I saw 33 movies released in 2022. I went to the movies more than just 33 times but I rewatched many of these releases because I enjoyed the experience enough to want to watch them with other people. There are a couple of straight to streaming movies on this list but they were so much fun that they made the cut.
10) The Princess
As I was going through the list of movies I saw in 2022, I had completely forgot about this movie and even missed it as I was browsing Wikipedia’s 2022 film list. I am guessing I may be the only person to have this on the top movies of the year and honestly I would have never thought I would have done it but here it is in my number 10 spot! This was a Hulu straight to streaming movie. The story knows how ridiculous it is which makes it more fun. The basic plot is that a Princess has been kidnapped and is being forced to marry the stories bad guy who wants to take over the kingdom. What we end up getting is a princess with crazy good martial arts skills that she uses to take the palace back and save her family. Imagine the merger of Die Hard with a Disney Princess movie. Trust me! It works!
This was the last movie I watched in 2022 and I am surprised I added this to my list since I almost walked out in the first 10 minutes because of how disgusting and offensive it was! So Babylon was a very well done movie but it really is hard to watch. It is a tragedy… as in many of the characters go to very dark places. The story starts with Hollywood in the 1920s and follows a couple of individuals who show up at a indulgent party of the SoCal elites hoping to make it in the show businesses. This is definitely a “be careful what you wish for” story. There are some interesting themes in the background as it deals with stars from the silent film era having trouble making it in the talking film era. They also deal with the changes from going from the excesses of the 20s to the over compensation of the 30s. This movie will not be for everyone and if dark themes are a little much for you then I would avoid this. It’s really hard to watch but because of some of the cautionary messages in the story that made me think, I don’t regret watching it. It’s going to stick with me for quite some time as I am still processing it days later. In addition to the tragic elements it is somehow an action movie, comedy, and it has horror elements as it goes to VERY dark places!
8) Avatar: the Way of the Water
So to be honest I was the hipster who decided a few years back that I would never see the original Avatar. I took great pride in that. I loved hearing people say “What! You’ve never seen Avatar!?” I was also the same person who made fun of James Cameron for making more of these movies. So a few weeks ago that all changed. The original got rereleased and I finally saw it and loved it! So I was excited to see Avatar The Way of the Water. It ended up surpassing my expectations! See it in 3D and in the theater. Sully and his family (he has kids now) are being hunted because of the events of the first film and they must relocate from the forest to join the water people and of course trouble eventually finds their new home. The amount of time they spend on character development makes it worth all 3 hours. It is definitely an experience. I saw it twice in the theater!
7) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is at its best when it lets its character moments take center stage over the action. The premise is the main story focuses on Shuri who just lost her brother T’Challa (AKA the Black Panther) but also has a mission to save a college student, Riri WIlliams, who is being hunted by Namor, who is a ruler of a deep sea race of people who’s civilization is unintentionally being threatened by something she invented. There are some great character moments and I am always a fan of female empowerment stories.
6) Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness
Before I talk about this specific movie, one of my favorite genres of SciFi is the Multiverse and Alternate Timelines. I was first introduced to this with Back to the Future 2 when the present Hill Valley was changed for the worst due to changes made to the timeline in 1955. This interest continued with the 90s show Sliders where a team of Multiverse travelers got lost in the Multiverse and hope that the next “Slide” would take them home. So many shows now deal with this concept including one of my favorite shows of all time “Fringe”. So when I found out Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness was coming out I was excited. Keep in mind this movie has some serious flaws but I forgive them because I got to see alternate universe versions of some of my favorite Marvel characters. The general premise is there is a super powered multiverse magic big bad going after a teen, America Chavez, who has the ability to travel the multiverse without magic or a machine and America runs into Doctor Strange who is determined to save her from this threat. I saw it 4 times in the theater and I purchased this one as well.
Pearl is a prequel to “X” that came out earlier the same year. This is a strange movie. It is a horror movie but pays homage to the movies of the early 40s with the title screen, soundtrack, and camera work. Pearl is a girl who lives on a farm with her parents and she is trying to cope with the fact that her husband is away at the war. The twist is that she doesn’t like people telling her no and so if you get in her way you could turn up dead. I guess a good way to describe is to imagine a character like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz but then imagine that she was homicidal. This is very dark and it makes it unnerving hearing the positive early Hollywood style soundtrack. If you can handle gore and want to see something different… this is your movie.
Another streaming movie “Prey” on Hulu. This is a (alien) Predator vs the Comanche Nation in 1719. This is a really great take on the franchise. I would have loved to have seen this in the theater. The general plot is a female empowerment heroes journey where the lead character Naru must try and outsmart the alien Predator who has his hi-tech tools. I have only seen the original Predator movie so I can’t tell you how it holds up but i definitely like this far more than the original. See it!
3) Bullet train
The story starts out simple. Brad Pitt’s character, code name Ladybug, has one mission and that is to steal a briefcase from a Bullet Train in Japan. He wasn’t supposed to be taking this mission but the other guy got sick. It starts out simple but Ladybug is full of bad luck when he discovers that there are several hitmen and other bad guys “coincidentally” on the train at the same time. It is a fast moving fun comedy action flick. I saw this twice in the theater and then bought the movie on home video.
2) Everything Everywhere All At Once
It’s like 2 movies in 1. It is both an insane multiverse movie where the characters can tap into the skills of alternate versions of themselves to fight their enemies. The main character Evelyn has been recruited to save the multiverse but the problem is she doesn’t have any skills. In the movie she is shown how to tap into the skills of alternate versions of herself to fight the big bad who is out to destroy everything. At the heart of this movie Evelyn is trying to hold her family together as her daughter feels unloved by her and her husband wants a divorce.
This was the first movie I saw in 2022. It came out in 2021 in Japan but the U.S. release was January 2022. I went in blind other than knowing that it was anime. I didn’t realize that they had 2 different versions of the movie. One in Japanese with subtitles and the other was in English. I ended up in the Japanese version. I wasn’t prepared for that but I am glad I got to experience the movie in the original format. The emotion of the beautiful music came through even if I couldn’t understand the words. I loved this so much that IN THE SAME DAY I grabbed my niece Emily and saw it again in English. She loved it as well. I saw it a total of 3 times in the theater. Describing this won’t do it justice but it is about a shy girl Suzu who hasn’t been the same since her mother died. She escapes to a virtual world (think Ready Player One without the nostalgia) and becomes a famous singer. They throw in elements of Beauty and the Beast where she meets Beast and tries to help him. Yes elements of that story are there but it is SO MUCH more than that! I had waterworks through the last 30 minutes of this. I even tear up when I watch the montage of songs on YouTube.
Thank you for viewing my list!