Top 10 Movies of 2022

Top+10+Movies+of+2022

Leo Field, Correspondent

2022 was a really great year for movies, filled with some of the decade’s biggest blockbusters as well as some of its most creative and experimental films. From dramatic character studies to campy horror comedies to romantic coming-of-age stories, this past year seemed to have it all. I for one was able to watch a total of 27 new releases in the year 2022, many of which I enjoyed and many of which I did not. In this article, I’ll do my best to put together a list of the top 10 best movies that I saw this year and talk a little about why I enjoyed them.

Before I start, I want to clarify that I was not able to see every single movie that came out in 2022, so my list will only comprise the films that I saw. There were lots of movies that I wanted to see but didn’t get the chance to, like “Top Gun: Maverick”, “TÁR”, “All Quiet on the Western Front”, “The Northman”, and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, among others. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to watch them and some more 2022 releases in the coming year.

Finally, I want to stress that this list is based on my personal opinion and that you may enjoy some of these movies more than me, and that is okay. Now, without further ado, let’s get into my list.

 

  1. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (dir. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert)

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is by far the most creative movie of the year. It follows a Chinese-American immigrant mother whose mundane life comes to an abrupt end when she discovers the existence of the multiverse and that she must do whatever it takes to stop a powerful figure from destroying everything. First off, the visuals in the movie are absolutely stunning. Everything from the production design to the costumes to the cinematography utilizes colors in the best way possible. The acting is also outstanding, with standout performances from Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, both of whom just recently won Golden Globes for their performances. Finally, the diverse and culturally relevant story the movie tells about family and acceptance is very touching. With that said, I do think that the movie is a tad bit overhyped, as some of the emotional bits didn’t connect with me, and while this isn’t one of the absolute best of the year, it is definitely worth a watch.

  1. “The Banshees of Inisherin” (dir. Martin McDonagh)

“The Banshees of Inisherin” tells the story of a man whose best friend for years suddenly decides to stop talking to him entirely and abruptly ends their relationship. The two former best friends soon grow into enemies, complicating their relationship in a way that affects the whole island. The movie takes place off the coast of Ireland on the fictional island of Inisherin, and it really does a stellar job of immersing you in the location. The beautiful cinematography and camera work make you feel like you are in Ireland to the point where you can smell the salty air by the ocean and feel the wind. As impressive as the dedication to the setting is, the acting is even more impressive. Colin Farrell delivers an incredible performance as Pádraic, perfectly hitting comedic beats and dramatic, heart-wrenching moments. Farrell is supported by a cast who are all clearly giving it their all, including Kerry Condon, Brenden Gleeson, and Barry Keoghan, who played my favorite character. All in all, while not the most engaging action-packed watch, it is still an all-around beautiful film.

  1. “Barbarian” (dir. Zach Cregger)

Over the past couple of years, I have become a big fan of horror movies and I think “Barbarian” has easily become one of my favorites. Aside from being probably the scariest movie of the year, “Barbarian” is such a unique and interesting horror movie. The acting is all-around very good, but the highlight here is easily the story. This movie has at least three points where it completely changes and absolutely shocks you in the best way possible. The cinematography is also very great and helps create lots of tension, making this movie as scary as it is. Lastly, the ending is incredibly well-done and in a strange way wraps up the movie perfectly. But, the most important thing to do when it comes to watching this movie is to go in completely blind. Ignore all trailers and promos and watch this knowing as little as you can, and I guarantee you will have a great time.

  1. “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” (dir. Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” is probably the weirdest movie of the year. As an absurdist dramatic Spanish-language film, it tells the story of a Mexican journalist’s journey towards receiving an award in the United States, reuniting with family, critiquing capitalism and the news, dealing with grief, and much, much more. I don’t think I can stress how absurd this movie is. There are scenes where the protagonist, Silverio, is swimming in a subway car, flying across the desert, and conversing with the long-dead conquistador Hernán Cortés. The cinematography is stunning and coming from the director of “Birdman”, one of my all-time favorite movies, I expected nothing less. The themes that this film presents and the way in which it critiques the journalism industry, America, and so much more are very well-executed. Nevertheless, the runtime of about 2 hours and 40 minutes does begin to set in after a while, and I think this story could have been told in a shorter amount of time. Still, a great movie that I hope will get recognized during award season.

  1. “Nope” (dir. Jordan Peele)

“Nope” is such a unique and well-made movie, and so much of that is owed to its director Jordan Peele. As many know, Peele made the transition from a sketch comedy actor to a horror movie director with his 2017 masterpiece “Get Out”, and since then, Peele has continued to produce and direct quality content. “Nope” is Peele’s third feature film that tells the story of a brother and sister who own a horse ranch and try to capture evidence of a UFO. The acting in this movie is some of the best of the year, with Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer giving honestly some of the most underrated performances of the year. The cinematography is great as is the camera work but I think the sound design is a true highlight here. Finally, what I really love about Peele’s films is how they can be interpreted on so many levels. “Nope” can be enjoyed at a surface level as a well-acted, thrilling sci-fi horror movie, but there is more to it than just that. The UFO can be seen as a metaphor for society’s obsession with spectacle. All in all, “Nope” is a great movie that is able to be entertaining, thought-provoking, and complex all at once.

