Best Movies of 2022


And 3 more added to my watchlist (it’s up to 108 now, I’ve never had such a large yearly watchlist, especially this late in the season… and these aren’t the low-end pictures, these are all pretty highly regarded, at least 3.5 to 4 to 5-star rated movies)

Looking forward to this one, I really liked Hlynur Pálmason’s “A White White Day”, and “Winter Brothers” wasn’t bad either.


I’d like to remove something from my list to make room for The Menu, because MY GOD THE MENU

Go in spoiler-free. Don’t watch the trailer or read the reviews or even catch the basic premise.

This is metal. Straight-up metal.


My list:

  1. Everything Everywhere, at least for the two rocks whose IQ is higher than the major news channels…along with Jamie Lee Curtis and the Hot Dog Hands
  2. Glass Onion
  3. Wakanda Forever
  4. X
  5. Emily the Criminal
    Future entries: Tar and The Menu (HBO this weekend)

The Menu was very close to making the cut on my list, but it got booted out when I saw Glass Onion. I did consider sweeping Tár under the rug just so I could keep it, and if Tár were more of a performance award bait movie and less of a solid package, I totally would have.

Ralph Fiennes is probably the one performance of the year that deserves an Oscar nod but is absolutely going to get ignored.


Last year did feel like a bit of an embarrassment of riches. What was nice was it was the first year since the pandemic when the majority of films on my list I got to see in the cinema.


This has nothing to do with my favorite movies, but I was just thinking that my favorite moviegoing experience in general for 2022 was when I went to see Honk for Jesus and the only other people in the theater besides me were a few groups of elderly white people who seemed to think it was a faith affirming Christian movie instead of a parody of people using religion for gain and power, and as the movie went on it slowly got emptier and emptier. Thankfully, just about everyone who was going to leave was gone by the time they got to the anal sex scene, because I don’t picture that going over well.

I mean, the trailers before the movie included Bros and Halloween Ends. Y’all need to take the hint.

I shared this story on Twitter and my tweet was passed around by fans of the movie for about a week. It was fun.

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I love that he got some recognition with a nom from the Golden Globes folks, but yeah, I get the feeling that he’s juuuuuuuuuust going to miss the cut this year at the Oscars.

I want to be very, very wrong here, but…


How long do we have before we can no longer edit a reply? Just curious, I was able to make another change to mine… Murina is my new #10

(they are showing it at Kanopy… a service I lost when I moved to the valley, but now the city libraries do allow valley dwellers to have a city card at no extra cost… so I was able to reconnect with Kanopy - and the crowd goes wild - yay)

As for my current personal award leaders

  • Best Actress: Cate Blanchet, TÁR is my leader, but some others I admired… Haley Lu Richardson, Montana Story * Siiri Solalinna, Hatching * Ana de Armas, Blonde * Tang Wei, Decision to Leave

  • Best Actor: I still need to see The Whale and Living - my leaders right now would be Park Hae-il and Colin Farrell

  • Supporting Actor: Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

  • Supporting Actress: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

  • Miniseries: The Dropout

  • Short: TBA

  • Song: “New Body Rhumba”, LCD Soundsystem (White Noise)

  • Score: Maybe Hildur Guðnadóttir for Women Talking and TAR?

  • Original Screenplay: Either Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin) or Todd Field (TÁR)

  • Adapted Screenplay: No strong leaders, and I still need to see Women Talking

  • Cinematography: Need to think on this, Batman, Banshees, Bardo, and Northman are in the mix - still so much left to see (Deakins work in “Empire of Light” for one)

  • Visual Effects: Dunno, the usual superhero eye candy will be considered… and -sigh- I suppose I’ll have to watch that Avatar 2 thing :wink:


I think the best movies I saw this year were re-releases; almost certainly nothing topped The Manchurian Candidate, The Quiet Man, The Conversation or It’s A Wonderful Life. But that’s not too surprising. (A few were at Experiment in Terror and The Exterminating Angel level, I’d say.)

What was exceptional about this year for me was the variety of odd voices that I think got greater expression (in terms of being shown in theaters) because the Bigs were too busy fretting over where and when to release their bloatbusters.

The unusual upshot of that is that while I enjoyed a great many films this year, I have never been harder pressed to recommend them broadly.

Everything, Everywhere All At Once - Loved it, but also loved The Daniels Swiss Army Man, which was similarly absurd and yet respectful.

