourite films from the year into a tidy Top Ten.

Barbie versus Oppenheimer? Spider-Man fighting Godzilla Minus One?  Who shall triumph?

10. Godzilla Minus One 

Just sneaking into my Top Ten before the year's end, Japanese filmmaker Takashi Yamazaki delivered a Godzilla monster movie worthy of the legend with so many layers of humanity in the face of a monster that I was left in tears.  

9. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 

Swinging in at nine, Miles Morales returns to the Spider-Verse after his game-changing predecessor and lives up to the challenge of delivering on that all over again.

One of the few multiverse outings that actually works with all the snap, crackle and pop of mindblowing animation to match the freshness of the narrative.   

8. Anatomy of a Fall 

A universal story that is as much a searing dissection of a marriage as it is a courtroom procedural, Palme d'Or winner Anatomy of a Fall is a slow-burner of a film anchored by a stunning performance from German actor Sandra Hüller.  

7. Oppenheimer 

Coming in at seven is Oppenheimer. At times an infuriating and complex watch but at all times entirely exhilarating, Christopher Nolan has delivered his most Oscar-baiting cinematic opus yet, drawing awards-worthy performances from his cast. It's potent, frightening and explosive. 

6. Poor Things 

Good grief Emma Stone is extraordinary and this insanely fantastically feminist collaboration with gifted Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos could net her another Oscar and needs to be seen to be believed.

A veritable cinematic feast for the eyes, ears, posterior cortex and everywhere else. 

5. Aftersun  

Kicking off my Top Five: an astonishingly accomplished and mesmerizing feature debut from British filmmaker Charlotte Wells. There are cinematic images and emotions swirling like old photographs in my memory still, making Aftersun one of those never-to-be-forgotten experiences.  

4. . Asteroid City 

Oscar-nominated filmmaking curio Wes Anderson paints us yet another weird and wonderful tale and my time inside the Asteroid City limits was simply a flawless almost spiritual cinematic delight. 

3. Barbie 

And then, at three: Girl power, woman power, a feminist war cry wrapped up in a pink bow and full of real heart and seriously lols; this Barbie World is a giant Hollywood blockbuster movie unashamedly built by women, for women which has become a history-making box office behemoth.  

2. Past Lives 

My number two film for 2023 comes from first-time filmmaker Celine Song who weaves a tender, captivating tale stretching across three chapters, time zones and countries as we follow the lives and loves of childhood friends Nora and Hae Sung.

One of those films which invites you to live and breathe your own life and loves in the telling, this film stays with me. 

1. Killers of the Flower Moon

I adore a sweeping epic western but what masterful storyteller Martin Scorsese has delivered here is something else again.

That one chapter in the American story could sum up so powerfully the story of an entire nation and the nations within it, conveying the corrosive atrocity of betrayal on both a grand and intimate scale with such power, what a towering achievement and my number one film of the year.