The Best Indie Movies To Watch In 2023

Cailee Spaeny dazzles in the titular role of Priscilla, while Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi plays her iconic husband, Elvis

PORTER brings you the best indie movies worth adding to your must-see list – from the ones you might have missed to awards-season winners and this year’s festival contenders



Last year saw Baz Luhrmann reimagine Elvis Presley’s early years – and now, Sofia Coppola is telling his ex-wife Priscilla Presley’s side of the story. Based on the bestselling memoir, Elvis and Me, the film brings Priscilla firmly into the spotlight to compassionately explore what being married to one of the world’s most famous men really felt like. Expect Coppola’s signature hazy cinematography, plus star turns from newcomer Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi as Elvis. In cinemas from October 27

Bradley Cooper directs and stars in Maestro, alongside Carey Mulligan


Hot on the heels of Oppenheimer and Elvis, the silver-screen era of major biopics amps up with this grand tale of the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein. Bradley Cooper directs and stars in the film, with Carey Mulligan playing his beloved wife Felicia. Alongside Bernstein’s colorful personal life and the cost of his artistic genius, the film is an ode to the couple’s enduring love. What’s more, rumors are already swirling that Cooper will take home the Oscar he missed out on for his directorial debut, A Star is Born. In cinemas this fall

George MacKay and Léa Seydoux lead Bertrand Bonello's The Beast – a sci-fi film exploring life devoid of emotion

The Beast

Léa Seydoux is sublime as the heroine of this futuristic thriller by French indie director Bertrand Bonello. Falling somewhere between Black Mirror and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the movie’s plot unfolds in 2044, when any human emotion is considered a threat to survival. The psychological melodrama is based on a short story by Henry James, in which Gabrielle (Seydoux) undergoes a procedure to rid herself of all feelings. However, when she meets Louis (George MacKay), cracks start to form in her steely composure. In cinemas from November 9

Centered around an eccentric performing-arts camp in New York, Theater Camp came up trumps at this year’s Sundance Film Festival

Theater Camp

This laugh-a-minute, ‘mockumentary’-style indie earned a standing ovation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and sparked a bidding war between a handful of major studios. Based on a short by the film’s multi-hyphenate frontwoman, Molly Gordon (who writes, directs and produces on this), it is an affectionate delve into the world of theater enthusiasts at a small performing-arts camp in Upstate New York. When their fearless leader (Amy Sedaris) falls into a coma (triggered by a malfunctioning strobe-light), the troupe bands together to ensure the show goes on. Expect jazz hands, improv and musical puns aplenty, as well as a cast of the brightest new starlets, plus Ayo Edibiri (The Bear) and Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen). In cinemas now

Geraldine Viswanathan and Emilia Jones in the hotly anticipated adaptation of Cat Person

Cat Person

Nothing captured the anxiety of dating in the online age quite like Kristen Roupenian’s short story Cat Person when it was published in 2017. The romcom-thriller went viral for its sinister untangling of a courtship that turns sour, with ghosting, catfishing and red flags aplenty. Susanna Fogel, who co-wrote Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, is at the helm of the hotly anticipated movie rendition, and there are high hopes it will break the internet in the same way the story did. Look out for Oscar-winning Coda’s Emilia Jones and Succession’s breakout star Nicholas Braun in the lead roles. In cinemas this fall

Thomasin McKenzie (right) takes the titular role in Eileen, while Anne Hathaway shines as charismatic Rebecca


Based on Ottessa Moshfegh’s chart-topping debut novel of the same name, this big-screen adaptation follows the unraveling of Eileen Dunlop, a misanthropic woman stuck in a rut, both personally and professionally. When a charismatic new member of staff, Rebecca, joins the office, their friendship blossoms… until, under the influence of Rebecca, Eileen finds herself dragged into a heinous crime. Thomasin McKenzie is sublime as the slightly peculiar Eileen, and Anne Hathaway gives an awards-worthy performance as the seductive Rebecca. In cinemas now


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Lily LaTorre leads as Sarah Snook’s unsettling child, Mia, in the Sundance Film Festival thriller Run Rabbit Run

Run Rabbit Run

This psychological thriller was the talk of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and stars Succession’s Sarah Snook as a frazzled mother struggling to make sense of her daughter’s emotional decline in the days after her seventh birthday. It is an exploration of the anxieties of motherhood, as well as a personal reckoning for Snook’s character. Director Daina Reid was nominated for an Emmy for The Handmaid’s Tale, so expect a nuanced portrayal of trauma and grief. In cinemas now

Rising star Kristine Froseth dazzles in Lena Dunham’s Sharp Stick

Sharp Stick

Lena Dunham makes a much-anticipated return to screens with her first feature film since her debut, Tiny Furniture. She has enlisted the help of some exciting rising stars – Taylour Paige (Zola) and Kristine Froseth (The Society), as well as Hollywood stalwarts Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jon Bernthal – for this tale of a young woman’s sexual awakening and her complicated journey of self-discovery. Available to stream now

(l-r) Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Chase Sui Wonders and Rachel Sennott join forces in Bodies Bodies Bodies

Bodies Bodies Bodies

A party game goes fatally wrong in this sinister slasher from production company A24 – the team behind horrors like Midsommar and Hereditary. Amandla Stenberg and Pete Davidson join newcomers Maria Bakalova (Borat) and Myha’la Herrold (Industry) as a group of privileged teens who are dicing with death at the house party from hell. With a screenplay by Kristen Roupenian (author of Cat Person) and a buzzy new director, Halina Reijn, rest assured this is going to be a coming together of Gen-Z’s finest. Available to stream now

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in Cha Cha Real Smooth

Cha Cha Real Smooth

With three big releases, 2022 was a significant year for Dakota Johnson and her production company, TeaTime Pictures. First up, she produced this life-affirming romcom by writer-director Cooper Raiff, which premiered at Sundance to rave reviews. Raiff also stars in the movie, as college graduate Andrew, who moves back to his parents’ home and a life of suburban mundanity. His world takes a turn when he meets single mother Domino (Johnson) and her daughter, who has autism. On Apple TV+ now

Asteroid City

Hot off the heels of The French Dispatch comes another Wes Anderson release. A self-professed Europhile, Anderson turns his gaze to Italy for this production, which is set at a Junior Stargazer convention in the 1950s. Expect all the typical tropes of a Wes Anderson film: storylines within storylines, pastel-hued sets and a blockbuster ensemble cast. This time, Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson, Maya Hawke and Tom Hanks all make appearances. In cinemas now


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