Best Movies of 2022

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Murder Mystery

Rian Johnson | 139 mins | Comedy/Crime/Drama
Daniel Craig | Edward Norton | Kate Hudson | Dave Bautista

“Every so often a movie comes along where it feels like the cast and crew are having as much fun making the film as you are watching it. That would be Glass Onion. More specifically: Daniel Craig seems to be soaking up every second of the Detective Benoit Blanc Experience (which could have something to do with having had one hand attached to James Bond’s martini glass for the past 15 years). Rian Johnson is back in the director’s chair with a script he wrote for the second installment of this surprise franchise. The action has moved to Greece, on a private island belonging to brash tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton, who seems equally game to play). A “Murder Mystery” is on the official itinerary, but it is interrupted by the one unfolding in real life. Yet again, everyone’s a suspect. Yet again, it’s up to Benoit to figure out whodunnit. Yet again, it’s a blast.” – Jennifer M. Wood, WIRED

9. Decision To Leave

Park Chan-wook | 139 mins | Crime/Drama/Mystery
Park Hae-joon | Tang Wei | Lee Jung-hyun | Go Kyung-Pyo

“One of the dizzying pleasures of this labyrinthine movie is that it’s a delirious riff on “Vertigo,” Alfred Hitchcock’s aching 1958 drama about a male detective’s obsession with a mystery woman. Once again, there is a man and a woman as well as love and betrayal. Yet as “Decision to Leave” unfolds and settles into its own distinctively kinked groove, the movie’s emotional focus progressively shifts from the obsessed lover to the object of his relentless, uncomprehending gaze, and Park’s clever homage turns into a poignant rejoinder.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

8. RRR

S.S. Rajamouli | 187 mins | Action/Drama
N.T. Rama Rao Jr. | Ram Charan Teja | Ajay Devgn | Alia Bhatt

“RRR may not be the best movie this year by most traditional metrics, but it is almost certainly the most movie: A dizzy maximalist trip so visually extravagant that the tiger wrestling, flying soldiers, and stadium-size fireballs of the first hour turn out to be merely a little light scene-setting for what comes next. Writer-director S.S. Rajamouli’s sprawling Telugu-language story, such as it is, centers on two men on either side of a political and cultural divide circa 1920s colonial India: N.T. Rama Rao Jr. is the insurgent rebel desperate to get his kidnapped sister back, and Ram Charan, the Imperial soldier loyal to British command. Identities are concealed, women wooed, and wild beasts conquered; more than once, there is a dance-off. High melodrama, surreal Bollywood spectacle, epic bromance: It’s all here, and it is glorious.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

7. Aftersun

Charlotte Wells | 102 mins | Drama
Paul Mescal | Franie Corio | Celia Rowlson-Hall | Sally Messham

“It’s a hard thing for children to imagine their parents suffering. Charlotte Wells’s wonderful debut feature Aftersun immerses itself in precisely such sensations as anxiety and uncertainty, slowly at first and then with the sinking, suffocating feeling of being in over your head. On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with Calum (Paul Mescal), who’s doing a very decent—if endearingly clumsy—job of chaperoning his 11-year-old daughter Sophie (Frankie Corio) on a Mediterranean holiday. Rolling with the punches of dicey bookings and underwhelming amenities—and dutifully checking in with his ex to reassure her that their kid is in good hands—he’s sweet, attentive, permissive, and just young-looking (and acting) enough to offset any potential embarrassment at his presence while Sophie’s trying to hang with the older teens by the pool. He’s a good hang, and a good dad. But he isn’t happy, and Wells’s observation of a decent man’s grueling, desperate, and finally heartbreaking efforts to disguise and overcome his own torpor is even-handed despite the urgently personal nature of the subject matter. The dreamy, sun-baked cinematography, shivery editing, and superbly curated soundtrack of ’90s pop suggest a young filmmaker in total command of the medium, and the actors’ rapport is so convincing that it’s hard to even judge their performances. Rather than representing or standing in for anything, Calum and Sophie just are” – Adam Nayman, The Ringer

6. The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg | 151 mins | Drama
Michelle Williams | Gabriel LaBelle | Paul Dano | Judd Hirsch

“Steven Spielberg has been making movies for more than 50 years, and there are autobiographical touches in many of them. But The Fabelmans is his most personal film to date, one that reckons with the bittersweet truth of how families endure even in the midst of stress and crisis. Michelle Williams and Paul Dano star as Mitzi and Burt Fabelman, stand-ins for Spielberg’s real-life parents. Their performances are among the year’s best, delicately textured and deeply moving.” – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine

5. Nope

Jordan Peele | 130 mins | Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi
Daniel Kaluuya | Keke Palmer | Steven Yeun | Brandon Perea

“Jordan Peele’s cinema-centric science-fiction film is a superspectacle about the creation of superspectacles, a fantasy about the irrepressible reality of history, a metaphysical vision of the material world of the image—and a giddily imaginative, symbolically powerful thriller.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Joseph Kosinski | 130 mins | Action/Drama
Tom Cruise | Jennifer Connelly | Miles Teller | Val Kilmer

