Best Movie 2022 .This has not been your typical, routine, or common-or-garden year for movies. There are still a few big movies to be seen, but the slate is a bit (or a lot more) thinned than usual. Release dates have also changed, with more than one major release moving to the safer environs of 2023. Even with the Covid’s lingering impact, it has been a crowd-pleasing and sometimes electrifying six months. There’s much to be proud of, from awards like Parallel Mothers or Licorice Pizza to indie masterpieces like Aftersun and British chef thriller Boiling point, to popcorn perfection like RRR, Top Gun: Maverick and many others. Here are our top picks for the year.
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Best Movie 2022 Rated From 35 To 1
35. EMILY THE CRIMINAL
Best Movie 2022. Emily lives in Los Angeles and is deeply in debt. She struggles to pay off her student loans, largely because a felony conviction prevents her from obtaining a well-paying job. Consequently, she delivers food as an “independent contractor” for a catering company. A co-worker connects Emily to a “dummy shopper” service that promises to make her $200 in one hour. The service is revealed to be a credit card fraud ring, and Emily meets Youcef, one of its organizers, who instructs her to purchase a flat-screen TV using a fake card and ID.
34. THE SEA BEAST
Best Movie 2022. For hundreds of years, sea beasts have surfaced to wreak havoc against mankind. In response, sailors venture outward on their ships to hunt the beasts across the ocean, the most famous of these being the crew of the Inevitable; led by the legendary Captain Crow, his first mate Sarah Sharpe, and his adopted son Jacob Holland. They are financially backed by the King and Queen of The Crown, who have established a distinguished society dubbed Three Bridges. After being nearly killed during a hunt, Crow tells Jacob that he will make him captain once they kill a female beast known as the Red Bluster that took his eye.
33. THE JUSTICE OF BUNNY KING
Best Movie 2022. Bunny King is a mother of two, a rough cut diamond with a sketchy past. While battling the system to reunite with her children, a confrontation leads her to take her niece Tonyah under her wing. With the world against her and Tonyah, Bunny’s battle has just begun.
32. Turning red
Best Movie 2022. It was awkward that no Pixar film had ever been directed solo by a woman filmmaker, until Domee Shi, a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker, created this adorable-as-buttons creature movie about a 13 year-old girl who transforms into a red panda when she feels overwhelmed. The film is based on her childhood, but not the panda parts. It also includes the real growing pains of adolescence. It’s a pity that the movie went straight to Disney+. The surprisingly Godzilla-esque finale would have been spectacular on the big screen.
Best Movie 2022. Bolivian farmers are among the most affected by climate change. The threat of drought is a real danger. In photographer-turned-filmmaker Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s captivating film, a married pair of llama farmers (assuredly played by non-professionals) face an uncertain future as their community, herd and way of life perish. This is the best widescreen experience of the year.
30. Bones and all
Best Movie 2022. This sensitive adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’s coming-of age novel, Badlands depicts two outsiders trying to navigate the edges of a closed society. They also happen to eat human flesh. No biggie. It’s a far cry from director Luca Guadagnino’s sun-kissed . But there’s a lot of connective tissue in the deeper exploration of young love, and the tentative connections between sensitive souls. Taylor Russell’s turn is also worth a look.
29. Fire of Love
Best Movie 2022. This ethereal, inspiring doc follows Katia Krafft and Maurice Krafft, two volcanologists. They travel to the ends of the Earth and witness their passion for the molten geological wonders, and even more, for each other. Miranda July, an indie star and Sundance winner at the start of the year, narrates the story. It feels like a piece of non-fiction filmmaking that will last the test of time. It is a stunning, fiery adventure that blockbuster films can only imagine – with not a single drop of CGI.
Best Movie 2022. SS Rajamouli, Telugu director, is a top choice for our 50 most influential filmmakers. His OTT epics are simply amazing. This year’s RRR, which is the third-highest-grossing Indian movie, may be the most entertaining. The ‘Rs” stand for “rise, roar, and revolt”, themes that are played out in a Raj-era taleline about British colonialism, an abducted child, and all the crazy fight scenes, razzed up dance routines and exploding trains. It’s the ideal gateway drug to Telugu action film.
Best Movie 2022. This moo-tion picture, aside from being a great pun-lovers’ pick, is also a bold doc by British indie director Andrea Arnold ( American honey) set entirely among a group of dairy cows. It’s a 90-minute-long video with no voiceover or explanations and a world of manure and moos. It’s also a moving, cycle-of-life look at the life of a cow. Although it doesn’t try to steal your heart, it manages to do so.
26. Boiling Point
Best Movie 2022. Stephen Graham proves that he is capable of doing almost anything. He fuels this fantastic one-take drama with a skittish, sweaty energy, as a chef at the edge in a bustling London restaurant, and while shucking oysters like an expert. It’s a nightmare-fuel advertisement for the hospitality industry. It’s an amazing experience that leaves everyone who saw it feeling like they are in a sink after a meal.
25. Bergman Island
Best Movie 2022. It takes courage to go to the home of a true cinema titan and make a movie about his life and work. But Mia Hansen Love’s sunny relationship story on Ingmar Bergman’s Faro island pulls it off with grace. Vicky Krieps plays Tim Roth, while Tim Roth plays two writers whose relationship is seemingly in peril as they play gently in their supposed creative paradise. Sharp observations about women’s creativity and relationships are made here. There is also a meta twist that will keep you interested.
24. Jackass Forever
Best Movie 2022. A touching film is one that focuses on friendship, nostalgia and growing older. It doesn’t often feature a naked man hanging-gliding into an acacia tree. This is the unexpectedly wonderful sixth film from Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O. It’s a movie that mixes the absurdly ridiculous with the gentle profound while also introducing a new generation to the Port-A–Potty. Mind you, it still hurts to just watch it.
Best Movie 2022. We didn’t see this movie, which has a cloaking device as its core, coming. It was fitting that we didn’t see it coming. The trailer seemed enough to bring back memories, but what a surprise to find how much new life Dan Trachtenberg managed to give the film amid all the inventive and gory offings. It’s a great movie, but it doesn’t belong on a direct-to-Hulu release. However, it can be easily rewatched. Part-Sioux actress Amber Midthunder provides the action hero, and makes that space mandibled beast actually scary again. We’ll keep it on our favorites list for many years.
22. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
Best Movie 2022. Ryusuke Hamaguchi made it to the West last year with his Oscar-nominated Drive My Car. Although it received less attention, his quick follow-up, a triptych containing loosely connected relationships tales, was just as well worth the clamour. The beguiling trio, which consists of three 30-minute-long vignettes, depicts three women with different perspectives. Each woman is afflicted by deeper heartache and confusion which leads them in dangerous emotional directions. They make for an enticing slice of slow cinema.
Best Movie 2022. It looked a bit hammy in trailers, but Baz Lurmann’s tribute to King is a hip-shaking, hypnotic experience. It can be a bit excessive at times. Yup. Is it too much to take in over two and a half hours of maximalist visuals? Sure. Is Colonel Parker’s waxy, fat-suited Tom Hanks in danger of melting if he comes into contact with the closest bright light? This is also true. But Elvis, despite its flaws is an irresistible evening at the pictures: A more-is-more collage music, history, and Presley pilgrimage, that’s lit by the amazing Austin Butler.
20. A Hero
Best Movie 2022. Asghar Farhadi, a kind of Iranian Ken Loach is an expert at weaving morality tales into a larger social context. Another probing look at life within a hierarchical and judgmental society is this Cannes hit. Ramin, the protagonist, is released from prison for bankruptcy and finds redemption in 17 gold coins that his girlfriend found. Is he doing the right thing, or maximizing the situation to make financial or social capital. A Hero‘s genius lies in Farhadi’s ability to transform this basic moral dilemma into a Gordian knot of nightmares that exposes a dysfunctional social order as it really is.
Best Movie 2022. Mamoru Hosoda’s stunning anime skew on “Beauty and the Beast” sees cyber dragons, high school students who are grieving and ‘It’ girls collide. The music is banging, the visuals stunning, and the ideas about life as a digital native, and the oldies who forlornly attempt to help Gen Zers navigate them, are richly conceived. Since being fired from Howl’s Moving Castle, the Japanese animation master has made great strides.
Best Movie 2022. In a touching biopic about Siegfried Sassoon, the great War poet gets the Terence Davies treatment. It’s a film that is both sad and funny. Peter Capaldi portrays the gay writer in his later, more strained years. But it is Jack Lowton, the younger version who really grabs the attention, as he struggles to find himself among the bustling social scenes of London’s postwar social scene. Sassoon, haughtily stating that his poetry has ‘gone from the sublime to meticulous’ is an example of the sharp writing. Benediction further proves that Davies’ filmmaking is still sublime.
17. The Woman King
Best Movie 2022. The Woman King, a historic action drama about Black women is both entertaining and culturally significant. It’s great fun to watch Viola Davis and her Amazonian warriors fight the bad guys in 1800s Africa. And it’s also moving to realize how revolutionary and empowering this is. It’s already a huge hit in America and is proving that Black female stories are able to win big at the box office. This emotional epic is in the spirit of Gladiator and Braveheart.
16. Decision to Leave
Best Movie 2022. This Park Chanwook movie shows the cerebral side of the Korean filmmaker. Forget about the hammer smashes, octopus drinking, and other slapstick humor of Oldboy. This thriller is set in Busan and features a detective and young widow engaged in a complicated dance that involves a murder investigation, a probe and lots of unrestrained desire. It’s a Hollywood erotic thriller, but with a more chill atmosphere and a much more complex plot.
Best Movie 2022. While we were all learning sourdough skills, Jordan Peele used the pandemic to fuse westerns, sci-fi and horror into a new type of monster movie. With no disrespect for any of our baking efforts, the result was even more impressive: An unnerving, unsettling, and often funny third Peele movie, lit up by Keke’s amazing performance, a terrifying score, and frightening sound design. It is easy to forget that the director is the savour for horror. One tweeter found out. Nope has its flaws. It’s a blockbuster, but it’s not afraid to break with the norm. This movie earned a spot in the midnight movie list.
14. All Quiet On the Western Front
Have you seen 1917? Prepare for 1918. Netflix’s sometimes awe-striking German language reimaginings of Erich Maria Remarque’s antiwar novel takes place during the final days of the Great War. This vision of conflict is quite violent, with a lot of screaming shells and rumbling tanks, as well as the rattling of flying bullets. Felix Kammerer, a young German conscript and talented newcomer, is trying to survive in the middle. It will leave you confused.
13. It the road
It has been a bittersweet year for Panah Panahi, Iranian filmmaker. His father, the legendary auteur Jafar ( The White Balloon), was sentenced by the country’s oppressive regime to six years. But it also marks the year that his debut film, a charming but quiet tumultuous family drama, made on the dusty roads of Iran, went public. It’s a great debut, filled with humor and social commentary about contemporary life in Iran. Rayan Sarlak, six years old, is an excellent actor as the young rascally child in his SUV. Little Miss Sunshine is a common comparison, but Hit The Road‘s destination will be more memorable.
12. Charles and Brian
This British comedy is the surprise package of the year. It’s hilariously charming, funny, and touching. It’s a strangely-shaped package with Charles Petrescu (the robot) being constructed from a head of an expressionless mannequin, which was placed on top an old washing machine. But through a much-harder-than-it-looks feat of physical comedy, off-beat dialogue and pure heart, his – ‘its’ doesn’t feel right – bond with lonely inventor Brian Gittins (David Earl) sparks into a magical bromance that delves deeply into what is it to be human – and half-washing machine.
11. Triangle of Sadness
It’s not always subtle – no film with a six minute barf-athon in the middle is ever subtle – but that doesn’t mean Ruben Ostlund’s Palme d’Or-winning comedy, which channels the spirit Swift and Golding’s, isn’t sophisticated. Slowly, the Swede saws at the thrones of entrenched power structures, fashion, money and class, until they fall to the ground in the brilliantly executed chaos that is the third act. Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean and the late Charlbi are great as the model/influencer pair at the center of the storm. But Filipina actor Dolly De Leon steals it as the ‘overseas worker’ who executes Triangle of Sadnesss memorable coup.
10. Everything Everywhere All at Once
There is a tiny, but passionate group that holds Swiss Army Man as an unheralded masterpiece. This high-concept, multiversal scifi film is the first time that the Daniels have shown us what they could do. Michelle Yeoh, a laundromat owner who is going through marital strife, which is basically a Mike Leigh-like character, launches All at Once and takes you on an exhilarating journey through time and space.
