This is my top 10. Not necessarily in order because I’m super indecisive. This was shockingly easy to do. I don’t know if that’s a statement more about the year or about the quality of these films, which are all pretty excellent.
Let’s clarify, Robert Pattinson plays the best version of Batman ever put to screen. He’s not the best actor to ever play Batman (That’s Bale). He is not the most physically imposing actor to play him (That’s Affleck). He’s not the most hated actor to play him (Like Clooney), nor is he the most beloved (Like Keaton), and whether he’s actually good at playing the character or not isn’t debatable (Like it is for Kilmer). This movie isn’t better than THE DARK KNIGHT, no matter how much recency bias makes you want to think so. But it is an excellent film.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The most challenging movie-going experience of the year by far. The best Michelle Yeoh performance by a considerable distance. Hopefully, this movie educated people as to how awesome she’s always been. She has a healthy resume full of bangers aside from this film. She seems to be getting the flowers that she deserved long ago, and that is a very heartwarming thing.
The banshees of Inishern
By far and away, the greatest movie ever made about the subject of toxic masculinity. How self-destructive it can be, how it affects people around you, how the end result is ultimately chaos, the things others do subconsciously to fuel it, etc., etc. It’s the best career performance from Colin Farrell, who may be forever known as “Academy Award nominee Colin Farrell” if there’s any justice on the 24th of January.
Amidst all the fantastic horror directors that we have around nowadays, it does say something about Jordan Peele that his films are the ones that you fancy as tentpoles. Before this particular film, I would say that’s because of hype. But with this, Peele shows his audience that he can take the genre to even new heights than where it was before.
I can’t think of a single other horror movie filmed in IMAX with CGI that looks this good or that blends everything involving comedy, science fiction, and horror together so well. It seems that the biggest complaint about this movie is that it’s not as good as the previous two that came before it. But really not a lot of complaints about the movie itself.
My vote for the best screenplay of the entire year, ensemble of the year, and most rewatchable film of the year as well. Usually, when people come off of playing James Bond, there really isn’t another character that comes along that an actor can call a signature role to put right alongside Bond. Daniel Craig has that here.
He signed on for one more, and he says he is down to play this character a couple of more times. It would be a wise decision to pay him all of the money to do so.
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
Tom Cruise is the greatest movie star who’s ever lived. And it’s not close. Mind you, I’m not saying he’s the greatest actor by any means, but when it comes to flashy movie-star-type-s***, there is no one better.
MAVERICK is a movie that puts all of the flashy stuff on display. Do we need a villain in this movie, really? No, bloody fight sequences? No. Shootouts? Technically no. Sometimes what an audience needs is a good old-fashioned movie star that they trust to go on screen and do flashy things for a lengthy period of time.
Tom Cruise is proof that we need more movie stars like him around. If we can just figure out how to make them, that’d be great.
THE NORTHMAN manages to create an engrossing world, fully fleshed out characters, solid if not amazing performances from actors that you may not know, great bloody r-rated graphic action, and a story with MANY twists and turns that it’s so creatively done, you wonder how they managed to fit it into the running time when usually it would require the length of a miniseries or something like that.
If you miss seeing this on a big screen, I kind of pity you for not being able to do so.
THE BLACK PHONE
Ethan Hawke had quite possibly the most impressive run of 2022 low-key. There was his wonderful documentary, the last movie stars, the Northman, his role as the main villain on the Disney series Moon Knight…and this film which to me is the best thriller released in all of 2022. Mason Thames and Madeline McGraw give two of the best child performances in years as well. A top three movie of the year, if nothing else.
Black panther: wakanda Forever
As time passes along, I think we’re all going to come to appreciate that although this isn’t the greatest MCU movie of all time, there was such an insurmountable amount of odds that this movie had to overcome simply to be good and coherent.
In one movie, Ryan Coogler found a way to properly eulogize Chadwick Boseman on screen, introduce an essential character to the MCU in Namor, and, most importantly, find a way to justify Shuri as the Black Panther. (Up until this point in the MCU, we’ve seen Shuri do nothing more than shoot guns inaccurately at Killmonger in the first film and fight during the battle with Thanos for about 2 seconds total) This movie manages to do all of that, have it make sense, not f*** anything up at all, AND have one of the better Angela Bassett performances in recent memory as the cherry on the sundae. Bravo to everybody.
TRIANGLE OF SADNESS
The subject of classism was tackled in a very classy way when parasite came along all those years ago. People often say that it took a sledgehammer to the subject of classism, and they’re absolutely right.
That being said, if parasite was the sledgehammer to bring rich people down a peg, then triangle of sadness is the 15,000-pound wrecking ball smashing against it over and over again until it turns to rubble. This is a flat-out anti-elitist film that comedically extends both middle fingers to the rich and privileged (with kickstands) over and over and over again. It’s important to note that there is a sinking ship sequence that puts Titanic to shame in many ways, even though this film cost decisively less money.
The best film of the year.