Films of 2022

We reach the end of 2022, and I just want to thank the 210+ readers WordPress, the 155+ followers on Facebook, and the 70+ on Intagram! You are all great!

2022 felt like a busy year; as if everyone was trying to reclaim lost time over the pandemic. Cinema slowly started back up again as well, although I felt very sorry for Cineworld taking massive losses over in the States… There really isn’t anything like watching films in the cinema! I do hope it continues for many more decades.

I was busy too. A new job and a new home! (and Covid over Christmas… Stay safe out there!) I feel like I did miss some movies here and there, but 23 isn’t bad. Some noteworthy ones from previous years: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Encanto, Nobody, and Knives Out.

Anyway, here’s to 2022’s list, in descending order!

1. Everything Everywhere All At Once

How can a film be titled so and also be everything?
Directed by The Daniels, this movie explores the multiverse theory like no other; we get drama, we get comedy, we get action, we get absurdity, we get genuinely emotional impact. We have poignant quotes that people will take with them after leaving the cinema.
This film skyrocketed to the top of the list and stayed there. Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, all are excellent here.

Despite some insanity, the film leaves you with a lump in your throat as it dives head first into real issues that plague modern living today.

Read the full review here.



2. Top Gun: Maverick

Say what you will about Tom Cruise as a person, but the guy knows how to make an action movie.
It isn’t often we get a sequel to a film 30 years ago and the sequel isn’t just a pandering nostalgia-fest that doesn’t give anything new.
Maverick is a kinetic, cinematic marvel. In the age of CGI-everything, the production team here said “Let’s film it all… for real.”
It may not be as incredible on the small screen, but in the cinema there was a visceral reaction to incredible speeds and tremendous action.

Oh, and Kenny Loggins. Obviously.

Read the full review here.



3. Bullet Train

Bullet Train is an absurdist action movie by David Leitch (Deadpool 2) which shows the crazed chaos that follows when several hired assassins board a Japanese bullet train with independent but critically linked agendas.

Brad Pitt plays a wonderful reversal of the action hero trope; a man who is seeking atonement for past events, while everyone else are manic killers or devious masterminds.
The film is a high-speed, high-octane, violent action comedy with all of the trimmings. A positive delight in this sea of generic action movies.

Read the full review here.



4. Amsterdam

Possibly the most hard done by movie on this list; critics and audiences seemed to have a serious issue with David O. Russell’s Amsterdam, a star-studded romp through Europe during the uncomfortable era of post-Great War and pre-World War Two.

A quirky movie following three war veterans as they try to uncover who killed a mutual friend, while also redeeming their own names in the process. It is funny, it is grisly, it is beautifully made, and leaves you with poignant thoughts to chew on.

Read the full review here.


5. The Black Phone

Director Scott Derrickson left the Disney Marvel machine over creative differences, and proceeded to make The Black Phone. A child kidnapper story with a paranormal edge.

It is surprisingly tense, mostly thanks to Ethan Hawke (who at first did not want to play the role) and Mason Thames having such energy between them as captor and victim. The film is claustrophobic, it is full of good performances and well written characters who (shock!) actually behave like human beings.

Read the full review here.




6. Three Thousand Years of Longing

What a weird one to get into the top ten. George Miller’s return to direct since Mad Max: Fury Road could not have been more odd. A genie is released by a woman who is content with her lot in life, and the two find themselves in humorous loggerheads of existential quandaries.

For all the surrealist visuals as we time-travel into flashbacks of the genie’s life, just watching the two characters (Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba) talking together in a hotel room is fascinating enough.

Read the full review here.


7. Avatar: The Way of Water (3D)

James Cameron’s Avatar was the top of the pile in 2009, and I imagine the man would be unimpressed if his sequel doesn’t do the same. But it has been thirteen years… and this is the best story they could write??

Frankly, if The Way of Water didn’t look as gob-smackingly amazing as it does… it wouldn’t even be in the top ten. It is too long, at over 3 hours, it has a story that requires reading of a now-defunct comic book to understand…

But it sure is very, very pretty.

Read the full review here.



8. Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery

A glossy, exciting “sequel” to Rian Johnson’s 2019 Knives Out, we get even more of Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc as he investigates another whodunnit murder mystery.
While not quite as intriguing or as complex as the first film (the title says it all!) the performances are wonderfully silly and makes for a good entertaining time.

Read the full review here.





9. Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

This film was at the last minute, and indicative of the hype I placed upon it, I had saved it a spot in the top ten. But this is quite a bit lower than I expected it to be…
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is weird, but not in the regular Del Toro way; I don’t think anyone expected certain… World War 2 scenarios, iconography, and characters to appear.

The animation is beautiful, though. We surely need more stop-motion animation.

Read the full review here.



10. Black Adam

Black Adam was just okay. It squeaks into the top 10 because I wasn’t dutifully going to see other films that would have been markedly better. Perhaps this is a sign that 2023 will see me watching more… critically acclaimed movies…

But then, Black Adam wasn’t bad. It was pretty fun actually, and showed some promise for DC adaptations for the future… oh wait James Gunn just reset the DC universe again so none of this matters either.

Read the full review here.



————– The mid-fielders —————————————–

Nope
The Batman
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

—————————————————————————–

10. Morbius

Yes, yes.
Yes, yes, I hear you. “Morbius is the worst film of 2022″, yadda-yadda. “Why is it only the tenth worst? Why can I see Hellraiser beneath it?”
Look, y’all have a big chip on your shoulder for Jared Leto, and that’s fine. But watching Morbius was kinda nostalgic! Nostalgic for 1990s superhero movies.
Yes, the visuals were grimy and too dark, the storytelling was paper thin, Matt Smith was… was… doing something that wasn’t acting. But I think in a few years time people won’t look at it with so much ridicule. Sony making their own parallel universe of the MCU seems like a fun idea, and honestly, Morbius was better than a few MCU entries I can think of.

