Top 10 Movies of 2022


Benedicto Campo, Media Critic

2022 was a year filled with tons of movies. They ranged from different genres like Action, Comedy, Science Fiction, Horror, Drama, and more. Some of these movies were successful and loved by audiences, while others were failures and joked about. I spent a lot of time at movie theaters this year and watched tons of films to see which ones I liked and which I wasn’t a fan of. I did the same for streaming exclusive movies. After all this movie watching, I have to say that most of the movies I saw this year were quite good because most of these movies were entertaining or resonated with me on a personal level. I’ve decided that 2022 is my favorite year to watch movies so far. If you plan on watching 2022 movies before heading into 2023, these are my top ten movie recommendations of films released in 2022.

10. “Kimi”: Is an HBO Max thriller starring Zoe Kravitz as Angela Childs, a woman who stays at home all the time due to having severe agoraphobia. She works a remote job monitoring recordings for a Siri-like device known as Kimi. One day, Childs sees an extremely graphic recording of a murder. After seeing this, she tries to report it to the company. This does not work, and she realizes she must meet both the CEO of the company and the FBI, which allows her to conquer her agoraphobia and become braver. She also must avoid a group of hitmen who want to get rid of Angela to cover up the murder. I found this movie thrilling and suspenseful because of the film’s cinematography and use of shaky cameras. This technique was used to show Angela’s anxiety going outside for the first time. Kravitz’s performance as Angela was fun to watch because she portrayed her character as someone who needs to get over her fears in order to do the right thing. I think audiences will resonate with Angela Childs. I also liked that the movie takes place in modern times but doesn’t shoehorn topics like politics or the pandemic. They are only subtly hinted at, which gives the film small details and greater context without forcing it on the audience. This is a good film for audiences who are looking for a simple modern thriller to watch.

9. “Turning Red”: Is one of Pixar’s Disney Plus movies which puts a big emphasis on Asian representation and culture. The story revolves around a thirteen-year-old girl named Mei Lee, who is portrayed by newcomer Rosalie Chiang. She must balance many things in her daily life like middle school, family, friends, and puberty. All this stress causes her to turn into a red panda: a curse that happens whenever a person is either stressed or overexcited. While her family finds this to be a bad thing, Mei finds this to be good, as it increases her popularity with her friends in school. This eventually causes conflict because she has trouble deciding whether to keep the panda for her friends or get rid of it for her family, which causes her to question who to follow and what the right thing to do is. I found this film very funny and cute because of the funny and lighthearted jokes in the film, which mainly come from Mei because she breaks the fourth wall and talks about her daily life. She mainly talks about her middle school life and what growing up is like. I feel audiences can relate to her because growing up is something everyone deals with. Mei is the perfect example of how growing up changes life around you and how you adapt eventually to these changes. I loved the Asian representation, because Mei is the first Pixar protagonist to be Asian. There are also nods to Asian Culture like Chinese dumplings and animals. This shows that Pixar cares about representation. This film will resonate with many families, especially those of Asian descent, because of the themes and representation it shows.

8. “DC League of Super-Pets”: A simple DC movie fun for the whole family that doesn’t have any dark stories or themes. The film puts DC’s famous pets like Krypto the Superdog and Ace the Bat-Hound onto the big screen for the first time. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart play Krypto and Ace Respectively. The story focuses on Krypto going about his everyday life with his owner, Superman. However, Superman and the rest of the Justice League get captured by Lex Luthor, which causes Krypto to step up and save him. However, he loses his powers and has to team up with Ace and other super pets in order to save them. This causes them to learn how to trust each other and work as a team. I found this funny and cute because seeing pets with superpowers is just the cutest thing. I am also happy Krypto and Ace finally made it to the big screen, because they have only been in comic books and TV shows prior: the first time I saw Krypto and Ace was in the Cartoon Network show “Krypto the Superdog” in 2005. I remember watching this show a lot when I was younger thinking Krypto and Ace would appear on the big screen one day. Now that my dreams have come true, I watched this film with happiness and joy. These characters interact well with one another because of their funny jokes and banter with one another, which will give the audience a good laugh. This is a fun film that families and DC fans can enjoy if they want to stray away from DC’s dark and gritty films.

7. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”: The sequel to the unexpected hit video game based movie “Sonic the Hedgehog” is a fun sequel that adds more characters from the Sonic games like Tails the Fox and Knuckles the Echidna. Dr. Robotnik, the main villain from the first movie, also returns in this film. The film picks up after the events of the first movie where Sonic has perfectly adapted to life on Earth. After Sonic’s new human friends go on vacation, he is left alone to watch over their house. However, Dr. Robotnik returns with a new friend named Knuckles the Echidna. Knuckles wants revenge on Sonic because his tribe was killed by Sonic’s family years ago. Due to Knuckles and Robotnik sharing feelings of revenge, they both try to get rid of Sonic. However, Sonic isn’t alone as a new friend Tails arrives and helps Sonic stop Robotnik and Knuckles while going on a wild adventure. This is one of the few video game movies that have broken the long-lasting video game movie curse. Unlike other movies based on video games, this film has a balance of an original plotline but respects the lore the original video games established. This technique has made both Sonic films great movies. However, I think the sequel is better, because it brings in more characters and callbacks from the games I enjoyed. I also felt the story was more wholesome and heartwarming than the first. The performances in this movie were fun to watch, but the main highlights for me were Ben Schwartz as Sonic, Jim Carrey as Robotnik, and Idris Elba as Knuckles. Schwartz continues to bring the charismatic and funny energy he gave to Sonic from the first film. Jim Carrey brings the zaniness and over the top comedy he gave to Robotnik in the first film, and new addition, Idris Elba, gives a balance of seriousness and humor to his performance as Knuckles, similar to his video game character. This is a film that old and new Sonic fans alike are guaranteed to love.

6: “Elvis”: is a biographical movie about one of the most famous and most popular singers of all time. Austin Butler plays the titular singer, while Tom Hanks plays Elvis’ manager, Tom Parker. The film focuses on Elvis’ life, starting from his beginnings all the way till his death. The story is mostly told from the perspective of Tom Parker, who used Elvis for financial gain and other greedy reasons. Parker constantly forced Elvis to perform night and day without any breaks, which led to his eventual death. Audiences also get a glimpse of famous Elvis concerts and other significant moments that made him famous. Although I am not a huge Elvis fan, I enjoyed this film because of the energetic atmosphere it gives off and its fast paced nature, which I believe was done with intent to show how fast and energetic Elvis was as a performer. I also thought the soundtrack of the movie was nice as it pays tribute to songs Elvis wrote during his career. However, the biggest takeaway of the movie was Butler’s performance as Elvis. I feel Butler studied Elvis to the grind, because he had the mannerisms, moves, and voice portrayed accurately, and I was shocked at how he managed to portray Elvis with absolute accuracy and care. I believe Butler was born to play Elvis. I also thought Hanks’ performance as Tom Parker was good, as this is one of the few times he has played a villain role, and did a decent job at it. This film is a love letter to all old and new Elvis fans alike.

5. “Bullet Train”: Is an action comedy starring Brad Pitt as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin who boards the titular bullet train. He is sent on a mission to retrieve a suitcase placed inside the bullet train. However, he must contend with other assassins who also want the briefcase for themselves and their own missions. This leads to an all-out battle between the assassins, which leads to humorous moments and bloody deaths. The assassins then find out that there is a bigger threat at play and must find out who brought them all on the same train in the first place. I had fun watching this movie, because it had lots of over-the-top action including fast paced fighting and tons of gore, which made the fight scenes feel like a roller coaster ride. I thought the comedy in this movie was hilarious and it gave me a good laugh. Brad Pitt’s character is so charismatic. His banter with other characters is also fun to watch because he got on their nerves and annoyed them most of the time. This movie is great for audiences looking for something action packed and filled with laughs to watch.

4. “The Northman”: A historical film that takes place in the tenth century during the age of the Vikings. It’s also based on the myth of Prince Amleth, which would serve as the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. The story revolves around Prince Hamleth’s quest for revenge after his uncle murdered his father as a child. He grows up to be a Viking who raids villages with others. One day, he is reminded by a Seeress to complete his quest, which causes him to locate his uncle at a small village. He also finds out that he has been holding multiple slaves hostage and making them do his bidding. Amleth disguises himself as one of these slaves in order to get close to him and plot his next move. Along the way, he forms a strong bond with a slave named Olga, who helps him complete his quest and free the slaves. This historical film took me by surprise because of how bloody and gory it is. This mainly happens during the fight scenes that occur throughout the film. I believe the constant use of blood and gore was used to show how Vikings fought brutally back in their time. I also enjoyed the performances of the movie, specifically, Alexander Skarsgard as Amleth and Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga. Skarsgard portrays Amleth with such brutalness and anger to show how his character is someone who is revenge driven. I also thought he did well with the fight scenes to show off his fighting and sword skills. Anya-Taylor Joy portrays Olga as a character who is empathetic with Amleth’s goals and is also a very powerful witch. I thought Skarsgard and Taylor-Joy had good chemistry with one another. However, the main thing I enjoyed about the movie is how authentic Viking life and times are portrayed. I feel like the director of the movie did his research very thoroughly and made sure everything was shown in great detail. I respect the accuracy and dedication made to this time period. This is a movie for audiences who want to take a look at another period in time.

3. “Top Gun: Maverick”: The hit sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 classic “Top Gun”. The story focuses on Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who has been a captain and test pilot 30 years after the first film. When a test flight goes wrong, he is assigned by his friend Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, played by Val Kilmer to train a group of new Top Gun students for a new mission. Maverick agrees to train the new graduates and complete the mission. However, his past starts haunting him once he learns that one of the graduates is Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, who is the son of his late best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. Rooster is not on good terms with Maverick because he believes he was responsible for his father’s death. Maverick must learn how to let go of his past in order to make amends with Rooster and finish the mission. This film was really breathtaking to watch because of all the flight scenes. These flight scenes looked realistic because they were very practical, barely used CGI and the cast went through a thorough training for the planes. This shows how Cruise and rest of the crew were dedicated to make sure the plane scenes were realistic as possible. I also thought Tom Cruise’s performance as Maverick was really well done. This is because he added more emotional depth to his character than he did in the original movie. This makes his character more relatable and sympathetic to the audience. Another performance I enjoyed was Miles Teller as Goose, because his behavior and mannerisms parallel Anthony Edwards’ character, Goose from the first film. I thought he paid tribute to the character of Goose in a respectful way. Val Kilmer reprising his role as Iceman in the one scene he has is very emotional because it depicts similarities to Val Kilmer’s real-life battle with throat cancer. Being that his illness is the main reason why he hasn’t acted in a while and seeing him in a movie again made me emotional. This movie is just great because of the callbacks to the original film, flight sequences, emotional story, and strong performances. This is a movie fans of the 80s and original film will love.

