In terms of movies, 2022 was an improvement over 2021. I had no trouble selecting my top ten movies of the year, unlike at the end of 2021, when I struggled to come up with a list. This is quite surprising given that, despite the return to normalcy for cinemas, the number of new releases for the year had been significantly lower than usual. Looking at my list, I must admit that a number of these films were actually spillovers from 2021, as many films were released towards the end of the year, and I only got around to watching them this year. I also watched a number of excellent films through streaming services as these were either not shown in the cinemas or had a very limited run. A good number of movies that were originally supposed to be released in 2022 continues to be postponed to 2023.
My personal favourite movie of the year is probably at the top of the list for many critics as well as movie goers. Top Gun Maverick provided good old fashioned Hollywood escapism that is entertaining, feel-good and inoffensive. It was more than just a movie. It was an event and it single handedly helped revived the cinema business at least for the (long) time it was playing. I had always been a Tom Cruise fan, and it was great seeing him in a role that can truly showcase his talents.
2022 also offered many other wonderful delights like Elvis, Avatar: The Way of Water, Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and two movies from Ridley Scott The Last Duel and The House of Gucci! Indeed, it was great to see new works from the likes of other illustrious directors like James Cameron, Baz Lurmann, Steven Spielberg and Ti West. It was indeed heartening to see that there are so many good movies to watch apart from the endless stream of mindless superhero movies.
The following is my top 10 favourite movies for 2022 list more or less in order of my own personal preference:
- TOP GUN: MAVERICK
- AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
- NIGHTMARE ALLEY
- THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
- THE LAST DUEL
- THE HOUSE OF GUCCI
- DEATH ON THE NILE
Some other noteworthy mentions which missed the top ten listing include TI WEST’s X, RED ROCKET, PREY, and EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE. At the time of writing this, I have yet to see a number of promising movies such as THE MENU, DECISION TO LEAVE (Korean) and BLONDE. These may end up in my top ten list for 2023 instead if they make the cut.
Of course, not everything was perfect. Equally important is mentioning the truly bad movies of the year as a sort of cautionary tale to avoid repeating the feat. There were plenty of duds in 2022. I quickly came up with ten titles that deserve to be mentioned as the worst of 2022. Surprisingly and disappointingly, a number of these were created by well-known directors, as well as Netflix originals! AIFKIN’S FESTIVAL (Woody Allen), BELFAST (Kenneth Branagh), FIRESTARTER, THE SADNESS (Taiwanese), CRIMES OF THE FUTURE (David Cronenberg), NOPE (Jordan Peele), BONES AND ALL (Luca Guadagnino), GLASS HOUSE, and SPIDERHEAD are my picks for the worst movies of 2022. The worst film of the year is THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, which embodies everything that is wrong with superhero movies today. Incoherent plot, bad acting, nonstop CGI effects, and a script that feels compelled to include a silly joke in almost every sentence! This movie was so bad I did not even give it the honour of writing a review for it.
Oh well. What can I say, but that’s what you always get in movies. The good and the bad together. Let’s hope for more of the good and less of the bad for 2023. Happy New Year, everyone, and please share with me your favorite and least favorite movies in 2022.