The Top 20 Films of 2022, Ranked
According to the aggregated charts of all Flickchart users, what follows are 20 best films of 2022. Actually, the list is only “accurate” as of this moment, and will undoubtedly change a great deal in the days, weeks, and years to come. You’re the one who makes it change, simply by logging into Flickchart and ranking all the movies you’ve ever seen against one another to create the one, true, always-changing global chart. So what are you waiting for?
As of right now, though, here are the best of the best of the last year:
Current rank: 5338
Director Ti West is no stranger to the horror genre, breaking onto the scene with 2009’s The House of the Devil and 2011’s The Inkeepers. He spent most of the last decade working in television before coming back stronger than ever with the first of a trilogy: X. This psycho-biddy throwback revolves around Mia Goth, incredible in dual roles as our protagonist — the young, beautiful Maxine — and our antagonist — the old, frail, and yearning Pearl — alongside a troupe of wanna-be adult film and Hollywood stars lead by her sleazy producer boyfriend. Traveling down south in Texas to the guest cabin of an elderly couple in the middle of nowhere, X takes us through 24 hours of sexual self-discovery, rediscovery, and demise through a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque bloodbath. With a supporting cast of Brittany Snow, Martin Henderson, and 2022’s horror queen Jenna Ortega, this is a fun watch even if it is not the most original script ever written. The kills are typical and mostly average at best, but the fun comes from the vibes that the acting, direction, and cinematography send to your senses, and Goth is worth the price of admission alone. The prequel Pearl was released six months after X if you’re looking for more fun on the farm, and the final chapter, MaXXXine, is currently in production. – Becky Hicks
Current rank: 4915
If you had asked me to describe what goes on inside Nicolas Cage’s mind every time he falls asleep, this movie would have been exactly what I would have said.
Nicolas Cage has seemingly taken every role he was offered over the past few years in order to settle his debts, and in doing so he has Nic Caged himself into the ultimate Nic Cage role. Imagine, if you will, how difficult it must have been for the world’s greatest actor to take on the difficult role of The World’s Greatest Actor, and then to have to poke fun at the only actor Nic Cage has ever looked up to: Nicolas Cage.
This film isn’t exactly the ride I thought I was taking when I bought the ticket, but somehow that made it better. Going in I thought this movie was going to be a one-note Nicolas Cage running joke; what I got was a rollercoaster ride, spy thriller, bromance, buddy comedy, adventure, and family film, with lots of profanity, alcohol, drugs, and self-love. HALLELUJAH!!! *gesticulates while talking about peaches*
This film is proof that no matter how deep a hole you dig for yourself, you can always dig your way out. – De Smith
18. Turning Red
Current rank: 4879
Pixar’s Turning Red follows a Chinese-Canadian teenage girl named Meilin living in Toronto in 2002. She’s living her normal teenage girl life until she learns that she’s inherited a genetic condition in which she turns into an enormous red panda if she experiences strong emotion. Pixar frequently tells coming-of-age stories for its young protagonists, but this one connected directly with a specific demographic and hit its nostalgia hard. I was one of those women who grew up in the strange in-between time just before technology and social media took over seemingly everyone’s lives, and this film highlights that moment so perfectly, including the incredible boy band craze. But beyond just the movie’s setting, it also captures so much about growing up. Despite a narrative centered around a curse that transforms people into animals, this feels like one of the most realistic explorations I’ve seen on film of what it means to be a teen girl: the trying on of identities who see what fits and what people like, the absolute panic that you might be embarrassed, the struggle to define your own values, the realization that your parents are themselves individuals apart from you. And the movie doesn’t end with a simplistic lesson in which a mom or daughter were always in the wrong — instead it rests on a note of hopefulness, telling us we can form better, stronger relationships with the generations both before and after us if we approach them with love and compassion and not needing them to be just like us. This is an even more emotionally-resonant message for a movie so steeped in nostalgia. We who grew up in Meilin’s world and remember it through younger eyes are now stepping into the older generation’s shoes, and this movie casts a beautiful vision for how we can learn from our pasts and use it to strengthen our communities.
