I’ve never been a big theater person, but that all changed last year. It’s easy to see why I’ve changed my habits since 2022 has been filled with an embarrassing number of amazing movies. However, a good movie can resonate regardless of the screen, and half of my list was not seen in a theater. There are many special movies that are almost missed in my list, such as Turned Red, Escape From Spiderhead, The Menu, Clerks III, barbarousand notall of which provide valued viewing experiences.
However, let’s take a look at 10 movies that made 2022 a memorable year.
Music biopics often have the same tragic ending and story beats, so that’s why Go Strong very good parody of them. However, Baz Luhrmann never does something the standard way, and God bless him for that. Elvis has a brilliant style and the use of the toxic relationship between Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker as a framing device is nothing short of brilliant because it tells the focused story in a different way. Austin Butler also gave a transformative performance that was hard to top.
9. The Banshees of Inisherin
I can never leave The Banshees of Inisherin off me feckin’ list. The other day I saw a tweet comparing what’s happening here to high school girls drama, which sums it up perfectly. So much of the movie is rooted in the core of conflict because of conflict, not being able to move on, and the emptiness one feels when reflecting on life. It’s more than a little annoying, but there’s a real beauty captured in the sadness here.
8. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
I became a Dragon Ball fan for most of my life and being at the right age for Gohan’s journey really inspires me. While it’s great to see him put fighting on the backburner in favor of being a loving father and husband, it’s been a long-running story that this lack of focus has kept him from realizing his full potential. However, Super Heroes Bright turns that idea on its head because Gohan’s love for his friends and family is exactly what he needs to reach the next level. Because of this, I finally got the payoff for a story I’ve been invested in for decades.
7. Strange: The Story of Al Yankovic
No movie has ever made me laugh harder or with that frequency Strange: The Al Yankovic Story. Playing the nonsense straight is the only way to make this movie, and it’s fitting that a movie about a parody musician is a parody of biopics. There are several great performances here, but it’s Daniel Radcliffe’s intensity that makes the movie a rewatchable treat.
6. Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro
Pinocchio is truly a visual and technical marvel worth celebrating, but it’s the humanity at the heart of the story that stuck with me the most. The childlike joy of the miracle tree and the film itself is a reminder of how great the gift of life is. I never fail to laugh every time the boy declares that he loves something and then asks what it is afterwards. That kind of purity is contagious. While the movie goes to some amazing places and has some amazing scenes, it’s the little moments between Geppetto and receiving his new son that make it special.
5. The Fabelmans
One sign of a good movie is if it stays with you after release, but few stick in my mind as always. The Fabelmans. From its exploration of art and sacrifice to how Steven Spielberg didn’t shy away from his family’s own turmoil while still finding the beauty within it, there’s a lot about the movie worth pondering. The entire cast is a delight, especially David Lynch in the final scene of the film, which wonderfully brings to life the oft-told story of Spielberg meeting John Ford.
If I were to list my 10 favorite film moments of the year, probably half of them would come from RRR. There’s a certain passion in everything it does, no matter how funny, and that’s exactly why it can tell this serious story of oppression and freedom while balancing out the many musical numbers and extravagant scenes. in action. It’s a real joy, and I’m glad it found its way into the world’s consciousness because I’d be a lot less without it.
3. Top Gun: Maverick
It seems like there are fewer movie stars than ever, but Tom Cruise still lights up the screen and commands your attention. It’s easy to make this a nostalgia game, and sure, there are plenty of callbacks and connective tissue to the original, but Top Gun: Maverick goes above and beyond with its breathtaking action sequences and an engaging story set in the dying days of dogfighting. It’s absolutely everything a summer blockbuster should be and more, delivering the best thrills and spectacle of 2022.
Plus, if you don’t get emotional seeing Maverick and Rooster hug at the end, you don’t have a heart.
2. Everything Everywhere Everything at once
Excuse the crude language, but I feel that recounting this experience best sums up the wild ride that was Everything Everywhere Everything at Once. At the end of the movie, I was left crying in the theater and thinking about what I saw. Behind me, another moviegoer said loudly, “Well, that’s late.” The emotional whiplash of how the artful presentation of it resonated completely with me and never with him gave me a hearty laugh. That’s the magic of cinema.
1. Avatar: The Way of Water
I have never seen one Avatar until its release earlier this year. I walked out of the theater very excited The Way of Water, which exceeded my high expectations. So many unique moments worth mentioning, but Lo’ak and Payakan’s friendship is what really attracted me. The two outcasts meeting each other play beautifully, and it all wonderfully leads to the movie’s climactic moments. The fact that the biggest blockbuster of the year has almost an hour showing the wonders of aquatic life and an alien interacting with a whale is not rad and makes me optimistic for the movie industry.