Top 10 movies of 2022

In my opinion, 2022 was a pretty great year for movies. I was able to see 77 movies released this year, and overall, I had a great time. From the highs of movies like Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water to the confounding choices made in Morbius and Disney’s live-action Pinocchio, it certainly wasn’t boring, and there were more than a dozen movies I truly loved. 

So without further ado, here are my top 10 movies of 2022: 

  1. Glass Onion
Credit: Netflix

One of my favorite movies of all time is 2019’s Knives Out, so I had high expectations for this sequel. And I’m delighted to report that it lived up to those expectations. Glass Onion is bigger and bolder than Knives Out, with outlandish characters and even more twists and turns. And somehow it’s even more of an indictment of the uber rich than the first film was. I laughed out loud and was glued to the screen for the entire runtime. Daniel Craig is living his best life returning as Benoit Blanc, but Janelle Monae absolutely steals the show. 

Rian Johnson sure knows how to make a good movie and he has plans for at least one more mystery story, but I would watch 1,000 more Benoit Blanc movies. Glass Onion is an absolute blast from beginning to end. 

  1. Nope
Credit: Universal Pictures

Jordan Peele has become the premier director for high concept psychological thrillers, and Nope is certainly his most ambitious movie yet. He finds the perfect balance between not quite a horror movie but capturing the ability to keep you at the edge of your seat. 

It’s easy to see the connections to early thrillers and sci-fi stories like Spielberg’s Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but Nope updates the framework while finding time to investigate how society deals with trauma and our obsession with documenting every moment of our lives in a social media world. It’s truly a movie for our time and one you don’t want to miss.

  1. Aftersun
Credit: BBC Film/PASTEL

As I’ve gotten older, stories about the relationships between families, especially parents and kids, have started to hit me harder – and I’m just an uncle. Aftersun is told as the memory of a young girl going on vacation with her father. The movie doesn’t spell out too many specific details about the main characters, but it gives the audience enough glimpses to piece together the dynamics and history between them. 

The movie will certainly feel slow to many viewers, but once you reach the final 10-15 minutes and some of the major breadcrumbs finally fall into place, the full emotional weight just washes over you – and I walked out of the theater unable to think about anything besides this movie for hours afterward. 

  1. The Banshees of Inisherin
Credit: Searchlight Pictures/Film4 Productions

What do you do when a friendship has run its course and you’re no longer on the same page? The Banshees of Inisherin takes that question and shows how it can affect both sides of a broken relationship. At times hilarious, and at other times heartbreaking, Banshees transports you to 1920s Ireland and asks you to weigh the impacts of being nice for the sake of not hurting anyone’s feelings or bluntly breaking something that doesn’t work anymore. And on top of that, it asks you what is worth sacrificing in the name of legacy. It’s an interpersonal conflict that takes over a whole community, taking the story to a shocking place, but one worth taking. 

  1. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Credit: A24

After becoming a viral YouTube sensation in the 2010s, Marcel the Shell’s feature film debut is 90 minutes of pure, wholesome joy. Marcel takes you on a journey where you learn to  overcome your fears, find where you belong, and be comfortable with who you are. Presented as a mockumentary, it’s literally impossible not to fall in love with Marcel and have a deep emotional investment in his search for his family. This tiny shell begs us to ask what is important to us, appreciate what we have in our lives, and give into the laughter and tears that life brings us all. Hilarious and heartfelt, you don’t want to miss this. 

  1. Tár 
Credit: Focus Features

In a lot of ways, Tár is the opposite of Marcel the Shell. Tár is a complex examination of power and its corruptive tendencies. At the top of the classical orchestra world, the morally gray Lydia Tár is confronted with accusations of misconduct that threaten to bring her world crashing down. It’s much more thoughtful and complicated character study than a straightforward #MeToo story could be, especially as it’s told from a female’s perspective. 

Cate Blanchett is truly sensational in the central role, making you root for and against her at different times throughout the story. She’ll almost certainly win Best Actress at the upcoming Oscars. Tár will certainly leave you thinking about it and how you process its events for hours after it ends. 

  1. RRR
Credit: Lyca Productions/DVV Entertainment

There’s still no movie like RRR that I’ve seen in a very long time. In its three-hour runtime, this historical fiction centered around two Indian revolutionaries during British rule in the early 1900s is an action epic, a musical, a buddy comedy, an inspirational revolution saga, and a myth-building masterpiece. 

It’ll pump you full of adrenaline and leave you emotionally and physically exhausted by the end of this marathon. The visuals are stunning, the action is unmatched, and the story transfixes you from beginning to end. 

  1. Top Gun: Maverick
Credit: Paramount Pictures/Skydance Media

Still the best movie theater experience of 2022, and probably the best since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Maverick is truly the winner of 2022 and the savior of the theatrical movie experience this year. Tom Cruise made us believe in the power of movies again and Maverick truly is a thrill ride burstin with outstanding action, enjoyable characters and a surprisingly strong emotional core. 

This is the movie I’ve rewatched more than any other this year, and every time I have to remind myself to release the tension in my neck and shoulders during every action sequence. And Maverick finally perfected the legacy sequel formula that expertly balanced nostalgia with a fresh story all on its own. And that main Top Gun theme still rips 30 years later. 

