2023 Movies by the Numbers

Michael Springthorpe
30 min readJan 2, 2024


The Movies are BACK, baby! And so is everyone’s favorite, mildly-autistic data analysis write-up of one gay man’s year watching movies!


I hope you have enough hotdogs to read this

This is now the seventh year I have been keeping track of every movie I watch, and the seventh year I’ve ended with a write-up many are calling “extremely verbose”. I haven’t checked back at every year’s post, but I know I’ve said that many of them were “a good year for movies”. But here’s the thing: 2023 actually was a really good year for movies, I’d wager the best since at least 2017, if not farther back.

Okay, I did go back and check, and holy shit can you believe I said that about this year specifically?

The quality of films we got this year was truly remarkable. Almost as remarkable as how much the phrase “The quality of films we got this year was truly remarkable” sounds AI-generated. But it’s true! After a run of three heavily pandemic-impacted years at the theater, 2023 bounced back with a vengeance. (That is, until the studios decided to shoot themselves in the foot by causing historic strikes from WGA and SAG, majorly impacting some movies’ ability to market themselves.)

Thankfully, people were still able to watch movies in theaters (and at home, but come on), and their selections were incredible. While 2023 will always be known as the year “Superhero Fatigue” struck, it’s also the year that made Barbenheimer the 1st and 3rd highest-grossing movies of the year. Whereas last year’s The Fabelmans and TÁR struggled to make more than $5 million, auteur-driven, artistic, and atypical films like Asteroid City and Killers of the Flower Moon made tens of millions each.

I watched a lot of these movies, as well as a couple from before 2023, too. As per usual, I kept a big spreadsheet with all the raw data. It was a great year for movies for all of us, but let’s dive into how great it was for me, personally.

Raw Numbers

As I recount it every year, the story of these write-ups began in late 2016 when my friend, Podcast King Jake Christie made a goal to watch 100 new-to-him movies in 2017. Naturally, I stole that idea for myself, and succeeded, watching my 100th film (Pottersville, a Michael Shannon-produced and -starring Bigfoot movie inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life) on December 31st. In the following years, I watched 142, 114, 137, 215, and 300 movies, in order.

Watching 300 movies last year (a goal I set for myself late in the year when I realized it was possible) was a bear. It felt like I was missing out on things because I was too busy watching movies. In January, I vowed to not do that to myself again.

So this year I only watched 290 movies.

In this scene from Jackass Forever, my first movie of 2023, Johnny Knoxville receives a life-threatening brain injury. It’s hilarious!

Of those 290 movies, 197 were first-time watches. Some were, of course, new films (don’t watch Jonah Hill’s horrid Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner wannabe You People), but a lot were older films, too (hot take but It Happened One Night is incredible).

I rewatched 93 movies this year that I had seen previously. Of that 93, 81 were movies I have seen in previous years (who doesn’t love rewatching the best movie ever made, Arrival?), and 10 were movies I watched earlier in 2023 (I actually watched Arrival twice this year, oops).

10 is definitely on the lower end of multiple watches for me. Last year, I saw Everything Everywhere All At Once a record SIX TIMES. This year, I didn’t come quite as close. Previous winners of the Love Simon Award for Most Watches in One Year are (the aforementioned) EEAAO, Promising Young Woman, Willow Creek, Booksmart, and of course Love Simon. And what could be a better way to end the year than by declaring this year’s winner is a tie! It’s Barbie and Oppenheimer with three watches each!

As incredible as the Barbenheimer phenomenon was, it’s only cooler that they actually make for a very interesting-if-unusual double feature.

Other movies I watched twice this year are Air, Arrival, Asteroid City, Jackass Forever, Killers of the Flower Moon, No Hard Feelings, The Killer, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

With my limited double watches, I ended up with 278 individual titles. That’s actually the same number as last year! I don’t really know what that means or if it says something about me, but it’s definitely dumb.


Time for the real sicko shit to begin. Number Crunching, baby!

Of the 278 individual titles, the movies’ names began with 23 of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in seeing any movies that began with Q, V, or X, but can you blame me?

This car is a Lamborghini Countach QVX. It’s the only thing that comes up when you search “QVX” on Google

As always, the most common letter was T with 62 titles, because “the” is the most common word in the English language. If you take out “the”, though, you’re left with A as the winner! (And that’s even without the couple of “a” or “an” movies!) A had an impressive 27 titles, followed by M with 23 and S with 22.

Factoring in the “the” movies, the winners were F and H with 7 each. A lot of these numbers were helped by the many movie series I saw this year, but I’ll get to those later.

Oh yeah! I also saw two movies with numerical titles: 80 for Brady and 21 Jump Street. Both are nice little comedies based, sort of, on IP. One of them is much better, though! (It’s 21 Jump Street, obviously. Can you imagine?)

