I don’t enjoy comparing movies to other movies and I don’t believe that any film is inherently bad. It’s why I have no rating system and it’s why you’re receiving this instead of a “10 Best/Worst” list. A lot of time and effort goes into making these films from hundreds of people, and I think bashing their efforts is disrespectful. I say that every movie is worth something and I genuinely believe that, even if it’s Disney’s Pinocchio (2022). So without further ado, here are the 10 films that I enjoyed most this year, in release order.
Top Gun: Maverick
This is military propoganda, just like the original Top Gun was military propoganda. However, it’s packed with such intense action and likable characters that it found it’s way into my heart anyway. This is a proper blockbuster and it knows it, whilst not including an over-sexual love plot which is such a nice surprise. Full review HERE.
This biopic stretches the facts a little but it gets the vibes spot on. Austin Butler is a revelation as the king of Rock N Roll while the editing amps the tension to a almost unbearable degree (but not quite). One can only assume that this is a film which takes on a whole new level when high, not that it isn’t almost a drugtrip on it’s own.
Phil Tippet has been in the special effects game for decades, so it’s fitting that his magnum opus is a perfect example of his work. It’s also absolutely disgusting in a way that can only be described as “wet”, which normally I couldn’t sit through but this film is so entrancing. Impossible to look away or forget. Full review HERE.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
This horror comedy was an unexpected delight. Not only is it consistently amusing but it has the most accurate depictions of rich, obnoxious teens I’ve seen in a while. Manages to be a social commentary about class and a solid whodunnit. Plus it has Lee Pace, which is always a good thing.
Another film that depicts the teen demographic correctly, although with a more dramatic edge. It has all the vibes of a classic 90’s teen comedy despite being set in the present day and has one of the best plot twists of the year. Yeah, it can ocassionally look a little greenscreened but that somehow only adds to the 90’s of it all. Sarah Michelle Gellar is there too.
The Banshees of Inisherin
An utterly beautiful film. Powerhouse performances all round, with a score to boot, but it’s the undelying comedy of the sombre situation that ties it all together. It’s about friendship and it’s fraility and what we’d be willing to do to keep it but it’s also about the monotony of island life. This list isn’t ranked by preference but this would make the top 3.
Matilda: The Musical
Movie adaptations of musicals have been hit or miss, but these last few years it feels like the misses have been bigger. This is the biggest hit since Spielberg’s West Side Story. It makes perfect use of the visual medium, has some stellar choreography and is different enough from the broadway show that it doesn’t replace it. Truly masterful.
Another surprise hit. When the trailer dropped earlier in the year, it promised a violent comedy where santa beats up house intruders and it delivered in the best possible way. It also managed to have a heartfelt message at it’s centre and in the performance from David Harbour. Kicked Christmas ass and is definiitely becoming a yearly tradition.
There have been several Pinocchio films this year and many over the decades but none quite like this. Del Toro brings his unique brand of dark whimsy to the classic tale through glorious stop-motion. Amazingly anti-fascist with some neat musical numbers, this is one of THE adaptations.
Knives Out was one of the best films in the year it was released so it makes since that the sequel would be too. The performances, the score, the messaging, the plot twists (PLURAL). It all just works. Would happily take a whole franchise with world’s best detective Benoit Blanc.
The Matrix Resurrections: A brilliantly passive aggressive meta commentary on the state of the franchise
Moonfall: Director Roland Emmeriech delivers action in a way that only he can…ridiculously.
Everything Everywhere All at Once: Didn’t quite hit that sweet spot for me but I admire the creativity