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25.12.2023

The 7 best gentleman's films of 2023

Here's our rolling list of all the best movies of 2023 for a gentleman - exuding style & substance.

By Culture Editor

Michael B. Jordan during the Creed III Launch at the Ralph Lauren in California (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

2023 has been a banner year for cinematic portrayals of the modern gentleman. From suave assassin to boxing icon, these films celebrate the values of chivalry, honor, and impeccable style. So, pour yourself a glass of something refined, dim the lights, and prepare to be swept away by these tales of refined masculinity.

Here's our rolling list of all the best movies of 2023 for a gentleman.

Creed III

Release date: 3 March

Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has ascended the boxing ranks, achieving the heights his legendary father Apollo never could. But with championship belts and a luxurious lifestyle comes distance from his roots and a haunting ghost from the past: Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors), a childhood friend imprisoned for a youthful mistake. When Damian is released, he seeks forgiveness and a shot at the heavyweight title, igniting a conflict that forces Adonis to confront his own demons and redefine what it means to be a champion.

Why gentlemen should watch:

While the surface glistens with bone-crunching boxing action and the glamour of success, Creed III punches deeper, delivering a story that resonates with the core values of a gentleman:

  1. Confronting Past Mistakes: Adonis's journey grapples with the burden of past choices, showcasing the courage it takes to face one's own failings and seek redemption. It's a reminder that true class lies not in hiding imperfections, but in owning them and striving to be better.

  2. Grace Under Pressure: As Adonis navigates the emotional gauntlet of his past and present, he embodies the gentleman's virtue of grace under pressure. His composure and dignity in the face of adversity offer a masterclass in maintaining one's bearing even when the world is crumbling around you.

  3. Humility and Legacy: Despite his achievements, Adonis remains grounded, remembering his humble beginnings and the legacy he carries. This film champions the importance of staying true to one's roots and using success to uplift others, a cornerstone of the gentleman's spirit.

Creed III is more than just a boxing movie; it's a poignant exploration of masculinity, family, and the price of ambition. It's a film that will leave you pondering the true meaning of victory, the complexities of human relationships, and the enduring power of the human spirit.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Release date: 24 March

Excommunicated from the assassin underworld, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finds himself hunted by a relentless bounty and facing the wrath of the High Table, a shadowy cabal that controls his former life. His only way out is to reach The Elder, a mythical figure above it all, but the path is fraught with danger, forcing him to forge unlikely alliances and unleash his legendary skills against a new generation of assassins.

Why gentlemen should watch:

  1. A Masterclass in Elegance Under Pressure: John Wick navigates a brutal world with unflappable composure. His every move, from handling weapons to engaging in hand-to-hand combat, is executed with precision and grace. He's a lethal ballet dancer, demonstrating that true class shines even in the darkest of circumstances.

  2. Loyalty to One's Code: Despite being ostracized, John Wick adheres to his unwavering code of honor. He respects agreements, protects those in need, and never backs down from a fight for what's right. This unwavering loyalty, even in the face of personal hardship, is a core tenet of the gentleman's ethos.

  3. A Reminder of the Power of Redemption: Though burdened by a tragic past, John Wick seeks redemption through his actions. He fights for those who cannot fight for themselves, a noble pursuit that transcends personal vengeance and speaks to the gentleman's desire to make a positive impact on the world.

Remember, true class isn't just about etiquette and refinement; it's about strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment to one's values. And in that sense, John Wick is the ultimate gentleman, even if he does it his own way.

Air

Release date: 7 April

This biographical drama whisks you back to 1984, when Nike was struggling and Michael Jordan, a raw talent with wings, was yet to be a global icon. We meet Sonny Vaccaro, a maverick marketing exec with a gambler's spirit. He sees in Jordan not just a basketball phenom, but a canvas for greatness. Against all odds, Sonny sets out to convince Nike to gamble on this untested rookie, crafting a shoe not just for his feet, but for his soul.

Why a gentleman should watch:

  1. Beyond the Hype: This film delves beyond the superficial world of sports marketing, exploring the deeper values of loyalty, perseverance, and forging genuine connections. It's a reminder that a gentleman's worth lies not in flash, but in substance.

  2. The Birth of an Icon: Be there for the genesis of the Air Jordan legend, an event that transcended sneakers and redefined cultural coolness. Witness the meticulous crafting of a brand that became synonymous with style, rebellion, and self-belief - values any gentleman can appreciate.

  3. More Than Just Basketball: "Air" transcends the sport, offering a compelling human drama about defying expectations, chasing dreams, and forging legacies. It's a story that resonates with anyone who dares to believe in themselves and their vision.

So, put on your most dapper hat, gentlemen. "Air" awaits, ready to take you on a flight into the heart of hustle, history, and timeless coolness.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One

Release date: 14 July

Ethan Hunt, the ever-charming and suave IMF agent, once again finds himself entangled in a global game of cat and mouse with the stakes higher than ever. This time, the threat is an insidious one - a terrifying new weapon codenamed "The Entity" that could fall into the wrong hands and plunge the world into chaos.

Why gentlemen should watch:

  1. Ethan Hunt: The Epitome of Grace under Pressure: Witness Ethan navigate thrilling situations with his signature blend of intelligence, cunning, and unwavering determination. He's the ultimate gentleman adventurer, facing danger with a cool head and a sharp wit.

