The Best Movies of 2022 So Far
B ecause our movie-watching habits have changed drastically over the past few years, the movie-calendar year as we’ve come to know it may be shifting too. Traditionally, the first three months tend to be dominated by the Oscar campaigns of movies released in the previous year. The final four months of the year, kicked off by the early-fall film festivals, serve as a runup to the next round of Oscars. With so many people streaming films not just around their release date but long afterward, the lines are blurrier now. But even so, it’s always smart to pay attention to the films released in the first half of the year. That’s when the small surprises hit, movies that you check out on a whim and end up loving. Here are five movies from the early months of 2022 that you don’t want to miss.
A young couple, played by Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith, seek to protect their young daughter (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) from the reality that her “brother,” an A.I. humanoid, has fallen into a state of malfunction and cannot be repaired. The second fiction feature from Kogonada ( Columbus ) is gorgeous and wistful, a meditative reflection on memory that’s somehow both soothing and energizing.
Read More: Kogonada’s After Yang Is the Film to Watch When You’re Feeling Unsettled
An 8-year-old girl, Nelly (Joséphine Sanz), going through some emotional upheaval, meets a girl her own age while playing in the woods near her recently deceased grandmother’s house. Marion (Gabrielle Sanz, Joséphine’s real-life twin) happens to look just like Nelly, and the two become fast if cautious friends—because Nelly understands before Marion does that these two girls come from different planes of time. French filmmaker Céline Sciamma ( Portrait of a Lady on Fire ) has fashioned a gorgeously matter-of-fact fairytale that respects the inner lives of children, celebrating their ability to understand complexities that we assume are beyond them.
Paris, 13th District
French filmmaker Jacques Audiard ( Rust and Bone , The Sisters Brothers ) gives us a film about young people in love—or perhaps only in lust—in current-day Paris: Émilie (Lucie Zhang), a stubborn, prickly young woman working at a dead-end telemarking job, auditions Camille (Makita Samba), a charming young teacher, as a potential roommate and ends up falling for him. Nora (Noémie Merlant), a 30-something real-estate agent who has just decided to return to school, is humiliated when her classmates mistake her for a popular online porn star, Amber Sweet (Jehnny Beth). The lives of these four characters intertwine and collide, with some awkward misfires, in this loose adaptation of several short stories by American cartoonist Adrian Tomine. Shot in silky black and white, it’s one of the treasures of this movie year.
Audrey Diwan ’s tense, quietly radical film is the story of a young woman in early 1960s France, played by Anamaria Vartolomei, who discovers she’s pregnant and cannot, according to French law at the time, legally obtain an abortion. There are parts of the film—which is based on a 2000 memoir by French writer Annie Ernaux and won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival last year—that are sometimes difficult to watch. But the most harrowing part about it is its vision of a culture, and a country, preoccupied with controlling women’s lives—a past that appears to be looming as our own future in the United States.
Read More: Happening Is a Grim But Timely Warning from 1960s France
This adaptation of Ben Mcintyre’s hugely popular book of the same name traces a real-life deception pulled off by a group of British operatives in 1943, using a corpse armed with a fake identity and an elaborate backstory to keep the Nazis in the dark about the impending Allied invasion of Sicily. Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen play the intelligence officers who pull off this magnificent feat; Kelly Macdonald and Penelope Wilton are the women who help craft essential elements of the subterfuge. This story has been filmed before, as The Man Who Never Was , in 1956 (based on the memoir of Ewen Montagu, the officer played here by Firth). Director John Madden ( Shakespeare in Love ) guides this new version of the story with a steady hand: his movie is lively and smart, made with a quiet attention to detail and craftsmanship that’s a rarity these days.
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The 57 Most Anticipated Movies of 2022
We've got tons to look forward to, from the batman and thor: love and thunder to scream , jurassic world dominion , and hocus pocus 2 ..
TAGGED AS: movies
(Photo by Jay Maidment/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, ©Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., Phil Bray/©Dimension Film)
While the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a massive impact on the movie industry, Hollywood continues to press on in 2022. With that in mind, we look ahead to the films we expect to see gracing cineplex marquees in the coming year. And boy, do we have some great titles lined up, with superhero fare like The Batman , Thor: Love and Thunder , and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) ; action and adventure with Uncharted and The Lost City ; rousing family films like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and The Bob’s Burgers Movie ; and even some horror, with Scream and Halloween Ends . As more dates are confirmed and trailers are released for all of these 2022 movies, we’ll continue to update this page, so check back often! [Updated 8/24/22]
- Recommended: The Most Anticipated Movies of 2023
- Recommended: The Best Movies of 2022, Ranked by Tomatometer
- Click for January – June
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)
We last saw the minions wreaking havoc in 1960s England before they met up with a young Gru. Perhaps their next adventure will be their first with him. Whatever shenanigans the yellow ones, voiced by Pierre Coffin, get up to, expect them to be at it again for Minions 3 and Minions 4 and so on: the first Minions movie made more than $1.5 billion globally and helped the Despicable Me franchise become the highest grossing animated franchise of all time.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Marvel’s second film of 2022 is the highly anticipated follow-up to Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok , which reinvented the character to the delight of critics and audiences alike. Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster will return to the franchise, and it’s been teased that she will wield Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, at some point. We also know that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie will be back, and Thor will meet up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to face Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher. So, you know, good times all around.
After the runaway success of Get Out and Us , Jordan Peele got real busy real fast, but he’s finally getting around to making his third feature. As to be expected, we don’t know much about the film, though its first trailer reveals that it will be set somewhere in the American Southwest and center on a small town whose residents experience a supernatural event in the skies above.
The Gray Man (2022)
Based on the 2009 novel of the same name, this action thriller stars Ryan Gosling as a CIA mercenary who is forced on the run when he discovers some unsavory things about his agency and a rival agent (played by Chris Evans) is sent after him. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo ( Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame ) are at the helm, and the impressive supporting cast includes Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jessica Henwick, among .
DC League of Super-Pets (2022)
This animated film boasts an all-star cast who lend their voices not just to iconic DC Comics characters like Batman (Keanu Reeves), Superman (John Krasinski), and Wonder Woman (Jameela Jamil), but also… their pets, who must rally to save the day when their superpowered owners are kidnapped.
Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)
This horror/dark comedy from A24 centers on a group of young friends who gather for a party and play a murder mystery game called “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” only to discover that one of them has been killed, and they must now discover who the real murderer is.
Bullet Train (2022)
This cheeky, stylish action thriller based on a novel by Japanese writer Kōtarō Isaka follows an assassin (Brad Pitt) trying to give up his life of killing who is tasked with retrieving a mysterious briefcase on, yes, a bullet train full of other assassins looking to do the same. The film is directed by David Leitch ( Atomic Blonde , Deadpool 2 ) and features an all-star cast.
Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022)
It’s been seven years since George Miller released Mad Max: Fury Road , but he’s finally back with… a romantic fantasy. The story centers around a scholar in Instanbul who encounters a djinn who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom, with unexpected consequences.
The first of two high-profile Pinocchio movies debuting in 2022 (the other being Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated film, premiering on Netflix in December) is Disney’s “live-action” remake of their classic animated adaptation of the story of a wooden boy who comes to life and seeks a way to become a real boy. Tom Hanks takes on the role of Geppetto and Cynthia Erivo plays the Blue Fairy in this Disney+ exclusive.
Ti West and A24 released one of 2022’s most critically acclaimed horror films, X , back in March, but it was shot back-to-back with a prequel origin story for one of that film’s characters, namely Pearl . We’ll just leave it at that to avoid spoilers, but feel free to check out the trailer for more context.
The Woman King (2022)
Viola Davis headlines this historical drama about the Dahomey Agojie, the only all-female military ever documented. Davis stars as General Nanisca, who takes on a new recruit played by Thuso Mbedu as they struggle to keep their people safe from malevolent outside forces.
Don't Worry Darling (2022)
Director Olivia Wilde follows up her critically acclaimed feature debut Booksmart with this period thriller about a 1950s housewife (Florence Pugh) who begins to suspect that the perfect suburban life her husband’s mysterious job provides for her — and her husband’s mysterious job itself — may hide a sinister truth.
Based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name, this biographical drama directed by Andrew Dominik ( The Assassination of Jesse James ) offers a fictionalized look at the private life of Marilyn Monroe during the 1950s and 1960s, with Ana de Armas ( Blade Runner 2049 ) taking the lead as the iconic model, singer, and actress.
Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as the sinister Sanderson sisters in this sequel to the 1993 Halloween cult favorite. This time around, three young women accidentally bring the witches to modern-day Salem and must figure out how to stop them. The film is being produced exclusively for Disney+.
David O. Rusell’s latest is a ridiculously star-studded affair that takes place in the 1930s and centers on a trio of old friends — Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington — who become prime suspects in a murder case and must work together to discover the truth.
Halloween Ends (2022)
Director David Gordon Green and writers Danny McBride and Scott Teems successfully sequel-booted (is that a word now? reboot-queled, maybe?) the Halloween franchise with 2018’s Halloween , and based on its reception, they decided to go ahead and give us all a full trilogy. That trilogy ends with the appropriately titled Halloween Ends , in which Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode will presumably defeat Michael Myers forever .
The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
In what amounts to an In Bruges reunion, writer-director Martin McDonagh has enlisted Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson to star in his dark comedy about the conflicts that arise between two friends when one of them suddenly decides to end the friendship.
Black Adam (2022)
Dwayne Johnson stars as the all-powerful antihero (and traditionally a nemesis to Zachary Levi ‘s Shazam ), who is freed from his prison of 5,000 years and, after encountering the Society of America, must decide whether to play nice or be a jerk.
Armageddon Time (2022)
In the vein of something like Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast or even Steven Spielberg’s upcoming The Fabelmans , James Gray takes inspiration from his own childhood growing up in Queens, New York in the 1980s to fashion this period coming-of-age drama.
Enola Holmes 2 (2022)
Releasing smack-dab in the middle of the pandemic, 2020’s Enola Holmes was a surprise hit with critics, and audiences loved it so much that Netflix decided to give it another go. Star Millie Bobby Brown returns in the title role, as Enola takes on her first official case as a detective and stumbles into a conspiracy so big that she turns to big brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill) for help.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
We finally got our first look at Wakanda Forever at Comic-Con in 2022, revealing that the film will focus on the titular kingdom attempting to move past the death of its beloved leader (the late Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa) and fend off a threat in the form of Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the ruler of an ancient underwater civilization. We also got a few other significant teases in the trailer, but we won’t spoil those here.
The Menu (2022)
This ghoulish dark comedy stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult as a married couple who travel to an exclusive island restaurant where a famous chef (Ralph Fiennes) prepares a special menu for his guests. The evening becomes progressively treacherous for everyone as secrets are revealed and violence erupts.
Based on a 2017 non-fiction book, this historical war drama focuses on Jesse Brown, the first Black pilot in the US Navy, and his wingman Tom Hudner, who became two of the Navy’s most celebrated pilots for their heroics during the Korean War.
The Fabelmans (2022)
Steven Spielberg’s latest is a semi-autobiographical — but still fictional — coming-of-age story that charts the adolescent life of a young boy living in post-war Arizona who aspires to become a filmmaker and, after discovering a family secret, learns to cope via his love for the medium.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)
Just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic went full-blown around the world, Rian Johnson delivered a crackerjack whodunit in Knives Out and introduced the world to Daniel Craig’s eccentric detective Benoit Blanc. Following in the footsteps of other murder mystery series, Knives Out 2 will see Benoit Blanc investigating an entirely new case with new suspects, this time in Greece.
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)
The classic children’s tale gets a fresh take, thanks to Guillermo del Toro, who has wanted to make this film for quite some time. The musical film will be del Toro’s first stop-motion animated feature, and it will be somewhat darker than Disney’s version of the story, as evidenced by the melancholy first trailer.
The Whale (2022)
Darren Aronofsky’s latest boundary-pushing film is being hailed as a triumphant return for Brendan Fraser, who stars as a severely overweight recluse who seeks redemption from his estranged teenage daughter. Though there has been some controversy regarding the content and themes of the film, virtually everyone so far is singing the praises of Fraser’s performance.
Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
It’s taken almost a decade and a half, but we’re finally getting the long-ago-promised follow-up to James Cameron’s box office ruler, Avatar . Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully and Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri now have a family on Pandora, but when old enemies return, they’re forced to evacuate and find a new home. Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, and Edie Falco are among the new additions to the cast.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (2022)
Naomie Ackie stars as the late Whitney Houston in this biographical drama about the iconic pop star’s life, charting her rise to fame. The film was written by Anthony McCarten, who also wrote Bohemian Rhapsody , which should offer some idea what kind of film it will be.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)
Antonio Banderas is back as the swashbuckling kitty who, having lived out eight of his nine , reluctantly resigns himself to a domesticated life until Goldilocks and the Three Bears come looking for him, forcing him to take up the sword again.
The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
Speaking of whodunits, Scott Cooper’s ( Crazy Heart , Antlers ) next film centers on a series of murders at West Point in 1830, where a certain man named Edgar Allan Poe was a young cadet. The fictional story is based on a 2006 novel of the same name and reunites Cooper with his Hostiles star Christian Bale.
Writer-director Damien Chazelle ( La La Land ) drops a Christmas Day treat for fans of old Hollywood, as his latest centers on the era when the industry transitioned from silent films to talkies. The impressive all-star cast includes people like Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde, Jean Smart, and more playing a variety of both real and fictional characters from Hollywood’s past.
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Hollywood reporter critics pick the best films of 2022.
A tragicomic Irish fable about male solitude, a twisty South Korean neo-noir, a tempestuous study in abuse of power, a dreamy cannibal romance and a quietly searing remembrance of father-daughter time are among the year’s standouts.
By David Rooney , Jon Frosch , Lovia Gyarkye , Sheri Linden December 16, 2022 6:15am
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The 22 most talked-about red carpet looks of 2022, barack obama reveals favorite movies, music and books of 2022: 'top gun: maverick,' beyoncé and michelle obama's memoir make the cut.
As usual, most of the highlights premiered in the glittering showcases of Cannes and Venice, both of which clocked strong editions. But one by one, the year’s most anticipated prestige releases disappointed, at least in my admittedly sometimes minority opinion.
Despite its fine ensemble work, I found Sarah Polley’s Women Talking too circuitous in its arguments about sexual predation and trauma to build much dramatic vitality. Relating memories of his parents’ separation and his early sparks as a fledgling filmmaker, Steven Spielberg applies a manicured gloss to a messy family breakdown, which made me feel a nagging detachment from The Fabelmans , one of the first times a Michelle Williams performance has left me cold. Likewise, Olivia Colman’s turn in Sam Mendes’ nostalgia-infused but empty Empire of Light , which is four or five different movies all struggling to settle on a tone.
Almost all those films have plenty of impassioned admirers, so go ahead and disagree. In the meantime, read on for my best of 2022 , followed by the picks of Jon Frosch, Lovia Gyarkye and Sheri Linden. — DAVID ROONEY
1. The Banshees of Inisherin Lifting a title from the archives of his early writing but apparently little else of that abandoned project, Martin McDonagh created his most emotionally resonant work, a wry exploration of Irish isolation played out as a two-man civil war. The flawless ensemble is headed by the director’s In Bruges leads, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, in a melancholy duet about a lifelong friendship abruptly broken that’s darkly hilarious until its graceful swerve into pathos.
2. Decision to Leave On its elegant surface, Park Chan-wook’s masterful romantic thriller might subdue the erotic charge of his last feature, The Handmaiden . But this intoxicating encounter between an insomniac detective and an enigmatic murder suspect — played with smoldering conflict by the magnetic Park Hae-il and Tang Wei, respectively — bristles with sensuality and yearning, fusing the seductive currents of cool neo-noir with the stormy peaks of great melodrama.
4. Aftersun In terms of tangible plot incident, relatively little happens in Charlotte Wells’ stunning memory piece. A woman in her early 30s contemplates a summer vacation on the Turkish coast with her father 20 years earlier, when she was on the brink of self-discovery and he was not quite hiding a heavy veil of melancholy. But the drama’s illuminating intimacy, observed with tenderness and precision, is powerfully affecting, as are the subtly revealing performances of a heartbreaking Paul Mescal and the gifted young Frankie Corio.
5. Bones and All It seems inconceivable that the gory odyssey of two young cannibal lovers drifting across 1980s Middle America could be one of the lushest romantic experiences on any screen this year. But Luca Guadagnino finds the pulsing, horror-drenched heart in this dark, poetic dream of a movie, and via the exquisitely tough but fragile performances of Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet, he compresses a world of liberation, life-changing connection and crushing loss into one heady summer.
7. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed With sensitivity, suspense and as much narrative urgency as any fiction feature in 2022, Laura Poitras’ probing documentary takes a candid look at the life on the edge of photographer Nan Goldin, at the gritty immediacy of her art capturing American subcultures and the passionate commitment of her activism, helping to bring down the Big Pharma monolith that had so scarred her family.
8. Armageddon Time James Gray’s most personal film revisits his childhood in 1980s Queens for a family remembrance steeped in corrosive regret, a mournful reflection on white privilege in an America shaped by the rise of Reagan and Trump. Banks Repeta’s emotionally alert performance as the director’s stand-in is flanked by incisive work from Jeremy Strong and Anne Hathaway as the liberal parents whose blind spots amplify his failings toward his Black friend, imbued with raw hurt by Jaylin Webb. Anthony Hopkins bring restraint, wisdom and a deep vein of sorrow to the boy’s loving grandfather.
10. The Quiet Girl There were countless more ambitious films this year but few that so unerringly and satisfyingly achieve everything they set out to do as Colm Bairéad’s gentle Irish-language drama about a neglected child sent to stay one transformative summer with distant relatives whose kindness is not dimmed by their pain. Led by a gorgeously intuitive performance from newcomer Catherine Clinch, this is an absolute jewel, deceptively modest but overflowing with delicate feeling.
Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): After Yang ; Close ; Corsage ; Great Freedom ; Happening ; Montana Story ; No Bears ; Nope; Prey ; Saint Omer
Jon Frosch’s Top 10
1. Tár 2. One Fine Morning 3. Armageddon Time 4. The Cathedral 5. Happening 6. Bones and All 7. The Inspection 8. Saint Omer 9. Benediction 10. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Lovia Gyarkye’s Top 10
1. Saint Omer 2. Lingui, the Sacred Bonds 3. Aftersun 4. Everything Everywhere All at Once 5. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed 6. The Eternal Daughter 7. Free Chol Soo Lee 8. Decision to Leave 9. Riotsville, USA 10. Tár
Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): Anaïs in Love ; Descendant ; Funny Pages ; The Inspection ; Katrina Babies ; Marcel the Shell with Shoes On ; The Menu ; Return to Seoul ; Smile ; Soft & Quiet
Sheri Linden’s Top 10
1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed 2. EO 3. Tár 4. The Cathedral 5. Murina 6. Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues 7. The Eternal Daughter 8. Aftersun 9. Armageddon Time 10. Dos Estaciones
Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): All That Breathes ; The Banshees of Inisherin ; Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio ; Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power ; One Fine Morning ; The Quiet Girl ; Return to Seoul ; Three Minutes: A Lengthening ; Till ; Women Talking
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The Best Reviewed Movies of 2022
The year's 90 highest-rated movies at ign..
2022 was a solid year for moviegoers, as IGN has awarded 90 movies a review score of 8 or higher. Fans of nearly every genre have had reason to celebrate this year's film lineup, which has included the long-awaited Avatar sequel, an excellent animated feature from Pixar, one of the best-ever One Piece features, Steven Spielberg's autobiographical Fabelmans, Jordan Peele's Nope, the first proper Jackass movie in over a decade, a career performance from Brandon Fraser in The Whale, a new iteration of DC's iconic hero in The Batman, and so much more.
To keep track of the year's best new releases, we compiled a list of every movie released in 2022 that IGN scored an 8 ("great"), 9 ("amazing"), or 10 ("masterpiece"). Read on or click through the gallery below for our full list of 2022's best-reviewed movies.
