TAS's Top 10 movies of 2022
It's that time of the year! Well, honestly, it's a little bit past that time, but I still had a couple of movies to catch up on before I made this list: my top 10 movies of 2022. I might say this was the best year for cinema since 2014 (though 2014 still has it beat, if you ask me). There were so many great movies this year, that it broke my heart how many of those movies didn't make my final list. Now without further ado, here are, in my opinion, the top 10 movies out of the 45 I watched last year!
I had no plans to watch this movie, at all. I had no prior experience with Scream, and based on what little I knew about the tone and the nature of the franchise, I didn't expect it to be my cup of tea. That said, I got invited to watch this movie by my sisters (who were going with a friend) and ended up having one of my most incredible cinema experiences of the year. Not only was this my introduction to Jenna Ortega and Jack Quaid, who are both great in it, I loved how irreverent, meta and fun the movie was: far more than I expected. Scream 6 couldn't come sooner!
9. The Fallout
Speaking of Jenna Ortega, The Fallout is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Megan Park, starring Jenna Ortega and Maggie Zeigler, that follows two girls in the aftermath of a school shooting. I first became interested in this movie when I heard the soundtrack would be composed by Finneas O'Connell, who I am a big fan of, and though his soundtrack was fantastic and understated, the aspect of this movie that blew me away was its emotional core. It is one of the most devastating movies I've watched, and through the lens of one of the most crucial issues in America, tells an incredibly powerful story about mental health. The ending is one of the most powerful endings I've ever seen, complimented perfectly by Ortega's brilliant performance. Definitely check it out if you have HBO Max or Binge!
8. The Black Phone
I love Ethan Hawke, so when I heard he was playing the antagonist in a horror movie that was receiving critical acclaim, I just knew I had to watch it. Boy did it live up to the hype. Though I'm not a big fan of the set-up, once the plot gets going, this movie is genuinely riveting and at times terrifying. The movie has a great concept to begin with, but while a lesser director might've used this as a crutch to tell a weak story, director Scott Derrickson makes the most out of the premise, with a wonderful sense of atmosphere and fear, and some terrific performances.
7. Bodies Bodies Bodies
I had no idea this movie was even a thing. Which is insane because when I watched it, I felt like it was made exactly for me: an insanely fun tone, hilariously well-done humour, an incredible ensemble with great performances from Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace and Amandla Stenberg to name a few, a solid mystery and a genuinely unpredictable story that results in one of the most hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments of the year. It's insane that all of the "best ensemble of the year" awards are snubbing this movie, because I believe it had the best cast of the year: just about everyone in this movie has "future movie star" written all over them, and that's rare to find.
6. Bones and All
I wasn't a fan of Call Me By Your Name, so I was absolutely shocked when Luca Guadagnino and Timothee Chalamet's second movie with each other became one of my favourite movies of the year. Bones and All is led by two incredible performances from Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet, an emotionally compelling acoustic-guitar soundtrack by Trent Reznor and impeccable cinematography with a grainy feel that transports you to 80s America. Yet at the heart of all of it is a compelling love story between two young people trying to find their place in the world, and I loved how the cinematography left so much space around the characters in order to emphasis how lost they are in the scope of the world. Guadagnino's best project so far, and a great movie for horror and romance fans alike.
5. The Northman
Robert Eggers is a fascinating director. The Witch was on my top 10 movies list of the year it came out, yet The Lighthouse was such a bore that I've had multiple failed attempts to try and finish it. Thankfully, The Northman was much more of the former than the latter for me, and finds Eggers utilising his signature style and applying it to a much more entertaining and accessible skeleton than ever before. The story is mostly standard affair, but Eggers reinstates the old-age adage that 'execution is everything', delivering some of the most memorable, visually stunning shots of the year, and incredible performances from the likes of Nicole Kidman and Anya-Taylor Joy. Eggers is 2 for 3 for me, and this is certainly my favourite of his trio of films.
Man, this was a fantastic year for horror, and certainly a fantastic year for Jenna Ortega. Within the span of a year, I think she might've become my favourite actress working. X is one of the most mesmerising films I've watched in a while. It can be easy to get distracted or feel the need to multitask when watching a movie or TV show at home, but I couldn't remove my eyes from the screen for one second during this movie. The grainy visuals are stunning and transport the viewer to the 70s, the score is haunting, the ensemble cast is incredible, with each actor bringing a different edge to the movie, the kills are thrilling and the movie is a stunning meditation on how ageing and the everlasting desire for beauty and youth can destroy an individual. It's a movie made solely to hypnotise.
3. The Batman
I know, I know, I'm surprised this even made it here! While every other movie on this list was love at first sight for me, my initial viewing of The Batman was an incredible disappointment. But when I rewatched it, my perspective on the entire movie changed. As a big fan of the Arkham series, this movie was the closest to a live-action equivalent of it that we've gotten so far. It immerses you into the world of Gotham, with the best live-action rendition of Gotham so far, a 2022-best score from Michael Giacchino, gorgeous cinematography from Greig Fraser and incredible performances, including a terrifying performance from Paul Dano as Riddler. A non-stop thrill ride that barely wastes a second of your time.
2. See How They Run
I was reluctant to watch this movie, because based on the reviews and trailers, I assumed this would be a middle-of-the-road murder mystery that would exist in the shadow of the much superior Knives Out. I couldn't have been more wrong. Though not quite as sharply written as Knives Out, See How They Run is an incredible whodunnit that is every bit as good in terms of enjoyment factor, particularly on rewatch. Not only is the movie anchored in incredible performances from Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan and Adrian Brody, it is one of the most stylish movies I've had the pleasure of watching, full of laugh-out-loud moments and an incredible sense of irreverence. Similar to Scream, this movie is choke-full of references to it's own genre. Guess that's just a cheat-code for me.
1. Everything Everywhere All At Once
This was an incredibly tough call to make, but ultimately, I had to give the 2022 crown to Everything Everywhere All At Once. The movie is every bit as all-encompassing as the title spells out, and is the movie equivalent of an endorphin-rush. The movie varies through hundreds of alternate universes, each of which are crazier and more incomprehensible than the last, yet in spite of biting off more than 99% of movies I've watched, still manages to stand well as a focused emotional story about a mother and daughter's relationship with each other. This became A24's highest grossing movie, and honestly, no movie's success this year made me happier than this one.
Hope you enjoyed this list! Thanks for reading, and if you're interested, please leave your own top 10 list below!
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