While some movie remakes seem unnecessary (as in any Hollywood remake of a Scandi thriller), others make complete sense. This sublime interpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 masterpiece Ikiru sees Bill Nighy’s terminally-ill civil servant fight against the darkness. With some assistance from Sexual Education‘s Aimee Wood, his life-positive underling, it’s a stunning reimagining. Nighy is at his best, and he delivers a stunning performance that should in a fair universe, win him an Oscar. Also, props to Oliver Hermanus (South African director), who is able to grasp the English language with an instinctive grasp, and Kazuo Ishiguro (screenwriter), who delivers a touching, deeply humane script that rivals his work on “Remains of the Day”.
Audrey Diwan’s dramatic, tumultuous drama, which was released in the year that Roe v Wade was up for review by the US Supreme Court, shows the reality of illegal abortions. It is not for the faint-hearted. Although it depicts this grim world more vividly than Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake, it’s still a riveting story about a student pregnant who faces prison in 1960s France. Anamaria Vartolomei plays a gritty heroine.
7. The Worst Person In the Planet
Renate Reinsve, a Norwegian actress, is the heart and soul this moving and creative account of a millennial’s life over many years in Oslo. Very much not the worst person in the world, her medical student-turned-writer is a perfect avatar for the uncertainties and confusions of young adulthood: a whole mess of conflicting desires, moments of directionless and emotional rawness that feels endlessly relatable. Her show-stopping run through a city frozen in place is perhaps the best movie moment of the year.
6. The Banshees Of Inisherin
In Bruges has been a comedy classic for decades, so it’s no surprise that the reunion of Colin Farrell with Brendan Gleeson is a tempting prospect for movie lovers. Martin McDonagh will be directing the film. This anti-buddy movie is fizzingly funny, and it lives up to all expectations. Instead of a smug hitman and his long-suffering friend, they play two old friends on an Irish island. Their friendship is a huge success. It is infused with the trademark dark humor of its director, and carries at its core a poignant political allegory about The Troubles.
5. Parallel Mothers
Pedro Almodovar takes a serious look at Spain’s Civil War trauma. However, he doesn’t lose his light touch or delight in giddying drama. Penelope Cruz shines brightly in this film, playing a mother who is mistakenly identified in the maternity unit. This was a stellar performance, even by her lofty standards. She would have won her second Oscar in a fair world.
Best Movie 2022. Charlotte Wells, a Scottish filmmaker, was a big talent with this drama about Paul Mescal (a divorcing dad) and Francesca Corio (a young girl). The film is set in sunny Spain and depicts Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio navigating the highs & lows of a memorable Turkish seaside vacation. Wells uses flashback to show how long-forgotten memories can be buried deep in your bones. As another classic coming-of-age book, The Get-Between once said, the past is a foreign land. Aftersun was an amazing passport that took us there, and left us more grateful, even if we were teary-eyed, for the experience.
3. The Northman
Best Movie 2022 .”A widescreen rallying cry to cinema in the age streaming” Timeout‘s admittedly quite breathless assessment of Robert Eggers’ blood-soaked Viking epic that landed in (smashed? Ransacked?) Cinemas in April. This sentiment is not lost on us, as The Northman serves as a reminder that in this age of streaming, the best place to see the most grandiose and bold cinematic visions is on the largest screen possible – even if you don’t live in an IMAX.
2. Maverick: Top Gun
Best Movie 2022 .Who saw this almost flawless blockbuster coming, everyone? Some people did, but this long-in-the making Top Gun sequel was originally due two years ago. However, that forced delay does not detract from the most thrilling widescreen thrill ride of the entire year. Tom Cruise’s pilot is an ace and provides heart, soul, and some fighter jet maneuvers that defy all laws of physics. The book is binned in this edition, literally and early, to make the so-called Legacy sequel into something far more than hollow Hollywood cash-ins.
1. Licorice Pizza
Best Movie 2022 .This ’70s nostalgia tour to San Fernando Valley by Paul Thomas Anderson was his most sunny film. It tells the story of a confident teenager who tries to win the love of a wandering twentysomething. Somehow that teenage-gaze premise never comes over remotely Porky’s, helped by two breakout lead performances from Cooper ‘son of Philip Seymour’ Hoffman and Alana Haim, some A-list turns (Bradley Cooper as Hollywood producer-stroke-total-maniac Jon Peters), and PTA’s usual godlike touch behind the camera.