Now Streaming: Best of 2023

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Now Streaming: Best of 2023

Remember, streaming services are rental stores, not personal libraries.

That's more of a note to myself than anything, as one streaming service (Max, most notably) after another removes movies and shows from their service. (Here's a good explainer by CNBC.) For subscribers, it feels like one broken promise after another.

Personally, I know that I harbored the illusion that the movies and shows I signed up to watch whenever I wanted would always be available on those streaming services, which have proliferated like bed bugs in the past few years. In part, that's because I thought streaming services were the new Blockbuster Video, and would always be stocked with what I wanted to watch -- as long as someone else hadn't checked it out first.

Now I have come to appreciate that streaming services are the new Blockbuster Video, only the employees keep removing videos from the store. And you don't really own the digital movies you buy, as The Wirecutter nicely explained.) Which makes physical media the best option for building a personal library.

Nearly all surviving physical media companies know that there is a clear market for upgrading their library titles to 4K along with additional features, for example, so they have an incentive to do so, even for titles of only limited interest. This is good for physical media companies, collectors, and filmmakers, too: their films will not be forgotten.

Of course, buying physical media is dependent upon your budget. I would love to have physical media for everything I desire, but my budget only allows for the occasional splurge. Thus, I started exploring streaming services beyond Netflix several years ago, and still find various services to be an excellent source for sampling movies and shows I might otherwise ignore.

Here's the best of what I watched in 2023, listed in the reverse order that I completed watching them. All links to my reviews here on Screen Anarchy, save for a couple. And all opinions are my own. Look for the combined might of our contributors' Top 10 lists Real Soon Now.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

The only one I barely had time to watch, much less write about, was also (probably) the most surprising, in that I've read (and loved) Bryan Lee O'Malley's books and watched (and loved) Edgar Wright's film version, so I was in no way prepared for what O'Malley and BenDavid Grabinski cooked up. And if you have not watched it yet: stop reading and do that. [Netflix]

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Kurt Russell. Monsters. Wyatt Russell. Monsters. [Apple TV+]

Wolf Like Me: S2

Abe Forsyth is a genius. [Peacock TV]

Captain Fall

Don't tell my mother I watched this. She's dead, but you get the point. [Netflix]

The Bear: S2

Even better than the first season. [Hulu]

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai

A consistent, inventive delight. [Reviewed at my personal site.] [Max]

Drops of God

Elegant and all-consuming. Beautiful and perceptive about human nature. And I don't even drink wine. [Apple TV+]

Dead Ringers

Rachel Weisz is scary good. [Prime Video]


Words cannot describe. Steven Yuen, Ali Wong. [Netflix]

Poker Face

Rian Johnson is a genius. Natasha Lyonne is a goddess. [Peacock TV]

Screen Anarchy logo
Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Click here to report it, or see our DMCA policy.
Apple TV+HuluMaxNetflixPeacock TVScott Pilgrim

More about Poker Face

More about Beef

More about Dead Ringers (2023)

More about Captain Fall

More about Wolf Like Me

More about Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

More about Now Streaming

Around the Internet