And also, the giant red panda is adorable. – Hannah
Current rank: 4785
In a way, Baz Luhrmann’s entire career has been leading up to Elvis. That’s not to say it’s his best film – that’s still a toss-up between Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge! – just that the aesthetic sensibilities he’s been honing for exactly three decades may have no better pairing in subject matter than the King of Rock n’ Roll. The film is exuberance incarnate, a fitting state for a man who revolutionized culture just by shaking and swiveling his hips. Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic may have its problematic elements, such as a tendency to oversimplify Presley’s relationship with the Black musicians from whom he received inspiration/stole, plus a performance by Tom Hanks that few people praise and some people deride in the most mocking terms. Offsetting that on the performance side, though, is Austin Butler as the man himself, whose uncanny combination of impersonating and capturing the quintessence of Presley might just make him the most successful of any actor who has ever tried to don these blue suede shoes. All the trademark Luhrmann razzle dazzle gets swept up in a collage-like frenzy, weaving music throughout, both Presley’s own music and even modern-day hip hop. It’s a film that exchanges literal truth for emotional truth, and captures the dizzy intoxication of Elvis’ stardom, both for the people who basked in it and the people who were trampled by it. Elvis himself may have been one of the latter. – Derek Armstrong
Current rank: 4451
After the roaring success of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, anticipation was high for his follow-up. He revamped the character of Thor into someone more likable as a somewhat aloof demigod with a heart of gold, and his unique blend of humor finally took advantage of the inherent ridiculousness of the cosmic side of Marvel, bringing out the silly elements with a knowing wink and genuine love for the material. Love and Thunder looked to be more of the same. Reactions to the film were mixed, to say the least, but enough of it clicked with Flickcharters to land in the top 20.
While it doesn’t measure up to Ragnarok, Love and Thunder still has many elements of what makes Waititi’s films tick. It has more zany humor blended with big heart, with the arc of Natalie Portman’s Mighty Thor wrestling with cancer proved resonant. There are great visuals throughout with the deliberately large 80s aesthetic. Guns N’ Roses roars as Thor flies in a bright colorful costume, smashing up alien foes. While not in the film enough, Christian Bale’s Gorr is a truly creepy villain who shines bright in his scenes. Shines bright, that is, aside from the Shadow Realm sequence, where Gorr is at his strongest. The film takes on a stark black-and-white aesthetic here in its most visually-stunning moments. Love and Thunder is an uneven experience for sure, but with its humor and comic-book visuals Waititi taps some measure of the Ragnarok well to deliver a good time. – Connor Adamson
Current rank: 4267
James Cameron likes to make us wait more than a decade for his next movie, doesn’t he? The wait was worth it with Avatar: The Way of Water, and the ground Cameron is breaking this time is actually water. As Jake Scully and his Na’vi family are forced to relocate from the forests to the coast to escape the avatar of the deceased Quaritch, Cameron forces his technology under the seas of Pandora to give us images of characters moving underwater like we’ve never seen. (If you want a description of that technology on a technical level, look elsewhere.) Cameron has improved things on a story level, too; since this is the first of what’s meant to be four Avatar sequels, it needn’t resemble a complete arc for the characters, which releases this film from the original Avatar’s most obvious script problems. This script still isn’t going to win any Academy Awards, but at least it shifts the focus from the boring Scully to his children, who are wonderfully realized using the always-improving digital technology, and seem to actually have souls. Now that Cameron has shown us Pandora’s most fruitful two locations for new flora and fauna, it remains to be seen if he can keep topping himself in the coming sequels. At least The Way of Water has done well enough that he’ll get the chance. Seeing it in 3D is highly recommended, and the stupendous wonders make even the 192-minute running time seem relatively fleet. – Derek
14. Bullet Train
Current rank: 4184
If you’ve ever thought Hollywood should combine Strangers On A Train with Speed then have I got a movie for you: Bullet Train!
If you’re tired of wading through Oscar contenders and are looking to check out of your head for a couple hours of choreographed fights, a convoluted plot, and Thomas the Train references, then have I got a movie for you: Bullet Train!
With a star-studded assemble cast, Bullet Train is an entertaining action comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a fun, funny, and wild ride that you’ll want to keep riding. Hang on to your ticket as you enjoy two hours of chaos on: Bullet Train! – De
13. The Menu
Current rank: 4144
If you like your black comedies as dark as possible, then look no further than The Menu. It is a brilliant skewering of high-end restaurants and foodie culture as well as the upper-class twits who like to be seen there. And while it could have just been a thought-provoking satire on consumption and the uber rich, it’s also consistently laugh-out-loud funny thanks to its writers, Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, who have backgrounds at The Onion and late-night TV.
The restaurant setting is impeccable and meticulously-designed even in its Scandinavian sparseness: an important aspect of a movie that takes place almost entirely in one room. Equally important is the presentation of meals. While we are meant to mock the ostentatious presentation of haute cuisine, the movie still presents each dish as delectable thanks to the collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn.
The cast of patrons is excellent, playing on tropes from Wall Street bros to washed-up actors to self-important critics. Anya Taylor-Joy manages to center herself as the one “real” person in the dining room, but she still holds her own in this mad-house restaurant. Nicholas Hoult delightfully moans and rolls his eyes through every course just to make sure everyone knows how much he understands the quality of fine dining.
However, the star and beating heart of the film is Ralph Fiennes as head chef Julian Slowik. It is one of those performances that you cannot picture anyone else playing. The subtle charm that hides an underlying menace, which Fiennes has brought to so many villainous roles before, works perfectly here. Even if you feel yourself about to sympathize with Chef Slowik, the second he glares at a patron and sends one of his minions out to the dining room to deal with a problem, you remember that this restaurant is his domain and we are lucky to be invited for a single meal.
“YES, CHEF!” – Gordon Spates
Current rank: 4016
It’s Tollywood, not Bollywood, but if you’ve seen anything from either you know what to expect: a finesse for excess, a dexterity with digitally-enhanced action that would make Michael Bay blush, and of course a mastery of musical numbers. RRR, a surprise hit that exposed new audiences to the world of popular Indian movies, goes even harder than similar flicks like the Baahubali duology by the same director, S.S. Rajamouli. It’s a new apotheosis of a movement — but look, enough excuses, it’s just pure fun. That’s why it works and that’s why we love it. The characters are ridiculous but lovable (and based on real freedom fighters who would undoubtedly recognize none of this), the action is ridiculous but jaw-dropping, and their song and dance breaks are ridiculously joyful. It’s explosions and bromance and revenge and tiger-fighting and motorcycle-flipping and British-empire-bashing done right, which is to say, done totally without apology. The movie simply rrrips. – David Conrad
Current rank: 3919
Barbarian seemed to appear out of nowhere to be hailed as one of the scariest films of the year, quite a surprise given that it was written and first-time solo directed by The Whitest Kids U Know’s Zach Cregger. A traveling Tess, portrayed by Georgina Campbell who absolutely kills it in one of her first American and first major motion pictures, hits up an Airbnb and finds it is already being rented out to IT’s eerily charming and chivalrous Bill Skarsgård. What follows is the tale of the difference between how women and men view and assess danger when entering new places and meeting new people. Cregger dangles the viewer over stereotypical horror tropes, but just when you think you’ve figured it out he suddenly knocks you down the basement stairs into a whole new story of what it takes to survive the monsters of modern society. Also starring horror darling Justin Long, Barbarian is best seen going in as blind as possible… and after double-checking to make sure your rental has at least a few dozen four-star reviews. – Becky
Current rank: 3387
Following up one of the most successful films of all time is not easy, especially when introducing a society of underwater-dwelling, blue-skinned people. No, this isn’t about Avatar. Ryan Coogler’s first Black Panther was a box office smash and became a cultural touchstone for black Americans with its daring Afro-Futurist vision. While not matching the monetary success, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever proved the better film. Wrestling with the shocking death of Chadwick Boseman, who played the titular character, was not easy. But despite having to rework the film, Wakanda Forever emerged stronger. An excellent examination of grief and legacy, Wakanda Forever’s plot deftly juggles Shuri going into a world without her brother and facing a powerful new threat in the form of Namor and his underwater civilization. Tenoch Heurta stuns as the film’s antagonist, delivering an excellent performance and adding another great Marvel villain to the canon. The film’s production design, score, and costuming all complement the Meso-America aesthetic, creating another enticing Marvel civilization. Featuring the first Marvel post-credits scene worth shedding tears over, Wakanda Forever proves that Coogler is one of Marvel’s best creatives. – Connor
