In IndieWire‘s annual critics survey for 2023, where 158 critics and journalists from around the world voted for the best films and performances of the year, Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited film, Killers of the Flower Moon, emerged as the clear winner. After six years of development and four years since it went into active production, the film claimed the top spot in the poll.

Out of the 158 ballots, Killers of the Flower Moon was mentioned on 94, or over 59%. This was a more decisive victory than the previous year’s top film, TÁR, which only secured 45% of the votes. Martin Scorsese also received 25 first-place votes for Best Film of the Year, the highest number of first-place votes, and he topped the Best Director category as well. Interestingly, the film had previously ranked 15th on IndieWire staff’s own list of the best movies of 2023.

Domination of Killers of the Flower Moon

Apart from dominating the Film and Director categories, Killers of the Flower Moon also performed well in other areas. Lily Gladstone secured the second spot for Best Performance of the Year, Rodrigo Prieto’s cinematography ranked third, and the screenplay took the sixth position.

Critics and journalists from various publications worldwide, including IndieWire, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, BBC Culture, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s, participated in the survey. They voted for films that had received theatrical, streaming, or Video on Demand (VOD) releases in the U.S. over the past year.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Notably, the top 10 films of 2023 made appearances in other categories as well. The Best First Film category saw a landslide victory for Past Lives, a directorial debut, which also secured the fourth position in the overall Top 10 list for Best Film.

Another notable film, Oppenheimer, claimed the second spot on the Best Film list, with strong performances across various categories. Poor Things secured the third position for Best Film, with Emma Stone’s performance earning the top spot in the Best Performance category.

What is the survey list about?

The list highlighted the diversity and strength of films in 2023, with many titles making appearances across different categories. The survey emphasized a trend where films explored characters coming to terms with significant revelations, mirroring the collective experiences of the year 2020.

In addition, IndieWire provided a glimpse of highly anticipated films opening in 2024, including Richard Linklater’s Hit Man, Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast, and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist. Overall, the poll showcased the richness and variety of the cinematic landscape in 2023.

2023 Critics Poll – Full List

A still from Asteroid City (2023).
A still from Asteroid City (2023).

Best Film

  1. “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  2. “Oppenheimer”
  3. “Poor Things”
  4. “Past Lives”
  5. “May December”
  6. “The Zone of Interest”
  7. “Anatomy of a Fall”
  8. “Barbie”
  9. “The Holdovers”
  10. “Asteroid City”

Best Director

  1. Martin Scorsese, “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  2. Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”
  3. Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest”
  4. Yorgos Lanthimos, “Poor Things”
  5. Todd Haynes, “May December”
  6. Greta Gerwig, “Barbie”
  7. Celine Song, “Past Lives”
  8. Wes Anderson, “Asteroid City”
  9. Justine Triet, “Anatomy of a Fall”
  10. Albert Serra, “Pacifiction

Best Performance

  1. Emma Stone, “Poor Things”
  2. Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  3. Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall”
  4. Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”
  5. Charles Melton, “May December”
  6. Paul Giamatti, “The Holdovers”
  7. Ryan Gosling, “Barbie”
  8. Andrew Scott, “All of Us Strangers
  9. TIE: Greta Lee, “Past Lives”; Jeffrey Wright, “American Fiction”
  10. TIE: Glenn Howerton, “BlackBerry”; Benoit Magimel, “Pacifiction”; Koji Yakusho, “Perfect Days”; Franz Rogowski, “Passages

Best Documentary

  1. “Kokomo City”
  2. “Menus-Plaisirs: Les Troisgros”
  3. “20 Days in Mariupol”
  4. “De Humani Corporis Fabrica”
  5. TIE: “Four Daughters”/”The Eternal Memory”
  6. “Our Body”
  7. “Beyond Utopia”
  8. “A Still Small Voice”
  9. “The Mission”
  10. “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie”

Best Cinematography

  1. “Oppenheimer”
  2. “Poor Things”
  3. “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  4. “The Zone of Interest”
  5. “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt”
  6. “Barbie”
  7. “Pacifiction”
  8. “El Conde”
  9. “Godland”
  10. “John Wick: Chapter Four”

Best Screenplay

  1. “May December”
  2. “Past Lives”
  3. “Anatomy of a Fall”
  4. “The Holdovers”
  5. “American Fiction”
  6. “Killers of the Flower Moon”
  7. “Poor Things”
  8. “Oppenheimer”
  9. TIE: “Barbie”/”The Zone of Interest”
  10. “Asteroid City”

Best International Film

  1. “Anatomy of a Fall”
  2. “The Zone of Interest”
  3. “The Boy and the Heron”
  4. “Perfect Days”
  5. “Fallen Leaves”
  6. “The Taste of Things”
  7. “Pacifiction”
  8. “Godzilla Minus One”
  9. “Afire”
  10. “The Eight Mountains”

Best First Feature

  1. “Past Lives”
  2. “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt”
  3. “A Thousand and One”
  4. “American Fiction”
  5. “The Settlers”

Best Films Opening in 2024

  1. “Hit Man”
  2. “The Bikeriders”
  3. “The Beast”
  4. “Evil Does Not Exist”
  5. “Green Border”

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