The best films of 2022 (so far!)

July 5, 2022
M.N. Miller 0
Features, Film, News

This article discusses the best films of 2022 so far, so may contain minor spoilers

The year is 2022, where July 4th is dominated by streaming television events like Stranger Things and The Terminal List. A weekend usually dominated by Hollywood blockbuster releases even pushed Thor: Love and Thunder back a week. Will cinema ever be the same? No, it will not. Not that those theatres are closing. That’s because Tom Cruise saved their Covid-19 germ-spreading dark rooms with shabby chairs and overpriced stale popcorn. (Paul Thomas Anderson recently called most theatres crap an episode of Smartless, so go cry to him). I love a good theatre experience, but the movie-going experience has changed forever. 

A half dozen streaming services offer a wide variety of options at your fingertips. Below are twenty films, in alphabetical order, the studios and streaming services had to offer after reaching the halfway point of 2022! 

The best films of 2022 (so far)

After Yang 

After Yang is a thoughtful, exquisite view of mindfulness and rumination. One that communicates more through a highly contemplative lens with a single shot than a monologue. A breathtaking dream-like film that is evocatively beautiful on the eyes. Available to stream on Showtime!

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood 

No one does coming-of-age film better and in any genre than Richard Linklater. A joyful experience that captures a time and place when the director grew up with its beautiful animation, his first in the genre since A Scanner Darkly. Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood encapsulates the endless possibilities of youth that come with the pursuit, not the destination. Available to stream on Netflix!

The Batman 

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a brutal, uncompromising vision that leaves its indelible mark in comic book film history. Here, he finds that psychological component that haunts as equally as it thrills. Available to stream on HBO Max!

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe 

The boys are back and now placed in modern-day Texas in Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. This sequel is absurdly funny and darkly satirical, exploring “chewing gum for the mind” consumption and individual alienation. Do you think I am wrong? Why are these individuals being alienated by government agencies during a time when America just turned back the clock fifty years on Roe versus Wade? Even if you disagree, one thing is sure — while the times have changed, most teenage boys are just horny bastards with one thing on their minds. Available to stream on Paramount +!

The Bombardment  

Yes, this film had a 2021 release overseas but was given its US and UK Netflix release in 2022, and I enjoyed it so much I had to include it here. Based on the true story of the accidental bombing of a French Roman Catholic school in the heart of Copenhagen, The Bombardment is a unique war film in that way. Up close and intimate as it juggles morals and morality. Here, Ole Bornedal has created a visceral experience that will linger with you long after it is over. Available to stream on Netflix!

Cha Cha Real Smooth 

Cooper Raiff continues to display beautiful moments in his films that break down the walls we put around us when it comes to communication. The point of his latest film is not about reaching physical maturity but an emotional one. Cha Cha Real Smooth is funny, wonderful, heartfelt, and refreshingly honest. Available to stream on Apple TV+!

Elvis 

Does the line “star-making performance” even describe Austin Butler’s breakout turn as the star of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis? The tale of America’s first rebel with a cause is a superb spectacle, and Butler’s uninhibited performance is a stunner.

Everything Everywhere All at Once 

There are very few film experiences that rival Everything Everywhere All at Once. It may be one of the most original movies I have ever seen; a genuinely bonkers, exhilarating, awe-inspiring, and mind-bending filmgoing experience. It leaves you breathless from sheer creativity while tugging at your heartstrings. It will be a film with you saying to yourself that you have never seen anything quite like it, and many will try to duplicate it for years to come. 

Gladbeck: The Hostage Crisis 

Gladbeck: The Hostage Crisis is a thrilling and powerful documentary about ethics, arrogance of mythical proportions, and structural incompetence. This was a significant moment that revamped journalistic ethics. What Heise accomplishes here is to show that not much has changed with the viewer’s appetite—for the insatiable, the macabre, and like a moth to the flame, flirting with our moral ambiguity is not just entertainment but our reality, Available to stream on Netflix!

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande 

In the theme Good Luck to You, Leo Grande excels at taking the taboo out of sex. For one, it reverses the Hollywood cliches of always casting a younger woman as a romantic attraction to an older man. The very nature of making this change could make the average filmgoers uncomfortable. Still, the script by Katy Brand successfully deconstructs the shameful issues many can feel about the subject. And Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack make sweet, vulnerable, and benevolent music together. Available to stream on Hulu!

Halftime 

Halftime is a rousing success on how a global icon handles herself and never stops grinding for that elusive prize — respect. Available to stream on Netflix!

Hustle 

It is not easy to create a great sports movie that is fictional because the built-in stakes are never as authentic as they appear. Here, Adam Sandler’s turn and director Jeremiah Zagar’s ability to infuse his trademark urgency and exultation (and Dan Deacon’s understated score in the third act climax) make Hustle elevated studio escapism. Hustle is a bona fide crowd-pleaser. Available to stream on Netflix!

Navalny 

Navalny is an astonishing and downright chilling documentary that plays out like a tightly wound political thriller. At the forty-nine-minute mark, the much-talked-about ten-minute sequence will be the most memorable of the year. 

The Northman 

Truly visceral, Robert Eggers’s downright Shakespearean Viking epic combines the director’s distinct artistic style with a film that has mainstream mass appeal. (While rarefied, this is not an esoteric entertainment many have claimed). The Northman blurs the lines between one’s dreams and haunting nightmares. Alexander Skarsgård gives a ferocious and volatile performance that will last a very long time. Available to stream on Peacock!

Photocopier 

Cannes-winning filmmaker Wregas Bhanuteja’s Photocopier is an Indonesian neo-noir examining taboo subjects wrapped in a sinister, riveting mystery. I would draw comparisons to Rian Johnson’s Brick. Like that movie, Photocopier has a sinister tale inside its shadowy, black and green lighting and exterior. Bhanuteja’s film, like the color itself that is forbidden, shines a light on verboten subjects. He tells a story in a compulsively watchable way that brings his vision of resiliency to light. Available to stream on Netflix!

On the Count of Three 

Ready Steady Cut film critic Rickey Valero calls Jerrod Carmichael’s film “One of the best movies of the decade. Beautifully shot and heart racing. On the Count of Three is a movie about being seen and heard and how much not being acknowledged can affect us.” 

RRR 

Action spectacle? Bromance for the ages? Stunning folklore about colonialism? S. S. Rajamouli’s addictive RRR is a rousing, adrenaline-fueled, dazzling act of genre-bending filmmaking for the ages. Available to stream on Netflix!

Top Gun: Maverick 

Only one man can deliver in a world that desperately needs heroes – Tom Cruise! Stand up and cheer, ladies and gentlemen. Top Gun: Maverick is a full-throttle, action-packed nostalgia machine that delivers the supersonic thrills we all have been clamoring for.

Turning Red 

Turning Red has an energized spirit and a gentle and patient heart. Bao director Domee Shi’s animated film utilizes a delightful device to move and tell an adorable story of not only blossoming maturity but as a teenager with a unique cultural perspective. Available to stream on Disney+!

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent 

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a tribute to an actor who has the same faith in his audience as they have in him. It is infectious, funny, and madcap — a brilliant dose of comedic egotism and sobering humility. Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal have terrific chemistry together. Right now, available to rent to stream on multiple platforms!

What’s on your list of the best films of 2022 so far? Comment below.