Each year, I like to go back to January’s Most Anticipated Films list (Part 1, Part 2) and quickly jot down a sentence or two about what I thought of the ones I saw. If a movie from the original list is not here more often than not it means production didn’t start until too late in the year or has been delayed into 2023. There are also a small numbers I just didn’t watch because I either never found the time or I saw reviews coming in and realized it probably wasn’t going to be something I would enjoy. Those movies may get reviewed in the future though. So here is my list:
The Batman (directed by Matt Reeves) – it was fine, but I think I’m over endless Batman movies and am just not interested anymore
The Worst Person in the World (directed by Joachim Trier) – fantastic, one of the best of the year, visually inventive while being grounded
Everything Everywhere All At Once (directed by Daniels) – I enjoyed it but it didn’t resonate with my like it did many other people, I was glad people found a movie they loved that was outside the Disney blockade
The Northman (directed by Robert Eggers) – Eggers just doesn’t miss, in my opinion. I love the way this plays with perceptions of mysticism.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (directed by Sam Raimi) – The musical note battle and the zombie possession are two of the best things I’ve ever seen in an MCU flick, but I did not like this one overall.
Thor: Love and Thunder (directed by Taika Waititi) – I liked this even less than Doctor Strange. I think I’m done with the Marvel movie stuff.
Black Adam (directed by Jaume Collet-Serra) – One of the most jarring & upsetting film experiences I’ve ever had, a morally bankrupt superhero movie, one of the worst ever.
Nope (directed Jordan Peele) – Pure popcorn fun, horror & comedy & adventure perfectly balanced, one of the most fun movie watching experiences of 2022
Don’t Worry Darling (directed by Olivia Wilde) – Utter crap, feminism as seen through the lens of a very white wealthy person without any meaningful comment on toxic masculinity, Florence Pugh was right
Halloween Ends (directed by David Gordon Green) – Weird, I didn’t hate it with the anger some people had, the ending is complete parody though
After Yang (directed by Kogonada) – Very pleasant movie, quiet & contemplative in a way few films these days are, I still like Columbus more
Armageddon Time (directed by James Gray) – I really had to think about this one and, despite hating it at first, I’ve now come to see it as brilliant. This is a movie done in the style of Oscar-bait that delivers a brutally honest ending and subverts what we expect from this style of picture.
Blonde (directed by Andrew Dominik) – Total waste of the audience, cast, and crew’s time. Says nothing of meaning and doesn’t really look that good either
Bones & All (directed by Luca Guadagnino) – Not better than Suspira (but what really is?), yet still very poignant & violent. A story of (queer?) love and the way our children have no one to guide them in a terrible world.
Crimes of the Future (directed by David Cronenberg) – Not my favorite Cronenberg movie but feels extremely relevant to the ongoing climate collapse and how humanity is going to transform going forward
Decision to Leave (directed by Park Chan-wook) – Park Chan-wook is one of our greatest living directors and, while the plot here is a good melodrama, it is the cinematography & editing that send this one to the moon. Gorgeous!
Broker (directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda) – Disappointing after Shoplifters. It’s not bad and worth your time, but doesn’t really deliver on the same humanity that Kore-eda’s 2018 masterpiece did.
Earwig (directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic) – I really dug this one, could take place in the same universe as David Lynch’s Erasehead and Inland Empire. Dream logic, don’t over think this one.
Fresh (directed by Mimi Cave) – After the first 30 minutes I was checked out. Promising start delves into total cliche.
Hatching (directed by Hannah Bergholm) – Weird & fun. Not my favorite horror movie, but kept me entertained the whole run time. Some stellar practical effects going on.
Hit the Road (directed by Panah Panini) – Beautiful. Further cementing Iranian cinema as some of the most poetic & meaningful filmmaking in the world. The sleeping bag shot is one of my favorite moments in a film this year.
Glass Onion (directed by Rian Johnson)
Men (directed by Alex Garland) – I can’t say I’ve ever loved any of Garland’s movies, but I didn’t think this was as horrible as a lot of people seemed to. Jessie Buckley is great and I was entertained.
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (directed by Lily Ana Amirpour) – I feel that I have given Amirpour a fair shake, but after one good start and now two bad movies, I think she may have been a one-hit wonder (nothing wrong with that, though).
Pleasure (directed by Ninja Thyberg) – Pretty good movie that doesn’t hold back on showing one woman’s odyssey through the American porn industry. Graphic but not explicit, withholds passing judgment and simply presents the character and her journey.
The Souvenir Part II (directed by Joanna Hogg) – Such beautiful, personal filmmaking. I didn’t know where a sequel would go and Hogg floored me. A wonderfully shot meditation on grief & moving on after a tragic death but also on how to plow ahead as a creator.
Three Thousand Years of Longing (directed by George Miller) – Not Miller’s best but not bad. It’s basically a movie about people talking, with dramatizations of the stories they tell. I’m more interested in his Furiosa project though.
Triangle of Sadness (directed by Ruben Ostlund) – Some of the best social satire you could see in 2022. Slapstick comedy and subtle comedy about capitalism vs communism all in the same scenes.
White Noise (directed by Noah Baumbach)