Best Reviewed Movies of 2022
Review Score: 8 ("Great")
From our review : Anything’s Possible is a fun, frothy teen rom com that features a trans character front and center. Director Billy Porter brings his boundless energy and exuberance to every frame, which makes the romance between Kelsa and Khal so beguiling and inspiring to watch. By giving audiences an opportunity to celebrate their young love, and empathize with the concerns and worries associated around them, it moves us one step closer to wiping away the stigmas that exist. – Tara Bennett
Avatar: The Way of Water
From our review : Avatar: The Way of Water is a thoughtful, sumptuous return to Pandora, one which fleshes out both the mythology established in the first film and the Sully family’s place therein. It may not be the best sequel James Cameron has ever made (which is a very high bar), but it’s easily the clearest improvement on the film that preceded it. The oceans of Pandora see lightning striking in the same place twice, expanding the visual language the franchise has to work with in beautiful fashion. The simple story may leave you crying “cliché,” but as a vehicle for transporting you to another world, it’s good enough to do the job. This is nothing short of a good old-fashioned Cameron blockbuster, full of filmmaking spectacle and heart, and an easy recommendation for anyone looking to escape to another world for a three-hour adventure. – Tom Jorgensen
The Bad Guys
From our review : The Bad Guys is a slick, hilarious heist movie with buckets of laughs and a lot of heart. It’s Ocean’s Eleven meets Little Red Riding Hood with Sam Rockwell’s Wolf going on a charm offensive to stay out of jail… and he might just win you over in the process. Richard Ayoade has a blast as the sanctimonious Professor Marmalade and the entire voice cast brings their A-game with some stellar gags that will get you roaring with laughter. The Bad Guys is a fun, family-friendly caper that’s bursting with action and brimming with laughs. Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not us. – Ryan Leston
The Banshees of Inisherin
From our review : Colin Farrell plumbs emotional and comedic depths in Martin McDonagh’s witty and wistful period drama, with Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan on solid supporting duty. Set against the stunning vistas of Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin tells an effective and corrosive tale of friendship. – Hanna Ines Flint
From our review : Barbarian is barbaric, comedically brutal, and the antithesis of contemporary horror trends. Some will despise exactly that, but it’s the risk of challenging viewers to reach or surpass their boundaries in one sitting. Zach Cregger embraces extremism in horror cinema that is a sensory overload of hyper frights, grindhouse lawlessness, and the ugliest characterization of society this side of 2022. It's not always sublimely successful and doesn't waste time on subtlety in a way that's a bit too much, but as a horror fan, my chin had to be peeled from the floor multiple times. Fire this one with a crowd and howl the night away — Barbarian comes out swinging and never stops. – Matt Donato
Bodies Bodies Bodies
From our review : Bodies Bodies Bodies’ great ensemble and delightfully chaotic script make for a tense and laugh-out-loud funny film. Though it falters a bit in portraying Gen Z talk, it still manages to capture the wild energy of the very best Among Us sessions. – Rafael Motamayor
Bones and All
From our review : A lush, richly conceived cannibal road-trip romance, Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All lives in the intimate space between love and self-hatred, with characters who connect over their shared hunger for human flesh. Everything from its performances to its music feels fine-tuned to tell a story about reaching out through the void, no matter what reaches or bites back. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : Clerks III delivers all the inappropriate cuss-cluttered humor and pot smoke that is Kevin Smith's trademark but evolves his sentimentality beyond bong-rip wisdom. The third Clerks installment is a moving ode to working-class nobodies that amplifies Smith's touchstone sincerity above Randal's not-so-passive aggression or Jay's lit-for-days attitude. Smith might be the most in touch he's ever felt as a filmmaker, and it's a semi-departure that presents Clerks III as a precursor for what's still to come from the rebooted writer/director. Whatever my quibbles are with the film's length and less successful humor when being just another Clerks sequel are a critic's nitpicks — a critic who still felt satisfied by Clerks III in 36 more ways than presumed possible. – Matt Donato
From our review : Confess, Fletch is a clever soft-baked cookie of a mystery, never getting too intense or presenting massive stakes, which is the perfect sandbox for a wise-cracking investigator like Fletch to play around in as he relies on a mix of charm, smarts, and luck to make it through to the other side. Jon Hamm is pitch-perfect as Fletch, a kittenish case-cracker designed to make you almost feel angry that you like him. – Matt Fowler
From our review : Devotion’s a respectful introduction to heroes the world should know and celebrate. Between J.D. Dillard’s thoughtful direction, the shocking clarity of Erik Messerschmidt’s cinematography, a rousing soundscape, and the tight editing, it’s a riveting drama ready to give even the best aerial war story a run for its money. – Ro Moore
From our review : Dual is a bleakly funny sci-fi story that puts a dying woman, Sara (Karen Gillan), on a collision course with her cloned replacement. Writer-director Riley Stearns transforms depression and disappointment into a hilarious confrontation of death and a peculiar tale of self-image in an uncanny film with a precisely bizarre lead performance. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : The Duke is a searingly funny, quintessentially British comedy with some truly joyous performances from Jim Broadbent and Dame Helen Mirren. The laughs are undercut with themes of social justice and progressive thinking, turning this almost-heist flick into more of a social satire. The Duke pokes fun at the establishment with a Robin Hood lead who might make you think twice about the TV licence fee. – Ryan Leston
From our review : Emergency is a generational stunner when it takes its stances. Stars Donald Elise Watkins, RJ Cyler, and Sebastian Chacon are authentic in their imperfect navigation of an absurd scenario, as the addition of cultural stakes obliterates buddy-comedy molds. KD Davila doesn’t lessen his script’s underlying protest, much like how director Carey Williams won’t sugarcoat climatic moments that intend to make our stomachs drop. Emergency grapples with multiple genres and wrestles its prevailing themes into a place of passionate pleas for better tomorrows, all unified by its final few minutes. The point of a gun, a puff of vape smoke, and the slam of a door in the face of white guilt is all it takes. It walks a tightrope with its topics, but Williams is delicate and confident with every step — his performers following close behind, dominating the screen. – Matt Donato
From our review : Fresh delivers a full-course meal with dazzling cinematography, disturbing imagery, and one of the best horror performances of the past few years. Sebastian Stan joins the pantheon of horror psychopaths as this delightfully gory movie explores the world of modern dating. – Rafael Motamayor
The Best Movies of 2021
From our review : Owen Kline establishes himself as heir to the Safdie brothers' brand of stressful underworld cinema with Funny Pages. While this story of an arrogant aspiring comic book artist will be entirely off putting to some, it’s that very cringeworthy energy that makes it well worth your time, reveling in an often cruel teenager’s misguided flailing in brutal fashion. – Esther Zuckerman
The Good Nurse
From our review : The Good Nurse shines a light on the inherent darkness of a for-profit healthcare system while exploring the even darker recesses that allow a serial killer to thrive. Based on a true story, it’s a terrifying examination of systemic failures, not to mention a wild cover-up from self-interested hospitals. A creeping soundtrack and long, lingering zooms heighten the tension while Eddie Redmayne puts in a disturbingly believable performance as Charlie Cullen. Jessica Chastain casts a tense shadow as Nurse Amy, who grows more anxious with every scene. The Good Nurse is a wild combination of exposé and serial killer drama that cuts a stark storyline through the grim landscape of U.S. healthcare. After all, who can you trust with your life? – Ryan Leston
From our review : Hellraiser is a soulful revival of a soulless horror legend that never tries to oust Clive Barker's original. Director David Bruckner — alongside writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski — examines Hellraiser's themes with spectacle styles through addition. Jamie Clayton is the Pinhead a new generation deserves, awash in Bruckner's colder cinematography that stashes redder lighting to signify humanity is where true monsters reside. Hellraiser might be comparatively less grotesque, but a heady calibration of "pain or pleasure" storytelling brings Hellraiser 2022 screaming with glee into a reinvigorated ready-to-franchise configuration. It's cleverly calculated by saving gore for maximum impact and valuing the psychological edginess inherent in Cenobite storytelling, never getting lost in gooier intentions just for masochistic midnighter distractions. There are developments that feel slighter and less explored even at almost two hours, but that doesn’t stop Bruckner from delivering one of the best Hellraiser films since the original. – Matt Donato
From our review : The Innocents is a slow-burner that stars a majority small-fry cast and yet is far more poised and impactful than those descriptions suggest. Eskil Vogt commands a superhuman story that exposes the wild extremes of childhood experiences and throws in some unsupervised horror for good measure. Audiences of all ages can learn from knee-high characters discovering themselves, recognizing consequences, and standing up for what's right. The pace of this gorgeously shot Norwegian pseudo-fable will be a roadblock for some, but give Vogt a chance. Storytelling rewards are bountiful once The Innocents executes its conflicts well above the expected maturities of players on screen. – Matt Donato
From our review : Steven Soderbergh’s KIMI follows an agoraphobic tech worker forced to venture outside when she finds digital traces of a violent crime. With a simple but effective script and some fun visual experiments, it's an entertaining conspiracy thriller set in (and very much about) the post-pandemic world. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : Lou is a tight, gripping thriller that opens up a whole new genre for the ever-fabulous Allison Janney. Working off a smart script from Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley, director Anna Foerster proves her skills as an action/thriller director. Janney, Jurnee Smollett, and Ridley Asha Bateman make a winning trifecta who sell the realistic physical and emotional aspects of the script without resorting to melodrama. They’ll have you rooting for them and perhaps wishing for more. – Tara Bennett
Lucy and Desi
From our review : A worthwhile documentary debut from Amy Poehler, Lucy and Desi chronicles the I Love Lucy couple from birth to death, while trying to mirror their personal lives with the stories they told on screen. It may not always succeed, but it arrives with an energy worthy of the TV comedy legends. – Siddhant Adlakha
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On
From our review : Marcel the Shell With Shoes On suffers from an aimless plot that feels stretched too thin, but it provides one of the most endearing and adorable animated characters since Paddington Bear. It delivers enough heart, laughs, and innocence to forgive its shortcomings. – Rafael Motamayor
From our review : Director Mariama Diallo explores the creeping horrors of America’s past in Master, her New England-set feature debut about three Black women navigating a mostly white college built atop a Salem-era gallows. With a layered performance by Regina Hall as the university’s first Black dean of students, the film plays with familiar tropes and images from American horror, but re-fashions them into an unexpected, subdued story with a chilling emotional payoff. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : Master Gardener rounds off Paul Schrader’s informal trilogy about tortured men reckoning with the past, present, and future, and may be his most accomplished film in years. Joel Edgerton plays a horticulturist with a dark history who mentors the mixed-race grand niece of his stern benefactor, leading to a domino effect of violence, mercy, and unearthed secrets. – Siddhant Adlakha
Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special
From our review : Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special — a one room, one take stand-up routine recorded before Macdonald’s death — captures what made him so uniquely and absurdly funny. It’s also followed by a fitting eulogy from six of his comedian friends, who share stories about him and try to unlock the person he was. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : Robert Eggers’ viking revenge saga The Northman works best when it dives head-first into dreams and disorienting visions, but it slows down when it becomes a more traditional Hollywood narrative. With viciousness relegated to its margins, it often feels neutered and bloodless, but still ends up on the right side of entertaining thanks to its pulsating music and measured performances. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : Official Competition is a sharp black comedy that skewers grandiose wealth, egocentric artists, and how quickly art is swallowed by money and celebrity. Writer/directors Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn distill the worst cliches of narcissists and place them into four characters who torture one another because they get the funding to do so. Penélope Cruz is witty and beguiling in her curly red wig, trying to break two prestigious actors of their narcissism so they can make some art together. Cruz, Antonio Banderas, and Oscar Martínez continue to prove how versatile they are as actors, shifting from comedy to drama on a dime and making it all work seamlessly. And if peeling back the curtain on filmmaking is a genre of interest, this would make a fine viewing pairing with HBO's Irma Vep. – Tara Bennett
On the Count of Three
From our review : A buddy comedy about a suicide pact, On The Count of Three follows Val (actor-director Jerrod Carmichael) and Kevin (Christopher Abbott) on their final day alive, when the rules of tomorrow no longer apply to them. Thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly acted, it’s one of the most bleakly funny films to come out this year. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey never lets up. It’s full of the Predator franchise’s trademark violence and tension, but it’s the ferocious, star-making turn from Amber Midthunder that stands as its greatest strength. The movie’s sole focus on her lead character, Naru, means that the supporting roster comes off a little wooden, but when Prey’s tracking the young warrior’s duel with the Predator -- full of powerful imagery and creative kills -- it rarely falters. – Tom Jorgensen
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
From our review : Not only does Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie function as a superb entry point for new fans, but it also commits to tonal and stylistic makeovers that elevate the franchise in unexpected ways. Not all of its emotional beats will stick beyond the credits, but it’s still fun to see just how much the Turtles have to grow in order to become the crime-fighting unit we adore. – Hayden Mears
From our review : Rosaline is charming, energetic, and gives Kaitlyn Dever another opportunity to shine. She proves to be just as adept at comedy as she is in the array of dramas she usually takes on. The script is an inventive romp through Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, giving the tragedy a lighter touch and a slight skewering regarding its approach to portraying acts of true love. – Tara Bennett
The School for Good and Evil
From our review : The School for Good and Evil goes full blockbuster scale in telling the stories of small-town besties – and potential witches – Agatha (Sofia Wylie) and Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso). It’s their friendship and care for one another that roots the sometimes over-the-top world into succeeding as a story that still feels intimate and true when all kinds of crazy is swirling around them. In particular, Wylie is the beating heart of the movie who sells both the unfiltered candor of Agatha’s disdain for the shallow motivations of the “Ever” students and her heart-on-her-sleeve support for her tempted friend, Sophie. Director Paul Feig also does an impressive job world-building a story that manages to differentiate itself aesthetically and tonally from other high-end, magic-centric movies and TV series. – Tara Bennett
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
From our review : Netflix’s Scrooge: A Christmas Carol was bound to be somewhat decent considering its timeless foundation. Its premise, slight deviations aside, is as worn as Tiny Tim’s shoes at this point. Thankfully, it does manage to stand out in the smallest, but still impactful, of ways. The animation is vibrant, with a bright color palette that nicely contrasts the tonally dark story, and the cast does a splendid job of portraying the film’s assorted characters. Scrooge won’t win over those who’ve grown tired of this tale, but it’s still more than enough to get folks in the holiday spirit. – Kenneth Seward Jr.
From our review : Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno's Shin Ultraman manages to do for the tokusatsu superhero what the duo did for Godzilla, updating the classic character to modern times with a new origin and outlook while preserving the sensibilities and uplifting themes of the original show. It’s a joyful, uplifting ode to tokusatsu and to superhero tales, and well worth a watch no matter your level of familiarity with the character. – Rafael Motamayor
From our review : Showing Up tells the muted story of an artist suffocating beneath feelings of inferiority as she struggles to carve out a place amid her artistic community. The weight of expectation bears a staggering toll on Michelle Williams’ Lizzie as she prepares to make her mark, all while juggling the responsibilities others place upon her. Director Kelly Reichardt paints a subtle picture with fine strokes, painting in the details as we learn more about Lizzie’s history with those around her. It’s a beautiful portrait created by a master at work, with lingering shots that highlight the internal struggles of the starving artist while exposing the thoughtlessness of those around her. Showing Up takes a unique look behind the canvas, laying the artist bare. – Ryan Leston
From our review : Significant Other is a tight and well-constructed thriller that offers some genuine surprises and showcases the talents of Maika Monroe and Jake Lacy. A character study that takes some interesting story swings, it makes you wish more films of a similar ilk would take the same care and precision in finding fresh ways to mesh the intimate with high-concept ideas. – Tara Bennett
Something in the Dirt
From our review : Something in the Dirt is another genre-bending winner for filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, a highly entertaining and mind-melting sci-fi film about two neighbors encountering mysteries much larger than themselves and getting trapped by their own obsession with truth and fame. Before they likely explode in popularity from their involvement in Marvel's Moon Knight series, this film encapsulates what makes them some of the most unique and important voices in genre filmmaking today. – Rafael Motamayor
Speak No Evil
From our review : Speak No Evil isn't for the faint of morality and weak constitution. Its message is simple — our world is full of monsters. Christian Tafdrup doesn't coddle his audience, nor does the film pad its landing. Speak No Evil hits with the impact of leaping off the Empire State Building and greeting 34th Street at full force, with the aftermath to match. Patience is rewarded by knock-down, soulless-nasty payoffs that cast an exquisitely malevolent cloud over humankind, which will lose some viewers — it's excessively backloaded, one of my only criticisms. But it's also proficient and tactical in its momentum buildup, meticulous in its naive stroll-about pace, which viciously sells an epic heel turn that will make you want to cancel plans for the next 24 hours of recovery. – Matt Donato
From our review : Much like he did with Apollo 13, Ron Howard takes an outsized moment in history, the 2018 Thai soccer team rescue, and reshapes it into an intimate event that allows the audience to experience the intensity and stakes of the ordeal. Utilizing his recent skills in documentary-making, Howard highlights the timeline of the flooding, and subsequent rescue attempts, to create a subtle but effective ticking clock undertone that heightens the stakes and gives us a visceral sense of how overwhelming the endeavor was. As cameras follow the divers from the water-line into the impossibly cramped spaces they had to navigate, it makes for some unbearably intense cinematography that captures the claustrophobia needed to put viewers in the fins of everyone involved. The grounded and understated performances of the Thai and western actors, meanwhile, ensure that the story doesn’t veer into bombastic territory. – Tara Bennett
From our review : With a stunningly raw performance from Danielle Deadwyler, Chinonye Chukwu’s Till lives in the body of a traditional biopic — about Mamie Till-Mobley in the aftermath of her son Emmett’s lynching — but it turns real events into regretful, wistful memories, with a camera that refuses to look away from a mother’s pain. – Siddhant Adlakha
Triangle of Sadness
From our review : Triangle of Sadness pokes fun at the ultra-rich, playing their undoing for laughs in the worst of situations. It’s a masterclass in cringe comedy with Harris Dickinson playing it straight throughout as he finds himself in appallingly toe-curling situations. A spectacular turn from Woody Harrelson amps the laughs up even more, and while toilet humor literally erupts in the second half, it’s the performances of the film’s stellar cast that keep this ship on course. The script could’ve been tighter, but Triangle of Sadness keeps the laughs coming thick and fast, even well into the home stretch. Who knew class politics could be this much fun? – Ryan Leston
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
From our review : It probably goes without saying that Nicolas Cage obsessives will get precisely what they’re looking for out of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’s meta-exploration of the actor’s persona, but the real heart and soul of the picture is Cage’s on-screen bromance with Pedro Pascal’s Javi. Their chemistry carries the movie into far more memorable territory, and more than makes up for a few of the film’s less-interesting elements. – Alex Navarro
From our review : War Pony tells a surprisingly personal story of two young men trapped by their circumstances. Challenging perceptions of life on the poorest Native American reservation, the film highlights the struggles they face while desperately trying to grasp at a better life. Jojo Bapteise Whiting and Ladainian Crazy Thunder play two sides of the same coin and could easily be the same boy seen at different periods in his life. But their similarities, it seems, are a product of their environment. It’s up to them to change it. An effective debut feature from director Riley Keough, War Pony is a rare breed – a native story told by an outsider seeking to uplift the community rather than exploit it. – Ryan Leston
Wendell & Wild
From our review : Henry Selick returns to our screens with Wendell & Wild, a new stop-motion nightmare that brings an edgier and darker tone, more mature subjects, and even more laughs to the director's toolbox. Partnering with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, this is a feast for the eyes; a hilarious, spooky, empowering story; and a movie you'll want to add to your Halloween rotation. – Rafael Motamayor
We're All Going to the World's Fair
From our review : A technological horror drama with lingering transgender subtext, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair follows an online role-playing challenge connected to an urban legend. With a stunning debut performance from Anna Cobb, as a teenager in search of connection, the result is a moody, meditative film about loneliness in the digital age. – Siddhant Adlakha
When the Screaming Starts
From our review : When the Screaming Starts is a clever, cleaver-waving mockumentary that deals in the price of infinite recognition paid in flesh. Commentary behind Aidan's ambitions, Amy's gratifications, and Norman's obsession skewer why all these people would rather be known forever as malevolent bastards than live average, upstanding lives. Conor Boru might have directed When the Screaming Starts as a razor-sharp horror comedy, but it's effectively a morbid tragedy about the state of contemporary media. "Serial killers don't get forgotten — no one remembers the victims." A pointed screenplay and stellar ensemble of slashers slice-and-dice their way through true-crime obsessions that hold the audience accountable for what they're watching, presenting one of the year's surprise horror favorites like a body bag with a bow on top. – Matt Donato
When You Finish Saving the World
From our review : When You Finish Saving the World sees debuting director Jesse Eisenberg ironing out his visual wrinkles, as he spins an awkwardly funny, emotionally intricate tale about a disconnected mother and son. Led by moving performances from Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard, the film takes a roundabout approach to its drama, resulting in a realistic portrait of a relationship in stasis. – Siddhant Adlakha
The Woman King
From our review : The Woman King overcomes the perils of its overstuffed script with a collection of performances that elevate the whole. As expected, Viola Davis is the emotional center of the piece, masterfully fine-tuning her performance to go from fierce to vulnerable as needed. More surprising is breakout star Thuso Mbedu as the Agojie’s new recruit, Nawi. She drives the majority of the story and lands everything the movie asks of her and then some. What results is a crowd-pleasing movie featuring an inspiring array of female heroes who, even in 1823, are more than capable of saving themselves, and do it quite thrillingly. – Tara Bennett
From our review : A harrowing tale rooted in real events, Women Talking takes a stage-like approach to its debate between victimized women in a commune, but imbues it with cinematic flourishes. It’s also one of the rare ensemble movies where every single performance makes it worth watching. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : While its gnarly payoffs eventually peter out, X is filled with fun and intense setups that harken back to classic slasher fare. A story of a doomed porn crew shooting in the middle of nowhere, it has the makings of a traditional splatter-fest, but injects its story with an unexpected sympathy for its cleverly conceived villains. – Siddhant Adlakha
You Won't Be Alone
From our review : You Won’t Be Alone forges a melancholy coming-of-age nightmare that touches on all aspects of humanity. Elements of body horror and traditional folk horror carve a bizarre niche, while star Sara Klimoska traverses this strange new world with wide-eyed naivete. A stirring performance by Anamaria Marinca elevates a role that could exist within classic horror tropes to that of a Shakespearean tragedy. Less of a straight-up horror movie and more creeping dread, You Won’t Be Alone explores the spectrum of human emotion with an otherworldly curiosity. Perhaps it takes someone on the fringes of society to find out what it really means to be human. – Ryan Leston
Worst Reviewed Movies of 2022
Review Score: 9 ("Amazing")
The adam project.
