Contrary to the gloomy reports of slow theater attendance and non-original streaming content, 2022 turned out to be a year full of pretty good movies. Even box-office champions Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: Path of Water were better than your typical explosive blockbuster.
I enjoyed these titles, but they didn’t make my personal list of my favorite movies of 2022. A second alphabetical list representing slots 12-20. 10 more honorable mentions! I am very indecisive.
Top 11 (alphabetical order)
Writer-director Charlotte Wells’ feature debut is a vivid, masterfully edited drama about the flickering memories that shape our intimate relationships. It deliberately opens as a slow-plotted “hangout” film about her father (a brilliant performance by Paul Mezcal) who takes his 11-year-old daughter to an all-inclusive vacation resort. The film slowly reveals that her father, who is doing his best to connect with her daughter, who is in the grip of her teenage angst, is struggling with something.
“Aftersun” builds to a masterful and poignant climax that will probably emotionally destroy anyone who’s ever had a daughter, or who’s ever had a father…so whoever sticks with it to the end Almost ruined. But in a good way. Available on VOD.
It’s been a great year for Colin Farrell (he’ll be featured two more times in this article). In this quiet yet deeply felt sci-fi drama from “Columbus” writer/director Kogonada, Pharrell learns that his daughter’s surreal robotic brother, Yang (Justin H. Min), suddenly becomes dysfunctional. I play a father who tries to fix what he has fallen into. As he searches for solutions, Farrell’s character investigates short daily “memory records” in the android’s mind.
“After Yang” is a thoughtful examination of grief through the prism of memory, examining how the images we choose to “record” disappear despite our desperate efforts to preserve them. Available on VOD and Showtime.
Banshees of Inicillin
Farrell reunites with his In Bruges writer-director Martin McDonagh and co-star Brendan Gleeson for a darkly comic and tragic tale of broken friendships on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. . When Gleason’s Colm suddenly decides he has nothing to do with his longtime drinking buddy, kind-hearted Padraic (Pharrell) can’t handle the rejection. Bolstered by striking visuals and dynamic supporting cast (particularly Kelly Condon as Padraic’s sister), Banshees of Inicirin is McDonough’s most sensitive and mature film to date, and the pinnacle of Pharrell’s illustrious career. is guided by the performance of Available on VOD and HBO Max.
Decision to move out
A murder mystery elevated by master filmmaker Park Chan-wook. He incorporates brilliant editorial choices and imagery while unraveling the story of a detective (Park Hae Il) who becomes obsessed with a charming but restrained suspect (Tang Wei). Filled with enigmatic yet striking visuals, ‘Decision to Leave’ takes a sharp plot turn along the way, ultimately leading to a strong and emotional beachside finale.Available at MUBI.com.
All at once, anywhere
This year’s indie breakout, Daniels’ wild and original journey into the multiverse, offers everything from hot dog fingers to raccoon chefs. It’s a story about the power of family ties in the face of meaning and mediocrity. And what about Ke Huy Quan’s triumphant return movie? A true master of fanny packs. Available on VOD and Showtime.
Ignore its “movie power” marketing material and consider what Steven Spielberg’s latest masterpiece really is. It’s a very personal drama about a young man who uses a movie camera to process the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. Collaborating again with writer Tony Kushner, Spielberg uses details from his own childhood to tell how life’s most important relationships are distorted, idealized, and even carefully constructed storytelling. Theatrical release and VOD distribution available.
Seashell Marcel wearing shoes
A stop-motion animation/live-action mockumentary based on a series of short films by Dean Fleischer Camp and Jenny Slate (who also voices the adorable title character), ‘Marcel the Shell’ is an engaging and entertaining gem for all ages . A seemingly simple story about a lonely husk trying to reunite with a lost family is built into a poignant tale of determined optimism.Available on VOD.
Jordan Peele’s sprawling sci-fi adventure explores a thirst for spectacle in a trauma-filled world that doesn’t skimp on the theatrics summer blockbusters need. Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer play brothers who try to videotape evidence of something in the air above their family’s ranch. “No”‘s theme-rich scripts (including “Gordy”) have a lot to unravel, but there hasn’t been a more compelling puzzle since the last Jordan Peele film.Available on VOD and Peacock. increase.
Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro
An ambitious reconstruction of a story brought to life by wooden puppets, this stunningly beautiful stop-motion animated film (co-directed by Mark Gustafson) serves as a gateway to how loss and grief are fueled by Del. It utilizes Toro’s obsession with death and the underworld. Both necessary lies and unwelcome truths. Available on Netflix.
India delivers the biggest, most outrageously amazing movies of the year. Directed by SS Rajamouli, his 3-hour ‘historical’ epic delivers thrilling musical numbers and truly wild action sequences involving wildlife, motorcycles and more. Bolstered by two charismatic leads in his performances, the deftly paced “RRR” is evocative, sentimental and unafraid to be silly at the same time. Available on Netflix.
Outside of its recent sequels, Pixar Animation continues to flex its dominance in the animation world by focusing on its own smaller films (including last year’s underrated “Luka”). In “Turning Red,” writer-director Domee Shi (author of the Oscar-winning short film “Bao”) tells a universal story about her 13-year-old girl living in Toronto, circa 2002. It focuses on the specific family pressure to have to. On the ferocious unpredictability of adolescence and the importance of embracing your own ferocious voice.Available on Disney Plus.
Spots 12 to 20 (in alphabetical order):
Writer-director James Gray (Ad Astra) is led by two disarmingly talented child actors (Banks Lepeta and Jaylin Webb), with help from the likes of Anne Hathaway. Avoid all the awkward clichés of “important” coming-of-age stories. Jeremy Strong and Anthony Hopkins. Available on VOD.
Matt Reeves’ ultra-moody version of The Caped Crusader probably takes more plot than it should, but the dirt in Gotham City has never been dirtier, and the chemistry between Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz Special props to that incredible Michael Giacquino score and yes, another from Colin Farrell as The Penguin. The vastly different (and almost unrecognizable) performance of . Available on HBO Max and VOD.
The funniest movie of the year was one of many good movies that “disappointed” at the box office this year. (launches a sweet original song). Available for Peacock and VOD.
When two black college students found an unconscious white girl on the floor of their apartment, they feared local police and urged them to help her get medical help instead of calling 911. Commentary. Available with Amazon Prime.
Newly minted Scream Queen Jenna Ortega gives her best performance this year in an intelligent, introspective drama about three teens who survived a school shooting . A disturbing but essential look at the psychological toll of modern cultural devastation. Available on HBO Max.
A stunning prequel to Ti West’s other 2022 film (“X,” a slasher in an effective ’70s setting), this Technicolor-tinged horror flick is one of the year’s truly dynamic and exciting performances. title letter. The last 30 minutes is a masterpiece of a slut one woman. Available on VOD.
Many may have thought this was a vanity project for a prominent Hollywood clan, but this unconventional documentary serves as nothing more than a necessary tribute to Robert Downey Sr.’s counterculture filmography. It also serves as a raw and sensitive perspective on my son’s learning. How to understand and say goodbye to a dying father. Available on Netflix.
As the critics’ darling of 2022, writer-director Todd Field’s difficult yet rewarding drama has so many enigmatic elements that it’s an overwhelming, hand-to-the-air experience. There is a possibility. Finally, fictional composer Lydia Tarr (admittedly the exquisite Cate Blanchett) is worth the slow stumbling journey out of the spotlight, and the film’s gripping final scene is a particularly “cultural It recontextualizes its reputation as a film about ‘the cancellation of . Available on VOD.
“The Office” alum BJ Novak writes, directs and stars in one of the most exhilarating comedy thrillers in years. Novak plays a big-city podcaster (just kidding), searching for fame and notoriety while investigating the disappearance of a woman he knows in rural Texas. Coming from some fun twists and staying with Novak’s sharp takedown on the Red State vs. Blue State culture war, available on Peacock and his VOD.
Honorable Mention: “Quiet on the Western Front”, “Apollo 10 1/2: Space Age Childhood”, “Catherine Called Birdie”, “Glass Onion”, “Dad Loves You”, “Matilda the Musical”, “Menu”, ” On “Three Count”, “White Noise”, “Woman King”.
• • •
Tyler Wilson is a member of the International Press Academy, has written about film for Inland Northwest publications since 2000, and has written a regular column for The Press since 2006. He can be contacted at email@example.com.