What were the best movies of 2022? It’s a big question because it was a great year for cinema. From films you simply must see in the theatre to the stuff you catch at home, there were plenty of movies that we absolutely loved last year. However, when we sat down to write this, ten films stood out from the rest as the best movies of the year.
OK, so before we begin, let’s quickly establish some rules. We’re basing these best movies off theatrical releases, not when they premiered at festivals (so don’t @ us). Also, we tried to go for a mix of blockbusters and indies, but in the end, we just went with what we loved most, so apologies if you disagree with us, but like all lists, this one’s very subjective.
Finally, before we get into our best movies of 2022, here are a few honourable mentions — She Said, Crimes of the Future, X, Turning Red, Scream, Jackass Forever, Elvis, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Batman, Licorice Pizza, Barbarian, and Aftersun — right on with the main event.
What are the best movies of 2022?
- Boiling Point
- The Northman
- Knives Out 2: Glass Onion
- Everything Everywhere All At Once
- The Banshees of Inisherin
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Avatar 2
Boiling Point (2022)
Tense and heated Boiling Point tells the story of successful chef Andy Jones (Stephen Graham) on what’s potentially the worst night of his life. It’s a drama movie that revels in throwing its audience into the stress of a kitchen and constantly ratcheting up the tension. It should be an uneasy and unsettling nightmare, but Graham’s grounded performance will keep even the most anxious of viewers hooked.
The horror movie X is a perfectly executed throwback to the gory exploitation movies of the late ’70s that’s as entertaining as it is shocking.
We follow aspiring pornographic actress Maxine Minx (Mia Goth) as she and her friends attempt to make an adult movie at a remote farm but find themselves attacked by the elderly farmers who own the land.
On paper, it sounds bizarre, but director Ty West manages to use the weirdness of its central plot to keep audiences constantly off balance.
As a result, you can never really predict what’s coming next, and there’s a general sense of delightful uncanniness that runs through the movie. Points as well for managing to make its murderous homicidal pensioners sympathetic.
The Northman (2022)
Epic in the truest sense of the word, The Northman tell the brutal and bloody story of Amleth, a Viking prince, out to get revenge on the uncle who stole his kingdom.
While the action’s perfectly executed, the film’s at its best when it’s exploring the surreal and haunting mythology of Vikings and director Robert Egger’s horror movie pedigree shines through. Check out our full The Northman review here.
It’s fair to say that the last few Predator movies haven’t been great, and we’d be lying if we said we were particularly excited for Prey. Still, the story of Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche woman trying to prove herself to her tribe who finds herself the prey of an alien hunter, was one of the best alien movies we’ve had in a while.
Beat for beat Prey is a supremely confident movie that doesn’t put a foot wrong. Its greatest strength, however, is its principal cast and the sensational Amber Midthunder, who’s basically Ripley for a new generation. Check out our full Prey review here.
Knives Out 2 The Glass Onion (2022)
Benoit Blanc’s (Daniel Craig) first adventure was a delightful surprise, so expectations were high for the sequel. Thankfully director Rian Johnson more than rose to the occasion, crafting that rarest of films, a sequel that’s better than its predecessor.
The Netflix movie‘s greatest strength is its colourful cast of suspects. Each and every one of them is memorable and hilarious, although it’s Craig who truly steals the show.
We liked Blanc in the first film, but he defintiely played second fiddle to Ana De Armas’s Marta. Glass Onion, though, gives him plenty of room to be wonderfully eccentric and cements the character in the pantheon of great big-screen detectives. Check out our full Glass Onion review here.
Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)
Multiverses were all the rage this year, but one film explored the concept better than any other, Everything Everywhere All At Once.
This mind-bending comedy movie tells the story of Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh), a woman on a quest to save the infinite realities of existence from a powerful threat.
Everything Everywhere All At Once almost defies description; it’s kitchen sink cinema, completely unafraid to throw weird and wacky concepts at the audience with the wild abandon of a toddler routing through a toy chest.
In lesser hands, the film could be described as a complete mess, but its directors, the Daniels, manage to keep a firm hand on the wheel, grounding the plot around Evelyn’s melancholy and Yeoh’s poignant performance. Check out our Everything Everywhere All At Once review here. (Oh, did we mention it’s now an Oscar winner?)
The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
Martin McDonagh, the director behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and In Bruge, continues his hot streak with The Banshees of Inisherin.
Nominally a black comedy, the film explores the relationship between two men living on an isolated island during the Irish civil war, Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson). As the pair’s friendship deteriorates, the movie takes a heart-breaking turn.
An honest and sometimes hilarious examination of loneliness, we were blown away by Banshees and what it had to say about male friendships.
Its clever use of silly jokes about “little donkeys” and people “being dull” masks a festering resentment at the heart of its two central characters that eventually explodes into unrestrained and shocking violence. Simply put, it’s a masterpiece. Check out our Banshees of Inisherin review here.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)
Speaking of masterpieces, Guillermo del Toro’s reinvention of Pinocchio is nothing short of a sensation. You don’t need us to recap the plot. It’s Pinocchio.
Just replace Pleasure Island with a school for fascists (it is a del Toro movie, after all). This animated movie was a labour of love for del Toro, who’s worked for decades to get it made, and it shows.
Everything about the film, from the production design and visuals to the story and music, is achingly beautiful (we’re listening to Ciao Papa as we write this, and it’s difficult not to get a bit teary).
Basically, what we’re saying is sorry, Disney, but this might be the new definitive version of Pinocchio from now on. Check out our Pinocchio review here.
Avatar 2 (2022)
Say what you want about James Cameron, but the man knows how to make films, and his latest Avatar 2 The Way of Water, is no exception. 13 years after the events of the first Avatar, the science fiction movie sees Jake Sully and the Na’vi once again come into conflict with the humans invading Pandora.
One of the best theatre experiences we’ve had this year, Cameron manages to balance beautiful visuals, ground-breaking VFX work, and action scenes that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat with a surprisingly moving (if a bit basic) plot. Go see it on the biggest screen possible; you won’t be disappointed. And roll on Avatar 3! Check out our Avatar 2 review here.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Who’d have thought that a sequel to a middling ’80s movie would be one of the best films of the year? But here we are. Set thirty years after the events of the first action movie Top Gun Maverick sees Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) return to train the Naval Fighter Weapons School, aka Top Gun, to train a new generation of fighter pilots.
Top Gun 2 is a masterclass in blockbuster cinema boasting some of the most exciting set pieces, intense action scenes, and downright breath-taking visuals of the year. It’s incredible how enjoyable and entertaining this Tom Cruise movie is, and it’s got us secretly hoping for a Top Gun 3. Check out our Top Gun 2 review here.