2022 has definitely been an interesting year for movies, with some unexpected ones doing brilliantly and high-anticipated ones failing miserably. Here is a list of some of the best movies that came out in 2022.
This obscure comedy-drama follows the story of Evelyn Quan Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh), an ageing Laundromat owner whose life feels like it’s falling apart. Then, in a weird turn of events, she’s visited by an alternate version of herself that sends her through the multiverse to try and save it from the Alphaverse version of her daughter Joy (played by Stephanie Hsu).
Along the way, she learns about the more successful versions of herself spread throughout the multiverse and tries to fix her relationship with her father (played by James Hong) and husband (played by Ke Huy Quan). A couple of other strange little things also feature throughout the film, including an extensive among of googly eyes and an all-powerful bagel.
The film was directed by Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, who were also producers alongside Joe and Anthony Russo. Ask anyone who has seen it, and they’ll tell you that Everything Everywhere All At Once is definitely one of the best movies of 2022.
This epic action drama is set in the 1920s. It is based on the true story of two Indian Revolutionaries who never actually met, Alluri Sitarama Raju (played by Ram Charan), a Gond tribal leader who fought for the liberation of Hyderabad State, and Komaram Bheem (played by N.T. Rama Rao Jr.), a revolutionary leader who fought against the British Raj.
Bheem sets out on a mission to save a young girl from his tribe, Mallia, who has been kidnapped. Raju is sent after him. Throughout the film, since neither man is aware of the other’s true identity, they develop a deep friendship and end up accidentally helping each other to further their causes and later (after they both learn the truth) almost get each other killed. By the film’s end, they realise they have a common enemy and band against them.
The film was written and directed by S.S. Rajamouli.
Think what you want about Tollywood films, but RRR is one of the best movies of 2022.
This psychological sci-fi thriller was based on George Saunders’ short story Escape from Spiderhead. The film follows the story of Jeff (played by Miles Teller), an inmate in the luxurious prison, Spiderhead, who volunteered to participate in experiments to reduce his prison sentence. Steve Abnesti (played by Chris Hemsworth) is the head of Spiderhead. He and his assistant Mark are the ones who run the experiments.
Throughout the film, Jeff realises that the purpose of the Spiderhead experiments is a lot darker than previously thought. The emotion-altering drugs had been a side project used to help test B-6, an obedience drug that Abnesti had been giving inmates so he could conduct the ultimate test: would they harm someone they love when commanded?
The film’s director Joseph Kosinski did an excellent job of bringing the story to life.
4. Top Gun: Maverick
This sequel to Top Gun (1986) was written by Christopher McQuarrie, Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer. Work for the film had already begun in 2012, but it was stopped when the original director, Tony Scott, died. However, it was continued after director Joseph Kosinski was brought onto the project.
Thirty years after the events of Top Gun, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (played by Tom Cruise) is a test pilot, unable to receive his flag rank due to continued insubordination on his part. The only reason he hasn’t been grounded is thanks to his friend Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (played by Val Kilmer).
When a prototype aircraft is destroyed because Maverick pushes it past its limits, he is given a new assignment: train the top group of Top Gun graduates put together by Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (played by Jon Hamm). Among the group of pilots if Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (played by Miles Teller), the son of Maverick’s late best friend, Lieutenant junior grade Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, and Lieutenant Jake “Hangman” Seresin (played by Glen Powell), who clashes with Rooster regularly.
He manages to earn the trust of the young group of pilots and help prepare them for a dangerous upcoming mission.
Who would have thought that the Tom Cruise sequel would go on to be one of the best movies of 2022.
5. The Banshees of Inisherin
This dark tragicomedy film was written and directed by Martin McDonagh.
The film is set in the fictional lands of the Irish Isle of Inisherin and tells the story of two former friends Colm Doherty (played by Brendan Gleeson, a folk musician who wants to spend the remainder of his life composing music, and Pádraic Súilleabháin (played by Colin Farrell), his nice but dull friend and drinking buddy.
Colm begins ignoring Pádraic so that he can entirely focus on his music, but his old friend is unable to handle being rejected out of nowhere and continues trying to keep their friendship afloat, but it doesn’t go too well for him. While their feud continues, Pádraic’s sister Siobhán and a local man Dominic try to defuse the situation but are not too successful in their efforts.
