2022 was the year of entertainment. From thought-provoking arthouse movies to action-packed commercial blockbusters, here are the top 10 Hollywood movies 2022.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Murder Mystery
Written and directed by Rian Johnson Glass Onion: A Knives Out Murder Mystery is a riveting and standalone sequel to the 2019 film Knives Out with Daniel Craig reprising his role of the southern master detective Benoit Blanc.
The story revolves around a group of famous and influential friends being invited to their friend, eccentric tech billionaire, Miles Bron’s private island in Greece for a murder mystery party. Bron is surprised when Benoit Blanc shows up to the party but lets him stay anyway. The party quickly takes a bloody turn, and it falls on the shoulders of Benoit Blanc to solve the mystery of the murder.
Johnson’s intriguing storytelling model is an interesting take on the traditional whodunnit genre. Deriving inspiration from the works of Agatha Christie, like The Death on the Nile and other mysteries like The Last of Sheila, Johnson has constructed a thrilling, funny, and enigmatic ‘Vacation Mystery.’ With an ensemble cast of characters to keep the viewers guessing. Cast members include Daniel Craig, Janelle Monae, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Dave Bautista, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, and Madelyn Cline.
Avatar: The Way of Water
Calling it a visual masterpiece would be an understatement. James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of the Water is a sci-fi epic that takes place on the fictional planet of Pandora. A sequel to the 2009 film Avatar, which introduced the alien planet of Pandora and its vast and bioluminescent environment. Avatar: The Way of the Water explores the planet’s major landscape revealing multiple characters and concepts. The world-building is extensive just like the first movie and involves ideas from anthropology and other fields of science.
The premise primarily follows Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington, who is now a family man and the leader of the Na’vi tribe after the events of the previous movie and has to leave the tribe after the humans return with a bigger force and Avatar soldiers. Forcing them to migrate and live with the water tribe. Jake Sully and his family learn the way of the water and fight the humans.
James Cameron has yet again revolutionized the technology for performance capture, paving the way for hundreds of future movies, and has presented an emotional story about family, integrity, and survival. The cast involves Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, CCH Pounder, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Giovanni Ribisi, and Matt Gerald reprising their roles from the first movie and Sigourney Weaver returning to play the role of her character’s daughter. New cast members involve Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, and Cliff Curtis. Read More: Top Nominations for 80th Golden Globe Award
Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick directed by Joseph Kosinski is an action-drama film and a sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun dedicated to the director of the first movie Tony Scott. Written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie from a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks.
Tom Cruise reprises his role as Naval aviator Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell who now instructs the new graduates of Top Gun for a tactical and complex mission. Described as a love letter to aviation, it certainly explores the dynamics of the characters and Pete’s reflection on his past and seeing himself in many of the young characters. Exploring themes of camaraderie and ego management the movie moves forward making references to the first movie.
It is also a visual spectacle. Scheduled to release in 2020 it was delayed to perfect fight sequences because of the pandemic. It is not heavily dependent on the use of CGI and also makes use of practical set pieces. But it is not just the action that makes the movie great but the emotional thread that is the dynamic and strenuous relationship of Maverick and Rooster.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once is an American sci-fi comedy written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as “Daniels”). For its creativity, visual effects, costume design, humor, direction, editing, and handling of subjects like existentialism, generational trauma, nihilism, absurdism, and Asian-American identity, the movie has won almost universal praise.
The plot revolves around a Chinese American immigrant Evelyn Quan Wang, played by Michelle Yeoh. When the IRS audits her, she learns that to stop a powerful being from destroying the multiverse, she needs to contact the parallel universe versions of herself.
The cast members are Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Considered one of Spielberg’s personal and best works, The Fabelmans is a film about filmmaking. It is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg’s adolescent years and his fascination with films and filmmaking. He conceived the project as early as 1999 but withheld the project to not hurt his parents as it dealt with exploring his family’s story.
The story follows Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker, who investigates how the power of movies might enable him to view his broken family and others around him for what they are.