80 for Brady is one of two movies this year in which a gay man lies that the main cast of the movie are with him to get through security, and to prove it they have to put on a musical performance. The other is Joy Ride.

Release Year

When you watch 290 movies in a year, you end up covering a pretty wide swath of years. This year, I watched a movie that came out every year from 2023 to 1978. Call me Charlotte Rampling, because that’s 45 years!

That’s actually a step down from last year, but I did watch at least one movie from every decade going all the way back to the 1920s! In fact, I covered an entire century of moviemaking this year, stretching back to Buster Keaton’s Three Ages from 1923. Seeing something from that long is always a bit of a mindfuck, but Three Ages specifically is a Mel Brooksian laugh riot. You can watch it for free on YouTube right now!

Understandably, the year with the most movies was 2023, with 77 total. Also unsurprising is that 2022 came in second place, with 22 movies (lol). What’s actually interesting is that the next few years are 1997 with 11 movies, 2002 with 10, and 2015 & 2018 tieing at 8 movies each.

Three Ages has a license plate on the chariot! Iconic.

Watch Date

I don’t think I’ll ever get to “one movie a day” or more, partly because that’s insane, but mostly because the failing New York Times refuses to process my job application as their new movie critic. This year, I watched a movie on 192 days of the year, meaning I went 173 days without watching anything. Those were the worst 173 days of my life.

(Just kidding, It was on those days I lived and existed in the actual world with good friends and family. Crazy, right?)

to no one’s surprise, I watched movies in every month of the year. As is usually the case, December came out on top, with 33 movies in the month. One day another month may take that record, but that would require another month to have a bunch of awardsy movie releases AND a long holiday period with minimal work. Unfortunately, the woke mob will never allow that.

After December, March is a narrow second place with 32 movies. The rest of the months, in order, are October (29), November (28), July & August (both 25), September (22), February (21), April & May (both 20), June (19), and finally January (16). This is always a fun stat, because each one of those months probably has more movies than some people see in a year. This counts as a hobby because of all the data, okay?!

Of the 192 days when I saw movies, I watched at least two movies on 70 of them. January 14th holds the record for most watches in one day, all thanks to Podcast King Jake Christie’s 24+-hour Livestream of all the DCEU movies in order. I joined the stream for a while, and watched 6 movies in the process (Wonder Woman, Justice League, Aquaman, Shazam!, Birds of Prey, and, as a palate cleanser, Glass Onion).

It says a lot that even I didn’t see the new Aquaman, but I am excited to see this guy again.

Other days with notable watch numbers are February 4th, March 13th, and October 21st, with 5 movies each. That sounds impressive, until you realize that 3/13 and 10/21 got by with five and four short films, respectively. 2/4 is inexcusable, though. I watched all four Men in Black movies in a row and then Knock at the Cabin in theaters.

The longest streak of days where I saw at least one movie happened near the end of the year. Over eight days, between 12/13 and 12/20, I saw at least one movie every day, with a couple two-movie days sprinkled in the mix.

My longest drought, on the other hand, was nine days long, from 3/31 to 4/8 (and an eight-day-long spell from September 11th through 18th). Unsurprisingly, these were when I was in Portugal with my boyfriend and mom, and in Maine/Boston with old friends. It’s crazy how that happens.

Me not watching movies


Despite the fact that it is exactly the kind of insane stat I would keep track of, this is not a section about the MPAA ratings of the various movies I saw this year. Maybe if the MPAA stopped rating sex between consenting adults as worse than mass murder, I’ll start tracking it. But today is not that day!

This is actually about the rating I gave each movie out of 10! As a cinephile, I understand that art is subjective, and pitting pieces of art against one another is antithetical to the very nature of the venture. Anyways, stay tuned in March for who I would pick to win at the Oscars!

As is always the case, I’m a very nice boy when it comes to rating movies. A lot of talented people put in a lot of time and effort to make this piece of entertainment for me! It feels devastatingly mean to give a movie a score of even 7/10 to me. And because of that, my average rating of movies this year was 8.42.

Overall, the most common rating I gave out this year was 9/10. 53 movies I saw are 9/10! Hilariously, the next most common score was 10/10, but I like to think that’s because I finally got around to seeing some old classics.

The lowest score I gave out was 2.5/10, and the horrible distinction belongs to the horrific Blonde. God bless Ana de Armas, but I think that movie should get like an opposite Library of Congress treatment. Sell it to David Zaslav so he can do what he does best and delete it from existence.

Let’s just agree that this is the movie Ana got nominated for

But enough about that dreck, let’s talk about the 10s! Some of the many Perfect 10s were comfort rewatches like Alien (every other horror movie is just trying to reach the heights of this and Jaws), Drop Dead Gorgeous (Amy Adams’ movie debut!), and Boogie Nights (I got to see this one in 70mm, which was really special).

Others were older movies I (dumbly) only just now got around to: It Happened One Night (incredible how sweet, charming, funny, and sexy one movie can be), Sunset Boulevard (say it with me: MOTHER!), and Sunshine (did you know the director of Trainspotting made a scifi horror-drama starring Oppenheimer, Evelyn Wang, and Captain America?).

Only five movies from 2023 earned the distinction of a perfect 10. They were Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, Barbie, Godzilla Minus One, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. That’s a bit of a spoiler for a ranking of my favorite movies of the year, so I might as well get into that now!

Here it is: the objective and correct ranking of movies!


Now, THIS is the moment everybody’s been waiting for. Every year at this time for the last seven years, men, women, and children all have the same question on their minds: how many movies said the name of the movie in the movie?!

I loved it when he said this to Paul Giamatti

Every so often, someone else will go viral for pointing out that a movie says the name of the movie in the movie, but everyone knows who really got the trend started: ya boi. It’s kind of like how Oppenheimer is one of the only people at Los Alamos without a Nobel Prize. In the end, no one is lining up to see Christopher Nolan’s Feynman. (To be clear, I would line up to see that, especially if Jack Quaid is back.)

Unfortunately, 2023 continued the pattern of most movies not saying the name of the movie in them. Of the 278 individual titles I saw this year, 151 did not say the name of the movie in the movie (54%). Though I maintain that despite not saying “knock at the cabin”, the fact that there is a knock at the cabin should count for something.

113 movies did say the name of the movie in the movie (41%)! Some surprises include The Color Purple, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret., and I’m A Cyborg, But That’s OK. But the top prize for most surprising Yes has to go to the animated short An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake And I Think I Believe It.

Would you believe him?

As a subset of Yeses, I also kept track if I thought a movie really said the name of the movie a lot in the movie. Almost always, this was in the form of a name being said constantly (Hi, Barbie!), but I also gave one to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. because she says it a couple times, and that’s not easy!

This was the first year I watched a bunch of truly silent films — my favorite podcast Blank Check did a series on Buster Keaton — so I had to make some adjustments to whether it counted if the movie “said” the name of the movie in the movie. Basically, if it was put up in a text interstitial (i.e. what would have been spoken aloud in the film), it counted! Of the 11 silent films I watched, 7 of them said the name of the movie in the movie!

That leads us nicely to those movies where the name of the movie is written down in the movie. 12 movies this year had that distinction, often with some quite long titles. Everything Everywhere All At Once, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Landscape with Invisible Hand, and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery all put their titles in text.

Lastly, two movies had the unique distinction of including the name of the movie in an end-credits song. Those were The Fast and the Furious and Wag the Dog. Honestly, we need to bring that back.

Okay, hear me out

Bechdel Test

I haven’t been tracking the Bechdel Test for all seven years I’ve been doing this, but the fact that I do now is just a sign of my growth as a person and a feminist. How many critics out there make a list of all the movies in the year that meet an arbitrary bare-minimum for feminism that was originally created as a joke in a comic? Huh? I didn’t think so…

Here’s the yearly obligatory reposting of the comic, courtesy of Alison Bechdel herself

Just as has been the case the last few years I’ve tracked this metric, sexism has not been solved yet. 153 movies did not pass the Bechdel Test this year (55%) and only 121 movies passed (44%). Add in the two Maybes, the two documentaries, and the handful of unsure Yeses, and we still have some ways to go. But I think once 50%+1 of the movies I, Michael Springthorpe, happen to see in a given year, then we will have finally Won.


Starting last year, I began keeping track of who directed each movie I watch. Now, Letterboxd also does that for me, but as a believer of Auteur Theory, I feel it’s only right that I track it as well.

Some of my favorite directors of the year (clockwise from top left): Greta Gerwig (Barbie), Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer), Celine Song (Past Lives), Nida Manzoor (Polite Society) Chad Stahelski (John Wick Chapter 4), Takashi Yamazaki (Godzilla Minus One), Todd Haynes (May December), and Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon)

With 278 individual movies watched this year, it also means I had 278 directors (or director teams) this year. But what does that say?! Rather, 307 people directed a movie I saw this year (including multiples). But the msot salient stat is that 199 individuals directed movies I saw this year. (Though it’s well-documented that David Leitch co-directed the first John Wick with Chad Stahelski, so maybe I can consider it an even 200 if I factor in that one example and no others.)

As a kind of check against myself, I also like to keep track of how many of the directors aren’t just straight white men. I’ll also highlight every director that isn’t just a straight white dude below.

