We’ve reached the end of 2022 and we’re all looking forward to what’s coming in 2023. But before we go too far ahead, it’s worth taking a moment to look back at what made an impression in 2022. Below are my Top 10 and Bottom five films of the year, plus 10 more honorable mentions!
19. Avatar: The Way of Water
18. A Man Called Otto
16. The Menu
14. Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
12. The Woman King
11. Glass Onion
And now, on to the Top 10
10. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
About: The first film is one of my All-Time favorite Marvel films. I was curious to see how this one would go and how Ryan Coogler would overcome the loss of Chadwick Boseman. What we got was a marvelous film. It was a deeply emotional tribute but also a fantastic original story. It’s a credit to Leticia Wright, but also to the work of the production team. It was a blockbuster that delivered.
9. Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.
About: I first saw this one during Sundance in January. For a good while it was atop my list of films for 2022. It’s still in the Top 10. I love the performances from Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall, and I loved the story and direction from Adamma Ebo. It’s got humorous moments but it’s the moments of deep emotion that really resonate with me.
8. Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me
About: I didn’t know much about Selena Gomez going into this one. The film laid bare her story and her struggle with mental health. Mental health issues are perhaps the biggest challenge facing people in this country and this open and honest look at a star and her struggles is a beautiful portrait of these issues and how they can impact anyone. It was deeply emotional and engaging for me, my favorite documentary of the year.
About: This small independent film released near the end of July. I was expecting something humorous and enjoyable. What I got was an engaging and riveting story delivered by B.J. Novak, who takes the lead role. This is thought-provoking and spins the story in an unexpected way. I also loved Ashton Kutcher in a supporting role. This was one of the biggest surprises of 2022 for me.
6. Top Gun: Maverick
About: I enjoyed the original film for what it was and all the ways it fit the mold as a quintessential 1980s film. Nothing prepared me for this sequel, which is the rare follow up that surpasses the original in every way. I loved the way this one was put together, the performances, the action and the fun it was. This was THE blockbuster of 2022.
About: This little drama on Apple TV+ snuck up on me as well. Jennifer Lawrence plays a soldier who returns home to recover after being involved in an explosion overseas. She connects with a local, Brian Tyree Henry, who has suffered a similar loss. Together, they find a way to move forward in the world. The performances and deeply emotional story stuck with me and greatly moved me.
4. The Fabelmans
About: Some didn’t care for this, and I get it. But the story here worked for me. I was hooked by the idea of someone discovering their passion and following that passion. I was also taken with the way this film was a portrait of a young man and his relationship with his parents. Michelle Williams is strong, but so, too, is Paul Dano. I enjoyed this one a lot.
3. Women Talking
About: The title sums this one up. It’s about a group of women debating crucial issues and trying to decide their future. In the wrong hands, this could flame out. Sarah Polley is the right hands, creating a taut and suspenseful film around a series of crucial conversations. There are some beautiful performances here, too, from Ben Whishaw and Jessie Buckley, but particularly from Claire Foy. This is a powerful film everyone should make a point to see when it releases wide in January.
2. Everything Everywhere All At Once
About: The Daniels created something magical with this film. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Qwan and Stephanie Hsu are incredible, and Jamie Lee Curtis gives a solid performance as well. But what put this over-the-top for me was a story that was fanciful and also deeply emotional and the visuals. This is, perhaps, the most visually creative film I’ve ever seen.
1. She Said
About: I have long been a big fan of journalism films. I was looking forward to seeing this story about two New York Times reporters who worked to break the Harvey Weinstein story. It didn’t disappoint. Carrey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan are great as the leads, but this is also about the stories of the women who bravely came forward to say no more. Jennifer Ehle gives a powerful supporting performance as does Ashley Judd, playing herself in her own story. This is deeply emotional and beautifully constructed by Maria Schrader.
And now, for the films that I didn’t enjoy.
5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
About: We didn’t need a new version of this film. This one was meant to be a Halloween-style re-boot, but it doesn’t work. It’s overly violent and under-baked.
About: This was a January release on Netflix. It was meant to be a murder mystery. The only mystery is why it was foist upon the public.
About: A high-profile, very long and NC-17 portrait of Marilyn Monroe. I don’t know what I was meant to take from this story, but it didn’t work for me at all. Marilyn and star Ana de Armas deserved better.
About: It was a great year for interesting and diverse horror films. Unfortunately, it was also a year with some absolute trainwreck horror releases, like this one. It was offensive on many levels.
1. The Requin
About: I love a good shark movie but a bad one can really stink out the joint. This was about the worst shark movie I’ve ever seen.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
Leave a Reply