  1. The Fabelmans
Credit: Amblin Entertainment

It shouldn’t be shocking for me to have a Spielberg movie on my top 10 list, but I absolutely adored The Fabelmans with all my heart. It’s a slightly fictionalized retelling of Spielberg’s own childhood, how he fell in love with movies, and the story of his parents’ divorce. For someone as integral to the last half century of movies, it’s certainly a story worth telling.

The movie is so sincere and sentimental, but in a way that doesn’t feel sappy or like it’s beating you over the head. It shows us the power of film, how it can reveal truths we can’t see on our own, and how we can love our families even through the complicated relationships we have with them. John Williams delivers another emotional banger of a score in a film that feels so specifically personal to Spielberg yet with an ability to connect with anyone who loves movies.

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
Credit: A24

Still the best movie of the year. The most interesting, the most creative, the most visually stunning, and the most emotionally cathartic. 

Our world is an overwhelming place where we’re all trying our best to survive, so how chaotic and stressful must the multiverse be? And at what point does so much matter that nothing ends up mattering? At the end of the day, we have to be grateful for what we have and who we have in our lives and do what we can to make our piece of the multiverse a better place. These are the themes at the core of EEAAO, but told in a way that is accessible, thought-provoking, and reflective for everyone.

Honorable mentions:

  • Babylon
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Cha Cha Real Smooth
  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • The Northman
  • Turning Red
  • The Batman
  • See How They Run

What were your favorite movies of 2022? Let me know what you think!

Five movies I’m most excited for this fall and winter

The summer movie season is usually the apex of each year, bursting with blockbusters, explosions, action, and celebrities. This year, though, the only real winner of the summer was Top Gun: Maverick. And deservedly so! But outside of Mav, the summer didn’t have nearly the impact it usually does.

But moving into the fall and winter, it looks like we’re going to be blessed with what promises to be some truly remarkable movies. Oscar campaigning will unofficially begin, with awards hopefuls released in full force to get attention and buzz before awards season officially kicks off at the beginning of next year.

And I, for one, could not be more excited. Three of my favorite filmmakers are releasing new movies this fall, what could possibly be the best MCU movie since Avengers: Endgame is coming out, and a bunch of other exciting movies that should provide for an interesting season.

So here are the five movies I’m most excited about for the rest of the year:

  1. The Fabelmans

I’ve already made it very clear that Steven Spielberg is my favorite director of all time, so I’m obviously going to be excited for anything he does. Coming off a successful adaptation of West Side Story, The Fabelmans will be Spielberg’s most personal film yet. Based on his own childhood, it will tell the story of a boy who discovers a love of movies while navigating through complicated family dynamics.

The trailer alone already proves this will be full of Spielberg qualities – full of wonder and maybe a little bit of over-the-top cheesiness. And I cannot wait.

In theaters this Thanksgiving.

  1. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is one of my favorite movies ever, so I was initially nervous of the decision to turn it into a franchise, with two sequels announced by Netflix a few years ago. But after seeing the trailer – and this incredible cast – I’m so excited for this.

Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc is back, along with his iconic Kentucky drawl, but this time he’s in Greece. And honestly that’s all I need and want to know. If it’s anywhere near Knives Out, this will be an absolute blast.

On Netflix December 23.

  1. Babylon

Damien Chazelle is another director that I absolutely love. His last three movies – First Man, La La Land, and Whiplash – are all certified bangers. And now he’s coming back with Babylon, a story set in the early days of Hollywood and its many indulgences. The cast is huge and wonderful, led by Margot Robbie, Diego Calva and Brad Pitt.

Again, I don’t know much about this movie (and I really don’t want to), but I love Chazelle’s past work and I love movies about the early days of Hollywood. So sign me up for Babylon.

In theaters technically Christmas Day, but in wide release on January 6, 2023.

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The sequel to Ryan Coogler’s Oscar-winning Black Panther was always going to have a lot to live up to, given the massive worldwide success and cultural phenomenon the first movie turned out to be. But with the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman, Wakanda Forever must pull off the seemingly impossible. The sequel must mourn the loss of its title character (and the actor who so elegantly embodied the role) and present a worthy successor to the mantle of the Black Panther. On top of that, it plans to introduce two new characters that will help shape the future of the MCU – Namor the Sub-mariner and Riri Williams, Ironheart.

Only in the hands of returning director Ryan Coogler do I trust this to work. And if done well, it will be incredibly emotional, cathartic and thrilling to see.

In theaters November 11.

  1. Don’t Worry Darling

On its own, Don’t Worry Darling seemed intriguing enough, but the real-world dynamics between the cast and director Olivia Wilde have skyrocketed this movie on every must-see list. For those of you who don’t follow entertainment news and gossip, I beg you to google an article or video explainer of the chaos that has been the Don’t Worry Darling press tour. It’s like nothing we’ve seen in a long time.

Putting that chaos aside, Florence Pugh – the star of Don’t Worry Darling – is one of my favorite actors working right now. And I loved Oliva Wilde’s last movie, Booksmart. So yes, I will be first in line to watch this – mostly because of the external drama, but the movie itself should be a wild ride, too.

In theaters September 23.