2022 has been an exciting year if you’re a cinema lover. There have been some disappointments along the way but for the most part, moviemakers have brought their A-game, delivering flicks with a simple promise that should be the basis of all films; entertainment. Movies like Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar, and RRR reminded us of the majesty of cinema, providing experiences audiences will never forget, while other movies like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Everything Everywhere All at Once hit viewers in their emotional cores, reminding us of the power of a great, shockingly human story.
I’ve seen a lot of movies this year. making this the longest year-in-review movie list I’ve ever had to rank, so with no further delay, let’s get to this list.
47. Black Adam
If you had told me my least favorite movie of 2022 would be Black Adam I wouldn’t have believed it, after all, it is a superhero movie. How bad can it be? Apparently, it can be so awful Wonder Woman 1984 looks like an Oscar-worthy film in comparison.
Nearly everything about this film feels cringeworthy. The writing is terrible and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is beyond laughable in the title role, producing such a lack of personality that you’re staring at the screen dumbfounded. The action is pretty good…sometimes, but at other times it’s just a lot of CGI mumbo-jumbo. Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate is easily the best character in the film but he alone can’t save this dismal attempt at something meant to be entertainment.
Yeah, my two least favorite movies of the year have been superhero movies. If all superhero movies were made as poorly as Black Adam and Morbius there would be plenty of reasons for acclaimed directors to whine about superhero films.
With a larger budget and more refinery, this could’ve been a really enjoyable watch. Instead, it’s as forgettable as a movie can get.
44. Pinocchio (Live-Action Disney Remake)
I thought I was going to love this film, especially because Tom Hanks was a part of it. Instead, when the credits began to roll, I was steaming mad. This was, without a doubt, the worst live-action Disney remake I had ever seen. Absolutely horrendous.
A cute twist on a fairy tale, Sneakerella is a film I slightly enjoyed while watching but forgot the very next day.
I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece but I was expecting to have some fun while watching this movie. I didn’t. Enough said. (It did make me want to see more from Tati Gabrielle though. She seems like an actress who should be in more action movies.)
Miles Teller, he’s an actor whose movies are pretty enjoyable, besides that dismal Fantastic Four reboot that was actually really good until the movie’s horrendous final thirty minutes. Spiderhead was a somewhat interesting sci-fi film that was, in fact, watchable, a little unexpected, a tad bit weird, and when it concluded I was somewhat satisfied with my viewing.
40. The Lost City
Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum are a funny pair in this action-comedy but because the film is basically Romancing the Stone all over again the lack of originality is painful.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a fan of Idris Elba movies. He’s great as Heimdall in the MCU but besides that… Beast was a film I thought I was going to enjoy just for the laughs. I was laughing…until I wasn’t.
38. Strange World
This movie wasn’t a box-office failure because of its openly-gay protagonist. It just wasn’t a very good movie.
37. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
I enjoyed the first one and the sequel, while a bit cheesy, was just as fun. With some nice surprises toward the end of the film and the enjoyable addition of Idris Elba’s Knuckles, this is a movie I enjoyed in theaters.
36. A Christmas Story Christmas
My favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story and so when I learned a sequel had been made I rushed to see it. To my relief, the movie was actually entertaining, delivering a story that felt right for a grown-up Ralphie.
35. Jurassic World: Dominion
I like the Jurassic franchise but its last two movies have been the epitome of disappointment. While Jurassic World: Dominion is better than its predecessor, Fallen Kingdom, it didn’t live up to the highly-anticipated reunion of the original cast.
34. Hollywood Stargirl
America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal starred in a lovely adaptation of the beloved book series, Stargirl, which I watched and loved far more than I expected. In fact, when Stargirl concluded, I was a mess of tears. When its sequel debuted this summer I watched joyfully, swept along for the story which had me smiling throughout its entire run.
While it wasn’t as good as the first film I did find it to be a satisfying sequel.
33. Brahmastra: Part One
I like an entertaining Bollywood action movie but for the most part, Brahmastra: Part One was a bit of a bore…until it wasn’t. There were some scenes that were more engaging than others but when its post-credit scene concluded I found myself, to my great surprise, eagerly googling to see when the sequel was coming out. Unfortunately, that sequel isn’t coming out until 2025. Boo.
32. The Adam Project
With slightly better writing, this movie could’ve been really emotional and memorable. Ultimately, it was a somewhat entertaining matinee flick. It did manage to introduce me to the co-lead of the film Walker Scobell, who I am very enthused to see portray Percy Jackson in the upcoming Percy Jackson Disney+ series. He’s going to be great.
31. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
The Fantastic Beasts movies were kind of a disaster from the beginning. It was five movies based off of a short story J.K. Rowling wrote. No amount of stretching and deep-diving into the material was going to fix the conundrum that was that laughable plan.
Ultimately, this franchise conclusion was a lackluster reminder of why the public was not invested in these stories. The focus began to slide more and more away from its main character, Newt Scamander, to try and become a Dumbledore prequel that wasn’t set up correctly, hence a third movie that just felt boring.
I saw this in IMAX earlier this year and as I walked out of that theater I knew the chance of more Fantastic Beasts movies was next to none.
30. The Silent Twins
This movie was disturbing…but good. Letitia Wright once again displayed her exceptional acting prowess. I honestly don’t think she gets enough praise for her talent but hopefully, that’ll begin to change moving forward.
29. The Gray Man
Ryan Gosling was not a convincing action star in this film, hence the reason why I enjoyed watching Chris Evans be a mustachioed villain the most in this movie.
Audiences said this movie was terrible but I actually enjoyed it…surprisingly. Sylvester Stallone is a man whose movies I enjoy watching and this was no exception, especially after the third act revealed a surprising plot twist I genuinely did not see coming.
The first forty minutes are absolutely some of the scariest, most intense forty minutes I’ve ever seen in a film. The rest of the film feels like a comedy.
26. Turning Red
The first thirty minutes are golden, the rest of the movie is good but not great.
25. Bullet Train
If you had told me that this movie featured two characters named Lemon and Tangerine played by Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron-Taylor Johnson and they would become some of my favorite characters in any action movie I wouldn’t have believed it. But I did, and they were the best part of the movie.
Besides that, this movie is sheer insanity with some laughs along the way but ultimately when the film concluded I was exhausted.
24. Enola Holmes 2
I enjoyed Enola Holmes two years ago. I definitely wasn’t expecting the sequel to be more enjoyable but it was. There were twists and turns and some delightful reveals that had me genuinely beaming. Now I’m fully invested in the Netflix Holmes universe. Where’s the third movie?
This isn’t a movie I’ll probably remember watching next December but it is a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry brought a likability to this story that hinged on their undeniable chemistry otherwise this movie wouldn’t have been half as good.
This was the first horror movie I’d ever seen in theaters and it was definitely a memorable experience. In IMAX, this movie pierced my very soul during its most particularly disturbing scenes and it made me never want to see another Jordan Peele film. All in all, I was expecting something a little better than I what ended up watching but its originality cannot be denied.
21. The Woman King
I had heard so much hype about this movie but it just wasn’t what I expected. The story felt wholly predictable, the characters were mostly unlikable, and the score kept yanking me out of the story. And don’t get me started on the forced romance which felt like it had no place in the movie.
All in all, this movie did not excite me as much as I’d hoped but it does belong in the Top 20 movies I’ve seen this year.
20. Everything Everywhere All at Once
This is a movie that’s topping a lot of people’s lists as the best movie of the year but I wholeheartedly disagree. This movie isn’t terrible but it was definitely far more disappointing than I was expecting. The best thing about this film is Ke Huy Quan’s triumphant, most likely future Oscar-winning return to the big screen and Stephanie Hsu’s iconic portrayal of the film’s antagonist, Jobu Tapaki.
I don’t think anyone had a good Predator movie on their bingo card for 2022 but that’s what we got with Prey, a surprisingly fantastic new addition to the Predator lore. And its star, Amber Midthunder, displayed brilliantly that she is ready to be an action star. If Hollywood doesn’t pick her up I hope Marvel does.
I know this movie confused people and that people didn’t really like it but I loved Lightyear. I saw it in IMAX, expected to be somewhat entertained, and came out of that theater smiling from ear to ear. Considering that this was supposed to be Andy’s favorite movie, I can definitely see why. It’s undoubtedly a film I’d highly recommend.
I love Enchanted and its sequel, Disenchanted, was actually kind of perfect. I was expecting to be mildly entertained and instead found myself filled with the joy only a great Disney movie can give me. This movie was not only a delight but the songs were exceptionally good too which made the experience all the more special.
16. The Northman
This movie can be a bit extreme at times but as the story played out I found myself more and more enthralled until by the time the credits appeared I was literally clapping with appreciation.
If I ever recommend a Viking movie to anyone it’ll be this for sure.
15. The Good Nurse
Was I expecting a movie starring Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne as nurses to be one of the most riveting movies of the year? No, I wasn’t, but that’s what it turned out to be. The Good Nurse had me staring at the screen in genuine horror. In fact, it was the scariest movie I’ve seen this year.
14. Avatar: The Way of Water
James Cameron may be a lot of things to a lot of people but one thing that is certain is that he is the king of visual effects. Thirteen years after his last global-smashing visual effects phenomenon he returned to show filmmakers how it’s done and boy, was it incredible. The shots, the use of water, the fact that not once did it feel like it was filmed in a warehouse but that we were instead filming on location in a place called Pandora, it’s mindboggling stuff.
Unfortunately, Cameron’s prowess with visual effects just barely managed to spread over into his storytelling. Like Avatar, the story is ultimately very predictable and one-dimensional, but even more so this time. I found myself so bored for such a long duration of the film that my feelings for the movie were destined to dampen it. But the last forty minutes ultimately saved the movie for me and made it undoubtedly one of the ten best movies of the year.
13. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
With a genuinely terrifying antagonist and a story full of heart, Puss in Boot’s long-awaited sequel is worth the long wait.
12. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
This movie is fun to watch. It’s a little bit scary, a tad bit funny, and there’s a whole lot of action. As someone who loves Doctor Strange and the MCU, this movie is right up my alley.
11. Thor: Love and Thunder
I understand that this is now one of the most hated superhero movies of all time (at least, according to Twitter) but I love it. Sure, its first half is a bit hastily assembled, the jokes are a bit much, and it’s overall quite silly but it’s the second half that takes the cake. Taika Waititi isn’t able to balance the humor and serious subject material as well as he did for his Oscar-winning screenplay for Jojo Rabbit but what he does manage to do in the film’s last thirty minutes is perfect.
Every time I watch this movie I am overcome with joy and that is what movies are all about. Bringing audiences happiness.
10. The Batman
Batman is back, baby! Matt Reeves did it. He managed to reboot Batman in a way that was well-written, well-conceived, and well, entertaining. Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz are the undoubted highlights of the film and if Paul Dano’s Riddler had been more terrifying throughout the movie this film would be even higher on my list.
9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
With a wit as sharp as a knife, the screenplay takes its viewers on a rollercoaster ride that has so many dips and twists that by the end you are undoubtedly beaming with joy. The cast is pitch-perfect and the story is an absolute blast. Rian Johnson beat the sequel curse and I commend him on that. Now, let’s get this man to make another Star Wars movie, please?
8. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
It’s Pinocchio, a movie that I’ve seen so many times, and yet Guillermo’s take on the children’s classic was traumatic, heartbreaking, sweet, had plenty of those important teachable moments that are synonymous with children’s tales, and above all, it was visually stunning. If this movie was live-action it would undoubtedly be a frontrunner for Best Picture. Because it’s animated, critics aren’t taking it as seriously, touting movies with mixed reviews like Elvis and Babylon instead.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is terrible. And that’s why it’s always important to watch a film yourself if it interests you. I saw the cast and I knew there was something special about this film. Sure enough, not only was it really well-written and very entertaining but it taught me something. And that’s what I call a top-ten movie.
People may not have rolled out in droves to see this in theaters but they, unfortunately, missed one of the better action movies in a long while. Michael Bay, known for cheesy popcorn flicks that are all explosions, no story, got back to rare form with the style of movies he’s great at; buddy flicks.
For Ambulance, the striking duo of Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul Mateen-II is a pairing I would’ve never expected but it worked! There is an emotional center to this film that makes it memorable as the sprawling action scenes take place around them. I feel this will definitely become a film more and more people mention when they talk about great action movies over the years.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front
I never thought I’d see a war movie better than Saving Private Ryan…and then I watched All Quiet on the Western Front. Laced with strikingly violent sequences that emit genuine discomfort, fear, and sorrow against a somber backdrop of World War I and the mindlessness of war and you’ve got a masterpiece on your hands.
This is a movie that you will watch and never forget…if you can make it through the entire film.
4. Top Gun: Maverick
I never watched Top Gun or had the urge to but when I saw Tom Cruise, who’s known for doing his own mind-blowing stunts, returning for an unexpected sequel I felt I had to watch it. Expecting to be mildly entertained, Top Gun: Maverick knocked my socks off. It was emotional, it was well-written, and the action was visceral. This movie might just win Best Picture and if it does, it rightly deserves such an honor.
3. The Banshees of Inisherin
It’s rare to find movies with plotlines you’ve never seen before but The Banshees of Inisherin is just that; a movie, unlike anything I’ve seen before. Its fascinating blend of genuinely funny and shockingly dark makes for a viewing experience that is sheer cinematic enjoyment. Not to mention Colin Farrell’s phenomenal performance in this film which could honestly earn him an Oscar.
If you haven’t seen this film, a movie with a perfectly sensible 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, I highly recommend checking it out. This is another movie I believe deserves a shot at Best Picture.
2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
I am an MCU fan but that is not why this is my second favorite movie of 2022. This movie is more than just another fun Marvel flick. It’s a heartfelt tribute to Chadwick Boseman that honors him while moving the story forward through his unseen but palpable presence, it’s another glorious and utterly incredible depiction of the power of Black women, it’s an inclusion of a people that rarely get a chance to be depicted onscreen in such a powerful light in the form of the fictional Talokan, it’s a conversation about the classic divide-and-conquer method and how it harms BIPOC, and it’s just a really good movie.
I can’t express enough how much this film has moved me but I can tell you this. When this appears on Disney+ I’m going to be one of the happiest people on Earth.
And my #1 Movie of 2022 Is: RRR
There are so many ways to describe this movie; an instant classic, a masterpiece, one of the greatest films ever made, pure joy wrapped in a 3-hour gift box of cinematic glory, a rollercoaster ride, etc. You get it, there’s not much more that needs to be said. It’s perfection. if you haven’t seen it yet do yourself a favor and check it out. You won’t regret it.
So here is my ranking of the movies of 2022 from worst to best. Let’s see what tops my list next year.