The best entertainment of 2023: Our picks for the top TV shows, movies, music and more

The words "Best of 2023" surrounded by category names and images
(Jess Hutchison / Los Angeles Times)

Forget hot labor summer, it was hot labor year. This was undeniably and unequivocally the year of Hollywood labor disputes. The historic double strike by writers and actors against studios and streamers shut down almost all productions and upended the fall TV schedule. But 2023 still yielded stellar small-screen and big-screen offerings. And the year was rich with must-hear albums, catchy songs, memorable museum exhibitions, brilliant theater, poignant video games and the finest fiction.

Christopher Nolan’s epic “Oppenheimer” — one-half of the biggest moviegoing event in recent memory — and Celine Song’s beautifully bittersweet “Past Lives” were among Justin Chang’s picks for best movies of the year. On the TV front, Lorraine Ali honored the final season of FX’s “Reservation Dogs” and the freshman season of HBO’s “cinematic masterpiece” “The Last of Us,” while Robert Lloyd heralded Prime Video’s weird and wonderful “I’m a Virgo” and Apple TV+’s “far-flung, fast-moving” “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.”

The year also gifted us new albums by SZA, Olivia Rodrigo, Lana Del Rey and Foo Fighters — Mikael Wood calls the latter’s “But Here We Are” “a thoroughly alive-sounding document of loss.” Meanwhile, the 50 best songs of 2023 are as diverse as Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” and Burna Boy’s “City Boys.”

The best of the year also paid homage to the past: Our sampling of fiction included a feminist take on George Orwell’s “1984” that rivals the original; it was Stephen Sondheim galore in Charles McNulty’s picks for top Los Angeles theater offerings; and Christopher Knight spotlighted a big survey of Keith Haring’s art at the Broad.


Check back in as we roll out new best-of lists daily.

The best movies of 2023 include ‘Oppenheimer,’ ‘Past Lives’ and ‘Poor Things,’ according to our critic Justin Chang.

Television critics Lorraine Ali and Robert Lloyd weigh in on the series they enjoyed most in 2023, including ‘Poker Face,’ ‘Reservation Dogs,’ ‘Mrs. Davis,’ ‘I’m a Virgo’ and more.

Our top three LPs come courtesy of a diverse group of women: an R&B superstar, a rising Colombian American and a sassy country newcomer.

Boygenius! Peso Pluma!! Lily-Rose Depp!!! Here are our picks for the 100 best songs of 2023.

This year saw the formation of a new supergroup: books broke news about Madonna, Sly Stone, Lou Reed, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand and even Bob Dylan.

Three contributing critics pick their best fiction of the year, including work by Victor LaValle, Ed Park, Lauren Groff, Yiyun Li and Tania James.

When 2023 began to unfold, pandemic-induced art museum cancellations and postponements seemed to be behind us, as programming mostly caught up. Here are 10 memorable exhibitions from the year.

Winning the box office, playing record-setting concert tours, rallying striking unions, shaking up TV: Women ruled pop culture in 2023.


Alex Edelman’s ‘Just for Us,’ the genius of Stephen Sondheim and a Tony Award for the Pasadena Playhouse were among the highlights of Los Angeles theater in 2023.

In 2023 the most mature, poignant and thoughtful narratives were in video games. Games such as ‘Venba,’ ‘Thirsty Suitors’ and ‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder’ showed the importance of play-driven narratives.

The best entertainment photos of 2023 include portraits of Billie Eilish, SZA, Nick Cannon, Emily Ratajkowski, Jason Segel and Sarah Silverman.