Current rank: 3061
After Predators (2010) and The Predator (2018) made the erroneous assumption that bigger is better and tried to bring us new and more deadly “super” Predators, the newest installment of the venerable sci-fi action/horror franchise trims all the fat, and is all the better for it. Under the assured direction of 10 Cloverfield Lane’s Dan Trachtenberg, Prey brings the Predator back to basics, with a plot that more closely resembles that of the original 1987 film, yet carves its own unique path. The heavy lifting is done entirely by the film’s formidable lead actress, Amber Midthunder, who could not be further from resembling a musclebound Arnold Schwarzenegger, yet embodies a character that may be even more deserving to have the audience rooting in her corner. If nothing else, Prey scores massive points for representation (it’s a shame that the film wasn’t actually filmed in Comanche, but the fact that the Comanche dub even exists is a win). And it opens up possibilities for corners that this franchise could successfully explore in the future. Next time, though, Disney, just give it the theatrical release it deserves, please? – Nigel Druitt
Current rank: 2629
It’s Sam Raimi’s first feature film as a director since Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013, and it marks his first foray into comic book filmmaking since his celebrated Spider-Man trilogy came to a rocky conclusion in 2007. Much was made of this in the marketing for Multiverse of Madness, and it’s not without merit. The film is loaded with trademark Raimi shock and visual inventiveness — so much so, in fact, that there are times when this viewer marveled (pun intended) at how he managed to steer clear of an R-rating for the MCU’s first horror film. Benedict Cumberbatch is back in form as the title character, and Elizabeth Olsen seems to relish her character’s dark turn, but the visuals here are most definitely the star as Raimi takes his audience on a truly psychedelic trip. – Nigel
7. The Northman
Current rank: 2591
Tale as old as time / Song as old as rhyme / Disinherited son and the mother-loving uncle. If you know Hamlet — or if you know the Norse story of Amleth/Amblett that inspired Hamlet — then there aren’t many surprises in The Norseman‘s plot. But that’s OK, because this isn’t about the plot. Much like director Roger Eggers’ previous film The Witch and David Lowery’s The Green Knight, both also from studio/distributor A24, The Northman is an attempt to visualize a fantastical cosmology of the past. These movies take the worldview of their protagonists as literally as possible, letting witches and devils, giants and tree-men, and, in The Northman‘s case, draugrs and Valkyries intercede in the lives of men like Greek gods on the battlefields of Troy. There’s a tactile, muddy, bloody “reality” to The Northman‘s action, but Eggers does not attempt to depict the diversity and sophistication of historical Vikings and their expansive empire. Rather, he tries to do credit to the way some Vikings imagined their heroes and villains and gods to be. That allows Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Defoe, Björk, and others to absolutely let loose, to be larger and weirder than life or movies usually allow (not that Björk can do otherwise). It’s a gutsy move, as is staging a swordfight on a volcano at a time when Revenge of the Sith memes are still current, but according to Flickchart users it paid off. Expect more of the same from Eggers, who’s still working on a Nosferatu remake, and from A24, which has well over a dozen projects scheduled and in development. – David
Current rank: 2511
If you lack one iota of Irish in your bloodline, take 1 hour and 54 minutes of your day to watch The Banshees of Inisherin, then head over to the pub to imbibe a pint or six of Guinness to wash down the transcendental, slow-burning cinematic experience you’ve just emerged from. Then you are going to get yourself a feckin’ DNA test because you are 100% Irish now, friend. Of course, this is also one of the lingering feelings imparted by Martin McDonagh’s debut feature, In Bruges (2008), which likewise makes great use of the powerhouse duo that is Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. In Banshees the pair are reunited under McDonagh’s matured directorial guidance and used to even greater effect. Their characters are richer and more fully realized than in McDonagh’s earlier work. The raw, complex, yet understated emotion pouring from every frame feels far more personal in Banshees, both to the cast and to the director. This is unsurprising given that the Irishman-directed film comprises a formidable cast of predominantly Irish actors, acting in their native Irish accents, in a movie based entirely in Ireland — albeit the rural Ireland of 1923 during the Irish Civil War. Still, the omnipresent but cleverly-peripheral war is only one of the factors which makes this period-piece altogether exceptional, timeless, and relevant in its execution.
