My Ten Favorite Films Of 2022- With Surprising Choices And BIG Omissions!

It’s GREAT To Be Back At The Movies!

After the last few years, we are all still re-acclimating ourselves to the theatrical moviegoing experience and for me, it was a welcome return!

It’s time to share my favorite films of 2022 – and a warning, a few acclaimed movies are on my “turkey” list!

First, let me lead with three films that I didn’t like AT ALL: “Avatar: The Way of Water”, “The Fablelmans” and ESPECIALLY “The Banshees Of Inisherin”.

I just wasn’t in the mood for 3 hours of blue sci-fi, no matter how beautifully executed – and I tend to HATE movies where an Artist tells us how brilliant they were growing up and how tough their formative years were because of bullies….and as for “Banshees”….the point was what exactly??????????

Well, I liked the donkey at least….now for the positive stuff: first, here are two VERY honorable mentions to my list:

“See How They Run” is a really fun “whodunnit” based around Agatha Christie’s stage play “The Mousetrap” – with the hilariously deadpan performance of Saoirse Ronan, and a terrific cast!

“Emily The Criminal” starring the always fascinating Aubrey Plaza is also a terrific film – a tight, twisty little thriller – and she is mesmerizing in every frame of the film!

Now, time for the reveal: first, here are the posters for 9 of my favorite films of 2022:

I withheld the image of my favorite film of the year,so let’s get started with these 2022 cinematic gems, in descending order:

#10: Glass Onion

Well, what a pleasant surprise! I actually didn’t really enjoy “Knives Out”, so this terrific, twisty murder mystery was a pure joy to watch!

Here is the trailer:

A Billionaire invites his closest friends over to play a game: figure out who murdered him!

From that simple setup, a really fun mystery unfolds!

The cast is terrific, but this shot, and the setup to the movie, immediately brought this to mind:

Director Rian Johnson MUST know the brilliant 70’s whodunnit “The Last Of Sheila”, especially since the way both casts arrive for their weekend retreats is identical in both films!

If you haven’t seen this one – correct that now. Ready for this? It was written by acclaimed Composer Stephen Sondheim and Anthony “Psycho” Perkins!

Click here for more about one of my 5 favorite films of all time:

Next up, another ensemble cast that is riveting, although the subject matter is much more difficult to watch:

#9: Women Talking

First of all, bravo to Director Sarah Polley for this riveting look at a religious community where the women fight back after being sexually abused by the men in the community.

The entire cast is mesmerizing – the film is based on a true story that was fictionalized by author Miriam Toews in her novel. You see, the Author was born in a Mennonite community in Canada; she left when she turned 18.

“I felt I had an obligation to write down hope for change for Mennonite girls and women,” Toews said.

Here is the trailer:

The film is a beautiful work of art, brutal yet empowering…next up is a delicious dark comedy with another great ensemble cast:

#8: The Menu

An acclaimed Chef invites a very specific group to his restaurant for a night of culinary exploration – and much much more!

This is a deliciously wicked satire of gastronomy – click here to see the trailer and more about the film:

Some of you know that I am a HUGE fan of 70’s cinema, so this next film delivered everything that makes that decade so great:

#7: X

This homage to 70’s cinema is the story of a small film crew that heads to the country to make an X-rated film…but choose the wrong location with shocking results!

Here is the trailer:

“X” has a gritty, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” feel, but is much more…really worth a watch – bravo to Director Ti West and the entire cast!

Next up is simply the most compelling onscreen performances of the year:

#6: Tar

Cate Blanchett will win Best Actress for her role here – it’s a foregone conclusion, because this is a stunning performance!

Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, the first female Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The film plays like a bio-pic, as Tar juggles personal and professional complications that grew increasingly serious. Lots of people think this is based on a true story but bravo to Director Todd Field for pulling off this riveting story

Here is the trailer:

You simply won’t see a more compelling performance this year.

Well, believe it or not, this one is close!

#5: The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

One of the best “return to the spotlight” moments of 2022 came when Nicolas Cage starred as Nicolas Cage, an Actor whose best days are behind him, so he accepts an invitation to attend a birthday party – for the money!

The actor’s willingness to play himself this way pays off in a insightful, brave and very funny action-packed return to form – click here to see the trailer and more!

As a prelude to my next film, I want to mention that I interviewed Director Bar Luhrmann at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992 for his film debut:

Since then I’ve enjoyed all of his movies – he’s a terrific, amazingly creative filmmaker and this year was no exception:

#4: Elvis

Big, bold, brash, colorful and energetic, this look at the life of Elvis Presley is Hollywood filmmaking at its best!

One of the things I’ve realized about my list is that I was drawn to big and brash films in 2022 – and this is a great movie in all of those ways – click here to see the trailer:

The film is set to be nominated for multiple Academy Awards, but such sad news has overshadowed its awards run:

Just days after the Golden Globe Awards, daughter Lisa Marie Presley died suddenly at the age of 54…shocking news for fans…here is a look at her life:

Again…Lisa Marie’s tragic death will cast a pall over the ilm this awards season…but the film did resonate worldwide as the love for Elvis and his music is as strong as ever…and speaking of big and brash, I NEVER expected to enjoy the next film as much as I did:

#3: Top Gun: Maverick

WOW. What a surprise! This exhilarating sequel delivers on action and emotion – Tom Cruise is riveting and the aerial sequences are spectacular…what a great thrill ride in a movie theater – here is the trailer:

As much as the “Top Gun” sequel reminded me of how Hollywood can really deliver audience-pleasing entertainment, this next film showed me just how imaginative and daring entertainment was in 2022:

#2: Everything Everywhere All At Once

How to even describe this incredible movie?

