If the year 2022 in film can be defined by one word, it would be “most”. This was the year of the most in film, when blockbusters came roaring back, and a lot of filmmakers threw everything they had at the screen in a cinematic excess that reminds us the form isn’t dead yet. It was also a year of feel-good comeback narratives—shout out to Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser—though no actor had a better year than Colin Farrell, who has three films appearing on this list. As always, this list is alphabetical, not ranked.


After Yang

In his sophomore film, Kogonada applies his formalist style to sci-fi, imagining a future in which “technosapiens” assist humans in a variety of tasks, including child-rearing, and one family confronts their own humanity and meaning after the “death” of their techno-sibling, Yang. Memory, identity, preference, and humanity weave together in a complex but sensitive tapestry as Kogonada presents a world wherein humans haven’t solved anything but means of convenience, and in so doing have thrust a new class of beings into existence to deal with all of our problems and prejudices while we still struggle to understand even our most basic natures. In a year of maximalist filmmaking, After Yang is one of the quietest films that still stands out for how thoughtful and carefully nuanced it is. Also, it has the best dance number of the year.

Full review here.



Charlotte Wells makes a stunning feature film debut with Aftersun, a coming-of-age tale centered on Sophie and her loving but troubled father, Calum. With great performances from Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio—giving the year’s best kid performance—Aftersun peers into the abyss between parent and child and finds little understanding. There is no timey-wimey machination to bridge the gap, only time itself which is often no answer at all. Aftersun knows that we can never really know the people who love, and sometimes leave, us, but that the time we have together, however short and fraught it may be, is what matters most. This film also has the most memorable final shot of the year.


All Quiet on the Western Front

Edward Berger’s adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel is a gutting depiction of the chaos of war and the impossibility of returning to peaceful life afterward. Paul Bäumer goes from fresh-faced recruit to dead-eyed veteran in a single cut, and things only get worse from there. Front inevitably falls into the Truffaut Trap of the anti-war film, that the sheer excellence of craft and inherent glamor of cinema work against its anti-war message, but there is no denying the impact of increasing misery even as posh officers work out an armistice deal. One of the year’s most strikingly visual films, Front also features a harrowing three-note leitmotif in the score that builds dread every time it occurs. Probably the single best piece of all-around filmmaking of the year, Truffaut Trap and all. 

The Banshees of Inisherin

The anti-buddy comedy of the year, The Banshees of Inisherin is simultaneously genuinely funny and genuinely tragic, in the way Martin McDonagh does best. A film about friendship and art and the fallacy of the tortured genius, it’s also a film about boring men and little donkeys and how blood feuds get started. Banshees covers a lot of bases and features one of the finest ensemble casts of the year, but its most lingering impression is how everyday thoughtlessness withers and destroys kindness. Cruelty isn’t always a grand act, sometimes it’s just ordinary selfishness that poisons everything around us, and it’s the little donkeys who pay the price. 

Full review here.

Decision to Leave

Park Chan-wook does it yet again, delivering a fun little murder mystery that combines a romantic thriller with a careful character study of the archetypical characters that frequent noir detective stories and an ending that makes bunny boiling look tame. Park seamlessly blends influences—Hitchcock is a common Western callout—and tones into a masterful detective story in which the mopey detective falls for the mysterious widow and nothing goes right for anyone. The twisty-turny plot is matched by the performances and chemistry of Park Hae-il and Tang Wei as the star-crossed couple at the center of multiple murder mysteries, together they make for an indelible noir couple, passionate and doomed in equal measure. 



Tom Hanks’s performance never got any better with time or reflection, but Elvis stuck with me all year. Some of it is Austin Butler’s Hall Of Fame performance, channeling Elvis Presley’s sex appeal into a weird kitten-man who only functions on stage and consumes the will and purpose of everyone around him like a starving raccoon off stage. A lot of it, though, is how Elvis stands up to examination as part of Baz Luhrmann’s cinematic preoccupation with Artists As Objects. Elvis is an imperfect portrait of a complicated, conflicting historical figure, but as a meditation on the commodification of creation, it’s one of Luhrmann’s most sordid bedazzled tales. The destruction of Elvis-the-man is barely lamented amidst the rise of Elvis-the-icon, the most chilling of Luhrmann’s depictions of artists and the possessiveness they inspire in men who lack beauty in their souls. This is a film Luhrmann could only make later in life, full of disillusionment with the business of show, yet still enamored of entertainers and the lengths they go to in order to entertain.

Full review here.


Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once is the most bonkers fun and wildly original film of the year. Combining more genres than you can shake a stick at, EEAAO is a journey through the multiverse that shows us all possible outcomes, all our potential, and every life we could ever lead are all joined by one thing: love. It’s a film that advocates for compassion, forgiveness, and the enduring bond between mothers and daughters, all while pulling off some of the year’s best fight choreography. It also features the two best monologues of the year, both delivered by Ke Huy Quan, which combine to form one of the most radical pleas for kindness in recent cinematic memory. 

Full review here.




The best action movie of the year, the best buddy comedy of the year, the best romantic comedy of the year, the best musical of the year—bar none, RRR is the best MOST movie of the year. No movie is more movie than RRR. A Tollywood tale about two unlikely friends in colonial India working to take down the system became a global sensation thanks to a mix of thrilling action, catchy dance numbers, and an emotionally wrought friendship journey driven by the charismatic performances of N.T. Rama Rao, Jr., and Ram Charan. RRR is total cinematic excess so flexible in its nature it’s a real challenge to decide which is more memorable, the action scene involving a man throwing a leopard at another man, or the “Naatu Naatu” dance number that turns the film’s anti-colonial message into a dance-off for the ages. Y’all know it’s good when I LIKE the dance numbers.


Top Gun: Maverick

Arguably Tom Cruise’s most beloved character, Maverick Mitchell returned to cinemas after 36 years in the rare legacy sequel that not only lives up to expectations but surpasses them. Top Gun: Maverick is the most purely thrilling film of the year, but in a testament to its storytelling, it plays just as well in your living room as it does on the big screen. But its big screen experience is unmatched, both in visual scope and visceral thrills, with real-time aviation footage that is not likely to be matched any time soon. And yet it’s the characters, from icons like Maverick and Iceman to the new generation of aviators led by Rooster Bradshaw, who define Top Gun in the 21st century and make Maverick a film for all time.

Full review here.

Women Talking

Sarah Polley’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel is a searing emotional exploration of the boundaries of forgiveness and restorative justice from the perspective of women who have virtually no agency except that which they decide to take back from the men who dominate their sheltered lives. It’s a monument of brilliant acting—good lucking picking just one, or even two, stand-out performances—but also Polley’s empathetic direction that somehow makes a hayloft feel as big as the whole world. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, Women Talking is a haunting work that asks how we forgive the unforgiveable, and if sometimes that forgiveness is as simple as walking away. 

Full review here.



Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery



The Batman

The Northman

The Michael Bay Award for Michael Bay Being The Most Michael Bay


Technically a Made-For-TV Movie But Still One of the Best Films I Saw This Year

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Okay Movies Featuring Stellar Performances

Andrea Riseborough & Cole Escola – Please Baby Please

Anna Kendrick – Alice, Darling

Regina Hall – Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.

Rohan Campbell – Halloween Ends

Vicky Krieps – Corsage

Are You F-cking Kidding Me?

The Whale

Attached - Austin Butler at a Q&A for Elvis on the weekend and Michelle Yeoh and Colin Farrell at the National Board of Review Awards Gala.