There have been no shortage of great movies to delight us at the cinemas and at home this year, including big theatrical events like Top Gun: Maverick and Nope, straight-to-streaming hits like Prey.
Even if there's still time left in the year, we've kept up this list of the ones that have enthralled us the most, from big action movies to small independent genre films. All of these are worthwhile to see.
The most recent releases are the first, so it will be easy to see the newest additions to this list. Well be updating this list throughout 2022. Well also be updating it for the best games, the best anime, the best books, and the best TV shows of 2022.
Prey, a recurring enjoyable sci-fi franchise, has dropped on Hulu for business reasons, becoming the platforms biggest success ever. As Comanche siblings in the Northern Great Plains who are stalked by the Predator, Prey relies heavily on Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers' stellar performances.
Naru is a young lady who wants to be a warrior despite the mockery of many young men in her tribe. It's the perfect conflict for the Predator to enter, as a creature whose only concern is confronting the most powerful foes he can find.
Prey, a tense, economical thriller directed by Dan Trachtenberg, is light on dialogue but high on excitement. Volk, Pete Volk
Prey is now available on Hulu.
Thirteen Lives, a film adaptation of the true story of the 2018 Thai cave rescue, is a perfect marriage of film and emotion. For instance, he really loves the inspirational stories from Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, and his superb sports drama Rush, and there are few more inspiring stories in recent memory than this one.
Thirteen Lives is an old-school thriller that avoids the traps of similar Hollywood adaptations by depicting the story as a journey of a select group of outsiders (in this cave, the eccentric specialty cave divers portrayed by Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell). The film isn't a hoax, because Howard and the crew designed a gigantic set to recreate the caves, and Mortensen and Farrell shot their own diving scenes.
Thirteen Lives is now available on Prime Video.
Jordan Peeles alien invasion movie has its flaws, particularly a leisurely pacing that detracts from the film's depth. Its a callback to an era when films could be more mysterious and unknowable, and horror leaned more directly on the individual and the unconscious.
Nope is currently in theaters.
Hustle, a love letter to basketball and one of the finest sports movies to be released in years, is a fantastic testament to Adam Sandlers abilities and his love for the sport.
Stanley Sugerman, a former college player who has coached the Philadelphia 76ers, is a father-like figure to him, who sees Stanleys potential as a basketball leader. The owner promotes Sugerman to assistant coach, a position where he can spend more time with his wife (Queen Latifah), and their young daughter. However, tragedy strikes Stanleys once again and he must discover a winning candidate for the franchise.
Bo Cruz, played by real-life NBA player Juancho Hernangomez, is the star of the film, which shines as it depicts Sugerman and Cruz's growing connection, and Hustle is a must-have for most sports movies with a terrific training sequence, featuring Sugerman repeatedly following Cruz up a hill with a vehicle.
The Hustles' performances are exceptional. Sandlers' centered, grounded portrayal of a man who loves what he does but prefers to get the job he was promised is another wonderful, complex role for one of our great modern actors, led by Hernangomez as the temperamental and talented Cruz and Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Anthony Edwards as his trash-talking opponent Kermit Wilts, is a fantastic addition to a long line of sports film heels.
The addition of real basketball players to the cast lends authenticity to the whole story, but especially in the scenes where the players actually play basketball. With thrilling basketball sequences that outperform most sports movies that attempt to recreate the kinetic qualities of live sports with non-athlete actors, the camera is free to roam as athletes do what they do best.
Hustle is now available on Netflix.
This delightful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice brings Jane Austen's famous tale to Fire Island, where he lives. Noah and his friends go to Fire Island every year for a week to vacation, but this year seems to be the last. Howie, Noah's best friend, has never been in a relationship, and Noah makes it his mission to get Howie laid this week.
Fire Island is the rare straight-to-streaming film that doesnt look like a cheap TV program, and director Andrew Ahn enjoys the beauty present in both the people and the scenery. Every member of the cast is funny, with Booster and Yang earning the praise theyve already received for their particular interpretations of these long-overdue roles. But for me, Ricamora has to bring out the humor and charm in his character from moments of self-seriousness.
On Hulu, Fire Island is available for viewing.
Top Gun: Maverick
It's not something movie fans say or hear often, but it's true in the case of Top Gun: Maverick, a 36-year-later check-in on the spectacular 1986 action film that gave Tom Cruise the desire for speed. Cruise is back as Pete Maverick Mitchell, the Navy test pilot who continues to live up to his name by breaking rules, defying superiors, and charting his own course.
Maverick avoids the testosterone-scented smugness of Top Gun to think about the cost of his life: namely, reaching a point at which a fed-up military is willing to throw Mav out of the air, and he has to teach a group of young fliers, some of whom are as cocky and off-putting as he used to be.
Maverick, the sequel to Top Gun, is currently in cinemas.
Hanna Bergholms first feature film is a shocker, partly about living an anonymous life online, partly about adolescent growing pains, and partly about challenging family relationships, but with all of those ideas filtered through the body of a hideous, murderous monster, which is both heavily symbolic and eerie.
On Hulu, hatching is available for viewing.
The Northman is a perfect example of how Vikings and revenge go together. Using the same Norse myth that inspired Shakespeare's Hamlet, director Robert Eggers (The VVitch, The Lighthouse) has created a historical epic of the sort we seldom see anymore.
The Northman is a brutal thriller, but among Amleth's epic battles and lava-soaked duals, there's a surprising heart and humanity that give the character more compelling motivation than most revenge films. Eggers brings this harmony to every scene, whether it's the beauty and harshness of the Icelandic landscape, or the more operatic side of Norse cosmology, The Northman is about as close as any film has come to bringing the fantasy of myths to a live-action film
Peacock is available to watch via the Northman.
Were All Going to the Worlds Fair
Jane Schoenbrun, a writer-director, has created something truly extraordinary: a coming-of-age horror film for those who grew up too online. Were All Going to the Worlds Fair conveys both the thrill and the fear of meeting others online who assume you are.
Casey, an internet-obsessed lonely teenager (Anna Cobb, who made an unforgettable feature film debut), stumbles across The Worlds Fair Challenge, a horror-themed online challenge that rewards those who participate in the challenge, opening the door to new experiences (and spectators) in her physical and virtual lives.
Were All Going to the Worlds Fair is a frightening, immersive internet horror experience that is at once new and familiar to those who have visited these remote corners of the internet. Schoenbruns feature debut is one to remember, and theyre a filmmaker to keep an eye on as new projects emerge. PV
Were All Going to the Worlds Fair is available to watch for free on Hoopla or for digital rental on Amazon and Apple.
Two brothers who steal an ambulance after a failed bank heist and lead the Los Angeles Police Department on a wild chase across the city are played by Yahya Abdhul Matteen II, who brings a sympathetic presence to the high-stakes chase, and Jake Gyllenhaal at his unhinged best. It's Michael Bay, the show's action director.
Ambulance is Michael Bay's best-ever film after ten years in the dark dungeons of Transformers sequels, but with the same flair for new technologies that he has shown in more recent films like 13 Hours. Drone cameras take you on a 2-hour car chase, hand-held photographs provide an up-close look at panicked amateur surgeons, and every explosion is breathtaking.
Peacock can be seen with an ambulance.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's tongue-in-cheek 2016 indie film Everywhere All At Once, which completely lives up to its name, is a wild, winning multiverse comedy kung-fu epic about a depressed laundry owner (Michelle Yeoh) who is called on to save billions of alternate realities from evil.
This is the only movie youll see this year (or likely ever) where one man gets beaten to death with gigantic floppy dildos while another transforms the world with the Kurt Vonnegut-inspired message Be kinder to each other. TR
On VOD platforms, Everything Everywhere All At Once is available for digital rental or purchase.
You Wont Be Alone
You Wont Be Alone, a folkloric tone poem that honors villagers who have disappeared and the film's protagonist who has replaced them, drifts into a dreamy Terrance Malick-esque rumination on gender, community, and memory. Joshua Rivera, a writer and filmmaker, has written about many people's stories and people who have died.
On Peacock, You Wont Be Alone.
The greatest, most loud, and most bombastic movie to come out this year is RRR. The film follows two Indian men on opposite sides of the countrys British occupation in the 1950s or so they believe. Both acting on parallel secret missions, the two men eventually bond over their courage and strength, forming a friendship that would liberate the whole country.
RRR is packed with incredible dance sequences, as well as some incredible stunts, including quite a few battles against various creatures from the Indian jungles. But it's also an extremely harrowing movie that doesn't require much cynicism at all.
The Hindi dub is available on Zee5 and Netflix.
The new slasher X is the greatest Texas Chainsaw Massacre film of 2022. Set in 1979, writer-director Ti Wests loves homage to all things exploitation cinema follows a porno director and his cast as they travel to a small farm in Texas to shoot their next film. Unfortunately, the farms owners dont approve one bit of the filmmakers' immoral ways, and that results in a lot of blood and tears. Every minute of it is a film-grainy old-school blast.
On Amazon and Apple, X is available for digital rental.
The Long Walk
Mattie Do, Laos' first and only female film director, develops ghost stories: films in which characters meet the dead and learn from them, but pay a price for their knowledge. In The Long Walk, a genre mashup that's both deeply connected with the deceased's desires and allows for living people's desires, some of the themes she's featured in include.
The Long Walk, a Lao hermit living in a tech-oriented future, goes 50 years back and intervenes in events from his own traumatic childhood, with the help of the ghost of a woman who died in a nearby forest when he was a kid. These are bold, striking elements that seem to not quite fit together, but are beautifully constructed in a manner that slowly unfolds towards an emotional conclusion that connects all of its genres, timelines, and threads together in a surprising, remarkable
The Long Walk is available to watch on Shudder, for free with ads on Tubi, or for free with a library card on Hoopla.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Jujutsu Kaisen 0, a feature-length adaptation of the anime directed by returning director Sunghoo Park, has quickly earned its place among the best anime series to air in 2020 and 2021. Following the anime's protagonist Yuta Okkotsu, Yuta is taken under the wings of Jujutsu sorcer Satoru Gojo, who instructs Yuta how to harness his supernatural abilities, and terrifying hulking enemies.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a fun, relatable character that goes along with Yuji's personal journey, despite the fact that the film does not require prior knowledge of the series it excludes. It is, nonetheless, a must-see film that merits inclusion among the best animated films of 2022.
Jujutsu Kaisen Zero is currently in cinemas.
Pixars Turning Red revisits the turbulent years of early childhood without flinching, and with astonishing amount of love. Domee Shi, who directed 2018s Pixar short Bao, makes her theatrical debut with this one-of-a-kind film that encapsulates quirky magic, cultural specificity, and, most importantly, an absolute love for young girlhood in all its messiness.
When Mei, a 13-year-old girl, is overwhelmed by intense emotion, a trait that all family members have been burdened with since ancient times. Mei struggles to control the panda, but she also begins to discover her own identity outside of her family, and to embrace that side of herself in all of her life. It's one of Pixar's finest and most unique films.
On Disney Plus, Turning Red is now available for viewing.
The Dark Knight reboot by Matt Reeves isnt as bold as it might be, but it certainly is stylish. A long, slow-burning mystery inspired by David Finchers Seven, The Batman infuses a familiar narrative with darkly beautiful imagery and moving performances from actors Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz, laying the groundwork for a deeper, stranger kind of Batman film, which will hopefully come to life as a sequel reuniting all those who made this one such a pleasure to
On HBO Max, the Batman is available to watch.
After Yang, the latest film from Columbus filmmaker Kogonada, is a melancholy science fiction film that combines the question of how should we think about artificial life with the more fascinating question about how should it think about us. The family goes through exactly what theyd experience at the death of any family member, with the added question of how his death impacts their lives and relationships. TR
Showtime has released After Yang.
I Was a Simple Man
As the elderly patriarch of a fragmented family (Steve Iwamoto, excellent in his first lead feature role) nears the end of his life, relatives return, too squabbles and fights between long-deceased relatives, and historical conflicts around Hawaiis statehood.
I Was A Simple Man is a moving documentary that follows us on a journey across time periods and with surrealism and dream aesthetics that evoke memories. It was nominated for a Best Picture at the 2021 Hawaii International Film Festival, based in Hawaii.
On the Criterion Channel, I Was A Simple Man is available for viewing.
Cyrano de Bergerac, played by Edmond Rostands in Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, has been adapted for film many times in many ways, including as the current-day Steve Martin/Daryl Hannah action drama Samurai Saga in 1959. However, Cyrano is reluctant to reveal himself until she meets him, mostly because he knows him.
Joe Wright's production is lush and glowing, with a soft visual warmth provided by Seamus McGarvey, the cinematographer for his Atonement and Anna Karenina, among other titles. He still feels as though he was created to portray this slain, passionate swashbuckler, and the central trio all deliver terrific performances that make this an authentic tearjerker. Don't watch this right after a breakup, or after someone you've secretly desired marryes someone else.
Cyrano is available for rent on Google Play, Amazon, Vudu, and Apple.
Izzy, a youngster who lives alone in the woods with her mother, claims she has a debilitating illness and that she cannot be around other people. That isnt quite true. The film works as a movie both about the challenges of adolescence and about the inherent fear of raising a child.
Hellbender, a film by a family that produces, directs, and stars in the film, is an early contender for the most visually stunning horror film in 2022, using forests, as well as the movie's many mystic visions, for both tranquil beauty and terrifying terror, seamlessly substituting between the two to match their characters' fears and discoveries.
On Shudder, Hellbender is available to watch.
Kimi, Steven Soderbergh's tech-crime thriller, goes through the world like she's tapped directly into a power cable, and is eager to burn off all of the excess energy. Unlike Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window by way of Francis Ford Coppolas The Conversation and Brian De Palmas Blow Out, Kimi follows a Seattle tech worker who discovers evidence of a crime and draws some deadly attention when she attempts to report it. It's not deep, but it
Kimi is now available on HBO Max.
A former student accused Farhadi of pinning the concept of A Hero.)
Asghar Farhadi, an Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker, returns with another stunning, nuanced portrait of a man in a state of crisis. Amir Jadidi is phenomenal as Rahim, a charming man who simply cannot seem to put his life together, no matter how much his friends and family love him. After his girlfriend discovers an abandoned handbag with gold coins inside, Rahim contemplates using the money to pay off his debt while out on a brief leave from debtors prison.
A Hero is a moving, provocative story about the difficulties of attempting to do the right thing in an unjust world. Even the truth about your own actions and motivations can be difficult to sort through. And if you do discover it, is it actually for navigating the world?
On Prime Video, you can watch A Hero.
Mamoru Hosadas Belle, the animated musical adaptation of Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and Mirai, takes the classic tale into a virtual reality wonderland where everyone's digital avatars reflect their innermost selves. She becomes obsessed with a powerful, monstrous beast who has been locked up for years.
This is a dizzying tale that sometimes overreaches Hosada. Everything from the addictive but harmful nature of internet life to the importance of individual human connection are explored, and there are so many threads (and romances, and secrets) that arent all fully fleshed out. But it at least seems determined to bring a familiar tale to a new, brighter, more ambitious stage.
Belle is now available on HBO Max.