After two very badly affected years by the covid-19 pandemic, cinema seems to have finally returned to its normal flow in 2022. The studios have brought in a very substantial release schedule and audiences have felt increasingly motivated to return to theaters. And the result was a colossal number of big premieres coming from January to December.
At the same time, we’ve also seen a huge maturation of streaming-exclusive productions, with Netflix, Prime Video and HBO Max betting heavily on titles that owe nothing to those that hit the big screen.
So whether in the cinema or at home, fans of good stories had nothing to complain about. Whether it’s smaller plots or expanding fantastic universes, there is no shortage of reasons to make viewers smile.
And to help you list your possible 2022 favorites or even list a feature you might have missed in this avalanche of previews, the canaltech listed 15 of the best movies released in 2022.
We start our list with a horror film to show how the genre has excelled throughout 2022. Scream 5 to the novice brutal nights, there was no lack of good reason to fear the public. However, of all that style has offered this scary year, few things stand out quite as much as pearl.
The film is an attention-grabbing slasher for a variety of reasons. The feature film centers on the rather disturbing story of a young woman who dreams of becoming a movie star who, isolated on a farm in rural Texas, begins to go insane and leave a trail of blood. But what’s really intriguing about this storyline is how it relates to another film that also arrived in 2022: X – The sign of death.
This seam works very well and builds a dark and challenging universe that keeps us coming back to those characters even knowing how much they will affect us. Full credit to director Ti West, who has already proven himself as one of the big names of this new generation of horror filmmakers.
It’s strange to think that it took Hollywood so long to decide to make a film that told the story of an icon like Elvis Presley. But the wait was worth it elvis arrives with all the pomp and flair the King of Rock demands.
The film starring Austin Butler is especially striking for its characterization. The young actor actually transforms into the singer and is striking in how identical he is to the star. Likewise, he also draws attention to how unrecognizable Tom Hanks is in the role of Tom Parker, the artist’s manager.
Add to all this beautiful direction by Baz Luhrmann and we have a beautiful biography that presents the ups and downs of Presley’s life, as well as highlighting the importance of his image to pop culture even today.
13. Avatar: The Water Way
It has been 13 years of waiting for this sequel and Avatar: The Way of Water does not disappoint even for a second. Even with a very simple story and no big surprises, the feature film is a visual spectacle like we haven’t seen in a long time, proof that director James Cameron continues to be the great reference when it comes to cinematic technology.
This time, he takes his blue aliens to the seas of the planet Pandora and bets on the visual breakthrough represented by this new ecosystem. In addition to exploring the whole culture of this new people, we have incredible underwater scenery and a demonstration of the new underwater camera technology that Cameron developed especially for the film.
12. The woman king
One of the big surprises of the year, King Woman came to show how Viola Davis is one of the greatest actresses of our time, giving life to one of those necessary stories that have been erased over time.
The film centers on the storyline of the general of a group of female warriors who fight to defend the Kingdom of Dahomey from invasions by neighboring tribes and colonizers. The result is a strong script, with incredible characters who still have a lot to say today.
11. The Menu
In 2022, actress Anya Taylor-Joy continued to grow and The menu is one of the beautiful examples of how the young woman continues to choose very well the productions in which she will appear. Mark Mylod’s feature film has an incredible cast that also includes Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Hoult and that offers great performances, an excellent text and all this from a very simple premise.
The story revolves around a couple who go to a restaurant owned by an acclaimed chef on a remote island in search of a unique dining experience. Only, from then on, things unfold in completely unexpected and delightful ways, at least for us.
10. The unknown
One of Netflix’s big premieres in 2022, The stranger arrived without much fanfare and quickly became one of the most watched films on the platform. All thanks to its impressive story based on true events.
The film tells the story of a police officer who goes undercover and forms an intense connection with a murder suspect, all in order to extract a confession from the criminal. The synopsis is a bit generic, but what really matters is that it is inspired by the disappearance of a boy in Australia in 2003 and all the consequences of the case.
But the real merit lies in the way the script adapts this episode and in the weight that each of the actors gives to the characters, making the whole investigation and search for the truth tense from start to finish.
9. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Let’s face it, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) hasn’t been as inspired this year. However, between the Thor: Love and thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever offers not only an excellent film and a hook for the future, but also a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman.
