David’s TOP 10 + 2 MOVIES FOR 2022 (plus more!)
Every year I aim to publish my “Best of” list before the Oscar nominations are announced. This year I failed … but it’s still January (barely!). The reasoning behind this goal is that I don’t want anyone to think I’ve been influenced by the nominations, as I pride myself on having a diverse taste for a wide variety of movies. Budget or box office revenue has no bearing on whether I appreciate or enjoy a particular movie, and I’m guessing most of you feel the same way. Movie lovers know if a movie, story, or character strikes a nerve, inspires thought, or thoroughly entertains. It’s those special moments we anxiously await.
This year’s list is a “Top 12” rather than a Top 10, as that’s where the break occurred for me. There was my favorite film of the year, followed by 11 others that came in at the level below that. I simply couldn’t find a way to cut two films from the list, so you get a dozen! As an added bonus, I’ve included my annual “Best of the Rest” category, plus some recommended documentaries, and categories for ‘Most Surprising’, ‘Strangest’, and ‘Most Disappointing.’ As a member of the DFW Film Critics Association, these are the films I’ve singled out from the 216 movies I watched and reviewed last year.
Fully understanding that every movie lover has their own tastes, my hope is that you will discover at least one on the list that might have otherwise gone overlooked. Feel free to comment with your own favorites or any opinions of those listed below.
Annual Reminder: As always, this list has nothing to do with predictions for Academy Awards or any other awards. It’s simply my list of favorite movies of the year, and I hope you find at least a few that interest you.
**NOTE: you may click on the film title to go directly to my full review
TOP 12 MOVIES OF THE YEAR
This was easily my favorite movie of the year, with a terrific script from Martin McDonagh and his brilliant move to reunite his IN BRUGES co-stars Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, while adding Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, and Jenny the pet donkey.
A complex dramatic gem from South Korea
Do nothing. Stay and fight. Leave. Women find their voice.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO
Spectacular visual interpretation of the classic
For fans, old and new. Baz takes care of business.
Cate Blanchett in a ferocious turn as a conductor.
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
Zany fun with martial arts, hot dog fingers, a laundromat, and the IRS
a sweet look at being nice
Sequel to the classic, 35 years later. Thrilling photography and sound.
Spielberg’s look back at his own childhood
bittersweet look back at a summer vacation with dad
sequel with stunning and beautiful underwater effects
BEST OF THE REST:
a rarity these days – a decent horror film
BARDO: FALSE CHRONICLE OF A HANDFUL OF TRUTHS
semi-autobiographical film from Oscar winner Alejandro Inarritu
Aubrey Plaza in her first thriller
Olivia Colman discovers the magic of movies
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
a whodunnit sequel that’s almost as fun as the first one
Bill Nighy shines in the 1950’s London bureaucracy
MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON
offbeat feature inspired by the popular video shorts
creepy A24 likely to confound you
fashion charmer with the charming Leslie Manville
the lead up to a true tragedy
satire from Spain with Cruz and Banderas
the brutal adventure of a savage Viking prince
quiet crime drama with Mark Rylance as an expert cutter
stunning performance from Brendan Fraser
thrilling true cavern rescue story
searing tale of a woman who just can’t get it together
new Christmas favorite with much violence and many laughs
chaos straight from the novel
good amongst the bad in Delhi
a look at Nolan Ryan’s success
GABBY GIFFORDS WON’T BACK DOWN
this tough woman continues fighting
the Mars Rover team
HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG
a poet’s poem
Ella is a remarkable 98 year old
LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BLACK AND BLUE
the ultimate partnership
TURN EVERY PAGE: THE ADVENURES OF ROBERT CARO AND ROBERT GOTTLIEB
a 50 year battle between writer and editor
BABYLON (Justin Hurwitz)
THE BATMAN (Michael Giacchino)
MOST SURPRISING MOVIES OF THE YEAR:
Adam Sandler captures the desperation of a basketball scout
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
immensely entertaining film with/for/about Nicolas Cage
you aren’t paranoid if they’re watching you
STRANGEST MOVIES OF THE YEAR:
easily the strangest film of the year – thanks to Cronenberg
Jim Gaffigan builds a rocket in this fun one from SXSW
sci-fi mystery from Jordan Peele
strange but true
creepy Norwegian kids
creating a Macedonian witch
MOST DISAPPOINTING MOVIES OF THE YEAR:
when everything is in place, yet nothing works
Pixar’s own standard prevents liftoff
a movie devoid of wit and cleverness
Hope to see you at the movies!