From our review : The Adam Project is a thoughtful, witty mash-up of all the movies from my childhood. It’s Back to the Future meets The Last Starfighter with a slew of wonderful performances from a cast that clearly loves the concept as much as I do. Ryan Reynolds is on top form as Adam, while Walker Scobell matches him punch for punch with a great debut performance. The Adam Project is a love letter to the family sci-fi flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s, packed full of Amblin-like charm. – Ryan Leston
From our review : A tale of love and death told through an android’s vivid memories, After Yang is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching sci-fi mystery about an aloof couple (Colin Farrell and Jodie-Turner Smith) discovering the secret life and hidden emotions of their artificial son (Justin H. Min). With melancholy performances and an eye for natural beauty, Kogonada’s second feature film draws from masters of the past to create a glowing and moving future. – Siddhant Adlakha
All Quiet on the Western Front
From our review : All Quiet on the Western Front is just as bleak as you might imagine, with an unflinching examination of the horrors of war. It’s a brutal, exhausting, and raw reminder of the evil humanity is capable of inflicting upon each other, and it couldn’t be more timely. Felix Kammerer stuns as Paul Bäumer with stand-out performances from Albrecht Schuch and Edin Hasanovic. The attention to detail is phenomenal, with director Edward Berger retelling this classic story in a new and interesting way. All Quiet on the Western Front is a grim, harrowing march towards an inevitable conclusion that’s held together by a minuscule thread of humanity. It’s a tough watch, but believe me, it’s worth every wince-inducing moment. – Ryan Leston
From our review : A dreamlike fictional biopic about Marilyn Monroe, Blonde features a stunning, volatile performance from Ana de Armas, whose daring vulnerability is matched by director Andrew Dominik’s equally daring formal approach, which keeps Marilyn in constant conversation with her iconic photographs, with the camera, and with the public at large. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : Bubble captivates both as commentary on the cyclical nature of existence and also a bittersweet sci-fi romance. Featuring gorgeous hand-drawn animation melded with fluid computer-generated graphics, a unique take on the beleaguered post-apocalyptic landscape, and a romance you'll want to root for right until it fizzles out, this is an anime film you'll want to add to your permanent collection right away. – Brittany Vincent
From our review : Catwoman: Hunted proves Selina Kyle hardly needs Batman around to have a good time. This new DC Universe Movies release benefits from a strong, efficient script and a talented voice cast as it explores a jewel heist gone horribly wrong. But above all, it succeeds in merging DC's superhero universe with a strong anime aesthetic, resulting in a globetrotting adventure with strong echoes of Cowboy Bebop and Lupin III. That's great company to be in. – Jesse Schedeen
Cha Cha Real Smooth
From our review : "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day." Those words by the great Jim Valvano apply to film as well. Movies like Cha Cha Real Smooth that make us laugh, think, and cry deserve special celebrations for encouraging viewers to feel less alone, filling our hearts with courage to weather life's oncoming storms. Cooper Raiff cements himself as an invaluable contemporary voice shaping American cinema's future through something so authentic and without emotional restraints. If all Raiff's stories are this vulnerable, reassuring, and spoken like a whisper in our ear during one long hug? I'll be first in line without even reading a tagline. – Matt Donato
Decision to Leave
From our review : Decision to Leave is Park Chan-wook’s unabashed ode to Hitchcock and Wong Kar-wai. Park Hae-il and Tang Wei have such potent, simmering chemistry that even when they’re just eating across from one another, they’re riveting. Portraying their shift from cat and mouse adversaries to unrequited soulmates is a journey that’s mature, surprising, and rather enthralling. – Tara Bennett
From our review : Steven Spielberg goes autobiographical with The Fabelmans, his warmest and most personal film to date. With a coming-of-age story that is universal in its portrayal of misunderstood artists and broken homes, but hyper-specific in its portrayal of the childhood that formed a legendary filmmaker, this is a therapy session turned into a hugely entertaining movie, aided by a fantastic cast, and one of John Williams' best scores in years. – Rafael Motamayor
From our review : Indie director Andrew Ahn creates a mainstream queer classic with the romcom Fire Island, his inventive modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Following a group of gay friends on a wild vacation, it features some of the funniest and most tension-filled scenes in any movie this year. As complete as any piece of entertainment can be. – Siddhant Adlakha
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
From our review : Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a bigger, bolder, funnier, angrier sequel that improves on almost every aspect of its predecessor. Rian Johnson plays with an air-tight script that targets the absurdity and stupidity of the one percent while delivering a hilarious murder mystery on the most luxurious private island not owned by a Bond villain. – Rafael Motamayor
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
From our review : Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a heartfelt dramedy about a middle-aged woman and the sex worker she hires and their candid conversations about life, shame, and acceptance. Director Sophie Hyde and writer Katy Brand beautifully explore aging women’s desires and needs and what it means to finally love yourself. Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack’s chemistry is intense and each give brilliant performances. – Laura Sirikul
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
From our review : The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special delivers all the Christmas cheer, sentiment, catchy musical numbers, and laugh-out-loud moments you could ask for in a quick 43 minutes. Kevin Bacon is hilarious as he plays himself in an insane situation, as is Dave Bautista’s Drax, but the real star here is Pom Klementieff as Mantis. James Gunn gives this former background character tons of layers, and Klementieff brings it all home with a charming performance. It all makes for a delightful addition to any MCU fan’s annual Christmas rotation. – Alex Stedman
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
From our review : Guillermo del Toro sprinkles his signature dark whimsy on a fairytale classic with stunning puppetry and catchy original songs. Filled with heart, humor, and historical grounding, it’s a phenomenal feat of animated cinema. – Hanna Ines Flint
From our review : The desire for justice becomes warped in A Hero, the story of a prisoner named Rahim, whose good deeds make him a micro-celebrity before his past comes back to haunt him. Told through director Asghar Farhadi’s signature brand of neo-realism, it pulsates with anxiety even in its quieter moments, thanks to the mounting realization that Rahim’s decency may not be enough to save his dignity. – Siddhant Adlakha
Hit the Road
From our review : Hit the Road is a masterful debut film for writer/director Panah Panahi. His skill at capturing this bittersweet chapter for this family so naturalistically, yet cinematically is breathtaking at times. The chemistry of the actors, who all give top-tier performances, is so potent that there isn’t a moment where you don’t believe they are an actual family, navigating this final road trip together with humor, sorrow, and vulnerability. – Tara Bennett
I Love My Dad
From our review : James Morosini’s shockingly funny I Love My Dad builds on the actor-director’s real-life tale of being catfished by his distant father. The story is told from the point of view of his dad, a character played with hilarious desperation by comedian Patton Oswalt, resulting in a bizarre act of cinematic empathy that’s as moving as it is intense. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : The final chapter in American comedy’s most chaotic saga, Jackass Forever is a hilarious last hurrah for its original crew. An extravagant stunt show filled with more cinematic homages (and more bodily fluids) than ever before, it takes an ill-advised trip down memory lane and raises the stakes in maniacal fashion. Few recent films have been funnier or more delightfully nostalgic. – Siddhant Adlakha
Jujutsu Kaisen 0
From our review : Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manages to work as both a standalone introduction to the anime and also a satisfying prequel to those familiar with this world. With stunning animation, complex and memorable characters, and a healthy dose of horror imagery, this is one of the best shonen anime films in a while. – Rafael Motamayor
From our review : The Menu is a hilariously wicked thriller about the world of high-end restaurants, featuring a stellar cast led by a phenomenal Ralph Fiennes, some of the most gorgeous food shots in recent film history, and accompanied by a delicious hors d'oeuvres sampling of commentary on the service industry, class warfare, and consumerism. – Rafael Motamayor
From our review : A hilariously bleak vision of the American dream, Jordan Peele’s Nope is a farcical love letter to Hollywood filmmaking. A sci-fi-horror-comedy that builds cinematic myths before casually knocking them over, it’s one of the most effective and purely entertaining summer blockbusters in years, from a studio director at the peak of his craft. – Siddhant Adlakha
Odd Taxi: In the Woods
From our review : Odd Taxi was one of the best anime of 2021, if not the past decade as a whole. In the Woods manages to make its epic, interconnected, funny, thrilling story more streamlined by focusing on its central mystery and peppering it with the character beats and hilarious banter that made the original so special. Fans of the show may not feel the need to revisit the whole story — though a new epilogue provides a satisfying closure — but newcomers may find a great gateway to both the world of Odd Taxi and anime in general. – Rafael Motamayor
One Piece Film: Red
From our review : One Piece Film: Red breaks the mold of the typical anime shonen film, capturing the magic of the series. It’s confidently a musical, too, with J-Pop star Ado providing several fantastic earworms as Uta Shanks doesn’t get as much screen time as fans may hope, but it’s still satisfying to spend more time with him. It’s not the movie that will convert non-believers into fans – it feels more like a lost episode than a cash grab for newcomers – but by heavily integrating itself with the main series and understanding the humor that makes it shine, Film: Red ranks at the top of One Piece’s features. – Just Lunning
Project Wolf Hunting
From our review : Project Wolf Hunting goes for broke in terms of exquisite beatdown violence in the pursuit of primal genre happiness. Writer/director Kim Hong-seon executes like there’s a going-out-of-business sale on fake blood, and we reap the benefits as showstopping displays of action-horror devastation take center stage. Fugitives and coppers aren't just killed; they're pummeled into oblivion until maybe half their identifiable traits remain — if lucky. Project Wolf Hunting is a cornucopia of killing-machine kookiness that keeps reminding us why South Korean horror frequently reigns supreme, and leaves us wanting more even after Boat to Busan docks for a refuel. – Matt Donato
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
From our review : Puss in Boots: The Last Wish takes not only the Shrek franchise, but DreamWorks Animation to exciting new places. This is a spaghetti western-inspired tale of an aging cowboy on one last adventure with some rather mature themes, aided by stunning animation that mixes 3D with 2D effects, and a painterly style that gives the film a unique look. – Rafael Motamayor
From our review : Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth deliver explosive, career-best work in Resurrection, a psychological thriller that takes shocking and upsetting turns. The film is powerful both in its quietly disturbing scenes — which toy with the perspective of a troubled mother who believes her traumatic past has returned — and in its most deranged and violent movements. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : The latest addition to the Scream franchise expertly blends reverence for the source material while creating something that feels almost completely new. All of the performances are pitch-perfect as the new generation of Woodsboro teens step into their futures, the kills are gnarly, and no version of toxic fandom is left unmocked. – Amelia Emberwing
From our review : The Stranger might just be one of my favorite films out of Cannes 2022. It’s dripping with gritty realism, cloaked in the shadows of a muted palette, and finished off with some truly inspired style choices. It’s the kind of thriller that only comes along every once in a while – truly unsettling and with enough twists and turns to not only keep you interested but on your toes. There’s plenty of great acting, too, with both Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris throwing their characters up against a wall and dissecting them with brutal efficiency. There’s a lot to love in The Stranger, and even more to wrap your head around. The reward is a rich, dark thriller that will be on your mind for some time. – Ryan Leston
From our review : Todd Field’s first feature in 16 years, TÁR is a richly detailed portrait of power and creative genius, led by Cate Blanchett’s towering performance as a world-famous composer whose private and professional life enters the public spotlight. A pressing film that feels distinctly of-the-now. – Siddhant Adlakha
From our review : A story of magical transformation as a metaphor for personal and cultural change, Turning Red (from Bao director Domee Shi) is Pixar’s funniest and most imaginative film in years. It captures the wild energy of adolescence, uses pop stars as a timeless window into puberty, and tells a tale of friendship and family in the most delightfully kid-friendly way. – Siddhant Adlakha
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
From our review : Weird: The Al Yankovic Story does for the music biopic what the real Weird Al did for many a hit pop song: it makes fun of it, reveres it, remixes it, makes it weirder, and improves it. With Daniel Radcliffe in the role he was born to play, Weird tells the definitive and totally true story of one of our greatest musicians and comedians while making you wish all music biopics were this funny or bizarre. – Rafael Motamayor
Werewolf By Night
From our review : Werewolf by Night is a wondrous homage to the classic Universal monster movies. It’s about as scary as those original films are to a modern audience, but that doesn’t matter – it faithfully evokes the kind of classic horror that we haven’t seen in decades. The style may be old, and the tropes may be well-worn, but the film’s Marvel twist is enough to keep it feeling relatively fresh while tapping into the nostalgia of horror film fans. Gael Garcia Bernal is excellent as Jack, and the dynamic between him and Laura Donnelly warrants further screentime. Werewolf by Night may not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat with a slow, creeping tone that captures the very best of classic horror. – Ryan Leston
From our review : The Whale forces us to face some uncomfortable truths, not just concerning its grotesquely proportioned protagonist, but about ourselves, too. Much of its power comes from breaking down the barrier between the audience and the film’s subject, forcing us to accept that there’s a human being beneath the fat. A powerhouse performance from Brendan Fraser explores every facet of the deeply complex man, while Sadie Sink digs deep for a quirky role that keeps you guessing. A sharp script is delivered with slow brutality by Darren Aronofsky who gets to the heart of what it means to be Charlie. The Whale isn’t just a great film – it’s an important one, too, delving into our own humanity with the dogged relentlessness of Ahab himself. – Ryan Leston
From our review : White Noise holds up a mirror to contemporary America, forcing a self-examination that both amuses and terrifies. It may be set in the ‘80s but it’s as prescient as ever, forcing us to examine the failings of postmodern culture and face the comedy and terror inherent in our society. It may be funny, even light-hearted in places, but White Noise confronts heavy, poignant topics with a level of awareness that will make you laugh while your skin crawls. A flamboyant performance by Adam Driver drills down into our own inadequacies, while Greta Gerwig’s Babette keeps the whole sorry mess together with a graceful banality that’s beautiful in its ordinariness. White Noise is an overtly weird yet almost mundane take on some heavy existential issues. After all, aren’t we all tentatively scheduled to die? – Ryan Leston
The Worst Person in the World
From our review : Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World features a stunning lead performance and peppers its realism with occasional dreamlike flourishes. It explores several years of millennial uncertainty through the eyes of Julie (Renate Reinsve), an indecisive, self-loathing 20-something who switches careers and languishes in a doomed romance until she’s able to find fleeting moments of joy amidst emotional turns that twist like a knife. – Siddhant Adlakha
Review Score: 10 ("Masterpiece")
From our review : The Batman is a gripping, gorgeous, and, at times, genuinely scary psychological crime thriller that gives Bruce Wayne the grounded detective story he deserves. Robert Pattinson is great as a very broken Batman, but it’s Zoe Kravitz and Paul Dano who steal the show, with a movingly layered Selina Kyle/Catwoman and a terrifyingly unhinged Riddler. Writer/director Matt Reeves managed to make a Batman movie that’s entirely different from the others in the live-action canon, yet surprisingly loyal to Gotham lore as a whole. Ultimately, it’s one that thoroughly earns its place in this iconic character’s legacy. – Alex Stedman
Watch The Batman on HBO Max on April 18, 2022.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
From our review : Everything Everywhere All at Once is a complex film that encompasses a variety of subjects, but it does justice to each of them with a carefully written script, marvelous performances, and a healthy dose of bizarre humor to counter its bleak story. Michelle Yeoh in particular gives a powerhouse performance in a story that puts a fresh, welcome spin on the idea of the multiverse. – Rafael Motamayor
This story was originally published on February 11. It was most recently updated on December 13 with the latest information.
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The 29 Best Movies of 2022
By Taylor Antrim , Liam Hess , Chloe Schama , Radhika Seth , Marley Marius , and Lisa Wong Macabasco
Have we finally entered a post-pandemic moment in our collective movie-going history? While the studios certainly hoped so, the box office tells a different story, with some of 2022's biggest productions barely scraping by. But let that be no reflection of the eclectic, innovative, and surprising offings that came not only out of Hollywood but also Ireland, Korea, Iran and elsewhere this year. And with the ever expanding ecosystem of streaming platforms, there are more ways to watch than ever before. Here, we present the best films of 2022—roughly in order of the date they came out this year—from block-busting action flicks to cozy dramas. Go forth, and settle in for some good old-fashioned movie magic…no matter how you watch it.
The Worst Person in the World
Joachim Trier’s latest is a romantic-comedy-drama with the stunning Renate Reinsve (she took home the best actress award at Cannes) starring as Julie, a somewhat directionless young woman involved in a relationship with a more ambitious and directed man 15 years her senior. The setup becomes more complicated when she meets and begins to fall for a man closer to her age. The self-described “European art-house guy” director told the Los Angeles Times that he “went out on a limb” with this surprisingly romantic film. —Chloe Schama
How to watch: Stream on Hulu .
Kogonada, the South Korean–born American filmmaker who made the well-received 2018 indie, Columbus , returns with the quiet, patient After Yang —a cerebral adaptation of a science-fiction short story starring Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith about a household android that malfunctions. Elegant in its production design and searching in its examination of identity and humanity, this was an understated indie gem with Farrell at his understated best. — Taylor Antrim
How to watch: Stream on Showtime , Amazon , Apple TV , or YouTube .
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The opening night film at SXSW, A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once stars Michelle Yeoh as a Chinese American woman who sets off on a mundane task—finishing her taxes—and ends up…traversing the multiverse? The film is the product of the experimental directing duo known as Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) and follows their 2016 film, Swiss Army Man. —C.S.
How to watch: Stream on Amazon , Apple TV , or YouTube .
By Margaux Anbouba
By Audrey Noble
By Hannah Coates
The subject of Daniel Roher’s film, the Russian dissident and former presidential candidate Alexei Navalny, has been in a Russian prison since January 2021, after a near-fatal poisoning by Moscow security agents in 2020. Navalny is a powerful reminder that Vladimir Putin would like nothing more than to see him killed—and that only Navalny’s celebrity, his social media acumen and charisma on the world stage (which this film powerfully reaffirms), can keep him alive. Navalny is notable for its sheer entertainment value, for the suspense Roher draws from recent history—a story as gripping as a Jason Bourne sequel. —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on HBO Max .
Top Gun: Maverick
More than the movie of the summer—which it undoubtedly was— Top Gun: Maverick is now a piece of movie history, the film that got audiences back into theaters in the COVID era. It’s made more than $1 billion (the highest-grossing film of Tom Cruise’s career) and is still going strong. Have you submitted to its mix of electrifying flight sequences and utterly embarrassing human drama? What are you waiting for? —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on Amazon or Apple TV .
