Where to watch Australia's 10 most-Googled movies of 2023

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in Barbie and Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures / Universal)

There’s no denying it – this year was a massive year for movies, and Google’s Year in Search for 2023 has been released with some fascinating results, including a list of movies Aussies searched for the most through the year. 

With award-winning 2022 flicks sneaking onto this list alongside mid-year blockbusters that brought cinema goers back to the theatres in droves, there’s really no surprise that these movies were the most typed into Google Search. And now that the year is wrapping up, all these films can be watched from the comfort of your own home, making for great entertainment across the summer holidays.

Some of these films are available directly on one of the best streaming services, while others come with an additional rent or buy cost, so if you want to find out more about each film and how to watch them, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on the 10 most-Googled films in 2023.

1. Oppenheimer (2023)

Where to watch: rent or buy on Apple TV or Prime Video from AU$5.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Runtime: 180 minutes
Director: Christopher Nolan
Age rating: MA 15+

Take Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy and one of the biggest mid-20th century events and you have yourself one visually appealing movie with a rock-solid narrative aided by some of the most renowned actors of this decade. Oppenheimer transports the audience back to the midst of WWII – German scientists have escaped to the USA, and after having been dragged into the War, the global power is looking for a way within the scientific community to end it with force.

If you’ve never heard of the Manhattan Project (or watch Manhattan the TV show), Oppenheimer gives you a great rundown of this historical scientific endeavour, the ethical dilemma felt by the scientists involved and the consequences that theoretical scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Murphy) faced as the scapegoat for the US military after the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan twice in 1945. This film really makes the audience feel the weight of every decision with a compelling narrative and stunning visuals that Nolan has mastered across his films.

While Oppenheimer is best seen in cinemas, it’s still worth the watch from home if you want to save on rising ticket costs, especially if you've got one of the best TVs along with one of the best soundbars to get the full home-theatre experience.

2. Barbie (2023)

Where to watch: Rent or buy on Apple TV or Prime Video from AU$6.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Runtime: 114 minutes
Director: Greta Gerwig
Age rating: PG

It’s no surprise that Barbie came in a close second to Oppenheimer on the 2023 Google Year in Search list. Ever since it was revealed that these two films would be released at around the same time, cinema goers, both new and long-term, knew this was one cultural event not to miss. And audiences really did flock to theatres to catch a double feature – with debate still up in the air as to whether it was better to watch Barbie or Oppenheimer first.

A stark contrast in theme to the very serious Oppenheimer, Barbie uses humour and the colour pink to convey a strong message, poking fun at the patriarchy and consumerism, while also hoping this film might convince you to spend a little more on Mattel’s flagship doll.

Regardless, Margot Robbie as the titular character is a fun and bubbly, if at times nihilistic, heroine who ultimately bands together with her sisters to save the day once her Ken (Ryan Gosling) goes rogue after they visit the real world. Big music numbers and a brilliant plan follow, cementing Barbie as one of the biggest hits in 2023.

Director Greta Gerwig knocks it out of the park with a combination of humour and self-awareness, and infuses the film with powerful feminism, aided with America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt and Kate McKinnon, all in major supporting roles to help give Barbie a reality check and transform Barbie Land, and the Barbie doll itself, for the better. 

3. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Where to watch: Stream on Prime Video, Binge & Foxtel Now | Rent or buy on Apple TV from AU$4.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Runtime: 139 minutes
Director: Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinet
Age rating: MA 15+

Released at the end of 2022 and having won a stack of awards in 2023, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a masterclass when it comes to blending science fiction with comedy-drama.

The film centres on Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh), a Chinese-American immigrant who lives a rather unassuming life as a laundromat owner along with her husband Raymond (Ke Huy Quan) and adult daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu). Evelyn is stuck in her ways, refusing to fully accept her daughter’s lesbian relationship and trying to scramble her way out of debt, all while being unaware of Raymond’s attempts to serve divorce papers. This all changes when she’s suddenly thrown across parallel universes, being rescued by Raymond when a dimension-jumping assassin tries to hang Evelyn out to dry. 

