10 Lesser-Known Movies of 2023 That Got Unfairly Overlooked

10 Lesser-Known Movies of 2023 That Got Unfairly Overlooked
Image credit: Searchlight Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Focus Features

Tired of overhyped blockbusters? This list of decent movies is for you.

The world of cinema is vast and varied, often with hidden gems that slip through the mainstream radar. 2023 has presented a trove of cinematic gems that, despite their brilliance, didn't receive the widespread attention they merited. Each of these movies stands out in its own way, and you might want to give it a try.

You Hurt My Feelings

Directed by Nicole Holofcener, this film is a delicate blend of humor and wisdom set against the backdrop of inner-city life.

Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies, it delves into the complexities of relationships, exploring the consequences of brutal honesty in a seemingly harmless setting. The film is celebrated for its strong performances and engaging storytelling.

Theatre Camp

Theatre Camp is a delightful comedy-drama that follows a summer theater camp. It's a heartwarming, often hilarious tale that captures the essence of pursuing artistic passions against all odds.

The film's charm lies in its relatable characters and the genuine portrayal of the theater world. It's perfect for a cozy movie night, especially if you love stories about underdogs and the magic of theater.

Rye Lane

This indie film is a refreshing romantic comedy set in the vibrant streets of South London. It's a breath of fresh air in the rom-com genre, offering witty dialogue, charming characters, and a beautifully shot backdrop.

The story revolves around two young people recovering from breakups who find solace and laughter in each other's company. Rye Lane is a visually appealing, feel-good film that proves love stories can still feel new and exciting.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

This film is a touching adaptation of the classic novel of the same name by Judy Blume. This movie beautifully translates the book's essence, focusing on the tumultuous journey of adolescence, faith, and identity.

The film handles sensitive themes with grace and care, making it a must-watch for those who appreciate stories with a strong emotional core


Sanctuary revolves around the intense emotional dynamics between a dominatrix and her client, set against the backdrop of the client's transition to a CEO role following his father's death.

This psychological thriller unfolds in a fancy hotel, where what starts as a session of domination and submission takes a wild turn into blackmail, power play, and identity crisis.

The film had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and was later released in theaters in May 2023, but it hasn't received the widespread attention it merits.

The Holdovers

Set in the early 70s, this film stars Paul Giamatti as Paul Hunham, a gruff professor at Barton Academy who finds himself spending the holidays with a student, Angus, and the head cook, Mary. The story explores the unexpected relationships and life lessons that develop among them.

Huesera: The Bone Woman

Huesera: The Bone Woman is a chilling entry in the supernatural body horror genre. It tells the story of Valeria, a pregnant woman who becomes cursed by an evil spirit.

The narrative not only delivers spine-tingling horror but also delves into the psychological aspects of its protagonist, making it a deeply personal and unsettling experience.

After Love

After Love is a poignant drama that intricately weaves themes of loss, identity, and cultural contrasts. The story focuses on Mary, an English woman converted to Islam, who discovers her husband's double life with another woman after his death. This revelation sets her on a journey of self-discovery and unexpected connections.

Director Aleem Khan skillfully portrays the emotional landscape of the characters, bringing to life their inner worlds through subtle yet powerful visual storytelling. The film's narrative challenges the viewer to look beyond superficial differences and find common ground in shared human experiences.

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

Set in Quebec, this Canadian film tells the story of a teenage girl named Sasha, portrayed by Sara Montpetit. Sasha is a humanist vampire, struggling with her identity and conscience, unwilling to kill people for food.

This coming-of-age film mixes genres, featuring a protagonist reminiscent of classic vampire tales but with a unique narrative and style.

Director Louis-Seize incorporates European arthouse influences, presenting Sasha as a 68-year-old vampire (teenager in human years) with a unique look and a loner nature.

How to Blow Up a Pipeline

This American thriller revolves around a group of young activists planning to blow up a Texas oil pipeline as a protest against various social ills. The film is a reinterpretation of a non-fiction book by Andreas Malm and delves into themes of environmental activism and social justice.

The film's characters are diverse, including Dwayne, a Texan radicalized against the oil company; Xochitl, an intense young activist; Theo, suffering from terminal cancer due to toxic chemicals; and Michael, a Native American known for his environmental activism.