This article will be a work in progress over this weekend. All the movies are already ranked but I haven’t had time to put out explanations for them all yet. So thew Best Movies of 2022 article will be updated over the next couple days with detailed explanations for everything. For now, enjoy!
How I Ranked the Best Movies of 2022
Usually, when I write a movie review – or give a Letterboxd rating (follow me here) – I try to be professional and give my scores with a solid mix of personal opinion with objective merit and take into account the circumstances and expectations of a film. So it’s easier for a well-done Netflix rom-com to earn an A than it is for a movie that was supposed to be a Best Picture contender that you can only watch by driving to 1 of 7 movie theaters in America and hopping on 1 leg to reveal the secret password in morse code. But for the Best Movies of 2022 list you’re about to read, most of that is out the window. It’s pure vibes and personal feelings. If I like movie X more than movie Y, movie X is higher in the rankings.
Some of you may ask, what qualifies this random dude to decide the “Best Movies of 2022” with just his own vibes and personal feelings? The answer is a WordPress login, a few paychecks, the fact that I want to, and the fact that you’re here reading it. But seriously, I love movies, I loved getting to go to the movies this year, and I’m excited that I got to turn that into a couple of decently paying side gigs in 2022. I got to watch 75 new movies in 2022, and so I’m here to appreciate what was an utterly incredible year of cinema by listing them all from worst to best. Fondly revisiting the ones I love and shitting on the stinkers.
Please keep in mind, these are my genuine thoughts about movies I watched this year. If a movie you liked isn’t on here, it’s nothing personal, I just didn’t see it. If a movie you liked is lower than you expected it to be, it is personal. Because that movie sucks, and you’re wrong for liking it. Just kidding. But please remember that trolling you is of 0 value to me, I just want to speak my truth.
Let’s get it going. Best movies of 2022 coming up!
I Hated These Movies (75-67)
Released: September 16th | Streaming: Netflix
Out of 75 movies I watched this year, there was only 1 film that was so utterly insufferable, poorly misconceived, and mind-numbingly bad that I couldn’t finish it, and that was Blonde. I got to the 90-minute mark of this nonsensical anti-abortion ad and exploitation of both Marilyn Monroe’s legacy and Ana De Armas and had to tap out. I haven’t been even the slightest bit curious to know how the movie ended because Andrew Dominik’s entirely random cuts between black and white, sepia, and color pissed me off that much. Fuck this movie. But I still love you, Ana.
74. The Ledge
Released: February 18th | Streaming: Hulu
Thankfully, The Ledge is just a regular bad movie and not offensive to the senses like Blonde. The Ledge is a survival thriller about some chick who witnesses her friend get murdered on a camping trip by some frat dude bros and then runs away from them and has to survive on the edge of a ledge as they try to kill her too. I honestly can’t explain to you why this movie is bad in words, you just have to see some of it to understand. So here’s my livetweet thread about The Ledge that has some clips in it. Oof.
73. Raymond & Ray
Released: September 12th | Streaming: Apple TV+
I got invited out to an early press screening for this movie that stars Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke as estranged half-brothers who reunite after their father dies. Which sounded cool! But then I showed up to the screening and was literally the only person there. And the movie was so mid and unmemorable that I titled my review (linked above) “Mid That Made Me Question My Life”. So yeah. It’s not bad, it’s fine. But sitting here now a few months removed from seeing it, I couldn’t tell you anything I remember about it other than that it was fine. So here it is at #73. Whatever.
72. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Released: June 17th | Streaming: Hulu
The trailer for Good Luck To You, Leo Grande looks pretty funny and cute. It shows Emma Thompson as a lonely old woman who hires a young sex worker to help her get off for the first time, and that seems like it’d be a good starting point for a fun comedy. But it’s not really a comedy, it’s Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack hanging out in a hotel room for 95% of the movie and just talking. Not making jokes, not having sex, not being interesting, just talking. BOOOOORING! Next!
71. Deep Water
Released: March 18th | Streaming: Hulu
Look, Ana de Armas is top 5 dead or alive. But buddy, she was in some stinkers this year. Deep Water was no exception. This is the movie that got made while de Armas and Ben Affleck were still a couple and then was in limbo after they split up. But that’s not the problem with this movie, the problem is that there’s 0 reason for me to care about Ben Affleck murdering people who fuck Ana de Armas. Also, the snail thing was weird.
70. Mothering Sunday
Released: March 25th | Streaming: VOD
Another no-name movie that I only reviewed because the studio asked me to, Mothering Sunday is very confusing but not in a way where you really want to understand what’s going on. I wrote in my review that Mothering Sunday, a movie based on a book about a maid who has an affair with some rich dude who is about to marry somebody else, is the worst kind of mediocre movie. “Confusing when trying to be mysterious; unintentionally hilarious when trying to be shocking, and pointless when trying to be ambiguous.” Complete snoozer, even with Olivia Colman and Collin Firth being in it.
