Top 10 2023 Nollywood Movies

Phew! 2023 – one of the fastest years in existence or most eventful perhaps – has almost come to an end. And through the twists, turns, thrills and spills of the year, Nollywood did not fail to provide us with quality movies starring our favorite personalities. Below are arguably the top ten Nigerian movies of 2023 in no order:


JagunJagun is a captivating Yoruba epic film that takes you on a thrilling journey into the world of power and revenge. This movie is produced by Femi Adebayo Salami and Euphoria360 Media, and directed by Adebayo Tijani and Tope Adebayo Salami. The plot revolves around a warlord, Ogundiji (Femi Adebayo), who feels threatened by the potential of a young warrior, Gbotija (Lateef Adedimeji), whose main aim is to avenge the death of his father. The film’s rich cultural representation, coupled with the stellar performances of the cast, makes it a must-watch for lovers of epic dramas. It is also a brilliant representation of the Yoruba culture. The film was splendidly acted with a staggering number of funny scenes and it got many video editors meme-worthy content. The supporting cast, including Bukunmi Oluwashina and Fathia Williams, also delivered great performances. The film was aided well by its costuming, soundtrack, and cinematography. However, the pacing of the plot wasn’t always clean, and the visual effects could have used more work, but this doesn’t stop it from easily being among the top 10 Nollywood movies this year.


Orisa is a Yoruba film that stands out with its oustanding cast and a solid moral lesson on “Pride goeth before fall”.  Directed by Odunlade Adekola, the film featured a star-studded cast including Odunlade Adekola, Femi Adebayo, Shaffy Bello, Jide Kosoko, Dele Odule, Muyiwa Ademola, and Eniola Ajao. The plot revolves around a king, Adefolarin (Odunlade Adekola), who was punished with insanity by witches for his pride. The kingdom was thrown into chaos, and a long-term nemesis, Komokomo (Femi Adebayo), seized the opportunity to infiltrate the kingdom and abduct villagers. Despite its shortcomings, Orisa offers a rich cultural experience that is sure to captivate viewers and it stands out with its teaching of a mother’s love. The film takes viewers on an epic journey into a world that offers a solid moral lesson. However, this journey is cut short as it does not provide enough dramatic events to intrigue viewers. Despite these shortcomings, Orisa is saved by the costumes, production designs, acting performances, and dialogues that immerse viewers in a rich cultural experience.


Shanty Town is a gritty Nigerian drama series that tells the tale of three hustlers from Lagos who team up to take on the deadliest and most brutal crime syndicate in the region. It also revolves around prostitutes trying to get out of the local kingpin’s debt. The series starred Chidi Mokeme, Ini Edo, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Sola Sobowale, Nancy Isime, Shaffy Bello, Ali Nuhu and a host of others. The plot essentially spans a ruthless leader named Scar (Chidi Mokeme) who handled a lot of dirty business and was popularly regarded as the King of Shanty Town. Despite its bleakness, the series offers a realistic portrayal of life in the underbelly of the city, making it a must-watch for those who appreciate hard-hitting dramas. The series is relentlessly bleak, with lots of violence. Despite the cliche plot, Chidi Mokeme delivers an extraordinary performance. The series lacks a sense of originality and seems like a good example of what happens when the stories of Oloture, King of Boys, and Blood Sisters are merged into one. However, the excellent cinematography showing the expertise that went into filming each scene is commendable.

In conclusion, all three films offer unique perspectives on Nigerian culture and society. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but they all contribute to the rich tapestry of Nollywood cinema. Whether you’re a fan of epic dramas, moral tales, or gritty crime thrillers, there’s something for everyone in these films.


The Trade is a brilliantly gripping crime drama film based on true events. It was released on the 13th of January, 2023 and has a run-time of about 2 hours and 8 mins. This top-10-worthy movie is written, directed and produced by talented screenwriter Jade Osiberu and is co-produced by David Musa. It is about a notoriously cunning kidnapper, Eric, who ravaged the southern part of Nigeria for over a decade. Eric is played by Blossom Chukwujekwu who, I must say, did a remarkable job.

The Trade pays close attention to details and the cast delivers wonderful performances. The cinematography is just top notch. The movie shows a realistic part of crime and crime solving in Nigeria. It also portrays Eric’s impressive smartness, influence and power. The moral lessons cited are mostly greed and betrayal. Although I think the ending could have been better…or ‘smarter’, I personally enjoyed this movie and I recommend you try it out.


Here love lies is not the conventional love movie. It is a mystery/thriller released on the 3rd of March, 2023 and has a run-time of about 2 hours and 11 mins. It is written, directed and produced by Tope Oshin – who is also a cast – and co-written by Ayoade Adeyanju.

It is about a preacher’s daughter turned single mother and travel blogger, Amanda, who was ousted out of her family house as a teenager after falling pregnant and later growing up to be an independent woman. She finds more than romance when she takes a chance to meet her social media suitor in New York City.

