The year 2022 in film - Ranked.

→ in

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
19. Nope

After the massive success of Get Out, everyone was drooling for what Jordan Peele would bring us next. That film was the divisive Us. I love the performances of the movie and enjoy the atmosphere, but some people couldn't jump through the logic loops it requires to enjoy it. For his third outing, Peele brings us a sci/fi horror film Nope.

Strange occurrences happen at a family owned horse ranch. Clouds don't move, objects rain from the sky and something sinister is sucking up the horses.

I'll watch whatever Peele gives us, even if they seem to have diminishing returns. Nope is probably my least favourite of his three films so far, but it still has plenty to offer. Shot on Imax, the film looks gorgeous. The mountainside landscape adds an "epic" feeling to the genre that has so often wanted to feel more claustrophobic. I found myself watching the skies for this thing like people would watch the waters for Jaws.

The length does detract from the film a tad with the 2nd act being the most meandering part of the film. He also intercuts title cards every so often with the names of horses, which slow things down. I wish certain characters had more screen time as Peele seems to incorporate a lot of importance and symbolism with their sequences. Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya have great chemistry as brother and sister as Peele continues to tell stories from the African American perspective with clear intent and he has the actors to back that up.

Nope is good, I just wanted it to be great.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
18. The Banshees of Inisherin

Two lifelong friends find themselves at a crossroads when one of them out of the blue doesn't want to talk to the other. When he is constantly bothered as to why, he goes to extreme measures to prove how serious he is about being left alone.

We all go through this in life, we have friends who have a falling out with and we have friends who simply drift apart. Banshees dives into those aspects of our lives with a depressing look at life on an island with nothing to give. This lack of purpose is what sparks Gleeson's character to want to do something with his life instead of drinking and talking all day, something Farrell's character is more than happy to do.

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, you can expect some sharp dialogue, interesting characters and splashes of violence that might seem out of place. McDonagh uses the beautiful Irish backdrop this time, letting the screen breathe every so often with the gorgeous landscapes.

Depressing, funny, emotional and a bunch of other things that films inspire to make us feel. I had some trouble understanding the lengths Gleeson was willing to go to prove how serious he was when it directly conflicts with what he is trying to do. I get it, you're laying blame on the other for forcing you to destroy something that helps you create what you love, but in the end, you're only hurting yourself.

I died laughing at the bread truck bit though.

Welcome to the human race...
I'm sure if I busted out a ranking of the MCU right now, my relatively high placement of Multiverse would be a fairly hot take (and I still think it's ultimately a middling film after two viewings). Even just the little bit of Raimi that shines through here and there is enough to carry it over not just everything else from the generally lacklustre Phase 4, but even large swaths of the previous phases as well. It also has the best post-credits stinger in the whole franchise (not Theron, the other one).

Werewolf by NIght is another exercise in illustrating the paradox posed by the superhero sub-genre's alleged malleability - people can and will talk up how many different genres can be folded into their adventures, but the rote filmmaking even under the guise of old-timey horror aesthetics just makes everything look generic (including this). Wasn't terrible, I guess.

Black Phone wasn't boring, wasn't anything to write home about either.

Kimi is good. Soderbergh is arguably at his best when he's doing these slight cinematic exercises that don't demand too much one way or another (even a nominally fun goof like Ocean's Twelve skews too hard in the other direction). This is very much one of those films and that's fine.

I'll have to wait until after I've rewatched all three of his films, but Nope might be my favourite of Peele's films so far. Not hard to see why it draws comparisons to the likes of Spielberg or Shyamalan with its extraterrestrial horror (Wincott playing the filmmaking equivalent of Quint is a bonus in any movie) but Peele once again does enough to distinguish it and find a more adept means of folding in his trademark commentary to what is a rather well-executed monster movie.

Banshees is maybe my favourite film of the year (though I also owe it a rewatch just to be sure). I've kind of lost interest in McDonagh over the years - I liked In Bruges at first but now I find it kind of insufferable, a factor that has only been exacerbated in Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards. At least now he's finding different territory to the sub-Tarantino hitman cool or the pained attempts at commentary in those films - as for how Gleeson's character acts, I think dramatic irony is the point as well as illustrating that maybe he is having a genuine psychological crisis that nobody on the island is even remotely equipped to deal with (and are much more likely to make worse).
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.
Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
17. Bodies Bodies Bodies

Okay boomer.

Here is a Gen Z film that feels genuine in the parody of this current generation. With an cast of up and coming young actresses and two "old-timers", Bodies was a genuine pleasure to watch.

A group of well-off friends get together to have a party during a hurricane. During the night drugs and booze flows aplenty and one of the girls suggests they play bodies bodies bodies. It's a murder-mystery game where someone is the "murderer" and they "kill" another person. When you come across that person you yell bodies bodies bodies and then vote out who you think is the murderer. A live-action Among Us style game that turns deadly when one of the "victims" is literally killed. The friends turn on each other as they try to sus out the culprit.

I had a genuine fun time with this film and one of the reasons is the stand-out performance from Rachel Sennott, who people might recognize from Shiva Baby. Everything that came out of her mouth was funny enough to get a laugh from me and the on-going joke about her podcast was definitely a highlight.

The rest of the cast does well for themselves as well; Amandla Stenberg from The Hate You Give plays a recovering drug addict who is a compulsive liar, Maria Bakalova from Borat fame is her girlfriend and just meeting the friends, Lee Pace is the older Vet who is dating Sennott's character and Pete Davidson is the abrasive homeowner.

The film has the actors light their own scenes. The power goes out and everyone uses their smart phone lights to illuminate the scene, which delivers some fun cinematography in the moment. They came prepared with a table full of water and flashlights...but they still use their phones. Small little jokes like these are something you may pick up on repeated viewings. I don't even think they turn them off when hiding.

I had a good time trying to guess the killer and the reveal had me laughing.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
16. Glass Onion

While not as exciting as the Johnson's first foray into the whodunnit murder mystery with Benoit, Glass Onion offers enough humour and mystery to keep you guessing and laughing until the very end.

A group of friends are invited to the private island of their tech billionaire friend for a fun murder-mystery game. Each one is given a mystery box to solve in order to arrive and when they get there, Mr. Benoit Blanc is waiting. He also received the mystery box which brings deadly suspicion to the game. Each one of the people invited has a motif for why they want their billionaire friend dead...

It's hard to describe this film because there is a second act that if explained, spoils a good portion of the film. Much like he did with Knives Out, Johnson takes the classic Murder Mystery yarn and spins it enough to make the story being told unique. Some of the elements were a tad predictable, but in crafting a story like this the viewer will always be on high alert.

Here he populates his cast with well known actors again, but in my opinion, it's a small step down from the likes of Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer. This time we get Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, and Kate Hudson to name a few.

Obviously it's still nice to see Craig having fun with a role for once, he is free from the Bond shackles and able to enjoy acting again. I welcome a third film in this trilogy.

Good to know I wasn't the only one who had a ball with Bodies, Bodies, Bodies. That was such a fun flick and although I had no idea of any of the cast - none of the names rang any bells - but they were all well cast and the whole thing was very entertaining.

Welcome to the human race...
The most memorable part of Bodies Bodies Bodies for me was when the chatty bros who kept talking throughout the previews and opening logos got up and left as soon as it reached the opening shot of Stenberg and Bakalova making out. I still ended up thinking the whole thing was lacklustre - as novel as aspects like the lighting can be (Sennott being covered in glowsticks while everyone else settles for phones or even head-mounted flashlights makes for a great visual, comically and aesthetically), soaking the whole thing in zeitgeist-capturing zoomerisms made things more than a little obnoxious even when I know the whole point is that these are nominally ridiculous caricatures to be laughed at.

I saw Glass Onion a couple of times and it's definitely a step down from Knives Out (which wasn't that great to begin with). It's definitely overwhelmed by the blank check of it all - numerous cameos, extensive runtime, exorbitant production design. A second viewing really underlines how much that second-act reveal kills the momentum and makes the prospect of sitting through the whole thing a bit of a slog even though there are some decent performances in the mix.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
15. Smile

A horror film that relies on jump scares usually rubs me the wrong way, but when they are done really well, then I can get on board. Smile is jump scare city, but I'll be damned if I didn't have a fun time with this one.

Dr. Rose Cotter works in a hospital with trauma specific patients. One patient comes in claiming she is being harassed by a unknown being that always smiles. During this session, she smiles at the doctor while cutting her throat. This passes the curse onto the doctor and she begins seeing the demented smile wherever she goes.

Sounds goofy, but a solid premise can propel a movie high and this is exactly what Smile does. This film feels like a lesser It Follows, but instead of being a film about safe sex, this is about personal trauma. The curse is passed on to people that witness horrific events, such as suicide. The curse is attached to the trauma and it feeds on people. A film dealing with such tough topics has to be careful where it steps. Some of the criticism thrown at Lights Out was that people felt the film advocated for people with mental illness to commit suicide rather than seek help. I was worried that Smile would follow the same path. It steers in that direction, but I feel like at the end of the day its asking the viewer not to internalize the trauma. Carrying it with you can be triggering and facing it head-on will help. Characters here do not face their trauma head-on. they don't seek help until it is too late. They bury it as deep as it will go, until it manifests. In this case it comes out as a creepy smiling demon.