Packing in a huge variety of universes, featuring great set design and themes – though some a little more disturbing than others (looking at you sausage hands) – fantastic costumes and strong on-screen chemistry between all the actors involved, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a great watch if you want something a little bit surreal while still being grounded in family drama.

4. John Wick 4

Where to watch: Stream on Prime Video & Binge | Rent or buy on Apple TV from AU$6.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Runtime: 169 minutes
Director:  Chad Stahelski
Age rating: MA 15+

Time for round four – Keanu Reeves returns as the titular character in John Wick 4, jumping right back into the action as the assassin prepares to take down the High Table. Things are never as simple as they seem for John Wick though, and he soon finds himself being pursued by killers with unlimited resources.

Crossing the globe between the USA, Morocco, Japan, Berlin and France, John Wick fights a cast of international foes, with well-choreographed fight scenes and stunning landscapes that showcases a top-tier Hollywood action movie. Even as the fourth instalment, John Wick 4 manages to keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire duration of the film.

It’s really no surprise that John Wick 4 found its way into the top Google Trends for 2023. The entire film franchise is highly entertaining and engaging, and Reeves consistently brings charm and a charismatic performance, making these films highly enjoyable even if you’re not a big fan of gunslinging assassin flicks.

5. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

Where to watch: Stream on Disney Plus | Rent or buy on Prime Video and Apple TV from AU$3.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%
Runtime: 192 minutes
Director: James Cameron
Age rating: M

A (very) long-awaited sequel to the 2009 blockbuster hit, Avatar: The Way of Water was James Cameron’s return to the world of Pandora and its native inhabitants the Na’vi. This time, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) must take their family out of the trees to the seas, as a familiar foe once again arrives on Pandora hunting the defector Sully, who has now fully become his Na’vi avatar.

Just like the forests, the oceans and beaches of Pandora are home to Na’vi who’ve adapted to live within the region, known as the Metkayina clan, connecting with the animals of the depths to live in harmony with nature. It takes time, but the newcomers slowly become accepted by the locals, and Sully, Neytiri and their children settle into life by the sea, though they know danger could appear at any moment.

It only took 13 years for a follow-up to the highest-grossing film of all time, and while Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t top the first instalments’ cash flow, it currently sits firmly in third spot, sandwiched between Avengers: End Game and Titanic. It can be a bit of a slog to get through for some people, going for over three hours, but if you enjoy colourful and visually stunning sci-fi adventures, it’s an entertaining watch and great follow-up to Avatar.

We’ve got a full review of Avatar: The Way of Water, if you don’t mind spoilers and want to know more before sitting down to watch it.

6. The Menu (2022)

Where to watch: Stream on Disney Plus | Rent or buy on Prime Video and Apple TV from AU$9.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Runtime: 107 minutes
Director: Mark Mylod
Age rating: MA 15+

Gourmet dining with a twist – The Menu is one thrilling watch that will keep you on your toes and wary of high-class restaurants. Couple Margot Mills (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler Ledford (Nicholas Hoult) embark on a culinary journey, along with a group of regular customers, served up by world-famous chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) on his very own private island.

With the audience experiencing the film as if they were actually being delivered each and every course cooked up by the celebrity chef and his team, things quickly take a dramatic turn when the guests realise they’ve been invited for something a little more sinister than just a good feed. Slowik has cooked up a plan to exact revenge on his critics and those who’ve done him wrong, though the unexpected Margot throws a spatula into the mix.

The Menu will have you drooling over delicious dishes while holding back laughs and gasps as the story unfolds, and you don’t need a refined palate to fully enjoy this tasty morsel of a movie.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

Where to watch: Stream on Disney Plus | Rent or buy on Prime Video or Apple TV from AU$5.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%
Runtime: 150 minutes
Director: James Gunn
Age rating: M

This MCU phase 5 movie takes us on a galactic adventure once again with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Led by Starlord (Chris Pratt), this ragtag team faces another big challenge after being attacked at their homebase by the powerful artificial being Adam Warlock (Will Poulter). Following the encounter, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is kidnapped and the remaining Guardians do all they can to rescue their furry loud-mouthed friend, including teaming up with a familiar face they never thought they’d see again.