A selection of directors I enjoyed this year not just for their movies from 2023 (I’m posting this right before I talk about all the diversity of directors because Director Park is the only one that’s not a straight white guy..) Clockwise from the top left, they are: Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard), Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich), Buster Keaton (The Cameraman and many others), Michael Mann (Heat), Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men), Frank Capra (It Happened One Night), Park Chan-wook (Oldboy and many others), and David Fincher (Zodiac and many others),

29 directors whose work I saw this year were women. Technically, I would also track any nonbinary or third gender directors here, but I didn’t see any movies from they/them this year. That makes it 15%, which is an improvement from last year, but still a bit miserable. These lovely ladies were:

Adele Lim ⋅ Alice Rohrwacher ⋅ Amanda Fordis ⋅ Cathy Yan ⋅ Celine Song

Elizabeth Banks ⋅ Elisabeth Chai Vasarhelyi ⋅ Emerald Fennell ⋅ Emma Seligman

Evgenia Arbugaeva ⋅ Greta Gerwig ⋅ Halina Reijn ⋅ Jamie Babbitt ⋅ Justine Triet

Kelly Fremon Craig ⋅ Kelly Reichardt ⋅ Lana Wachowski ⋅ Lily Wachowski

Maggie Betts ⋅ Molly Gordon ⋅ Nia DeCosta ⋅ Nicole Holofcener ⋅ Nida Manzoor

Patty Jenkins ⋅ Sara Gunnarsdottir ⋅ Sarah Polley ⋅ Sofia Coppola ⋅ Wendy Tilby

32 directors whose work I saw this year were people of color. That’s also an improvement from last year at 16%! There’s not really a joke here except that I assume they don’t drive up close to the steering wheel like in that Simpsons bit.

Adele Lim ⋅ Blitz Bazawule ⋅ Cathy Yan ⋅ Celine Song ⋅ Cord Jefferson

Daniel Kwan ⋅ Elisabeth Chai Vasarhelyi ⋅ F. Gary Gray ⋅ George C. Wolfe

Hayao Miyazaki ⋅ Hideaki Anno ⋅ Ichiro Honda ⋅ James Wan ⋅ Jimmy Chin

Joaquin Dos Santos ⋅ John Woo ⋅ Jordan Peele ⋅ Kemp Powers ⋅ Kenya Barris

M. Night Shyamalan ⋅ Maggie Betts ⋅ Nia DeCosta ⋅ Nida Mazoor

Park Chan-Wook ⋅ Peter Sohn ⋅ Sam Esmail ⋅ Shinji Higuchi ⋅ Stephen Caple, Jr.

Taika Waititi ⋅ Takashi Yamazaki

Lastly, these 9 directors (5%) absolutely SLAYED the house down boots, Mawma. Okurrrrrrr! As members of the Queer Community, these directors taught us what it means to serve cunt and be Mother. Shantay you stay!

Andrew Haigh ⋅ Bill Condon ⋅ Emma Seligman ⋅ Halina Reijn ⋅ Jamie Babbit

Lana Wachowski ⋅ Lily Wachowski ⋅ Todd Haynes

This year, I also had a lot of fun rewatching and catching up on movies from specific directors. For some, it was because they had new movies coming out this year (how do Interstellar and The Dark Knight relate to Oppenheimer?), others directed every movie in a series I watched (shoutout to Francis Lawrnece for truly getting the Hunger Games universe [and for directing Constantine]), while others were covered by the podcast Blank Check (when Griffin & David say “Jump!”, I say “How high?”).

The director I watched the most was David Fincher, which is very unique for a white man in his 20s who likes movies. Da Finchman was covered by Blank Check in the late fall, and he earned the distinction of being the first director I watched every movie from in one calendar year. (I also watched all three Greta Gerwig movies this year, but Fincher has a dozen movies!)

What if Your Friend’s Dad Who Builds Intricate Model Trains And Has A Small Town In His Basement made a bunch of fucked up movies?

Other directors I watched a lot of this year are Buster Keaton with 11 (Blank Check), Stephen Spielberg with 9 (had to watch all those Indys), Martin Scorsese with 8 (they really did kill that flower moon), Park Chan-wook with 8 (Blank Check strikes again!), and Wes Anderson with 6 (it helps when he releases four short films on Netflix). Other directors with 5 films are Francis Lawrence, Robert Zemeckis, Steven Soderbergh, and Christopher Nolan.

On a separate note, Letterboxd also tracks actors you’ve seen in a lot of movies. That is, understandably, a lot harder to track on your own, so I don’t do it. (Podcast King [and Fellow Lister] Jake Christie does have a list of this and it’s one of my biggest regrets that his brain allows/forces him to make that, but mine doesn’t.)

Anyways, I watched like a frickin’ lot of actors this year! My top actor of the year was Buster Keaton, thanks to the fact that he acts in each of his films AND he plays himself in Sunset Boulevard (for a total of 12!). Also, Buster Keaton….call me ;).