69. Jurassic World: Dominion
Released: June 10th | Streaming: Peacock
Jurassic World: Dominion sucks so bad. One of the worst scripts I’ve ever heard in my life, the plot is nonsensical, and the characters they brought back from the original movies all have nothing to do other than look at the camera and go “remember ME???”. The little clone girl is insufferable and they retconned her terrible story again, making it even more terrible. The love of my life Bryce Dallas Howard had nothing to do. The only thing keeping it above the other movies on this list and at a very nice #69 is that there are dinosaurs. But even that wasn’t enough to make this movie good or even fun. It stinks. A pitiful nostalgia money grab.
68. Armageddon Time
Released: October 28th | Streaming: VOD
Armageddon Time is a semi-autobiographical movie by director James Gray. It follows a young Jewish boy who has a poor Black friend. The Jewish boy’s parents are racist, and that’s…the whole movie. James Gray is a nice Jewish boy who wants to have a Black friend, and Anne Hathaway won’t let him. There’s no bigger message, there’s no interesting plot, and no intrigue whatsoever. It’s just James Gray telling us his parents were racist, but he wasn’t. And then it ends. Trash.
67. Luckiest Girl Alive
Released: September 30th | Streaming: Netflix
Luckiest Girl Alive is a Netflix novel adaptation starring Mila Kunis as a woman with a seemingly great life that secretly has a very fucked up past. The movie is so clumsy with the choices that it makes that it ends up feeling mean-spirited. Multiple rapes are shown, there’s a school shooting scene that’s played for laughs, shit like that. Unnecessarily cruel time and time again, with no interesting payoffs to make any of that worth it. And every character here is either a rape victim or a rape enabler with no other purpose for existing. I hated this movie, but fortunately, this is the last one in this tier.
Pretty Forgettable But Mostly Fine (66-55)
Released: August 5th | Streaming: Apple TV+
This one’s an Apple TV+ cartoon about an orphan girl with the worst luck in the world, who meets a magical black cat that takes her into like a secret Luck Magic Kingdom Factory type thing. It feels like a knock-off Pixar movie, copying the Inside Out and Soul formula without the quality animation or emotional moments. Despite that, I found it to be a decently pleasant but entirely disposable film.
65. Not Okay
Released: July 29th | Streaming: Hulu
Not Okay is a Hulu release about a girl (Zoey Deutch) who is pretending to be on a vacation in France when a terrorist attack happens right at the location she was claiming to be in. She leans into it and becomes like a fake survivor/advocate type of person. The movie is basically a satire of social media culture and white feminism, but the jokes and social commentary didn’t really hit that hard for me, and it ends up just being “aight”.
Released: August 19th | Streaming: Peacock
It’s time we have an honest conversation about Idris Elba. My man’s filmography does not match up with his standing as an elite actor. Beast is another entry into the constantly growing category of “random mediocre shit Idris Elba is in”. That man fought a giant lion with a knife, and I felt nothing within 2 minutes of leaving the movie theater. But I didn’t have a bad time!
Released: December 9th | Streaming: Apple TV+
I don’t usually watch slave movies and Emancipation is a perfect example of why. Even the “feel good” stories about slavery feel fucking awful. This movie was an endurance test more than anything else. It’s in this tier because it’s not bad. And honestly, if this same movie came out in 2002 instead of 2022, it’d probably be considered a classic. But as is, it’s fine.
62. Three Thousand Years of Longing
Released: August 26th | Streaming: VOD
Another piece of mid from Idris Elba, Three Thousand Years of Longing features Elba as a genie who is discovered by Tilda Swinton. Elba tells Swinton about a bunch of other times his magic wish-granting powers were used throughout history via flashbacks. Honestly, all of those flashback stories seem like they would’ve made better movies than the one we got. But I didn’t hate this one. Unlikely to ever think about it again, but whatever.
Released: November 4th | Streaming: Apple TV+
Apple TV+ struggled in 2022 after winning Best Picture for CODA and releasing other bangers like The Tragedy of Macbeth in 2021. Everything I’ve seen from them this year was either bad or pretty unmemorable, and Causeway was no exception. Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry both give pretty good performances, but the story goes basically nowhere.
60. The Adam Project
Released: February 28th | Streaming: Netflix
The Adam Project was the movie that made me realize it’s time for us all to move past the Ryan Reynolds thing. The returns are all the way diminished at this point. This movie isn’t bad, it’s just…exactly what you’d expect from a Ryan Reynolds movie where he is cast alongside a younger version of Ryan Reynolds for sci-fi mischief. I think it’s best we all take a break from the Ryan Reynolds industrial complex until Deadpool 3.
59. Black Adam
Released: November 18th | Streaming: HBO Max
The Rock got off some generational lies about Black Adam. He promised us it’d change the paradigm of superhero movies and all other kinds of bs like that before dropping off a movie that felt like it came straight out of 2007. Black Adam has some cool action scenes which kept me from being bored or hating it, but there’s nothing worth remembering here. And that’s been confirmed by the fact that DC is now moving away from Black Adam AND Henry Cavill as Superman despite that post-credits scene.
58. The People We Hate At The Wedding
Released: November 18th | Streaming: Prime Video
Okay, so hear me out. This movie was fun! It’s not good, but it was fun. Kristen Bell, Ben Platt, and Allison Janney were a cute little dysfunctional family that I enjoyed spending some time with. This movie is completely disposable, and if I’m being objective, it’s actually kinda bad. But damn it it’s my list so if I wanna have a basic ass rom-com that no one even saw as my #58 movie of the year, then I will do just that!
Released: February 18th | Streaming: Netflix
Tom Holland is a good actor and action star. Mark Wahlberg, I can take or leave, but he’s had some great movies. Uncharted just isn’t one of them. Video game movies always struggle to deliver the same thrill that the actual games do, and that held Uncharted back. If they make a sequel I’d watch it but I’m not dying to go back to this one anytime soon.
56. Mr. Malcolm’s List
Released: July 1st | Streaming: Showtime/VOD
Sometimes you just want a cute little rom-com where you know exactly where it’s going as soon as you see the trailer. And Mr. Malacolm’s list delivered on that for me. A nice little single-serve movie you can watch once, go “aww, that was cute” and then never think about it again for any reason whatsoever.
55. Marry Me
Released: February 11th | Streaming: Peacock
Similar to Mr. Malcolm’s List, you can tell every plot detail that’s about to happen as soon as you see the trailer for the movie. But I’m not going to lie, J. Lo and Maluma doing musical numbers followed by some cute Owen Wilson quips about being divorced is a formula for a good time. And I actually really enjoyed this one. Couldn’t justify having it any higher on this list but I thought about it.
Almost Good But Not Quite (54-40)
54. Cha Cha Real Smooth
Released: June 17th | Streaming: Apple TV+
This movie is about a 20-something with no real direction in life that becomes a Bar Mitzvah party host and wants to bang Dakota Johnson. Cha Cha Real Smooth was apparently part of a major bidding war coming off its festival premiere, and it was expected to launch Cooper Raiff on his way to stardom. But its full of very gen-z humor that ended up not working for me as well as I had hoped. Raiff is talented both as an actor and director, but he’s going to have to use his next movie to prove it to more people.
53. The Tinder Swindler
Released: February 2nd | Streaming: Netflix
This documentary on Netflix was WILD. But it’s not actually good or anything. Just interesting.
52. Emily the Criminal
Released: August 12th | Streaming: Netflix
I love Aubrey Plaza but they made her annoying as hell in what would have otherwise been a dope action movie. You’re supposed to root for her because she’s a felon with student loan debt but being a felon in debt isn’t a personality trait. Keeps it relatively low on the list for me.
Released: November 11th | Streaming: Apple TV+
Will Ferrell and the magic of Christmas almost saved this movie from Ryan Reynolds but not quite. It was still kinda fun, though, and I’ll likely have it in the Christmas rotation going forward.
50. Don’t Worry Darling
Released: September 23rd | Streaming: HBO Max
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Florence Pugh with all my heart. But Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde combined to muddle this movie into mediocrity despite Pugh doing everything she could to save it. But she’s incapable of being in a bad movie, so this one winds up being decent instead of the bullshit it would have been without her.
49. The Princess
Released: July 1st | Streaming: Hulu
I’m Joey King hive now, and this movie is a big part of why. The Princess is a tower escape movie where Joey King, playing the titular princess, has to beat up and stab a bunch of men who are trying to overthrow her father. It’s badass! Bloody, fast-paced, and creative. Some of my favorite action this year. The plot is bland, and the characters are too thin for me to rank it any higher than 49th on the best movies of 2022 list, but I do like this one and recommend checking it out if you’ve got nothing else going on.
Released: April 8th | Streaming: Prime Video
Ambulance is a whole lot of Michael Bay-ness, for better or worse. It’s got really fun action moments and some brain-meltingly stupid elements, but it all washes out to end up being a decent movie in the end. Although there’s nothing here that separates it or elevates it into actually being “good” for me. If you like drone shots and/or Jake Gyllenhaal screaming, you will love this one though!
47. Strange World
Released: November 11th | Streaming: Disney+
Strange World is mostly in the news because of how badly it flopped financially. But it’s actually not a bad movie and I think if people watch it now that it’s streaming on Disney+, they’ll find it pretty decent. The family dynamic and the animation are both beautiful, it’s just lacking the humor it needed to stand out amongst the other kid offerings we’ve gotten this year. More on that later.
46. God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty
45. Girl in the Picture
43. The Gray Man
42. Triangle of Sadness
40. The Whale
Pretty Good Actually (39-26)
38. The Wonder
36. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
35. Catherine Called Birdy
33. Ticket to Paradise
32. She Said
31. See How They Run
30. Bullet Train
29. Where the Crawdads Sing
27. Downton Abbey: A New Era
26. The Redeem Team
These Movies Go Hard (25-11)
21. The Menu
20. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
19. Do Revenge
18. The Woman King
13. Banshees of Inisherin
12. Turning Red
Incredible Cinema Top 10 Best Movies of 2022 (10-6)
10. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
9. The Fabelmans
8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
7. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
The 5 Best Movies of 2022
5. The Batman
4. The Northman