In a film full of worthy highlights (the Oscar-caliber performances, the atmospheric score, etc), there are two that any reviewer would be remiss to exclude: the cinematography and the use of language. To randomly select and print out any still frame from The Banshees of Inisherin and hang it on the wall of one’s home would be to increase the property value with its sheer beauty. And if the visual feast weren’t enough to sate you, the use of language, especially as a vehicle for dark comedy, even darker drama, and scant but welcome moments of levity, is both unpretentious and masterful as only McDonagh and a few others are capable of achieving. The confluence of all this palpable authenticity, of this deeply personal artistic expression, of this eminently patient storytelling, results in what filmgoers so desperately want for the price of their admission, which is to be transported. Two intact thumbs up! – Greg Evenden
Current rank: 2029
Jordan Peele knows how to push the limits of the horror genre, as he proved with both Get Out and Us, and now he does it again with a hint of sci-fi in Nope. As Peele himself said, he wanted to make a movie he was not sure if he could pull off. On one hand it’s terrific sci-fi/horror in the vein of The Thing, while on the other it is a film about animals and the dangers of using them for entertainment. The Haywoods (Daniel Kululua and Keke Palmer) train horses to be filmed on camera while Jupe (Steven Yeun) is secretly traumatized by an event involving an ape on the TV show he was on as a kid. The way these elements intersect before the reveal of what is in the sky is a perfect metaphor for trying to tame beasts despite the unpredictability that comes with it. Nope has a great deal of fun throughout its runtime, but danger lurks around every turn and it keeps us on the edge of our seats. One moment in particular will make you jump out of your seat and somehow continue to do so on repeat viewings. Add to this the extraordinary cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema (much of which is shot in IMAX), the foreboding sound (brilliantly mixed in Dolby Atmos), and a terrific music score by Michael Abels, and the result is a movie that will be talked about and remembered long after the credits roll. – Nicholas Vargo
Current rank: 1798
It may be the most felicitous timing in the history of cinema. To have written and filmed a movie absolutely dragging Elon Musk (in all but name) before Musk’s public self-immolation on Twitter, so that it comes out just as the fire is raging its hottest, is *chef’s kiss* synchrony. And in comedy, and mystery, and most of all satire, timing is everything. We waited just long enough for the second Benoit Blanc mystery; it’s every bit as au courant as the first one, so Rian Johnson needed to let a few years’ worth of news cycles elapse in order to reap new material. His introduction of a new cast of suspects clips along efficiently and with minimal exposition, aided by intense and impressively physical performances by Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Madelyn Cline, Edward Norton, and more. The moments at which Blanc pulls back the curtain on the ostensible mystery and Johnson surprises us with a new one are ideally positioned within the runtime, making the movie feel almost as episodic as the adventures of Holmes, Poirot, and Fletcher, whose legacies inform Blanc without overshadowing him. Daniel Craig’s Blanc is often a bemused observer, but when he speaks and acts he arrests the moment, condensing the world of the movie into a huckleberry-voiced sermon and then unpeeling it with wit as much as with ingenuity. It’s a fully self-aware and crowd-pleasing formula that Johnson has mastered, and the fact that the Benoit Blanc stories are anchored firmly to the now is a guarantee that they’ll never run short of material. Our world is too peccable not to spoof, our public figures too elaborately facile (like transparent layers failing to conceal empty centers) not to ridicule. When silliness reigns, a Brit doing a Foghorn Leghorn voice is somehow just the right person to say, “Oh, fiddlesticks.” – David
Current rank: 804
