Awards season is upon us! While many award shows this year have already come and gone, there are still many events to look forward to in the coming months. In preparation for all that awaits us, here is a ranking of the top movies of 2022.
Some honorable mentions include “Don’t Worry Darling” and “The Whale.” Both films were highly anticipated but fell flat due to some controversy. Drama surrounding “Don’t Worry Darling,” accompanied by beautiful cinematography but a disappointing payoff ending, led to the film being essentially blacklisted from this season's awards. Similarly, Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” faced backlash due to the choice of not casting an obese actor for the leading role, whose struggles with the disease are the driving forces of the film.
10. “Avatar: The Way of Water”
Starting in 10th place, “Avatar: The Way of Water'' is the long-anticipated sequel to the iconic 2009 film. While the setting and worldbuilding were absolutely stunning, the characters were less fleshed out than those of the original, causing the audience to be less invested. While the movie received good reviews overall, the decision to follow up the undisputed sensation of the original doomed the film’s perception from the beginning.
General opinions on “Elvis” are remarkably polarized. While Austin Butler did a stellar job of embodying the king of rock ‘n’ roll and the cinematography alludes to a divine fever dream, these traits aren’t quite enough to save the movie. Baz Luhrmann knows how to make a vision come to life, but he could have used some help from an editor to make his latest film less gimmicky. A good biopic is one that tells the subject's story through a specific lens instead of trying to cram 42 years of life into a movie with a reasonable run time.
8. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
In the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s untimely passing, the throne of Wakanda was left empty. Thankfully, Letitia Wright, his on-screen sister, gracefully stepped into the role and contributed warmth, humor and power to an already great movie. Angela Bassett was awarded a Golden Globe for her supporting role, and it could not have been more deserved. While the question still remains as to whether or not a sequel was necessary, the company of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” honored Boseman’s memory with a wonderful film.
7. “The Batman”
Yet another rendition of the classic DC superhero, “The Batman” is an absolutely shocking piece of noir cinema that no one saw coming. Robert Pattinson, whose credits range from the Twilight and Harry Potter series to more acclaimed films like “The Lighthouse” and “Tenet” defies all expectations and proved everyone wrong who said that no one could bring anything new to the Batman character. The atmosphere of the film brought Gotham to life in a gritty and eerie way that led to it being one of the most successful action films of the year.
6. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
While the ending of Rian Johnson’s latest film ended up being slightly predictable, “Glass Onion” was still everything a Knives Out mystery should be: side-splittingly funny and indescribably mind-boggling. The cast is full of popular stars that carry the story with ease and humor, including some unexpected cameos from people like Hugh Grant and Serena Williams. Overall, “Glass Onion” is an exciting glimpse into the future of the Knives Out series.
5. “Top Gun: Maverick”
“Top Gun” is a story of love, trust and adventure that dominated the box office in 1986. Then, over 30 years later, a sequel came out that did the exact same thing. “Top Gun: Maverick” pays tribute to the iconic moments of the first film, and then goes above and beyond what the original ever could have done. The actors operate real jet planes, which accentuates the larger-than-life feel that leaves audience members absolutely soaring as they leave the theater.
4. “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
In 2010, a stop-motion video series was released featuring a dryly funny and heartwarmingly kind shell. More specifically, a shell named Marcel who wears shoes. Last year, Marcel returned in a feature film that extends his antics into a nationwide search for his missing family. Jenny Slate depicts Marcel with the same energy that she did 12 years ago and inspired the overall vibe of this delightful movie.
3. “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
Not only was “Everything Everywhere All At Once” 2022’s top-reviewed movie on Letterboxd, but it has been sweeping every awards show of the year thus far. The sci-fi comedy is hilarious and mind-bending but isn’t without its dramatic moments that will bring tears of joy and warmth to your face. The cast is without a single weak link and you will likely leave the theater a different person.
2. “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Words cannot begin to describe the utter masterpiece of “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson give performances of a lifetime with their complicated and hilarious dynamic. The movie takes twists and turns that cannot be anticipated, but there is still a remarkable calm that settles over the audience by the time the credits roll. Not only is the movie stunning to look at, but it is also an insightful commentary on the extremes of friendships in middle age.
1. “The Fabelmans”
Out of every movie released this year, nothing is quite like “The Fabelmans.” The cast, which features popular stars like Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, does an absolutely incredible job of sharing the semi-autobiographical story of director Stephen Spielberg’s childhood. True to form, Spielberg does not disappoint in his role as the film’s director, which has already been affirmed by a Golden Globes win. “The Fabelmans” is a beautiful depiction of life in the '60s, and perfectly demonstrates the sanctified qualities of the arts.