These are not the “Best Movies of 2022”, just My Favorite Movies of 2022. I saw 59 movies in theaters in 2022 and here are a few I liked so much that I watched them twice. Usually, the second time at home with my wife.
And now in no particular order:
Technically this is a 2021 movie, but I saw it in 2022 and loved it, so it had to make my list. Two high school girls experience a profound trauma. This story focuses on “The Fallout” after the trauma, and how they attempt to find healing post traumatic event. This was also my first experience with Jenna Ortega of Wednesday fame. She carries this movie with seemingless ease. Streaming on HBOMAX, Rated R, not for kids. (Not for some parents if you are the sensitive type.)
Turning Red chronicles the story of a Chinese-American tween named Meilin, who is navigating all the typical trials girls this age experience plus a few more. In typical Pixar deftness, this balances humor and storytelling while always entertaining. Streaming on Disney+. Rated PG for the entire family. (Yes boys too.)
The Outfit would work great as a one-room play, but don’t let the simple staging and small cast fool you, this film is as carefully made and as complicated as the handmade suits the main character makes. This is part whodunnit, and part mob film, and completely enjoyable. Mark Rylance and Zoey Deutch are so good and natural together that I wished the movie was longer. Streaming on Amazon Prime. Rated R.
There is really no way to describe how insane this movie is, and how much it tries to accomplish. Let’s assume that for every choice we make there are at least two universes created by our choices. Then assume some people can tap into those other universes and even travel to them. With that setup, we mix in a Chinese-American family of three generations, a mother, her husband, her daughter, and her father, and lots of expectations, grievances, heartbreak, loss, and plenty of love. Told with so much humor and sometimes dizzying graphics, you end up with a movie so fun you will want to watch it twice. Streaming on Paramount+. Rated R
Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba star in the story of a Djinn and his unlikely master: a middle-aged narratologist. Told in the present day with flashbacks going back 3000 years, you will be entertained and delighted. Tilda and Idris are amazing like they usually are, with creative and beautiful storytelling by director George Miller who directed the Mad Max films, and the very sweet Babe: Pig in the City. Streaming on demand wherever you rent movies. Rated R.
Vengeance is a story about a “True Crime” podcast where all the information is unearthed in a single week. The podcast creator/journalist, who has seemingly never left Manhatten before, travels to rural Texas to live with the victim’s family. Ben, the main character and audience surrogate, is always out of step and off balance by the change in locale, the culture, and the bizarre behavior of the victim’s family and friends. This is a dark comedy and a lot of fun. Streaming on demand wherever you rent movies. Rated R.
If you love Marvel movies, I needn’t tell you about Thor: Love and Thunder because you have already watched it a few times, but if you are like me, someone who tends to skip a lot of Marvel movies, please pay attention. Two words that describe Thor: Dumb Fun. That’s it in a nutshell. From beginning to end it is nonstop jokes and visual gags. Even if only half of the jokes land, it will still be the funniest movie you see this year. Directed and written by Taika Waititi who has many other funny and charming movies under his belt, including Jojo Rabbit and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Streaming on Disney+. Rated PG13.
Persuasion is an adaptation of a novel written by Jane Austen. I was not familiar with Persuasion before I watched the movie which is my favorite way to see any film. Persuasion stars Dakota Johnson and Herny Golding in a typical Jane Austen family comedy and misadventure. The typical Jane Austen old English has been replaced by more modern phrasing and slang. This is done for comedic results. Some viewers want the same old Austen, but I found it funny and sweet. Streaming on Netflix. Rated PG.
Do you seem to have mostly good luck or bad? Have you ever felt like you were in a slump, or in a long streak of bad luck? If so, you will readily identify with Sam, our twentysomething protagonist who seems to have had so much bad luck, she just cannot get ahead in life. While Luck is a modern-day fairy tale, that is fun and easy to watch end to end, it slyly teaches the importance our mindsets have in affecting how we navigate adversity. Streaming on Apple+. Rated G.
Is Don’t Worry Darling an anti-patriarchy, feminist, girl-power film? Is it a gorgeously stylized mid-1950s dream of a better bygone era? Is it about an underground conspiracy to lobotomize women to become Stepford Wives? Well maybe, or maybe like most art, you will see something else depending on your filters of culture and experience. Nonetheless, you will probably be entertained by the great acting, the beautiful actors, their stunning costumes, and the retro homes, cars, and appliances. Ignore all the hype both good and bad about this film and decide for yourself. Streaming on HBOMAX, Rated R.
Stutz is a documentary about the actor Jonah Hill and his psychiatrist Phil Stutz. If you are interested in psychiatry, self-help, or even Jonah Hill, you should give it a try. My wife and I watched this and enjoyed it from beginning to end. Both Jonah and Phil are interesting characters, and Phil and his philosophy have had a profound effect on many people. You will definitely come out with a better understanding of yourself and of people in general. Streaming on Netflix. Rated R.