Fetch’s Favourite Movies of 2022
The Fetch content editors have put together their lists of favourite movie experiences of 2022 – the movies that entertained, inspired, challenged and enthralled.
A quick summary of the criteria for these selections – any movie unseen in cinema the year previously that had a release in the Movie Store in 2022 is considered, as well as any new release in the cinema, Movie Store or premiere on a streaming service.
How do these lists compare to your own favourite movies of the year?
- The Worst Person in the World
- The Northman
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Prey (Disney+)
- After Yang
- Terrifier 2
I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you that 2022 was a great year for movies. I’ve bored friends and family with my cynical musings about us being in, what I believe, a pretty big lull period when it comes to truly great cinema. Having said that, like any year there are standouts – movies that remind you why the hell you love movies so much!
I think on a global scale, we have Tom Cruise to thank for that in 2022. Anyone who wasn’t jarred by the sheer cinematic brilliance of Top Gun: Maverick needs to check their pulse immediately for signs of life. It wasn’t my favourite film of the year, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t jolt me back into that realisation of what a great experience watching a movie can be.
My favourite this year was The Worst Person In the The World. Just a divine roller coaster of emotions neatly tied up in a completely well made and beautifully acted piece. The Northman was everything I love about cinema – the brutality, the shock and awe, and the sheer spectacle. I like movies that aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of both visual intensity and subject matter. The Northman ticked those boxes nicely for me.
It certainly feels like a 2021 movie, but alas, I did watch the magnificent Dune in 2022. It’s a spectacular sci-fi ensemble that was both exciting and mesmerising. My biggest surprise of 2022 was Prey on Disney+. This Predator sequel (of sorts) was so much better than anyone expected…and not only that, was better than 90% of the movies released this year. What a ride. What a pleasant surprise.
I’ll take movies like After Yang whenever you have them for me please. Contemplative, immersive and unique, with a great cast. I fell into this film straight away and couldn’t shake it for days. Speaking of which – the wonderfully “in your face” Terrifier 2 was another that stayed with me long after the credits rolled. Of course I would never be irresponsible enough to recommend it to everyone..this film requires a love (and certain understanding) of shock horror cinema, but I really did love the movie for all its unashamed evil-ness, and for its willingness to raise its middle finger to convention. Bravo!
My love of all things Horror extended to a couple of other titles this year. Nope was a fascinating watch that had me unsure what to make of it at first…genius or junk? Smart or silly? It took me a rewatch to fully grasp Jordan Peele’s intentions, and I can now safely say I’m won over. Men divided a lot of people and I completely understand why, but for me it had just enough creepiness and unique direction to get me excited.
I went into Elvis expecting to really dislike it. Everything about it seemed over-the-top, pretentious and even misguided. Sure enough, I left the film blown away by Austin Butler’s incredible performance, the drama and spectacle of the story, and of course that music. Damn you Baz Luhrmann, I so wanted to hate this movie but you went ahead and made it fantastic.
- Top Gun: Maverick
- RRR (Netflix)
- After Yang
- The Quiet Girl
- All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)
- Hustle (Netflix)
- The Batman
- The Stranger (Netflix)
While I can’t boast that 2022 was my most prolific viewing year as a film buff, I am pleased to declare that there was still a healthy dose of awesome films released this year that provided memorable experiences.
As a longtime fan of Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune was an even more impressive achievement than I had anticipated. This visually-breathtaking sci-fi masterpiece created some of the most jaw-dropping moments of the year for me; a fusion of ambitious production and technical wizardry that translates Herbert’s fascinating world of intergalactic conflict into a suitably hefty (but decipherable) war epic.
There have been murmurings of late that cinema isn’t what it used to be. Who would disagree? Fewer films seem capable of bringing that true cinematic experience and many ‘blockbusters’ can now be consumed in the home a matter of weeks after their cinema release, with many others premiering in the streaming environment. Two other films, in particular, reminded me what cinema is capable of – truly engrossing experiences that deserve to be seen in a packed-out cinema. Top Gun: Maverick and RRR.
Maverick accounted for my sole cinema visit in 2022 (thanks…life) and it really was an exhilarating experience. It’s not a stretch to identify that Tom Cruise is single-handedly attempting to save cinema with a daredevil commitment to his art, rejecting the notion that the true ‘movie star’ is a treasured relic of the past. Maybe it was the nostalgia for the ’86 original, or simply just an appreciation for the brilliance on display, but there were moments in this movie when I felt like bursting into tears.
It is ironic that RRR, a Telugu-language action epic, generated much of its buzz after it was released on Netflix. For the entirety of it’s swift 3-hour runtime it adopts a maximalist approach and possesses simply bonkers action (and dance) sequences, maintaining a relentless commitment to providing wholesome and joyous entertainment.
Nope is a miracle of a movie; a historically-conscious ‘creature-feature’ that poses many thought-provoking questions about the filmmaking process, the idea of spectacle, exploitation in the industry and much more. It definitely takes some consideration (and discussion) to unpack everything that is going on here but one thing is for sure – you likely haven’t seen anything quite like Nope before.
After Yang, the latest film from South Korean filmmaker Koganada, features a lovely performance from Colin Farrell. It is a quietly moving and thoughtful sci-fi drama that explores the make-up of family, the complex metaphysics of what makes us human, and how humanity’s reliance on the material can unhinge them from deeper human connections.
The Quiet Girl is a sweet Irish film, and remarkably confident debut, that also explores the value of human connection. A withdrawn 9-year-old girl finds a loving home for the first time when she spends the summer with an embracing foster family.
As an appreciator of Adam Sandler’s dramatic performances (along with Uncut Gems this is one of the finest of his career) and an NBA fan, I certainly have a unique perspective when it comes to the sports drama, Hustle. Whether you connect to this as much as I personally did, there’s no denying that Hustle is a moving and well-executed sports drama with a valuable authenticity.
The Batman felt like the the most relevant the caped vigilante has been since the Keaton/Burton era. I thoroughly enjoyed the grounded crime-procedural approach and the excellent casting. A big surprise.
The Stranger was a grim, but wonderfully performed psychological thriller – Joel Edgerton deserves awards attention here – detailing the complex relationship at the core of an intense undercover operation. Check this one out on Netflix.
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
- Everything Everywhere All At Once
- Orphan: First Kill
- Prey (Disney+)
- Bullet Train
- The Lost City
- The Black Phone
- Fresh (Disney+)
As a long time fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I have been disappointed with some of the latest installments in the franchise. Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness both fell short in my opinion, but I have never been happier to be wrong about my expectations for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This is not only a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman, but a well-crafted story in itself. A must watch for any fans of the Marvel Universe.
Jordan Peele did it again this year. Nope was a suspenseful horror film that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Peele has created yet another unique, out-of-this-world story to follow up Get Out and Us and Nope is a clear evolution of Peele’s abilities to create outstanding horror. With this being only the third horror title under his belt, Nope has me excited to see what he can bring out next.
Sticking with the suspense trend, 2022 seemed to be the year of the horror resurgence. Great titles such as Smile, The Black Phone, Orphan: First Kill and Fresh all made my list but there were many more quality genre movies that didn’t. So if you’re a fan of horror make sure you don’t miss out on any of these.
Everything Everywhere All At Once was a movie that took me by surprise. This was not a movie I had planned to rush off to the cinemas to watch, but not seeing it in that environment is one of my biggest regrets of the year. I wasn’t hooked at the start of the movie, I’ll be honest, but by the emotional ending it had firmly secured a spot as one of my favourite experiences. It’s a weird, crazy and wild ride, with nothing below a stellar performance from each and every cast member.
I’m still working through my list of movies that I wanted to watch for the year, but there’s only so much time. I shamefully still haven’t got around to Top Gun: Maverick (though I’ve been recommended it a hundred times at least). With the recent release of Black Adam in the Movie Store the list keeps getting bigger and bigger. These will just have to wait until 2023.
Collective honourable mentions include: Drive My Car, Petite Maman, The Sea Beast (Netflix), Fire of Love, Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (Netflix), Happening, Hellbender, Kimi, Licorice Pizza, Ambulance, Jackass Forever and The Wonder (Netflix).