Michelle Yeoh gives a career-best performance in a film described this way:

“When an inter-dimensional rupture unravels reality, an unlikely hero must channel her newfound powers to fight bizarre and bewildering dangers from the multiverse as the fate of the world hangs in the balance.”

OK then!

Yes, Michelle Yeoh puts her martial art skills to good use, but her acting is superlative in a film that is more imaginative than anything else this year!

To see the trailer and see more of the cast, click here:

OK, time for my favorite film of the year….a movie that is the most polarizing film of 2022 – a film I literally flipped over:

The Best Film Of 2022: : Babylon!

Yes, the year’s most controversial film without a doubt: the story of Hollywood as “talkies” take over the movie industry :

The above poster highlights Margot Robbie, who gives a wildly uninhibited performance as a young Actress breaking into movies at a pivotal moment in film history…

And this poster highlights Brad Pitt, who is also terrific as a silent movie star coming to terms with the new world order in “Babylon”…it’s a bold vision of Hollywood – here is the trailer:

This is EPIC filmmaking….as wildly creative as anything else released – and here’s what you should know about those two scenes in the film that are causing so much controversy…they last less than a minute of screen time, and while I understand how divisive they are, they are all part of the Director’s vision – which pays off with a “2001” moment that is simply stunning…..

That’s my list and I’m very very happy with it – and, as Sue Ann Niven once said to a critical Mary Richards on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”:

“If it makes you feel better, go ahead and spew your filthy venom!”

Now, in case you care, this is my favorite film of all time:

Speaking of controversial, did you know the horse’s head was real?

That’s just one of the many fascinating things about this brilliant film – see them all here:

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https://johnrieber.com

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Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, Hollywood, Movies, Movies About Movies, Pop Culture, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities

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19 replies

  1. Hi John, this was a most entertaining read. I enjoyed reading your opinions on all of these movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your list, John. I loved Elvis and Top Gun Maverick. Did you not like Devotion?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t get to the movies much, but I managed to see one of the films on your good list and one of the honorable mentions (thankfully, none from the not-so-good). My wife and I saw Top Gun Maverick in the theater. I don’t watch Netflix much, but I caught Emily the Criminal a month ago. Both of those were good films.

    Like

  4. i was also surprised how much i enjoyed the new top gun, loved the nic cage movie and everything everywhere, want to see tar, babylon, emily, women talking, and glass onion. no desire to see banshees after numerous negative reports from movie friends of all kinds. strictly ballroom was great. btw, i only recently saw bullet train and absolutely loved it!

    Like

  5. You and I could not be more off on parts of this list. I thought “Babylon” was the WORST movie of the year. I also gave “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” two tries and couldn’t make it through. “Tár” got much better after the first, excruciating 15 minutes. “Elvis,” “The Menu,” and “The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent” were all so-so for me.

    But THANK YOU for pointing out that “The Banshees Of Inisherin” was NOT a good film. It was just a BAD story premise. I mean — WTF?

    I too liked “Emily the Criminal,” “Top Gun,” and “The Glass Onion.” And I did think “X” was interesting but not great. You’re list omits some of my real favorites: “The Wonder,” “Bones and All,” “The Whale” (possibly my single favorite), and yes, I really did like “The Fabelmans.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your POV, but we thought “The Whale” was dreadful…it was SO mean-spirited and the premise was ridiculous….but as your note and mine prove – we all have different reactions to cinema, that’s what makes it fun! You are also SO WRONG on “Everything Everywhere” – SO WRONG

      Like

      • Indeed! That’s what makes it fun. And I always enjoy reading your reviews. You and I will have to debate “The Whale” and “Babylon” offline. I didn’t find the former mean-spirited at all. I felt it was fearlessly honest to the specific characters. Yes, uncomfortable at times, but not at all mean spirited in its message or its treatment of the characters. Babylon — well, let’s discuss. And okay, I’ll give “Everything, Everywhere” one more try, but you may have to explain to me what all the hoopla is about.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have yet to watch any of these. I hated ‘Knives Out’, so ‘Glass Onion’ will never be on my list. ‘Strictly Ballroom’ is the only one of Baz’s films I like, I couldn’t stand any of the others. But ‘Babylon’ is the one that appeals to me, along with the Sandra Oh film. I will be looking to watch both of those. As for ‘Top Gun’, enough said… 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve seen only Glass Onion, Top Gun, and Everything Everywhere All At Once, and loved all three. Thanks for this list, I will look out for them!

    Like

  8. I’ve seen 2 of these… ‘Elvis’ and ‘The Godfather’. The latter is one of my favourites.

    Liked by 1 person

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