See Elvis for the Prada costumes and for Austin Butler ’s committed, pelvis-thrusting performance. Brace yourself for the length, the maximalism, the onslaught of Baz Luhrmann directorial excess. Elvis is a lot in every sense, but for Luhrmann fans it’s an overwhelming, glittering, rock-and-roll must. —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on HBO max .
Fire of Love
Fire of Love is a surprise; a dazzling, seductive, nature-meets-romance documentary that cuts against the current grain for nonfiction films. This is not true-crime, not a deep dive into scandal, not a disposable pop-star autobiography—the three genres du jour. This 90-minute charmer, from the filmmaker Sara Dosa, is a gentle, deeply tasteful portrait of a French couple, Katia and Maurice Krafft, who were celebrity volcanologists in the 1970s and ’80s. Miranda July narrates the proceedings—partly reading from the Kraffts’ own writings, and archly commenting on the way they were aware of their own burgeoning fame (French TV ate them up)—and her casual-whimsical voice adds to the film’s transporting effect. —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on Disney+
An award-winning Cannes debut, the darkly escapist Croatian drama Murina is the first feature from writer director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, and it teems with menace. It dramatizes the coming-of-age of 17-year-old Julija, who lives with her parents on an insular island along the country’s Adriatic coastline. The scenery is gorgeous–all craggy rocks and cerulean blue waters and sun–but Julija’s life is frighteningly constrained by her brutal father, and the actress Gracija Filipović perfectly captures her desperate need for escape. When her father’s old friend, Javier, arrives, Julija is seduced and dangerously tempted. The underwater sequences (Julija and her father are adept at spearfishing) are glorious and the movie enthralls you with its Hitchcockian mood. —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on Amazon or Apple .
This surprise horror hit derives its percussive pleasures from the way it sneaks up on what you expect and delivers something just slightly to the left. Barbarian ’s tone is its greatest feat—writer-director Zach Cregger has made something genuinely scary but also funny, subversive, and irresistibly well-paced. Georgina Campbell plays Tess, who has flown into Detroit for a job interview and booked an inexpensive Airbnb in a dubious neighborhood. When she arrives in the middle of the night, she finds it already occupied by Keith (Bill Skarsgard), who is half friendly, half creepy. They decide, tentatively, awkwardly, to bunk together for the night. Barbarian taps into the unease of the sharing economy and the forced intimacy of Airbnb—but it doesn’t stop there. All hell breaks loose in Cregger’s movie and in ways you don’t anticipate. Justin Long is brilliantly funny in a role that shouldn't be spoiled. Suffice it to say that Barbarian goes for it, in every which direction, all the way to its gory end. —T.A.
The Woman King
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood ( Love & Basketball ) with a cast that includes Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega, and Thuso Mbedu , this historical saga is set in the West African kingdom of Dahomey (part of present-day Benin), it centers on the general of an all-female military unit. The film far exceeded box office expectations and boasted m uch lauded performances from Davis and Mbedu, both expected to be Awards season contenders. —Radhika Seth
How to watch: Stream on Amazon.
Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream isn’t a connect-the-dots David Bowie biopic: It is, instead, a gloriously immersive, kaleidoscopic examination not so much of Bowie’s life here on earth, but of the life he lived inside his head and his heart, which led him to create his art. Instead of telling you about Bowie, it puts you in the midst of his world; instead of teaching you things, it makes you feel the world he lived in. The fact that it’s big, loud, fragmented, and occasionally chaotic (and a bit long, at two hours and 20 minutes) is even more cause for celebration. —Corey Seymour
Erudite and ferociously powerful, Tár is a conversation starter of a movie, a gripping provocation about creative brilliance, obsession and sexual manipulation. The staggering performance at its center is from Cate Blanchett as the conductor Lydia Tár, a formidable public figure who emulates Leonard Bernstein (and no other) and who is readying the Berlin Philharmonic to record Mahler’s Symphony no 5. From that high-minded premise comes a drama of jolting power. Tár is slashingly eloquent and self-possessed to everyone who stumbles into her path. She’s convinced of her genius, as are we, even as the film reveals the cruel manipulations she’s engaged in. Writer-director Todd Field—this is his third film and his first in 16 years—has meticulously built a portrait of intelligence and venality that defies our judgments and confounds our sympathies. —T.A.
How to watch: In theaters and on various streaming services like Amazon Prime .
Kathryn Ferguson’s stirring documentary Nothing Compares is an absorbing and thoughtfully constructed examination of Sinead O’Connor’s skyrocketing fame in the late 1980s and early ’90s–and a depiction of what happened at her peak: a very public fall from grace after she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live in 1992. Ferguson, who grew up in Belfast listening to O’Connor’s 1987 debut album The Lion and Cobra in her father’s car, performed a fan’s act of reclamation–ignoring recent tabloid stories (nothing about O’Connor’s suicidal tweets, nothing about the tragic death of her son) and giving us instead a close reading of her music and the brutal Ireland that she came out of, and why she had such an electric impact on the culture. —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on Amazon or Hulu .
Anaïs in Love
You’d be forgiven for finding the premise of Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s Anaïs in Love almost comically French: It centers on a flighty young woman named Anaïs who, after beginning an affair with a married older man, winds up falling for his wife, a writer named Emilie. Yet the film—which somewhat calls to mind another rom-com-dram on this list, The Worst Person in the World , for its focus on the wild stabs at self-determination that tend to come with turning 30—mines more than just sexy intrigue from its unlikely love triangle. As Anaïs moves in on Emilie at a symposium in the countryside (!), and Emilie’s bewilderment relaxes into bemused consent, Anaïs is pushed to finally, finally , stake a claim on what she wants—and find the mettle to hang onto it. —Marley Marius
How to watch: Stream on Hulu.
Triangle of Sadness
Director Ruben Östlund took home the top prize at Cannes for this unabashedly over the top examination of the excesses of the .0001%. Nominally focused on influencer couple Carl (Harris Dickson) and Yaya (the late, and great, in this role, Charlbi Dean Kriek ), Triangle of Sadness follows them onto a luxury yacht where the haves and the have nots are stacked on top of one another in a not-so-subtle cross section of society, delineated by money and, in the case of Carl and Yaya, a more precarious but no less privileged influence. There is a “ship of merry fools” vibe to the gauche indulgences taking place aboard the vessel, but the party comes to a dramatic halt with a scene of excess gone awry (steer clear if you don't have a strong stomach) and then a shipwreck. Triangle of Sadness is a baggy beast, but it is a highly entertaining one nonetheless. —Chloe Schama
How to watch: Stream on various platforms, including Apple TV+ .
All That Breathes
A mesmerizing, unforgettable documentary about so many things: wildness, urban squalor, intimacy, devotion, entropy and heartbreak, All That Breathes is a film that is hard to classify and harder still to shake. Nominally the story of a small wildlife clinic in New Delhi run by two brothers and dedicated to caring for kites–the carnivorous birds of prey that wheel in the skies above the teeming city—this is more of a meditation on human persistence and the blurred lines between civilization and savagery. If that sounds heady, just plunge in, All That Breathes is visually stunning document of a megacity on the edge of chaos and a heart-rending account of two brothers persisting against the odds. Nadeem and Mohammed (and their hilarious sidekick/assistant Salik) are faced with more and more sick birds, as the air quality in Delhi is increasingly inimitable to life, boom and bust funding, and fraternal conflict. And the birds themselves are miraculously strange: bestial and vulnerable, beautiful and terrifying at once. One of the years strangest and most haunting films. —T.A.
How to watch: In select theaters now.
Aftersun brims with emotional power. Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells’s feature debut is the story of a young, newly single father taking his 11-year-old daughter on an inexpensive holiday in Turkey. Paul Mescal does subtle work as the outwardly genial, inwardly broken Calum, adrift between youth and responsibility, and newcomer Frankie Corio is his daughter Sophie, a brave, expressive girl who desperately needs something from her dad she’ll never get. Vibrant and melancholy, this is a lovely sunlit heartbreak of a film. —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on Amazon .
James Gray’s autobiographical film is a gorgeous, confidently made morality tale set in 1980 Queens with titanic performances from Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Strong as members of a striving Jewish family confronting unpleasantness at the heart of the American dream. Paul is their sixth grader, an incandescently sensitive boy played by newcomer Banks Repeta, who finds the codes of a private school—and the naked racism of his classmates— nearly unbearable. His grandfather (Hopkins, magnificent here) counsels and comforts him as he faces impossible choices between integrity and ambition, friendship and his future. —T.A.
A reminder, as if we needed one, that Florence Pugh is our actress of the moment. This adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s 2016 novel by the Chilean director Sebastián Lelio is a quietly simmering story of religious fervor and fraudulence. Set in 19th-century Ireland it is the story of a 11-year-old girl who seems to be miraculously living without food. An English nurse Lib (Pugh) is called in by local authorities to observe the girl and solve the mystery (or prove the existence of a religious miracle). This she does in a methodical confident way even as her frailties—grief, addiction, sexual need—are revealed. The movie has a strange postmodern framing, but it looks wild and wonderful and Pugh anchors everything with her high seriousness and commitment. —T.A.
How to watch: In theaters and on Netflix .
In Maria Schrader’s rousing drama , Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan play Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, The New York Times reporters who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct. This awards-season front-runner asks what happens when the journalists become the story. In a feature published in Vogue the two journalists reflected on the power of the film to go beyond what their reporting had accomplished: “The film’s focus on process and on truth feels just as relevant now—and it serves as a reminder of what journalists and courageous sources can accomplish together. It also may reach people who have never heard these stories before.”
How to watch: In theaters and on Vudu , Amazon , and other platforms.
Bones and All
Some five (!) years after the sensation that was Call Me By Your Name , director Luca Guadagnino and Timothée Chalamet are back together again with Bones and All , a very different kind of queer love story. Adapted from Camille DeAngelis’s novel of the same name, it follows Maren ( Waves star Taylor Russell), a wayward young woman (and cannibal) who meets a drifter named Lee (Chalamet) and sets off with him on a road trip to find her estranged mother. For all of the film’s gore—and its powerfully unsettling supporting turns from Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Chloë Sevigny—Guadagnino has insisted it’s one of the most romantic movies he’s ever made. “Of course, there’s the literal aspect of it being a movie about cannibal lovers, which is extreme in many ways,” he told Fantastic Man earlier this year, “but I think the more extreme aspect of the movie is the intensity of the feelings that these people go through—the impossibility of love.” —M.M.
How to watch: In theaters
Written and directed by the hotly tipped Sierra Leonean American filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu, Nanny is a masterful horror film that is equally unafraid to tackle weightier themes rarely seen on film—from the immigrant experience to the exploitation of women from the African diaspora in today’s America. With a star-making turn from Anna Diop as a Senegalese nanny navigating the trials of working for a dysfunctional, wealthy Manhattan family while also dealing with demons of her own (expressed through an increasingly terrifying series of nightmares, rooted in West African folklore and explored more deeply in another brilliant turn by Leslie Uggams as her boyfriend’s grandmother), Nanny is as visually striking as it is smart and subversive. —Liam Hess
How to watch: In theaters and on Amazon December 16 .
This is a haunting and upsetting crime film from Iranian director Ali Abbasi about the real-life serial killings of prostitutes in the Iranian city of Mashhad in 2000 and 2001. Depicting a side of Iranian life I’d never seen on film—drug use, homelessness, and the sex trade—it’s a bracing report from the shadows of a modern theocracy. Mashhad’s police have little interest in the death of female prostitutes so it falls to a visiting journalist Rahimi (played with ferocious intensity by Zar Amir Ebrahimi , who won Best Actress at Cannes 2022) to solve the case and bring the killer to justice (the ending is as devastating as it is believable). Holy Spider made me think of gritty crime films from the 70s, a thriller not afraid to be ugly and forceful. —T.A.
How to watch: In select theaters .
All the Beauty and Bloodshed
The 1980s fuel the triumphant documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed , a collaboration between the director Laura Poitras ( Citizenfour ) and artist Nan Goldin , whose life and activism against the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, are the film’s absorbing subjects. It opens with the series of actions Goldin organized at prominent New York museums, strewing prescription slips and empty pill bottles—symbols of Purdue’s deadly opioids—to shine a hard light on the millions donated by the Sacklers. Rousing as these scenes are, it is the way Poitras burrows deeper into Goldin’s background and art that make the film so profound—charting a narrative of trauma and neglect (and drug abuse), and showing how Goldin found a community in an underground 1980s Manhattan scene that she went on to document in unforgettably gritty photographs. A poised and meticulous film that brims with humanity. —T.A.
How to watch: In theaters and, eventually, on HBO Max .
The Eternal Daughter
A sophisticated gothic ghost story and family mystery from the great British director Joanna Hogg ( The Souvenir I & II), starring Tilda Swinton , who is dazzling in a double role. Julie and her mother Rosalind (both played by Swinton) travel to a grand country hotel in Wales for a getaway. Starchy members of the British upper class, these two are hilariously contained in their expressions of feeling, even as they both brim with emotion and things unsaid. The country hotel is wreathed in mist, seemingly abandoned (except for one drolly bad tempered hostess, played by Carly Sophia-Davie) and apparently haunted. Hogg’s clever use of genre tropes includes a genuinely disquieting sequence involving an apparition, and the canny reveal of the film's central, supernatural mystery.—T.A.
How to watch: Stream on various platforms, including Amazon .
Living couples South African director Oliver Hermanus with Novel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro ( The Remains of the Day ; Never Let Me Go ) for an affecting remake of Ikiru (To Live) , the 1952 drama by Akira Kurosawa. Their version, set in mid-century London, stars Bill Nighy as Mr. Williams, a grizzled bureaucrat who, upon learning that he has only a few months left to live, is determined to make the most of them. First, that means skipping work for a grand night out with a friendly stranger ( The Souvenir ’s Tom Burke); then, spending a string of quiet afternoons with a young woman from his office (a charming Aimee Lou Wood); then using his position in the Public Works department to get a long-deferred project off the ground. Gorgeous to look at, the film proves an especially fine showpiece for Nighy, who is as quietly affecting as you’ve ever seen him. —M.M.
How to watch: In theaters .
Sarah Polley’s arresting ensemble Women Talking is an adaptation of Miriam Toews’s 2018 novel, and it plays as an extended debate by a collection of women in a deeply religious community in which sexual violence by men is the shattering norm. After one of these nighttime attacks is publicly revealed, the women gather to decide how to respond: forgive the men, fight them, or flee? Every great female actor of our moment seems to be in this movie, including Frances McDormand (command ing), Claire Foy (ferocious), Jessie Buckley (equally so), and Rooney Mara (strong and delicate at once). A thoughtful exploration of solidarity—what it means, how hard it’s won—Women Talking is a conversation piece, and one of the year’s must-see films. —T.A.
How to watch: Coming to theaters .
A lovely, intensely human film by the great Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda ( Shoplifters ). Set in modern-day Korea, this is a story about orphans and makeshift families and it begins with the unlikeliest of heroes: a mother who abandons her infant at a care center in Busan and the two men who take the baby and seek to profit from its sale. These three band together on a kind of road trip to find the baby new parents, even as police investigating a murder track their movements, and their number swells by an orphan looking for a new home. Heartbreaking in its empathy and lovely to look at, Broker is a drama that bursts with feeling and fills you with a sense of gratitude and lightness. —T.A.
How to watch: Coming to theaters .
Noah Baumbach’s boisterous, off-kilter fever dream, White Noise , a strikingly faithful adaptation of Don Delillo’s 1985 novel of consumerism, post-industrial paranoia, and fear of death, is the biggest and highest minded swing of the season. Should such a talky, slantwise book be filmed? Baumbach’s answer is a commanding yes, especially with Adam Driver as his magnetic lead. Driver plays Jack Gladney, a professor at a fictional liberal arts college, and he’s a marvel of comic energy, as personable as he is hilariously puffed-up. Greta Gerwig is his genial, slightly zoned-out wife Babette, with a perm and a secret pill habit. And their four kids are a chorus of pop-cultural erudition. When a chemical spill unleashes an “Airborne Toxic Event” on their small college town–what to call things, how words mask or amplify our anxieties, is a preoccupation of Delillo’s—the family piles into the station wagon, along with seemingly everyone else in their anesthetized college town, to escape it. An antic vision of modern anxieties run amok. —T.A.
How to watch: Stream on Netflix after December 30.
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Nine talking points for the global film industry in 2022
By Ben Dalton , Jeremy Kay , Melanie Goodfellow , Mona Tabbara 2022-01-11T10:43:00+00:00
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Source: Moon Films / EFM/Juliane Eirich / Getty Images/Wael Abutalib/EyeEm
Top right: EFM, bottom left: Jeddah
The theatrical window could get even shorter
Cinema distribution and theatrical exhibition as we know them are evolving to a place where they are becoming unrecognisable compared to where we were just over two years ago. The question is will the exclusive theatrical window get shorter in 2022 if Covid continues to discourage cinema-going?
Distribution models vary by studio but generally the pandemic-fuelled individual deals cut by distributors and exhibitors around the world mean North America’s pre-Covid 75- to 90-day exclusive theatrical window – 90 days in the UK – has shrunk to 30-45 days. It’s even shorter at Universal, which has the option to move a film from North American cinemas to PVoD after 17 days of exclusive theatrical play, rising to 31 days for those that score a $50m-plus opening weekend. And starting this year all Universal and Focus films will debut on Peacock as soon as 45 days after their theatrical and PVoD release.
The international rollout of HBO Max means Warner Bros titles now have just a 31-day window in the UK (45 days in the US), while Paramount releases in the US can play in cinemas for a maximum of 45 days before heading to Paramount+. Depending on the title, Disney is experimenting with exclusive theatrical and day-and-date models whereby a film opens simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+. However, the studio will be wary of switching models without careful consultation with talent after Scarlett Johansson sued when Black Widow opened day-and-date, which the star said was contrary to what she believed was an exclusive theatrical agreement and cost her a pile of money in lost potential backend participation. (The parties settled out of court.)
Sony has been the most reluctant US major to abandon exclusive theatrical releases – not surprising given it doesn’t have a global streaming service. In the case of Spider-Man: No Way Home that reluctance has paid huge dividends.
There will always be exceptions to the rule of dwindling theatrical exclusivity. Christopher Nolan and his Oppenheimer project at Universal is a case in point and James Cameron will surely have insisted Disney keep his upcoming Avatar sequels exclusively in cinemas far longer than the new norm. On the whole, however, studios are now expected to play their part in growing subscribers on in-house platforms and their media corporation parent companies will be chomping at the bit to bring films to audiences at home as quickly as possible.
Exhibitors need to adapt. Fast.
Cinema owners have endured a torrid two years and will inevitably contract. Sad to say, but a footprint of 44,000 cinemas in the US today seems needlessly high and wasteful. In these days of the streaming wars, no in-house audits by exhibitors or a perusal of the books by potential suitors will look kindly on keeping the lights on in struggling markets, or at times of the day when there is minimal engagement. The world is changing fast and more exhibitors will need to cut VoD revenue-share deals with distributors, implement dynamic ticket pricing, programme alternative content like sports, theatre and live music, and make more noise with fewer sites.
Indie films’ disappearing act at the box office
The pandemic has shifted the balance of cinema releases even further in the direction of blockbusters and away from local and independent titles. This has been replicated in key international markets including the big English-language ones of the UK-Ireland and Australia, but also in Italy where the big local comedies failed to ignite in 2021, and even in France where the older demographic has had its usual dedication to independent cinema shaken by Covid concerns. Now indie distributors are looking to find space for titles among a release schedule that is still holding back blockbusters first planned for 2020. And while exhibitors will be glad of the money brought by No Time To Die , Spider-Man: No Way Home and co, they – especially independent venues – will know a variety of programming is important to their long-term survival.
The big exception is China, where US releases are severely limited. The China box office has made a stellar start to 2022, continuing its strong form from last year when it was the largest individual territory with $7.4bn. Three of the top five films in last weekend’s global top five were local Chinese titles; local content has also flourished in Thailand in recent weeks.
Festivals cannot sustain the Covid uncertainty for a third year…
The physical components of January festivals Rotterdam and Sundance and the European Film Market in February have been forced online by the pandemic, meaning it will be three years since their last get-togethers should they return as in-person events next year. By March, international film events will be reaching a third pandemic-afflicted edition; and while vaccines have reduced the virus’ damage, events are still walking a tightrope between holding in-person events and being overwhelmed by case numbers.