Gabriel LaBelle portrays Sammy in the movie, with supporting performances by Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch. The movie is dedicated to the memories of Leah Adler and Arnold Spielberg, Spielberg’s biological parents.
Matt Reeves directed The Batman (2022), a gothic horror take on the classic and beloved DC comic superhero Batman. Exploring more of Batman’s detective side, the film takes inspiration from the films of Alfred Hitchcock and New Hollywood era movies such as Year One (1987) and Ego (2000). It’s an intense, post-apocalyptic cinematic experience, from the opening horror movie scene to the tantalizing closing credits.
The plot revolves around The Riddler (Dano), a serial killer who preys on Gotham City’s elite and is being sought after by Batman, who has been combating crime in the city for two years.
With just his finely angled jaw and melancholic eyes peering from beneath the black mask, Pattinson genuinely embodies Batman, portraying despair. Alongside Pattinson is Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell. Read More: How Exciting Would 2023 be in Terms of Movies?
Babylon has been a much-anticipated movie of 2022. Directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and the likes of Tobey Maguire, the movie portrays Tinseltown or 1920s Hollywood, right around the time when it was making a transition from silent to sound films.
Set in the Roaring Twenties the film follows two individuals: Jack Conrad loosely based on John Gilbert and Nellie LaRoy, inspired by Clara Bow. Conrad who’s losing his fame in the new and changing Hollywood and the attention-seeking Nellie wants to become a star. Covering a large spectrum, it portrays the highest highs and the lowest lows. Chronicling the rise and fall of many characters in Hollywood.
The cast includes Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, and Tobey Maguire.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Wakanda Forever directed by Ryan Coogler is a serious film that addresses Chadwick Boseman’s passing away in 2020. Coogler employs this sense of grief and loss in the plot. The movie avoids the Marvel clichés and tropes of unnecessary comedy. There are, of course, some humorous one-liners, but they do not compromise the seriousness of the scenario or the emotional tension.
The film dares to dig deeper while also giving up some heart-pounding action scenes, talking about harmony, recovery, and humanity. To save and strengthen their country, Queen Ramonda, her daughter Shuri, and warrior leader Okoye (Danai Gurira) must keep their grief and personal tragedies hidden. Their daring and boldness are matched by their flaws, and they must rediscover courage in the face of suffering. This story’s central theme is spirituality.
The movie boasts of a diverse cast including Letitia Wright as Shuri / Black Panther, alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Martin Freeman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Angela Bassett.
A thrilling, claustrophobic dark comedy horror directed by Mike Mylod and written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy.
A group of people consisting of foodies, critics, rich, influential, and the like take a ferry to an island that houses a fine dining restaurant operated by celebrity chef Julian Slowik played by Ralph Fiennes. The story follows the band of characters through their experience at the exclusive restaurant, slowly diving into the genre of thriller. Bits of dark humor sprinkled throughout the plot do not compromise the tension instead create a perfect balance with the suspense. The movie is also a social commentary, poking fun at snobbish upper-class foodies and restaurant culture.
Ralph Fiennes does an incredible job at portraying the egocentric and mysterious chef Julian Slowik. Anya-Taylor Joy’s Margot makes for a powerful dynamic of a restaurateur and an unsatisfied customer. The cast also includes Nicolas Hoult, Hang Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Reed Birney, Judith Light, and John Leguizamo. Read More: Best Netflix Releases for The First Week of January
An interesting and sympathetic character piece, revolving around the protagonist Charlie. Directed by Darron Aronofsky and written by Samuel Hunter, the movie has been subject to controversies surrounding fatphobia but has primarily been known for the acting of Brendan Fraser who plays Charlie.
The Whale follows the life of a morbidly obese English teacher who takes online lessons, talking about his declining health, his self-destructive eating habits, and his relationships with people around him. Suffering from congestive heart failure he reaches out to his estranged daughter to help her do better at school. It portrays a dark, sad, and realistic depiction of obesity, painting the main character in an almost pathetic light.
Brendan Fraser’s portrayal was incredible and carried most of the film. The screenplay by Samuel Hunter was also beautifully written. The movie had other incredible performances by the supporting cast which included Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton.
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