Friday Film Roundup: ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Godzilla Minus One,’ ‘RENAISSANCE,’ and More

ENTERTAINMENTBy 2023-12-08T17:25:48-05:00December 1st, 2023|
  • Still from "RENAISSANCE" (2023).

We have made it to the twelfth, final, and best month of the year. As the first real post-pandemic year since 2020, these last twelve months of cinema were very different from a lot of what we’ve seen in the last few years. Writers, directors, actors, and just about everyone else on the call sheet came back in full force, giving audiences some of the most passionate, and even divisive, projects they’ve ever worked on.

There was a certain no-holds-barred, shake off the cobwebs attitude to movies in 2023 that we desperately needed. We’re taking a bit of a break this month, with just two Film Fridays instead of the usual four. But we won’t be done shouting out the films worth watching in 2023 until the stroke of midnight on January 1st.

“Silent Night” (In Theaters)

This Christmas, legendary action director John Woo is gifting us a new shoot-em-up thriller, this time with an interesting twist. Similarly to the slapstick comedies of the 20s and 30s, Woo’s new film – which follows a man hellbent on revenge after a brutal assault leaves his family dead and his vocal cords completely destroyed – is almost entirely silent. No need for that pesky dialogue in Woo’s film. Instead, the story unfolds through broken bones, gunfire, pure mayhem, and probably a couple of dirty looks, too.

“Godzilla Minus One” (In Theaters)

Following a series of Godzilla movies produced by American studios, the iconic monster is returning to Japan for a new story set just after World War II. This mid-40s Godzilla tale brings the character back to his roots, as a metaphor for the nuclear devastation Japan endured during the war. According to longtime fans, this new Godzilla film is one of the best ever, which is really saying something considering there are literally 38 of them.


As if the Taylor Swift concert film weren’t enough, another generation-defining pop artist is releasing a concert film of her own. Performed and directed by the woman herself, Beyoncé’s new film is a celebration of the Renaissance tour and every single person who made it possible. The film incorporates concert footage, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage to offer audiences an immersive look behind the curtain.

No matter how difficult you think it may be for Beyoncé to do her Renaissance performance night after night, it’s probably even more grueling than you could imagine. “RENAISSANCE” is all but a concrete confirmation that she is one of the hardest working entertainers in the world right now. More importantly, she puts on one hell of a show.

“The Sweet East” (In Theaters)

This directorial debut from longtime cinematographer Sean Price Williams looks like another charming, lowkey indie movie, the kind that seemed to fall out of favor at some point in the mid-2010s before making a comeback over the last couple of years. Following a high school student who gets lost during a class field trip, “The Sweet East” stars a handful of notable up-and-comers and even premiered at Cannes earlier this year despite Williams’ struggle to find funding during pre-production.


We’ve got a few more you might be interested in checking out this weekend!

“Everyone Will Burn” (In Theaters)

“In Water” (In Theaters)

“Shayda” (In Theaters)

“Don’t Suck” (In Theaters/VOD)

Josef Rodriguez is a writer, filmmaker, and film critic living in New York City.