Photo By Zoey Kang (A24)

Best Films and Performances of 2022

By: Robert Prentice

It has been a full year for me when it comes to movies. Having screened over 40 films and reviewed nearly that many. I spent the last few days of the year looking back at all of the films and picking my personal top pics for 2022. You will find that while I review things as a critic, I don’t review them from an artistic or Oscar perspective. I still review them from the standpoint of myself, the audience, going and seeing a movie. Did I enjoy it? So I don’t expect my Oscar bingo card to get filled out this year but I do want to give special mention to these specific films before we get to our overall lists of top 10 films, and top 3 in each category for performances.

Glass Onion: Cr. John Wilson/Netflix © 2022.

There is something comforting about a great ensemble cast and a good mystery. Rian Johnson brought us Glass Onion which continues the world with Detective Blanc (Daniel Craig) but this time we follow the wealthy elite and try to solve a murder mystery. The timeliness of the story’s characters mirroring certain real-world people and their antics is accidental. There are more films to come, with a third already in the works from the writing team. The simple fun that Glass Onion brings to the whodunit genre is worth jumping over to Netflix to check it out.

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios.

This was one of the last movies we screened this year. Avatar: The Way Of Water is still on my mind today, 2+ weeks after screening it. James Cameron spent the better part of 13 years bringing this to life. The story may seem unimaginative and done before, but I would argue you have to look at the bigger picture. Look at the world he is building in this and the upcoming sequels. It is clear the next generation is the focus going forward. Visually he has delivered a stunningly immersive and beautiful film using underwater motion capture. This is a movie you MUST see in IMAX 3D at least once.  The third film is already shot and set for Dec 2024 and the rest hinge on a good showing. 14 days in and it’s already over 1.1bil, so it seems Avatar is here to stay.

Close. Photo By Zoey Kang (A24)

In the category of foreign films, one that A24 released that I almost didn’t get to screen on time for critics voting was Close by Lukas Ghont. Close follows Léo and Remi as two 13-year-old best friends whose seemingly unbreakable bond is suddenly and tragically torn apart. The film premiered at Cannes and won the Grand Prix award. The touching story of childhood friendships and coming-of-age expertly treads the modern and often overlooked cruelty of growing up, school, and tragedy. Close releases in late Jan 2023 if you don’t have an opportunity to see it beforehand at one of its film festival run.

Check out our complete list of top performances and films of the year. Got favorites, not on this list? Let us know in the comments.

Top 10 Films

  1. The Fabelmans
  2. Everything Everywhere, All At Once
  3. Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  4. Avatar: The Way Of Water
  5. Nope
  6. Top Gun: Maverick
  7. Glass Onion
  8. Unbearable Weight of Incredible Talent
  9. Bullet Train
  10. The Banshees Of Inisherin

Best Actor:

  1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale
  2. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans
  3. Austin Butler, Elvis

Best Actress:

  1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
  2. Ana De Armas, Blonde
  3. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor:

  1. Paul Dano, The Batman
  2. Tom Hanks, Elvis
  3. Brendon Gleeson, The Banshees Of Inisherin

Best Supporting Actress:

  1. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  2. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere, All At Once
  3. Keke Palmer, Nope

Best Ensemble:

  1. Glass Onion
  2. Everything Everywhere, All At Once
  3. The Fabelmans

Best Director:

  1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
  2. Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All At Once
  3. Lukas Ghont, Close

Best Original Screenplay:

  1. Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All At Once
  2. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness
  3. Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees Of Inisherin

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  1. Rian Johnson (based on characters written by Johnson), Glass Onion
  2. Peter Craig, Justin Marks, Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie (based on characters created by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.), Top Gun: Maverick
  3. Krysty Wilson-Cairns (based on the book by Charles Graeber), The Good Nurse

Best Documentary:

  1. Good Night Oppy
  2. The Territory
  3. Fire of Love

Best Foreign-Language Film:

  1. Close
  2. RRR
  3. Summer Ghost

Best Animated Film

  1. Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  2. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On
  3. Summer Ghost

Best Cinematography

  1. Janusz Kaminski, The Fabelmans
  2. Hoyte van Hoytema, Nope
  3. Frank Van den Eeden, Close

Best Score

  1. Alexandre Desplat, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  2. Justin Hurwitz,Babylon
  3. Michael Giacchino, The Batman
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