Greetings from the movies corner of the pop culture world. You remember movies, right? All of three years ago, the brightest and the best offerings shined on the big screen. (Your diverse 2019 offerings included universally acclaimed hits such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Knives Out and Parasite.)
However, the coronavirus pandemic changed everything: Who needs to go to the movie theater to pay money to see Cate Blanchett in the erudite and inaccessible drama TAR when the super-juicy White Lotus and The Crown are available from right there on the couch?
The industry still hasn’t totally recovered — but that’s not to say 2022 movies haven’t delivered the goods. Think all the way back to last January and February, i.e., the dumping ground for cinema after all those prestige and popular holiday releases. We got a totally serviceable Scream installment (starring a pre-Wednesday Jenna Ortega), Channing Tatum’s charming comeback vehicle in Dog, the ever-reliable J. Lo playing yet another bride in Marry Me and even the stupidly amazing Jackass Forever. And though the old-school movie-going experience is changing, audiences still turned out to see old-school movie stars in their element. Think Brad Pitt (Bullet Train), Sandra Bullock (The Lost City) and George Clooney and Julia Roberts (Ticket to Paradise). And, of course, perhaps our last true movie star flew higher than anyone.
This brings us to another year-end roundup. The 2022 crop ranges from a dazzling biopic to an unconventional rom-com to hard-hitting dramas. They made us laugh and learn and feel a gamut of emotions and, well, take our breaths away.
Just two quick codas: 1. This list was compiled before the press screening of Avatar: The Way of Water. Heard good things! 2. Sorry — I admired but found it difficult to embrace the sleeper hit of the year, Everything Everywhere All at Once. (Also, see Coda! It actually won the Best Picture Oscar in March.)
Scroll down to see the full rankings of 2022’s best movies: