Did your top 2022 film make the cut?
Hasn't been strong year, but some standouts
If you read this column with any degree of regularity you know one thing for sure, and that is that your boy loves making lists. Always has.
My first real job was at a movie theater, and at the end of every year I would make a list of my favorite films I saw that year. I love the idea of expressing a whole lot of opinions with very little effort.
Then I started working at Record stores. The best job on the planet. Period. Making lists was a huge part of that culture, and the annual year-end list was my favorite task of the year. Every year. Same for many of my friends.
Eventually, in my early 30s, I started my own website called ZeCatalist.com. A big part of the work for said website was making lists of things I loved. Lists about anything and everything: “The best films of 1978.” “The best rom-coms ever.” “Top 10 weirdest noises that Pauly Shore makes in movies.” You get it.
Anything could become a list. And now this column has become an extension of that website (which no longer exists, sadly).
So here we are once again at the midpoint of the year. This means I have to make a list of my favorite albums from the first half of the year and, more importantly to this column, a list of my favorite films of 2022 (so far). But there’s a problem. While I’ve kept up with music as much as ever, I have not been keeping up with film like I used to. Or at least it feels as if I haven’t. I would guess that I still watch far more movies than the average person, but I also miss a lot of movies. I didn’t used to. I used to see everything. Everything. Everything.
Perhaps it’s a lame excuse or a cop-out but I feel that at this moment in the zeitgeist there’s just too much. Too much of everything. Too much social media. Too much TV. Too many movies. It’s not just that I feel as if I can’t keep up, but most of the critics and podcasters I admire talk about feeling similarly.
How can I keep up with all the movies coming out in theaters, and all the movies coming out on streaming services, and all the TV shows, and all the basketball games, and all the books coming out, and all the albums coming out, and all the political storylines, and still lead a healthy adult life. It feels impossible.
And so I do my best to try to see the stuff that I think matters the most. But it’s hard to tell what that is sometimes. I get the feeling that you, dear reader, might feel similarly. There’s just so much of everything.
America entertains the world. We do it with our politics, with our films, with our websites, with our social media, with our bands, with our TV shows, with our podcasts, and so on.
We produce so much content that I wouldn’t be surprised if a study came out claiming that more content is produced in a day in America in 2022 than what was produced in a year in 1965. I’m not exaggerating when I suggest that claim.
But I digress. Let’s get on with it. Here are the 15 movies from the first half of 2022 that I’ve liked the most. Keep in mind that there is a whole lot I have not seen.
Here we go …
1. Crimes of the Future (director David Cronenberg)
2. Italian Studies (Adam Leon)
3. Apollo 101/2: A Space Age Childhood (Richard Linklater)
4. On the Count of Three (Jerrod Carmichael)
5. Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosinski)
6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert)
7. Jackass: Forever (Jeff Tremaine)
8. After Yang (Kogonada)
9. The Batman (Matt Reeves)
10. Hustle (Jeremiah Zagar)
11. Fresh (Mimi Cave)
12. The Northman (Robert Eggers)
13. X (Ti West)
14. Cow (Andrea Arnold)
15. Deep Water (Adrian Lyne)
As far as half-years go, not too bad.
So tell me, what did I miss? Send your recommendations my way: email@example.com