Wrapping up the story for some of the long-time members, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 acts as a fantastic send-off for some of the space-bound superheroes. It’s heartfelt, packed with adventure that introduces a new wave of Marvel superheroes for MCU fans to get excited about.

If you’re curious about what critics thought of this flick, we rounded up a stack of online reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

8. Sound of Freedom (2023)

Where to watch: Rent or buy from Apple TV or Prime Video from AU$5.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%
Runtime: 131 minutes
Director: Alejandro Monteverde
Age rating: M

Based on the real-life actions of Tim Ballard, independent film Sound of Freedom depicts the former US government agent's efforts to rescue children from Colombian sex traffickers. Actor Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) steps into Ballard’s shoes during 2013, as he turns his focus to saving children while punishing those that exploit them, leading to the creation of Operation Underground Railroad, a US not-for-profit organisation focused on anti-sex trafficking.

Sound of Freedom has the largest disparity on this list between critics and audience scores when looking at the Rotten Tomato ratings, with the audience score hitting 99% compared to the critics 57%, and the film touches on some important but very dark subjects. It’s also important to note that the film has been surrounded by controversy, with Tim Ballard under investigation for alleged sexual assault and actors in the film having connections to QAnon, both of which likely played a part in increasing Sound of Freedom’s search through 2023.

9. Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

Where to watch: Rent or buy from Apple TV or Prime Video from AU$24.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Runtime: 206 minutes
Director: Martin Scorsese
Age rating: MA 15+

Leonardo DiCaprio returns to the big screen in Killers of the Flower Moon, a western crime drama directed by Martin Scorsese. Throwing the audience into the Osage Nation during the 1920s in Oklahoma, Killers of the Flower Moon depicts the real-life tragedy surrounding a series of murders that took place on the reservation.

Ernest Buckart (DiCaprio) joins his uncle, William King Hale (Robert De Niro), on a reservation ranch following the First World War, and develops a romance with Osage Nation member Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone), whom he soon marries.

Things don’t remain blissful for long – a series of murders take place at the command of Hale, and Buckhart finds himself involved while Mollie does everything she can to protect her family and community, even when she becomes extremely unwell.

A small glimpse into the horror faced by the US’s First Nations people during the early-20th century, Killers of the Flower Moon is a compelling story and another great film under Scorsese’s belt.

10. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)

Where to watch: Rent or buy on Apple TV and Prime Video from AU$4.99
Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Runtime: 163 minutes
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Age rating: M

Rounding out the top 10 search results from the Google Year in Search list is Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Besides being a mouthful of a title, the latest film in the Mission: Impossible series is one heck of an adventure, with Tom Cruise returning as agent Ethan Hunt for his biggest challenge yet… at least until part two rolls around in 2025.

While sticking to the stunt-filled formula the series is well known for, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One has Hunt taking on AI and cyber weapons, but he’s not alone – an ensemble cast filled with series regulars and newcomers join him on this international espionage adventure, including supporting roles from Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson, all of whom are slated to return in the sequel as well.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One really ticks the boxes for a great summer film – it’s got nonstop action, big death-defying stunts performed by Tom Cruise himself, and a compelling story that takes the audience to foreign and familiar places right around the globe, making every minute of its 163-minute runtime highly entertaining.

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Petra Player
Writer, TechRadar Australia

Petra is new to the industry, but has had a long-time love of tech, gaming and entertainment, which she now gets to indulge by writing for TechRadar. She’s also keen on sharing news about deals and discounts in the APAC region – with a background in archaeology, she’ll dig deep to find the best deals and thanks to her long history in retail, knows what makes a good bargain. She also is a bit of a keyboard hobbyist, having found enjoyment with mechanical keyboards during 2020’s lockdown, and has big plans to build a fully custom matching keyboard and PC in the near future.