This uncertainty is not sustainable in the long term, and while numerous events took place last year with varying degrees of ‘Covid safety’, such measures are expensive – prohibitively so for some. With the less-deadly Omicron now widespread in many countries, film festivals may follow other industries in reducing testing and returning towards a scenario where illness is the determining factor in attendance, not swab results. With Cannes now under 130 days away and counting (gulp), for now, the industry is crossing its fingers – and holding its breath.
…and neither can buyers and sellers
International sales companies and distributors are at sea over their immediate next moves, with many now likely scrambling to move their Berlin flight to Cannes.or wondering whether to attend a festival-only event. There’s a nervousness in the market as we head into the third year of the pandemic, with sellers wondering where on earth is best to hold the sales or theatrical launch of a title and fielding growing concern as to whether their long-time distribution clients are in even in a position to buy new titles. Many are still working their way through the release of a backlog. “Normally at this time of the year, we’d be setting out our strategy up until Cannes and beyond but this year, I can’t figure out what is going to happen over the coming three months,” confided one key European sales agent.
US streamers may meet greater regulation in Europe
2021 saw another big push by global streamers into Europe. Their investment in local content is a boon but there is growing unrest in the independent community over the all-rights demands they impose and how they are pricing local producers out of their own markets. Now regulation in this highly regulated region looms. France’s long-awaited bold transposition in December of the European Union’s updated Audiovisual Media Services Services Directive, for example, includes measures to protect independent producers from all-rights deals and sets limits on how long a platform can hold rights. Will other territories follow where France dares to tread?
Covid measures take a toll on mental health – and budgets
The impact of filming under Covid conditions is hitting both budgets and the mental health of the film industry hard as productions attempt to balance duty of care towards employees with ever-evolving and wildly different national guidelines. Fatigue is setting in over regular testing, quarantine requirements and the strain when productions are interrupted by Covid outbreaks. On-set camaraderie, the stuff that gets crew through the long hours and often challenging conditions, has taken a hit, while departmental bubbles have made after-hours bonding sessions almost impossible. Wellbeing officers on set may now be commonplace, but this can add further stress owing to a squeeze on production costs. Removing Covid measures entirely does not appear to be the answer either. But the time may be coming to explore a middle ground, in which protective measures remain in place, but vaccination statuses are taken into greater consideration with regards to on-set regulations and testing regimes, before the burden becomes too great.
NFTs as a possible funding and distribution mechanism
Hollywood is continuing to scrutinise and experiment with the NFT, or non‑fungible token. It’s like a digital version of a rare coin or some other coveted item made from a unique chunk of digital code stored on the blockchain and verified for authenticity. Investors ascribe value to NFTs which are traded on specific marketplaces like Open Sea. At first it was deemed a fad, but the idea of NFTs has not gone away and after gaining popularity in art and music now the film industry is dipping its toes in the water. Warner Bros has partnered with a company to create unique digital avatars of ordinary people trapped in the Matrix, while Quentin Tarantino has locked horns with Miramax in a copyright dispute over his plan to auction off seven digitally scanned scenes based on his original handwritten Pulp Fiction screenplay (with misspellings and original character names intact) as secret NFTs. The content will only be known to the buyer. There has been early blue-sky talk of NFTs as a kind of ultra-boutique distribution model for small films whereby the buyer gets a digital collectible of the work with some unique accompanying element, while the producer or financier pockets the proceeds of the auction. NFTs remain a new frontier for Hollywood, but the industry is circling.
Saudi’s cinema drive may signal a new era
Key Middle East and North African industry players flocked to the first edition of Saudi Arabia’s new Red Sea International Film Festival in December. Most view Saudi Arabia’s push into cinema, after its 35-year ban was lifted at the end of 2017, as a game-changer for the MENA film industry and were eager to connect with the country’s burgeoning filmmaking scene and its market of 34.8 million people, two thirds of whom are under the age of 35. Saudi’s cinema push is already having reverberations in the region, particularly for Egypt, the mainstream comedies of which are proving a hit with the local audiences. A raft of new partnerships between emerging Saudi film companies and established MENA players were announced while the country’s ambitions to become a major international shooting location were exemplified by the arrival of action pictures Desert Warrior and Kandahar .
Five talking points for the UK industry in 2022
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The 28 Best Film and TV Performances of 2022
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“You must, in fact, stand before the public and God and obliterate yourself.” So suggests Cate Blanchett’s Lydia Tár, in one of the great and most thematically controversial scenes of “TÁR,” about how performers and practitioners of the arts should set aside their identities in service of a greater good: the Art Itself, in spite of the artist themselves.
Things for an artist of Lydia Tár’s standing certainly don’t turn out so well in her favor, sure, and while we don’t necessarily endorse her statement, it could be applied to this year’s best performers onscreen — they stand before a certain public (the movie- or TV-going audience) and they obliterate themselves (in the hope of a performance good enough to move people).
Each year of exceptional film and television brings another batch of indelible performances, many of which become synonymous with the movie or series itself. 2022 was no exception; even with more TV than ever and audiences reevaluating their relationship with theaters, names stood out even before excited viewers tuned in or bought tickets.
Take Amanda Seyfried’s turn in “The Dropout” as convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes, a fictional performance of a very not- fictional person brought to, well, fictionally vivid life. Michelle Yeoh’s multiverse-spanning turn in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” reminded us that life is a mutable series of vignettes we trudge through, hopefully with something soul-affirming on the other end. Kayvan Novak’s work on “What We Do in the Shadows” once again told us that you don’t have to be a lover of vampire lore to appreciate the refined work of one playing a vampire. Zahn McClarnon told us that a Native American spin on a Philip Marlowe type was long overdue and realized on a series like “Dark Winds,” and that such a show could still find unique pockets of film noir to appreciate on whatever size of screen.
“What about Beethoven? You into him?” While the haughty, classical-music-obsessed Tár posed such a question with hostility that dared you to turn away, you didn’t have to be a classical music fan to appreciate what Blanchett did in “TÁR,” a performance that rivaled nearly all on film this year.
From muted meditations to full-bodied enactment, these actors left everything onscreen and an undeniable impression on audiences. Statues aside, they gave the best performances of the year, some even of their careers. Here are IndieWire’s favorite performances of the year on any screen.
Jude Dry, David Ehrlich, Kate Erbland, Ali Foreman, Steve Greene, Kristen Lopez, Erin Strecker, Ben Travers, Brian Welk, and Christian Zilko also contributed to this list.
Cate Blanchett, “TÁR”
As a conductor who orchestrates her own undoing in “TÁR,” Cate Blanchett gives her career-best performance since she told Therese Belivet “I like the hat” in “Carol” seven years ago. Her Lydia Tár, here the most famous female conductor in the world, allows Blanchett to dig into the sinews of her gifts while also reflecting on her own public-figure status and genius.
Lydia’s interpersonal dealings with protégés, peers, fans, and colleagues become her inevitable destruction. Todd Field’s movie unfolds as a breakdown of the Lydia persona — and quite possibly of Blanchett’s as well, as the character attempts to triage her shattering public image. Field wrote the movie for Blanchett, and it’s easy to understand why: she is never less than absolutely riveting whether chewing out a Juilliard student for what she perceives is his inability to “sublimate” himself to his craft, or approaching a small girl in a schoolyard and telling her “I’ll get you” because she’s been rude to Lydia’s daughter.
The last half hour, especially, is a showcase for Blanchett as the Lydia mask slips off and “Linda” is revealed. The movie leaves you uneasy about where either one’s legacy ends up. But one thing you’re absolutely sure of walking away from “TÁR”? It’s one of the greatest performances ever filmed. —Ryan Lattanzio
André Braugher, “The Good Fight”
In a show that knows how to give its new characters an entrance, Braugher still stood two shoulders above the rest. Part of that comes from the innate showmanship of Ri’Chard Lane, the new partner at the show’s long-running law firm. Armed with a broad smile, an unapologetic work ethic, and the best damn collection of frames ever laid on the bridge of an actor’s nose, Ri’Chard was the main force that ensured the farewell season of “The Good Fight” never lost momentum. Instead of just being a broad, showy, scene-stealing performance (which still would have been a joy to watch), the season gave Braugher plenty of opportunity to add quieter strength to Ri’Chard as well. Whether in straightforward professions to his colleagues or tips for the youngsters who may one day fill his shoes, Braugher’s Ri’Chard proved that you can be an enigma and an open book all at once. —Steve Greene
Steve Carell, “The Patient”
Carell has always been a strong actor on screens both small and big (it’s a crime he never won an Emmy for playing Michael Scott), but fans got to see the actor kick it into another gear on FX’s “The Patient” opposite the also-excellent Domhnall Gleeson. Playing a therapist captured and chained in his serial killer patient’s basement, Carell runs the emotional gamut portraying this terrifying situation — one minute he’s breaking down crying, the next he’s projecting matter-of-fact steeliness. What may be most memorable, however, is the actor’s ability to radiate calm warmth, an excellent guide bringing viewers through this compelling, incredibly intense show. — Erin Strecker
Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
There are no weak links in Martin McDonagh’s pitch-black dramedy — a film that’s both funny and sad, grandiose in its themes and staggeringly intimate, a feature about both war and friendship — and that extends to its uniformly excellent performances. Stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson may have gotten the lion’s share of praise, with perpetual scene-stealer Barry Keoghan earning his own accolades, but this finely tuned film doesn’t work nearly as well without the work of McDonagh’s longtime comrade Kerry Condon.
As Farrell’s character’s sister Siobhán, Condon is initially tasked with providing both reason and understanding amid these maddening men’s emotional stalemate. But as the film winds on, Siobhán is forced to confront her desire for something beyond their provincial island, the kind of place where a “feud” between two drinking buddies can consume everyone’s waking hours.
As her frustrations — with her brother, with Gleeson’s Colm, with men in general, with this damn island, with her life — finally come to a head, she lets loose an admonishment that many people (OK, many women) have likely thought, repeatedly, routinely, often: “You’re all fucking boring!” Condon has always impressed, but as she goes wonderfully wild, offering an assessment that is — in its very bones — extremely true, she suddenly catapults to both the top of “Banshees” and any and all lists of the year’s best turns. She’s riveting, flinty, funny, and entirely herself. —Kate Erbland
Paul Dano, “The Fabelmans”
It’s funny to think that the guy playing Steven Spielberg’s dad was also The Riddler this year. But then you could argue Dano is at times the villain of Spielberg’s autobiographical “The Fabelmans,” the bookish and practical father stifling his son’s creativity and viewing his filmmaking as a hobby. But Spielberg’s depiction of his father is more complex than that, and so is Dano’s performance. Even as Dano plays scientific and reserved, he brings wide-eyed compassion and wonder that carries over to young Sammy’s films. You see it when he’s startled with joy as a monkey leaps on his head or as he sits in amazement, wondering, “How’d you do that?” while watching one of his son’s early Westerns. Ultimately, he’s the unexpected hero of “The Fabelmans,” whose warmth and wisdom was always there, even if we didn’t notice. — Brian Welk
Rhys Darby, “Our Flag Means Death”
A mere 15 years after his pivotal role alongside Jemaine Clement in HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” Darby reunited with HBO and the show’s director Taika Waititi for another performance that should stand the test of time. Darby plays Stede Bonnet, a wealthy aristocrat in 1717 who leaves his wife and kids to sail the high seas as a pirate. Does it matter that he has no experience in the position? Nah. Stede hires a crew, pays them a fair wage, and then, well, just kind of enjoys life on the open ocean.
Loosely based on the early-18th-century figure known as The Gentleman Pirate, “Our Flag Means Death” could’ve fallen apart without a compelling, convincing, and comedically attuned actor at the helm. Darby infuses Stede with a zest for life — greeting his surly boatmates with a big smile and kind idea for the day’s activity — but he balances that goodwill with a practical (and very funny) fear of death. Darby’s reactions to seeing a sword pointed at his nose or a plank to be walked fill “Our Flag Means Death” with equal parts glee and empathy. By the time Stede’s love story starts to take shape, you’re already rooting for him — and then Darby goes and handles his romantic rendezvous with a fresh mix of excitement and trepidation. Darby makes for a tremendous lead; a captain we’d sail with season after season. —Ben Travers
Anna Diop, “Nanny”
Diop brought her quietly fierce presence to television in the forms of HBO Max DC franchise entry “Titans,” “24: Legacy,” and the short-lived CW supernatural series “The Messengers. Nikyatu Jusu’s “Nanny,” however, turns the Senegalese-American actress into a headline-making revelation. In Jusu’s striking Sundance-winning quasi-horror movie, Diop plays Aisha, an undocumented Senegalese woman working as a nanny for an Upper East side family (headed by Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector). Meanwhile, she’s putting away money to bring her small son from home to the United States, while realizing the false gauziness of the American Dream. Aisha never once compromises herself despite her host family’s demands, and it’s thrilling to watch Diop go toe-to-toe with her boss. Diop deftly keeps up with the various genre beats Jusu juggles — from outright horror in hallucinatory moments as Aisha is terrorized by an unknown but looming-ever-closer specter, to the romantic relationship she forms with the doorman. —RL
Lars Eidinger, “Irma Vep”
In some ways, Eidinger has the easier part of the main characters in Olivier Assayas’ reimagining of his mid-‘90s classic. He doesn’t have quite the mental metatextual lift as co-star Alicia Vikander or the task of playing a de facto Assayas surrogate like Vincent Macaigne. But Eidinger’s Gottfried is such a pure, effortless portrait of actorly excess that it’s impossible to ignore. It’s the kind of role that has to be so matter-of-fact in its debauchery that even the man himself seems bored with it. Eidinger finds that specific twinkle of someone who’s experienced (and discarded) all the satisfactions that the world has to offer and is now left with meddling in other people’s lives. When that mischievous personification of vape smoke transforms into the mind-controlling criminal that Gottfried plays in “Les Vampires,” you also see that this is the case of a great actor playing a great actor playing a great hypnotist — a triple-layered delight worth revisiting in all the ways that Assayas does. —SG
Ayo Edebiri, “The Bear”
There are many things to love about “The Bear,” but Edebiri’s Sydney is the brightest element. Sydney is a character we’re familiar with, the loveable scrapper trying to make her big break. But throughout Season 1, Edebiri shows the struggles of burnout and how being eager to please can often put one’s dreams at risk. Whether it’s accidentally stabbing someone or just throwing up her hands and having a meltdown, Edebiri taps into feelings and situations we’ve all felt and articulates them beautifully. —Kristen Lopez
Colin Farrell, “After Yang”
Though he’s earning equally deserved accolades for his wounded puppy dog performance in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” the Farrell performance that caught our eye this year was his work in “After Yang.” In Kogonada’s touching and meditative sci-fi film, Farrell plays a father doing his best to repair his family after the loss of their AI companion. Farrell begins the film feeble, detached and disappointed with his life, irritated at the red tape required to help his “technosapien” son. But we know he’s capable of tenderness, particularly in how he brews tea. Farrell’s hushed reverence as he discusses this simple beverage — one complete with Farrell doing his best Herzog impression — leads to one of the film’s most unexpectedly profound moments. With some minor gestures and quiet words as he narrates Yang’s memories, Farrell’s performance manages to contain multitudes and becomes a broad canvas for Kogonada to explore what it is to be human and feel like our existence matters. — BW
Mia Goth, “Pearl”
Few actresses get the chance to do what Goth attempted in this year’s slasher double-header from Ti West: conjuring not one, not two, but practically speaking three characters for a surprise trilogy emanating from her increasingly extreme performances. Even fewer could hit the challenge so dead-on (pun fully intended), helping to sell A24’s first serious franchising attempt as a still-developing horror event: heart-snatching red carpets and all.
Appearing first as wannabe porn star Maxine Minx in the ’70s set “X,” Goth intertwined the final girl hero with psycho-biddy antagonist Pearl for a slippery doubling centerpiece embodying the film’s tortured themes of envy, regret, and desexualization. That’s proven somewhat divisive among critics, a handful of whom have dismissed the film as a tired spin on the hagsploitation genre. But universally praised was Goth’s performance in “Pearl”: a prequel flashing back to the antagonist on her family’s farm in 1918. Goth wrote “Pearl” with West and its keen insight into the killer’s psyche justifies every beat of the film before it.
As the noxious young villain teeters on the brink of crazed desperation — her dream of becoming a big screen actress slowly pulling away from her like a pick-up truck loaded with Leatherface victims — Goth devilishly pulls and picks at the threads of her career-best work. The psychological stuffing of her scarecrow lover-turned-axe murderer soon tumbles out in a last-act monologue so dazzling (like can-can dancers and fireworks dazzling) you can’t help but admit: She’s a star. — Alison Foreman
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Ambulance”
You either vibe with Michael Bay’s wackadoodle latest — a film this writer previously termed “exquisite,” the “pinnacle” of the filmmaker’s career, and a feature in which “every shot looks like it was filmed by a drone that is somehow on coke” — or you don’t. You either vibe with Gyllenhaal’s similarly insane, extreme, and turnt-up-to-11 performance as badass bank robber Danny Sharp, or you don’t.
Unhinged Gyllenhaal is a rare and wonderful treat, whether he’s screaming about cashmere (“This is cashmere!”), singing along to Christopher Cross jams, or screaming about flamingos (yes, this is a high-key, screaming-centric performance), and there’s never any doubt that he’s committed entirely to the role and the absolutely demented energy it requires. It may not be an “Oscar” role, but why shouldn’t it be? It’s transformational, delightful, and captivating. Really, it’s the cashmere of this year’s daffy movie treats. —KE
Paul Walter Hauser, “Black Bird”
“Black Bird” is a series where every performance starts at “really great,” but Hauser’s performance as alleged murderer Larry Hall is the one that lingers. Hauser made his bones playing affable klutzes or gentle giants, but here he uses that persona to craft a character that’s scheming, cold, and utterly terrifying — and makes the audience think he’s guilty. There’s no proof, and much of the series is ambiguous. But in the final episodes — which Hauser said he struggled with — Hauser unleashes everything he has in one epic moment opposite Taron Egerton that’s hard to forget after the credits roll. —KL
Myha’la Herrold, “Industry”
HBO’s “Industry” remains one of the most slept-on shows in terms of TV coverage. Yet its loyal, mighty following not only got the series, about young financial graduates jockeying for power while drugging and sleeping around at Pierpoint investment bank, a second season, but a miraculous, upcoming third one also.
As New Yorker Harper Stern, who hopped across the pond on a forged SUNY Binghamton transcript and a prayer, 26-year-old actress Myha’la Herrold remains a quietly powerful revelation. In Season 1, she allowed herself to be a pawn for her upper management power plays amid a complaint she filed against her professionally unkempt boss, Eric (Eric Leung), and in Season 2, Eric is back at the office, COVID is over, and Harper is expected back at work. This season found Harper forming new alliances and in occasional freefall amid courting potential hedge fund manager client Jesse Bloom (Jay Duplass) which, as most chips fall for Harper, doesn’t end cleanly. Many of the conflicts stacked against Harper in Season 1 come to rear their head this time around, giving Herrold plenty of throw-down emotional moments that allowed the actress to make the case for her greatness after showing enormous promise in Season 1. —RL
Kate Hudson, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
Only two films into a franchise we truly hope never dies, Rian Johnson’s wily whodunits hinge on the filmmaker’s snappy dialogue and the sprawling cast he assembles to spout them. For his second feature, Johnson has again picked an array of stars who embody something increasingly rare: They’re damn fun to watch on the big screen. But even with a stacked cast of charismatic kings and queens – Janelle Monae and Edward Norton? Kathryn Hahn and Leslie Odom, Jr.? – one of Johnson’s “disruptors” simply shines the brightest.
By the time Hudson’s former model/one-time editor/perpetual It Girl/struggling sweatpants mogul Birdie Jay swans onto a teensy Greek dock wearing a chainmail face mask in the middle of COVID-19 lockdown, we already know what we’re dealing with, and we can’t help but love her. Unfiltered, foul-mouthed, likely racist, possibly a criminal, Birdie Jay is jarringly recognizable, but Hudson doesn’t let that stop her biting work.