(PARENTS DO NOT READ THIS CAPTION!) Buster is also what you can call me when I get my hands on this Short & Silent King

After Buster, my Next Best Guy was Tom Cruise, who is in every Mission: Impossible movie (I actually saw all of those in order with no interruptions, that was cool!), but also in The Firm, A Few Good Men, Minority Report, and Austin Powers in Goldmember.

After Tom, we have Ocean’s buddies Matt Damon and Brad Pitt (10 and 9, respectively) and the rightful 2023 Sexiest Man Alive, Willem Dafoe (with 8). Willem actually also holds the distinction of being my top actor of all time on Letterboxd (I only started logging in late 2021, so while he’s definitely up there, it’s not super accurate).

Going down the rest of the list, we have the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman with 8, 2023 All-Star Jeffrey Wright with 7, Noted Freak David Dastmalchian with 7, Ocean’smaster George Clooney with 7, Hot Wedding Attender Dermot Mulroney with 6, and the first women — dual Mothers — Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep with 6 each.

She is Petra’s FATHER!


Some people on the internet like to get pompous and overly strict when it comes to genres of movies. Me, personally? I think movies all have lots of genres. When I track genre, I’ll tage a BOATLOAD of those lil’ guys onto one movie. In fact, five movies I watched this year I would say have 6 genres each. They are:

  1. Shazam!: action, superhero, coming of age, high school, fantasy, scifi
  2. Batman Returns: superhero, comedy, scifi, action, holiday, noir
  3. Shutter Island: thriller, mystery, psychological, horror, drama, crime
  4. Everything Everywhere All At Once: scifi, action, comedy, martial arts, drama, family
  5. Polite Society: coming of age, family, martial arts, action, thriller, comedy
Polite Society (on Peacock now!) was one of my favorite discoveries of the year. A really fun and wonderful, criminally underseen British flick from the spring

All in all, I watched movies covering 64 different genres. To no one’s surprise, the most common genre was comedy, but that’s because if a movie makes me laugh enough, I’ll label it that way. Some of the more egregious examples include Oldboy, TÁR, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. By far my most insane example of labeling a movie a comedy is Dog Day Afternoon. But I stand by it!

Following comedy is, of course, drama. Rounding out the Top 10 are, in order: action, scifi, thriller, crime, romance, fantasy, family, and horror. And while I’m not snobby about giving out genres, I will fight you if you call a Marvel movie “scifi/fantasy” or “action/adventure”. Scifi is aliens, fantasy is elves! Action is fighting, adventure is swashbuckling!

13 genres were only represented by one movie:

Animal (EO) ⋅ Whodunnit (Glass Onion) ⋅ Murder Mystery (Glass Onion)

Grief (Close) ⋅ Concert (Stop Making Sense)

Magical Realism (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Video Game (The Super Mario Bros. Movie) ⋅ Supernatural (Sunshine)

Buddy (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)

Screwball (It Happened One Night) ⋅ Racing (Ferrari) ⋅ Slasher (Screa|VI)

Slice of Life (The Florida Project)

You heard me right. The only logical explanation of how Ferris is able to get into the Chicago Stock Exchange, make it home in time, and get the entire city singing along with him is if he’s a magical sprite. You look inside yourself and you will find it to be true.


I like watching movies all over the place. I don’t mean walking around and changing seats, but it’s fun to cross locations off a long, imaginary list of places I’ve seen a movie. Because of this, I love seeing a movie while on vacation somewhere. I understand I’m in the minority here, but I will always regret that I never got my ass moving to watch Dungeons & Dragons when I was in Portugal. Can you imagine?! (I am aware I have already stated that my two biggest watching droughts occurred when I was on vacation with friends & family. I’m a man of multitudes.)

Over there, they call him Jãornathan

Outside of my regrets, I watched movies in 24 locations overall. Largely, they can be divided into three categories: homes, theaters, and in the air (i.e. on an airplane).

Streaming really is magical

Of the homes I saw movies in, my own in New York was, unsurprisingly, the main location. What’s maybe a little startling is HOW many more movies I saw on my couch or in my bed than elsewhere. I watched one hundred and ninety-five movies at home, which means I only watched no hundred and ninety-five movies anywhere else. For those playing along at home, yes, I watched more than twice as many movies at home than anywhere else.

It’s so many that it makes this graph basically pointless

But that doesn’t just mean that I was only watching movies alone when I was home. I watched them with other people, too! Obviously, Hot Boyfriend Calum and I watched a bunch together. 21 to be exact, including The Banshees of Inisheerin, which he most definitely did not really watch. In addition to Calum, we had Children’s Book Author Mike Ross over to watch Death Becomes Her (they had never seen, and I somehow forgot how good it is). I also had friends Artist Margaret Stolte, High School Teacher Han Greenwood, and Tree Expert Nathan Chan over for an Arrival rewatch (and watch for some of them). And, of course, My Mommy and I watched some movies at home when she was in town for the Oscars.

