Now that we’ve entered a new year, I thought I’d go over some of the 2022 movie releases I managed to watch in 2022. While there were definitely some disappointing watches, some titles did manage to stand out and were an absolute joy to watch.
In order to keep this post from getting too long, these are the top 10 but you can find the the full list over on my letterboxd. This list is also in alphabetical order just to keep things simple and fun. All of these picks are based on UK releases and are completely my own opinion.
I had seen this movie around but knew next to nothing about it other than the fact the main character finds a doorway in the basement of the house she’s staying in and I have to say, thank goodness that’s all I knew! Of course, if you have any triggers, it is always best to try and look those up so please do that. That being said, this was such an unexpected story and I couldn’t even begin to predict the direction it went in. Barbarian is creepy and dark and honestly, the time flew by watching it. The cast is small and full of talent but Georgina Campbell, in particular, really shone.
I’ve been a Robert Pattinson fan for a long time now but even so, when it was announced that he might be playing Bruce Wayne (aka Batman), it was not something I thought I’d ever hear, let alone see. Thank goodness it did happen because he is so incredible in this role, once again proving what range he has.
In fact, the entire cast is incredible which provides us with not only fantastic solo performances but also some great chemistry. The movie itself is also entertaining with the right amount of grittiness while also being aware enough of itself to have some fun. It follows Batman/Bruce as he helps to investigate corruption in Gotham when a series of key political figures are murdered. Personally, I think it drags the end out a little more than necessary but besides that, it’s a wonderful watch and despite giving you a lot of what you might expect from a Batman movie, it also feels like something new and I’m very excited to see where future movies might go.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
I feel like this movie is pretty on par with his predecessor Black Panther and, considering I loved that one, Wakanda Forever was a very good watch. It’s a very wonderful tribute to Chadwick Boseman while also focusing equally on the plot, the continued growth of existing characters, and the introduction of new characters resulting in a well-balanced movie. It looks amazing with bright colours and incredible set design, costume design, and make-up and hair. The action sequences are incredibly fun to watch and the soundtrack is also wonderful and really elevates certain scenes. In the end, this was an emotional movie for a ton of reasons and serves as a great sequel to Black Panther.
I was not expecting this one to be as good as it was but it turned out to be the rom-com I needed. I put it on for something short and easy to watch and it was definitely that but it was also hilarious and really enjoyable. It’s incredibly cheesy and that makes it all the better. The story has highs and lows but is ultimately a fantastic watch. It follows Paige (Rowan Blanchard) who is forced to join the track team and while dealing with a long-time crush, discovers more about love. The cast is amazing with the characters being interesting in their own right but also allowing for some great chemistry.
The Curse of Bridge Hollow
This one could very easily become a yearly Halloween watch for me. I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did but it had me laughing out loud because this thing is a blast. The premise is straightforward: a teenager accidentally releases an evil spirit and has to team up with her Halloween-hating dad to destroy it. This movie is light and silly and very over-the-top. While the overall tone and aesthetic might not be for everyone, if you want something ridiculous and entertaining that’s not supposed to be taken too seriously then this is definitely one that you should check out around spooky season.
What a surprise for me! This is a movie I put on in the hopes of having something low-stakes playing in the background but it had me hooked from the get-go. With a simple premise — two teenage girls swapping revenge plots — the story manages to be engaging and feels focused. Something elevated by the great cast and incredible chemistry, particularly in regard to Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke. The movie balances its humour with its serious moments and although the structure and pacing could do with slight improvement, the entire movie is a pleasure to watch. Plus, to top it all off, it looks really wonderful with bright colours and fun outfits and nice backgrounds.
Falling for Christmas
I do love me a cheesy Christmas rom-com and this was one I was really excited for. If you look at the poster for this movie and think to yourself “I’ve seen a million movies like this” but that doesn’t seem like a bad thing to you then you’ll love this. Falling for Christmas follows Sierra (Lindsay Lohan) who suffers temporary amnesia after a skiing accident and ends up staying with a local lodge owner and his young daughter until she gets her memory back. It’s predictable and cheesy in the best ways and Lindsay Lohan is amazing in this. The story is simple but delightful and very tropey, again, in the best way. At the end of the day, it’s just a delightful little holiday romance.
Jurassic World: Dominion
Okay, so, I love the Jurassic series. I even ranked the titles at one point and so, naturally, I was very excited not only at the prospect of another Jurassic movie but that members of the original cast would be making appearances. It was like worlds collide and I couldn’t be happier. At the end of the day, if you’re not already a fan of these movies, I’m not sure how this one can change your mind but if you do love them, or even just like them, this is an instalment worth checking out.
While I do think it’s possibly more fun to already be familiar with Predators (the franchise, the characters) before seeing this movie, it’s not necessary. It does connect to other titles but in such small/subtle ways that won’t ruin your viewing experience at all if this is your first trip into the Predator (and by extension: Alien) worlds.
Now, as for Prey, this movie is a ton of fun. Set in the 1700s, we follow Naru (a Comanche warrior) who sets out to defend her people against a dangerous new predator. And can I just say, while this whole cast is great, Amber Midthunder who plays Naru is incredible. Now, at no point does it feel like this movie is trying to complicate things. It’s very clear about the story it wants to tell and uses its momentum to gradually get us to a pretty satisfying conclusion. There are still some twists and turns along the way but every part of it is fun and feels necessary. While improvements could have been made here and there, this is a great addition to the Predator franchise and along with the familiar elements that help it be a part of said franchise, it also feels fresh in other places.
Now, you can get away with having never seen any of the Toy Story movies before watching this because there is only technically a very tiny connection between those movies and this one. However, I personally thought it was a lot of fun to have prior knowledge of the Toy Story version of Buzz Lightyear. Going in, I was a little bit nervous but Lightyear is such a delight. It’s entertaining and funny. The story is gripping enough and it paces relatively well, although, I won’t say anything about the plot because I feel it’s more entertaining to not know much at all. Is it a little predictable? Sure. It’s still a joy though and this version of Buzz Lightyear is different enough to keep things interesting but familiar enough to latch on to any previous love and/or intrigue you may have for the toy version in the Toy Story movies.
So, there we have it!
10 movies released in 2022 that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. If you have any thoughts and opinions on the movies above, feel free to let me know in the comments and feel free to recommend any 2022 titles you think I missed and should check out. Once again, I did have to limit this list to avoid it getting too long so be sure to check out my full “2022 Ranked (Watched in 2022)” list over on letterboxd to get more recommendations!