You get the sense that the Oscar nominee knows Birdie, or at least plenty of gals like her, and she delights in threading a razor-thin line between monster and moron, villain and victim. Everyone in “Glass Onion” is worth watching (and then watching again), but Hudson’s keen handle on what makes even the dimmest bulb weirdly brilliant sets her Birdie Jay a cut above. Hey, she’s just saying what everyone’s really thinking! —KE
Cherry Jones, “Five Days at Memorial”
Part of the frustration and value of this limited series set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is that it depicts a situation with no right answers. Yet “Five Days at Memorial” is filled with characters who, for long stretches, are convinced that they are the guiding force that will ensure that everything turns out OK. In that ethical murkiness, Jones’ portrayal of Memorial Hospital incident commander Susan Mulderick is a potent mix of tragedy, sorrow, and helplessness. In the opening hour of the series, Jones projects such a sense of warmth and calm that, like the employees who look to Mulderick for guidance, you’re lulled into a certain sense of security. Watching Jones play that sense of assuredness as it gives way to despair in the days that follow is a progression that few actors could pull off in such a humane, measured way. Through her, “Five Days at Memorial” shows lost hope not with fiery, righteous anger, but with the mournful stare of someone with no more answers left to give. —SG
Vicky Krieps, “Corsage”
It’s fairly easy for established talent to snap their fingers and get a project made, and very hard to knock it out of the park. For her latest tour de force performance, Krieps wisely tapped Austrian filmmaker Marie Kreutzer to deliver “Corsage,” a resoundingly daring interpretation of the life of Austria’s fabled Empress Elisabeth, so revered as a beacon of early feminism that she’s known to Austrians simply as “Sisi.” Known for flights of fancy and upending social mores, Krieps’ Sisi is an enigmatic livewire confined to a gilded cage that’s slowly crumbling around her. Carrying the whole piece, Krieps flashes from rage to radiance, slipping seamlessly from petulant child to world-weary truthteller in the same scene.
Hers is also a deeply physical performance, though not the flashy (or weighty) kind that usually garners awards attention. She’s quick on the fencing piste, learned her Viennese waltzes, and bathes in scratchy muslin — all while carrying the weight of a formidable period wig to mimic Sisi’s famously long tresses. Since her impressive international debut in “Phantom Thread,” Krieps has proven herself a formidable actor with excellent taste and a flair for risk-taking. The clever bent of “Corsage” is that it dusts off a glorified historical figure to unearth some kernel of truth that’s been glossed over in her myth-making. — Jude Dry
Jack Lowden, “Benediction”
Scottish actor Jack Lowden cut his teeth on the stage in productions of Henrik Ibsen, Sophocles, and Shakespeare. His affinity for making new shapes out of time-trodden classics shows in his elegant, measured portrayal of WWI era English poet Siegfried Sassoon in Terence Davies’ “Benediction.” His casting in the gay filmmaker’s latest story of a disillusioned man’s artistic journey makes sense in a lot of ways: He’s gorgeous, for one, but also capable of projecting internal conflict out of a highly literate script. He breaks up, breaks down, picks himself back up, only to fall down once more, again, again, as “Benediction” explores his many mercurial relationships with men. Sassoon is frequently destroyed by love — whether by the viperous Ivor Novello or bitchy flaneur Stephen Tennant — but ever in pursuit of artistic greatness and maybe redemption. Lowden finds deep wells of feeling in his troubled protagonist, and gets a weeping one-take final shot that would make “Call Me by Your Name” jealous, as Sassoon confronts the totality of his failures. —RL
Zahn McClarnon, “Dark Winds”
McClarnon has been doing consistently great work for decades, so the fact that he gets to lead a series like AMC’s “Dark Winds” is a long time coming. As Sheriff Joe Leaphorn, McClarnon is an authoritative and intimidating presence. He’s also a man who is as tired of his struggles as he is of the bureaucratic issues that plague the Navajo reservation. Joe is every fantastic, old-school detective, but McClarnon’s performance makes you interrogate so much of who audiences see in those types of roles. Honestly, McClarnon has enough Old Hollywood charisma to take on Philip Marlowe any day. Watching him dive headfirst into a murder mystery with such panache left me more than ready for Season 2. —KL
Paul Mescal, “Aftersun”
In “Aftersun,” Mescal makes what might be the smoothest transition from heartthrob to dad in recent film history. Just a few years removed from the young romantic misadventures he portrayed in “Normal People,” he managed to shine even brighter by playing a 32-year-old man already defeated by the world.
Mescal’s performance as Calum, a young father who tries to shield his pre-teen daughter from his demons while on a Turkish vacation, is told partly through incomplete home video footage that has taken on new meaning as his daughter has aged. He keeps his emotional distance from her, but we can tell that something far deeper is lurking beneath the surface.
The sincerity that Mescal brings to the role serves two key purposes in Charlotte Wells’ film: He makes it clear that his character was not remotely ready to be a father, while simultaneously leaving a charismatic aura of mystery that explains why his daughter becomes so obsessed with figuring out who he really was. “Aftersun” may be a movie about how our memories of the most important people in our lives will always remain incomplete, but the film only works because Mescal’s character is so utterly complex. — Christian Zilko
Kayvan Novak, “What We Do in the Shadows”
Once considered a “bloodthirsty” warrior of the Ottoman Empire, these days, the self-appointed house leader on “What We Do in the Shadows” is more interested in finding love. Some 700 years or so have softened the former “Nandor the Relentless,” and even when his fight skills are put to the test (see: Season 4’s “The Night Market”), Nandor remains the biggest, oldest teddy bear among a group of literally bloodthirsty vampires.
But that’s what makes Novak’s performance so impressive. The BAFTA-winning actor wears Nandor’s backstory like the fine lining of his dark robes. When challenged, he responds in the extreme. When presented with opportunities, he firmly believes he’s entitled to each one. When living his life, he thinks mainly, if not only, of himself. Such a haughty perspective could only come from someone who long feared no one and now doesn’t even fear death, but seeing it crack is what makes Nandor and the show so fun. Paired with the selfless familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen), Nandor has slowly given ground to his better half. He doesn’t just rely on him; he protects him, he obsesses over him, he cares for him — even when it’s clear Nandor isn’t well-acquainted with such emotions.
Novak can turn to the camera and get a huge laugh — just as big as when he avoids making eye contact out of sheer embarrassment. The accent he’s created for Nandor is so entwined with the character it’s jarring to hear Novak’s actual speaking voice. But the craft he’s implemented while making this character so endearing, so enjoyable, and so funny goes far deeper than external flourishes. He’s done the work, and we’re all reaping the rewards. —BT
Park Ji-Min, “Return to Seoul”
A riveting Park Ji-Min plays an acerbic, Korean-born, French-adopted Gen Zer searching for her identity in Davy Chou’s disquieting drama “Return to Seoul.”
Park stars at the 25-year-old Frederique, or Freddie as friends call her, who takes an impulsive trip to South Korea for the first time after spending the first quarter-century of her life in France with the French parents who adopted her. While in Seoul, she gets in touch first with her biological father, with whom she has a fractious first meeting after it’s revealed he’s been making drunken, late-night phone calls begging her to return “home” so he can help her marry a Korean man. Freddie finds herself adrift in South Korea, at first unable to get in touch with her biological mother, and so she vows to stay.
Chou was inspired by a Korean-born, French-raised friend’s own personal story. Park, who moved to France when she was 8, brought a similar background to the script, which Chou spent three years working on before casting the artist-turned-actress in her first role. Park brings a restless spirit to her character’s postures toward gender, identity, and femininity. Park gives more than just a great breakout performance — it’s a great performance, period. —RL
Jeremy Pope, “The Inspection”
In Elegance Bratton’s narrative feature debut based on his life, a gay Marine recruit learns self-respect during a grueling and often tortuous boot camp training. Carrying the film with a quietly riveting performance as the fiercely determined Ellis French, Pope proves himself a surefire star on the rise. Taking place almost entirely within the confines of rigorous training, Pope must convey the character’s softness and youthful spirit as he struggles to maintain a stoic exterior. Bratton allows plenty of flashes of French’s charms, which both endear and endanger him amongst his fellow recruits, and Pope balances this energy within the restrictive setting. It’s a pleasure to watch him lightly soften his gaze under the hint of friendship, and painful to see how he steels himself for the judgment of his superior officers. If there was such a thing as an acting inspection, he’d pass with flying colors. — JD
Sam Reid, “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire”
Playing a character like Anne Rice’s Lestat is a complex task. Not only are there legions of fans who expect a certain caliber of terror and romanticism, but Tom Cruise’s performance in the 1994 film is still a hot-button topic. But Reid took on the role with all the force, charm, and horror that Rice dished out in her 1976 book. Audiences first meet him alongside series lead Louis (Jacob Anderson); He’s magnetic, charming, and oozing enough sexual allure to draw in nearly all of New Orleans. But the relationship between Lestat and Louis is described as a “fucked-up Gothic romance” by journalist Daniel Malloy (Eric Bogosian) for a reason, and it’s soon apparent that Lestat’s vampirism isn’t his only problem. Every minute of Reid’s performance here is a master class in manipulation. And when things go bad, and Louis wants to leave, Reid lashes out with fire and anger, but there’s an undercurrent of glee. He wants the audience to know Lestat thrives on emotional violence as much as anyone. It’s a performance I love rewatching, even though I know I shouldn’t. —KL
Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”
Taking on the role of convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes — especially one so freshly convicted — is no small feat. Seyfried rightly won an Emmy for her portrayal of the millennial biotech entrepreneur in Elizabeth Meriwether’s “The Dropout.” Seyfried nails the physicality of the role — from Holmes’ allegedly affected deep-throated voice to her rather charmless dance skills — while bringing psychological ambivalence to Holmes. Here, she’s convinced she’s doing some type of world-shaping good while also screwing over millions of people, including her closest collaborators. The final, primal scream Seyfried delivers in the finale, directed by Erica Watson, sums up her character’s (and not necessarily IRL Holmes’) rage against the machine, while also giving Seyfried the most iconic moment of her career. — RL
Rafe Spall, “The English”
By the time Spall first appears in Hugo Blick’s violent and vivacious western, the tone of “The English” has been well-established. Emily Blunt’s vengeful Lady Cornelia Locke has been beaten, held hostage, shot at, and returned every bit of violence to her would-be attackers. This is not a dainty period piece but a lawless wild west, where nothing appears off-limits when it comes to men getting what they want.
And yet Spall’s particular brand of depravity still burns through the screen. Wearing one of the few menacing bowlers in existence and turning a marble-mouthed Cockney accent into a weaponized sack of quarters, Spall’s bookkeeper David Melmont exudes a ruthlessness long before he gives in to his savage side. A fireside conversation pivots around his tertiary comments until they become the center of attention. An earlier civilized chat with Lady Cornelia features a more direct line of deception, but one has to marvel at Melmont’s snakelike ability to shed one skin for another that fits his needs.
Spall’s audacious turn may have toppled another series, but the actor is dialed into Blick’s tone — seeing the evil that’s appeared before Melmont shows up and knowing he has to eclipse it. Yet perhaps an even greater testimony to his talents can be found in comparing his two TV turns in 2022. In the Apple TV+ parenting comedy “Trying,” Spall embodies a supportive partner and stand-up gentleman whose only want in the world is a child. That character is very much the opposite of Melmont, and fans of both shows could’ve had one or the other ruined by seeing the same face playing two utterly different roles. Spall proves himself equipped for both, which makes us all the more eager to see what he tackles next. —BT
Shea Whigham, “Gaslit”
Sometimes, you really have to go for it. In “Gaslit,” Robbie Pickering’s Starz limited series about the Watergate scandal, Whigham plays G. Gordon Liddy, who organized and led the infamous burglary under the discretion of Nixon’s campaign head, John Mitchell (Sean Penn). Liddy is a man who, historically, has done and said some pretty messed up stuff. When he was a lawyer in New York, he fired a live round of ammunition in the middle of a trial. He wrote in his autobiography that he killed and ate a rat. He liked trying to impress his colleagues by holding his hand over a sparked lighter for extended periods of time.
Clearly, this was not your typical besuited government stooge, and Whigham did not play him as one. Wild-eyed and quick to action, Whigham’s Liddy alternated between a man so small he could be a fly on the wall and a personality so massive it’s hard to believe he ever existed in an office. The key, it seemed, was intensity. Whether Giddy was pouring a cup of coffee or taking a swing at his coworker, he remained intently focused on the task at hand. But the outsized confidence and ferocity Whigham lived in made it clear that Liddy was dangerous; that men like him are dangerous; that even when they sound insane or act in ways that would get others ousted from the inner circle forever, they remain a danger to anyone who crosses them, if not to society itself.
“Gaslit” homes in on this idea throughout its excellent eight-episode arc, balancing black comedy with pointed commentary, and Whigham could not have embodied the message any more thoroughly. His Liddy is both unbelievable and unsettlingly familiar. One hopes to never see the likes of him again, yet knows that type of fear-mongering loon is only gaining power in modern America. —BT
Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a machine powered by the greatest performance that Yeoh has ever given. As Evelyn Wang, a flustered Chinese-American woman trying to finish her taxes, Yeoh gives a monumental performance that holds Daniels’ multiverse together. She skips from slapstick cluelessness to staggering omniscience as fluidly as Evelyn moves between worlds. One moment she’s trying to focus on her taxes, the next she’s looking for love in a universe where a quirk of evolution has, um, changed the laws of intimacy in a very ridiculous way.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” allows Yeoh to revisit the best kind of roles she’s ever had, shine in the kind of roles she was never given, and dive head-first into the kind of roles that have always seemed beneath her; first one after the other, and then later all at the same time. It’s no surprise that the star of “Supercop 2” still excels at balletic martial arts choreography, just as it’s no secret that the beating heart of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” can play a withering mom so well that even people in the audience might feel like they’re letting her down.
But Yeoh’s performance as the ultimate everywoman is uniquely astonishing because of how well she braids her many talents together. Evelyn is splintered by self-denial to the degree that even her subtitles fracture apart at one point, and yet the actress playing her is so locked-into the character’s belief that her life is “wrong” that you can feel Evelyn start to reclaim her perspective when things go truly haywire. The entire second chapter of this three-part movie unfolds like an exponentially more complex version of the memory chase from “Being John Malkovich,” and yet Yeoh never allows us to get lost as she careens across the multiverse — through everything, toward nothing, and possibly back towards a new understanding of “how things are supposed to be.” —DE
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The 50 best films of 2022 in the UK
The No 1 film is a stunning directorial debut, one of the finest cinematic moments of any year – see which other movies you may have missed
- Read the US Top 50 movies of 2022
- More of the best culture of 2022
This list is compiled by the Guardian film team, with all films released in the UK during 2022 in contention. Check in every weekday to see our next picks, and please share your own favourite films of 2022 in the comments below.
Compartment No 6
Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen directs this answer to Before Sunrise, about an archaeology student who shares a train compartment with a boorish Russian; the pair connect despite their differences. Read the full review
- Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise returns almost four decades on for another bout of speed and need: this time he is the mentor to a new generation of navy fighter pilots, led by Miles Teller, playing the son of Maverick’s late wingman, Goose. Read the full review
Paris, 13th District
The latest film from Rust and Bone director Jacques Audiard, here putting together a short story collection of sexual encounters and relationships in Paris’s 13th arrondissement, shot in tough black-and-white. Read the full review
Golden Lion-winning abortion drama, more relevant than ever, from director Audrey Diwan; a study of a woman (played by Anamaria Vartolomei) who becomes pregnant in early-60s, pre-legalisation France. Read the full review
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Entertaining second dose of Rian Johnson’s labyrinthine crime mystery, with Daniel Craig on good form as Hercule Poirot-esque detective Benoit Blanc, here investigating a murder-themed party that turns deadly. Read the full review
Split-screen dementia drama from Argentine provocateur Gaspar Noé, starring Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun as an elderly couple whose lives are dogged by the latter’s cognitive decline. Read the full review
The Woman King
Stirring period epic starring Viola Davis as the leader of the Agojie, a brigade of female warriors in west Africa who are attempting to see off threats from the Oyo empire as well as from slave-buying colonialists. Read the full review
Brian and Charles
David Earl and Chris Hayward’s story of an inventor’s relationship with his creation blends Caractacus Potts with Victor Frankenstein to heartwarming effect. Read the full review
French-Senegalese film-maker Alice Diop offers a sensitive portrayal of the disparate communities that live along one of Paris’s commuter rail lines, in a documentary predating her acclaimed fiction feature debut, Saint Omer. Read the full review
Everything Went Fine
André Dussollier and Sophie Marceau are outstanding in François Ozon’s wonderfully observed story about a father and daughter whose tricky relationship is upended when he asks for her help to die. Read the full review
Terence Davies’s account of the life of Siegfried Sassoon (played by Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi in younger/older versions), tracing his career from lionised war poet to unhappy later life. Read the full review
Prayers for the Stolen
A heart-rending study of the traumatising life experience of a Mexican woman trying to ensure her daughter escapes the attentions of rapists and narcos who can apparently operate with impunity. Read the full review
Mysterious fable from Italian director Laura Samani, about a woman desperate to revive her stillborn baby who heads off on a quest to find the church that may be able to accomplish it. Read the full review
Intriguing German drama about a former concentration camp inmate imprisoned after the war for gay sex acts, and who develops a complex relationship with his straight cellmate. Read the full review
Social-comment body horror from debut feature director Ruth Paxton, with Sienna Guillory as the apparently perfect single mother with two daughters, one of whom develops a mysterious eating disorder. Read the full review
All Quiet on the Western Front
Anti-war nightmare of bloodshed and chaos where teenage boys quickly find themselves caught up in the ordeal of trench warfare, in a German-language adaptation of the first world war novel. Read the full review
Lingui, the Sacred Bonds
Chadian auteur Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s quiet fable, about a woman torn between social proprieties and respecting her daughter’s decision to get an abortion. Read the full review
All That Breathes
Two Indian brothers dedicate themselves to rescuing birds that are being poisoned by pollution in this complex and quietly beautiful film. Read the full review
Vicky Krieps puts in a star turn as lonely, patronised Elizabeth of Austria in Marie Kreutzer’s austere drama that functions as a cry of anger from the pedestal-prison of an empress. Read the full review
Crimes of the Future
As he did with 90s hit Crash, David Cronenberg’s horror sensation creates a bizarre new society of sicko sybarites where pain is the ultimate pleasure and “surgery is the new sex”. Read the full review
The Worst Person in the World
Thelma director Joachim Trier comes up with an unexpectedly moving drama about a twentysomething woman (played by Renate Reinsve in a star-making performance) as she navigates relationships and jobs at a tricky period in life. Read the full review
The Souvenir Part II
Second half of Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical drama, with Honor Swinton Byrne as film student Julie as she abandons her social issue documentary in favour of making her own autobiographical memoir. Read the full review
American Honey director Andrea Arnold’s meaty slice of bovine socio-realism, detailing the life of dairy cows with unflinching and empathic precision. Read the full review
Complex metafiction of fear in which now-jailed director Jafar Panahi plays a version of himself, forced to shoot his new film in a town near the border with Turkey. Read the full review
Don DeLillo’s novel of campus larks and eco dread gets an elegant, droll film treatment from Noah Baumbach, starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. Read the full review
The Gravedigger’s Wife
Gentle, funny drama of a man seeking money for his spouse’s operation and his sick spouse from Somali-born director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. Read the full review
Fire of Love
Romantic portrait of passionate, doomed volcanologists embraces the mythology around Maurice and Katia Krafft, the scientists who died in the 1991 Mount Unzen disaster. Read the full review
Powerful documentary on the legacy of slavery showing how an illegal slave ship led to the creation of an Alabama community of inherited trauma but also defiance. Read the full review
Deeply disturbing drama about mass killer Martin Bryant which shies away from depicting the Port Arthur massacre itself – but outstanding performances mean it is still a highly unsettling story. Read the full review
Creepy-kid horror from Norwegian director Eskil Vogt (co-writer of The Worst Person in the World ), about two young sisters who make friends with other children who apparently possess supernatural powers. Read the full review
Brutal Viking saga based on the same legend as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with Alexander Skarsgård as the chieftain’s son out for vengeance on the man who murdered his father and took his throne. Read the full review
Penélope Cruz is on fire in delicious movie industry satire in which she plays an eccentric director using unorthodox techniques to manage lead actors – and polar opposites – Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez. Read the full review
Exquisitely sad drama starring Bill Nighy in a Kazuo Ishiguro-scripted remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film Ikiru about a man dealing with a terminal diagnosis. Read the full review
You Won’t Be Alone
Spellbinding horror movie from director Goran Stolevski, a witch story that follows a shapeshifter in a 19th-century village. Read the full review
Jason Isaacs and Ann Dowd are among the cast of a drama about the “healing” meeting between the parents of a high-school shooting victim, and the parents of the perpetrator. Read the full review
Bones and All
Teen cannibal romance with Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, who dazzle in Luca Guadagnino’s blood-soaked parable of poverty and rebellion. Read the full review
Seven-year-old Maya Vanderbeque is brilliant in this Belgian schoolyard drama, as a girl called Nora who tries to confront classroom bullies in this short, intense film. Read the full review
The Banshees of Inisherin
Guinness-black comedy of male pain in which Martin McDonagh reunites Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in remotest Ireland for an oddball study of isolation and hurt. Read the full review
Glorious, shapeshifting eulogy to David Bowie from director Brett Morgen, whose intimate montage of the uniquely influential artist celebrates his career, creativity and unfailing charm. Read the full review
Deliciously dark coming-of-age comedy from Owen Kline, that fuses teen innocence with adult sexuality in a bad-taste debut film that recalls American Splendor and Crumb. Read the full review
Decision to Leave
South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s sensational black-widow noir romance, starring Tang Wei, keeps the viewer off-balance at every turn. Read the full review
Tilda Swinton joins forces with Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul for an English-language, Colombia-set fable about a woman who can hear sounds that others don’t appear to. Read the full review
Haunting adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s story of divine possession, with Florence Pugh as a nurse who is sent to a rural Irish village to investigate a young girl who appears to be perfectly healthy despite not having eaten for months. Read the full review
Multilingual, pan-Indian, historical-action-romance blockbuster set in the 1920s, following a pair of real-life revolutionaries as they take on the might of the British Raj. Read the full review
Hit the Road
Beautifully composed debut feature from Panah Panahi, the son of jailed Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi, this tense family drama is drenched in a subtle but urgent political meaning. Read the full review
70s-set romance from Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Cooper Hoffman as a former child actor who sets his sights on 10-years-older Alana Haim as he gets into the waterbed business. Read more
Distinctive fusion of documentary and animation from Danish film-maker Jonas Poher Rasmussen, outlining the journey and heartache of a gay Afghan man living in Copenhagen, having left his home country as a 10-year-old. Read more
Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar collaborate once again to tremendous effect; this time Cruz plays a woman sharing the same maternity ward as a much younger, troubled mother to be (played by Milena Smit ). Read more
The Quiet Girl
Deeply moving tale of rural Ireland in which a silent child is sent away to live with foster parents on a farm, in a gem of a film from first-time feature director Colm Bairéad. Read more
Father-daughter bonding drama starring Paul Mescal and nine-year-old Francesca Corio, attempting to navigate post-divorce family life in a Turkish beach resort. A brilliant debut feature from Charlotte Wells. Read the full review
- Best films UK 2022
- Drama films
- Documentary films
- Action and adventure films
- Jacques Audiard
- Rian Johnson
Our film critics on blockbusters, independents and everything in between., latest articles, results sorted by select sort order newest oldest, beyond the aggressives: 25 years later.
