There have been no shortage of fantastic films to delight us at the theaters and at home this year, including big theatrical events like Top Gun: Maverick and Nope, straight-to-streaming sensations like Prey.
So, even though there is still plenty of time left in the year, weve been keeping this list of the movies that have captivated us the most, from big action movies to small indie genre films. All of these are worthwhile viewing.
The most recent releases are the first, so it's easy to see the newest additions to this list. Well be updating it 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 fun sci-fi franchise that was dropped on Hulu due to business reasons, quickly became the platform's biggest success ever. As Comanche siblings in the Northern Great Plains who are pursued by the Predator, Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers shine as stars.
Naru is a young woman who wants to prove herself as a warrior, despite the ridicule of many young men in her tribe. Its the perfect confrontation for the Predator to enter, as a creature whose only concern is confronting the most dangerous foes he can find.
Prey, a tense, economical thriller from Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane, is light on dialogue but high on adrenaline. 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 match between filmmaker and material. For example, Ron Howard loves inspirational stories like 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, an old-school thriller, avoids the trap of similar Hollywood adaptations by focusing on a journey of a select group of outsider heroes (in this cave, the eccentric specialty cave divers portrayed by Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell). The film does not neglect the fact that the story was created by local villagers and other volunteers from around the world.
Thirteen Lives is now available on Prime Video.
Jordan Peele's alien invasion film has its flaws, especially a leisurely pace that undercuts the film's tension. It's a callback to an earlier era when films were permitted to be more mysterious and more unknowable, and horror was more readily understood as an analysis of fame, response to tragedy, and many other things. Tasha Robinson is a well-known actress.
Nope is currently in cinemas.
Hustle, a love letter to basketball and one of the finest sports films released in years, is a superb testament to Adam Sandlers abilities and his love for the sport.
Stanley Sugerman, a former college athlete who is now a veteran NBA scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, has a close connection with the owner (Robert Duvall), a father-like figure to Sugerman who believes that Stanley is valuable as a basketball expert. 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, when tragedy strikes, Stanley must
Bo Cruz, played by real-life NBA player Juancho Hernangomez, is the star of the film, which shines as it depicts Sugerman and Cruzs developing a close bond, and Hustle is a must-have for most sports films with a fantastic training sequence featuring Sugerman repeatedly following Cruz up a hill with a vehicle.
The Hustles' performances are truly outstanding. Sandlers' centered, grounded portrayal of a guy who loves what he does but who prefers to get the job he was promised is another terrific, layered role for one of our great modern actors, led by Hernangomez as the temperamental and gifted Cruz and Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards as his trash-talking opponent Kermit Wilts, a wonderful addition to a long line of sports movies.
PVD's use of real basketball players for leading and minor roles gives authenticity to the whole film, but particularly in the scenes where the players actually play basketball. Athletes do what they do best, with thrilling basketball sequences that outweigh most sports films that attempt to recreate the kinetic effect of live sports with non-athlete actors.
Hustle is now available on Netflix.
The delightful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice brings Jane Austen's classic story to Fire Island, where they spend the holidays for a week. Noah and his friends go to Fire Island every year for a week, but this year appears to be the last. Howie (playing the Jane Bennet role in this), has never been in a relationship, and Noah makes it his goal to get Howie laid this week.
Fire Island is the rare straight-to-streaming film that doesnt look like a cheap TV show, and its director Andrew Ahn loves the beauty in both the people and the scenery. Every member of the cast is funny, with Booster and Yang receiving the awards theyve already received for their particular takes on these long-explored roles. For me, Conrad Ricamora as the Mr. Darcy of this world steals the show.
Fire Island is now available on Hulu for viewing.
Top Gun: Maverick
The sequel to Top Gun: Maverick was far superior to the original, although it isn't something that movie fans talk about often. Tom Cruise is back as Pete Maverick Mitchell, a Navy test pilot who constantly follows his lead by breaking regulations, defying superiors, and charting his own course.
Top Gun: Maverick takes a step beyond Top Gun's testosterone-scented smugness to consider the cost of his life as a pilot: namely, he has to teach a class of out-and-coming fliers, some of whom are as cocky and out-of-character as he used to be.
Maverick, Top Gun, is currently in theaters.
Hanna Bergholm's debut feature film is a shocker, partly about living a fake life online for an anonymous audience, partly about adolescent growing pains, and partly about tense family relationships, but all of these ideas are filtered through the body of a hideous, murderous monster. The story is heavily symbolic, but its also visceral and messy, with a Lucasfilm animatronics expert and one of the makeup team behind Heath Ledgers'
On Hulu, hatching is available for viewing.
The Northman is a great example of how Vikings and revenge coexist, as they do. The film follows Amleth (Alexander Skarsgaard) as he seeks revenge for his uncle, who murdered his father and usurped his throne.
The Northman is a brutal film, but amid Amleth's epic battles and lava-soaked duals, there's a surprising sense of humanity that gives the character more compelling motivation than most revenge films can offer. Whether it's the beauty and harshness of the Icelandic landscape or the more operatic side of Norse cosmology, Eggers brings the narrative's fantasy of myths to a live-action film.
Peacock is available for viewing. The Northman
Were All Going to the Worlds Fair
Were All Going to the Worlds Fair is a coming-of-age horror film for a generation that grew up online. Both the joy and fear of meeting new people on the internet
Casey, an internet-obsessed lonely teenager (Anna Cobb, who made an unforgettable feature film debut), stumbles upon The Worlds Fair Challenge, a horror-themed online challenge that rewards those who participate in it, opening the way to new experiences (and spectators) in her physical and virtual world.
Were All Going to the Worlds Fair is a haunting, 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 and available for digital rental on Amazon and Apple.
Ambulance follows two brothers who steal an ambulance after a failed bank heist and lead the Los Angeles Police Department on a chase across the city, all with a couple of accidental hostages in the back. But it's Michael Bay, the show's action director extraordinaire.
Ambulance is Michael Bay's finest film after ten years in the dark dungeons of Transformers sequels, combined with his more recent works, like 13 Hours. Drone cameras take us up close and personal with every explosion, and every explosion is breathtaking. Does every second of the story make any sense and conform to reality? No, it certainly does not.
Peacock's welfare is available through a firefighter.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's tongue-in-cheek 2016 indie film Everything Everywhere All At Once, which plays a vomiting, dying corpse, may be surprised by the sheer scope, scope, and scope of the filmmaker-directors' new film, which lives up to its title. It's a wild, winning multiverse comedy slash kung-fu epic about a depressed laundry owner (Michelle Yeoh) who's called on to save billions of alternate universe
This is the only movie youll see this year (or probably ever) where one guy is beaten to death with oversized floppy dildos, while another changes the world with the Kurt Vonnegut-inspired message Be kind 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 about a young witch who transforms herself to live among humans in a small village, drifts into a dreamy Terrance Malick-esque rumination on gender, community, and memory.
You Wont Be Aloneis available to watch on Peacock.
The most anticipated, loudest, and bombastic film to be released this year in theaters. The film follows two Indian men on opposite sides of the countrys British occupation in the 1950s or so they believe. Both men eventually bond over their bravery and strength, forming a friendship that would liberate the whole country.
RRR is packed with fantastic dance sequences, as well as incredible stunts, including more than a few battles against various creatures from the Indian jungles. However, it's also an extremely heartfelt film that does not contain a drop of cynicism.
The Hindi dub is available on Zee5, and the Hindi version is available on Netflix.
The new slasher X is the best 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 journey to a small farm in Texas to shoot their next film, which results in a lot of blood and guts. Theres sex, murder, and almost every minute of it is a film-grainy old-school blast.
On Amazon and Apple, X is available for digital leasing.
The Long Walk
Mattie Do, Laos' first and only female film director, creates ghost stories: films in which characters interact with the deceased and learn from them, but pay a price for that knowledge. In The Long Walk, a genre mashup that's part time-travel story and part serial-killer story, some themes continue to develop, while still being deeply involved with the spirits of the dead.
The Long Walk, a Lao hermit living in a tech-oriented future, periodically travels 50 years into the past and intervenes in events in his own terrible childhood, with the help of the ghost of a woman who died in the nearby forest when he was a kid.
The Long Walk is available for free on Shudder, for free with ads on Tubi, or for free with a library card on Hoopla.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0
Jujutsu Kaisen, a supernatural dark fantasy action manga by Gege Akutami, has quickly earned its place among the best anime series to air in 2020 and 2021. Yutsu Kaisen 0 is the follow-up to the anime's series which will star returning director Sunghoo Park in 2020 and 2021.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is a fun animated film that shares many similarities with Yuji's personal journey, making for a relatable protagonist who is easy to relate to and root for. The film as a whole is a prequel that benefits from prior knowledge of the series it precludes, but it is nonetheless an enjoyable experience that deserves to be included among the best animated films to come out in 2022.
Jujutsu Kaisen Zero is currently in theaters.
Pixars Turning Red revisits the agony of early childhood without hesitation and with a surprising amount of love. Domee Shi, who directed 2018's Pixar film Bao, makes her theatrical debut with this unique story that encapsulates quirky humor, cultural specificity, and, most importantly, an absolute desire for young girlhood in all its messy glory.
When Mei, a thirteen-year-old girl discovers that she has become a giant red panda when she is overwhelmed by strong emotion, which all the women in her family have been burdened with since ancient times. Mei also begins to develop her own identity outside of her family, and to embrace that part of herself. Turning Red is one of Pixar's finest and most original films.
Turning Red is now available on Disney Plus.
The Knight's Remake by Matt Reeves isn't as bold as it might be, but it's certainly stylish. A long, slow-burning mystery in the vein of David Finchers Seven, The Batman infuses a familiar story with darkly beautiful imagery and magnetic performances from actors Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz, laying exciting foundations for a richer, stranger sort of Batman film, which will hopefully happen as a sequel reuniting everyone who made this one such
HBO Max has the Batman available to watch.
After Yang, a melancholy science fiction picture starring Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith plays adoptive parents raising a young Chinese girl, with a technosapien, an android who is programmed to teach her language and culture, and the additional question of how their deaths inform their lives and relationships. TR
On Showtime, After Yang is available to watch.
I Was a Simple Man
This ghost story from AkikosChristopher Makoto Yogi is transformed into a slow-burn meditation on death, memory, and what lives on after we leave. As he retires from his long-deceased wife (Steve Iwamoto), family and past influences return, too squabbles and conflicts arise around Hawaiis statehood.
I Was A Simple Man is a moving portrait of Hawaii's landscapes and rich textures that has won the Made in Hawaii Award for Best Feature at the 2021 Hawaii International Film Festival. Pete Volk has captured the final days of one life on Earth.
On the Criterion Channel, I Was A Simple Man is available to watch.
Cyrano de Bergerac, a French soldier and poet who fell in love with Roxanne in 1987, has been adapted for film many times in many ways, including as the Toshiro Mifune action drama Samurai Saga in 1959. He is afraid to admit that he is a certain shell of his country, but he does it so freely.
Joe Wright's work is lush and bright, with a soft visual warmth from his long-time collaborator Seamus McGarvey, who directed his own Atonement and Anna Karenina films, among other titles. Dinklages singing isnt very strong, but the central trio all deliver fantastic performances that make this an authentic tearjerker. Don't see this right after a breakup, or after someone you've secretly wanted marrying someone else.
Cyrano is available for hire online on Google Play, Amazon, Vudu, and Apple.
Hellbender tells the story of Izzy, a tween who lives isolated in the woods with only her mother, who claims she has a debilitating illness and that she cant be around other people. That isnt quite true. The film works as a film both about the challenges of adolescence and about the inherent terror of attempting to raise a child well.
Hellbender is an early contender for 2022's most visually stunning horror film, produced by a filmmaking family that produces, directs, and stars. The filmmakers John and Zelda Adams and Toby Poser combine forests and the movies many mystic visions for both serene beauty and creeping terror, seamlessly blending them together to match their characters' fears and discoveries.
On Shudder, Hellbender is available to watch.
Kimi, Steven Soderbergh's tech-crime thriller, navigates the world with such speed and ferocity that Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window has lacked in substance. Along with other cinematic touches, she follows a Seattle tech worker who discovers evidence of a crime and draws some deadly attention when she attempts to report it. TR
Kimi is now available on HBO Max.
A former student has accused Farhadi of pinning the idea of A Hero (updated 4/14)
Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi returns with another stunning performance as Rahim, a charming man who simply cannot seem to get his life together no matter how much his friends and family love him. When his girlfriend discovers an abandoned handbag with gold coins inside, Rahim contemplates using the money to pay his debt while out on a brief hiatus, and he is the subject of a local media frenzy for his charitable act.
A Hero is a moving, challenging tale about the difficulties of trying to do the right thing in an unfair world. Even the truth about your own actions and motivations can be difficult to identify, especially when faced with a story filtered through layers of personal and organizational agendas.
On Prime Video, a Hero is available for viewing.
Mamoru Hosadas Belle, the director of Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and Mirai, brings the classic fantasy tale to life as a clash in 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 story that often outright overreaches Hosada. Everything from the addictive but depressing nature of online existence to the importance of individual human connection, is there in this film that many of us forget about, and while it doesnt answer all of the questions it raises, it nonetheless appears determined to bring a familiar story to a new, brighter, more challenging stage.
Belle is now available on HBO Max.