From a Tollywood blockbuster to a modest Iranian road movie, Cate Blanchett behaving badly to Michelle Yeoh saving the multiverse – these were the movies that made our year
No one could It’s to blame for thinking that movies — the capital-M medium — was in the midst of an existential crisis in 2022. The theatrical experience seemed to be constantly hanging by a thread, threatening to become a thing of the past. (Thank you for your kindness though you, (Mr. Tom Cruise, to save it for at least a year.) Streaming services continue to underwrite new projects from canonical directors, then dilute those same films and throw them to the algorithmic wolves and make them just another one. Changed to “material”. “Superhero movies continue to dominate multiplex screens, and IP franchises are becoming more and more diverse and/or multifaceted at the expense of a variety of other options. (If we have to get into one more “Marty or Marvel?” debate on MovieTwitter…just kidding. RIP Twitter.) If a movie falls in the woods, and a pop star isn’t blamed for it Throwing at the costars during promotions. Did it even make a sound? The phrase “casual moviegoer” was on the verge of becoming oxymoron. The sky is raining!, cries the voice of the chicken’s youngest cinephiles, before returning to the Criterion Channel to binge on yesterday’s arthouse heroes.
Yes, the big-picture view of the big picture looked scary at times. But once again, the movies deliver. Sometimes, it was a matter of knowing where to find them, and believing that something life-changing, if not game-changing, was right around the corner. Other times, there seemed to be an incredible cinematic bounty, running the gamut from documentaries to genre exercises to left-field blockbusters, coming in waves. Movies like string Still can impress it was a good 12 months to be a cine-omnivorous. We expanded the list to 22 films this year – because 2022! Yes, we are really shameless! – but even so, there were a number of exceptional films that managed to find their way into the “best of” lineup. Movies are not dead. They are not past.
(A quick shout out to some honorable mentions: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Armageddon Time, Barbarian, Bones and All, Catherine Called Birdy, Cressage, Donbass, The Eternal Daughter, God’s Milk, Guillermo del Toro Pinocchio, Maine, Montana’s Story, Monge de Dream, The Northman, Peter von Kant Playground, silent twins Top Gun: Maverickand wow In addition, there was some discussion on inclusion little mama And The worst person in the world In the best of this year, because their qualifying run in 2021 means they appeared on many lists last year. We’ll save those two for our best of the decade list.)