- NYT Critic’s Pick
- Directed by Daniel Peddle
This documentary from Daniel Peddle offers an update on the transmasculine people of color who participated in ballroom culture in the 1990s.
By Teo Bugbee
Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain
- Directed by Paul Briganti
The “S.N.L.” troupe, known for digital shorts, makes its feature debut with this goofy, episodic adventure farce.
By Calum Marsh
- Comedy, Drama, Thriller
- Directed by Emerald Fennell
In the new film from Emerald Fennell, Barry Keoghan plays an Oxford student drawn into a world of lust and envy at a classmate’s estate.
By Wesley Morris
- Comedy, Drama
- Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
In the latest from the Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki, two lonely people find each other with tenderness, karaoke and deadpan comedy.
By Manohla Dargis
- Biography, Drama, History
- Directed by George C. Wolfe
Colman Domingo carries this biopic of a March on Washington organizer, the first narrative feature from Michelle and Barack Obama’s production company.
Best. Christmas. Ever!
- Comedy, Romance
- Directed by Mary Lambert
Heather Graham and Brandy play old friends who have a surprise reunion.
By Claire Shaffer
The Disappearance of Shere Hite
- Directed by Nicole Newnham
Nicole Newnham’s documentary charts the life and times of the feminist Shere Hite, whose pioneering research on women’s sexuality earned her both fame and notoriety.
By Devika Girish
JFK: What the Doctors Saw
- Directed by Barbara Shearer
Barbara Shearer’s documentary unpacks the medical opinions of physicians who treated John F. Kennedy in Dallas.
By Natalia Winkelman
The Stones and Brian Jones
- Documentary, Music
- Directed by Nick Broomfield
A new documentary looks back at Jones’s rise and fall, but also underlines his crucial strand in the Rolling Stones’ DNA.
By Nicolas Rapold
- Horror, Mystery, Thriller
- Directed by Eli Roth
From a fake genre trailer comes a full horror meal, courtesy of Eli Roth.
By Glenn Kenny
Trolls Band Together
- Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Music
- Directed by Walt Dohrn, Tim Heitz
The third installment of the “Trolls” franchise reunites ’N Sync in this entertaining boy band fever dream.
By Brandon Yu
Next Goal Wins
- Comedy, Drama, Sport
- Directed by Taika Waititi
Michael Fassbender plays a bitter soccer coach in this sloppy underdog comedy from Taika Waititi.
By Jeannette Catsoulis
- Crime, Drama
- Directed by Paul Vecchiali
This strange, seductive film from 1970, directed by Paul Vecchiali, borrows the conventions of the serial-killer thriller and turns them inside out.
By Beatrice Loayza
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
- Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller, War
- Directed by Francis Lawrence
This slow-burning prequel tells the origin story of Coriolanus Snow, the future president of Panem.
By Amy Nicholson
David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived
- Directed by Dan Hartley
A documentary looks at the friendship that formed during the Harry Potter movies between Daniel Radcliffe and his main stunt double, who was seriously injured in 2009.
By Ben Kenigsberg
The Lady Bird Diaries
- Directed by Dawn Porter
Lady Bird Johnson proves an engrossing narrator to her own story and that of a roiling nation.
By Lisa Kennedy
This Much We Know
- Directed by L. Frances Henderson
L. Frances Henderson’s intricate debut documentary investigates a suicide, raising plenty of questions, including one about its own ethics.
- Action, Adventure, Fantasy
- Directed by Nia DaCosta
Brie Larson stars alongside two Disney+ stars in this trope-ridden franchise installment, the 33rd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Albert Brooks: Defending My Life
- Documentary, Biography
- Directed by Rob Reiner
This actor, comic, writer and director is seen in a cinematic retrospective that celebrates his talent, but not always in a critically discerning way.
- Directed by Wang Bing
The documentarian Wang Bing examines the cloistered world of young textile workers in China.
- Comedy, Horror
- Directed by Kristoffer Borgli
Nicolas Cage plays a mild-mannered professor who inexplicably wanders into others’ dreams in this wonderfully weird dark comedy.
- Drama, Thriller
- Directed by John Trengove
An unemployed dad-to-be is seduced by a misogynist group who call themselves “the guys” in this sensationalizing drama starring Jesse Eisenberg.
Journey to Bethlehem
- Adventure, Family, Musical
- Directed by Adam Anders
It’s no “Home Alone” or “Jesus Christ Superstar,” but it does have Antonio Banderas as a song-slinging Herod and Lecrae as a quavering Angel Gabriel.
A Still Small Voice
- Directed by Luke Lorentzen
This absorbing documentary follows a chaplain at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
Orlando, My Political Biography
- Directed by Paul B. Preciado
The filmmaker Paul B. Preciado shares the title role with 20 trans and nonbinary performers to make a point about the cage of identity.
- Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
- Directed by David Fincher
Michael Fassbender stars as a loquaciously dull hit man in David Fincher’s latest film about bloody exploits.
You Were My First Boyfriend
- Directed by Cecilia Aldarondo, Sarah Enid Hagey
In this documentary, Cecilia Aldarondo relives her high school trauma by directing cinematic re-enactments of her adolescent years.
What Happens Later
- Directed by Meg Ryan
The rom-com queen directs and stars opposite David Duchovny in this two-hander about former lovers who reconnect after 25 years.
The Marsh King's Daughter
- Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
- Directed by Neil Burger
Neil Burger’s thriller aims to capture a mother pushed to protect her family from her past.
By Robert Daniels
- Directed by Camilla Hall, Jennifer Tiexiera
Filmmaking principles come under scrutiny in “Subject,” a documentary about the making of documentaries.
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Clockwise from top left: Invisible Beauty , Foe , All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt , The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes , My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 and Nyad. Magnolia Pictures; Amazon Studios; A24; Murray Close/Lionsgate; Focus Features; Liz Parkinson/Netflix hide caption
Here are the movies we can't wait to watch this fall
September 19, 2023 With Hollywood on strike for most of the summer, we check in on the new releases for the fall. Our critics share their recommendations for more than 25 films coming out between now and Thanksgiving.
Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Murray Close/Lionsgate hide caption
Pop Culture Happy Hour
'the hunger games: the ballad of songbirds and snakes' is two movies in one.
November 17, 2023 The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes is the latest adaptation in the beloved blockbuster franchise. The new prequel film follows the early life of Coriolanus (Tom Blyth), the man who would one day become the evil President Snow, and Lucy Gray Baird, (Rachel Zegler), the singer who becomes his mentee.
You might know this artist and actor better as Mr. Chow. Dominik Bindl/Getty Images hide caption
Main Character of the Day
Artist, actor and restaurateur mr. chow on his driving creative force: 'to be true'.
November 16, 2023 Michael Chow has worn many hats in his 84 years. A new documentary about his life, a.k.a. Mr Chow , paints the portrait of a man who has endured hardship, and found creative outlets to cope.
Natalie Portman (left) and Julianne Moore star in May December, Todd Haynes' film inspired by a real-life story of a schoolteacher who was convicted of raping her sixth-grade student. Francois Duhamel/Netflix hide caption
Inspired by a 1990s tabloid story, 'May December' fictionalizes a real tragedy
November 16, 2023 Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore star in Todd Haynes' dark and disturbingly funny film about a teacher who was convicted of raping her sixth grade student — and later went on to marry him.
Kaimana and Michael Fassbender in Next Goal Wins . Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Searchlight Pictures hide caption
'Next Goal Wins' roots for the underdogs
November 16, 2023 The underdog sports comedy Next Goal Wins is based on the true story of American Samoa's soccer team and its attempts to improve its status as a worldwide laughingstock. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film stars Michael Fassbender as the real-life coach tasked with helping the team compete in a World Cup qualifying match.
Batkid Miles Scott, center, received a key to the city from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, left, on Nov. 15, 2013. Make-A-Wish Foundation hide caption
10 years ago, Batkid was battling bad guys and cancer — now he's 15 and healthy
November 15, 2023 On Nov. 15, 2013, Miles Scott, a 5-year-old with leukemia, won hearts around the world when he became a superhero for a day with help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Michael Fassbender in The Killer. Netflix hide caption
In 'The Killer,' there's a method to his badness
November 15, 2023 The new Netflix movie The Killer is a stylish new thriller starring Michael Fassbender as a stoic and ruthlessly efficient international hitman. When a hit goes wrong, his very detached and methodical life begins to fall apart. The film from director David Fincher and also features Tilda Swinton.
Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) Apple TV hide caption
It's Been a Minute
Pressing pause on 'killers of the flower moon' and rethinking scorsese's latest.
November 14, 2023 Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon is everything an Oscar contender might be - long, epic, morally complicated and expensive. Yet, while many movie-goers left theaters moved, others called the film a problematic disaster. Today on the show, we hear what the movie got wrong and how it fits into a broader history of Native Americans on screen. To unpack this, Brittany Luse is joined by Robert Warrior, a literature and professor and an Osage Nation citizen, Liza Black, a Native American and Indigenous Studies professor and Cherokee Nation citizen, and Nancy Marie Mithlo, a gender studies professor and Fort Sill Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache citizen.
Photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, shown in Mariupol on Feb, 24, 2022, was part of the team who worked on the documentary, 20 Days in Mariupol. Mstyslav Chernov/AP Photo hide caption
'We need to record everything': This team stayed behind in a Ukrainian war zone
November 13, 2023 Ukrainian filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov was in Mariupol when Russia invaded. "I just understood that we need to record everything," he says. His new documentary is 20 Days in Mariupol.
What's making us happy: recommendations from 'pop culture happy hour'.
November 10, 2023 Each week, the guests and hosts on Pop Culture Happy Hour share the movies, TV shows, books, articles, podcasts and songs that are bringing them joy.
Barbra Streisand on her life and legacy in My Name is Barbra. Terry Fincher/Express/Jeff Fusco/Getty Images hide caption
Barbra Streisand says she's not a diva - she's a director
November 10, 2023 The season of the celebrity memoir is upon us. In just the past few months Britney Spears, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kerry Washington, and more have showered us with bombshells and revelations about their origin stories and private lives. Despite those heavy hitters and the crowded field they occupy, the celebrity memoir our host Brittany Luse coveted most is that of the singular Ms. Barbra Streisand.
Iman Vellani, Brie Larson, and Teyonah Parris in The Marvels . Laura Radford/Marvel Studios hide caption
'The Marvels' is a light comedy about light powers
November 10, 2023 The new movie The Marvels is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's breezier outings, full of energy and jokes and zappy light powers. Brie Larson returns as Captain Marvel, and sees her teaming up with newer characters, Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani). They must team up when their powers become entangled and cause them to switch places whenever they try to use them.
SAG-AFTRA leader Fran Drescher. Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption
Fran drescher tells npr the breakthrough moment that ended the hollywood strikes.
November 9, 2023 The longest strike in history by actors against film and TV studios has finally ended. SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher says there is a "new dawn."
Michael Fassbender plays an assassin on the run in The Killer. Netflix hide caption
What happens when a hit man misses his mark? 'The Killer' is about to find out
November 9, 2023 The mundane becomes mesmerizing in David Fincher's dark comedy, which tracks every detail of a hit man's routine: the scheduled naps, the fast-food runs, the yoga stretches he does to stay limber.
Nicolas Cage in Dream Scenario . A24 hide caption
Nicolas Cage becomes Frumpy Krueger in 'Dream Scenario'
November 9, 2023 In the new film Dream Scenario , Nicolas Cage plays a man who unwittingly starts showing up in other people's dreams. NPR speaks with writer and director Kristoffer Borgli.
Nicolas Cage in Dream Scenario. A24 hide caption
In 'Dream Scenario,' Nicolas Cage gets a dream role
November 9, 2023 In the trippy new A24 absurdist comedy Dream Scenario , Nicolas Cage plays a schlubby, unremarkable biology professor. Suddenly and inexplicably, he starts appearing in the dreams of people around the world. This phenomenon brings him a weird and difficult-to-manage kind of fame for a while–until the dreams turn into nightmares.
Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World Resort on March 3, 2022, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Disney Dreamers hide caption
4 takeaways from Disney's earnings call
November 8, 2023 The Walt Disney Co. announced its fourth quarter and yearly earnings on Wednesday. Revenues for the quarter and year grew 5% and 7%, respectively.
Outside Fox studios in Los Angeles, production assistant Allie Palm and SAG-AFTRA actress Desiree Woolfolk say they can't wait to get back to work. Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption
Actors and studios make a deal to end Hollywood strikes
November 8, 2023 SAG-AFTRA workers have been on strike since July, when they joined screenwriters on their strike. Now, if the performers approve their new deal, Hollywood may soon come to life again.
Awkwafina and Sandra Oh in Quiz Lady . 20th Century Studios hide caption
Sandra Oh and Awkwafina are perfect opposites in 'Quiz Lady'
November 8, 2023 The movie Quiz Lady is a fun new take on the classic comedic trope of polar opposites: Awkwafina plays Anne, an uptight, lonely trivia nerd. Her sister Jenny, played by Sandra Oh, is the outgoing, perpetual screw up. Together, they must set aside their differences to try and win a TV game show and save Anne's kidnapped dog.
Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi are Priscilla and Elvis Presley in Sofia Coppola's new film. A24 hide caption
Sofia Coppola imagines Priscilla's teen years, living at Graceland with Elvis
November 6, 2023 "I felt like my role was just to explain her experience," Coppola says of her new film, Priscilla . The filmmaker also has a new book, Archive , which collects documents from her eight movies.
Russell Brand at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in central London on March 12, 2013. Joel Ryan/Invision/AP hide caption
Lawsuit claims Russell Brand sexually assaulted woman on the set of 'Arthur'
November 4, 2023 The plaintiff — referred to as Jane Doe — claimed Brand followed her into a bathroom and assaulted her as a crew member guarded the door from the outside.
Actor Jason George is on the negotiating team with SAG-AFTRA: "It's a heist movie" he says. Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption
We asked Hollywood actors and writers to imagine the strikes on screen
November 4, 2023 Some striking writers and actors told us it would be a rom-com. Others suggested a mystery, an alien abduction movie, or even a heist flick!
Meg Ryan is back on the big screen after a break from acting. Amy Sussman/Getty Images hide caption
Meg Ryan on what romance means to her — and why her new movie isn't really a rom-com
November 3, 2023 The queen of rom-coms plays with the genre in What Happens Later.
Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi in Priscilla . A24 hide caption
'Priscilla' takes the romance out of a storied relationship
November 3, 2023 The new film Priscilla tells the story of Elvis Presley's wife, but it's not a by-the-book biopic. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, the movie shows how Priscilla (Cailee Spaeny) and Elvis (Jacob Elordi) first meet, fall in love, get married, and eventually split in the early '70s. But it's also a moodier look at the way Priscilla is walled off, isolated from family, and kept at a distance from his life of superstardom.
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Best of 2022: Our Favourite Films of the Year
20 Dec 2022 BY Steven Ryder in Film Features
After a turbulent 2021 during which the film calendar was upended by the pandemic and many movies found themselves delayed, 2022 saw cinemas jam-packed from beginning to end. Streaming sites continued to evolve and unexpected surprises topped the box office for much of the year, leading us to re-evaluate what it means to be a movie star.
Sequels to hugely popular animated family films popped up throughout the year with Sing 2 , Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Minions: The Rise of Gru successfully expanding on beloved characters from the the previous installments. The Bad Guys , meanwhile, introduced us to a new group of animated creatures and proved to be a rousing success, topping off a great year for mainstream family animation.
For older audiences, Top Gun: Maverick proved to be the most unpredictably triumphant blockbuster as it marched (and continues to march) towards being the biggest box office hit of the year. Released and taking place a whopping 36 years after the original film, it further solidifies Tom Cruise as one of the biggest movie stars in the world and can be celebrated as one of the biggest non-superhero successes of recent years.
Auteurs such as Jordan Peele and Baz Luhrmann both directed huge hits this year with Nope and Elvis , respectively. Whilst Peele brought a welcome playfulness to the horror/sci-fi genre, Luhrmann tackled the musical biopic with his signature tone and style, giving a spark to the life of Elvis Presley.
As with any year, it is difficult to whittle down the field to just a few favourites but here are our Curation Team's personal cinematic highlights in this most jam-packed year of cinematic feasts.
Book now for our 2023 Spring Screenings
Bookings for our March programme of screenings and events are now live! Look to the future under the theme of 'Things to Come' and join us across the UK.
Reading time 4 mins
Michael - Senior Curation Coordinator
Primary: The Bad Guys
Documentary: All That Breathes
On The Bad Guys :
This lively animation based on a children's graphic novel series of the same name follows the adventures of a criminal gang. Snake, Tarantula, Shark, Piranha and their leader, Wolf, enjoy nothing more than planning and executing audacious heists. But when Wolf experiences genuinely warm feelings after performing a generous act, he starts to question whether he needs to be a bad guy after all. Featuring colourful design and a whole host of delightful set pieces, The Bad Guys is not only great fun but also reminds us that a leopard or even a wolf can change its spots.
The Bad Guys (2022)
Stream on Into Film+ Premium
After a failed heist, a gang of criminal animals are given the chance to go good.
Age group 7–11 years
Duration 100 mins
Fantasy anime about a teenage girl who becomes an overnight singing sensation in a virtual world.
Age group 11+ years
Duration 121 mins
All That Breathes (2022)
Environmental documentary about two brothers in India who devote their lives to healing birds that fall from the polluted skies.
Duration 94 mins
Steven - Curation Officer
Primary: Turning Red
Secondary: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Documentary: Good Night Oppy
On Everything Everywhere All At Once :
This story of an immigrant family trying so hard to love each other through a haze of social and personal differences should not, traditionally, be this funny and this action-packed. Yet, somehow, the directing duo known collectively as the Daniels have weaponised their unique sense of humour and style of storytelling to truly dig into what it means to be culturally disconnected from those you should be closest to. Despite partying within the surreal and being impossible to predict, the film has been tipped to sweep up at awards season, particularly Michelle Yeoh, the Malaysian superstar actress who gives possibly a career-best performance as the struggling, and often blameworthy, matriarch of the family.