  1. “The Menu” (dir. Mark Mylod)

Ah, “The Menu”. In my review of this movie, I called it a modern masterpiece and I stand by that statement. “The Menu” is a brilliant combination of comedy, horror, and incredible acting that follows a couple as they visit a restaurant on a private island run by a villainous chef. The performances here are all just so good, particularly those of Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes. One thing that makes this movie so engaging is the fact that the majority of the movie takes place in one location, which keeps the audience’s eyes glued to the screen. All things considered, this movie is able to effectively critique foodie culture, keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole runtime, and make you laugh; a movie that can do all of those things deserves all of the praise in the world.

  1. “The Batman” (dir. Matt Reeves)

This movie is everything anyone could have asked for from a Batman movie. “The Batman” follows Bruce Wayne on the week of Halloween as he hunts down the Riddler, who is on a killing spree wreaking havoc across Gotham. As the superhero genre has become so saturated in recent years, many people including myself had lost hope that studios like DC and Marvel would ever put out anything truly great. Thankfully, “The Batman” proved everyone wrong. This interpretation of the character grounds him in a Gotham City that is dirty, dark, and real. Robert Pattinson’s rendition of the iconic caped crusader is incredibly well-acted and true to the character, as is Zoë Kravitz’s rendition of Selina Kyle. Jeffery Wright brings new life to the character of Jim Gordon and Paul Dano’s Riddler has quickly become one of the best comic book villains of all time. The score for this movie, composed by Michael Giacchino, is majestic and powerful, as is the cinematography. With that, I’ll urge you to look past the near-three hour runtime and go and watch “The Batman”.

  1. “Babylon” (dir. Damien Chazelle)

 

 

“Babylon” is epic. I mean that both literally and figuratively. It tells the story of Hollywood in the 1920s and ‘30s during the shift from silent movies to talkies, following a son of Mexican immigrants as he tries to make it in the movie industry. First off, I want to say that watching this in theaters was one of the best theater experiences of the year. This movie was definitely made to be seen on the biggest screen possible, so make sure you see it in theaters. Also, this movie is just so much fun. From crazed, drug-filled parties to a scene in which a character literally fights a rattlesnake, you will definitely have the time of your life watching this. And I have to acknowledge the music. Justin Hurwitz, who composed the score for both “Babylon” and “La La Land” simply never fails to amaze me and I am such a fan of everything that he and director Damien Chazelle have created together. In addition to the music, this film boasts some of the best performances of the year, particularly from newcomer Diego Calva, who I predict will be a big name in Hollywood in the next couple of years. While the ending to “Babylon” is controversial, to say the least, I challenge you to find anyone who did not have a good time with this wild ride of a movie.

  1. “The Whale” (dir. Darren Aronofsky)

“The Whale” is hard to watch. It follows an extremely overweight man named Charlie, played by Brendan Fraser, and his journey to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Ellie, played by Sadie Sink. The movie portrays the realities of obesity and the struggles of keeping a family together in such raw and painful ways. Fraser delivers what I consider to be by far the best performance of the year, and the supporting cast is also putting on some fantastic performances. Sink shows that she can hold her own against actors like Fraser and that she is so much more than just the girl from “Stranger Things”. Hong Chau and Ty Simpkins (who I just found out played the little boy in “Iron Man 3”) are also outstanding. The simplicity of the cinematography and the fact that the whole movie takes place in one location add to the already incredible story. The movie’s score is emotional and beautiful and the way it swelled up in the final scene nearly brought me to tears, which reminds me, this movie has such a perfect and emotional ending that ties the whole movie together. If you haven’t seen this yet, stop whatever you’re doing right now and go watch this disgustingly beautiful film.

  1. “Bones and All” (dir. Luca Guadagnino)

I’ll be the first to say that “Bones and All” is not for everyone. It’s a movie about two young lovers who travel across the Midwest in the ‘80s, and they also happen to be cannibals. This means that this movie is gory, disturbing, and definitely hard to watch. But at its core, “Bones and All” is a coming-of-age story and a love story that is so perfectly made and has so much to love that you can’t help but appreciate its beauty. The acting is absolutely spectacular. Taylor Russel is so real and down-to-Earth in her performance as Maren that you just fall in love with her. Timothée Chalamet gives one of, if not his best, performances as Lee, and Mark Rylance gives an absolutely terrifying performance as Sully. The score can only be defined as haunting, and the way it uses guitar plucks induces pure fear in the audience. The ending is so incredible and perfect that I don’t want to say anything else about it, so I’ll leave it at that. As someone who wasn’t the biggest fan of some of director Luca Guadagnino’s previous work, I really wasn’t expecting to connect with “Bones and All” as much as I did, but here we are. Everything about this movie is perfect to me: the way it looks, the way it sounds, the way it feels, the way the characters are so real, everything. This is my movie of the year.

 

So that brings this list to an end! Thank you so much for reading this and I hope I’ve given you some good recommendations. Hopefully, 2023 turns out to be an even better year for film. For now, I’ll be sure to keep reviewing new movies as they come out and sharing my thoughts.