3 best dramas of 2023 so far

We’re more than seven months into 2023, and several movies have provided memorable pop culture moments. Barbenheimer will be the lasting memory of the year, especially with Barbie surpassing $1 billion at the box office and Oppenheimer on pace to reach $900 million. In 2023, we waved goodbye to the Guardians of the Galaxy, danced with a murderous android named M3Gan, and watched Tom Cruise drive a motorcycle off a cliff.

There are still plenty of films to be released in 2023, including Killers of the Flower Moon, Dune: Part Two, and Maestro. But to this point, dramas, in particular, have had a strong showing so far. From Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece to a beautiful romance, here are the three best dramas of 2023.

Oppenheimer (2023)

Cillian Murphy stares through a small window at an atomic blast, his face illuminated by light.
Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures

A master of spectacle, Nolan turned a biopic with many scenes of men talking in rooms into a global event. I say that with the utmost respect because Nolan, who isn’t known for dialogue, successfully created most of the suspense out of words and facial expressions instead of intricate action sequences. Cillian Murphy stars as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who directed the Manhattan Project during World War II.

The film chronicles his fast rise within the scientific community and his fall from grace in the public eye. It’s a tour de force performance from Murphy that could result in an Oscar nomination. With a haunting score and stunning visuals, Oppenheimer only strengthens Nolan’s claim as the most important filmmaker of the 21st century. For those looking for action, Nolan recreated an atomic explosion in one of the most breathtaking scenes of the year.

Oppenheimer is now in theaters.

Past Lives (2023)

Two people sit next to each other on a boat and stare in Past Lives.

Certain movies blow you away so much that you remain seated after the credits roll. Past Lives is one of those movies. Celine Song’s romantic drama depicts a romance over a few decades. Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) are childhood friends in South Korea, but grow apart when Nora’s family emigrates to the U.S. twelve years later, the pair reconnect over Facebook.

Hae visits Nora in New York City despite knowing she is married to Arthur (John Magaro). The chemistry and romantic connection between Lee and Yoo is magnetic and beautiful. Yet, it’s equally heartbreaking considering what could have been. Past Lives is a movie you will think about for a long time.

Past Lives is now in theaters and is available to rent or purchase.

Air (2023)

Matt Damon sits at his desk on the in Air.

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. However, Jordan’s lasting impact on the game may be tied to his billion-dollar sneaker line, Air Jordan. Before Nike became a global giant, it had to recruit Jordan to sign with the company. Air depicts the events behind Jordan’s recruitment in 1984. Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) is Nike’s basketball scout tasked with finding their next star athlete.

Nike, best-known for running shoes at the time, could not break into basketball and needed to find a transformative player or risk shutting down the department. With the help of marketing chief Rob Strasser, Vaccaro convinces Nike CEO Phil Knight (Ben Affleck) to go all-in on Jordan. The men slowly learn that to sign Jordan, the most important person they need to win over is Michael’s mother, Deloris (Viola Davis).

Stream Air on Prime Video.

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