Here, in this one you can actually see all the other locations!

Watching movies at home is fun and all, but we all know it pales in comparison to seeing a movie in a theater. Three years after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic, movie theaters are still struggling to get back to the glory days of 2019’s $42.5 billion global box office. Luckily, 2023 felt like the first year saying “The movies are finally back!” didn’t feel like trying to convince yourself by saying it enough times.

Going to the movies in 2023 felt like an experience. We got multiple movie “events” that were must-see TV. Mission: Impossible, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and, of course, the hot pink explosion at the top: Barbenheimer. I saw a man dressed up in a full Kang outfit at the opening night IMAX screening of Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania (I hope he’s doing okay). I saw multiple elderly women in wheelchairs on the Upper West Side decked out in all pink for Barbie. And let’s not forget the scores of teens who flooded theaters this winter in tweed jackets, fedoras, and fake lazy eyes calling themselves “Gentlemattis” for The Holdvovers.

Okay I may have made up that last one, but I did love this line from Will Smith in The Holdovers

The chart below shows all the theaters I went to this year. The most popular was AMC Lincoln Square. This is for a few reasons: 1. I got AMC A-List this year, and it’s my closest AMC theater, 2. It has the largest IMAX screen on the Eastern Seaboard, and 3. In addition to being a hub of blockbusters, it also gets tiny indies and short-term screenings.

After there, we have AMC Empire 25 and AMC Kips Bay, the next closest AMC theaters. Hot Boyfriend Calum hates the seats at Lincoln Square (he’s right) so we usually go to one of those theaters together. My next most common theater was Cinema 123 by Angelika. It’s a small place (only three screens!), but it is quite literally around the corner from my house, and has a mix of things from Barbie to Poor Things to the Finnish rom-dramedy Fallen Leaves.

I also saw two films at Film @ Lincoln Center this year (different from the AMC): the aforementioned Boogie Nights screening with Podcast King Jake Christie, and EO — a Polish movie where the main character is a donkey — with Hot Boyfriend Calum. Not a cartoon donkey, not a donkey with a voiceover, just a donkey. Humans interact around him, and push and pull him through life. But the fact that Eo, the titular donkey, has Jim From The Office reaction shots and moments that make you cry is a revolution in directing.

The last place I’ll shout out is the Metrograph, a repertory theater in the Lower East Side. I’ve been aware of it for so long, but I’m a trash fake cinephile and mostly just save theaters for new releases. Podcast King Jake Christie and I saw Ocean’s Eleven there and guess what? That movie slaps so hard, dude.

No real comment on this graph, so I’ll say that Brad Pitt eating apples is one of the hottest any person has ever looked on screen

Notes & Errata

As is customary, I will end this tome talking about the people I watched movies with (despite the fact that I’ve already done that a bunch). Now it’s time for dessert: all the other random shit I tracked not necessarily for every movie, but still cool numbers.

Speaking of cool numbers (cannot wait for my parents to get to this joke)

This year I saw 13 movies in IMAX. They were, of course, all big visual spectacles (or at least I assumed every one of them would be). They were: Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania, Beau is Afraid, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Marvels, The Creator, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part 1, Killers of the Flower, Napoleon, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and two out of my three screenings of Oppenheimer.

The day after the Oscars, unable to process any feature-length movies again yet, My Mommy and I watched 6 of the Nominated Shorts (my favorite was My Year of Dicks). Then, in October, I got around to Wes Anderson’s 4 Roald Dahl shorts (my favorite is Poison) on Netflix. It really is crazy that Wes Anderson is going to get his FIRST OSCAR this year for a short film, and the same year his brilliant Asteroid City might get completely blanked by the Academy. Whatever, bro.

Basically everything in this movie is practical! How can you not love!

I will always remember 2023 as the year I really discovered the fun in watching an entire movie series as a contained unit. It started as reminding myself what happens in the Ant-Mans before Quantumania came out. Then I figured I might as well finally watch the John Wicks so I could join everyone in watching Chapter 4. And then Indiana Jones, and Blank Check did Men in Black, and so on and so forth. These are all the movie series I watched this year in entirety:

Ant-Man ⋅ John Wick ⋅ Alien (original run) ⋅ Mission: Impossible ⋅ Indiana Jones

Austin Powers ⋅ Hunger Games ⋅ Men in Black ⋅ Ocean’s ⋅ The Meg

Back to the Future ⋅ Home Alone (the two that count)

Some of these were entirely new (Home Alone [don’t yell at me!]), some were entirely rewatches (Hunger Games [until the new one, of course]), but a lot were mixes of the two (I had seen the original Austin Powers and Back to the Future, but none of the sequels). I also watched the first Fast & Furious and rewatched the first Lord of the Rings (Extended Edition), butnever made it to any of the others. I’ll finish LOTR in 2024, and I’ll see if they actually make Fast 11 (The Fastest & Most Furious?) to catch up on that straight people camp.

