Top Ten Films of 2022

Dec. 31 was well over a month ago but as always, there were a few films that didn’t become available until January.

Now, having seen the films that were watchable a bit later, I’m ready to set my top 10 list of 2022. It turned out to be a year with plenty of good movies, as the honorable mention list was pretty long this time around.

Here are those and the best 10 of the year.

Honorable Mentions:

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • The Black Phone
  • Causeway
  • Cha Cha Real Smooth
  • Emily the Criminal
  • God’s Country
  • Living
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Pearl
  • She Said
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  • Vengeance

10. Women Talking


“Women Talking” takes a bit of time to get going. But once the characters are fully introduced and the situation is established, it becomes a truly captivating experience. A dialogue-heavy picture, the movie is quite captivating as several compelling conversations take place.

In a way, the film is reminiscent of a courtroom or political thriller, but instead of a courthouse or the White House, detailed deliberations take place in an old barn. With good acting across the board, the movie is full of arresting debate and important themes.

9. Bones and All


“Bones and All” is both an engrossing, dark romantic fantasy and a freaky modern monster movie. As dangerous beings, the protagonists exist as something separate from humans, but still living among them, the same way vampires or werewolves do. It makes for some creepy moments.

But more so, the film is a coming-of-age story, featuring young people questioning their identity, reflecting on past trauma and developing a romance. It’s a compelling watch.

8. Bros


“Bros” is a film that goes down a very traditional romantic comedy track. Despite a standard story, though, the film has all the bells and whistles that make a romcom great.

The relationship at the heart of the film is wonderfully sweet and charming. It’s just delightful watching the two protagonists break down personal barriers to be together. It also helps that the movie is immensely funny, with a lot of humor woven in.

7. Turning Red


Even though the protagonist in “Turning Red” spends half the movie as a giant red panda, her journey through adolescence and puberty feels completely relatable, making for an endearing watch. It’s an exceptionally funny and heartfelt movie with a lot of honesty, while also having a fun mystical element.

The main character Mei isn’t the only one powering this feature, though. Mei’s mother is another key character, as the mother-daughter relationship is integral to the protagonist’s arc. Mei’s friends are also an absolute blast, both hilarious and wonderfully supportive. It’s a superb animated feature.

6. Crimes of the Future


The best part of “Crimes of the Future” is how director David Cronenberg features a weird and strange future that still has a lot of truth to it. There’s a striking balance he finds between keeping the film grounded with societal realism while also fully embracing the sci-fi and body horror elements.

The way the film explores different interpretations of the human body while also commenting on environmental topics, all while following interesting characters makes it a fascinating flick. Viggo Mortensen also deserves credit for a really great lead performance.

5. Everything Everywhere All At Once


A sci-fi epic, an intense martial arts film, a hilarious comedy and an emotional drama. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is a film that works on so many levels, with intense hand-to-hand combat in one scene and a comedic moment in the next, and all of it blends together nicely.

The directing/writing team of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert did remarkable work making everything work as smoothly as it does considering the expansive multi-verse concept. Great performances from Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Ke Quan and Stephanie Hsu add a lot to the picture, too.

4. The Batman


Tim Burton’s “Batman” films were Gothic and dark, with a dreary romanticization, while the Christopher Nolan adaptations were grounded, gritty crime pictures. This latest film, a crime noir murder mystery on an epic scale, hits the sweet spot between the two.

The atmosphere is superb, themes of corruption are well incorporated, and the acting is fantastic across the board. The writing is powerful, especially in how it captures a Batman who is driven by vengeance, and over time learns that he can be a symbol for more.

3. The Banshees of Inisherin


“Banshees” is a fascinating breakdown of a relationship, that explores what friendship means to different people, what people want out of a friendship, and what people want from life. Writer and director Martin McDonagh does great work in digging into all of this with humor and heartbreak.

It’s a great piece of cinema about what relationships mean to the human condition. It also helps that there’s award-caliber acting across the board from Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Kerry Condon.

2. Tar


“Tár” is an endlessly compelling view of a person on a downward spiral, partly of their own making. It explores, in real time, a person being canceled, and the many aspects of their personal life crumbling alongside their career.

It’s a devastating downfall, and what makes the film all the more captivating is the protagonist being very much a fighter who goes down swinging. Blanchett is absolutely masterful in the lead role, giving one of the best performances of her career. It’s a film well-rounded thanks to the supporting cast and great direction from Todd Field

1. The Whale


“The Whale” is a complex character study of a good man who’s made mistakes, and is trying one last time to do something right. It’s a heartbreaking, hard-hitting drama featuring a standout performance by Brendan Fraser.

This is definitely one of the best acted films of the year. Along with Fraser, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins and especially Hong Chau do phenomenal work. Every dramatic moment in the film works extremely well.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

One thought on “Top Ten Films of 2022”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: