Best Reviewed Movies of 2022

The year we returned to theaters

It’s pretty tough when you’re a movie buff and the world finds itself embroiled in a stupid pandemic. Don’t get me wrong—there is, of course, something to be said for hanging at home and streaming films; getting to pause when you wish and snacking on candy that didn’t cost $9. Still, filmmakers often craft their opuses around the promise that we’ll see them on the big screen along with all it entails (sound, shared experience, spectacle). In 2022 we went back into theaters; these are the best films we saw this year.

Drive My Car

(Reviewed Jan. 19)

We said: Imagine a cinematic landscape where filmmakers felt brave enough to prove they feel the darkness, too, even if it manifests less mythologically than it does in the more bombastic movie fare of today. (Riley Gardner)

Score: 9

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

(Reviewed March 7)

We said: When we look back over the storied genre’s icons, a deeper picture emerges of the women, people of color, queer folks, outsiders and general excellence that transcended demographics to write the histories. Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, aka Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, was one such outlier. (Alex De Vore)

Score: 9

Everything Everywhere All at Once

(Reviewed April 20)

We said: People will talk about this one for years to come, and it’s likely to inspire a whole new generation of filmmakers. Rarely does something so weird make its way into the mainstream, but thank goodness it did. (ADV)

Score: 9

Hit the Road

(Reviewed May 25)

We said: One needn’t be a globe-traipsing cinephile to understand [Panah] Panahi’s first-ever feature, Hit the Road, is a masterwork of differing familial relationships and a tangible, long-lasting pang of existential dread. (ADV)

Score: 9


(Reviewed Aug. 9)

We said: If you want to catch all the Predator Easter eggs and all the nods to Indigenous culture, Prey screams for multiple viewings. Luckily it’s big on the feels and the cultural cache. It’s just an incredibly fun film to watch. (ADV)

Score: 9

A Love Song

(Reviewed Aug. 22)

We said: It’s fun to catch hometown hero [Wes] Studi stretching his legs into a simple and humanist role through which he cuts a handsome and sympathetic figure. [Dale] Dickey, however, defines the film and conveys more by nervously tucking her hair behind her ear than lesser actors deliver in full-on speeches worth of dialogue. (ADV)

Score: 10

Imagining the Indian

(Reviewed Oct. 19)

We said: The storytelling effectively works in the usual collection of cringey Western cinema footage and Bugs Bunny horrors as well as European painters, advertisements and news reels that should elicit their own facepalms. What’s it going to take to correct the record and direct the future? To see the real Native America? A whole team. (Julie Ann Grimm)

Score: 10

In Her Name

(Reviewed Oct. 19)

We said: Kudos go to [director Sarah] Carter...not just for her writing and directing, which are both top-notch, but for crafting some of the most subtly delicious digs at the gallery system and what sort of artists it fosters ever captured on film. (ADV)

Score: 9

The Banshees of Inisherin

(Reviewed Nov. 7)

We said: Both [Colin] Farrell and [Brendan] Gleeson are at the top of their respective games here, and when filtered through [writer/director Martin] McDonagh’s crackling script, they find real magic together. There’s something to be said for chemistry, yes, but also for a pair of studied actors digging into real-world history from a more humanitarian angle. (ADV)

Score: 10

She Said

(Reviewed Nov. 28)

We said: Where [She Said] truly distinguishes itself from other journalism movies is by being singularly and empathetically focused on women: the female journalists who struggle to balance their own lives as new mothers while demonstrating unassailable commitment to their subjects. (Julia Goldberg)

Score: 9

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