The Northman - A dismal, darker remake of Hamlet which is weirdly (literal use of the word “weird”) salvaged by its religious overtones. Eggers is really good at putting you in the mindset of a place and time, and I just can’t imagine a lot of people want that, especially for this place and time.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent - I can’t tell if this movie is saved or ruined by its third act “descent” into standard action fare in the third act. The first two acts are such an insightful look into celebrity’s effect on the celebrity, but again, this isn’t general audience stuff. I liked the third act because it said, “Hey, look, we love the mythology, too, and we love blurring the lines” but it also seemed to blur the lines to say “Hey, we’re also a movie millions will love 'cause car chases and action scenes!” And I’m not sure that worked to broaden the audience.

Belle - Not Hosoda’s best work, but the thing about Hosoda is his less-than-top-tier stuff is still really watchable and interesting. This variation on Beauty and the Beast leans on the aesthetic of the 1992 Disney while having only the most superficial resemblance to the story.

Speer Goes To Hollywood - Hollywood came a snail’s whisker close to rehabilitating Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer, if we can believe this documentary about the screen writer sent to interview him to gather material about the Holocaust. The conversations are reconstructed from existing tapes (which bothered some), but they allow us to see how seductive and persuasive Speer could be as he pushed the preposterous story that he was out getting Starbucks for everyone when genocide was being discussed.

Plan A - I would say this one isn’t that good a film, actually. But its POV is startling: It is based on the real story Jewish terrorists after the War plot to kill as many Germans as were killed in the Holocaust. But the movie doesn’t quite know what to do with its leads as they reverse viewpoints.

Crimes of the Future - Not Cronenberg’s best by a mile, but it was super cool to see him go back to his Canuxploitation roots and tell a neat (weird) little story. It’s also nice seeing Kristen Stewart act, which she can if she’s asked, apparently.

Mad God - WTF the movie!

Ninja Badass - This is a microbudgeted passion project for the director/star and it suffers from its constraints and also a little bit from being obsessed over during the pandemic. (The editing is super-tight, to where someone who hasn’t been working on it for a decade can have trouble following what’s going on.) But I loved the energy, the weirdness, the balls-out attitude. I hope this guy can make more movies and take less than a decade to do it.

Wild Men - Reflections on the emasculation of Scandinavian men which is itself somewhat timid, but affable movie in a world where the theory of “toxic masculinity” is gospel.

Cha Cha Real Smooth - A remarkably mature and rather sweet reflection on young adulthood that tells a story without pandering. A coming-of-age movie in an era where people don’t come-of-age until they’re practically middle-aged.

Hatching - Like many of the movies this year, this Finnish horror is one I wanted to watch again. I felt it was working on a bunch of different levels, while being true to its monster-movie self.

Marcel, The Shell With Shoes On - This could have (should have) failed in so many ways. And yet it doesn’t. It manages to be adorable and funny while also giving a sidelong look at darker material. It actually works really well as a metaphor for broken homes, but mostly because it works well on a literal level.

Maverick, Top Gun - This would have been an ordinary action film in any given year in the '80s, but for the fact that everyone has 30 years more of life under their belt, and it shows. Its wild popularity demonstrates a hunger which Hollywood is completely unable to fill. But it’s also way better than the original.

Horror movies generally had a strong year: People have mentioned Smile which is pretty by-the-numbers but good at what it’s trying to do, and Barbarian which is also pretty by-the-numbers (but on a picture that hasn’t been painted much lately) and also very good at what it’s trying to do. Black Phone…yeah, pretty by-the-numbers, but very good at that.

Nothin’ wrong with that. I like these horror subgenres and these were probably the movies I would recommend most broadly, because people know if they like horror or not. But there were a couple of standouts besides the aforementioned Hatching:

Pearl - I missed X. It didn’t really matter, AFAICT. Ty West an Mia Goth have taken a by-the-numbers tale and put a unique spin on it, and also put their chips full in on Goth’s acting chops, which are considerable. She’s a monster, but you love her.

Terrifier 2 - This was the big shock for me this year. It’s not the sort of movie that appeals to me, and it was the goriest movie Darcy The Mail Girl said she’d ever seen. But a couple of things happen right off the bat: The gore is tinged with such a fantastic element that it becomes its own kind of abstract art. The audience goes from shocked, to horrified, to amused, to entranced. And the third act positively transcends. It really shouldn’t work. I don’t know why it works, except for the conviction of the writer/director and the talents of Laura LaVey as the “Final Girl” (which are entirely different from Goth’s).

