2022 has had little bit of everything
Everything Everywhere All at Once tops list
I’ve been rewatching P.T. Anderson’s Licorice Pizza and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch a lot lately. They’re so, so, so good. As much as I just want to talk about those two films, this week we’re talking about the best films from the first half of 2022.
Yep, that’s right, we’re already halfway through the year. Amazing. And while it’s been a remarkable year for new music (already far better than last year, in my opinion), the film year hasn’t been the best so far.
Here is my Top 10:
10. Ambulance (dir. Michael Bay) — One of the great action auteurs of his generation, Michael Bay has become known for, maybe more than anything, how stupid and indulgent his films can be at times. I don’t care. When they work, they’re fun escapism. This one stars Jake Gyllenhaal, and it’s absolutely one of the best times at the movies I’ve had in 2022. Hate away.
9. Kimi (Steven Soderbergh) — Not Sodey’s best work, but even a mediocre SS flick is worth seeing. Zoë Kravitz leads this brainy thriller about a Seattle techie who uncovers a conspiracy. Heavy post-COVID themes make it very much worth watching.
8. X (Ti West) — Finally, at long last, modern horror master Ti West returns to the big screen with another aesthetic masterpiece. A ’70s-set horror flick about a group of young people attempting to make a porno when things go wrong. Every West flick is worth seeing.
7. The Northman (Robert Eggers) — Any time an arthouse filmmaker gets a major Hollywood budget and final cut, I’m in. This one doesn’t work as well as I had hoped, but it’s very much worth seeing. Beautifully produced and directed.
6. Fresh (Mimi Cave) — Wow. This one caught me by surprise. Sure, it’s a comment on gender and features incredible performances. Sure, it’s beautifully shot. Mostly, what I see in this one is a new vision from a director I was unfamiliar with, Mimi Cave. The third act falls extremely short, but this one is still very much worth checking out. Sebastian Stan is a beast.
5. Hustle (Jeremiah Zagar) — I like basketball. I love basketball. So does Adam Sandler, who leads this fun, funny, breezy film. Also, this is the best scripted basketball film since Blue Chips. Don’t expect a standard Sandler comedy with this one.
4. Cow (Andrea Arnold) — A documentary that shows more than it tells. Imagine that. Andrea Arnold is sneakily one of the best filmmakers of the last 15 or so years, and this is another brilliant chapter in her journey. Don’t be surprised if this one is nominated for Best Documentary at the Oscars. It might even win.
3. The Batman (Matt Reeves) — I did not expect to like this movie. In fact, like many, I thought I’d hate it. I’m completely burned out on this whole superhero era for films, but the Bat is my favorite, and I believe in Robert Pattinson. So here we have a moody, mumbly Batman. The film is flawed, but is also a style fest that I ultimately think is one of the most interesting Batman films yet.
2. Top Gun: Maverick (Joesph Kosinski) — This one might change the movies a bit. All those folks who only go to the theater for Marvel releases went out and saw this, and were reminded that, guess what, not everything has to be fantasy. Not all heroes wear spandex and can do magic. An amazing time at the movies.
1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert) — I don’t want to say anything about this one. If you’ve seen it, you know. If you haven’t seen it, I think you should. And don’t read anything about it before you watch it.
Haven’t seen yet but have high hopes for: Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg), After Yang (Kogonada), and many, many more.
Here’s the thing: There’s seemingly an infinite number of films coming out these days, and it feels more impossible than ever to have an informed opinion when making best-of lists. So, ya know, take this for what it is. Only two of those films feel like they might be on the level of The French Dispatch and Licorice Pizza. That being said, I clearly have a lot more to see.
Let me know what I’m missing: email@example.com.