Best Movies of 2022: The Most Satisfying Movies From 'Avatar' to 'Everything Everywhere'

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The movie industry is undergoing a transformation, driven by falling box office receipts, as more people prefer to consume entertainment from the comfort of their homes. This also deserves to review the films released in 2022 in a slightly different light, from the most disappointing titles to, here, the most satisfying.

“Satisfying”, in this case, differs from the traditional “best” lists that many critics put together, as it allows including more populist films that stood out for doing well what they set out to do.

As it happens, this approach also reflects a year in which many of the traditional award-bait films failed in one way or another, and some of the highest-profile commercial films (see “The Batman” and Marvel’s Thor, Black Panther and Doctor Strange sequels) did not fully live up to expectations to varying degrees.

As for the sequels that made this list, in a movie industry based on franchises and relying on family properties, the challenge of doing these extensions well is vital to the financial health of the industry and, creatively speaking, deserves applause when done well. 🇧🇷

In terms of omissions, it’s worth noting that there were several releases this year from acclaimed directors – including Darren Aronofsky, Noah Baumbach, Damien Chazelle, Antoine Fuqua, Martin McDonagh, Sam Mendes and David O. Russell – that were seen, considered and not made the cut. Indeed, if there was a bias here this year, it was towards movies that were broadly entertaining, with a few exceptions.

So what made the “cool” list? In alphabetic order:

“Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood”: Richard Linklater’s rotoscoped animated look at his youth growing up in NASA’s shadow is the kind of lighthearted nostalgic exercise that truly illustrates what life was like back then, during a time when TVs were small and before everyone carried a phone. to all places.

“Avatar: The Way of Water”: Overcoming skepticism about an encore 13 years later with a flurry of dazzling spectacle, James Cameron again takes a pretty basic story and turns it into an epic, state-of-the-art demonstration of movie magic that practically demands you get off the couch, put down the controller. remote and drive to a movie theater to see it on the biggest screen possible.

“Everything everywhere at once”: All did not work out in this foray into alternate universes and paths not taken, but this mashup of action, comedy and sci-fi represented one of the year’s most creative efforts and gleefully touched audiences as it introduced the remarkable Michelle Yeoh and the uplifting return of the boy from Indiana Jones, Ke Huy Quan.

Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy Fabelman in the Steven Spielberg film

“The Fabelmans”: Steven Spielberg’s deeply personal window into how his youthful experiences shaped him into the filmmaker he became is obviously filled with nostalgia, but it also provides a welcome ode to the power of movies. A little sparse in its format, the film nonetheless works as a superhero origin story for a director whose half-century of shooting etched so many moments into our memories.

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”: Writer-director Rian Johnson managed to recharge and still capture the whimsy, wit and fun of his original crime novel, with Daniel Craig as the only holdover in a film that really should have spent more time in theaters before hitting Netflix.

Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack in

“Good luck to you, Big Leo”: Uploaded straight to Hulu, this two-hander for Emma Thompson as a widow who keeps a sex worker (Daryl McCormack) and peppers him with questions about her life and work was sweet, funny and generally charming, a little gem in one. year with a lot of rhinestones. (Thompson, as a footnote, is also slaying Roald Dahl’s “Matilda the Musical.”)

“RRR”: Like “Avatar,” don’t let the three-hour-plus runtime scare you (besides, you’ll probably watch it on Netflix anyway). This Indian historical fantasy has it all, including an abundance of energy, wild action sequences and grueling dance numbers. A film that draws on multiple genres, from superhero to western, and still manages to feel fresh and fresh.

Jalyn Hall as Emmett Till and Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till Mobley in

“Until”: Danielle Deadwyler’s heartbreaking performance as Mamie Till Mobley, grappling with the murder of her son Emmett in Mississippi in 1955, uplifted and brought renewed attention to this tragic story, in a film that sensitively deals with the murder to focus on how it unfolded. a civil rights activist her voice.

“Top Gun: Maverick”: Despite coming 36 years after the original (time flies, too, apparently), this sequel has waited out the pandemic to share the experience with viewers and rewarded them with a thrilling flight that gave Tom Cruise a perfectly tuned encore as he flew what amounts to a rescue mission for movie theaters. Frankly, it would be nice to leave everything alone after that, but nothing that earns that much money can be grounded for long.

from Pixar

“Turn Red”: Pixar wasn’t treated very well by its parent studio in the Disney+ era, which explains why this wonderfully warm and very funny coming-of-age story – a genre so overloaded that it’s really hard to do it well – was funneled straight to streaming. 🇧🇷 The film works on several levels, but transforming into a giant panda turns out to be a wonderful metaphor for the indignities and confusion associated with puberty.