The Best Reviewed Movies of 2022

The year's 90 highest-rated movies at ign..

Jordan Sirani Avatar

2022 was a solid year for moviegoers, as IGN has awarded 90 movies a review score of 8 or higher. Fans of nearly every genre have had reason to celebrate this year's film lineup, which has included the long-awaited Avatar sequel, an excellent animated feature from Pixar, one of the best-ever One Piece features, Steven Spielberg's autobiographical Fabelmans, Jordan Peele's Nope, the first proper Jackass movie in over a decade, a career performance from Brandon Fraser in The Whale, a new iteration of DC's iconic hero in The Batman, and so much more.

To keep track of the year's best new releases, we compiled a list of every movie released in 2022 that IGN scored an 8 ("great"), 9 ("amazing"), or 10 ("masterpiece"). Read on or click through the gallery below for our full list of 2022's best-reviewed movies.

Best Reviewed Movies of 2022

hollywood movie review 2022

Review Score: 8 ("Great")

Anything's possible.

From our review : Anything’s Possible is a fun, frothy teen rom com that features a trans character front and center. Director Billy Porter brings his boundless energy and exuberance to every frame, which makes the romance between Kelsa and Khal so beguiling and inspiring to watch. By giving audiences an opportunity to celebrate their young love, and empathize with the concerns and worries associated around them, it moves us one step closer to wiping away the stigmas that exist. – Tara Bennett

Avatar: The Way of Water

From our review : Avatar: The Way of Water is a thoughtful, sumptuous return to Pandora, one which fleshes out both the mythology established in the first film and the Sully family’s place therein. It may not be the best sequel James Cameron has ever made (which is a very high bar), but it’s easily the clearest improvement on the film that preceded it. The oceans of Pandora see lightning striking in the same place twice, expanding the visual language the franchise has to work with in beautiful fashion. The simple story may leave you crying “cliché,” but as a vehicle for transporting you to another world, it’s good enough to do the job. This is nothing short of a good old-fashioned Cameron blockbuster, full of filmmaking spectacle and heart, and an easy recommendation for anyone looking to escape to another world for a three-hour adventure. – Tom Jorgensen

The Bad Guys

From our review : The Bad Guys is a slick, hilarious heist movie with buckets of laughs and a lot of heart. It’s Ocean’s Eleven meets Little Red Riding Hood with Sam Rockwell’s Wolf going on a charm offensive to stay out of jail… and he might just win you over in the process. Richard Ayoade has a blast as the sanctimonious Professor Marmalade and the entire voice cast brings their A-game with some stellar gags that will get you roaring with laughter. The Bad Guys is a fun, family-friendly caper that’s bursting with action and brimming with laughs. Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not us. – Ryan Leston

The Banshees of Inisherin

From our review : Colin Farrell plumbs emotional and comedic depths in Martin McDonagh’s witty and wistful period drama, with Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan on solid supporting duty. Set against the stunning vistas of Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin tells an effective and corrosive tale of friendship. – Hanna Ines Flint

From our review : Barbarian is barbaric, comedically brutal, and the antithesis of contemporary horror trends. Some will despise exactly that, but it’s the risk of challenging viewers to reach or surpass their boundaries in one sitting. Zach Cregger embraces extremism in horror cinema that is a sensory overload of hyper frights, grindhouse lawlessness, and the ugliest characterization of society this side of 2022. It's not always sublimely successful and doesn't waste time on subtlety in a way that's a bit too much, but as a horror fan, my chin had to be peeled from the floor multiple times. Fire this one with a crowd and howl the night away — Barbarian comes out swinging and never stops. – Matt Donato

Bodies Bodies Bodies

From our review : Bodies Bodies Bodies’ great ensemble and delightfully chaotic script make for a tense and laugh-out-loud funny film. Though it falters a bit in portraying Gen Z talk, it still manages to capture the wild energy of the very best Among Us sessions. – Rafael Motamayor

Bones and All

From our review : A lush, richly conceived cannibal road-trip romance, Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All lives in the intimate space between love and self-hatred, with characters who connect over their shared hunger for human flesh. Everything from its performances to its music feels fine-tuned to tell a story about reaching out through the void, no matter what reaches or bites back. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review : Clerks III delivers all the inappropriate cuss-cluttered humor and pot smoke that is Kevin Smith's trademark but evolves his sentimentality beyond bong-rip wisdom. The third Clerks installment is a moving ode to working-class nobodies that amplifies Smith's touchstone sincerity above Randal's not-so-passive aggression or Jay's lit-for-days attitude. Smith might be the most in touch he's ever felt as a filmmaker, and it's a semi-departure that presents Clerks III as a precursor for what's still to come from the rebooted writer/director. Whatever my quibbles are with the film's length and less successful humor when being just another Clerks sequel are a critic's nitpicks — a critic who still felt satisfied by Clerks III in 36 more ways than presumed possible. – Matt Donato

Confess, Fletch

From our review : Confess, Fletch is a clever soft-baked cookie of a mystery, never getting too intense or presenting massive stakes, which is the perfect sandbox for a wise-cracking investigator like Fletch to play around in as he relies on a mix of charm, smarts, and luck to make it through to the other side. Jon Hamm is pitch-perfect as Fletch, a kittenish case-cracker designed to make you almost feel angry that you like him. – Matt Fowler

From our review : Devotion’s a respectful introduction to heroes the world should know and celebrate. Between J.D. Dillard’s thoughtful direction, the shocking clarity of Erik Messerschmidt’s cinematography, a rousing soundscape, and the tight editing, it’s a riveting drama ready to give even the best aerial war story a run for its money. – Ro Moore

From our review : Dual is a bleakly funny sci-fi story that puts a dying woman, Sara (Karen Gillan), on a collision course with her cloned replacement. Writer-director Riley Stearns transforms depression and disappointment into a hilarious confrontation of death and a peculiar tale of self-image in an uncanny film with a precisely bizarre lead performance. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review : The Duke is a searingly funny, quintessentially British comedy with some truly joyous performances from Jim Broadbent and Dame Helen Mirren. The laughs are undercut with themes of social justice and progressive thinking, turning this almost-heist flick into more of a social satire. The Duke pokes fun at the establishment with a Robin Hood lead who might make you think twice about the TV licence fee. – Ryan Leston

From our review : Emergency is a generational stunner when it takes its stances. Stars Donald Elise Watkins, RJ Cyler, and Sebastian Chacon are authentic in their imperfect navigation of an absurd scenario, as the addition of cultural stakes obliterates buddy-comedy molds. KD Davila doesn’t lessen his script’s underlying protest, much like how director Carey Williams won’t sugarcoat climatic moments that intend to make our stomachs drop. Emergency grapples with multiple genres and wrestles its prevailing themes into a place of passionate pleas for better tomorrows, all unified by its final few minutes. The point of a gun, a puff of vape smoke, and the slam of a door in the face of white guilt is all it takes. It walks a tightrope with its topics, but Williams is delicate and confident with every step — his performers following close behind, dominating the screen. – Matt Donato

From our review : Fresh delivers a full-course meal with dazzling cinematography, disturbing imagery, and one of the best horror performances of the past few years. Sebastian Stan joins the pantheon of horror psychopaths as this delightfully gory movie explores the world of modern dating. – Rafael Motamayor

The Best Movies of 2021

hollywood movie review 2022

Funny Pages

From our review : Owen Kline establishes himself as heir to the Safdie brothers' brand of stressful underworld cinema with Funny Pages. While this story of an arrogant aspiring comic book artist will be entirely off putting to some, it’s that very cringeworthy energy that makes it well worth your time, reveling in an often cruel teenager’s misguided flailing in brutal fashion. – Esther Zuckerman

The Good Nurse

From our review : The Good Nurse shines a light on the inherent darkness of a for-profit healthcare system while exploring the even darker recesses that allow a serial killer to thrive. Based on a true story, it’s a terrifying examination of systemic failures, not to mention a wild cover-up from self-interested hospitals. A creeping soundtrack and long, lingering zooms heighten the tension while Eddie Redmayne puts in a disturbingly believable performance as Charlie Cullen. Jessica Chastain casts a tense shadow as Nurse Amy, who grows more anxious with every scene. The Good Nurse is a wild combination of exposé and serial killer drama that cuts a stark storyline through the grim landscape of U.S. healthcare. After all, who can you trust with your life? – Ryan Leston

From our review : Hellraiser is a soulful revival of a soulless horror legend that never tries to oust Clive Barker's original. Director David Bruckner — alongside writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski — examines Hellraiser's themes with spectacle styles through addition. Jamie Clayton is the Pinhead a new generation deserves, awash in Bruckner's colder cinematography that stashes redder lighting to signify humanity is where true monsters reside. Hellraiser might be comparatively less grotesque, but a heady calibration of "pain or pleasure" storytelling brings Hellraiser 2022 screaming with glee into a reinvigorated ready-to-franchise configuration. It's cleverly calculated by saving gore for maximum impact and valuing the psychological edginess inherent in Cenobite storytelling, never getting lost in gooier intentions just for masochistic midnighter distractions. There are developments that feel slighter and less explored even at almost two hours, but that doesn’t stop Bruckner from delivering one of the best Hellraiser films since the original. – Matt Donato

The Innocents

From our review : The Innocents is a slow-burner that stars a majority small-fry cast and yet is far more poised and impactful than those descriptions suggest. Eskil Vogt commands a superhuman story that exposes the wild extremes of childhood experiences and throws in some unsupervised horror for good measure. Audiences of all ages can learn from knee-high characters discovering themselves, recognizing consequences, and standing up for what's right. The pace of this gorgeously shot Norwegian pseudo-fable will be a roadblock for some, but give Vogt a chance. Storytelling rewards are bountiful once The Innocents executes its conflicts well above the expected maturities of players on screen. – Matt Donato

From our review : Steven Soderbergh’s KIMI follows an agoraphobic tech worker forced to venture outside when she finds digital traces of a violent crime. With a simple but effective script and some fun visual experiments, it's an entertaining conspiracy thriller set in (and very much about) the post-pandemic world. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review : Lou is a tight, gripping thriller that opens up a whole new genre for the ever-fabulous Allison Janney. Working off a smart script from Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley, director Anna Foerster proves her skills as an action/thriller director. Janney, Jurnee Smollett, and Ridley Asha Bateman make a winning trifecta who sell the realistic physical and emotional aspects of the script without resorting to melodrama. They’ll have you rooting for them and perhaps wishing for more. – Tara Bennett

Lucy and Desi

From our review : A worthwhile documentary debut from Amy Poehler, Lucy and Desi chronicles the I Love Lucy couple from birth to death, while trying to mirror their personal lives with the stories they told on screen. It may not always succeed, but it arrives with an energy worthy of the TV comedy legends. – Siddhant Adlakha

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

From our review : Marcel the Shell With Shoes On suffers from an aimless plot that feels stretched too thin, but it provides one of the most endearing and adorable animated characters since Paddington Bear. It delivers enough heart, laughs, and innocence to forgive its shortcomings. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review : Director Mariama Diallo explores the creeping horrors of America’s past in Master, her New England-set feature debut about three Black women navigating a mostly white college built atop a Salem-era gallows. With a layered performance by Regina Hall as the university’s first Black dean of students, the film plays with familiar tropes and images from American horror, but re-fashions them into an unexpected, subdued story with a chilling emotional payoff. – Siddhant Adlakha

Master Gardner

From our review : Master Gardener rounds off Paul Schrader’s informal trilogy about tortured men reckoning with the past, present, and future, and may be his most accomplished film in years. Joel Edgerton plays a horticulturist with a dark history who mentors the mixed-race grand niece of his stern benefactor, leading to a domino effect of violence, mercy, and unearthed secrets. – Siddhant Adlakha

Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special

From our review : Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special — a one room, one take stand-up routine recorded before Macdonald’s death — captures what made him so uniquely and absurdly funny. It’s also followed by a fitting eulogy from six of his comedian friends, who share stories about him and try to unlock the person he was. – Siddhant Adlakha

The Northman

From our review : Robert Eggers’ viking revenge saga The Northman works best when it dives head-first into dreams and disorienting visions, but it slows down when it becomes a more traditional Hollywood narrative. With viciousness relegated to its margins, it often feels neutered and bloodless, but still ends up on the right side of entertaining thanks to its pulsating music and measured performances. – Siddhant Adlakha

Official Competition

From our review : Official Competition is a sharp black comedy that skewers grandiose wealth, egocentric artists, and how quickly art is swallowed by money and celebrity. Writer/directors Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn distill the worst cliches of narcissists and place them into four characters who torture one another because they get the funding to do so. Penélope Cruz is witty and beguiling in her curly red wig, trying to break two prestigious actors of their narcissism so they can make some art together. Cruz, Antonio Banderas, and Oscar Martínez continue to prove how versatile they are as actors, shifting from comedy to drama on a dime and making it all work seamlessly. And if peeling back the curtain on filmmaking is a genre of interest, this would make a fine viewing pairing with HBO's Irma Vep. – Tara Bennett

On the Count of Three

From our review : A buddy comedy about a suicide pact, On The Count of Three follows Val (actor-director Jerrod Carmichael) and Kevin (Christopher Abbott) on their final day alive, when the rules of tomorrow no longer apply to them. Thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly acted, it’s one of the most bleakly funny films to come out this year. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review : Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey never lets up. It’s full of the Predator franchise’s trademark violence and tension, but it’s the ferocious, star-making turn from Amber Midthunder that stands as its greatest strength. The movie’s sole focus on her lead character, Naru, means that the supporting roster comes off a little wooden, but when Prey’s tracking the young warrior’s duel with the Predator -- full of powerful imagery and creative kills -- it rarely falters. – Tom Jorgensen

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

From our review : Not only does Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie function as a superb entry point for new fans, but it also commits to tonal and stylistic makeovers that elevate the franchise in unexpected ways. Not all of its emotional beats will stick beyond the credits, but it’s still fun to see just how much the Turtles have to grow in order to become the crime-fighting unit we adore. – Hayden Mears

From our review : Rosaline is charming, energetic, and gives Kaitlyn Dever another opportunity to shine. She proves to be just as adept at comedy as she is in the array of dramas she usually takes on. The script is an inventive romp through Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, giving the tragedy a lighter touch and a slight skewering regarding its approach to portraying acts of true love. – Tara Bennett

The School for Good and Evil

From our review : The School for Good and Evil goes full blockbuster scale in telling the stories of small-town besties – and potential witches – Agatha (Sofia Wylie) and Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso). It’s their friendship and care for one another that roots the sometimes over-the-top world into succeeding as a story that still feels intimate and true when all kinds of crazy is swirling around them. In particular, Wylie is the beating heart of the movie who sells both the unfiltered candor of Agatha’s disdain for the shallow motivations of the “Ever” students and her heart-on-her-sleeve support for her tempted friend, Sophie. Director Paul Feig also does an impressive job world-building a story that manages to differentiate itself aesthetically and tonally from other high-end, magic-centric movies and TV series. – Tara Bennett

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol

From our review : Netflix’s Scrooge: A Christmas Carol was bound to be somewhat decent considering its timeless foundation. Its premise, slight deviations aside, is as worn as Tiny Tim’s shoes at this point. Thankfully, it does manage to stand out in the smallest, but still impactful, of ways. The animation is vibrant, with a bright color palette that nicely contrasts the tonally dark story, and the cast does a splendid job of portraying the film’s assorted characters. Scrooge won’t win over those who’ve grown tired of this tale, but it’s still more than enough to get folks in the holiday spirit. – Kenneth Seward Jr.

Shin Ultraman

From our review : Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno's Shin Ultraman manages to do for the tokusatsu superhero what the duo did for Godzilla, updating the classic character to modern times with a new origin and outlook while preserving the sensibilities and uplifting themes of the original show. It’s a joyful, uplifting ode to tokusatsu and to superhero tales, and well worth a watch no matter your level of familiarity with the character. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review : Showing Up tells the muted story of an artist suffocating beneath feelings of inferiority as she struggles to carve out a place amid her artistic community. The weight of expectation bears a staggering toll on Michelle Williams’ Lizzie as she prepares to make her mark, all while juggling the responsibilities others place upon her. Director Kelly Reichardt paints a subtle picture with fine strokes, painting in the details as we learn more about Lizzie’s history with those around her. It’s a beautiful portrait created by a master at work, with lingering shots that highlight the internal struggles of the starving artist while exposing the thoughtlessness of those around her. Showing Up takes a unique look behind the canvas, laying the artist bare. – Ryan Leston

Significant Other

From our review : Significant Other is a tight and well-constructed thriller that offers some genuine surprises and showcases the talents of Maika Monroe and Jake Lacy. A character study that takes some interesting story swings, it makes you wish more films of a similar ilk would take the same care and precision in finding fresh ways to mesh the intimate with high-concept ideas. – Tara Bennett

Something in the Dirt

From our review : Something in the Dirt is another genre-bending winner for filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, a highly entertaining and mind-melting sci-fi film about two neighbors encountering mysteries much larger than themselves and getting trapped by their own obsession with truth and fame. Before they likely explode in popularity from their involvement in Marvel's Moon Knight series, this film encapsulates what makes them some of the most unique and important voices in genre filmmaking today. – Rafael Motamayor

Speak No Evil

From our review : Speak No Evil isn't for the faint of morality and weak constitution. Its message is simple — our world is full of monsters. Christian Tafdrup doesn't coddle his audience, nor does the film pad its landing. Speak No Evil hits with the impact of leaping off the Empire State Building and greeting 34th Street at full force, with the aftermath to match. Patience is rewarded by knock-down, soulless-nasty payoffs that cast an exquisitely malevolent cloud over humankind, which will lose some viewers — it's excessively backloaded, one of my only criticisms. But it's also proficient and tactical in its momentum buildup, meticulous in its naive stroll-about pace, which viciously sells an epic heel turn that will make you want to cancel plans for the next 24 hours of recovery. – Matt Donato

Thirteen Lives

From our review : Much like he did with Apollo 13, Ron Howard takes an outsized moment in history, the 2018 Thai soccer team rescue, and reshapes it into an intimate event that allows the audience to experience the intensity and stakes of the ordeal. Utilizing his recent skills in documentary-making, Howard highlights the timeline of the flooding, and subsequent rescue attempts, to create a subtle but effective ticking clock undertone that heightens the stakes and gives us a visceral sense of how overwhelming the endeavor was. As cameras follow the divers from the water-line into the impossibly cramped spaces they had to navigate, it makes for some unbearably intense cinematography that captures the claustrophobia needed to put viewers in the fins of everyone involved. The grounded and understated performances of the Thai and western actors, meanwhile, ensure that the story doesn’t veer into bombastic territory. – Tara Bennett

From our review : With a stunningly raw performance from Danielle Deadwyler, Chinonye Chukwu’s Till lives in the body of a traditional biopic — about Mamie Till-Mobley in the aftermath of her son Emmett’s lynching — but it turns real events into regretful, wistful memories, with a camera that refuses to look away from a mother’s pain. – Siddhant Adlakha

Triangle of Sadness

From our review : Triangle of Sadness pokes fun at the ultra-rich, playing their undoing for laughs in the worst of situations. It’s a masterclass in cringe comedy with Harris Dickinson playing it straight throughout as he finds himself in appallingly toe-curling situations. A spectacular turn from Woody Harrelson amps the laughs up even more, and while toilet humor literally erupts in the second half, it’s the performances of the film’s stellar cast that keep this ship on course. The script could’ve been tighter, but Triangle of Sadness keeps the laughs coming thick and fast, even well into the home stretch. Who knew class politics could be this much fun? – Ryan Leston

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

From our review : It probably goes without saying that Nicolas Cage obsessives will get precisely what they’re looking for out of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’s meta-exploration of the actor’s persona, but the real heart and soul of the picture is Cage’s on-screen bromance with Pedro Pascal’s Javi. Their chemistry carries the movie into far more memorable territory, and more than makes up for a few of the film’s less-interesting elements. – Alex Navarro

From our review : War Pony tells a surprisingly personal story of two young men trapped by their circumstances. Challenging perceptions of life on the poorest Native American reservation, the film highlights the struggles they face while desperately trying to grasp at a better life. Jojo Bapteise Whiting and Ladainian Crazy Thunder play two sides of the same coin and could easily be the same boy seen at different periods in his life. But their similarities, it seems, are a product of their environment. It’s up to them to change it. An effective debut feature from director Riley Keough, War Pony is a rare breed – a native story told by an outsider seeking to uplift the community rather than exploit it. – Ryan Leston

Wendell & Wild

From our review : Henry Selick returns to our screens with Wendell & Wild, a new stop-motion nightmare that brings an edgier and darker tone, more mature subjects, and even more laughs to the director's toolbox. Partnering with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, this is a feast for the eyes; a hilarious, spooky, empowering story; and a movie you'll want to add to your Halloween rotation. – Rafael Motamayor

We're All Going to the World's Fair

From our review : A technological horror drama with lingering transgender subtext, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair follows an online role-playing challenge connected to an urban legend. With a stunning debut performance from Anna Cobb, as a teenager in search of connection, the result is a moody, meditative film about loneliness in the digital age. – Siddhant Adlakha

When the Screaming Starts

From our review : When the Screaming Starts is a clever, cleaver-waving mockumentary that deals in the price of infinite recognition paid in flesh. Commentary behind Aidan's ambitions, Amy's gratifications, and Norman's obsession skewer why all these people would rather be known forever as malevolent bastards than live average, upstanding lives. Conor Boru might have directed When the Screaming Starts as a razor-sharp horror comedy, but it's effectively a morbid tragedy about the state of contemporary media. "Serial killers don't get forgotten — no one remembers the victims." A pointed screenplay and stellar ensemble of slashers slice-and-dice their way through true-crime obsessions that hold the audience accountable for what they're watching, presenting one of the year's surprise horror favorites like a body bag with a bow on top. – Matt Donato

When You Finish Saving the World

From our review : When You Finish Saving the World sees debuting director Jesse Eisenberg ironing out his visual wrinkles, as he spins an awkwardly funny, emotionally intricate tale about a disconnected mother and son. Led by moving performances from Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard, the film takes a roundabout approach to its drama, resulting in a realistic portrait of a relationship in stasis. – Siddhant Adlakha

The Woman King

From our review : The Woman King overcomes the perils of its overstuffed script with a collection of performances that elevate the whole. As expected, Viola Davis is the emotional center of the piece, masterfully fine-tuning her performance to go from fierce to vulnerable as needed. More surprising is breakout star Thuso Mbedu as the Agojie’s new recruit, Nawi. She drives the majority of the story and lands everything the movie asks of her and then some. What results is a crowd-pleasing movie featuring an inspiring array of female heroes who, even in 1823, are more than capable of saving themselves, and do it quite thrillingly. – Tara Bennett

Women Talking

From our review : A harrowing tale rooted in real events, Women Talking takes a stage-like approach to its debate between victimized women in a commune, but imbues it with cinematic flourishes. It’s also one of the rare ensemble movies where every single performance makes it worth watching. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review : While its gnarly payoffs eventually peter out, X is filled with fun and intense setups that harken back to classic slasher fare. A story of a doomed porn crew shooting in the middle of nowhere, it has the makings of a traditional splatter-fest, but injects its story with an unexpected sympathy for its cleverly conceived villains. – Siddhant Adlakha

You Won't Be Alone

From our review : You Won’t Be Alone forges a melancholy coming-of-age nightmare that touches on all aspects of humanity. Elements of body horror and traditional folk horror carve a bizarre niche, while star Sara Klimoska traverses this strange new world with wide-eyed naivete. A stirring performance by Anamaria Marinca elevates a role that could exist within classic horror tropes to that of a Shakespearean tragedy. Less of a straight-up horror movie and more creeping dread, You Won’t Be Alone explores the spectrum of human emotion with an otherworldly curiosity. Perhaps it takes someone on the fringes of society to find out what it really means to be human. – Ryan Leston

Worst Reviewed Movies of 2022

These are 17 of 2022’s worst movies, ordered from highest IGN review score to lowest.

Review Score: 9 ("Amazing")

The adam project.

From our review : The Adam Project is a thoughtful, witty mash-up of all the movies from my childhood. It’s Back to the Future meets The Last Starfighter with a slew of wonderful performances from a cast that clearly loves the concept as much as I do. Ryan Reynolds is on top form as Adam, while Walker Scobell matches him punch for punch with a great debut performance. The Adam Project is a love letter to the family sci-fi flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s, packed full of Amblin-like charm. – Ryan Leston

From our review : A tale of love and death told through an android’s vivid memories, After Yang is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching sci-fi mystery about an aloof couple (Colin Farrell and Jodie-Turner Smith) discovering the secret life and hidden emotions of their artificial son (Justin H. Min). With melancholy performances and an eye for natural beauty, Kogonada’s second feature film draws from masters of the past to create a glowing and moving future. – Siddhant Adlakha

All Quiet on the Western Front

From our review : All Quiet on the Western Front is just as bleak as you might imagine, with an unflinching examination of the horrors of war. It’s a brutal, exhausting, and raw reminder of the evil humanity is capable of inflicting upon each other, and it couldn’t be more timely. Felix Kammerer stuns as Paul Bäumer with stand-out performances from Albrecht Schuch and Edin Hasanovic. The attention to detail is phenomenal, with director Edward Berger retelling this classic story in a new and interesting way. All Quiet on the Western Front is a grim, harrowing march towards an inevitable conclusion that’s held together by a minuscule thread of humanity. It’s a tough watch, but believe me, it’s worth every wince-inducing moment. – Ryan Leston

From our review : A dreamlike fictional biopic about Marilyn Monroe, Blonde features a stunning, volatile performance from Ana de Armas, whose daring vulnerability is matched by director Andrew Dominik’s equally daring formal approach, which keeps Marilyn in constant conversation with her iconic photographs, with the camera, and with the public at large. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review : Bubble captivates both as commentary on the cyclical nature of existence and also a bittersweet sci-fi romance. Featuring gorgeous hand-drawn animation melded with fluid computer-generated graphics, a unique take on the beleaguered post-apocalyptic landscape, and a romance you'll want to root for right until it fizzles out, this is an anime film you'll want to add to your permanent collection right away. – Brittany Vincent

Catwoman: Hunted

From our review : Catwoman: Hunted proves Selina Kyle hardly needs Batman around to have a good time. This new DC Universe Movies release benefits from a strong, efficient script and a talented voice cast as it explores a jewel heist gone horribly wrong. But above all, it succeeds in merging DC's superhero universe with a strong anime aesthetic, resulting in a globetrotting adventure with strong echoes of Cowboy Bebop and Lupin III. That's great company to be in. – Jesse Schedeen

Cha Cha Real Smooth

From our review : "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day." Those words by the great Jim Valvano apply to film as well. Movies like Cha Cha Real Smooth that make us laugh, think, and cry deserve special celebrations for encouraging viewers to feel less alone, filling our hearts with courage to weather life's oncoming storms. Cooper Raiff cements himself as an invaluable contemporary voice shaping American cinema's future through something so authentic and without emotional restraints. If all Raiff's stories are this vulnerable, reassuring, and spoken like a whisper in our ear during one long hug? I'll be first in line without even reading a tagline. – Matt Donato

Decision to Leave

From our review : Decision to Leave is Park Chan-wook’s unabashed ode to Hitchcock and Wong Kar-wai. Park Hae-il and Tang Wei have such potent, simmering chemistry that even when they’re just eating across from one another, they’re riveting. Portraying their shift from cat and mouse adversaries to unrequited soulmates is a journey that’s mature, surprising, and rather enthralling. – Tara Bennett

The Fabelmans

From our review : Steven Spielberg goes autobiographical with The Fabelmans, his warmest and most personal film to date. With a coming-of-age story that is universal in its portrayal of misunderstood artists and broken homes, but hyper-specific in its portrayal of the childhood that formed a legendary filmmaker, this is a therapy session turned into a hugely entertaining movie, aided by a fantastic cast, and one of John Williams' best scores in years. – Rafael Motamayor

Fire Island

From our review : Indie director Andrew Ahn creates a mainstream queer classic with the romcom Fire Island, his inventive modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Following a group of gay friends on a wild vacation, it features some of the funniest and most tension-filled scenes in any movie this year. As complete as any piece of entertainment can be. – Siddhant Adlakha

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

From our review : Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a bigger, bolder, funnier, angrier sequel that improves on almost every aspect of its predecessor. Rian Johnson plays with an air-tight script that targets the absurdity and stupidity of the one percent while delivering a hilarious murder mystery on the most luxurious private island not owned by a Bond villain. – Rafael Motamayor

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

From our review : Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a heartfelt dramedy about a middle-aged woman and the sex worker she hires and their candid conversations about life, shame, and acceptance. Director Sophie Hyde and writer Katy Brand beautifully explore aging women’s desires and needs and what it means to finally love yourself. Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack’s chemistry is intense and each give brilliant performances. – Laura Sirikul

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

From our review : The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special delivers all the Christmas cheer, sentiment, catchy musical numbers, and laugh-out-loud moments you could ask for in a quick 43 minutes. Kevin Bacon is hilarious as he plays himself in an insane situation, as is Dave Bautista’s Drax, but the real star here is Pom Klementieff as Mantis. James Gunn gives this former background character tons of layers, and Klementieff brings it all home with a charming performance. It all makes for a delightful addition to any MCU fan’s annual Christmas rotation. – Alex Stedman

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

From our review : Guillermo del Toro sprinkles his signature dark whimsy on a fairytale classic with stunning puppetry and catchy original songs. Filled with heart, humor, and historical grounding, it’s a phenomenal feat of animated cinema. – Hanna Ines Flint

From our review : The desire for justice becomes warped in A Hero, the story of a prisoner named Rahim, whose good deeds make him a micro-celebrity before his past comes back to haunt him. Told through director Asghar Farhadi’s signature brand of neo-realism, it pulsates with anxiety even in its quieter moments, thanks to the mounting realization that Rahim’s decency may not be enough to save his dignity. – Siddhant Adlakha

Hit the Road

From our review : Hit the Road is a masterful debut film for writer/director Panah Panahi. His skill at capturing this bittersweet chapter for this family so naturalistically, yet cinematically is breathtaking at times. The chemistry of the actors, who all give top-tier performances, is so potent that there isn’t a moment where you don’t believe they are an actual family, navigating this final road trip together with humor, sorrow, and vulnerability. – Tara Bennett

I Love My Dad

From our review : James Morosini’s shockingly funny I Love My Dad builds on the actor-director’s real-life tale of being catfished by his distant father. The story is told from the point of view of his dad, a character played with hilarious desperation by comedian Patton Oswalt, resulting in a bizarre act of cinematic empathy that’s as moving as it is intense. – Siddhant Adlakha

Jackass Forever

From our review : The final chapter in American comedy’s most chaotic saga, Jackass Forever is a hilarious last hurrah for its original crew. An extravagant stunt show filled with more cinematic homages (and more bodily fluids) than ever before, it takes an ill-advised trip down memory lane and raises the stakes in maniacal fashion. Few recent films have been funnier or more delightfully nostalgic. – Siddhant Adlakha

Jujutsu Kaisen 0

From our review : Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manages to work as both a standalone introduction to the anime and also a satisfying prequel to those familiar with this world. With stunning animation, complex and memorable characters, and a healthy dose of horror imagery, this is one of the best shonen anime films in a while. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review : The Menu is a hilariously wicked thriller about the world of high-end restaurants, featuring a stellar cast led by a phenomenal Ralph Fiennes, some of the most gorgeous food shots in recent film history, and accompanied by a delicious hors d'oeuvres sampling of commentary on the service industry, class warfare, and consumerism. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review : A hilariously bleak vision of the American dream, Jordan Peele’s Nope is a farcical love letter to Hollywood filmmaking. A sci-fi-horror-comedy that builds cinematic myths before casually knocking them over, it’s one of the most effective and purely entertaining summer blockbusters in years, from a studio director at the peak of his craft. – Siddhant Adlakha

Odd Taxi: In the Woods

From our review : Odd Taxi was one of the best anime of 2021, if not the past decade as a whole. In the Woods manages to make its epic, interconnected, funny, thrilling story more streamlined by focusing on its central mystery and peppering it with the character beats and hilarious banter that made the original so special. Fans of the show may not feel the need to revisit the whole story — though a new epilogue provides a satisfying closure — but newcomers may find a great gateway to both the world of Odd Taxi and anime in general. – Rafael Motamayor

One Piece Film: Red

From our review : One Piece Film: Red breaks the mold of the typical anime shonen film, capturing the magic of the series. It’s confidently a musical, too, with J-Pop star Ado providing several fantastic earworms as Uta Shanks doesn’t get as much screen time as fans may hope, but it’s still satisfying to spend more time with him. It’s not the movie that will convert non-believers into fans – it feels more like a lost episode than a cash grab for newcomers – but by heavily integrating itself with the main series and understanding the humor that makes it shine, Film: Red ranks at the top of One Piece’s features. – Just Lunning

Project Wolf Hunting

From our review : Project Wolf Hunting goes for broke in terms of exquisite beatdown violence in the pursuit of primal genre happiness. Writer/director Kim Hong-seon executes like there’s a going-out-of-business sale on fake blood, and we reap the benefits as showstopping displays of action-horror devastation take center stage. Fugitives and coppers aren't just killed; they're pummeled into oblivion until maybe half their identifiable traits remain — if lucky. Project Wolf Hunting is a cornucopia of killing-machine kookiness that keeps reminding us why South Korean horror frequently reigns supreme, and leaves us wanting more even after Boat to Busan docks for a refuel. – Matt Donato

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

From our review : Puss in Boots: The Last Wish takes not only the Shrek franchise, but DreamWorks Animation to exciting new places. This is a spaghetti western-inspired tale of an aging cowboy on one last adventure with some rather mature themes, aided by stunning animation that mixes 3D with 2D effects, and a painterly style that gives the film a unique look. – Rafael Motamayor


From our review : Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth deliver explosive, career-best work in Resurrection, a psychological thriller that takes shocking and upsetting turns. The film is powerful both in its quietly disturbing scenes — which toy with the perspective of a troubled mother who believes her traumatic past has returned — and in its most deranged and violent movements. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review : The latest addition to the Scream franchise expertly blends reverence for the source material while creating something that feels almost completely new. All of the performances are pitch-perfect as the new generation of Woodsboro teens step into their futures, the kills are gnarly, and no version of toxic fandom is left unmocked. – Amelia Emberwing

The Stranger

From our review : The Stranger might just be one of my favorite films out of Cannes 2022. It’s dripping with gritty realism, cloaked in the shadows of a muted palette, and finished off with some truly inspired style choices. It’s the kind of thriller that only comes along every once in a while – truly unsettling and with enough twists and turns to not only keep you interested but on your toes. There’s plenty of great acting, too, with both Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris throwing their characters up against a wall and dissecting them with brutal efficiency. There’s a lot to love in The Stranger, and even more to wrap your head around. The reward is a rich, dark thriller that will be on your mind for some time. – Ryan Leston

From our review : Todd Field’s first feature in 16 years, TÁR is a richly detailed portrait of power and creative genius, led by Cate Blanchett’s towering performance as a world-famous composer whose private and professional life enters the public spotlight. A pressing film that feels distinctly of-the-now. – Siddhant Adlakha

Turning Red

From our review : A story of magical transformation as a metaphor for personal and cultural change, Turning Red (from Bao director Domee Shi) is Pixar’s funniest and most imaginative film in years. It captures the wild energy of adolescence, uses pop stars as a timeless window into puberty, and tells a tale of friendship and family in the most delightfully kid-friendly way. – Siddhant Adlakha

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

From our review : Weird: The Al Yankovic Story does for the music biopic what the real Weird Al did for many a hit pop song: it makes fun of it, reveres it, remixes it, makes it weirder, and improves it. With Daniel Radcliffe in the role he was born to play, Weird tells the definitive and totally true story of one of our greatest musicians and comedians while making you wish all music biopics were this funny or bizarre. – Rafael Motamayor

Werewolf By Night

From our review : Werewolf by Night is a wondrous homage to the classic Universal monster movies. It’s about as scary as those original films are to a modern audience, but that doesn’t matter – it faithfully evokes the kind of classic horror that we haven’t seen in decades. The style may be old, and the tropes may be well-worn, but the film’s Marvel twist is enough to keep it feeling relatively fresh while tapping into the nostalgia of horror film fans. Gael Garcia Bernal is excellent as Jack, and the dynamic between him and Laura Donnelly warrants further screentime. Werewolf by Night may not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat with a slow, creeping tone that captures the very best of classic horror. – Ryan Leston

From our review : The Whale forces us to face some uncomfortable truths, not just concerning its grotesquely proportioned protagonist, but about ourselves, too. Much of its power comes from breaking down the barrier between the audience and the film’s subject, forcing us to accept that there’s a human being beneath the fat. A powerhouse performance from Brendan Fraser explores every facet of the deeply complex man, while Sadie Sink digs deep for a quirky role that keeps you guessing. A sharp script is delivered with slow brutality by Darren Aronofsky who gets to the heart of what it means to be Charlie. The Whale isn’t just a great film – it’s an important one, too, delving into our own humanity with the dogged relentlessness of Ahab himself. – Ryan Leston

White Noise

From our review : White Noise holds up a mirror to contemporary America, forcing a self-examination that both amuses and terrifies. It may be set in the ‘80s but it’s as prescient as ever, forcing us to examine the failings of postmodern culture and face the comedy and terror inherent in our society. It may be funny, even light-hearted in places, but White Noise confronts heavy, poignant topics with a level of awareness that will make you laugh while your skin crawls. A flamboyant performance by Adam Driver drills down into our own inadequacies, while Greta Gerwig’s Babette keeps the whole sorry mess together with a graceful banality that’s beautiful in its ordinariness. White Noise is an overtly weird yet almost mundane take on some heavy existential issues. After all, aren’t we all tentatively scheduled to die? – Ryan Leston

The Worst Person in the World

From our review : Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World features a stunning lead performance and peppers its realism with occasional dreamlike flourishes. It explores several years of millennial uncertainty through the eyes of Julie (Renate Reinsve), an indecisive, self-loathing 20-something who switches careers and languishes in a doomed romance until she’s able to find fleeting moments of joy amidst emotional turns that twist like a knife. – Siddhant Adlakha

Review Score: 10 ("Masterpiece")

From our review : The Batman is a gripping, gorgeous, and, at times, genuinely scary psychological crime thriller that gives Bruce Wayne the grounded detective story he deserves. Robert Pattinson is great as a very broken Batman, but it’s Zoe Kravitz and Paul Dano who steal the show, with a movingly layered Selina Kyle/Catwoman and a terrifyingly unhinged Riddler. Writer/director Matt Reeves managed to make a Batman movie that’s entirely different from the others in the live-action canon, yet surprisingly loyal to Gotham lore as a whole. Ultimately, it’s one that thoroughly earns its place in this iconic character’s legacy. – Alex Stedman

Watch The Batman on HBO Max on April 18, 2022.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

From our review : Everything Everywhere All at Once is a complex film that encompasses a variety of subjects, but it does justice to each of them with a carefully written script, marvelous performances, and a healthy dose of bizarre humor to counter its bleak story. Michelle Yeoh in particular gives a powerhouse performance in a story that puts a fresh, welcome spin on the idea of the multiverse. – Rafael Motamayor

This story was originally published on February 11. It was most recently updated on December 13 with the latest information.

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The 10 Best Movies of 2022

hollywood movie review 2022

This year, the nervous clench of the pandemic eased up (to some extent), with movie theaters fully reopened and film festivals carrying on like they used to before 2020.  The industry, and moviegoing itself, is still in trouble, but, at least, there was a host of thrilling work to celebrate and enjoy throughout all that tumult. So many, in fact, that plenty of worthy films—the hushed memoir piece  Aftersun , the prickly fable  The Banshees of Inisherin , the scrappy found-family drama  Broker —had to be left off this list, for brevity’s sake. The ten films listed below shone brightest for me in 2022. ( See the best movies of 2023 here. ) 

10.  Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

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On paper,  Dean Fleischer Camp ’s film sounds like a mistake. Based on viral shorts from a decade or so ago,  Marcel could easily have been lazy, cloying nostalgia, a too-late attempt to cash in on a bygone era of internet quirk. Instead,  Marcel is a wistful wonder of a children’s film, one that carefully balances the silly with the serious. The film’s visual invention and graceful writing distinguish it from many of its peers;  Marcel speaks to little ones on their level while gently encouraging them to think and feel more expansively about their lives and the life of the world around them. Anchoring the project is the invaluable voice work of co-writer  Jenny Slate , who gives the adorable creature of the title some necessary pepper lest he become  too cute. Melancholy without being sappy, mordant without being cynical,  Marcel the Shell with Shoes On was the poignant surprise of the year, a marvelous debut feature from a director who, I hope, will take us on many more humane adventures in the future.

9.  Saint Omer

The 10 Best Movies of 2022

Alice Diop ’s quiet and somber film is a courtroom drama, but not in the familiar sense. There is no lawyerly speechifying, no sudden discovery of salient evidence. Instead,  Saint Omer is a measured consideration of a tragedy: the death of an infant whose mother, Laurence (a forceful  Guslagie Malanda ), stands accused of murder. Diop, a documentarian making her narrative debut, based her film on the real-life case of a Senagalese immigrant convicted of killing her child. She  patiently and compassionately listens to Laurence in the form of Rama ( Kayije Kagame ), a pregnant writer who sits in on the trial in search of a story. As these two women mull over, publicly and privately, their lives as Black women in France—and as mothers— Saint Omer whispers with the voices of so many drifting in the margins of what is meant to be a progressive and egalitarian society. The slow build of this precisely structured film is remarkable, as if we are watching the reinvention of a hoary genre.  Saint Omer is another sterling entry in the recent spate of films, like  Mati Diop ’s  Atlantics and  Nikyatu Jasu ’s  Nanny , that have addressed the West African diaspora with resounding power.

8. Hit the Road

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This year, two Iranian filmmakers offered up damning portraits of their country and its government:  Jafar Panahi ’s filmed-in-secret meta-drama  No Bears and  Panah Panahi ’s  Hit the Road . Their last names aren’t a coincidence. The Panahis are father and son, one boldly emerging into a film tradition to which his father has given so much. Jafar is currently embattled in a legal struggle against the Iranian government, banned from making films and from leaving the country, a situation reflected in the stony neorealism of  No Bears . The younger Panahi has gone a more florid route, one perhaps befitting of his age.  Hit the Road is lively and energetic, even as it considers, much like  No Bears does, the binding restrictions of life in present-day Iran.  Hit the Road is about a family on a journey to smuggle a son, who is fleeing a prison sentence for an unknown crime, across the border. It is, in some ways, a wacky road trip movie, though the dire reality of what this trek is all about looms large over the boisterous familial squabbles that animate the film. Heartwarming and heartbreaking,  Hit the Road darts and glides where many Iranian films made by elder statesmen—including Panahi’s father—solemnly inspect. Both modes have their place and their value, of course, these urgent efforts to push back against a repressive regime. Just as the Panahis’ countrywomen are doing the same, so fiercely and courageously, on the streets of Tehran and elsewhere today.  

7.  One Fine Morning

One Fine Morning

Nobody captures the quotidian ramble of life quite like  Mia Hansen-Løve . The French filmmaker’s ninth feature is a sweet and jaunty look at endings and beginnings.  Léa Seydoux plays Sandra, a diplomatic translator who is slowly losing her father to a degenerative illness. As she navigates those upheavals, in all their boggling sorrow and morbidly amusing frustrations, she strikes up a romance with a married man who was once a friend of her husband. Hansen-Løve loosely weaves these two narratives together, softly building toward a conclusion that—in an amiable and sober way, entirely devoid of treacly melodrama—reaffirms the grace and beauty of life. It’s a pleasure watching Seydoux in this naturalist mode, a welcome change of pace from Bond capers and dark satires. She’s perfectly suited to Hansen-Løve’s delicate staging of the everyday, alert and responsive as if she is living these moments in the real world, in real time. Sunny and sad,  One Fine Morning is a lovely counterbalance to other French dramas about old people fading away (like  Amour and  Vortex ), a gentle picture that still packs a loving punch. 

6.  Armageddon Time

The 10 Best Movies of 2022

James Gray ’s trip back to the 1980s Queens of his youth is by no means an exercise in cozy nostalgia.  Armageddon Time is a doleful moral drama about a Jewish family’s shifting consciousness of race and class at the dawn of the Reagan era. In its inspection of this country’s tangled and layered systems of prejudice,  Armageddon Time stands confidently in its guilt without slipping into preening self-flagellation. Gray instead offers a thoughtful and textured look at a family caught on a particularly American faultline, making terrible choices that are common to so many Americans whose reliance on structures of power, passively or not, becomes complicity. It’s a sharply acted film, from  Anne Hathawa y and  Jeremy Strong as parents desperate to push their children up the societal ladder to newcomers  Banks Repetta and  Jaylin Webb as wayward kids on a collision course with unjust reality. Like all of Gray’s best work,  Armageddon Time is at once visceral and cerebral, gripping in its immersive technical achievements and in its heady, unignorable conclusions. 

5.  All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

The 10 Best Movies of 2022

This captivating documentary from  Laura Poitras  (an Oscar winner for  Citizenfour ) is a biography of the artist  Nan Goldin and a report on her efforts, alongside many others, to bring the Sackler family, who unleashed Oxycontin upon the world, to some kind of justice. There is an even bigger story being told here, though, one about America’s many failures in its duty of care, from the micro to the macro. As Goldin narrates her life, in words and images, we learn of her tragic childhood, her time spent in the wilds of New York City’s underground scene before and after AIDS came crashing in, and about her present-day campaign against rapacious, murderous greed. In all that scope, we see a terrible pattern emerge, a repeating mural of people dismissed and preyed upon by the artless, unfeeling monster of capital.  All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is a stirring document of empathy and creativity used as weapons against immoral hegemony—mighty tools even in the face of such bitter defeat, such incalculable loss. The personal and the political are tightly fused in Poitras’s meticulously crafted film. She honors not only Goldin and her art, but also her principles. 

4.  Benediction

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This year’s  Fire Island and  Bros showed contemporary gay social and romantic life in vibrant comedic shades.  Terence Davies ’s  Benediction is a much graver affair, a biopic about poet Siegfried Sassoon (played with ache and wit by  Jack Lowden ) as he tries to move past the trauma of his experiences in the First World War. But it contains as intricate and enriching a map of gay community as its cheerier brethren do. Sassoon moved among a tribe of fops, ne’er-do-wells, and dashing semi-closeted aristocrats, men who lived lives as fully as their era would allow (and, in many senses, more than it would). There’s a poignancy to Davies’s involvement here, the director addressing queer issues head-on for the first time in many years. And there is the matter of Sassoon’s writing, so haunted and horrified by war, so mournful of the needless death of millions. Pain and pleasure commingle to devastating—and yet oddly heartening, too—effect in  Benediction , a stately period piece that favors deep feeling over stuffy formality. 

3.  Empire of Light

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Director  Sam Mendes has made many gorgeous films, lush and lacquered.  Empire of Light is another of those polished gems, but this time, a wealth of humanity lies beneath the luxe aesthetics. The film is a bittersweet short story about two movie theater employees—a lonely and troubled middle-aged woman, Hilary, played by  Olivia Colman and a young man, Stephen, played by  Michael Ward —making a brief connection as their lives shift and strain in the dawn of a new decade.  Roger Deakins ’s cinematography and a stunning score by  Trent Reznor and  Atticus Ross greatly contribute to  Empire of Light ’s typically Mendes-ian swoon, but they don’t overwhelm the finespun human drama at the center of the film. Bleary and hopeful,  Empire of Light  avoids becoming a starchy “issues” drama because it seems to know these two people so specifically, so intimately. Mendes has made a kind and generous film, a balm for fraught times that remains ever cognizant of the intractability of the problems confronting these two yearning friends and lovers. It’s a tearjerker with a real soul, a rare piece of sentimental filmmaking that stays grounded even as it soars.

2. You Won’t Be Alone

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One of the most criminally undersung movies of the year, this eerie and pensive supernatural drama from debut feature director  Goran Stolevski is dizzyingly vast in its meditation on the human condition. The film concerns a shape-shifting Macedonian witch who can take the forms of other creatures—mostly people, but also a dog in one interlude—by killing them and stuffing some of their guts inside a cavity in her chest. That may sound like gross-out horror, but Stolevski instead turns his film toward the dreamily metaphysical, paying respectful homage to  Terrence Malick in the process. As  You Won’t Be Alone loops and murmurs, its lead character ruminates on the nature of life: sex, death, longing, love. What she discovers is, to borrow a title from another film on this list, the beauty and bloodshed of our messy existence, grueling and wonderful and worth cherishing. 

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What a thrill it is to sit with  Todd Field ’s glorious riot of a film for its nearly three-hour run. Part thriller and part grim satire,  TÁR is keenly tuned into the wavelengths of modern discourse, all of our debate about power and abuse, genius and tyranny. In some ways, the film feels as if it was written the night before whatever day you watched it, so bracing and exciting is its timeliness and immediacy.  Cate Blanchett —playing a brilliant conductor-composer whose career starts to crumble when past bad behavior is brought to light—has perhaps never been better.  TÁR  is an ideal vessel for her ferocious intelligence and her slight air of haughty grandeur, which is turned up to near comical volume in Field’s wickedly funny—and yet still bleak and shocking—masterwork. 

Field seems to expect the controversy he courts, but not in a way that feels smugly combative. He really just wants to talk about what we’ve all been talking about the past few years, and to do so in sleek, breathtakingly entertaining fashion. A movie about the possible end of an entire tradition of hero worship,  TÁR places itself on the vanguard of a new era, rueful about some of what’s been lost, but charging ahead toward the possibility, and clearer understanding, of whatever comes next. 

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The Best Films of 2022

Variety Best Films of 2022

This fall, the story of how prestige films, awards films — whatever you want to call them — underperformed at movie theaters was more than a box office story. It was, potentially, the story of a paradigm shift. An essential question was raised: If a drama as acclaimed and exciting to watch as “Tár” — or, God forbid, the most highly lauded Steven Spielberg film since “Lincoln” — can’t raise the temperature of moviegoers, then what hope do movies for adults have? The reason we make note of this here is that if we’re going to be honest about it, there’s a subtle way that this trend can taint the films we’re talking about. Instead of triumphs, they can look like “disappointments,” like movies that somehow didn’t measure up to what they were supposed to be. But this is a moment to remind ourselves that our favorite movies, and the others singled out by our critics as the best of the year, really are triumphs. They are films that are built to last, and will. There are hit movies on our lists, like “The Batman,” but in an age of numbers-crunching it’s important to remember that the achievements of movies like this don’t need to be quantified. We hope, in reading our lists, that you embrace the quality in these films that so inspired us: the sensation of discovery. (Click here to jump to Peter Debruge ’ s list .)

Owen Gleiberman’s Top 10


It’s a staggering portrait of celebrity and power. It’s a seductive peek into the lofty bubble of the classical-music world. It’s an insidiously unfolding thriller about a brilliant artist, addicted to beauty, who’s undone by her own appetites. And it’s a study of a world — ours — in which social media and a newly unyielding public morality have combined to reevaluate the license we used to give to the gifted and the famous (the ones who felt they could be as predatory as they liked). Yet if you had to pinpoint the quality that lends Todd Field’s remarkable film its singular and immersive grip, it is probably best evoked by the fact that so many of the people who see “Tár” come away believing that Lydia Tár, the symphony orchestra conductor played by Cate Blanchett, actually exists. That’s a signifier of the film’s artistry — that it feels as real as if it were happening to us. Blanchett, in a great performance, makes Lydia a sacred monster shuttling between heaven and hell.

2. The Fabelmans

The Fabelmans

Who wants to see a movie about how Steven Spielberg, as a teenage wunderkind in the ’50s and early ’60s, launched himself as an obsessive filmmaker, staging homemade movies with his 8mm camera, pinging off Hollywood Westerns and war films but mostly making it up as he went along, discovering all the beauty and the bloodshed of cinema along with the sheer magic-box fun of it? Not nearly as many people as might have wanted to 20 years ago. Yet Spielberg was right to wait this long to tell the story of his youth on film. He has made a lyrical and layered memoir that looks back in love and anger, that aches at memories of watching the slow-motion split-up of his parents, that tells teen tales of romance and prejudice, and that vibrates with Spielberg’s immersion in the medium he would revolutionize. Gabriel LaBelle gives Sammy Fabelman an inner life of quiet turbulence, and Michelle Williams and Paul Dano (as Sammy’s parents) and Judd Hirsch (as his Old World but fiercely worldly great-uncle) create characters you can’t just feel one way about.

3. The Batman

The Batman

The most sweeping piece of comic book cinema since “The Dark Knight” — and yes, Matt Reeves’ take on the Batman legend owes a lot to Christopher Nolan’s 2008 landmark. But it’s also its own hushed and moody and inky-black thing, with Robert Pattinson, in a supremely tensile performance, playing the Batman like a detective out of a Thomas Harris novel, making his way through a plot that’s canny enough in its labyrinthine design to earn comparison to “Chinatown.” This is the first Batman so scarred he can’t even enjoy being Bruce Wayne. Yet Pattinson makes him a warrior of cracked valor, and Paul Dano’s Riddler is the kind of maniacal dweeb puzzle-maker whose sordid gamesmanship keeps the action several steps ahead of the audience. Zoë Kravitz invests Catwoman with an end-of-her-tether soul that makes her and the Batman tattered desperadoes of cosplay.


If the first gay romantic comedy from a major studio had merely been a gay gloss on a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan rom-com of the ’90s (“Sleepless in Provincetown”? “You’ve Got Male”?), it’s unclear whether even that would have ignited the box office. But guess what? The movie is so much funnier, sharper, richer, bolder and more audaciously observant than that. Billy Eichner, who co-wrote the film, infuses “Bros” with his literate acid wit, and he plays the most entertaining brainiac romantic dyspeptic since the heyday of Woody Allen. Entwined in the tale of Bobby (Eichner), a New York podcast host, and Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), an estate lawyer too sexy for his job, is a full-on comic vision of gay romantic life in the 21st century. The characters may be looking for love, but they keep getting tripped up by the hookup culture they’ve created as a kind of playground — a culture the film both celebrates and scaldingly satirizes. Eichner and his co-writer and director, Nicholas Stoller, root “Bros” in Hollywood tropes, but the movie’s secret weapon is its unconventional ideology: its embrace of the idea that gay culture and straight culture have very different ways to court and spark.


Alexei Navalny is the Nelson Mandela of Russia: the opposition leader, now shackled in a remote prison, all for the crime of calling out Vladimir Putin as a corrupt emperor with no clothes. Navalny’s story is singular in its relevance, but it is also, in Daniel Roher’s momentous documentary, a saga of forceful and staggering twists and turns. The film invites us to hang out with Navalny in Germany after he got poisoned by the Putin regime, an assassination attempt that plays like a hit ordered by a Bond villain and carried out by the Keystone Kops. Navalny himself, with a vast following on social media, emerges as a new kind of freedom fighter: part martyr, part entertainer, as well as a walking profile in courage.

6. Holy Spider

Holy Spider

It was made outside Iran (because it couldn’t have been made inside Iran), but Ali Abbasi’s drama is, in spirit if not in fact, an Iranian film, and one of singular power. It’s a neo-realist thriller that meticulously reenacts the story of Saeed Hanaei, who killed 16 women in the early 2000s, nearly all of them sex workers in the city of Mashad. He was on a mission to “cleanse” Iran, and Mehdi Bajestani, the actor who plays him, shows us how a kind of corrupt puritanism could descend into homicidal fervor. Zar Amir Ebrahimi, as the (fictional) journalist on his trail, plays a crusader poised between bravery and terror. “Holy Spider” is gripping, but what’s indelible about it is how the film uses this story to reveal a more widespread absolutism in Iranian society.

7. I Wanna Dance With Somebody

I Wanna Dance with Somebody

The kind of lavish impassioned all-stops-out pop-music biopic you either give in to or you don’t — and if you do, you may find yourself getting so emotional, baby. As Whitney Houston, Naomi Ackie is far from the singer’s physical double, yet she nails the hard part: channeling her incandescence. She shows you the freedom that made Houston tick and the self-doubt that ate away at her, until she fell from the mountaintop she’d scaled. The director, Kasi Lemmons, creates a portrait of Houston’s dilemmas and demons that’s bracingly authentic, from the drugs to the family backstabbing to the love relationship with Robin Crawford (Nafessa Williams) that a homophobic society made her feel compelled to repress, from the attacks she weathered for her music being “not Black enough” to the self-destructive refuge she sought in her relationship with the sexy scurrilous lightweight Bobby Brown (Ashton Sanders). As Clive Davis, Stanley Tucci captures the Arista mogul’s bone-dry dictator-mensch savoir faire. Whitney gets dragged down by forces both in and outside her. Yet through it all, her voice, her songs, her artistry of faith shines like a rapturous light.

8. Vengeance


The first film written and directed by B.J. Novak, former co-star of “The Office,” is a one-of-a-kind oddball, and that’s a compliment. In this dark but word-happy blue-state-meets-red-state tall tale, Novak plays a whip-smart obnoxious writer for The New Yorker who heads to small-town Texas to attend the funeral of an ex-hookup. Once there, he’s embroiled in a murder mystery that is really a culture clash that is really a meditation on why America has turned its once-vibrant differences into hate-fueled divisions. It takes a born filmmaker to keep a caprice this heady spinning in the air.

9. Turn Every Page — The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb

Turn Every Page

At a time when physical media is disappearing (or at least fading), there is now a potent and wistful yearning for the analog age. And there’s no more quintessential an expression of that than the love of books. Yet if Lizzie Gottlieb’s documentary about Robert Caro, towering author of “The Power Broker” and his still-to-be-completed multivolume biography of Lyndon B. Johnson, and Robert Gottlieb, the legendary editor who has shepherded all of Caro’s books, were just a piece of good-ol’-days literary nostalgia, it wouldn’t be the deep and rapturous movie it is. “Turn Every Page” captures how the writing of books like Caro’s was (and still is) a religion, and that it’s all about the place where a magically crafted sentence can capture … the truth. The two Roberts emerge as intoxicating giants, their egos locked in a sometimes combative dance, but what unites them is their devotion to the civilizing glory of The Word.

10. 13: The Musical 

13: The Musical

When I first caught it on Netflix, I thought it was a minor irresistible bauble. But the more I saw it, the more I looked past the nerdish innocence of the plot — it’s all about Evan (Eli Golden), a New York kid reeling from his parents’ divorce, as he tries to assimilate himself into small-town Indiana and stage a triumphant bar mitzvah — and the more I found myself addicted to the ebullient wizardry of the songs, by Jason Robert Brown, and the humming youthquake dance energy of the musical sequences, which come close, at times, to making Tamra Davis’ movie into the kind of tonic that “Grease” was. Yes, sometimes even a critic just wants to sink into a confection that can make you feel this good.

Peter Debruge’s Top 10


In “I’m Not There,” Cate Blanchett played a man (Bob Dylan), and now in “Tár,” she’s essentially playing one again. That’s not to say a woman can’t be a world-renowned conductor, like Lydia Tár, or that the abuses of power that ultimately undo her are unique to men. But if you’re going to tackle #MeToo and the subject of cancel culture, it’s less didactic — and a lot more interesting — to flip the genders: Ergo, Blanchett embodies a complex lesbian character, taken down for typically male misbehavior. After a too-long break from filmmaking, “In the Bedroom” director Todd Field returns with a heady look at how a figure at the top of her game — the rarefied world of classical music — oversteps. In Blanchett’s hands, Lydia is cold, confident and ruthlessly indifferent to others’ feelings, which is part of why we love her, at least at first. She’s above it all. But watch out. From such a perch, she has so much farther to fall.

2. Saint Omer

Saint Omer

Set largely in a French courtroom and shot in long, seemingly neutral takes, Alice Diop’s shattering narrative debut is a monster movie the likes of which I’d never seen before. An immigrant woman stands trial for an unthinkable crime: She abandoned her daughter on the beach, leaving the 15-month-old child to drown. The female judge questions the accused not with scorn but concern. How could this happen? In the gallery sits another woman, a pregnant novelist who is clearly a stand-in for the director. She appears to recognize the same capacity in herself. Perhaps it exists in us as well. Despite the rigorous formal devices in place, Diop’s approach is so personal that I found myself unable to breathe at times. It’s that devastating, the ideas provoked by an artist in total control of her craft.

3. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Pre-pandemic, we used to think of movies confined largely to a single location as feeling like filmed plays; now they seem like nimble responses to imposed restrictions. Two terrific actors and a hotel room — plus Katy Brand’s shrewd less-is-more screenplay — were practically all Sophie Hyde needed to take audiences on a journey of self-discovery, as Emma Thompson plays Nancy Stokes, a widowed religious studies professor who, over the course of several tête-à-tête sessions with a young male escort (Daryl McCormack), makes a better-late-than-never embrace of her own sexuality. It seems condescending to call Thompson’s performance “courageous.” However, in our image-conscious, body-shaming era, the vulnerability she shows in the movie’s mirror scene is both a radical act and a breakthrough in Nancy’s tentative embrace of self-love.

4. Playground


An elementary school playground (the film’s English title) serves as a microcosm for the world (as it’s called in French: “Un monde”) in Laura Wandel’s tiny gut-punch of a movie. Adapting the immersive documentary style of fellow Belgians the Dardenne brothers to a 7-year-old girl’s perspective — lower to the ground, where grown-ups assume the wah-wah distortion of a “Peanuts” cartoon — Wandel reminds us how it feels to be a child, overwhelmed by new environments, struggling to make sense of unfamiliar social dynamics. Namely, bullying, a topic that most films treat as a matter of victimization, whereas Wandel reminds that even (and perhaps especially) the picked-on tend to push others around … sometimes well into adulthood. It’d make a great double bill with Céline Sciamma’s gentle, generation-bridging “Petite Maman.”

5. The Batman

The Batman

Christopher Nolan set the bar for what Batman movies could be, making me skeptical that Warner Bros.’ latest reboot was anything more than a craven cash grab (the way Sony keeps grinding out Spider-Man movies to keep that deal alive). Come to find, writer-director Matt Reeves had a compelling original vision for this film, going back to the character’s Detective Comics roots, while wrenching the trust-no-one nihilism of film noir into the modern age. While Robert Pattinson’s emotionally damaged vigilante distracts himself with petty criminals, Paul Dano’s deranged Riddler takes on corruption at the top. There may never be a moment when citizens are completely happy with their leaders, but “The Batman” seems scarily in tune with our collective discontent, right down to its terrifying, teetering-on-anarchy inauguration climax.


Audiences have no trouble accepting capricious, contradictory men on-screen, but often rush to judgment when confronted with defiant femmes. Only Vicky Krieps, that elegant Luxembourg-born chameleon with the multilingual skill set, could have handled this most unladylike reappraisal of one of Europe’s most beloved royals, Empress Elisabeth of Austria — or “Sissi” to her fans, including the legions who grew up watching Romy Schneider in the role. Those corny costume dramas, trotted out each Christmas, failed to capture what made Sissi such a modern figure: a restless intellect in a gilded cage, born at least a century too early. Taking a page from “Marie Antoinette” and “Spencer” (but writing a better book), director Marie Kreutzer set out to liberate her, weaving startling historical details — her eating disorder, iconic hairstyle, unfaithful husband — into a deliciously prickly portrait.

7. Happening


When the Venice Film Festival jury awarded Audrey Diwan’s 1963-set French abortion drama its top prize last year, it seemed unfathomable that the Supreme Court might roll back such access in the United States. “Happening” is a political statement, pure and simple, but one Diwan makes simply, with empathy rather than manipulation, by showing how far a university student must go when, early in the sexual revolution, she winds up pregnant by a one-night stand. Lead actor Anamaria Vartolomei makes it easy to identify with 23-year-old Anna, scared and desperate, trying to navigate a situation that countless others before her have faced. If society could only get past the shame and share such experiences as openly as Diwan does here, attitudes would change.

8. After Yang

After Yang

For years, Colin Farrell felt like the most unpredictable star in Hollywood, but this year brought a transformation I never saw coming. No, it wasn’t his appearance as the Penguin in “The Batman,” but a trio of self-effacing turns in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “13 Lives” and this lovely, low-key sci-fi drama. Farrell strips himself of all that movie-star baggage, turning inward to reveal the soulful, introspective side he’s been hiding all these years — or maybe it’s been there all along, hiding in plain sight. (The existential genius of “In Bruges” reveals itself all the more profoundly once you’ve seen “Banshees,” which flips the dynamic between the two leading men.) In a year of multiple “Pinocchio” movies, Kogonada’s future-family portrait gets to the heart of what makes us human.

9. The Whale

THE WHALE, Brendan Fraser, 2022. © A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection

Great actors can transform themselves into practically anyone, while a great director can take an actor of limited range and draw out of them a great performance. In Brendan Fraser, Darren Aronofsky looked past the “Mummy” star’s goofball appeal and seized on the untapped pain of a faded matinee idol. Swathed in a never-less-than-convincing second skin, Fraser becomes a pitiful, 600-pound high school teacher broken by grief, gradually bingeing himself to death. As in practically all of Aronofsky’s films, from “Requiem for a Dream” to “The Wrestler,” we’re witnessing a kind of slow-motion suicide, and it’s wrenching. Believe it or not, the best performance here comes from Hong Chau as the nurse who remembers the real Charlie, and through whose caring eyes we see him.

10. You Won’t Be Alone

You Won't Be Alone

If Terrence Malick were to make a genre movie, it might look like this art-house folk horror offering. Set in 19th-century Macedonia and written in a dialect that might not actually exist, it takes a bit of work to figure out, but director Goran Stolevski’s visually poetic debut is on to something profound with its story of an evil curse that turns a wild child into a shape-shifting witch. This naive creature becomes whatever she kills: a nursing mother, a randy shepherd, a witch. Because our protagonist has been raised in isolation, each transformation allows her to experience these systems (patriarchy) and emotions (love) from a fresh perspective. It’s a wonderful metaphor for the movies, which similarly permit us to live vicariously through the people we meet on-screen.

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Movie Reviews

Tv/streaming, great movies, chaz's journal, contributors, black writers week, the best films and mini-series of 2022.

hollywood movie review 2022

These are the best films of 2022 and the best mini-series of 2022 based on what was awarded 3.5-4 stars by the staff of It will be updated throughout the year as new reviews of the best films of 2022 post. 

hollywood movie review 2022

Glenn Kenny

hollywood movie review 2022

Brian Tallerico

hollywood movie review 2022

Avatar: The Way of Water

hollywood movie review 2022

BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

hollywood movie review 2022

See You Friday, Robinson

Godfrey cheshire.

hollywood movie review 2022

The Sparring Partner

Simon abrams.

hollywood movie review 2022

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Carlos aguilar.

hollywood movie review 2022

Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power

Peyton robinson.

hollywood movie review 2022

George & Tammy

hollywood movie review 2022

Leonor Will Never Die

hollywood movie review 2022

The Kingdom Exodus

hollywood movie review 2022

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

hollywood movie review 2022

The Fabelmans

Matt zoller seitz.

hollywood movie review 2022

Robert Daniels

hollywood movie review 2022

Fleishman is in Trouble

hollywood movie review 2022

Marya E. Gates

hollywood movie review 2022

Master of Light

Matt fagerholm.

hollywood movie review 2022

Taken Hostage

  • Entertainment

The Best Movies of 2022 So Far

B ecause our movie-watching habits have changed drastically over the past few years, the movie-calendar year as we’ve come to know it may be shifting too. Traditionally, the first three months tend to be dominated by the Oscar campaigns of movies released in the previous year. The final four months of the year, kicked off by the early-fall film festivals, serve as a runup to the next round of Oscars. With so many people streaming films not just around their release date but long afterward, the lines are blurrier now. But even so, it’s always smart to pay attention to the films released in the first half of the year. That’s when the small surprises hit, movies that you check out on a whim and end up loving. Here are five movies from the early months of 2022 that you don’t want to miss.

A young couple, played by Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith, seek to protect their young daughter (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) from the reality that her “brother,” an A.I. humanoid, has fallen into a state of malfunction and cannot be repaired. The second fiction feature from Kogonada ( Columbus ) is gorgeous and wistful, a meditative reflection on memory that’s somehow both soothing and energizing.

Read More: Kogonada’s After Yang Is the Film to Watch When You’re Feeling Unsettled

Petite Maman

An 8-year-old girl, Nelly (Joséphine Sanz), going through some emotional upheaval, meets a girl her own age while playing in the woods near her recently deceased grandmother’s house. Marion (Gabrielle Sanz, Joséphine’s real-life twin) happens to look just like Nelly, and the two become fast if cautious friends—because Nelly understands before Marion does that these two girls come from different planes of time. French filmmaker Céline Sciamma ( Portrait of a Lady on Fire ) has fashioned a gorgeously matter-of-fact fairytale that respects the inner lives of children, celebrating their ability to understand complexities that we assume are beyond them.

Paris, 13th District

French filmmaker Jacques Audiard ( Rust and Bone , The Sisters Brothers ) gives us a film about young people in love—or perhaps only in lust—in current-day Paris: Émilie (Lucie Zhang), a stubborn, prickly young woman working at a dead-end telemarking job, auditions Camille (Makita Samba), a charming young teacher, as a potential roommate and ends up falling for him. Nora (Noémie Merlant), a 30-something real-estate agent who has just decided to return to school, is humiliated when her classmates mistake her for a popular online porn star, Amber Sweet (Jehnny Beth). The lives of these four characters intertwine and collide, with some awkward misfires, in this loose adaptation of several short stories by American cartoonist Adrian Tomine. Shot in silky black and white, it’s one of the treasures of this movie year.

Audrey Diwan ’s tense, quietly radical film is the story of a young woman in early 1960s France, played by Anamaria Vartolomei, who discovers she’s pregnant and cannot, according to French law at the time, legally obtain an abortion. There are parts of the film—which is based on a 2000 memoir by French writer Annie Ernaux and won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival last year—that are sometimes difficult to watch. But the most harrowing part about it is its vision of a culture, and a country, preoccupied with controlling women’s lives—a past that appears to be looming as our own future in the United States.

Read More: Happening Is a Grim But Timely Warning from 1960s France

Operation Mincemeat

This adaptation of Ben Mcintyre’s hugely popular book of the same name traces a real-life deception pulled off by a group of British operatives in 1943, using a corpse armed with a fake identity and an elaborate backstory to keep the Nazis in the dark about the impending Allied invasion of Sicily. Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen play the intelligence officers who pull off this magnificent feat; Kelly Macdonald and Penelope Wilton are the women who help craft essential elements of the subterfuge. This story has been filmed before, as The Man Who Never Was , in 1956 (based on the memoir of Ewen Montagu, the officer played here by Firth). Director John Madden ( Shakespeare in Love ) guides this new version of the story with a steady hand: his movie is lively and smart, made with a quiet attention to detail and craftsmanship that’s a rarity these days.

Read More: Two Former Mr. Darcys Delight in Netflix Espionage Caper Operation Mincemeat

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The best movies of 2022 so far, according to Rotten Tomatoes

There have been some corkers this year

Miles Teller in Top Gun: Maverick

Is 2022 a vintage year for movies? It certainly feels like it, especially as far as critical responses go.

There's been a lot to enjoy in 2022 thus far. So much so, in fact, that The Batman , which boasts a rather impressive Rotten Tomatoes rating of 85%, finds itself all the way down at Number 58 on Rotten Tomatoes' round-up of the best movies of 2022. Well, so far anyway.

With so many great movies to choose from, we thought we’d showcase the top 10. You can find the full list here but, in our round-up, we've chosen not to include documentaries (we’ll round them up separately at a later date). So here, without further ado, are the 10 best movies of the year so far, according to Rotten Tomatoes. 

10. Everything Everywhere All At Once 

Michelle Yeoh behind cracked glass

2022 might have been the year of Marvel’s Doctor Strange heading into the Multiverse of Madness , but it’s another trip into a multiverse that has been wowing critics – and one with a much-smaller budget. 

The movie follows Michelle Yeoh's Evelyn Quan Wang, a tired and unhappy laundromat owner who somehow discovers that it is she and she alone who can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led. 

A sprawling mass at 140 minutes, there is so much going on here, with madcap comedy, science fiction, fantasy, martial arts and animation all hurled into the same melting pot, but it all hangs together somehow. 

9. Lingui, The Sacred Bonds


Beaten to the Palme d'Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival by striking horror Titane , this tough drama hails from Chad. 

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The movie is the story of Amina, a devout Muslim whose live is torn apart when Maria, her 15-year-old daughter, tells her she is pregnant and wants to abort the child. Abortion is banned in Chad and the two face a battle that may well be already lost. Critics praised its power and elegance as it told an upsetting tale with real empathy.

8. Great Freedom

Great Freedom

This time we’re in post-World War II Europe for another hard-hitting drama and the story of Hans. 

Despite its liberation from Nazi rule, freedom does not include freedom of love in 1950s and 1960s Germany and Hans, a gay Jewish man, is sentenced to time in an Austrian prison for violating anti-homosexuality laws. Once inside, he begins a strange and unlikely friendship with Viktor, his deeply homophobic cellmate. An offbeat indie drama, but an utterly compelling one, as critics attested.

7. Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick

While it’s fair to say that Tom Cruise’s long-awaited return to the cockpit was one of 2022’s most-anticipated movies, nobody saw reviews like this coming. Every poster for the film is a sea of five-star ratings, including TechRadar’s review , which gave it maximum points. 

Top Gun: Maverick sees Cruise return to play the supremely gifted, but cocky Peter "Maverick" Mitchell. We meet him 36 years after the original movie and Maverick has avoided promotion in order to keep flying. Now grounded after an outrageous display of ego, Maverick’s old rival, Iceman – now an admiral – reassigns him to TOPGUN as an instructor to train a group of elite pilots for a mission of unprecedented difficulty. Among the rookies are the son of his former friend Goose, ensuring this mission is off to a difficult start before it's even begun.

Reviewers have been knocked out by the movie’s spectacle and action-sequences, all the while stressing the need to see it on the biggest screen possible . We couldn’t agree more.

6. Hellbender


One for those among you with a taste for horror . Set in Upstate New York, the movie focuses on Izzy and her mother, who live off the grid in the mountains. 

Izzy’s mother, who is never named, has told her daughter she is ill and must not go near people or their nearby town, not even for supplies. Instead, the two spend their time studying magic and making metal music. But, after a chance encounter with another teenager causes her to uncover a connection between her family and witchcraft, Izzy begins to unpick everything.

Tense and bloody, Hellbender was praised for being ambitious and achieving things way beyond its tiny budget. 

5. The Innocents

The Innocents

A fine science-fiction tradition is dusted off for this Norwegian drama, which boasts a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97% . 

In the bright light of a Norwegian summer, four children become fast friends during the holidays. Away from the prying eyes of teachers and their parents, they discover they have hidden powers. While exploring their newfound abilities, their lives change completely, and, as you expect, things get rather dark...

Critics acknowledged that this is a well-known story structure, but praised the passion and commitment of the young cast and the film’s pacing and new take on things. 

4. The Duke

The Duke

Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent lead this comedy-drama, which proved to be the final act for much-acclaimed British director Roger Michell. 

The movie retold the real-life cast of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year-old man who stole Francisco Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. After making off with the hugely valuable painting, Bunton then sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly.

Charming and tremendously warm, Broadbent’s Bunton and Mirren, who plays his wife Dorothy, are both at the top of their game here. 

3. Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie 

Jujutsu Kaisen

The year’s finest anime and a feature-length version of Gege Akutami's hugely popular manga series, this movie has a mighty 98% rating on the reviews aggregator.  

The narrative follows Yuta Okkotsu, a high school student who suddenly gains control of an extremely powerful dark spirit, something that gets enrolled in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School, where he is overseen by Jujutsu Sorcerers to help him control his power. But, what they really want to do is keep an eye on him…

2. Happening


A searing French drama set at the start of the 1960s, this movie is an adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s much-acclaimed novel, L'événement. 

We follow Anne, a young student who is progressing well academically and planning her career. After discovering she is pregnant, Anne’s grades begin to slip and her life choices begin to shrink, forcing her to confront the shame and pain of an abortion, something that comes with the risk of a prison sentence. 

The reviews for this movie have been wall to wall high-praise, with star Anamaria Vartolomei tipped for the biggest of things off the back of it. As you might gather from the subject matter, it's a harrowing watch at times, but beautifully and gracefully put together. 

1. Playground


Movies with 100% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes do not come around all that often, but the debut from writer-director Laura Wandel is one such movie. 

The definition of an intimate drama, this Belgian outing tracks Nora, a shy seven-year-old who is struggling to fit in at a new school. As she slowly tries to make friends, she notices her brother Abel, who is a few years older than her, being horrendous bullying. He doesn’t defend himself, nor does he want her to tell their father about it. 

Coming in at only 72 minutes, the film is a difficult watch, with the camera rarely leaving Nora’s side and giving this drama a truly unique perspective. Maybe not a film for a Friday night treat, but with a 100% rating, it’s a movie everyone should seek out. 

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children… 

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The hollywood reporter critics pick the 20 best films of sundance 2022.

A Spanish revenge thriller, Lena Dunham's latest polarizer, a sex comedy starring Emma Thompson, and documentaries about a fallen TV icon, French volcanologists and a Korean immigrant's wrongful conviction were among THR critics' faves from the (virtual) fest.

By THR Staff

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A Love Song, All that Breathes, Palm Trees and Power Lines, and Piggy

AFTERSHOCK Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee’s revelatory documentary delves into the crisis of Black maternal mortality in the United States. Chronicling how two families cope in the wake of preventable maternal deaths, it’s a clear-eyed work that investigates and contextualizes this underreported problem without losing sight of the people processing the depths of their loss. — LOVIA GYARKYE

ALL THAT BREATHES Shaunak Sen’s quietly provocative, dreamily beautiful documentary focuses on two brothers dedicated to rescuing birds of prey injured in the polluted air above New Delhi. One of the film’s pleasures is the way it lets you process things however deeply you choose. Is this a portrait of a city? Of heroic siblings? Of humanity plagued by climate change and on the brink of COVID? This marvel of non-fiction filmmaking is a little and a lot all at once. — DANIEL FIENBERG

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Movie review: “MaXXXine” is missing the X factor

  • July 10, 2024
  • Sebastian Petrou Griffith

Mia Goth, left, and Halsey in "MaXXXine." Credit: Courtesy of A24 via TNS)

Mia Goth, left, and Halsey in “MaXXXine.” Credit: Courtesy of A24 via TNS)

“I will not accept a life I do not deserve!” 

Such is the slogan of Maxine Minx, the titular character of “MaXXXine.” The motto was also screamed out by actress Mia Goth in her debut as Maxine in “X” — a March 2022 horror film marking the “X” trilogy’s beginning, with a prequel movie titled “Pearl” hitting theaters just six months later — as well as on the latest installment’s red carpet premieres. 

Unfortunately, the phrase would more accurately describe “MaXXXine” if it were tweaked to read as follows: “I will not accept a sequel that did not deserve to be made!”

“MaXXXine” is set against the glitzy backdrop of ‘80s Hollywood, drowned in the neon bath of street signs. At first glance, these lights seem to promise bright stardom within the movie industry but, in reality, advertise the street-level sleaze of strip clubs and other unsavory ventures by which Maxine is employed.

A porn star, Maxine desperately seeks to become a “real” movie star and leave her tumultuous, violent past — seen in “X” — behind her. However, she can’t shake the prior films’ events as she’s stalked by an ominous private detective (Kevin Bacon), who works for a serial killer targeting Maxine’s coworkers.

Director Ti West’s “X” trilogy was built upon mimicking and twisting old Hollywood staples, with “X” putting a clever twist on famously cheesy ‘70s slashers and “Pearl” being reminiscent of early-19th-century melodramas. 

“MaXXXine” is the most on the nose in this regard, clumsily delivering a heavy-handed message about golden-age Hollywood’s corruption and what women must give up to become shining stars. 

“MaXXXine” simply lacks the clever subtext and dark humor of its predecessors, with most of the characters being disappointingly one-dimensional as they narrate the film’s themes.

There’s even a hilariously unnecessary scene in the film’s middle section that sees the strict director of the horror film Maxine is cast in take her to the famous Bates Motel seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho,” during which he flatly drones on about what it takes to make it in the film industry.

And while Mia Goth is the least of the film’s major issues — delivering a perfectly decent performance — West’s overtly cliche script limits her in a way that renders her a shell of the character she portrayed in “X’’ or “Pearl.” 

Part of the charm behind “MaXXXine’s” predecessors was seeing Goth’s unchecked feminine rage, a prominent reason behind the trilogy’s cult following. 

At no point in either story did it seem like Goth wasn’t the film’s main attraction, in full control of her own story through whatever means possible. But in “MaXXXine,” Goth is too often a bystander, robbed of her spontaneous idiosyncrasies and stripped of any meaningful character agency.

Dismembered by West’s remarkably mediocre screenplay, which dulls the performances of a star-studded cast, “MaXXXine” ends a trilogy that had enormous potential with an underwhelming fizzle. 

“MaXXXine,” you are not a star.

Rating: 2/5

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X, Pearl, and MaXXXine’s Connection, Explained


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X, pearl, & maxxxine’s plots, how each movie connects, the correct order to watch the x trilogy, maxxxine is an excellent conclusion to the x trilogy.

A24's newest horror movie, MaXXXine (2024) is the third and potentially final installment in the X series. Fans believed that the X series would be a trilogy, but director Ti West has hinted at the possibility of continuing past the trilogy. This wouldn't be the first time West changed his mind about the X trilogy, though. West admitted that X was supposed to be a standalone film. Despite the quick changes in production, the X trilogy has taken the world by storm. The franchise has so much to offer, including fresh takes on the classic slasher subgenre and a murder mystery thriller.

The most intriguing part of the series, however, is how Mia Goth plays multiple roles throughout the films. In X (2022) , Goth plays Maxine Minx, a young and beautiful porn star, and she also plays the old, murderous woman who becomes obsessed with her. In Pearl (2022), she plays Pearl, a younger version of the killer from the original film. In MaXXXine (2024), Goth reprises her role as Maxine as she makes her way to fame in 1980s Hollywood. Since Mia Goth tackles such an acting challenge, many fans began to wonder if the connection between the three films would reveal some over-the-top plot twist. One popular theory suggested that the first two films were just movies Maxine Minx starred in, but that didn't happen.

Mia Goth in MaXXXine

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X Film Poster

In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.

X is the first film in the X trilogy, and it is a slasher that follows a group of adult actors to a remote farm in Texas to film. The film takes place in 1979, and it focuses on Maxine Minx and her friends/colleagues as they attempt to shoot a pornographic film that will help them break out onto the scene. They rent a guest house on Pearl and Howard's farm. When Howard finds out what the group plans to do in the guesthouse, he immediately turns cold. Pearl, on the other hand, develops an unusual and intense fixation with Maxine, a beautiful woman who looks just like Pearl's younger self.

Pearl remains a constant presence throughout the film. She spies on Maxine, imagining herself in Maxine's shoes. She even attempts to seduce director RJ and kills him when he refuses to sleep with her. Pearl goes on a murderous rampage throughout the night. At first, it seems like Pearl is the only violent instigator, but the film soon reveals that Howard is helping her cover up her crimes. Maxine and her friends are not the couple's first victims, but Pearl's obsession with Maxine is special because she sees them as two sides of the same coin. Maxine ultimately survives the massacre. Before she flees, she runs Pearl over, crushing her head under the truck's tire.

  • Pearl (2022)

Pearl movie poster

In 1918, a young woman pursues stardom in a desperate attempt to escape the drudgery, isolation, and lovelessness of life on her parents' farm.

Pearl and X

Pearl is the Rare Prequel That's Better Than the Original

Pearl's descent into villainy put a clever spin on the typical slasher, marking a rare case where a prequel film was even better than the original.

Mia Goth reprises her role as Pearl in Pearl (2022). Pearl : An X-traordinary Origin Story is a prequel to X that focuses solely on Pearl's backstory. This movie takes place in 1918, more than 60 years before the events of X . Pearl is a young woman who lives with and helps take care of her parent's farm in rural Texas (the same farm as X ). Her husband, Howard, is deployed during WWI. Although Pearl seems like an ordinary farm girl on the surface, she has dreams of running away to become a big star. She loves dancing and believes her talent can take her far beyond the reach of her tiny town. Pearl also shows signs of severe mental illness, something that would likely go unchecked during the time the movie takes place. While isolated on the farm, she abuses her paralyzed father and kills some of their animals to feed the alligator in the nearby lake.

Pearl feels trapped at the farm because she knows she can't abandon her family, but she desperately wants to be free of them. She learns of auditions for a dancing troupe that she believes will give her the means to leave. Unfortunately, her mother disapproves of her auditioning. In a fit of rage, Pearl pushes her mother into the fireplace, where she catches fire. Pearl's unhinged behavior rapidly escalates after that, as she has an affair and then kills the man the following day. She also finally snaps and kills her helpless father.

Even after everything she's done, Pearl still attends the audition, which she doesn't get. All of her daydreaming was for nothing. She still ends up trapped on the farm she despises so much. Pearl does get one last kill; the woman who was selected from the audition. Afterward, she sets up a warm welcome for Howard as he finally returns from deployment. Pearl set up a feast with her parents' corpses around the table. She greets Howard with a smile. The movie is infamous for the entire credit sequence rolling over Pearl's uncomfortable smile that never breaks.

  • MaXXXine (2024)

MaXXXine Poster

"The Audition Always Scares You:" Kevin Bacon & Elizabeth Debicki on MaXXXine

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MaXXXine is a direct sequel to X, and it takes place in 1985, six years after the events of X . After escaping Pearl's farm, Maxine makes it to Hollywood, where she becomes a famous porn star. The film begins with her auditioning for a horror movie, which is heavily protested as something sick and demonic. Thanks to a stellar audition and some personal convincing, Maxine lands the role. Unfortunately, Hollywood is also plagued by a mysterious killer hunting down sex workers, adult film stars, and women just like Maxine. Several of the victims are Maxine's friends. A private investigator working for the mysterious killer tracks Maxine down.

Maxine doesn't know who the P.I. works for or why he's so interested in her, but the killer is obsessed with getting close to Maxine. The movie takes place during a time when Richard Ramirez (more commonly known as the Night Stalker) was terrorizing Los Angeles. The media paints the killing as Ramirez's doing, but it seems much more personal to Maxine. Maxine must navigate Hollywood's dangerous streets, maintain her new role, and get to the bottom of a mystery that won't end until she stops it, or she's dead. Since the movie just came out, this article won't reveal the killer's identity or how the movie ends.

Moses Sumney, director Ti West and Giancarlo Esposito in MaXXXine

"It's a Love Letter to Film:" Ti West, Giancarlo Esposito, Moses Sumney on MaXXXine

The director and actors of MaXXXine discuss the origin of the X trilogy, the importance of female heroes and the joys of acting in horror films.

  • X was released on March 18, 2022
  • Pearl was released later that same year, on September 16, 2022
  • MaXXXine hit theaters on July 5, 2024, and is in theaters now
  • Mia Goth stars in all three films as both Pearl and Maxine Minx

The connection between X and Pearl was always clear. X was a sex-coated slasher film that followed many traditional slasher movie tropes. Pearl was a prequel that told the killer's story. Pearl (the movie) explained why Pearl ended up the way she did. It gave the audience a thorough peek behind the curtain of the sex-obsessed elderly woman with a bloodthirsty streak. Mia Goth, playing both X's killer and the final girl , threw a lot of fans off, though. Many theories sprouted through the fan base about what sort of twists MaXXXine would present and how it would finally tie all three movies together.

In the end, MaXXXine was just a direct sequel to X . It continues Maxine's story as she makes her way through Hollywood's underbelly to hopefully make it big as a movie star. Maxine still deals with the trauma she went through on the night Pearl killed her friends and colleagues. She's seeing some of Pearl's bloodthirstiness and ruthlessness manifest in herself. She's willing to confront and even harm people who try to harm her. She looks out for herself before anyone else. She is also terrified of growing old and losing her beauty and charisma, which she has made a living on. When she auditions for The Puritan II , the horror movie she eventually stars in, she even tells them that she's in her 30s and still isn't where she wants to be. Porn can only take her so far, and she wants to make a name for herself.

With all that being said, this is the short answer to how each movie connects: X is the film that started it all. Mia Goth plays Pearl, the main antagonist, and Maxine, a young woman who looks exactly like her. Maxine is the only one who escapes Pearl's farm. Pearl is the second film and Mia Goth returns to play a younger Pearl. This movie is a prequel to the original, which tells Pearl's story. This slasher film is an interesting one because it's told from Pearl's perspective. Pearl is the main character, but she's also the main antagonist. While Pearl is a prequel to X , MaXXXine is a direct sequel. Maxine, still dealing with the traumatic events of that night, tries to make her way to stardom in Hollywood. Simply put, X is about Pearl, Maxine, and the parallels between them. Pearl is Pearl's story before the events of X and MaXXXine is Maxine's story after the events of X .

Maxine wields a shotgun in MaXXXine

MaXXXine's Kevin Bacon Reflects on Going 'Full Circle' for 80s-Set Horror Film Role

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There are two "correct" orders to watch the X trilogy for first-time viewers and re-watchers alike. The first potential way to watch the trilogy would be in chronological order. There is a lot of benefit to watching the films in chronological order, especially where Pearl's character is concerned. Viewers will understand Pearl's character and motivation going into X , which might save them some confusion while watching X . The confusion and the shocking reveal of an elderly woman being both obsessed with sex and killing without remorse is part of the X experience, though. Watching Pearl first does have benefits, but it comes with some drawbacks, too. X may not hit the same way if viewers have already seen Pearl .

The X Trilogy in Chronological Order:

The second way, and arguably, the best way, to consume the X trilogy is to watch them in the order they were released. On the surface, X is just a slasher film, but it's got a lot of mystery woven into its provocative nature that makes people want to know more. They want answers to questions like what happened to Maxine after she escaped the farm and why Pearl is the way that she is. X is supposed to be the film that pulls people in and makes them feel like they can't look away. They're so entranced with how bizarre the film is, that they have to know more, and if they watch the rest of the trilogy, they'll get their answers.

The X Trilogy in Order of Release:

Teddy Knight (left) smokes a cigar next to his client, Maxine, in a car junkyard in Los Angeles.

Some critics and fans claim that MaXXXine doesn't live up to the massive success of the first two films. According to some, it's not that MaXXXine isn't good, it's that X and Pearl set the bar so high, that MaXXXine didn't meet it. While there are some valid criticisms to be made (no movie is perfect, after all), MaXXXine delivers a compelling thriller that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. It also has a unique flare to it that doesn't exist in the other films. Instead of going for a slasher, they frame the entire movie as a dark murder mystery where the audience is put in the shoes of a potential victim.

The film also does a phenomenal job of highlighting how the events of X are still haunting Maxine. She struggles with what she went through, but she also struggles with the emerging parallels that suggest she is more like Pearl than she ever wants to admit. The film also ends on a solid note that leaves Maxine's future as an actress and a star up in the air. The trilogy can end here, but there's room to keep going if Ti West and Mia Goth want to create another installment.

X (Movie)

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‘MaXXXine’ Review: Fame Monster

Mia Goth returns to Ti West’s horrorverse as an actress fleeing a mysterious stalker and a traumatic past.

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A blond woman in a blue denim top and jeans walks in a parking lot away from a casting call sign.

By Jeannette Catsoulis

A psychosexual thriller imagined in blood red and cocaine white, “MaXXXine,” the third installment in Ti West’s nostalgia-soaked slasher saga, is part grungy homage to 1980s Hollywood and part sleazy feminist manifesto. Darker, moodier and altogether nastier than its predecessors — “X” (2022) and, later that same year, “Pearl” — this hyperconfident feature is also funny, occasionally wistful and deeply empathetic toward its damaged, driven heroine.

That would be Maxine Minx (Mia Goth), the sole survivor of the dirty-movie cast massacred in “X.” Now a successful porn star, Maxine, eager to break into mainstream movies, has relocated to a Hollywood of spectacular seediness. It is 1985 and, as in real life, a killer known as the Night Stalker is terrorizing the city, the so-called Moral Majority is hyperventilating on the sidelines and rock musicians are fighting accusations of satanic intent. In one pungent shot of Maxine’s boot grinding her cigarette stub into the silent film sex symbol Theda Bara’s star on the Walk of Fame, West underscores the transience of the celebrity status that Maxine so desperately seeks.

“I will not accept a life I do not deserve,” she declares, repeating the mantra taught by her father, a preacher seen in speckled, black-and-white flashback. Securing a role on a low-grade horror sequel brings her under the wing of its industry-toughened director (a perfect Elizabeth Debicki). Yet Maxine is constantly distracted: Her friends are dying, and two homicide detectives (Bobby Cannavale and Michelle Monaghan) want to question her; a Louisiana gumshoe (Kevin Bacon, a skeevy vision in crumpled suits and gold-capped incisors) keeps randomly accosting her; and a mysterious, black-gloved stalker haunts the film’s shadows. No wonder Maxine is plagued by panicked recollections of her traumatic past.

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hollywood movie review 2022

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The 57 Most Anticipated Movies of 2022

We've got tons to look forward to, from the batman and thor: love and thunder to scream , jurassic world dominion , and hocus pocus 2 ..

hollywood movie review 2022

TAGGED AS: movies

The 355 (2022) Directed by:  Simon Kinberg Starring:  Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan, Edgar Ramirez Opening on:  January 7, 2022 (formerly January 14, 2022)

Veteran  X-Men writer and director Simon Kinberg helms this spy thriller about a group of international agents (played by a star-studded A-list ensemble) who band together to recover a top-secret weapon from a dangerous mercenary. This film was delayed one year from its original January, 2021 release.

Scream (2022) Directed by:  Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett Starring:  Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jack Quaid, Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Dylan Minnette, Marley Shelton Opening on:  January 14, 2022

The directing duo known as “Radio Silence” who brought us 2019’s  Ready or Not take on Ghostface in a new entry in Wes Craven’s meta horror franchise, with veteran stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette all set to return. Details on plot are still thin at the moment, but bet on the film to continue the mythology surrounding Sidney Prescott and her truamatic, very unlucky past.

Jackass Forever (2022) Directed by:  Jeff Tremaine Starring:  Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man, Ehren McGhehey, Sean McInerney Opening on:  February 4, 2022 (formerly October 22, 2021)

Most of the  Jackass  gang is back for a final hurrah alongside people like Tony Hawk, Tyler the Creator, Eric André, and more. Expect a lot of cringe-inducing stunts and outrageous pranks, but be prepared for an unexpected dose of heart as the boys go out in a blaze of glory.

Marry Me (2022) Directed by:  Kat Coiro Starring:  Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Sarah Silverman, John Bradley, Maluma Opening on:  February 11, 2022

After securing some of the most glowing reviews of her career for her stellar turn in 2019’s  Hustlers , Jennifer Lopez makes a return to rom-coms in this story about a pop star who marries a stranger in one of her crowds (Owen Wilson) after she discovers her partner has been having an affair. This film was pushed back a year from its planned 2021 release.

Death on the Nile (2022) Directed by:  Kenneth Branagh Starring:  Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Rose Leslie, Letitia Wright Opening on:  February 11, 2022 (formerly September 17, 2021)

Kenneth Branagh will return as detective Hercule Poirot following the surprise success of 2017’s  Murder on the Orient Express , which Branagh also directed. So far, big names like Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Letitia Wright, and Rose Leslie have joined the whodunit.

Uncharted (2022) Directed by:  Ruben Fleischer Starring:  Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Taylor Ali, Tati Gabrielle Opening on:  February 18, 2022 (formerly February 11, 2022)

This Indiana Jones-styled action-adventure film, based on the popular video game series of the same name, has been floating around in development for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until June of 2019 that we got some solid forward movement on it. Tom Holland was confirmed to star in the film as the central hero, Nathan Drake, and it officially went into production in early 2020. It lands here after several shifts in the release schedule; let’s hope it stays here.

The Batman (2022) Directed by:  Matt Reeves Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell Opening on:  March 4, 2022

If you’re looking for yet another iteration of the Caped Crusader, you’re in luck. Despite the ongoing DC Extended Universe of films (which includes other entries in 2022 like  Black Adam and  Shazam! Fury of the Gods ),  Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves tackles what looks to be an even darker take on Batman than we’ve already seen, with an impressive cast that includes Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, Colin Farrell as the Penguin, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon.

The Adam Project (2022) Directed by: Shawn Levy Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Zoe Saldana, Walker Scobell Opening on: March 11, 2022 on Netflix

Ryan Reynolds reunites with  Free Guy director Shawn Levy for this Netflix sci-fi adventure about a man who travels back in time to team up with his younger self and confront his past in order to save the future. This is one of the higher-profile films for Netflix, which has once again committed to releasing at least one new film every week in 2022.

Turning Red (2022) Directed by:  Domee Shi Starring: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, James Hong Opening on: March 11, 2022 on Disney+

The first of two Pixar offerings in 2022 is this fantastical coming-of-age tale about a 13-year-old girl who transforms into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited about something. It will be the feature directorial debut of Domee Shi, who won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Bao in 2018, and though the film was originally scheduled for a theatrical release, it was subsequently changed to be a Disney+ exclusive.

Cheaper by the Dozen (2022) Directed by:  Gail Lerner Starring:  Gabrielle Union, Zach Braff Opening on: March 18, 2022 on Disney+

Disney unleashed a ton of new projects and release dates during their Investor Day presentation in December of 2020, including this new adaptation of the book that inspired the 1950 comedy and its 2003 remake starring Steve Martin. This one is being developed by  black-ish creator Kenya Barris with director Gail Lerner and stars Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff on board. In contrast to all previous versions, this one will also be about a blended family of 12.

Deep Water (2022) Directed by:  Adrian Lyne Starring: Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts, Lil Rel Howery Opening on: March 18, 2022 on Hulu

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas star in director Adrian Lyne’s thriller based on the eponymous novel by Patricia Highsmith ( Strangers on a Train ,  The Talented Mr. Ripley ,  Carol ), about a married couple at odds with each other who begin to play dangerous mind games with each other, eventually leading to murder.

The Lost City (2022) Directed by:  Aaron Nee, Adam Nee Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe Opening on: March 25, 2022 (formerly April 15, 2022)

This romantic action-adventure stars Sandra Bullock as a reclusive romance novelist who embarks on a book tour with the cover model (Channing Tatum) who graces all of her novels, only for the pair to be swept up in a jungle adventure when a kidnapping attempt goes awry. The film will be directed by the Nee brothers, whose last film was the “Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are modern-day treasure hunters” movie Band of Robbers , and co-star Daniel Radcliffe as the villain who kidnaps Sandra Bullock’s character.

Sony’s latest entry in its Spider-Man-adjacent franchise of connected films is the origin story of a scientist who inadvertently turns himself into a vampire in his efforts to cure himself of a rare blood disease. Swedish director Daniel Espinosa ( Safe House ,  Life ) takes up the helm, and Michael Keaton — who appeared in the MCU’s  Spider-Man: Homecoming as prominent Spider-Man villain Vulture — is set to make an appearance, which has all kinds of crossover implications .

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) Directed by:  Jeff Fowler Starring: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Idris Elba, Colleen O’Shaughnessey Opening on:  April 8, 2022

Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the last big movies to hit theaters before coronavirus lockdowns went into effect, and it became one of the highest-grossing films of 2020. This year, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) is back on the big screen, as Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) returns with a furry pal of his own named Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba) and Sonic must team up with a new friend (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey to stop him.

Ambulance (2022) Directed by:  Michael Bay Starring:  Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza Gonzalez, Garret Dillahunt Opening on: April 8, 2022 (formerly February 18, 2022)

Michael Bay tones down his blockbuster tendencies just a bit (presumably) for this smaller-scale thriller about a pair of thieves who unknowingly rob an ambulance carrying a paramedic and a patient in critical condition. This remake of a Danish film has been in development since 2015, but filming finally got underway in January of 2021.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022) Directed by:  David Yates Starring:  Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Mads Mikkelsen, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol Opening on: April 15, 2022

Eddie Redmayne returns as inquisitive wizard Newt Scamander in the third chapter of this magical spin-off/prequel series that takes place decades before Harry Potter enrolled at Hogwarts. The story picks up after the events of  The Crimes of Grindelwald , as Newt and his compatriots continue to pursue the evil wizard (now played by Mads Mikkelsen), leading up to World War II.

The Bad Guys (2022) Directed by: Pierre Perifel Starring:  Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Marc Maron Opening on: April 22, 2022

This latest project from DreamWorks Animation is a heist comedy based on popular series of children’s books about a handful of reformed villains who decide to go straight and so some good in the world. In this case, the “bad guys” are Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, and Ms. Tarantula. It was originally slated for release in 2021, but now remains undated in 2022.

The Northman (2022) Directed by:  Robert Eggers Starring:  Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Björk Opening on: April 22, 2022 (formerly April 8, 2022)

The man who brought us  The Witch and  The Lighthouse returns with this revenge thriller again set in the past. Anya Taylor-Joy, who starred in  The Witch , reunites with director Robert Eggers alongside an all-star cast for a story about a viking prince out to avenge the death of his father. Eggers co-wrote the film with Icelandic writer Sjón, and the film co-stars that country’s biggest pop culture export, Björk, who makes her first narrative feature film appearance since 2000’s  Dancer in the Dark .

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) Directed by: Tom Gormican Starring: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Neil Patrick Harris Opening on: April 22, 2022

Nicolas Cage stars in this meta comedy as, well, himself. Sort of. As his career takes a bit of a downturn, Nic Cage reluctantly accepts an offer of $1 million to attend the birthday of an extremely wealthy superfan named Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal). Cage and Javi become fast friends… until the CIA approach Cage, inform him Javi is a dangerous criminal, and enlist his help to bring him down.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) Directed by:  Sam Raimi Starring:  Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Xochitl Gomez Opening on:  May 6, 2022

Anticipation will be high for this entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the first of three in 2022 — that will directly tie in with the events in Marvel’s first Disney+ series,  WandaVision . and possibly even the animated Disney+ series What If…? After some behind-the-scenes shake-ups, director Sam Raimi jumped on board, and judging from the first teaser, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) Directed by:  Akiva Schaffer Starring: John Mulaney, Andy Samberg, Will Arnett, Eric Bana, KiKi Layne, Keegan-Michael Key Opening on: May 20, 2022 on Disney+

This revival of the classic Disney cartoon, which some believe could actually lead to a revival of the series itself on Disney+, stars John Mulaney and Andy Samberg, respectively, as the titular chipmunks 30 years after the end of the aforementioned series. The self-referential live-action/animated hybrid comedy finds Chip and Dale alive and well in a  Roger Rabbit -esque world, where Dale has gotten “CGI surgery” and the pair must reunite to locate an old co-star who’s gone missing.

The Bob's Burgers Movie (2022) Directed by:  Loren Bouchard Starring:  H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Larry Murphy Opening on:  May 27, 2022 (formerly April 9, 2021)

The hit Fox animated comedy about the owner of a small hamburger restaurant and his quirky family is getting the feature film treatment in the form of a musical comedy — something the show is already quite comfortable with. The film was pulled off the release schedule in January and may not come back in time for a 2021 release, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022) Directed by:  Joseph Kosinski Starring:  Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Val Kilmer, Jay Ellis, Miles Teller, Monica Barbaro Opening on:  May 27, 2022 (formerly November 19, 2021)

Great balls of fire, we’re getting a  Top Gun  sequel after more than 30 years! Not a whole lot is known about the movie, except that the filmmakers have recruited Miles Teller to play Goose’s son and that Val Kilmer is officially back as Iceman. And as the trailer promises, it will again feature Tom Cruise riding motorcycles, playing volleyball, and flying jets like a madman.

Crimes of the Future (2022) Directed by: David Cronenberg Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart Opening on: June 3, 2022

The godfather of body horror returns to the genre as David Cronenberg offers up a shocking new thriller. Set in an unspecified future when humans have begun to adapt to their changing environment, the film centers on a performance artist (Viggo Mortensen) who showcases the metamorphosis of his organs to the public.

Jurassic World Dominion (2022) Directed by:  Colin Trevorrow Starring:  Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Smith, Daniella Pineda, Omar Sy, BD Wong Opening on:  June 10, 2022

Jeff Goldblum closed out the last chapter of the  Jurassic franchise by declaring humans would have to learn to co-exist with dinosaurs, and though the plot of this trilogy-capper is being kept under pretty tight wraps, it’s safe to assume it will deal with the ramifications of  Lost Kingdom . The big news here is that original stars Laura Dern and Sam Neill are both returning alongside Goldblum, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Chris Pratt.

Lightyear (2022) Directed by:  Angus MacLane Starring: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Peter Sohn, Dale Soules, Efren Ramirez Opening on:  June 17, 2022

The  Toy Story franchise proper has come to an end (presumably), but Pixar says there’s still more fun to be had with these characters… just, in a different way. Fresh off his stint as the MCU’s Captain America, Chris Evans will lend his voice to the “real” Buzz Lightyear, the astronaut who was the inspiration for the action figure voiced by Tim Allen, in a prequel that will explore how he became so famous that they turned him into a toy.

Spiderhead (2022) Directed by: Joseph Kosinski Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett Opening on:  June 17, 2022

Just a few weeks after delivering Top Gun: Maverick , director Joseph Kosinski (and his  Top Gun star Miles Teller) bring us this high-concept sci-fi thriller on Netflix set in the near future. Teller plays an inmate at a specialized facility where he can shorten his sentence by participating in experimental drug trials, specifically to alter his emotions. Chris Hemsworth also stars as what appears to be the warden/lead scientist.

Elvis (2022) Directed by:  Baz Luhrmann Starring:  Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Gary Clark Jr., Kelvin Harrison Jr. Opening on: June 24, 2022

Baz Luhrmann directs this slice-of-life biopic about the relationship between a young Elvis Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Austin Butler went through an extensive casting process to land the lead role, and he’ll be playing opposite Tom Hanks, who was the first major celebrity to announce he had tested positive for COVID-19 while he was in Australia to shoot the film.

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