The movie tries to let us understand where true love truly lies. There are also key lessons to be learnt but mentioning them here could spoil the movie. You should try it if you’re in for a brilliant plot twist or you just want to enjoy the beautiful cinematography this movie has to offer.


Dark October is a melodrama based on the true story of four students, the Aluu 4, who were falsely accused of theft, subjected to jungle justice and killed in the Aluu area of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on the 5th of October 2012. It was released on the 6th of February, 2023 and has a run-time of about 1 hour and 49 minutes. It is directed by Toka McBaror.

This movie shows the events that led to the killings of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt and what happens after. Though the movie production could have been better executed, Dark October holds a very important message for every Nigerian about jungle justice. The cinematography and special effects of the movie are impressive.


Greed, corruption, the power of poor decisions and, most importantly, chaos (the translation of the Yoruba word Ijogbon) are portrayed in this movie. It centers around four children whose quest for adventure in the sleepy town of Oyo-Oke leads to them finding a pouch of uncut diamonds. This leads to a very tumultuous chain of events. Kunle Afolayan, a producer well known for his creativity and exceptional work (including masterpieces such as October 1st, Citation, Swallow and Aníkúlápó), did not fail to meet the expectations of his highly anticipated work. Some of the cast involved are Fawaz Aina, Ruby Akubueze, Sam Dede, Femi Adebayo, Gabriel Afolayan, Adunni Ade, and others. The movie has great cinematography and an intriguing story line not forgetting the frequent scenes with comedic relief and the thrill and tension of each fight, chase and tease. The movie also teaches about the power of youthful recklessness and the effects of open communication and guidance between parents and their kids. It’s definitely a must-watch!


It’s no doubt that Gangs of Lagos is worthy of a top-10 feature. It captures a vivid picture of the reality of gang crime and the desperation and struggle of those caught up in it in the dark world of Lagos. It also reminds us of the youthful indoctrination into gangs, deferred personal ambitions, and unwilling bloodshed in Isale-Eko. Jade Osiberu, the co-director and producer of this masterpiece of the movie, has also given us other great works of art from Isoken to Sugar Rush and down to Brotherhood. The film premiered on the 7th of April, 2023 with the cast of Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Chike-Ezekpeazu Osebuka, Bimbo Ademoye, and others. With more than exceptional cinematography, the raw portrayal of the streets of Isale-Eko and those in it and a captivating storyline, the movie deserves a five-star rating.

But I must give a disclaimer, it’s so thrilling and action filled that you might almost jump off your seat with excitement. Gangs of Lagos is arguably one of the best Nollywood movies so far!


Walking in majestically to take its place amidst the top ten Nigerian movies is no other than the crime thriller movie, The Black Book. The film which is directed by Editi Effiong was released to the Netflix platform on the 22nd of September, 2023. The movie went as far as claiming the most-watched spot on the Netflix platform in South Korea and topped movie charts across the globe. The movie which was budgeted at $1 million, making it one of the most expensive Nigerian movies ever made, starred top-notch Nigerian actors such as Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ade Laoye, Alex Usifo, Olumide Owuro, Bimbo Manuel, Nobert Young and a host of others.

The Black Book which was set in Lagos and Kaduna opens up its plot with the kidnap and subsequent murder of the husband and infant of the Director General of Nigeria Energy and Oil Company, Professor Craig, which emanates from her anti-corruption crusades. To cover the tracks of the “bad guys,” an innocent young man, Damilola Edima, is used as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of jungle justice. The father of the innocent young man, Paul Edima (RMD), an assassin-turned-deacon goes on a revenge mission to bring down the cartel involved in the murder of his son. In his quest for vengeance, he must find the black book which is capable of not only bringing down the cartel but also answering many unanswered questions and bringing many powerful people to book.

The movie paints a perfect picture of Nigeria’s complex past and troubled present. The movie strikes a chord with the (Nigerian) audience by giving a perfect illustration of the injustice, corruption, abuse of power, and police brutality that goes on in the society. The movie did a great job of portraying how corruption, which has been a thorn in the flesh of Nigeria for years, always raises its ugly head to fight back.

From the well-thought-out narrative to the top-notch acting to the excellent cinematography, The Black Book is a must-watch movie.


Love sparks when a young guy from a wealthy family (Adil) crosses paths with a determined independent young lady (Adina). As time passes, their budding love is threatened by Adina’s fears and secrets. The movie, which is directed by Biodun Stephen, garnered widespread reception. This isn’t far-fetched from the fact that the brilliant director made a genius move by featuring the two lovebirds star actors from the hit movie, Breaded Love, which he once directed. Although the movie had some flaws, it was still able to win the hearts of many. Following its release on 28 June 2023, the movie reached the highest-grossing Nollywood movie, grossing over 20 million Naira in less than a week of release.

Eninlaloluwa Popoola, Loveth Ayegboyin, Melody Olajide, and Ololade Ojeniyi.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *