As 2022 wraps up, we get to reflect on the year: the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens. Media, especially movies, is one “up” of the year. We saw the return of big non-superhero blockbusters, indie movies stealing the hearts of millions of people, and the return of many familiar faces. Many films were met with criticism, controversy, and confusion. But, many were also met with praise and love. There were many movies I wanted to add, but I wanted to keep it to 8. So here is my ranking of the 8 best films of the year.
8. Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick might have been my biggest surprise of the year. After being bombarded with trailers for this movie every time I went to the theatres for months, my anticipation was rather mild. But when the critics and audience absolutely fell head over heels for this, I got a little excited. I should have been a lot more excited because it was terrific. Every scene taking place in the air was amazing, and the stunts in this movie are also insane. Tom Cruise might be crazy, but his dedication is very much respected. Speaking of actors, performances from Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Val Kilmer, and Lewis Pullman were all great. Overall, the perfect summer blockbuster that definitely deserved those insane box office scores.
7. The Batman
I feel like nowadays, I am one of the rare that doesn’t get a lot out of superhero films. They don’t utilize what makes a movie good to the fullest. However, I can gladly say the opposite for Matt Reeve’s The Batman. The casting in this movie was top-notch. Robert Pattinson might already be one of the best actors to play Bruce Wayne. Paul Dano was also perfect for the Riddler. Other many small things make this movie so unforgettable, Colin Farell’s makeup was awesome. The dark and refreshing look of Gotham City fit the vibe of the movie perfectly, and the score might be one of my favorites of the year. To me, it was one of the only superhero movies this year that didn’t feel like a quick cash grab, and I am so excited to see what Reeves does next in this refreshing take on the Caped Crusader.
Nope was by far, one of my most anticipated films of the year. Directed by Jordan Peele, who made a huge name for himself in the horror genres with the films Us, and Get Out, he is able to function with his biggest budget yet. And he proves he can create the same terror as before. Taking a very different approach from his last two films, he incorporates classic monster films and early Spielberg to create an alien horror film out of this world. Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya destroy their roles, both bringing a different energy that compares and contrasts perfectly. And supporting roles Brandon Perea and Steven Yeun stand out. The way Peele presents spectacle, while also critiquing our addiction to the spectacle is mesmerizing. Overall, Nope was another refreshing take on horror and blockbusters.
5. Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once is one of the highest-praised movies of the year, and I can see why. Everything about this movie is so cool, quirky, emotional, and just about everything else too. The directors, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, but so much attention to every small detail. The performances, especially Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan, bring so many emotions to the screen, it is hard not to love them. If there is one movie on this list I suggest everyone see, I would suggest this. It’s hard to take about why it’s so great when everything is amazing for its own reasons. I believe everyone can relate to something in this movie, whether it’s themes of family or nihilism, or the overall absurdity and quirkiness, it is a movie you will either love or appreciate or maybe even both.
4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Most people in the school were probably way too young to know the impact a small stop-motion shell had on the media community 12 years ago. This is most likely why this movie might have flown under people’s radars when it came out mid-year. And to that I say, you’re missing out. This movie, despite being targeted at kids, brings up themes that most don’t. Dealing with loss in such a creative way. Despite the sometimes depressing nature, this movie is very lighthearted and funny in tone. And it will either leave you in tears or with a huge grin, or maybe even both.
3. The Fabelmans
The Fabelmans is acclaimed director Steven Spielberg’s latest film, and one might say his most personal. About an inspiring filmmaker going through the usual struggles, this very down-to-earth coming-of-age film very well might be a Spielberg biography. And despite coming off as cliche, Spielberg, like every movie, handles this with so much care and respect for the craft that it is hard not to love this. The performances across the board were spectacular, with the usual great performances from Michelle Williams and Paul Dano, with some surprising turns from Seth Rogen and breakout star Gabrielle Labelle. Even if your future doesn’t revolve around making movies, this movie will definitely have something relatable to you. And if not, who cares, it’s just overall a great movie.
2. Cha Cha Real Smooth
Cha Cha Real Smooth wasn’t a huge blockbuster film or a widely known film at that. But regardless of that, it happens to be the best of the year. Cooper Raiff had his breakout movie a few years back and his sophomore film shows he has the potential to be a huge game-changer for coming-of-age films. His directing, writing, and acting all shine. And supporting roles from Dakota Johnson and Vanessa Burghardt also flow well with his filmmaking style. I loved the dialogue and humor, it was sharp and flowed nicely. The simple premise plays out amazingly and makes you want more, which is all I can ask for in a movie.
1. Banshees of Inisherin
Banshees of Inisherin is by far the best film of the year. Directed by acclaimed director Martin McDonagh and starring Colin Farell and Brendan Gleeson, it shows how powerful good all-around filmmaking can be. The script is easily my favorite of the year, it’s very tight and has great comedy, as well as many emotional moments. The acting from everyone is top-notch, Farell and Gleeson’s polar opposite characters go so well together, and Kerry Condon and Berry Keoghan also provide some great performances. McDonagh created a movie that draws you into this small island immediately and does not pull you out until the credits, for these reasons it is easily the best film of the year.