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2022 was a year that Hollywood struggled to get audiences back in theaters, with many great films going unseen due to changing habits as a result of the pandemic. However, some films, including the year’s top grossing movie, Top Gun: Maverick and the indie breakout sensation, Everything Everywhere All At Once, broke that trend. In our year-end review, we take a look at the best movies of the year, highlighting hits and sleepers that are worth checking out.

1. Top Gun Maverick 

Top Gun Maverick NBR

If any movie came out this year that reminded us, as moviegoers, of the pure pleasure that could be gotten from a well-crafted piece of entertainment, Top Gun: Maverick was it. What’s fascinating about this film is that it’s now a front-runner for the Oscars, but clearly was made with no awards agenda whatsoever. It was the exact opposite of Oscar bait. It also didn’t shoehorn in any over-the-top messaging but instead celebrated the old-school star appeal of the great Tom Cruise. If ever there was any doubt that he’s the greatest movie star of all time, this is proof positive that as far as making popcorn movies go, Tom’s still got All the Right Moves (sorry – had to shout out one of my fave, perennially underrated Cruise hits).

2. The Banshees of Inisherin

If Top Gun: Maverick was about the pure, crowd-pleasing joy of cinema, this film from Martin McDonagh aims to remind you how gut-wrenching it can be. His darkly comic, tragic tale of a friendship gone to seed is unexpectedly haunting but also hilarious in the typically profane Martin McDonagh way. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson give career-best performances, but don’t ignore the fantastic supporting turns by Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan in a heart-breaking performance.

3. The Northman


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If the world were fair, The Northman would have been Alexander Skarsgard’s Gladiator. Robert Eggers’ Viking epic was a mesmerizing, visceral blast that reinvented the historical action movie for the 21st century. Equal parts Igmar Bergman and Conan the Barbarian, it’s safe to say this is an epic the likes of which we’ve never seen. While the movie is meant for the big screen, it’s now streaming, so if you haven’t caught it yet, do yourself a favour and check this out.

4. Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere

The Daniels had the one true breakout indie sleeper hit with their martial arts-infused multi-universe epic Everything Everywhere All At Once. At its heart, it’s a gentle, life-affirming tale of a family in chaos, albeit done on the scale of a Marvel epic, with dazzling fight scenes and a career-best performance by the fabulous Michelle Yeoh. And, let’s not forget that it’s also the movie that gave Ke Huy Quan (Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) the comeback role of a lifetime.

5. Avatar: The Way of Water

James Cameron filmed the Avatar sequels at the same time so avoid the "Stranger Things effect" with the younger actors.

Everyone wants to pretend that Avatar: The Way of Water is a disappointment, with mixed reviews, but here’s the thing – the box office is incredible. After a soft opening, people were saying it was a flop, but like every other James Cameron movie, it’s incredibly consistent at the box office. The fact is, it’s a visual wonder unlike any you’ve ever seen, with next-level 3D technology. While the story is somewhat thin, it’s still one of the most immersive films ever made, and the last hour or so was beyond thrilling.

6. Elvis

Baz Luhrman’s Elvis is a mixed bag, with many having issues getting over Tom Hanks’ over-the-top performance as a demonic Colonel Tom Parker. But Austin Butler delivers one of the year’s great performances, with him officially taking the crown from Kurt Russell as the best big-screen Elvis of all time. My only real complaint is that I wish the film were longer, as 159 minutes feels almost inadequate to tell such an epic tale.

7. Tár

Cate Blanchett TAr

Todd Field doesn’t make many movies, but when he does, you can usually rely on it being a masterpiece. Cate Blanchett delivers one of the year’s best performances as celebrated conductor Lydia Tár, who finds herself spiralling down a void of her own making. If you think the film looks or sounds pretentious, ignore that feeling and give the movie a shot.

8. The Menu

The darkly comedic thriller The Menu, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes, is getting a digital and Blu-ray release in January

Mark Mylod’s The Menu is one of the only Oscar-caliber Indies that made real money theatrically. It helps that the movie is deliciously (pun intended) entertaining, with great performances by Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy. The less you know about this, the better.

9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion, cameos, Knives Out

While Glass Onion was entertaining after its first viewing, the true genius of Rian Johnson’s movie comes with the second viewing, where you can pick up on all the little hints and easter eggs he’s sprinkled throughout the film. While he might have made a divisive Star Wars movie once upon a time, people sure love these Knives Out mysteries, and Glass Onion might be even better than the first.

10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Netflix has unveiled a new poster for Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio, coming to theatres in November and Netflix in December.

One of the things I love about Netflix is that for every disposable would-be blockbuster they make, they also find the time to greenlight expensive passion projects. Pinocchio ranks among the best movies they’ve ever made. Del Toro’s made a dark but incredibly moving take on the classic tale, and if by the time the credits roll, you’re not wiping away a tear, you’re stronger than me.

While those were my picks, here are some top 10s from the staff here at JoBlo!

Nick Bosworth (Director of YouTube Operations)

  1. The Menu
  2. Top Gun: Maverick
  3. The Northman
  4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  5. Nope
  6. Prey
  7. The Sea Beast
  8. The Batman
  9. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  10. Barbarian

Steve Seigh (News Editor)

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  2. Three Thousand Years of Longing
  3. The Batman
  4. Nope
  5. The Northman
  6. Bros
  7. Turning Red
  8. Prey
  9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  10. Strange World

Taylor James Johnson (WTF Happened to this Celebrity)

  1. Top Gun 2
  2. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  3. The Batman 
  4. The Northman
  5. Glass Onion
  6. Weird  
  7. Werewolf By Night 
  8. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent 
  9. Pearl
  10. Nope 

Alex Maidy (Critic)

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  2. The Banshees of Inisherin
  3. The Northman
  4. The Whale
  5. Decision to Leave
  6. The Batman
  7. Tar
  8. The Menu
  9. Three Thousand Years of Longing
  10. Triangle of Sadness

JimmyO (Critic)

  1. The Batman
  2. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
  3. The Whale
  4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  5. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  6. The Banshees of Inisherin
  7. Pearl
  8. After Yang
  9. Aftersun
  10. Violent Night

What were your favourite movies of the year? Let us know in the comments!

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