2022 has been a great year for film, with some great dramas, comedies, and thrilling blockbusters. With December winding down, we’ve decided to pick out a few of our favourites to create a list of some of the best films of the year, with a few that only just released and others from a few months ago that you may have missed. You might be wanting to watch a film over the Christmas hols, or catching up before the Oscars, and all sorts of tastes are catered for.
It’s by no means exhaustive – there’s been loads of great stuff to see this year, but here are a few that really caught our attention. To keep up with the latest in entertainment, read our December cinema guide.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
The idea of the multiverse seems to have been everywhere lately, not least becoming a connecting thread in several Marvel films and TV shows, but it’s Everything Everywhere All At Once that really gave the concept a fun and original spin. Michelle Yeoh stars as a Chinese-American immigrant who’s audited by the IRS- only to find that she also has to contend with connecting with alternate versions of herself across universes and realities to prevent disaster. It’s primarily an absurd comedy sci-fi, but it also folds in bits and pieces of drama, fantasy, and martial arts to create a really enjoyable ride, and was one of the stand-out films of the first half of the year. It garnered critical acclaim, and fingers crossed it’ll get a few Oscar noms next year.
Watch Everything Everywhere All At Once on Amazon Prime
The Banshees of Inisherin
Another great comedy this year, albeit a bit darker and bleaker, The Banshees of Inisherin is another winner from Martin McDonagh, who reunites his In Bruges leads Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson for some of their finest work yet. It’s a tale of two friends on an island off the mainland of Civil War-era Ireland, who are suddenly not friends anymore when Colm (Gleeson) tells Padraic (Farrell) to stop talking to him. Keen to get his drinking buddy back on the same pub table as him, Padriac sets his mind on desperately trying to change Colm’s mind, but things get progressively darker and more shocking. There are plenty of great lines and humorous sequences, and McDonagh creates a world that’s somehow down-to-earth and yet off-the-wall bizarre.
Watch The Banshees of Inisherin on Disney+
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Proving that 2019’s acclaimed and sharply funny Knives Out was no fluke, Glass Onion is another great mystery adventure with detective Benoit Blanc, fast becoming an iconic modern detective. Swapping out New England for the Greek islands and a wealthy author for a tech billionaire, the film satirises the super-rich and sees Blanc investigating a murder that occurs when Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites his friends on a trip to his private island. Since it’s such a recent release (it’s out on Netflix on Friday), we won’t delve into the plot much more- but with a cast as strong as Craig, Norton, and other names like Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista and Jessica Hencik, you can be sure it’s something of a ride.
Watch Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Netflix
Much like last year’s West Side Story, The Fabelmans proves that Steven Spielberg is still a terrific filmmaking force. This one is the film that is the closest to being autobiographical and is all about the pull and magic of cinema. Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) is a young man with aspirations to become a proper filmmaker, and engrosses himself in films to help with his sometimes dysfunctional family. Paul Dano stars as his father Burt, and Michelle Williams as his mother Mitzi, both of whom give great performances, with Williams, in particular, stealing the show. Also starring Seth Rogen and Judd Hirsh, The Fablemans is a film about family and filmmaking- and is something of a tribute to Spielberg’s parents. It’s warm and heartfelt like most of Spielberg’s work, but with a real truthness and is never ingenuine.
Watch The Fabelmans on JustWatch
The third film from Jordan Peele, Nope blends horror with sci-fi to create an unnerving and weird experience. Daniel Kaluuya (who was the lead in Peele’s acclaimed Get Out) stars as Otis, a horse wrangler, opposite Keke Palmer, who plays his sister Em. The two have an interest in the otherworldly and extra-terrestrial and are keen on catching a glimpse of a UFO. As you might expect (and hope), it turns out there is indeed something else out there, and strange signs start appearing in the sky. Much like Glass Onion, you don’t want to know too much before you watch, but we’ll say that Nope is definitely one of the best films of 2022, and bigger in spectacle than the more claustrophobic Get Out and Us. One of its biggest strengths is its striking visuals and thrilling blockbuster set pieces, with the cast (which also includes Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, and Brandon Perea) tying everything together.
Watch Nope on Amazon Prime
Paul Mescal (Normal People) stars in this excellent drama film Aftersun that will pull at your emotions more than possibly any other this year. He stars as Calum, a father in his early 30s who takes his daughter on holiday to a Turkish resort. Sophie (Frankie Corio) doesn’t spend a lot of time with her father after he split up from her mother, so the trip is the only bit of time they have together. Calum is determined to make their time away special for Sophie, but is wrestling with other problems and issues that his daughter has begun to notice. Set in the 1990s, it has something of a nostalgic appeal, but it’s also a melancholic look at how childhood begins to fade away, and the stresses of life and the adult world begin to creep in. There are also flashes forward to the present day and an older Sophie (Celia Rowlson-Hall), who now increasingly understands what her father felt all those years before. Make sure this one doesn’t slip under your radar.
Watch Aftersun in cinemas now
Top Gun: Maverick
A sequel that many assumed wouldn’t work, Top Gun: Maverick managed to recapture the fun and action of the original film, and in many ways surpass it. A more mature and emotional story than the first, it sees Tom Cruise return as the supremely skilled fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Working as a test pilot, he’s recruited back by the US Navy in order to train up a new generation of Top Gun students. Among them is Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s best friend Goose who was killed in an accident in the original film. Faced with the pressures of his past, clashing with Rooster and mentoring a new generation for an extremely tough mission that could go horribly wrong, Maverick, with the help of old friend Tom “Iceman” Kazanky (Val Kilmer) and former love interest Penny (Jennifer Connelly) sets out to prove why he’s the best of the best. The film received critical acclaim and could (depending on Avatar: The Way of the Water) be the biggest box office hit of the year.