I’ve mentioned the fact that the Blank Check did series on Buster Keaton and Park Chan-wook this year. This helped me get to 18 completely black & white movies, 11 silent films, and 12 films in a language other than English. I also saw 3 movies with significant sections in black & white (Oppenheimer, Maestro, and Asteroid City, all from 2023), 1 movie that wasn’t silent but only had one line of dialogue (No One Will Save You on Hulu), and 2 movies with significant parts in a language other than English (EEAAO and Past Lives).

Beyond that, I saw 10 animated films (one of them I saw two times). Idk about you, but I feel like Animation is Cinema. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Pom Poko, and The Boy and the Heron were the best ones.

The day I stop stanning the Parakeets is the day I am no more

Lastly, one ridiculous theatergoing story: on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023 — my father’s literal birthday — I went to the AMC Empire 25 to see Cocaine Bear. I had been hanging out with some friends on Zoom that night (I had also called my dad earlier in the day, lay off me) and made a last-minute decision to see the 9:50 screening. The movie went off fine, it’s a very silly, fun movie, that mostly excites me for the future of mid-level comedy directing icon Elizabeth Banks. But then it ended and I left the building.

For those that aren’t familiar, the AMC Empire 25 is located on the 4th-ish floor of a building on 42nd Street in Manhattan, between 8th and 7th Avenues. It’s not where the New Year’s Eve ball drops, but it’s still very much in the tourist- and outer-borough-family-laden chaos that is Times Square. To exit, you take approximately 70 billion escalators (depending on which floor your actual theater is on), and the final floors use the same escalators as an Applebee’s and Dave & Buster’s.

Actual texts to my friends when this happened

I made it to the bottom floor around 11:45pm, and was about to walk out of the building, when I (and others) were stopped by a HUGE police presence blocking the doors. There were a couple officers inside, and a near wall standing around on the sidewalk outside. I am always so happy to see my tax dollars at work, paying high school dropouts from Long Island to play Candy Crush all day.

I was so naïve

When I tried to leave, I was part of a smaller group. But then Ant-Man got out. And the lobby slowly filled with more and more people confused and steadily angrier that they could not leave. We were given no other information except that there was an “active investigation in the building”.

I cannot stress enough how big & bald & serious-looking this guy was

At 12:01am — on a school night! (I know I’m the one who bought tickets to a 9:50pm movie, but I’m not the bad guy here) — New York’s Middest released us from our mozzarella stick-scented prison. To this day I have no idea what happened in Dave & Buster’s or Applebee’s that night. If I didn’t literally have work the next day, I would have stuck around so I could see them wheeling out Ghislaine Maxwell and El Chapo, who were, presumably, having dinner and playing skeeball upstairs.

And that was the craziest time I had at the movies this year. Honestly, if they wanted to catch a cocaine bear, they should have just gone to The Eagle.

The Eagle is a gay bar specializing in Bears and Leather. Every year they have a Christmas party open to the community, and in 2022 they made this bigass paella!


When getting ready for this year’s write-up, I looked back at last year’s for inspiration. One specific line really reminded me about how much brain damage these inflict on me (like making a running bit about famous Will Smith characters being in The Holdovers), while also making me tear up. Here it is:

If these are modern-day War& Peace, I hope the Location section gets adapted into a Tony-winning musical starring Josh Groban.

Let’s move past the obvious stupidity of that phrase. There’s something there!

As I talked about earlier, I watched 195 movies at home this year. I also watched 219 movies alone. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love watching movies alone — especially in a theater! It takes away any worry if the other person is enjoying themselves, and, frankly, it’s a hell of a lot easier to schedule.

But that’s not where the memories come from. (That is, of course, save for the memory of seeing Cocaine Bear alone.) The real magic of the movies is the community. Even the most aggressively auteurist director is still leading a team. John Carpenter writes his screenplays and his music, but he can’t play Laurie Strode. Chloe Zhao wrote, directed, produced, and edited Nomadland, but she didn’t dress Frances McDormand.

Movies are a communal experience, and that continues into when you enter the multiplex with your buddies. And so now, since I’m not planning on making a 2023 photodump on Instagram, I will make my sappy, end-of-year ramblings.

You after reading this next section

While I saw the vast majority of movies alone, I did see 74 movies with at least one other person. For the third year in a row, the champion of watching movies with me, is none other than Hot Boyfriend Calum with 34 movies!!!