When Top Gun: Maverick was first announced, I desperately wanted to believe it was a good idea, but elements of the original film have not aged as well as I remembered. Cut to opening night and every trepidation I had went right out the window. Top Gun: Maverick was a perfect reminder that a mass market blockbuster can still be an absolute blast. It opens boldly and it never lets up for over two hours. And just when you think it might be overstaying its welcome, it switches gears for an absolutely rousing finale that just blew me out of my seat. Seen in a ScreenX theater, all of the major flying sequences surround the auditorium and make you feel like you are in the cockpit with Maverick and the younger flyers. The latter are all well-developed, enough that when they are put in danger we actually give a damn what happens to them. And the touching moment between Maverick and Ice is a scene that dares you not to tear up a little. There are so many great pieces in Top Gun: Maverick (including Jennifer Connally as Penny) that to name them all would just be redundant. This is crowd-pleasing popcorn entertainment at its finest. – Nicholas
2. The Batman
Current rank: 723
Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, Will Arnett – six Batmen, nine titular roles, and plenty more appearances since the character’s 1989 emergence as a big-screen powerhouse. In thirty years Bruce Wayne has ventured just about everywhere he could, so what more could be achieved with yet another adaptation so soon in the wake of the flop of the DCEU? The answer lurked in director Matt Reeves’ vision of exploring a story both old and new. In returning to one of the beloved superhero sleuth’s comic book roots, Reeves scratched a long-awaited itch, as the one thing that had truly been missing all this time was a proper detective story.
When news began to leak, it became clear that Reeves was the right man for the job. A major fan himself, he knew exactly what the people wanted. Origin stories had been done. Batman at his peak had been done. Why not focus on a nascent Wayne discovering his craft and purpose? The casting of Robert Pattinson only bolstered the excitement, with the once-maligned actor having endeared himself to cinephiles in recent years with captivating performances in smaller movies such as Good Time (2017) and The Lighthouse (2019). Surround him with veterans like Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, John Turturro, Paul Dano, and a dark, dingy, run-down Gotham, and what results is a moody-yet-alluring, gloomy-but-tantalizing three-hour stunner of a hero flick. There’s just something in the way that 2022’s The Batman was executed that begs for more investigation. – Kyle Larkin
Current rank: 452
With action sci-fi reigning as the dominant blockbuster genre, Marvel and others have started to get a tad more experimental with their output, introducing the concept of a multiverse — that is, the concept of parallel universes that differ from each other in substantial respects while still having most of the same people. While the multiverse is far from a new idea, this “out there” concept hadn’t been made part of the mainstream until the last year or two. While some efforts have been stronger than others, few have made full use of the zaniness of the concept.
Enter directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, taking their love of wuxia films and Asian-American culture to deliver us the best multiverse film yet. With A24 on board, the directors were able to distribute a truly zany sci-fi action comedy in which Michelle Yeoh stars as a woman down on her luck, struggling with a dying laundromat and dying relationships with her husband and adult daughter. Taking the classic storytelling tropes of dreaming for something better and wondering where her life went, Kwan and Scheinert transform Yeoh into a multiverse hero as she learns to access different versions of herself and their skills to defeat a great nihilistic evil. An IRS audit by Jamie Lee Curtis, of all things, jumps the plot off before the film becomes a chaotic blend of martial arts fights, bizarre alternate realities, and big emotions.
Anchored by Yeoh’s fantastic performance, Everything Everywhere All at Once dazzled with its great action sequences and zany humor. The film is a wild ride with lots of fun visuals due to the chances it takes. While parts of it feel a tad immature, this is a mild complaint in the face of how much it does well. It takes off-the-wall ideas and centers them around a great story and character arc, fighting against a generation prone to pessimism and nihilism and arguing that life is still worth living, and that there is still joy in the world. This message hits hard after two years of a worldwide pandemic and a contentious political climate, making the film a model of what great sci-fi can and should be. – Connor
And here are some extra picks from further down the chart that our bloggers particularly like!
