The Best Films of 2022
From indie films to big blockbuster hits, there were a lot of reasons to go to the local movie theater this year. Not only was 2022 a year that produced a lot of films, it also produced a lot of good films, and that's what we're here to talk about today. So without further adieu here are the best films of 2022. Instead of ranking them, each project has been given a numerical rating out of ten.
Turning Red dir. Domee Shi (March 11th, 2022) 7/10
In my opinion, few films have been able to capture the spirit of girlhood quite like Domee Shi's Turning Red. The film stands as the first female directed feature film in Pixar's catalogue, and you can tell just how much love and effort went into its conception. It's a heartfelt and whimsical take on growing up and discovering yourself. Frankly, I think it deserved a lot more attention this year.
Bullet Train dir. David Leitch (August 5th, 2022) 7.5/10
Despite boasting a hefty budget and a star-studded cast, Bullet Train did not do nearly as well at the box office as hoped. However, upon arriving to Netflix, it quickly became the #1 streaming film in the country. Classic film snobs might turn their nose up at this futuristic action film but Bullet Train has a surprising amount of style, charm, and genuine laughs. Its neon aesthetic will remind one of a Nicolas Winding Refn film with more humor. Definitely worth checking out the next time you're browsing Netflix.
Men dir. Alex Garland (May 20th, 2022) 7.5/10
Men is the third major film by English director, Alex Garland, this time trying his hand at folk horror. Men was probably one of the most polarizing films of the year, making pennies at the box office and receiving mixed reviews from critics, but personally I thought it was one of the most uniquely enjoyable films this year. It's horror with an important message, and the way most of the cast is played by the same actor is as unsettling as it is intriguing.
Bodies Bodies Bodies dir. Halina Reijn (August 6th, 2022) 7.5/10
Hands down one of the funniest films of the year. A24's Bodies Bodies Bodies is a raucous celebration of youth and bad decision making while also managing to be a compelling murder mystery. The cast is absolutely stellar with key players like Rachel Sennott, Maria Bakalova, and Lee Pace. Bodies Bodies Bodies truly is a rollercoaster of a film both in terms of unpredictability and pure fun.
Top Gun: Maverick dir. Joseph Kosinski (May 27th, 2022) 7.5/10
When you're making a follow-up to one of the most beloved movies of the 80's, expectations are going to be high, but it's safe to say that Joseph Kosinski and company blew audiences away this year. Top Gun: Maverick ended up grossing nearly $1.5 billion dollars in ticket sales this year and it wasn't just because of nostalgia. Maverick is a genuinely well-written, great time at the movies. Needless to say, I think it did justice to the original.
Barbarian dir. Zach Cregger (September 9th, 2022) 7.5/10
Written and directed by Zach Cregger of the former comedy group The Whitest Kids U' Know, Barbarian was one of the year's most surprising success stories. A comedian turned horror director might remind you a lot of Jordan Peele but I can assure you Barbarian is 100% original, handmade terror, with nauseating gore and incredible performances. Especially from Georgina Campbell and Justin Long. Barbarian serves as a reminder to not count horror out of awards season.
Avatar: The Way of the Water dir. James Cameron (December 16th, 2022) 8/10
Arguably the most highly anticipated film of the year, Avatar 2 has already grossed over $1.4 billion dollars since its release less than a month ago, and for good reason. With a budget of nearly half a billion dollars, it is one of the most expensive films ever made and has been in production since 2017. Not only does the film offer stunning visuals, but also an important story about the affects of imperialism and the destruction of the environment. It's a movie that simply has to be seen to be believed.
Nope dir. Jordan Peele (July 22nd. 2022). 8/10
Yet another great film from Jordan Peele, who is gradually cementing his spot as one of the most interesting directors in Hollywood. Nope is a horror film with a surprising central message that will leave audiences thinking long after they leave the theater. It also features exceptional performances by Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya. I think it's safe to say that Nope was the movie of the summer.
The Fabelmans dir. Steven Spielberg (November 11th, 2022) 8/10
The Fabelmans serves as a semi-autobiography for one of the greatest living directors, Steven Spielberg. The film delivers a touching story about the divide between family and passion, and how those sometimes do not align. In addition to amazing visuals and performances, The Fabelmans also includes a striking message about anti-semitism and a surprise cameo from none other than David Lynch!
Bones and All dir. Luca Guadagnino (November 18th, 2022) 8/10
Bones and All is not your average teen romance. It's a Bonnie and Clyde style road trip adventure featuring two young cannibals and their struggle to satisfy their cravings. Made by famous Italian director, Luca Guadagnino, Bones and All is exquisitely shot and acted, with a story that will surprise you at every turn. It's a shame this ended up being one of the year's biggest failures at the box office.
