Spoiler warning for some 2022 releases.
10 – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
The sequel to Rian Johnson’s masterpiece of a murder mystery “Knives Out” (2019), Glass Onion naturally had high expectations to live up to. And although the movie bit off more than it could chew with a complex social commentary, it proves that an average Rian Johnson movie is still a great movie.
9 – The Black Phone
Even though it was released in theatres in June, The Black Phone felt like the movie that set off 2022’s strong streak of horror movies. Spearheaded by an Oscar-worthy performance from Ethan Hawke as ‘The Grabber’, The Black Phone is the quintessential thriller.
8 – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
To be frank, I’m mad that this movie is this low on this list. The sequel to 2016’s “Doctor Strange”, Multiverse of Madness had the potential to be the greatest movie of the year. Although Sam Remi’s horror-style direction saved the movie from mediocrity, most would still agree that it didn’t quite live up to expectations.
7 – Smile
Utilizing a combination of creepy imagery and chilling psychological horror, Smile is, in my opinion, the scariest movie of the 2020s so far. The movie combines psychological and physical concepts (i.e dead cat scene) in away that had me leaving the theatre in shock like no other.
6 – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Director Ryan Coogler was put in a difficult spot regarding the sequel to 2018’s Black Panther after lead actor Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death. What he crafted, however, was a piece of art that combined strong concepts of death, grievance, and culture – all while displaying great action scenes and clever humour.
5 – NOPE
I’ll be the first to admit that this movie was pretty divisive – it’s hard to understand exactly what the film is trying to say. But Jordan Peele’s utilization of symbolism has always been genius to me, and NOPE is no different. A compelling combo of sci-fi and horror, NOPE, unlike its main antagonist Jean Jacket, doesn’t bite off more than it can chew.
4 – Terrifier 2
I think the thought I had while watching this movie in the theatre for the first time sums the film up best: This movie is like a fever dream… in the best way possible. With some of the most gory and disturbing scenes I’ve ever seen, I was positively in awe for days after watching Terrifier 2.
3 – Top Gun: Maverick
If it isn’t Star Wars or a comic book movie, I’m usually not a fan of big-budget blockbusters. I opted to use the word usually, because Top Gun Maverick shattered my expectations. Tom Cruise and Miles Teller as Maverick and Rooster have electrifying chemistry, and the crew’s idea to work with real aviation experts clearly paid off with some of the best flight scenes to ever come to film.
2 – The Batman
In almost any other year, The Batman would be my lock for movie of the year. One of my top 3 comic book movies ever, this adaptation of The Batman uses the gothic nature of the hero’s story brilliantly – on my first watch, I was genuinely taken aback by how cynical and grim everything felt. This movie has the strongest and most consistent theme of the year, and this works in its favour.
1 – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Who would’ve thought that over franchises like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, the best multiverse movie of all time would be a standalone movie with a modest budget? I think this movie is so brilliant because it uses the multiverse as a device for character growth rather than using it in the typical modern way; how would you react if you could experience what could have been in real time? It’s something that everybody can relate to. Pairing this with unique absurdist humour and the most consistently wonderful cast of any movie this year, we get a movie that will surely go down as a film-nerd classic.
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