Scream – Current rank: 5999 – If you’re a fan of the Scream franchise like I am, you likely might have met this fifth installment with more than a little trepidation. After all, how could this franchise possibly go forward without master director Wes Craven at the helm? Well, if you’re like me, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Ready or Not gave you some hope that they might bring the right attitude to a Scream film, and upon finally seeing it you breathed a sigh of relief because they nailed it. Returning legacy characters are given their due, and the torch is successfully handed off to a young cast that does an admirable job of bringing Scream into this modern era — particularly Jenna Ortega, who has had an amazing year in horror. Reverence for Craven oozes from every frame, so much so that it feels as though the master himself could have directed this film, and that’s the biggest compliment I can think to give it. – Nigel
The Adam Project – Current rank: 8477 – Simply hearing that Ryan Reynolds was teaming up with his Free Guy director Shawn Levy for a new sci-fi film was enough to get me to tune in to Netflix as soon as The Adam Project was released. It’s chock-full of things that I love: big action, time travel, Reynolds’ trademark humor, a stacked cast that includes Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, and Catherine Keener. But the big story here is newcomer Walker Scobell. Far too often, child actors playing younger versions of established actors fail to convey the fact that they are playing the same character, even when they appear in flashbacks. Well, in The Adam Project, Scobell plays a 12-year-old Reynolds while sharing the screen with him for the film’s entire run time, and the resemblance is uncanny. (Seriously, Disney, when it inevitably becomes time to reboot Deadpool in 20 years, just call this kid.) The Adam Project is a fun, funny sci-fi confection that I would heartily recommend to fans of the genre. – Nigel
Fire of Love – Current rank: 38,887 – When celebrity scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft died in a 1991 volcano eruption, they left behind a library’s worth of incredible film and tape stretching back decades. Only a small percentage of their volcano footage had previously been seen by the public, mostly on TV in their native France. Luckily, documentarian Sara Dosa, backed by National Geographic, has picked through it and constructed not only a jaw-dropping nature documentary, but a sharply-observed and emotionally-haunting portrait of two soul-mate experts who gave everything to their passion. I’ve been telling people about it ever since I saw it at South by Southwest, and now that it’s on Disney+ people are seeing and loving it as much as I did. – David
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical – Current rank: 46,310 – What am I here for on the Flickchart blog if not to yell loudly about my favorite musicals every year? Released on Netflix at the very tail end of 2022, this version of Roald Dahl’s story is based on the stage version with music and lyrics by comedian Tim Minchin. The musical has been one of my favorites ever since I saw it in New York in 2013, with both wonderfully playful and heartbreakingly-poignant tunes that all mesh into a truly incredible soundtrack. But the film version does its source material proud by leaning wholly into the slightly grotesque fantasy aesthetic of the world Dahl created through its set design, costuming, lightning, and choreography. All these set up this world so clearly through the eyes of a child trying to battle forces much larger and more overwhelming than she is. It’s truly delightful, and I’m so pleased to have such a good film adaptation of one of my favorite shows. – Hannah
5-25-77 – Current rank: 57,110 – In terms of stories about homegrown filmmakers, Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans might be getting all of the attention, but Patrick Read Johnson’s long-in-the-works 5-25-77 deserves some attention too. Having first seen the movie in an unfinished form over five years ago (I wrote a review that you can find on the blog here), I knew something special was happening. Half a decade later, the final cut is here, and my enthusiasm has not wavered a bit. I have watched it numerous times since it came out in November, and on each new viewing there is a sense of awe in how it grabs you with its sincerity and truthfulness and never lets you go. How and why Star Wars becomes part of the story is something you should discover for yourself, as it’s about so much more than just that. 5-25-77 has everything that makes a great movie: laughs, tears, inspiration, and ultimately the chance of going into the unknown to discover if you really have what it takes to do what you want to do in life. Led by fantastic performances (John Francis Daley in particular gives a career-best lead performance), inspired direction, and a soundtrack of ’70s tunes, 5-25-77’s final cut is a flat-out masterpiece about not only holding onto your dreams but also taking the chance to become what you always wanted. It’s a cult classic in the making, and for me the best film of 2022. – Nicholas