The Batman dir. Matt Reeves (March 4th, 2022) 8/10
Easily one of the year's most anticipated films, for weeks it seemed like The Batman was all anyone was talking about, and for good reason. You can tell just how much of a comic book nerd Matt Reeves is from this movie. Robert Pattinson surprisingly makes a really good Bruce Wayne and the unorthodox Riddler played by Paul Dana made the film so much more interesting. Overall, this felt like the dawning of a new era for DC and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we'll all be eagerly waiting for the follow-up.
Aftersun dir. Charlotte Wells (October 21st, 2022) 8.5/10
A remarkable feature debut from Scottish director, Charlotte Wells. Aftersun is the kind of movie where the genius is revealed the more you ponder it. Actors, Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio are able to convey a heartfelt story of youthful innocence and the struggles of adulthood. Aftersun is a humble film that every viewer will be able to see themselves in, just remember to bring a box of tissues.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery dir. Rian Johnson (November 23rd, 2022) 8.5/10
Rian Johnson's Glass Onion is a charming, clever, and unbelievably entertaining film featuring one of the year's most star-studded ensembles. There isn't a single weak performance and the movie is filled with so many genuine laughs throughout. Glass Onion not just your average murder mystery, with so many twists and turns, it will leave you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. It's not a stretch to call it an improvement from the original.
The Whale dir. Darren Aronofsky (December 9th, 2022) 9/10
The Whale is one of the most disturbing films I have seen in a long time, meaning that Aronofsky and company got their message across. I seldom am left speechless in movie theaters, but before the credits even began rolling, Brendan Fraser's performance had brought me to tears. Despite the sheer misery of it all, The Whale is probably the first Aronofsky film to portray a sense of hope among the cynicism, making it easily one of the most compelling movies of the year.
Pinocchio dir. Guillermo del Toro (November 9th, 2022) 9/10
A new twist on a classic tale that has del Toro's name written all over it. del Toro's Pinocchio is a modern take on the classic folk tale that places the titular character in fascist Italy, breathing new life into a story that's been around for over a century. The animation is beautiful and the changes made to the story make it feel like a fresh, new picture. It's the perfect watch for family movie night.
Tár dir. Todd Field (October 6th, 2022) 9/10
Tár boasts easily some of the best writing and direction of the year, but all other aspects pale in comparison to the lead performance by Cate Blanchett, who is already being predicted to win her third Oscar because of it. Icelandic composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir also delivers one of the best scores of her career with other classic pieces being featured as well. Unfortunately, Tár underperformed at the box office this year, but it is absolutely worth a watch when you have the chance.
Triangle of Sadness dir. Ruben Östlund (May 21st, 2022) 9/10
Ruben Östlund's Triangle of Sadness was the recipient of the most prestigious award in all of film, the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and for good reason. The film explores interesting ideas such as using beauty as currency and just how useless wealth can be in certain situations. Triangle of Sadness is just as entertaining as it is thought provoking, and there's no wonder why it currently sits at the very top of the film industry.
The Banshees of Inisherin dir. Martin McDonagh (October 21st, 2022) 10/10
The Banshees of Inisherin is quite possibly one of the few examples I can give of a perfect movie. The performances are unforgettable and the writing is unapologetically Irish. As a film, it explores a more nuanced and gritty look at Irish culture, the complexity of masculinity, and good ol' Irish temperament. I haven't seen a film with such perfect casting in a long time and it wouldn't shock me if every central player got their own nominations this upcoming awards season. The Banshees of Inisherin is an absolute must-see no matter where in the world you come from.
Everything Everywhere All at Once dir. Daniels (March 25th, 2022) 10/10
A masterpiece in every sense of the word. Everything Everywhere All at Once is not just a great movie, it might just be objectively the best movie of all time. Never before has a film explored such a deep, complicated level of human connection like this. Every time you think you know what's about to happen in the next scene, you're wrong, you won't be bored for a second. Ever since the film's release early this year, audiences have been clamoring for Michelle Yeah to score an Oscar nomination for her performance and I can't say I disagree. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a movie that simply needs to be seen to be believed and you are doing yourself a disservice by not watching it.
As we welcome 2023, all of us at Cinemasters would love to thank all of our readers for their support as we make our way into our third consecutive year of publishing. Happy holidays everyone and remember to never stop watching!