Yeah, I said it.

Read the full review here.


9. Hellraiser (2022)

Maybe it is a little mean to put this below Morbius… But, the issue with the Hellraiser remake is not that it exists (like most remakes) but like a lot of remakes, it didn’t do enough.
Hellraiser is arguably one of the most gruesome horror fables to be borne out of the 80s, and we as cinemagoers have experienced a lot of developments (and refinements) in the world of horror since then. A remake/reimagining of this particular IP was an all-bases-loaded homerun in the making.
So why was it so… meh?

Jamie Clayton was excellent as “the Priest”, and a sequel is, frankly, required by horror fans, just so that the full effect of these monstrosities can be realized. As it is… this film was just too coy.


Read the full review.


8. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The first Sonic movie had a strange effect. There was a lot of hype left behind in its wake, and the sequel was anticipated. Yet, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was so very hit-and-miss, one has to reaffirm the thoughts of the original.
Oh wait… it was also hit-and-miss?

Indeed, there is a lot of fun to be had with Sonic’s sequel, to be fair. The characters are lively and very accurate to their video game counterparts, the visuals and story as well.

But… but… Why that entire wedding subplot that didn’t have Sonic involved? There was a real Michael Bay Transformers logic going on; where the supporting cast from the first film also needed bigger and “better” scenes in the sequel.

No… they don’t. This is a Sonic movie.

Read the full review here.


7. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

When Disney Marvel revealed Phase 4’s plan, Doctor Strange 2 was probably everyone’s safe bet of being a good one. Oh, how studio interference has wrecked (and continues to wreck) the MCU entries ever since.
This messy sequel was given to Sam Raimi after Scott Derrickson (see The Black Phone, at the opposite end of this list) wisely backed out due to “creative differences”. The film fails to deliver a fitting sequel to the first Doctor Strange, and struggles immensely with including Scarlet Witch from the end of the Disney+ show WandaVision.

With a lacklustre affection for what “multiverse” can give to character growth and storytelling (see the no.1 film on this list!) and some cumbersome expositional dumps… is Doctor Strange 2 a sign of things to come?

Read the full review here.



6. Lightyear

There were some high hopes for Lightyear. Unfortunately, Disney Pixar ended up making a really bland movie.

It is full of bland “realistic” visuals. It follows visually boring human characters. The story is tedious and literally involves time-loops and repetition (good for the kids……) The surprise reveal is straight from that 90s Lost in Space movie with Matt Le Blanc.
How did Pixar screw-up Lightyear so badly?? It opens with the motto that this film is the film Andy from Toy Story watched as a kid. Are you kidding me? No child that age would have this as their favourite movie of all time. Much less play with an action figure in such a way in light of it.

Just YouTube search the Buzz Lightyear Star Command cartoon that was made. That is what this film should have been.

Read the full review here.



5. Thor: Love and Thunder

“The most divisive movie of 2022!” Airhorn

Not really. But Love and Thunder was a massively missed opportunity. We have a main character dying of cancer, using a power to keep them alive, and a villain who is dying because they are using a power to seek revenge and this isn’t the central plot thread??
Also, we have a villain literally called The God Butcher, and he cannot pose a threat to anyone over the age of nine.

The film buries itself in comedy so completely that even the rather elegant ending has audiences bracing themselves for a fart joke to arrive from left field. How? How does a film with terminal cancer as a plot device become a flat-out comedy with screaming goats in it?

Read the full review here.


4. Men

Now, to be fair… Men is probably the most hard done by on this list. There is undoubtedly people reading who are aghast at its lower standing than that of Thor or Morbius.
Yet, while Alex Garland is a great creative visionary, Men just felt… really self-indulgent. Like, really.
The themes and metaphors involved are played so opaquely, so suggestively, from start to end, that the audience are left quite baffled. Not for lack of knowledge or intelligence, the film genuinely doesn’t tell or explain itself. While this can be a great writing tool for watercooler chats, some of this film’s metaphors can seem a little… questionable. A little… morally reprehensible.

Read the full review here.



3. Samaritan

grumble grumble “I’m too old for this sub-genre,” grumble grumble

If you have seen a Sylvester Stallone film within the last twenty years, as well as any superhero movie within the last ten… why are you now watching Samaritan?
Presumably this film was written by someone cryogenically frozen for the last thirty years, and missed all of the pop culture development in that time. Samaritan is so bland that the human brain struggles to remember anything noteworthy that didn’t happen in another genre film already.

Read the full review here.


2. Jurassic World: Dominion

Oh boy…
To think we still cannot get over the nostalgia pang of seeing old characters return; still driving people to the cinema despite ALL other signs saying to stay well away. Jurassic World; Dominion is a cavalcade of nonsense. The summary of years of terrible Jurassic Park spin-offs, the Rise of Skywalker equivalent for the series.
They throw everything at us this time. But literally shoehorning in the old 1995 characters does nothing to disguise a plot that doesn’t know what to do with itself; constantly introducing new elements and spinning plates because my god… if it doesn’t distract us from the fact it doesn’t have any pants on, we will go blind.

Read the full review here.



1. Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore

Did anyone ask for more Fantastic Beasts movies? Penned by the controversy-spewing J.K Rowling, this follow-up to one of the most confusing Harry Potter-related movies is downright drab.
Forgettable, sporting thinly-veiled Donald Trump analogies, with zero agency or stakes for the characters involved, a main character who persists at being irrelevant to the series. Not to mention being the first affected by the troubles of re-casting Johnny Depp.

Secrets of Dumbledore is a howling void of irrelevance.

Read the full review here.

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