Some of my favorite memories of movies this past year with Calum include seeing Wonka during the brief power blip of NYC 2023. Our screen went black, but we knew we were close to the end, and determined to not leave. It may be his favorite movie of the year. We also rewatched all the Hunger Games movies together before the new one. Having done many a series this year, it was very special to do one with him. He also showed me Pom Poko, a a Studio Ghibli movie about tanuki (Japanese raccoon dogs) that, according to legend, have scrotums they can change in size and use to fly.

Pictured: Hot Boyfriend Calum in his natural habitat

After Calum, the next champion is Podcast King Jake Christie with 19 movies. Jake is still running the VERY GOOD and PRETTY SUCCESSFUL podcast Marvel Cinematic University, so we saw all three MCU projects in theaters this year — all three in IMAX! I also got to share Barbenheimer with Jakey. We entered AMC Lincoln Square for a 7pm IMAX 70mm Oppenheimer screening (I wore a black-base Aloha Shirt) and transitioned over to a 10:30pm Barbie screening (I changed into a pink-base Aloha Shirt).

Then, of course, we have my family. My Mommy and I watched 15 movies together this year, including many when I was home for Christmas with my dad and sister. Our collective last watch together was my annual Birthday Movie, Anyone But You, and my sister, Jenna’s, friend, Mia also joined us! They looked at me many times when I laughed really loudly at times when no one else in the theater was. Sue me, it was a funny movie!

Next, we have Hot Boyfriend Calum’s sister, Teeth Freak Lindsay. We saw 3 movies together this year! Bodies Bodies Bodies and Jaws with the rest of the family on vacation in Lake Winnepesauke, plus the Netflix/Adam Sandler animated movie Leo on Thanksgiving when everyone else was alseep.

The rest of my cinematic compatriots are at 1 or 2 movies together for the year. At 2, we have Children’s book Author Mike Ross. (He’s low this year because he “moved to Boston” to “live with his boyfriend” who is “getting his Master’s at MIT”. Whatever.) We also have RJ, Cameron, and Vanessa, Calum & Lindsay’s siblings; Caleb, Malik, and Mariano, who I virtually watched along with on Jake’s livestream; and Jen, who saw both No Hard Feelings and Barbie with me.

No one has Movie Starred more than JLaw in No Hard Feelings in a looooooong time

Then, rounding out the bottom but far from far from my heart, are those lovely people who I got to just see one movie with this year. Russell, Vanessa, Jessie, and Roger (Calum’s parents, stepsister, and step-uncle) joined the rest of the clan in watching Jaws on the Fourth of July. Tate (who Calum and I met on an EDM Cruise) and his boyfriend Nick joined us for Poor Things, because what else do you watch with 4 gayboys in December? New Parents Mark & Sienna watched The Menu with me when I stayed with them so I could have the pleasure of meeting their perfect baby, whom I will spend approximately $3 million on over the rest of my life. Lastly, Margaret, Nathan, and Han all joined me for Arrival and charcuterie and my sister’s friend Mia saw the movie where Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney saved rom-coms.

Sydney Sweeney Do More Comedies CHALLENGE

And that’s it!

26 people, 24 locations, 64 genres, 199 directors, and 290 movies later, we have a year. The point of this isn’t to make a judgment call on 2023 as a year (although Henry Kissinger did die), it’s just what my brain demands I do after tracking all this data for 365 days. I always have a lot of fun writing them, and now that you’ve gotten to the end, I hope you had a good time reading it. If any of you know John Newyorktimes (or whoever is the editor of that rag), send this their way, and I can finally fulfill my lifelong dream of being a househusband.

In 2024, I hope to see more movies. Not necessarily more movies than I saw this year, I just mean I want to keep watching movies. Yes, obviously that is just going to happen without a doubt, but sometimes it’s good to make goals for yourself you already know you’re going to complete.

But I also want to see them in more places. I want to see more new & different types of movies. And I want to see more of them with more people. Because that’s what is always the most magical thing about it.

I’m not sure how 2024 will be when it comes to movies. Obviously we have strike-adjusted gems like Dune: Part 2 and Challengers to look forward to, but also fun nothings like Mean Girls, triumphant directorial returns like Mickey 17, a whopping 1 MCU movie (Deadpool 3), and then Joker: Folie à Deux will come and systematically burn down Hollywood from the inside.

Whatever kind of moviewatching year we have next year, I can’t wait to share it with you all.

As always, I’ll see you at the movies.

You thought I would stop at three Will Smith/Holdovers jokes??? Do you know me???



Michael Springthorpe

Camp Director, Teacher, Performer, and Writer who moved to New York City, then realized there's no woods here. @springthorpeman on Twitter and Instagram.