Maria - Curation Officer
Primary: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical
Documentary: Super Eagles '96
Since his ingenious debut, Get Out , Jordan Peele has become one of the most sought after horror filmmakers. Luckily this pressure has not gotten to the director and Nope exudes Peele's ongoing love for cinema and the creative ways one can explore its intriguing history. The film pokes into the strange beginnings of the motion picture, thought to be a clip of a Black man on a horse, as we follow siblings OJ and Emerald as they struggle to continue running the horse wrangling business they inherited from their father. When objects start falling from the sky and an ominous presence hangs above them, they embark on a mission to document what they believe to be a UFO. Seamlessly mixing genres together, Nope is an experience made for the big screen that involves its audience in its evolving tale.
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (2022)
Stream on Into Film+
A determined young girl with a love of reading sets out to overcome the difficulties in her life with the aid of an inspirational teacher.
Age group 7–16 years
Duration 117 mins
A brother and sister horse wrangling duo make a chilling discovery on their ranch in California and set out to document their findings.
Age group 14+ years
Duration 131 mins
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical kicks off the 2022 Into Film Festival
Find out all that happened at the pupil premieres across the UK and explore the rest of the free Festival programme.
Reading time 6 mins
Charlotte - Curation Officer
Primary: The Railway Children Return
Documentary: Fire of Love
On Wildhood :
Films have long taught us that going on a trip can lead to a journey of self-discovery. In the tradition of indie road movies like Patagonia and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert , finding your roots and discovering companionship is at the heart of Wildhood , a Canadian coming-of-age drama about two half-brothers who set out to find the elder's estranged mother. This visually-striking film explores sexual identity and what personal heritage means in an unassuming yet highly sensitive manner, making the brooding young protagonist's inner journey towards self-acceptance very accessible and relatable. Directed by Bretten Hannam who identifies as Two-Spirit (a term adopted by indigenous North American people who don't conform to Western ideals of gender), the film is particularly refreshing in its representation of LGBTQ+ issues in different cultural contexts while powerfully communicating a universal desire for belonging and love.
The Railway Children Return (2022)
In the midst of World War II, three evacuee children are sent from their home by their mother to live in a Yorkshire village.
Age group 7–14 years
Duration 95 mins
Two brothers travel across rural Canada in search for their elusive mother, making a friend along the way who teaches them about indigenous heritage.
Age group 16+ years
Duration 108 mins
Fire of Love (2022)
Documentary about husband-and-wife volcano explorers Maurice and Katia Krafft whose life story is told through their own archive footage.
Age group 11–16 years
Duration 93 mins
Steven Ryder , Curation Officer
Steven has an MA in Film Studies, Programming and Curation from the National Film and Television School. He has previously worked for various exhibitors around England and currently freelances as a film critic/podcaster.
This Article is part of: Film Features
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- 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Is Scorsese's Macbeth Adaptation
- 10 Best Hunger Games Moments
- The Marvels (2023) Review
- Dream Scenario (2023) Review
2023 European Film Awards Nominees
2022 reading list – the film magazine.
Each and every year, more than one hundred articles are published to The Film Magazine . Written in time for anniversaries, to meet the rush of excitement around new releases, or simply to look at cinema from another perspective, these articles are produced with care by writers with ginormous pools of knowledge and are circulated to readers who trust our collective insight. In an online publishing industry with more conglomerated publishers than ever, and a scene in which paid-for articles are circulated across a multitude of websites under the guise of being unique and meaningful pieces of criticism, we stand proudly as an independent publisher that bows to no one other than you, the readers.
In 2022, our long-standing team members and a collection of exemplary guest writers have offered some of the best film writing you’ll find on any free platform. They have tackled the meaningful, have celebrated the artistry of cinema, and have delved deeply into subjects at the forefront of the film industry just as they have offered deeply personal stories that exemplify the power of the form itself.
As editor-in-chief, I ( Joseph Wade ) have worked closely on every article that we have published in 2022, and have been overjoyed by the quality of writing we have been able to present. There are crowd pleasers, of course – most of which you can find in our list of 22 Most Popular Articles 2022 – but what of those pieces that fly under the radar?
In this, The Film Magazine’s 2022 Reading List , we’re celebrating the most unique perspectives, the most in-depth analyses, and the most timely commentaries. These are the articles that haven’t been published across our other end of year Movie Lists, the pieces with limited exposure or more defined audiences. They’re each tremendously written, always insightful, and absolutely worth a read.
If you like what we do, please consider supporting us by donating to us via PayPal .
1. ‘Cabaret’ at 50 – Review
Author: Sam Sewell-Peterson Twitter: @SSPThinksFilm
This review of one of contemporary cinema’s most beloved and respected musicals moulds the passion and critical abilities of writer Sam Sewell-Peterson in an entertaining and informative manner, expressing within the confines of a review exactly why Cabaret has been celebrated for so long.
2. In Defense of the Happy Ending: Alice Wu and LGBTQ+ Movies
Author: Tina Kakadelis Twitter: @captainameripug
Tina Kakadelis beautifully delves into how the rom-com genre cliché of a happy ending is one that LGBTQ+ movies deserve the right to use without criticism after decades of being confined to tragic stories on the big screen.
3. Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ VFX Remain the Industry’s Gold Standard
Author: Joseph Wade Twitter: @JoeTFM
We live in an era in which visual effects are the norm, and yet the thirty-year-old Jurassic Park has one sequence in particular that still feels like the most realistic of the lot. In this essay, Joseph Wade analyses how Steven Spielberg’s exceptional direction ensured that Jurassic Park has remained cinema’s VFX gold standard.
4. ‘Blue My Mind’ and New Female Monsters
Author: Grace Britten Twitter: @film_overload_
Women are finally being put front and centre in film and wider society, and in this essay Grace Britten intricately analyses the presentation of the female monster within Blue My Mind and our current context, celebrating how women are no longer confined to certain stereotypes even within genre conventions.
5. 10 Best Moments from The Thing
Author: Kieran Judge Twitter: @KJudgeMental
A celebration of one of cinema’s most iconic horror-tinted spectacles, Kieran Judge’s list of the best moments from John Carpenter’s The Thing not only informs us of the great moments from film but does so in a celebratory way, highlighting the joy and awe that can be experienced when watching the film even forty years later.
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The nominees for the major categories of the 2023 European Film
BIFA 2023 Awards Nominees – ‘Rye Lane’, ‘Scrapper’ Lead List
Golden globes adds two new awards.
The 10 best movies of 2022 so far, according to reddit.
Whether it's an epic multiversal trip, an even more epic superhero noir, or a yet even more epic Viking film, we've been treated to no end this year.
Warning: This list contains spoilers for several 2022 films.
It's only four months into 2022, but that's a long enough time passed for Redditors to debate what the best movie of the year is so far. In fairness, the year has been chock-full of huge releases. Whether it's an epic multiversal trip, an even more epic superhero noir, or a yet even more epic Viking revenge flick, cinephiles have been treated to no end this year.
RELATED: 10 Huge Box Office Hits That Didn't Get Sequels, According To Reddit
Redditors' favorite movies of the year so far include hugely unpopular opinions, ones that are in line with the general consensus, and everything in between. Either way, the first quarter and change of the year is going to be a hard act to follow. But if the next eight months have half as many great films as the first four months, film buffs are in for a great 2022.
Coming off the heels of the 2019 psychological horror The Lighthouse , director Robert Eggers sought to make something even more disturbing and epic. He did exactly that with The Northman , a hauntingly beautiful supernatural Viking movie. BiggDope puts it best by explaining that "the final shot of the Valkyrie carrying Amleth into Valhalla is one of the most gorgeous frames I've ever seen. The entire movie was colossal."
The Northman is a typical revenge movie, but the unique way it's shot and its ambitious scope make it stand out from even the very best revenge movies like Django Unchained and Oldboy . There hasn't been a swords and sandals movie this epic or critically acclaimed since 2000's Gladiator .
Everything Everywhere All At Once
In Hollywood, once one unique movie is successful, that movie's originality becomes a trend that's run into the ground by Tinseltown, and that originality is quickly lost. However, while multiverses have become rampant across movie studios over the past few years, the newly released Everything Everywhere All At Once puts them all to shame.
And it did so for a relatively small $25 million, which is almost one-tenth of Spider-Man: No Way Home's budget. Gr33nman460 loves the indie movie, explaining, "I laughed, I balled my eyes out, I had an all-around excellent time."
Redditor Duelpear points to Jackass Forever as the gold standard of movies in 2022. The Redditor claims, "being in a full theater, laughing along to a movie, is such a rare experience these days that I'm going to remember and appreciate it for a long time."
RELATED: 10 Movies That Look Like They Had Much Higher Budgets, According To Reddit
It's a massive win for MTV when it manages to make audiences teary-eyed over a Jackass movie. Along with all of the laughs and grotesque stunts, Jackass Forever is surprisingly emotional, as all these old friends are back on screen together for the first time in 12 years. And the swan song hasn't ended yet, as Jackass 4.5 , which features all of the bonus footage that didn't make it into the movie, will be released on Netflix on May 20th.
Movies that look like they were shot in a single take are becoming more and more popular. Whether it's the comedy Birdman or the war epic 1917 , inventive filmmakers are continuously finding ways to fool audiences that their movies look like one shot. However, Boiling Point actually was filmed in one take.
User Ionlyspeakfactz gives two simple reasons why they think it's the best movie of 2022, "Filmed in one shot. Superb acting." The movie follows a London chef during his restaurant's busiest night of the year, and anything and everything goes wrong when the health inspector visits. While it sounds like a dramatic version of "Charlie Work," arguably the best ever episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia , the movie is a surprising visual spectacle as well as thrilling.
Director Michael Bay's movies don't often make it into top 10 lists, but 2022's Ambulance is arguably his best work since the 1990s. It might still be typically full of shots of helicopters, huge guns, and machoism, but it's also very much a return to form.
Redditor SendMoneyNow is one of the biggest advocates of the movie, and when considering the best film of 2022, they admit that they're "shocked to say it's Ambulance ." The movie is a fun heist flick, and Jake Gyllenhaal gives a wildly eccentric performance that it's almost as if he prepared for the role by watching Nicolas Cage's most uncaged movies .
So many Redditors referred to The Batman as the very best movie of 2022. A great deal of that could be recency bias and hype, as it's newly released and it feels like fans have been waiting for it for years at this point. However, though whether or not it's the best Batman movie is a different debate, there's no denying that it feels more like a Batman movie than any film in the Dark Knight trilogy.
User Sonder332 thinks it's the best because "Robert Pattinson is great at Batman, Zoë Kravitz is just amazing as Catwoman. I loved the noir take on it. Very excited to see where it goes." The 2022 release is the darkest Batman movie ever , and it's the first movie to actually depict the vigilante as "the world's greatest detective," and fans can't get enough of Batman and Catwoman together.
The Uncharted video game franchise is one of the most beloved series ever and by far the crown jewel in Sony's exclusive game series. The games have always been cinematic and a movie adaptation had always sounded promising. And after finally escaping development hell and being passed around by directors for 12 years, it was finally released this year.
Unfortunately, it went down like a lead balloon amongst fans, and it wasn't exactly a critical hit either. However, in what is something of an unpopular opinion, Content_Pool_1391 thinks it's the best movie of 2022. The Redditor defends it by explaining, " Uncharted was a really fun movie. Very unexpected that it was so good."
The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent
User Angel-McLeod points to The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent as the best 2022 movie so far. The Redditor ecstatically explains, "I knew it was going to be good but that film is full-on glorious. It’s as close to perfect as one could hope for."
RELATED: 10 Movie Endings So Bad They Ruined The Film, According To Reddit
The movie follows Nicolas Cage playing an exaggerated version of himself, and he must remember what he learned from his wildest movies to overcome the outrageous situations he finds himself in. Of all the movies that have been released this year, whether it's The Batman or The Northman , The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent hilariously has a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than most of them.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
It's only four months into the year so far, but there have already been two video game movies. But while Uncharted was hated by fans, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was loved by its fanbase. Reddit user DaBrokenMeta thinks it's the best movie of the year so far, and they're not alone, as there were more gasps in the movie theatre for the Sonic 2 post-credits scene than there were at any point in Avengers: Endgame .
Between the introduction of fan-favorite characters, the return of Dr. Robotnik, and all of the hidden Easter eggs and references to the SEGA Genesis games, the sequel deserves all the box office success it has been getting. It isn't even the last video game movie of 2022, as later in the year will see the release of the animated Mario .
Pixar has the best batting average of any movie studio, animated or otherwise, as almost all of their films are rated "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes and loved by fans young and old. NhSnork is no different, as they think the newly released Turning Red is not just the best film of 2022 so far, but they also think Pixar will struggle to top it.
The Redditor argues, "I don't even expect Lightyear to trump it." However, given how Lightyear is based on one of the most beloved animated characters of all time and its trailers are hiding what the movie is even about, the Redditor could be eating their words.
NEXT: 10 Movies That Would Be 10x Better If They Added Dinosaurs, According To Reddit
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‘The Legend of Zelda’ will be made into a live-action film
FILE - A Nintendo Switch console is seen at a retail store in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 9, 2022. Nintendo is developing a live-action film based on its hit video game “The Legend of Zelda,” the Japanese maker behind the Super Mario franchise said Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
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TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo is developing a live-action film based on its hit video game “The Legend of Zelda,” the Japanese company behind the Super Mario franchise said Wednesday.
The film, with financing from Sony Pictures Entertainment as well as its own investment, will be directed by Wes Ball, the American director of the upcoming “Planet of the Apes” film. It’s being co-produced by Nintendo and Arad Productions Inc., which is behind the live-action Spider-Man films and headed by Avi Arad.
The move highlights Kyoto-based Nintendo’s strategy to leverage various aspects of its business, including theme parks, merchandising and movies, to boost machine and software sales, and vice versa.
That strategy has met success. Its animated film “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” released earlier this year, has raked in more than $1.3 billion and drew nearly 170 million people worldwide.
President Shuntaro Furukawa, briefing reporters online, said the company was pleased with the success of the Super Mario animation film, the first movie of which Nintendo was a direct producer.
The planned release date of the Zelda movie was not announced. Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nintendo executive who has spearheaded the creative innovations at the company for decades, said it will be released only when it’s ready, while stressing that work on the project has been going on for a decade.
“I realize there are so many Zelda fans, and we cannot betray their expectations. That is a big hurdle. But we are ready,” said Miyamoto.
Nintendo reported Tuesday an 18% rise in net profit for its first fiscal half, totaling nearly 271.3 billion yen ($1.8 billion), up from 230 billion yen a year earlier.
Nintendo officials said the success of the Super Mario film has translated into bigger sales for its Switch machines, as well as for game software with Super Mario themes.
The “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” game software, on sale since last month, has been selling at a record brisk pace, they said, totaling 4.3 million games sold in just two weeks.
The latest Zelda game called “Tears of the Kingdom,” has been selling well, and Nintendo is hoping the planned movie will benefit from the popularity of the game, which stars a hero and a princess fighting against evil.
The Switch machine, already in its seventh year after its debut, is still doing well in sales, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo is banking on having more people come in contact with its intellectual property through official stores, including pop-ups, theme parks and special events, and now movies.
In the U.S., Nintendo World has opened in Universal Studios in Hollywood, and the company is planning another in Orlando. The area for the park it already has in Japan will grow next year to include a section devoted to Donkey Kong, another Nintendo character, officials said.
Nintendo is also opening a museum devoted to its history and legacy in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto in March next year.
Yuri Kageyama is on X, formerly Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
Today In Good News: The 2023 Box Office Has Already Surpassed The Entire Total For 2022
Posted: November 15, 2023 | Last updated: November 15, 2023
Hollywood chatter has been dominated by the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes in recent months, and understandably so. But with those strikes settled , we can turn our collective attention elsewhere. In this case, we're looking at the annual box office and there's some very good news on that front. Midway through November 2023, we've already eclipsed the entire domestic box office total for 2022. That means the pandemic recovery is still going strong and movie theaters continue to be on the mend after 2020 brought them to what felt like the brink of extinction.
As of this writing, the domestic box office total for 2023 stands at $7.78 billion, per Box Office Mojo . 2022, meanwhile, topped out at $7.36 billion. So we're already pacing well above that number and, roughly speaking, we can expect to finish the year with $9 billion or more in ticket sales in North America for the year. The good news is that we've trended upward every year since 2020, when sales fell to an abysmal $2.1 billion due to the pandemic.
The somewhat bad news is that we're still a far cry from the record levels of box office that were achieved in 2019 when the market topped out at $11.36 billion, led by massive Disney hits like "Avengers: Endgame" ($858 million domestic/$2.8 billion worldwide) and "The Lion King" ($543 million domestic/$1.65 billion worldwide). The annual box office has totaled at least $10 billion since 2009, so we've still got a long way to go before we reach pre-pandemic levels again. The big difference though is the number of movies released in theaters annually. In 2019, it was 910 movies. This year, we've had 491 so far. Still, the recovery has remained steady, even if it's been slower than many hoped.
Read more: Here's Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten More Difficult To Understand (And Three Ways To Fix It)
The Good News, The Bad News
2023 has improved on 2022 in other regards too. For one, this year has seen 22 movies make at least $100 million domestically, whereas 2022 only saw 18. In addition, the love is being spread around a bit more. We've also had massive hits like "Barbie" ($636 million domestic/$1.44 billion worldwide), "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" ($575 million domestic/$1.36 billion worldwide), and "Oppenheimer" ($325 million domestic/$949 million worldwide) that were not part of pre-established film franchises . That's key, as it sets up future success, rather than just milking old cows dry.
The bad news here is that the outlook for 2024 is not great, to say the least of it. The aforementioned strikes shut down Hollywood for months on end. That had a big impact this year, with a lack of press tours affecting the box office and messing up TV schedules for major networks. However, the bigger issue is the 2024 release calendar, which is now incredibly screwed up since major projects that would've been released in the first half of next year had to stop filming for a long time (like "Deadpool 3"). Not only that, but many movies have vacated 2024 entirely, including Marvel's "Captain America: New World Order" and "Thunderbolts."
Unfortunately, 2024 is now poised to be a down year that the industry can ill-afford, commercially speaking. Without a reliable slate of big, audience-friendly movies, the odds that the domestic box office will continue to trek upward next year are much lower than they should be.
Read the original article on /Film .
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Warner Bros. Shelves John Cena’s ‘Coyote vs. Acme’ Movie After Filming Was Completed
By Rebecca Rubin
Film and Media Reporter
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Another Warner Bros. movie bites the dust.
The studio no longer plans to release “ Coyote vs. Acme ,” a live action-animation hybrid starring John Cena , which completed filming in 2022. A similar situation transpired a little over a year ago as Warner Bros. shocked the entertainment industry by shelving the $90 million-budgeted DC adventure “Batgirl” and the kid-friendly “Scoob! Holiday Haunt” as tax write-offs.
“With the re-launch of Warner Bros. Pictures Animation in June, the studio has shifted its global strategy to focus on theatrical releases,” a Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group spokesperson said in a statement. “With this new direction, we have made the difficult decision not to move forward with ‘Coyote vs. Acme.’ We have tremendous respect for the filmmakers, casts and crew and are grateful for their contributions to the film.”
“Coyote vs. Acme” was directed by Dave Green and produced by DC Studios co-chief James Gunn, who also worked on the story, inspired by the Looney Tunes character. The project was announced in 2020 and dated on July 21, 2023 before it was taken off the calendar entirely and replaced by Greta Gerwig’s eventual blockbuster “Barbie.”
Green, who previously directed 2016’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” says he was “beyond devastated by WB’s decision.”
“For three years, I was lucky enough to make a movie about Wile E. Coyote, the most persistent, passionate, and resilient character of all time,” the filmmaker wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I was surrounded by a brilliant team, who poured their souls into this project for years. We were all determined to honor the legacies of these historic characters and actually get them right. Along the ride, we were embraced by test audiences who rewarded us with fantastic scores. I am beyond proud of the final product, and beyond devastated by WB’s decision. But in the spirit of Wile E. Coyote, resilience and persistence win the day.”
pic.twitter.com/MoUX7xqwr1 — Dave Green (@dgreenmachine) November 9, 2023
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