2. “Everything Everywhere All at Once”: One of the most popular and talked about films of 2022, because of the themes, visuals, performances, and overall plot of the movie. The story revolves around Evelyn Wang, an unhappy woman who runs a laundromat with her husband Waymond. They also have a daughter named Joy, who wants their approval of her girlfriend, Becky. Only Evelyn is suspicious of her relationship with Becky. One day, Evelyn and her father Gong Gong, meet IRS inspector Deirdre because their laundromat is being audited. During this meeting, Evelyn is contacted by an alternate version of Waymond, who needs her help in stopping a threat that will destroy the multiverse. Evelyn accepts and learns more about the multiverse along her journey. She gets access to many memories and skills from her alternate selves. She also learns many life lessons that will change both her relationships with her family and the way she views life. This film hit close to home for me because of the emotional message of viewing how to live your life. Like Evelyn, I was someone who was used to living in a negative mindset about everything. But as I got older, I learned how to be positive and optimistic about everything. Basically, Evelyn and I learned how to stop being pessimistic and stubborn and just be positive and open most of the time. This is because the main message of the movie is life is worth living and being positive will help you learn that. I also enjoyed Michelle Yeoh’s performance of Evelyn Wang because of the journey she went through and how I find it relatable. Another performance I also enjoyed was Ke Huy Quan as Waymond Wang. This is because he portrays him with a balance of seriousness and comedic wits because he is portraying multiple versions of the character. This is also Ke Huy Quan’s comeback movie since he hasn’t acted in any films for a total of three decades. He was also known for his child roles in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”. I am glad that he still has the same child role acting chops even as an adult. I also loved the Asian representation of the film because the cast is mostly Asian and there are nods to Asian foods and culture. This includes showing Martial Arts, Chinese dialogue, and food like noodles. As an Asian myself, I am very happy about the genuine respect and care to Asian culture. This is a film that everyone will love and enjoy.

1. “The Batman”: The newest Batman reboot that stars Robert Pattinson in the role of Batman / Bruce Wayne. This reboot focuses on Batman in his second year of fighting criminals in Gotham City. He is still learning how to control his emotions and become a better symbol for Gotham. He has been a symbol of fear to both the citizens and criminals of the city. One day, a serial killer known as The Riddler starts a killing spree that involves corrupt and political figures of the city. He leaves riddles and clues for Batman to find. This causes Batman to solve the mystery and work with other characters like cat burglar Selina Kyle / Catwoman and Jim Gordon, the only non-corrupt cop in Gotham. Batman must also face a dark secret that ties his parents to the corruption of Gotham City. This is the Batman film that has made me happy on so many levels because it is the one that I’ve always wanted to see since I was a kid. This is because previous Batman actors and iterations never portrayed the detective side of Batman and just made him a fighter. This movie makes Batman use his detective skills, thus living up to his title “The World’s Greatest Detective.” I also loved the dark atmosphere of the movie because it shows how corrupt Gotham is and why it’s not the best city to live in. The visuals and choices of music like Nirvana’s “Something in The Way” do a really good job in conveying this. However, the main highlight of this movie for me was Robert Pattinson’s performance as Bruce Wayne / Batman. This is because he portrayed the psychological aspect of Batman really well by portraying him as a scared and tortured figure who is haunted by both Gotham’s corruption and the death of his parents. He also made him a flawed character by letting him make rookie mistakes he could learn from. This shows that Pattinson wanted to make The Batman a superhero who has flaws and is not perfect in the things he does. This in turn makes this iteration of The Batman a relatable and sympathetic figure the audience can root for and understand. Robert Pattinson has become my favorite Batman because he truly made the character feel like Batman from the comics. The movie also felt like an actual Batman story because it had him utilizing the skills he has and portraying his real personality like in the comic books. Overall, this is another film that also hit close to home for me because I’ve always been a huge Batman fan and seeing a film that actually felt like a Batman story really made me emotional and happy. I also can relate to this version of Batman because we both make mistakes, and we learn from them in order to better ourselves in the future. We also learn how to deal with our pasts and use them in order to help the lives of people around us. This is a film that everyone can enjoy, including hardcore Batman fans like me.

Above are the films I recommend for the greatest movie releases of 2022. I chose these films because they told really good stories and hit close to home for me in one way or another. I also think many people will look back at these films and say that these were the greatest movies ever made. I will be happy when many award shows start recognizing these sorts of works. Overall, I am happy that 2022 gave us great films and I hope 2023 will do the same.