“In a film set 35 years after Top Gun, Tom Cruise returns as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, no longer a bright young whippersnapper but still the best flyboy around. He’s called back to the elite Top Gun program to train a group of fresh-faced pilots for a daring mission, but he has to confront his past with old flame Penny (Jennifer Connelly) and his own mortality. Top Gun: Maverick is almost unprecedented in its class, a nostalgia sequel that doesn’t feel like a cheap IP cash grab. Instead, it brings Maverick’s story full circle in a satisfying manner that adds depth and dimension to its predecessor, but still tells a story that’s all its own.” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

3. TÁR

Todd Field | 158 mins | Drama/Music
Cate Blanchett | Noemie Merlant | Nina Hoss | Sophie Kauer

“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.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

2. The Banshees of Inisherin

Martin McDonagh | 114 mins | Comedy/Drama
Colin Farrell | Brendan Gleeson | Kerry Condon | Barry Keoghan

Martin McDonagh returns to his Irish roots with this bitterly funny tale of a middle-aged fiddler (Brendan Gleeson) who decides to cut ties with his best friend and slightly daft drinking buddy (Colin Farrell). The idea is that he wants to use his remaining years to compose great music; unfortunately, his erstwhile pal won’t take no for an answer. If you’re familiar with McDonagh’s stage and screen work, you know that salty, warp-speed banter and shocking violence are on deck, both of which are present and accounted for here. Yet there’s a humanity to the humorous back and forth and, eventually, bloody self-harm that harkens back to the writer-director’s early plays, and benefits from having his In Bruges duo once again bringing his dialogue to life. You can believe the hype regarding Farrell’s performance — it’s a brilliant interpretation of a kind, dim-witted soul who is pushed to his breaking point.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone

1. Everything Everywhere All At once

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert | 139 mins | Action/Adventure/Comedy
Michelle Yeoh | Stephanie Hsu | Jamie Lee Curtis | Ke Huy Quan

“Everything Everywhere All at Once is as overstuffed as its title implies, even more juvenile than its pedigree suggests, and so creatively unbound from the minute it starts that it makes Daniels’ previous efforts seem like they were made with Bressonian restraint by comparison (for context, their last feature was a sweet fable starring Harry Potter as an explosively farting corpse).

It’s a movie that I saw twice just to make sure I hadn’t completely hallucinated it the first time around, and one that I will soon be seeing a third time for the same reason. I don’t ever expect to understand how it was (or got) made, but I already know that it works. And I know that it works because my impulse to pick on its imperfections and wonder how it might’ve been different eventually forfeits to the utter miracle of its existence.

It’s a movie… about a flustered Chinese-American woman trying to finish her taxes. Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is being audited — first by the IRS, and then by the other great evils of our multiverse. She and her stubbornly guileless husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, a sublime revelation in one of his first major roles since the days of Short Round) immigrated to California in pursuit of happiness after Evelyn’s overbearing father, Gong Gong (James Hong, 93 years old and yet still in his prime) forbid the marriage, but their dreams of a brighter future were soon quashed by the realities of running a small business and raising a child of their own.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Full List:

1Everything Everywhere All at Once4951333.849%14%581730%9%
2The Banshees of Inisherin453584.444%6%901047%5%
4Top Gun: Maverick372534.936%5%36719%4%
6The Fabelmans310354.830%4%731238%6%
9Decision to Leave266245.226%2%64633%3%
10Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery190105.819%1%21011%0%
11The Batman175125.317%1%1005%0%
12Crimes of the Future167255.016%3%28415%2%
14Avatar: The Way of Water140105.614%1%1729%1%
15Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio13995.614%1%1829%1%
17Women Talking13675.513%1%22211%1%
18All the Beauty and the Bloodshed131155.313%2%42422%2%
19Triangle of Sadness11985.812%1%1518%1%
20The Northman11716.411%0%905%0%
21Marcel the Shell With Shoes On10765.410%1%1628%1%
23The Woman King99116.210%1%1618%1%
24Babylon (2022)9285.79%1%1417%1%
25Saint Omer8695.38%1%33217%1%
26Bones and All8594.88%1%1216%1%
27Turning Red8536.48%0%1206%0%
28The Menu8436.48%0%804%0%
29The Eternal Daughter8335.58%0%27114%1%
30After Yang7955.98%1%1518%1%
31Black Panther: Wakanda Forever7925.78%0%704%0%
32She Said7125.47%0%1106%0%
35Armageddon Time6806.37%0%23012%0%
38We're All Going to the World's Fair6155.96%1%1116%1%
39All Quiet on the Western Front6436.16%0%1417%1%
40Jackass Forever6326.46%0%1005%0%
43No Bears5854.96%1%27314%2%
44Hit the Road5765.36%1%23412%2%
45The Whale5765.26%1%915%1%
46Emily the Criminal5116.35%0%704%0%
47Cha Cha Real Smooth5035.85%0%302%0%
48Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood5026.45%0%1518%1%
49Fire of Love4926.55%0%1206%0%
50Moonage Daydream4826.15%0%1106%0%

Lists Included 1020 | Top Critics Included 192

R Rank
L Total number of lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
AR Average position on ranked top 10 lists
#1 Total number of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year
L% Percentage of total lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
#1% Percentage of mentions where the film was selected as the best film of the year
TCL Number of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1 Number of times that the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL% Percentage of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1% Percentage of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists