By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published May 04, 2023 at 11:56 AM

Milwaukee movie fans, rejoice! The best two weeks of the calendar year are back, as the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival is back on a big screen near you April 20 through May 4. For ticket and pass info, click here – and we'll see you at the movies! 

It's the most wonderful time of the year – no, not you, Christmas, but the return of the Milwaukee Film Festival, hitting screens across the city now through May 4! 

Somehow we've already reached the final day of the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival. And you could waste your time being sad that it's over ... or you could just watch more movies! And luckily, I've got three srong ways to end your festival experience right here – from a intense family drama with cinematic flair to a documentary about documentaries and the perfect way to celebrate May The Fourth aka Star Wars Day. So let's say farewell to the fest in style with one final Three To See. (And for even more picks, click here.)

Day 15 picks

"A Disturbance in the Force"

It's Star Wars Day, and even the Milwaukee Film Festival is getting into the holiday spirit – the holiday special spirit, at that. As "Star Wars" became a cultural sensation, George Lucas and company created a Christmas special for television, a special that would become infamous amongst "Star Wars" fans casual and crazed as one of the worst things to happen to the franchise not named Jar-Jar. But how did this bizarre special come to life? Gather around as this giddily geeked-out doc teaches us about a Life Day miracle – or the exact opposite. 

"A Disturbance in the Force" will screen Thursday, May 4 at 7:15 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre.

"The Punishment"

Fun fact: The Milwaukee Film Festival doesn't actually end today! Thanks to the wonders of virtual access, you can still watch a hefty handful of the fest's selections throughout the weekend – including this international hit, about a father and mother who punish their son by leaving him on the side of the road for a bit ... only to come back and find him missing. A high-tension scenario told in remarkably cinematic fashion, all crafted in one intensity-building take, "The Punishment" is a reward for those looking for fascinating foreign film. 

"The Punishment" is available to screen virtually via Milwaukee Film's app.


Speaking of festival movies that you can watch at home this weekend thanks to bonus Milwaukee Film Festival action, check out "Subject." Obviously true crime docs and documentaries in general have taken over streaming services – but what's it like to give your story up to a filmmaker and to the world? Did they get your story right – or did they make your life even worse? This doc about docs interviews the subjects of several recent true story hits to see what happened to their lives and to take a human look into the ethics of documentary filmmaking. 

"Subject" is available to screen virtually via Milwaukee Film's app.

Day 14 picks

Day 13 picks

Day 12 picks

Day 11 picks

Day 10 picks

Day 9 picks

Day 8 picks

Day 7 picks

Day 6 picks

Day 5 picks

Day 4 picks

Day 3 picks

Day 2 picks

Day 1 picks

For more MFF must-sees, check out my 18 overall most-anticipated Milwaukee Film Festival selections – and for the whole 2023 slate, click here or visit Milwaukee Film's website, where you can also buy individual tickets and festival passes along with tips, tricks and additional info to make your two weeks of movie-gorging marvelous. 

And to further guide you on your glorious film gluttony, stay tuned to OnMilwaukee now through May 4 for daily movie picks, videos, reviews, help on finding nearby intermission eats and much more throughout the festival. With that, let's raise the curtains, dim the lights and get the projector rolling on the 2023 Milwaukee Film Festival!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.