Movie Final - My Favorite Movies of 2022

2022 was an interesting year for movies. While huge blockbusters kept movie theaters alive, other films found audiences in other ways. The industry is changing, and it is nice to see movies still finding its way to screens.


Quick Note: Due to my location and/or financial situation, I haven't been able to watch every movie released this year that I wanted to, so there will be gaps in this list. Some of those films were not available to me, and some were just too expensive to justify the cost. I'm sure at least a few of those would have made the list, but they were not one of the 59 films released in 2022 that I have seen (which also includes short films and documentaries). There will be five honorable mentions, and 10 of my favorite films of the year. After that, I will list every film that was released this year that I have seen, that way you can see what I had to choose from!

Honorable Mention 1 - Kimi

Most people know that Steven Soderbergh made one of favorite films ever - Ocean's Eleven. So I am always interested in seeing his movies. Kimi is a modern take on Rear Window, and is a fun ride throughout. Zoe Kravitz gives a wonderful performance, and Soderbergh's direction shines through.

Honorable Mention 2 - Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe

You have to be in the bag for these characters to enjoy this because it gives you everything you love about Beavis and Butt-Head. If that isn't your cup of tea, you won't find much here. But if you do resonate with their humor, it is hilarious and perfectly on brand for them, while subtly updating it at the same time. If you want to laugh and forget your troubles for a bit, go seek this one out.

Honorable Mention 3 - Clerks III

Kevin Smith retired the ViewAskewniverse in 2006. But after a heart attack he returned to that world in 2019 with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. That film was a victory lap of sorts. A string of cameos and callback gags loosely tied together by a familiar plot. This year's Clerks III had much more depth to it. This is maybe Smith's most personal film. While you will still get the comedy you expect from the foul-mouthed convenience store employees, you get something much more than that too. Smith surprised people with a poignant, and emotional story that reflected his life in more ways than one.

Honorable Mention 4 - Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

A Weird Al biopic is a no brainer. But true to form, the biopic wasn't quite what people were expecting. The whole film is a spoof of all of the musical biopic tropes you are familiar with. Daniel Radcliffe absolutely owns his portrayal Weird Al, and even if you know Weird Al pretty well, you could never predict where this movie will take you. It is absolutely hilarious, and the alt/fake history works much better than a straight-laced biopic ever would. It's a shame this is stuck on the Roku Channel service, because it deserves a much bigger audience.

Honorable Mention 5 - Enola Holmes 2

The first Enola Holmes film was a delightful surprise. The second one used everything everyone liked about the first, to craft a solid follow up about Sherlock Holmes' sister. Millie Bobby Brown is wonderful as the character and plays off of Henry Cavill's Sherlock extremely well. The mystery they solve is fun, and the world building is subtle (until one scene near the end where it is not at all subtle). While this doesn't quite reach the peaks of the first movie, it is still a worthy follow up.

10. Turning Red

There were 2 Pixar movies released this year - one directly to Disney+ and one with a big theatrical push. Turning Red was the Disney+ release and it is a much better film than the Toy Story spinoff Lightyear. If you've ever been conflicted between being your own person and honoring the legacy of your family before you, Turning Red will resonate with you in a big way. All Pixar movies are existential (Who am I? What do I do now? Where do I belong?), and Turning Red is no exception. The journey of Meilin growing up and figuring herself out is something everyone can connect to. If this one slipped by you, remedy that immediately.

9. Jackass Forever

This is the funniest movie of the year. Period. A movie that I never thought would even exist. The Jackass guys are older and calmer now, or so we thought. Bringing the veterans back with some new, younger talent was a stroke of genius. They secured their legacy and also endeared us to the new cast, that can take the mantle from here, and secure the Jackass franchise for years to come. It is also surprisingly heartfelt. There are some heinous acts performed, but everyone is a cheerleader and really roots for everyone to succeed. There is no vindictiveness, and it really is nice to see everyone genuinely care for each other.