The feud comes to a head when Colm’s actions lead to the death of Pádraic’s donkey, Penny. The bittersweet ending may leave viewers feeling sorry for the two men.
6. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
The sequel to Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sees detective Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig) returning to solve another murder, this time that of Duke Cody (played by Dave Bautista), a streamer who advocates for men’s rights.
The film is just as twisted and thrilling as the first, with a fantastic ensemble cast and a couple of unexpected twists that’ll leave the audience trying to figure out who the murderer is alongside detective Blanc.
Several celebrities appear in the film as themselves, including Serena Williams, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the likeness of Jeremy Renner on bottles of hot sauce and kombucha.
This film documentary was written, directed and produced by Sara Dosa and has been described as “the greatest lava-fueled love story ever told”.
It follows the story of Katia and Maurice Krafft, a pair of French volcanologists who were lovers and died in the volcanic explosion of Mount Unzen in 1991 while doing the exact thing that brought the two of them together in the first place: learning about the mysteries of our planet. During their unfortunate death, the two managed to capture the most explosive volcano imagery ever recorded in history.
The documentary was narrated by Miranda July and won several awards, including the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award: U.S. Documentary and the Best Archival Documentary.
8. The Woman King
This historical epic tells the story of the Agojie, a group of all-woman warriors that protected the kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th to 19th century.
General Nanisca (played by Viola Davis) leads the Agojie and trains a new generation of warriors to help protect the kingdom against the Oyo Empire. Among them is Nawi (played by Thuso Mbedu), who befriends Izogie (played by Lashana Lynch) and reveals that she is adopted. It later turns out that she is Nanisca’s daughter.
In a successful attack against the Oyo, their leader, General Oba Abe (played by Jimmy Odukoya), escapes and Nawi and Izogie are captured. Nanisca arranges a rescue mission against King Ghezo’s (played by John Boyega) orders and leaves to rescue her daughter. After a triumphant battle ending in Oba’s death, Nanisca is declared the Woman King, the partner and equal to her king.
9. The Batman
This superhero film was written and Directed by Matt Reeves and follows Bruce Wayne (played by Robert Pattinson) in his second year operating at Batman in Gotham City.
The Riddler (played by Paul Dano) has just begun his tide of chaos by murdering the mayor, Don Mitchell Jr. and then the Police Commissioner, Pete Savage, leaving messages for the Bat at the scene of the murders. Several clues lead Batman to the Iceberg Lounge, where he questions Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepot, the lieutenant to Carmine Falcone (played by John Turturro). While there, he sees Selina Kyle (played by Zoë Kravits), and the two end up working together, though neither of them seems particularly happy about it.
The Riddler takes everyone on a journey of discovery that ends with several people dead and Alfred Pennyworth (played by Andy Serkis) in the hospital. Over the course of the film, Bruce realises that Batman needs to be less of a mission of vengeance and more of a symbol of hope.
After all the scepticism, The Batman turned out to be one of the best movies of 2022.
10. The Northman
This historical epic is based on the legend of Amleth, a character who became Shakespeare’s inspiration for Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
The film centres around Amleth, a Viking warrior prince who Alexander Skarsgård plays. His father, King Aurvandil (played by Ethan Hawke), is murdered by his uncle Fjölnir (played by Claes Bang), and his mother, Queen Gudrún (played by Nicole Kidman), is abducted when he is a young boy. As he flees from the attempted assassination, he swears vengeance against his uncle.
As an adult, Amleth is informed by a Seeress that he is meant to kill his uncle, so he posses as a slave alongside Olga of the Birch Forest (played by Anya Taylor-Joy), a woman who claims to be a Sorceress, and together that are taken to Fjölnir’s farm. They work together to kill his uncle but are unsuccessful the first time and flee to the Orkney Islands.
Amleth soon realises that he cannot let his uncle live, so, against Olga’s wishes, he jumps overboard and returns to the farm to kill his uncle and everyone else in his family (though that happens more because they attacked him first).
The Northman is not only one of the weirdest movies of 2022, but also one of the best.
11. Turning Red
This is an adorable animated film about Meilin “Mei” Lee (played by Rosalie Chiang), a 13-year-old girl who learns that the women in her family have been blessed with the ability to turn into red pandas when they feel strong emotions. While the women in her family are determined to help her get rid of the panda so she can return to normal life, her friends adore her panda, and she learns that concentrating on them allows her to control her transformations.
She spends the rest of the film embracing her red panda-ness and using it to raise money for a concert that she and her friends want to go to. Unfortunately, the ritual to suppress Mei’s panda for good happens on the same night as the concert.
Mei refuses to lose her panda and leaves for the concert. However, her mother’s lock on her red panda is lost, and she becomes a massive panda who goes after Mei.
It’s a charming, feel-good film that depicts 13-year-old girls like 13-year-old girls. You can’t help but smile as the girls fawn over their favourite band members. The film was director Domee Shi s directorial debut.
12. Don’t Worry Darling
This psychological thriller, directed by Olivia Wilde, follows the story of Jack (played by Harry Styles) and Alice Chambers (played by Florence Pugh), a young couple who live in a company town called Victory, where the men all go to work at Victory Headquarters. The women are told not to ask questions as they cook, clean and wait for their husbands to come home.
After Alice goes to the Headquarters herself, she learns that life in Victory is not what she had thought it to be. After Frank (played by Chris Pine), the founder and leader of Victory, hints that she is right about her suspicions and she gets taken away for attempting to expose him. This leads her to learn that she’s living in a simulation that she was forced into by her husband, Jack, who wanted to live a perfect life.
Florence Pugh and Chris Pine do a brilliant job bringing their characters to life.
This sci-fi horror film is set sometime in the future. An advancement in biotechnology saw the creation of machines that can interface with and control bodily functions. At the same time, humans experienced an improvement of their own, all now unable to feel physical pain or contract infectious diseases and some with even more fundamental changes, such as one boy’s ability to consume plastic as if it were food.
The film follows Saul Tenser (played by Viggo Mortensen), a man whose body is constantly growing new organs that he has surgically removed by his partner Caprice (played by Léa Seydoux) in front of an audience. Unfortunately, his condition leaves him in incredible pain, and he has a specially modified chair that assists him when he eats.
Tenser is sought out to infiltrate a group of evolutionists who plan to modify their digestive system so they can eat plastics and other chemicals. Their group is led by Land, the father of the boy who could eat plastic.
The film is a bit strange and may leave you wondering why you chose to watch it in the first place, but it is fascinating, and Viggo Mortensen does a fantastic job bringing the lead character to life.
14. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
This action comedy stars Nicolas Cage as a fictional version of himself. He has a strained relationship with his ex-wife Olivia (played by Sharon Horgan) and his daughter Abby (played by Lily Sheen). It follows him as he decides to retire from acting after being overlooked for several films. However, he does take one final offer of $1 million to meet the billionaire Javi Gutierrez (played by Pedro Pascal) as the guest of honour on his birthday. He and Javi quickly bond over their shared love of films.
The CIA soon approach Cage and enlist him to spy on Javi, who they believe is an arms dealer behind the kidnapping of the daughter of a Catalan anti-crime politician.
What follows is a series of ridiculous and entertaining events, down to a standoff between Cage and Javi where neither can kill the other, the two of them having developed too strong a bond.
If you’re a Nicholas Cage fan, you should watch this film. It is one of the most fun movies of 2022.
15. The 355
This film follows the story of Mason “Mace” Brown (played by Jessica Chastain), a CIA operative tasked with getting hold of a decryption programme drive that can access any digital system. She and her partner Nick Fowler (played by Sebastian Stan) head to Paris to retrieve the buy the device from Luis Rogas (played by Édgar Ramírez), a Colombian DNI agent. Unfortunately, things go South as the money is swiped by BND agent Marie Schmidt (played by Diane Kruger), and Nick is seemingly killed by Elijah Clarke (played by Jason Flemyng), the criminal mastermind who wants the drive for himself.
On her mission to retrieve the device by any means necessary, she enlists the help of Khadijag Adiyeme (Lupita Nyong’o), a retired British MI6 operative. She also gets help from Marie Schmidt, Graciela Rivera (played by Penélope Cruz Sánchez), a DNI psychologist and later Lin Mi Sheng (played by Fan Bingbing). Along the way, they get framed for the theft of the drive and learn that Nick is still alive and working for Clarke.
After destroying the device, the group gets arrested for the crimes for which they were framed, but they soon get justice and go their separate ways, sure that they’ll bump into each other in the future.