The jump scares do work and work well, but there are dozens of them. Almost every other scene is something crafted to make you jump for a split second. Knowing that before going in might help determine if you'll like this one or not.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
14. Barbarian

If there was ever a movie to go into not knowing anything about it, Barbarian has to be one of them. Directed by Zach Cregger of The Whitest Kids you Know, Barbarian is the latest in a line of horror films from comedy creatives. I can't pinpoint who first started the trend, but I do remember thinking it was odd to see Kevin Smith try his hand at horror, then came Jordan Peele and David Gordon Green, among some others. Comedy and horror work well together and finding the right timing for a good joke is similar to finding the right timing to a good scare.

A young woman books an Airbnb while in Detroit for a job interview. When she gets there she discovers a man is already inside and he claims he also booked the Airbnb. That's all you're gonna get.

The brilliance of the film lies in a few things, one is the casting. Bill Skarsgard is the man who also booked the place. Can he be trusted? He seems innocent enough, but he's also the man also played Pennywise from IT. The film plays with gender roles and expectations rather well. Would you have gone inside to figure out the mix-up? Would you have stayed the night while he sleeps on the couch? Would you drink whatever beverage he offered you? It's pouring rain and a "bad neighbourhood", all the other hotels are booked for a convention. The film tries hard to make it seem like there are very little avenues to take.

If you saw a creepy door leading down a dark hallway, would you investigate or leave? It's funny, I watched this with a female friend and a male friend. My female friend said she'd GTFO, while my male friend he'd at least look inside.

The film works because of the unexpected. I did not expect to laugh as much as I did, Barbarian has one of if not THE funniest scene of 2022 for me. I did not expect to be horrified as much as I was, nor did I expect the tonal changes that will take a few people for a complete loop. I thought I had a grip on where the film was going after the first act, smash cut to something completely different and I'm at a loss. It was refreshing to feel like I was in uncharted waters with someone who knew how to handle the waves.

I thought the first 45 minutes of Barbarian were some of the most intense and terrifying horror sequences I've ever seen.
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
13. Decision to Leave

Park Chan-wook is back with this twisty thriller about a detective on the case of a possible murder. The suspect? The dead man's wife. The only problem is the detective might be falling in love with her.

I love Oldboy, or at least I did when I watched it back in the day. I haven't revisited it since that initial watch. The Handmaiden is something I've watched recently and adore that just as much. So I'm delighted to see Park Chan-wook back after more than 5 years. He is without a doubt, a master story teller and Decision to Leave is another hit.

The film might not work for those who don't buy the love story. Yet this is a film about missed opportunities and miscommunications. How can this man love this woman if she is indeed responsible for her husband's death? Does that love go far enough that he is willing to ignore evidence? All these questions arise in this film that surprisingly lacks the usual Chan-wook in your face sexcapades. He chooses to rather focus on the feelings these characters have but can't actually act on.

There are little moments of creativity in the camera movement or shot choices. For instance, we get a POV from the dead guy as an ant crawls over his eye. Not something you'd think you'd see in a film like this.

Get ready for devastation, this film delivers that in spades.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
12. Avatar: The Way of Water

I am an unapologetic Cameron fan.

Avatar: The Way of Water sees the sky people return and they have a vendetta against Jake Sully. He moves his family away from the clan to save them and finds refuge in the water tribe. He and his family, learn their new way of life...the way of water. But since this is an action film, they are discovered and must fight for survival once again.

At 3hrs and 12 minutes, this is a long one. Yet, somehow...for some God-forsaken reason, it didn't feel THAT long. Cameron uses a lot of time to explore the new part of Pandora. He's obsessed with water and the life we find under it. So if you want to see a progression of the story, you'll be disappointed. Way of Water is 80% explore the world and action, with 20% story.

The world is gorgeous, no denying that. At times I wondered how they got the hair to look so damn real, then I thought, how did they get the water to look so damn real. Cameron as always pushes the envelope of technology and what is achievable. The last 45 minutes or so of the film is one action set piece that bleeds into the next. Cameron hasn't lost a step and despite wanting something other than Avatar from him, I'll be content with what he delivers.

They bring back Lang, which I found funny because why bring back a villain that was already defeated? The way the film ended as well, makes me laugh even more. People like to complain about Cameron's writing (yet he has given us iconic lines of dialogue in cinema) and complain about unoriginality. Give me a break. The first Avatar was an original story. I would rather see the number one film of all-time be something that came out of nowhere, than a film that had 15-plus movies and decades of lore to pull from.

Whether you like the story being told or not is up to you. But the man knows how to tell an entertaining story. He's just terrible with exposition, I'm looking at you brain goo.

I forgot the opening line.
19. Nope -
- There's a lot going on with this, and it uses on old formula in a novel and interesting way. Seen it twice now.
18. The Banshees of Inisherin -
- Colin Farrell is great in this, as is the screenplay. Thought this was up there.
16. Glass Onion -
- Okay, and entertaining. Not one I'll watch a heap of times.
15. Smile -
- I'm a big fan of this. Had a great time the first time around, and enjoyed it as much the second.
14. Barbarian -
- I've see-sawed on this a bit, I think I need to see it a second time to decide if I really like it or not - but I remember enjoying it.
12. Avatar: The Way of Water -
- This was value for money at a cinema.
My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : A Perfect Couple (1979)

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
11. After Yang

A poetic look at the life of someone through another person's eyes. After Yang is a futuristic look at society when androids are commonplace. The android Yang malfunctions, and instead of throwing it away, Jake tries to find a fix. In doing so he is able to access Yang's memories and see his family in a new light.

Such a beautiful film that is quiet, calm, and thoughtful. After Yang follows Colin Farrell's Jake, a somewhat absent father who needs to find a way to fix their "son". The film pauses for moments that Yang experiences. His internal memory records and saves these moments and they are not what one would expect. A flower, a tree swaying in the wind, an unnoticed smile, things that make Yang feel more human. Jake is able to see his family from a new perspective and see what he missed. This gives him a new purpose to be a more present father. Something that is definitely relatable.

Farrell had 4 films come out this year, I only got to see 3 of them and he was outstanding in every single one. Gone is the "movie-star" bad boy and here is the character actor that he always should have been. Picking interesting choices and hearing him speak about the roles with such earnestness is refreshing.

After Yang might be a tad slow for some people, but I appreciated the slow journey here.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
10. Deadstream

When I put this on, I almost immediately regretted it. The star was a tad annoying, the demographic seemed to be a bit younger than me and it had an amateur vibe to it. I'm so glad I stuck with it though because Deadstream turned out to be a hilarious love letter to found footage films and The Evil Dead.

A disgraced YouTuber tries to earn back his fans by spending the night in a haunted house. He will be live-streaming the entire night. To make sure he doesn't chicken out, he disables his car, puts a lock on the front door, and throws away the key. There's no escape...

This is a one-man show and despite the annoyance of the lead at the start, I eventually warmed up to him and had a great time. Written, directed, and starring Joesph Winter, it's clear that he is a fan of the genre. Co-written and co-directed by his wife, the two made sure to make an excellent balance of horror and comedy. I was shocked by how well the horror was done and how funny the moments were. A demon finger up the nose will always get a laugh out of me.

Since the film is a "live stream", the lead will occasionally interact with the viewers online. This almost adds a participation element to it. You're part of this audience watching him go room to room. The audience will interact with him here and there. Telling him something is behind him or if he has a question, they will research it and post their findings. This is a welcomed element that adds a bit of relief to the one-man show.

It's a low-budget love letter to horror with elements of Raimi. I look forward to what this husband and wife duo has to offer next.

Welcome to the human race...
Lately, I tend to be skeptical of any film where I'm told to go in knowing as little as possible and Barbarian isn't really an exception. At least it's still decently executed, but nothing spectacular.

Decision to Leave is, like virtually every Park Chan-wook film I've sen, at least pretty good. I'd have to see how it holds up but there's enough visual panache to proceedings to make its Vertigo-like tale-of-two-halves (it certainly has an interesting approach to depicting phones and texting, for instance).

I've more or less settled on Avatar being an extremely okay film with some great moments here and there but The Way of Water is a marked improvement, one that allows Cameron to really go all-out with things for better and sometimes for worse. Also, it's very funny to ask "why bring back a villain that was already defeated" about the director of Aliens and Terminator 2.

After Yang is probably okay, but I slept through too much of it to make me think I can offer a proper assessment of it. I've been meaning to give it another shot, though.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
9. Pearl

In a just world, Mia Goth would be nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in this film. At least maybe she will see some love for the Mofo Film Awards?

A prequel to X, we see Pearl as an aspiring singer/actress living with a vegetable father and an overbearing mother, and my God is it tough. Her husband is away fighting the war and Pearl is slowly losing her mind with a thirst to kill those that get on her bad side.

This film felt like a Wizard of Oz horrorshow. The bright technicolor cinematography brought a smile to my face. This film was a slow-burn character study with sprinkles of horror so people expecting another slasher on the level of X might walk away disappointed. I found myself enthralled by Goth's performance of this young naive girl wanting stardom. It makes revisiting X an absolute pleasure.

Two key moments stand out and people basically only talk about these two moments. The single-take monologue was fire and the closing credits smile was comically unnerving.I look forward to seeing MaXXXine in the 80's.