Feature List: Stephen Brown’s Top 25 Movies of 2022

Top left to right bottom): Aftersun, RRR, Top Gun: Maverick, The Woman King, The Batman, The Fabelmans

It was actually a pretty stellar year for movies for those who followed the art form. My populist proclivities are dotted with a few indie gems throughout the mix. It was a solid year for studio franchise films, twisted horror and dark comedy on streaming services. I’m still catching up on some international films and documentaries and haven’t seen Women Talking yet. Critical darlings Triangle of Sadness and the Avatar sequel didn’t make my top 25, nor did curiosities I wanted to adore such as Crimes of the Future, but lots of other surprising titles did. All are reviewed here on the website as well as on Letterboxd.

1 Aftersun – an emotional drama about a woman’s memory of her last vacation with her dad, told partially in home movies

2 RRR – two legendary Indian revolutionaries fight back against British colonialists in the 1920s in an action musical extravaganza 

3 The Batman – a caped detective ventures into Gotham City’s underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues

4 The Woman King – an all-female army of warriors protects its African kingdom from foreign invasions in the 1800s

5 Top Gun: Maverick – a top Navy aviator confronts the ghosts of his past as he trains new pilots for a dangerous mission

6 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – after losing its leader, a nation must rise to confront a new threat 

7 The Fabelmans – a budding filmmaker grapples with how his camera captures the breakup of his family 

8 The Banshees of Inisherin – the end of a friendship and an ultimatum are just the beginning of a quirky dark comedy set on an Irish isle 

9 The Automat – documentary chronicles the rise and fall of NYC and Philly’s egalitarian eatery paralleling changes in American life 

10 TÁR – a controlling conductor begins to crack as she faces getting cancelled 

11 Babylon – vintage Hollywood tramples a troubled trio in a scandalously sordid comedy action drama

12 Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – a motley gang of modern influencers convene on an island for the ultimate whodunit 

13 Elvis – a rock and roll legend ascends despite the machinations of his corrupt manager 

14 Three Thousand Years of Longing – an intellectual gets more than she bargained for including fantastical tales when a djinn offers her three wishes 

15 Everything Everywhere All At Once – a creative fantasy in which an ordinary woman must traverse the multiverse to reconcile with her family

16 Cha Cha Real Smooth – an aimless twentysomething learns life lessons from a mother and daughter he meets on the bar and bat mitzvah DJ circuit 

17 Bones and All – two young cannibals in love travel cross country in search of safety

18 Prey – the hunt is on as the “Predator” made famous in past action movies faces off with a First Nations tribe

19 The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – an actor must channel his iconic and beloved characters when a birthday party abroad becomes the scene of espionage 

20 Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – a lonely woodworker builds himself a son in this stop-motion animated film set in Fascist Italy 

21 The Black Phone – an abducted 1970s suburban teenager must plot his escape from a psychotic man called The Grabber in this psychological thriller 

22 X – a film shoot becomes the site of a Texas massacre as an elderly couple doesn’t take kindly to the antics taking place on their land in this taut horror movie 

23 I Want You Back – two recently dumped strangers team up to sabotage the new relationships of their exes in a reverse romantic comedy 

24 Do Revenge – two high school outsiders devise a plan to avenge the act of one another’s rivals in a candy-colored dark comedy

25 Barbarian – a young woman discovers the rental home she booked is already occupied by a stranger, but that’s just the start of a twisty tale of terror 

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