IDK, again, I can’t recommend it to people unreservedly, but I find myself thinking about it and wanting to see it again. $250,000 budget, crowdfunded. 2 hours and 20-freakin’-minutes long but you don’t feel it.

The Menu - black comedy that doesn’t trip over itself trying to be meaningful. Yes, it’s a skewering of rich jerks, but also yes, the antagonist is clearly insane and not some kind of crusader for social justice.

Triangle of Sadness - Another one that is satire aimed at the rich, but the director is quick to point out that those flaws of the rich are the same we all have, if only given the opportunity to express them.

The Banshees of Inisherin - Despair, the movie. An amazing film that is so completely godless and devoted to oblivion, I’d steer anyone who isn’t pretty freaking cheerful away from it.

The Runner - An Iranian boy survives in post-Revolutionary Iran. A simple tale that develops a character and lets you root for him. A story of poverty that doesn’t wallow in despair.

Holy Spider - Another Persian film which essentially takes the “serial killer murdering prostitute” trope to its most misogynist point: “and society approves!” Based on a true story.

Living - Subtle and beautiful and terribly English even if it’s based on a Kurosawa script. Nighy will probably win an Oscar.

The Koreans delivered again, as always. My favorite buddy cop movie of the year The Roundup 2; the best war movie, Hansan: Dragon Rising; the best disaster movie, Emergency Declaration (yeah, it’s ham-fisted, but that’s how all the best disaster movies are); the best sci-fi movie, *Alienoid; *the best noir, Decision To Leave, but it’s inverted noir, where all the sleaziness has somehow been removed and replaced with something finer.

The Broker - A Japanese director telling a Korean story of baby brokering. Kore-eda continues his lifelong journey exploring the nature and value of family. A young mother (with a dark history) goes on a road trip to sell her baby with a boy, young man and middle-aged man, all of whom reflect tne potential outcomes of her choice.

Koreans are better at pop cinema, I think, and now with The Broker, Decision To Leave, Parasite, etc., they’ve shown they’re better at making art films, too. That’s my controversial opinion of the—well, the past five years.

I did see a few on TV at the behest of my youngest, and I’ll second the praise for Weird. Also, not to be obvious, Season 13 of MST3K is a standout in my mind.


Wanted to watch this but Apple+ is just a dumb streaming site (why do I need 2 accounts, why do I keep logging on and yet it keeps telling me to log on, why do I need a third account to talk to someone at customer support… finally found an email, cancel and refund please) - Well, they found one way to get me back in the theater, if it’s an Apple film just go see it out in the wild and save the headache

This ones in my top 20

10 beyond the 10… Kimi, The House, The Sea Beast, Vengeance, On the Count of Three (dark, funny, tragic… Christopher Abbott was a standout), Hatching, Dual, Bardo, All Quiet on the Western Front, Barbarian

Marcel came in at #21


I watched half of this and really liked it but was watching it with my family stopped for the night and we never returned to it. Someday I’ll see it all.


I saw Cha Cha in the theater of course, but I’ve mentioned my experience with Apple TV. We had to call the credit card company to cancel, because Apple just flat out wouldn’t do it. And the credit card company said even putting a stop on the charge wouldn’t necessarily stop it, because Apple has all kinds of routes to getting other people’s money. I believe we just canceled the card.

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What a bunch of :poop: heads

If it comes to that, the cheap SOBs can have my 7 bucks, just cancel my account and I’ll wash my hands of them.

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Oh, this wasn’t even about getting money back. It was just “I no longer wish your services, please stop taking my money.”

Apple: “No.”


I’ll have to keep an eye on that. I cancelled it, see what happens now.



My Apple TV experience was when a friend of mine wanted to watch CODA and I spent a half hour jumping through hoops just to sign in. Then I was like “Is there an Android app?” and they were like “No, but there is for iPhone!” So i responded with a “Cancel after free trial.”

But of course I’m going to come crawling back when their MonsterVerse show debuts.


I fixed it.


I nabbed a copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary from 2033 while in my Hot Tub Time Machine yesterday and hey look, they updated the definition of “absurd” to:



  1. wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.

The word in use:

“Remember that absurd time like ten years ago when they nominated Top Gun: Maverick for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay?”








Top Gun and likely to a lesser extent Avatar are there to draw a TV audience for the awards show. Ratings for the Oscars (and most other big awards shows) have cratered in the last ten to fifteen years and many people speculate that it’s due in large part to the Academy nominating movies the general viewer has never heard of, never mind watched.