2021 is considered by many to be a kind of leap year when it comes to most forms of entertainment. Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many productions of movies, television shows, and even video games have been halted or greatly slowed down. In 2022, many of these productions began to develop, and with them came a lot of incredible content, running the gamut of genres and styles.
With so much to experience this year, here are some of my favorite movies, TV shows, and games, in no particular order.
Everything Everywhere Everything at Once
On top of this, Everything Everywhere Everything at Once seems like a wacky joke about a trip through the multiverse. Like its plot, however, the film is very layered, and takes you through a story full of what it means to be a family, as Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) experiences all the different lives that are possible. his place to live. Filled with an incredible cast and featuring some surprisingly emotional moments from a film of its nature, it’s no wonder that Everything Everywhere Everything at Once has become A24’s most successful film.
Any time a video game, or any other piece of entertainment, has such a heavy build-up to it, it’s often difficult for the product to live up to its own hype. Old Ring broke that trend, however, delivering something that will stand the test of time as one of the best games ever made. Take combat cues from titles like Blood borne and Dark Souls and combines it with the freedom of a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Old Ring immediately became a hit, with its difficult combat and attractive world lends itself perfectly to lose yourself in the game. Add to that the cultural phenomenon that the game has become, and you have the perfect ingredients for the best game of 2022.
I think one of the best things a movie can do for anyone is leave you thinking about it long after you’ve seen it, and warehouse just doing that. Todd Field’s (Little Children, In the Room) first film in over a decade is easily his best, and tells the story of Lydia Tár (perfectly played by Cate Blanchett), a composer-conductor and EGOT, whose life and career begin to crumble around her. From an acting standpoint, Blanchett is so good that you often feel like you’re watching Lyda Tár’s true story unfold. From a filmmaking standpoint, Field manages to turn a dialogue-heavy film into a well-paced, cleanly detailed, and at one point impressively scary project that has every right to be called a masterpiece.
The White Lotus Season 2
HBO’s first season The White Lotus introduces us to the fictional hotel chain, as well as an incredibly messy story of the many vacationers who stay there. While Season 1 of the series was a satirical takedown of the rich and their many indulgences, Season 2 takes the premise and expands on it, featuring a cast that somehow manages to top the extraordinary prime time shows. Delving deeper into themes of class, sex, money, love, and more, creator Mike White once again manages to wrap the murder mystery into something more.
The Worst Man in the World
Technically, The Worst Man in the World could count as a 2021 release, even though its US theatrical release doesn’t come until February, I’ll count it here. Joachim Trier’s fifth film (and the third entry in his “Oslo Trilogy”) is an excellent look at longing, mortality, what it means to be unfulfilled, and finding your place in the world. Telling the story of Julie (played by Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve), a woman who is about to turn 30 and is struggling to find her place in life. Reinsve delivers an incredible performance, perfectly embodying the many pitfalls and uncertainties that come with growing up.
God of War: Ragnarök
God of War: Ragnarök have a big image to live up to. 2018 that is God of War not only revolutionized the series as a whole but delivered a unique story about a father struggling to connect with his son. Somehow, Ragnarök managed to deliver a stellar sequel that was good enough to make a name for itself. Unlike the first game, Ragnarök is more action-oriented, focusing on a narrative that deals with a group of people trying to prevent the end of the world. At its core, however, the play is more about the father/son dynamic, now with many fathers dealing with the sins of their past and not letting it affect their future. Combined with the tight and clear brutal combat of God of WarSony’s Santa Monica Studio has once again delivered a game that you must experience.
Apple TV+ may be best known for its hit comedy series Ted Lassobut lost in the shuffle of 2022 is one of the best debut seasons of television of any year, in the form of Severance. Telling the story of a group of employees who are willing to lose their minds to work for a shady company, Severance quickly unravels into an engaging thriller, complete with tense pacing, a unique style, and outstanding performances from a star-studded cast. The end of the first season, in particular, was a masterclass in building tension to a surprising conclusion and left me wanting more the second the credits started rolling.
Cult of the Lamb
In what is possibly the cutest game about running a demonic cult, Cult of the Lamb The player stars as a sheep brought back from the dead after a ritual slaughter. From there, you are tasked with building a cult, taking care of them, and also managing how they go about their daily lives. Although that doesn’t sound like the most fun, Cult of the Lamb‘s combination of roguelite dungeon-crawling and management sim just works, all while featuring a cast of characters that ooze personality, thanks to the game’s lovable art style.
Perhaps the lowest performer on this list, The Bear didn’t make a lot of waves when it originally premiered on FX on Hulu in the middle of the year. Since then, however, the series has become a breakout hit, and for good reason. The Bear tells the story of Carmy Berzatto, a classically trained chef who returns to Chicago after the death of his brother to take over the family-owned Italian beef sandwich shop. What follows is a shockingly emotional story about family, trauma, addiction, and heartbreak, as well as the chaotic and sometimes dangerous nature of working in the food industry.
Decision to Leave
Park Chan-wook is a legendary filmmaker, so it’s no surprise that his latest film, Decision to Leave, another outstanding film of the year. Unlike other films like Old boy or The Servant, however, The Decision to Leave is a lesser movie, simply telling the story of detective Jang Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) as he investigates Song Seo-rae (Tang Wei), the wife of a recently deceased man. As the film opens, what begins as a simple investigation eventually turns into a tale of romantic obsession between the two, with Park Hae-il and Tang Wei delivering all-time performances (Wei, in particular, must to be included in more award conversations than he is). From a filmmaking perspective, Park Chan-wook is once again a master of the craft, as every shot in this film feels expertly placed and leaves you wanting to go back and watch again. to see what you missed. It may not be what his fans were expecting, but it’s another stellar entry on an impressive resume.