Top 10 Films of 2022

Top 10 Films of 2022

Another year has come and gone, closing the book on many amazing things.  2022 felt like a threaded experience, defining a path with rejuvenation.  We were adventurers in a world forgotten, finding places to capture the moment … especially on the big screen.  This was a grand year for film, seeing each story provide a building block of a genuine escape.  From nostalgic adventures to tense thrillers, strength of story was in the variety of the experience.  2022 … a year for cinema glory.

In a year of so many strong contenders, it was very hard to put together a top 10 list.  With so many great films, these specific ones are worthy to be on any top list.  So, without further ado, these are my honorable mentions:

The Batman – This is a film that goes far beyond its genre, creating an experience that is gripping, methodical and intense.  Through great detective and film noir elements, this iteration of the cape crusader should not be missed.  

Turning Red – When it comes to Pixar, they are a studio known for creating ingenious journeys.  This is an animated tale that combines family drama, adolescence themes with mythical elements to create a wholesome experience.  This is another home run from Pixar.

The Woman King – To tell a tale of strength and courage, it all begins with your leads.  With an amazing performance from Viola Davis, this film is a riveting journey of the hero’s tale.  Through it all, you will feel the pride of the Agojie.     

Smile – This film represents one of the reasons why horror was great in 2022.  Through an intuitive twist of psychological themes, the filmmakers took you on a terrifying human experience.  Through the unraveling of the unknown, this is a film that will have you cautiously tense until the credits roll. 

The Fabelmans – Sometimes, it is the simplest things that become the greatest journeys.  Through the markings of a coming-of-age tale, we watch Spielberg capture the essences of growth through the art of filmmaking.  With an amazing cast in a hardy look at family and adolescence, this is another great film in Spielberg’s catalog. 

It was hard to leave these truly remarkable films off the list, but it happens.  Now, it is time to reveal my Top 10 films of 2022.

10.  Avatar: The Way of Water – James Cameron is known for pushing the limits of cinema.  With our return to Pandora, we are whisked away by his technical feats.  By pushing technology, we get to experience the vividness of imagination through the simple tale of family.  To believe another world exist is not an easy feat, but he puts the realism in the fantastical with this second installment.

9. The Menu – There is a certain charm that comes with the art of film.  It is that touch of the everlasting, providing a spark that showcases uniqueness in its own indifference.  Through the infusion of witty characters, dark humor and social commentary, The Menu gives an intuitive experience of our food culture.  With an outstanding ensemble cast and unexpected twists, you will be enthralled by what the chef serves at Hawthorne. 

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Marvel is simply … a force in the industry.  Throughout the years, they always find a way to reinvent what we understand of the comic book genre.  With this film, Ryan Coogler had a tough task in continuing a story without the titular character.  Through it all, Wakanda Forever is an endearing tale of tragedy, perseverance and hope.  Through strong characters, political conflict and amazing action sequences, this is a journey of the true hero within.  

7. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Rian Johnson is a director known for his originality in films.  This next entry in the Knives Out series is no exception.  By pushing the limits of the ‘whodunit’ experience, he creates a playground for colorful characters and satirical humor.  Falling into another mystery, we witness Benoit Blanc weave through a band of misfits to discover who truly is … the murderer.  By pressing the journey against the obvious, this is another home run for Rian Jonson and murder/mystery films. 

6. The Northman – What is it that makes a story great.  One of those grips is the simplicity of the experience.  Through the idea of revenge, this film provides a tenacity that pulls you in by the rawness of conviction.  A simple story to avenge his father, we witness Amleth’s quest through the mixing of grounded dialogue, Norse mythology, and Shakespearean direction.  By the end … you will feel the truth of what it means to be Viking.      

5. Top Gun: Maverick – When it comes to film, we always hear nothing beats the theatric experience.  With so many ways to watch, why go to the theaters?  Well … this film is the definition for going to the theaters.  Through a mix of fun characters, nostalgia and epic action sequence, Top Gun: Maverick is more than just a film … it is a definitive big screen experience.  Tom Cruise is a man known for bringing the best to the big screen, and he delivers with this aerial masterpiece.

4. Everything, Everywhere All at Once – To be an artist is to take risks.  No matter the medium, you want to leave your audience with an unforgettable experience.  With this indie film, it pushes ingenious ideas (multiverse) and creates a journey that is comedic, outrageous, and heartfelt.  A film that pushes the familiar through a colorful imagination, Everything, Everywhere All at Once shows that originality can reign supreme on the big screen.     

3. Belle – To escape is to feel something.  When you fall into that emotional moment, a person can witness something amazing … even in the most imaginative worlds.  From the first sequence, this anime takes you on a heart gripping adventure of love, loss, and hope.  By blending a familiar fairy tale within Sci-Fi elements, you are whisked away into a humanistic journey of the heart.  Belle showcases that even in anime … you can feel something real in the reality of your own design.  

2. The Black Phone – Blumhouse is a studio known for elevating the horror film experience.  With this film, they take you on a journey that continues that tradition.  With a story that blends coming-of-age themes within ghostly elements, the realistic moments thread fear through the aspect of human fragility.  The tension is built methodically, moving along a roller coaster of emotional scenes of consequence.  By moving the genre above the unexpected, the filmmakers create an experience that is one of the best horror films ever … and one of the best films of the year.

1. The Banshees of Inisherin – Film is a subjective journey to everyone.  No matter the experience, everything comes down to how an individual is gripped by the tale.  Not matter what … it always comes down to the escape.  For all the great journeys I escaped into on this list, this film defines what I enjoy about the movies.  Padraic and Colm are two best friends living on a small island community off the coast of Ireland.  One day, there friendship is suddenly broken.  An ingenious concept that doesn’t rely on filmmaking gimmicks, it is simply a story of two individuals that must deal with the idea of human fated consequences.  Through a strong script, we get ingenious characters that lead us through a witty, dramatic and humorous tale of unexpected results.  Each actor/actress is at the top of their game, creating moments that showcase a reflection of life’s purpose.  Martin McDonagh (writer/director) creates original tale that is simply … a grand work of art and my number one movie of 2022.  

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