We conclude our series of year end reviews of 2022 in cinema with our 10 favourite films of the year – let us know if you agree in the comments!
Thanks for reading and we’ll be back with more reviews in 2023!
‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (try saying that multiple times!) is a movie that is pretty difficult to describe, and certainly can’t be done in a way that would do justice to what the movie is really about – in short, it involves one family and multiple universes. It is anarchic, absurdist and at times all over the place, but somehow the filmmakers and a very game cast turn this into its biggest strength, and it’s one of the most wildly inventive and original movies of the year.
For a filmmaker with such an impressive resume behind him, Steven Soderbergh’s recent movies have often gone under the radar, none moreso than ‘Kimi‘, a neat little tech thriller that feels like an update of ‘Rear Window’ for modern times. Led well by Zoe Kravitz, it’s a paranoid thriller for the modern age about an analyst who finds herself caught up in the middle of a corporate conspiracy, forcing her to go on the run to survive. Clocking in at 90 minutes, it’s also a rare example of a movie that doesn’t waste a moment of its runtime.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/kimi-2022
I have moaned quite a lot recently about the saturation of superhero movies, but there’s something about Batman that holds a greater appeal than the others, despite him not exactly being a stranger to cinemas in recent years. The latest iteration of the character comes in the form of Robert Pattinson, a younger version sunken into his depression with the Bruce Wayne public persona appearing infrequently. Director Matt Reeves has gone back to the darkness of the Nolan Batman movies, and it works very well in an entertaining return to Gotham.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/the-batman
Following up his Palme d’Or winner ‘The Square‘ with another success at Cannes is one of the most exciting directors operating today in Swede Ruben Östlund. His latest effort is ‘Triangle of Sadness‘, a movie that satirises the super rich by following a group of individuals gathered on a superyacht for a luxury cruise. The movie follows the cruise experience and looks at the hierarchy of power, driven by money and status, that dictates how the wealthy passengers treat the waiting staff, and in turn how the waiting staff treat those staff members deemed lower down the food chain than them (cleaners, engine staff etc), with the exploration of this leading to some darkly comedic situations.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/triangle-of-sadness
It’s been a good year for intense dramas focused on chefs, with ‘The Bear‘ gaining plaudits on TV, but before that in January we had ‘Boiling Point‘, an immersive and intense cinematic experience that recreates a restaurant kitchen on the busiest day of the year in one take. Stephen Graham leads the ensemble as the Head Chef who is literally breaking down personally and professionally, making for a movie that gripped me as hard as anything this side of ‘Uncut Gems‘ and ‘Whiplash‘. Watch it in one sitting!
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/boiling-point-2021
‘Elvis‘ is a giddy, frenetic and wildly entertaining movie that not so much as covers the life of Elvis as it beats you into submission with it. It is a film that values style above all else (it is a Baz Luhrmann film after all) but I did feel the substance was there even if it mainly views Elvis as others see him and doesn’t truly get into his soul. ‘Elvis’ is more interested in adding to the myth and legend of Elvis than in getting into the person he truly was beneath the showbiz persona, but, perhaps, as the movie hints, that’s because there wasn’t really a separation of the man and the performer. In many respects this feels like a fitting approach for a man that was more icon than person, a situation that played a large part in why Elvis struggled so much particularly in later life.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/elvis-2022
Justin Kurzel’s latest movie, ‘Nitram’, has proven controversial in his native Australia, which isn’t a huge surprise given it is a character study of a man who committed the worst mass murder in modern Australian history. Martin Bryant, played here by Caleb Landry Jones, was a deeply disturbed and troubled young man who went on a killing spree in Tasmania in the mid-90s, ultimately murdering 35 people primarily at a tourist attraction in Port Arthur. You can’t escape that ‘Nitram’ is a disturbing movie, but in its attempts to get under the skin of what would drive an individual to commit such heinous acts it succeeds and leads to a compelling and thought provoking piece of filmmaking.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/nitram
Sharp, relatable and acerbically witty, ‘The Worst Person in the World‘ is a superb comedy-drama about one woman’s attempts to make sense of what she wants from life as she approaches and enters her 30s. It has been described as a coming of age film for people who still feel as though they haven’t grown up, which is frankly a perfect summation and it is beautifully epitomised by Julie (Renate Reinsve), the character at the centre of the movie.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/the-worst-person-in-the-world
Sean Baker’s movies to date have focused on those on the margins of American society, whether it be the transgender prostitutes in ‘Tangerine’ or a struggling young mother and her daughter holed up at a cheap motel in ‘The Florida Project’, minutes away from the magic of the Disney theme parks. ‘Red Rocket’, his latest movie, is another exploration of the flipside of the American dream, from the perspective of a fading porn star who left his small industrial town in Texas 20 years earlier for the bright lights of LA, before returning in the present to his ex-wife’s house essentially penniless. This is a film that constantly surprises, builds and concludes in a satisfying way, and it’s one of the best, and most overlooked, movies of 2022.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/red-rocket
One of the first films I saw this year was ‘Belfast‘ and it wasn’t surpassed throughout the remaining 11.5 months of 2022. A wonderfully moving, funny and heartfelt love letter to the city of Belfast, from director Kenneth Branagh who was born and spent his early years there in the midst of the troubles, the joy of ‘Belfast‘ is that its really about an ordinary family trying to make the best lives for themselves. This type of movie is right up my street, tugged at my heartstrings and left me glowing when I left the cinema – my favourite film of 2022.
Where to watch: https://www.justwatch.com/uk/movie/belfast
We’ll be back in 2023 with more reviews of the latest releases and more podcasts. Thanks for reading as always!