  2. More than Just Gadgets and Explosions: While Mission: Impossible is renowned for its thrilling stunts and high-tech gadgets, Dead Reckoning Part One delves deeper, exploring themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and the ever-present question of how far one would go for the greater good. It's a film that will leave you thinking long after the credits roll.

  3. A Masterclass in Gentlemanly Deportment: From Ethan's impeccable suits to his sharp wit and unwavering moral compass, Dead Reckoning Part One is a masterclass in gentlemanly conduct. It's a film that celebrates the values of chivalry, honor, and taking on any challenge with dignity and grace.

Bonus points for the gentleman who can appreciate the film's subtle nods to classic spy films and the timeless appeal of a well-tailored suit.

Oppenheimer

Release date: 21 July

Oppenheimer s not just a film about the "father of the atomic bomb," J. Robert Oppenheimer. It's a gripping exploration of a man grappling with the immense power he unleashed upon the world, a journey that resonates deeply with the values and challenges faced by a true gentleman.

Cillian Murphy delivers a mesmerizing performance as Oppenheimer, a brilliant physicist consumed by the pursuit of knowledge and driven by a desire to contribute to the war effort against Nazi Germany. We witness his ascent to the head of the Manhattan Project, the burden of leadership etched on his brow as he assembles a team of the brightest minds to unlock the secrets of atomic energy.

Why gentlemen should watch:

  1. A moral compass in a chaotic world: The film's exploration of ethical dilemmas around weapons of mass destruction challenges viewers to engage in critical thinking about responsibility and power.

  2. Grace under pressure: Oppenheimer's unwavering commitment to his team and his pursuit of knowledge, even in the face of unimaginable consequences, showcases the kind of stoicism and leadership expected of a true gentleman.

  3. The burden of knowledge: The film confronts the weight of intellect and the responsibility that comes with wielding immense power. This resonates with a gentleman's duty to use his skills and knowledge for the betterment of society.

Oppenheimer is not a simple film. It compels us to confront the darkest corners of history and the shadows within ourselves. It's a testament to the power of cinema to engage, challenge, and leave a lasting impression, qualities that any gentleman would appreciate.

Maestro

Release date: 20 December

"Maestro" is not your typical Hollywood romance. It's a deeply moving and complex portrayal of love, loss, and the enduring power of music, crafted with the elegance and precision of a maestro's baton.

Why gentlemen should watch:

  1. A Masterclass in Artistic Passion: The film immerses viewers in the intoxicating world of music and creation. Bernstein's genius comes alive through soaring orchestral renditions and intimate piano solos, reminding us of the transformative power of art. For gentlemen who appreciate the finer things in life, Maestro is a feast for the senses, an ode to the dedication and perseverance required to leave a lasting artistic legacy.

  2. Beyond the Romance: A Study of Self-Reflection: While the love story takes center stage, Maestro delves deeper into Leonard's inner struggles. As he confronts his declining health and grapples with personal demons, the film becomes a poignant exploration of self-acceptance and the importance of confronting one's past. This introspective journey resonates with gentlemen who strive for self-improvement and embrace the challenges of personal growth.

  3. A Gentleman's Style and Substance: From the impeccably tailored suits to the sophisticated settings, Maestro exudes a refined elegance that aligns with the gentleman's aesthetic. The film is a visual treat, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of artistic fervor and social grace. But beyond the surface, Maestro celebrates the deeper qualities gentlemen hold dear: integrity, resilience, and a commitment to living a life of meaning.

So, gentlemen, raise the curtain on "Maestro." Be prepared to be moved by a love story that transcends time, inspired by artistic passion, and challenged by the complexities of self-reflection. This is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll, reminding you of the beauty, sorrow, and enduring legacy that defines a life well-lived.

Ferrari

Release date: 26 December

The year is 1957. Enzo Ferrari, the fiery founder of the iconic car brand, stands at a crossroads. Reeling from the tragic loss of his beloved son Dino, his crumbling marriage, and the financial woes of his fledgling company, Enzo throws all his passion and fury into one high-stakes gamble: the legendary Mille Miglia race.

Why gentlemen should watch:

1. A Journey of Passion and Loss:

"Ferrari" is a raw and emotional roller coaster. We witness Enzo's grief over his son, his struggles to balance his family life with his professional ambitions, and the constant pressure to maintain his reputation as a titan of the automotive industry. These are experiences that resonate deeply with men who strive for success while grappling with the complexities of life.

2. A Love Letter to the Art of the Machine:

The film captures the intoxicating allure of classic cars with breathtaking authenticity. The roar of the engines, the precision of the engineering, and the sheer beauty of the design – it's a symphony of passion and innovation that will ignite the hearts of any man with a love for mechanics and craftsmanship.

3. A Reminder of Humanity's Flawed Beauty:

Enzo Ferrari is no saint. He's arrogant, stubborn, and often driven by his own ego. But it's precisely these flaws that make him such a compelling character. He's a flawed hero, a man who stumbles and falls but ultimately finds redemption in his dedication to his craft and his unwavering love for his family.

So, gentlemen, dust off your finest suit, pour yourself a glass of something refined, and settle in for a cinematic journey that will leave you exhilarated and reflective. "Ferrari" awaits, and it's a ride you won't want to miss.

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