8. Violent Night

Christmas movies are a dime a dozen, but ones that won't be forgotten when the next Christmas comes around is much rarer. Violent Night is one that will stand the test of time. David Harbour delivers a wonderful performance as Santa Claus, who has to help a little girl when her family gets held hostage. It is a little bit Die Hard and a little bit Home Alone, but doesn't have to rely solely on its gimmick. The character work, and action sequences bring this movie to another level. This will definitely be a Christmastime staple going forward, and will join the likes of the other classics that are watched every year.

7. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Nicolas Cage has one of the most interesting careers in Hollywood. So a movie that basically celebrates that career in fun, unique, and often meta ways is a movie worth seeking out. Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal have a ton of fun here, and it gets more ridiculous by the second. But you can't stop smiling throughout. It is a type of ridiculous that people can embrace if they want to go along for the ride. Its fun, and you get invested quickly. The concept is unique, and the execution is perfect.

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Marvel had a few bumps in the road this year, but their crowning achievement was the sequel to 2018's Black Panther. A feat which seemed nearly impossible after the heartbreaking death of Chadwick Boseman. Ryan Coogler crafted a film celebrating the late actor, his legacy, and the legacy of the character he played. It is a very emotional film, and you can feel his loss throughout every frame. The rest of the cast steps up and delivers in big bad ways. Angela Bassett and Danai Gurira in particular are quite impressive. They made sure to honor King T'Challa and Chadwick Boseman, while still fitting into the larger narrative, and securing the future for further Wakanda appearances in the MCU.

5. The Batman

The best superhero movie of the year however, was Matt Reeves' first take on the caped crusader. The Batman isn't without its issues, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. The cast is perfect. The cinematography is perfect. Michael Giacchino's score is perfect. These things make the lengthy run time easy to watch, and when its over you are ready for the next chapter. Pattinson is a wonderful Batman, and it will be so much fun to see him grow into the role in years to come.

4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

The further adventures of Benoit Blanc came just in time to end 2022 with a bang. Rian Johnson's second murder mystery story does not disappoint. It is different than Knives Out, but that is a good thing. Carbon copies will get stale fast. It is still just as much fun, insanely rewatchable, and will have you hard pressed to find something as structurally clever as how this is laid out. This is my favorite role of Daniel Craig's and I hope he never stops being Benoit Blanc. Rian Johnson is a genius and I can't wait to see what he does next. If you need something fun to watch, look no further.

3. Prey

If there was one film that I wish was in theaters it would be this one. Even over Glass Onion. Prey would have been exceptional on the big screen. It is still exceptional on Hulu, but a big screen release would have done nothing but good things for it. This movie is a Predator prequel that takes place in the 1700s. A Commanche tribe battles a Predator, and it is the best entry in the franchise since the original. Amber Midthunder shines as the protagonist. What a discovery she is. I can't wait to see what she does next. This is a gem of a movie, and one that will be regarded as a masterpiece in years to come.

2. Top Gun: Maverick

A sequel that I never thought would happen, not only did, but was satisfying in every way. It was a great story, great acting, great character work, great cinematography, everything was great. Tom Cruise is the last pure movie star left, and he proves why again and again. The flying in this film is unlike anything anyone has ever seen. It was surreal to see it on an IMAX screen. The experience was incredible. The movie is as strong as the first, which is rare for sequels. There are things in this you've never seen before, and it will surprise and delight newcomers and fans of the original.

1. Everything Everywhere All At Once

Rarely does a movie this special come along. I have thought about it every day since I first saw it. It was my favorite movie of the first half of the year, and the position didn't budge in the second half. Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan give the performances of their lives. The story, while wrapped up in a multiversal sci-fi trope is a powerful narrative about family, life, partners, and how to respect each other and your differences. This movie has incredible laughs, incredible action, incredible drama, and moments that will make you shed a tear. If you have any sort of relationship - bad or good - with your parents at all, this story will hit you hard. The Daniels created something truly special, and I can't wait for people to keep discovering this in years to come.


***


2022 Films I have seen:


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