2022 was a pretty great year for films, with a huge amount of excellent releases in a wide variety of genres. For my top ten, these are the films that instantly come to mind when I look back over the last 12 months. There are some films that I reviewed very highly when they came out (some even higher than most that made it to the list) and I haven’t really thought about since so they don’t get a spot. Everything in this list has been living in my head rent free since I first saw them. In short these are the films that really left an impression on me.
Before we get to the actual list, I want to mention a few runner-ups. Most importantly, Bullet Train which is some of the most fun that I’ve ever had in the cinema. It’s one of those films that I felt was just made for me. I remember watching it and looking over at Tabby, who was clearly not enjoying it as much as I was, and just wondering if we were watching two different films. It just barely missed a place on the list, but it’s something that I would happily revisit at any point.
I loved Barbarian, and thought it was one of the best horror films of the year. I love how it blends horror and comedy together so well. Everything Jordan Peele has made has been amazing, and Nope was no exception to that. I’ve spent a fair bit of time reading theories about the film. Causeway is absolutely brilliant, a really grounded drama that’s genuinely moving. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is fantastic, and one of my favourites for this year and one that I will watch again. I saw this in the cinema and there were so many people crying at the end. It works so well. Studio 666 is a film that I didn’t know I needed, but I really did. Just a lot of fun.
Now onto the top ten:
10. Apollo 10 1⁄2: A Space Age Childhood
Before this film I hadn’t seen many Richard Linklater films, and I watched it purely because it was a new film on Netflix. I’m so glad I did, as I absolutely loved it. It’s such a great understated film about growing up and childhood. It has a really nice nostalgic tone, some funny moments and it really clicked with me. I also ended up watching more Linklater films because of this, and will hopefully watch even more this year.
9. The Whale
I’ve been a massive fan of Brendan Fraser since I was a child and eagerly awaited The Whale since it was first announced. It didn’t disappoint and I believe this is the best performance from Fraser ever. It’s also something that I think gets better after you’ve seen it, as the little clips that I’ve seen since watching the film have been even more emotional than the film itself. Technically this wasn’t fully released in the UK in 2022, but it was shown at the London Film Festival, which is where I saw it, which is why it’s in this list. I’m planning to see it again when it’s in cinemas, so maybe it’ll be in next year’s list as well.
8. The Northman
Robert Eggers is one of my favourite directors, and I think this is his strongest film to date. I absolutely loved it and as we walked out of the cinema I wanted to go back to see it again. It’s brilliant from start to finish. There’s a hypnotic quality about it, and the action is top quality.
I saw a trailer for X before something else at the cinema and I just knew this was going to be something I’d love and I wasn’t wrong. A throwback to films like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and definitely one of the best horror films of the year by far. I haven’t seen the prequel, Pearl, yet as it hasn’t been released in the UK but will be seeing that as soon as possible. The trailer for Pearl looked even better than this.
6. Scream (5)
One of the few films I saw twice at the cinema this year. I love the Scream series. It’s a yearly tradition for me to watch the original on Halloween and I’ve loved each sequel as well. I think this was a really strong entry to the franchise, even though it has one of the most horrible moments in the series to date. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m on about. I’m cautiously looking forward to Scream 6, but I’m a little disappointed that Neve Campbell isn’t going to be in it. Seems a real shame to have a Scream film without Sidney. Still, this one is a really good slasher and one that I’m sure I’ll watch over and over again.
5. White Noise
Bizarre and uncanny is how I’d describe White Noise, the latest film from Noah Baumbach. An adaptation of Don DeLillo’s book (which I also read last year and really enjoyed). I think it captures the book perfectly and I really loved this one. It’s available on Netflix, and while I don’t think it’ll be for everyone it’s definitely worth a watch. It’s funny, morbid, and more than a little bit strange. Baumbach is one of my favourite writers/directors. There’s also a scene in this film where two professors lecture about Hitler and Elvis at the same time, overlapping each other and making comparisons between the two. It’s my favourite scene in the book, and even better on the screen. The dance sequence over the credits at the end is also really good.
An adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru, which in turn is an adaptation of the Russian book The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy. A really sweet film about life, and how it’s never to late to find enjoyment and make a difference. I found this to be very emotional and life affirming. Bill Nighy is brilliant in it. Definitely a must watch.
3. The Wonder
Pure magic from start to finish that had me absolutely transfixed on the screen for the entire runtime. I didn’t know what to expect from this one, other than Florence Pugh was in it, and I thought it was absolutely stunning. A film that has really stayed with me and I have gone over it in my mind time and time again.
2. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
For most of the year this was number 1 for 2022. It was released on 1st January 2022 in the UK and when we went to see it, I wasn’t expecting much. To me this was an emotional gut punch, and the only time I’ve cried in the cinema to date. It’s a tragic true story about the artist Louis Wain and one that’s told in a magical way.
1. The Banshees of Inisherin
Without a doubt The Banshees of Inisherin is my top film of 2022. It’s pure brilliance. When I saw the trailer I thought I was going to be watching a silly film about a broken down friendship, but it’s so much more than that. Colin Farrell is absolutely amazing (I watched After Yang a few days after this and he’s amazing in that as well) and I think he’s going to win the Oscar for this performance. Deeply moving and wickedly funny. It’s also available on Disney Plus, so if you have a subscription (or an unused free trial), and you haven’t seen it, then watch it.
Those are my favourite films of 2022, what about you? What’s your films of the year? Let me know in the comments below!
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