The Top 10 Best Films of 2022

What makes movies so powerful and influential? In my opinion, it’s the movies that make us think that seems to be the most impactful.  

Let’s take a moment to recognize all the outstanding movies released this year as we approach the end of 2022. For film lovers, this was an amazing year filled with great films. For film critics, well, it was a year filled with much admiration. 

At the beginning of January, people had yet to learn what the new year would bring. And we were certainly not hoping for another new virus to be breaking news on our phone screens. But as it turns out, 2022 brought much-needed euphoria back into the world. One of the leading causes of this joy was some of the greatest films that were released this year. Shall we find out what they are? 

Here are the 10 best films of 2022, and where to watch them. 

1. “Tár”

Courtesy of Focus Features.

Starting at number one, we have the film, “Tár,” which was written and directed by Todd Field. Released on Oct. 7, “Tár” follows Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), the first female music director of a significant German orchestra, who is largely viewed as one of the best living composer-conductors. 

Basically, Lydia Tár is at the peak of her career. She is a conductor who not only orchestrates but also controls. Moreover, Lydia balances career and family obligations while getting ready for the publication of her memoir. One of her biggest tasks presented in this film is a live performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, which is a challenge that she’s willing to take on. However, forces that even the dictatorial maestro is powerless against gradually erode Lydia’s elaborate front, exposing the genius’ murky secrets and the sneaky, destructive nature of power.

You can watch “Tár” in theaters, or stream it on Apple TV+ or Amazon Prime.  

2. “Till”

Courtesy of MGM Studios.

Directed by Chinonye Chukwu, “Till” is about Emmett Till, who was brutally lynched in 1955. After his death, his mother vowed to reveal the prejudice underlying the attack and strive to have those responsible given justice. 

Released in theaters on Oct. 14, “Till” is a tremendously moving and spectacular movie based on the true account of Mamie Till-Mobley’s tenacious fight for justice for her murdered 14-year-old son, Emmett Till. 

“It is an honest depiction of an American tragedy,” stated one critic at ReelViews. This movie, starring Danielle Deadwyler, is filled with sadness and emotion. It provides viewers with the reality of how things really were back then. From my perspective, those films are also the most potent.

Stream “Till” on Amazon Prime and Apple TV+. 

3. “The Quiet Girl”

Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

This Irish-language film tells the story of Cáit (Catherine Clinch), a shy, mistreated child, who is removed from her chaotic family and placed with foster parents for the summer in 1981 rural Ireland. Despite maturing in their care, she discovers a secret in their home where no secrets should exist. 

Colm Bairéad’s “The Quiet Girl,” a sympathetic and exquisite movie that provides viewers with a true masterpiece, was released on May 13. The early 1980s setting aside, a critic for The Guardian praised the film’s “solidity, clarity and storytelling gusto of that old-fashioned Alpine children’s tale – about the little girl sent away to live in a beautiful place with her grandfather.” 

“The Quiet Girl” can be streamed on Amazon Prime. 

4. “Armageddon Time”

Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Released on Nov. 4, “Armageddon Time,” starring Anne Hathaway as Esther Graff and Jeremy Strong as Irving Graff, offers viewers a profoundly individualized coming-of-age tale about the power of family and the generational quest for the American Dream. 

The film “creates a vivid and evocative sense of its time and place and many scenes, especially those with Repeta and Hopkins, are touching,” according to a Roger Ebert critic. 

Moreover, in an interview with Deadline, Strong claimed that the movie, “in a lot of ways is about the connection of love and violence and how someone can be both the oppressor and the oppressed.” 

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? 

Make sure to watch “Armageddon Time” in theaters or on Apple TV+. 

5. “Aftersun”

Courtesy of A24.

Now, this is a film that merits recognition. “Aftersun,” which Charlotte Wells both directed and wrote, tells the story of Sophie (Frankie Corio) as she reflects on the joyous celebration and inner melancholy of a trip she had with her father twenty years ago. As Sophie struggles to make sense of the father she knew and the father she didn’t, her memories take on a dramatic and heartbreaking depiction of their relationship. 

With the movie releasing on Nov. 18, it managed to receive three Critics Choice Awards nominations. The nominations are Best Actor (Paul Mescal as Calum), Best Young Actor/Actress (Frankie Corio as Sophie) and Best Original Screenplay (Charlotte Wells).

Watch “Aftersun” in theaters.

6. “RRR”

Courtesy of DVV Entertainment.

The legendary drama set in pre-independent India, “RRR,” follows a daring warrior on a dangerous mission who meets up with a tough cop defending British forces. The film stars NTR Jr. as Komaram Bheem, Ram Charan as Alluri Sitarama Raju and Ajay Devgn as Venkata Rama Raju. 

“Aftersun” wasn’t the only film this year to receive Critics Choice Awards nominations. According to Business Today, the historical action drama, “RRR,” received two major nominations at the 2023 Golden Globes and five major nominations for the Critics’ Choice Awards. 

Stream “RRR” on Netflix. 

7. “Top Gun: Maverick”

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Ah, yes. A film starring Tom Cruise and Miles Teller… say no more. 

The film centers on Maverick’s return to the United States Navy’s Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, also known as “TOPGUN,” 30 years after the events of its predecessor. There, he must face his past while mentoring a group of younger pilots, one of whom is the son of Maverick’s late best mate, Lieutenant Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, USN.

This film was a smashing hit for director Joseph Kosinski. It spent 12 of its first 13 weeks of release in the top five of the domestic box office rankings. Additionally, the film earned an astounding $1.4 billion globally. “I don’t know if I’ve wrapped my head around it. I’m amazed every day that it continues to play,” Kosinski says in an interview with Variety

Watch “Top Gun: Maverick” in theaters or on Amazon Prime. 

8. “Nope”

Courtesy of A24.

Remember this movie? I sure do. “Nope,” which came out in theaters on July 22, was by far the creepiest film I’ve ever seen.

The film revolves around arbitrary objects that fall from the sky and kill OJ and Emerald Haywood’s father. Following their father’s death, OJ and Emerald now run his ranch and work with tech salesperson Angel Torres and filmmaker Antlers Holst to try to record video of an unknown flying object. 

Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya and “The Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun are all featured in the movie. The movie’s director, Jordan Peele, who also directed “Get Out” and “Us,” “successfully transforms the most mundane of concepts into an exhilarating and terrifying experience,” in this film, according to one IMDb critic.

Watch “Nope” on Peacock and Apple TV+. 

9. “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

Courtesy of A24.

The star of this A24 film is Marcel, a cute one-inch-tall shell who gets by with the help of his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. They were formerly a part of a vast society of shells, but they are now the lone survivors of an unexplained disaster. 

However, when a documentary filmmaker finds them buried in the mess of his Airbnb, the short film he shares online wins him millions of ardent followers, puts him in danger and gives him a fresh chance to locate his long-lost family. In this amusing and touching tale about finding friendship in the most unexpected places, a well-liked character makes his big-screen debut.

You can watch “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” on Redbox, Amazon Prime and Apple TV+. 

10. “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”

Courtesy of Neon.

In “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” Nan Goldin, an artist, chronicles her life and the downfall of the Sackler family, a pharmaceutical empire that contributed significantly to the staggering death toll brought on by the opioid crisis. 

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” which was released on Nov. 23, was one of the contenders for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures when the PGA Awards were announced. The New York Film Critics Circle also awarded the Laura Poitras film the title of Best Non-Fiction Film, as reported by Deadline.  

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” is available to watch in theaters. 

By Brianna DiMiao

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