There was tremendous curiosity about how the studio would handle the loss of the actor and the end result managed to continue the character while also paying a beautiful tribute to Boseman and his legacy.
8. The man from the north
Robert Eggers had already delivered two recent cinematic gems with The Witch and The lighthouse – which made the expectation hang around the man of the north it was huge. And he not only lived up to that hype, but he even managed to surpass it by delivering one of the best Viking stories we’ve seen on screen to date.
Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy (again), Nicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke in the cast, it tells the myth that will inspire Shakespeare to write Hamlet and offers a very accurate recreation of Nordic culture. Without falling into clichés, it recreates all the customs, beliefs and traditions in such a unique way and yet offers such an incredible journey of revenge that you leave with the desire to embark on something similar.
7. Everything and everywhere at the same time
The multiverse was the big concept of the year. But while Marvel shared public opinion with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, All everywhere at the same time presented a very particular way of playing with the idea of different realities and delivered one of the main surprises of 2022.
Starring Michelle Yeoh, it tells the story of this heroine who is in the midst of a rift between these various dimensions and needs to find a way to fix this before her existence is compromised. But the big difference is in the creative way in which the plot explores the madness offered by the proposal.
6. No, don’t look
Another director returning in a big way in 2022 was Jordan Peele, author of To run! and We. And with No, don’t lookputs social criticism aside a bit and takes a look at the cinema and the entertainment industry, but in a way that only he can do.
For this, the director plays with the aesthetics of a horror film and mixes it with alien stories and even inserts references and jokes with classic series and even anime. It’s an unusual salad, but one that works really well when it comes to this monster that devours us every time we look at it.
5. White noise
After the success of Story of a marriage, it was obvious that Netflix would bet on a new Noah Baumbach production. And the director has brought nothing less than the adaptation of one of the greatest classics of late 20th century American literature to deliver his jabs at society as he confronts the demons that plague us on a daily basis.
Sounds confusing, but that’s precisely the intention of white noise. Starring an almost unrecognizable Adam Driver in the lead role, the film satirizes American society and its attachment to capitalism while exploring the scars left by the pandemic on each of us. And all this in a story that oscillates between introspective drama and bizarre comedy. A truly delightful cacophony to listen to.
4. The Batman
It seems redundant for a Batman movie to be successful, but The Batman showed how much the hero still has a lot to offer fans. Despite all the distrust surrounding its production and the casting of Robert Pattinson in the lead role, Matt Reeves’ feature film brought a new facet to the character and still clarified why the Dark Knight well represents this heroic figure despite all his contradictions .
Setting the plot in Batman’s early years as a Gotham vigilante, we find a much more introspective and even disturbed Bruce Wayne who still doesn’t understand his role in the city. And it’s with the emergence of a villain like The Riddler (Paul Dano) that she has a much clearer vision of who he really is and what he could become.
3. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
It’s very difficult for these re-imaginings of great classics to work, but the version of Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro It’s a nice off-curve spot. Although the story told by Disney is engraved in our imagination, the director gave a very unique aspect to the story of the doll who wanted to be a real child which works very well, even better than the remake made for Disney +.
Entirely in stop-motion and with a very particular look, the Netflix feature updates the script that everyone knows by adding new elements that fit very well with the magical tone offered by the director.
2. Nothing new on the front line
Another classic that won a new release in 2022, Nothing new on the front renews the pacifist message of the 1929 book and shows how, almost a century later, little has changed. We still have an idealized view of what it means to go to the battlefield in the same way that there is a huge disdain for those who die in mud and blood and shit.
Coincidence or not, the fact that the premiere takes place at a time when we have a war going on lends even more weight to the discourse that the German feature presents. It’s a film as heavy as a punch in the stomach.
1. Top Gun: Mavericks
In a post-pandemic world where studios have been forced to accept more modest box offices Top Gun: nonconformist proved that a good story, charismatic characters and great action scenes are still a guarantee of success and billions at the box office.
Tom Cruise’s new movie continues on Top Guns original after more than 30 years and hits the mark not only to save the atmosphere of the time but to go further and show how to renew these concepts and use nostalgia in your favor to develop everything we wanted to see.
No accidents, Top Gun: nonconformist it was the highest grosser of 2022 and an undisputed success.