2022: A Year In Review for Film

The official Enochs’ Eagle Eye endorsed top 10 films of 2022


Wilson Gutierrez, General Editor

This year has been an exciting one for cinema, with a wide variety of films from different genres and countries. From big-budget superhero movies to low-budget indie gems, there is something for everyone. These movies have made me optimistic about the future of cinema because they show that creativity and innovation are still alive in the industry. These films demonstrate new ways for filmmakers to tell stories and offer viewers unique perspectives on life and culture. I am looking forward to seeing what else comes out this year as we continue to explore the limitless possibilities of the film!  

My top 10 films of 2022 consist of only those that have gotten a wide release in the U.S. and are loosely ranked in order of my personal preferences, but I am open to discussion about which one should be number 1! All genres and formats are welcome: documentaries, horror films, comedies, etc., if it has had a wide release here in the States – this is important for me when choosing these ten movies. Each film must also be released no earlier than January 2022 so that my list reflects current trends and interests; this way we can ensure that every movie on this list will have been seen by many people before making its appearance here. Also, there are minor spoilers ahead.

Firstly, let us get into some honorable mentions and such. 


Memoria is an experimental film directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and stars Tilda Swindon. It came out in 2021 but has slowly been showing in theaters from city to city. It follows a woman who is hearing mysterious noises and attempts to find out what they are. The second half of the movie deconstructs time in a slow, hypnotic way that requires concentration from the viewer. It prompts speculation on whether our own memories may be distorted or that we could be receiving ideas from a supernatural source. Swindon’s performance is praised and overall, it provides a unique experience with no easy answers or traditional narrative structure. 

White Noise 

Noah Baumbach’s latest film is an ambitious adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel, White Noise. It stars Adam Driver as Jack Gladney, a professor at a midwestern college who has reached celebrity status through his Hitler studies curriculum but remains uneasy about not being able to speak German himself. The story follows the chaotic home life of Jack and his fourth wife Babbette (Greta Gerwig) and their blended family of kids, along with Jack’s limited exposure to toxic air that places him in peril and leads to an existential contemplation reflecting our fear of death. The film explores science fiction, consumerism and mortality while providing comedic moments throughout, so it offers more questions than answers. 

Bones and All 

This movie centers on Maren, a young woman from Maryland in the 1980s who learns she carries a kind of genetic “curse” that drives her to embrace vampiric cannibalism. She meets Lee soon after, and the two start dating as they travel through the Midwest while leaving a bloody trail in their wake. Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet both give excellent performances in the movie, which also has dreamy photography and rural backdrops. Despite a slight flaw in its speculative teen fiction-heavy climax, this is nevertheless an engaging movie thanks to its flawless atmosphere and clever performances.  

 Great Freedom 

“Grosse Freiheit” is a masterful film about same-sex relationships in oppressive societies. Following Hans (Franz Rogowski) and Georg Friedrich, the movie conveys an uncompromising vision of how little banal violence differs inside and outside prison walls. Through its production design, make-up/costume work, structure, and committed performances of its actors, it challenges expectations or clichés about gay life while emphasizing the struggle for freedom and self-expression. 

Funny Pages 

This is a short drama about Daniel Zolghadri (“Robert”), a budding cartoonist who is arrested for breaking into the home of his inspirational art teacher. He is represented by a public defender, and meets another client named “Wallace” (Matthew Maher). With Wallace’s help, Daniel learns more about comic-book illustrations while also dealing with his far-fetched scenarios. Although the production is basic, it is sometimes funny in an observational way. It is presented though a grainy image that makes it feel like it is from the 90s. He embarks on a quest to find himself and find new uses for pen-nibs with his two basement flat mates. Miles makes a fresh discovery at the end of the novel, which is both horrifying and humorous. 


The Northman is unique in how it combines large budget and epic scale with slow-burn character drama with effective use of Norse mythology. Alexander Skarsgrd, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Claes Bang are outstanding in this brutal yet beautiful film. The music of Sebastian Gainsborough and Robin Carolan increased the brilliance of Robert Eggers ‘ great direction. 


Jordan Peele’s latest film Nope presents great cinematography and camera work while also feeling more nuanced. It is also the first horror movie shot in IMAX and introduced a whole new form of day-for-night cinematography. It might be divisive among its audience for its confusing story progression, but personally I like the more poetic and thematic exploration of this film. 

Now, there a lot of other films that I would also include in this list: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Broker, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Kogonada’s After-Yang, Lukas Dhont’s Close, Fire of Love, Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, The Quiet Girl, and much more.  

Nevertheless, let us move on to the top 10 list. 

10. The Fabelmans 

The Fabelmans is a coming-of-age drama movie from 2022 that Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner co-wrote and co-produced. It follows the narrative of Sammy Fabelman, an ambitious filmmaker who is attempting to understand his troubled family via movies. It is loosely based on Spielberg’s upbringing. Leah Adler and Arnold Spielberg, Spielberg’s biological parents, who died in 2017 and 2020, respectively, were honored in the movie. It was widely praised by critics for its directing, writing, cinematography, and score, but it bombed at the box office, making only $18 million against a $40 million budget. At the 80th Golden Globe Awards, it won Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director for Spielberg. 

This film is a personal coming-of-age story about the power of families and stories, told through the lens of a child; a love letter to filmmaking and the love of art. It is all about the reasonings behind art so we can not only understand it better but so we can better understand ourselves and why we connect with certain things. In some cases when a director examines his personal life, it does not always turn out well and ends up being more of an egoic effort than anything else, but Spielberg does it in the most heartfelt way. Despite the lack of a structure or a traditional narrative arc, many others and I can relate to Sam Fabelman’s artistic itch. It explores recurring themes in Steven Spielberg’s work, including those related to his family, his divorce, and the images which served as his creative inspiration. In the end, it could be his last statement on these issues, and it will always hold a special place in the hearts of those with the same creative drive as Sam Fabelman. 

9. Top Gun: Maverick 

Top Gun: Maverick is a 2022 action-drama movie with Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, and Ed Harris as its main cast. It was directed by Joseph Kosinski. Cruise returns to the 1986 version of Top Gun as the naval aviator Maverick. Maverick is followed in the movie as he deals with his history while preparing a squad of fresher Top Gun graduates for a perilous mission. Due to lengthy production delays brought on both difficult action sequences and the COVID-19 epidemic, the movie finally opened in theaters on May 27, 2022, to positive reviews from critics. Its $1 billion (about $3 per person in the US)+ box office earnings made it one of the highest-grossing movies of 2022. 

Bigger blockbuster movies are not really my vibe, but this is a Hollywood blockbuster done right – it is an action-adventure movie that stands out with its excellent quality. Last year proved to be a momentous year for larger Blockbuster films, noting films like Ryan Coogler’s Wakanda Forever, The Batman, and Avatar 2. Before I saw this film, I had no nostalgia or expectations, except that it would be a cool action movie. This movie feels like it comes from another time, before all the self-awareness and monotonous tropes commonly found in contemporary cinema. The passion and commitment to the craft immerse you immediately in the cheesiest and most energizing way possible. The film brought a sense of heroic optimism in the way the characters were all set on this common goal and aimed to push past those limits, and that is what brought me to see past this film as a superficial action movie. 

 8. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair 

American coming-of-age horror thriller We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is a 2021 film that Jane Schoenbrun directed, wrote, and edited. Michael J. Rogers and Anna Cobb both make their acting debut in the movie. Executive producer David Lowery worked on the project. This film is about a lonely teenage girl, Casey, who takes the viral “World’s Fair Challenge” and begins to experience strange psychological and physical changes. On January 31, 2021, the movie had its global premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. On April 15, 2022, Utopia was released in American theaters, and on September 1 of that same year, HBO Max began streaming it.   

This film feels less like horror and more like a coming-of-age story with a lot of ambiguity. It focuses on a very niche topic: internet creepypastas. But, as someone who grew up using the internet and spending late nights wandering down rabbit holes, this movie captured that exact online experience better than any other movie I have watched. This film acknowledges the impact of the internet on our behaviors in the physical world, as well as how we lose ourselves in these virtual spaces and the way it attracts younger people. 

 7. Decision to Leave 

Tang Wei and Park Hae-il star in Park Chan-wook’s South Korean romantic mystery film Decision to Leave. The plot follows insomniac detective Hae-Jun as he investigates the death of a retired immigration officer. Seo-Rae, the much younger wife of his client, is suspected because of his inquiry, which causes him to become enamored with her and start an illicit relationship with her. It won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022 when it was chosen to compete for the Palme d’Or. It was well-received by critics after its June 2022 release, and the National Board of Review ranked it one of the best 5 foreign films of the year. Additionally, it was chosen as South Korea’s submission for the 95th Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category. 

“Decision to Leave” depicts the narrative of a murder mystery that evolves into something else altogether. It is a modern Asian neo-noir film set in Busan, Korea, and the fictional city of Ipo. Park uses this interesting cinematic method in which the presentation of events is combined with the imaginary interpretation of the protagonist of what happened. The imagery is excellent, and the overall atmosphere of the film is captivating from beginning to end. Director Park Chan Wook has done violent films and sensual films, both Oldboy and Handmaiden spring to mind, and Decision to Leave is both but in a more subdued manner. It is one of the most romantic movies I have seen while being brutally honest and realistic about love. 

 6. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed 

In the 2022 documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Nan Goldin’s career and the demise of the Sackler family are both examined. The film documents her protests at various museums and other art institutions that had financial ties with the Sackler family, as well as interviews with colleagues such as journalist Patrick Radden Keefe and P.A.I.N. member Megan Kapler. Laura Poitras was the director of the movie. Poitras stated, “Generations of filmmakers have been influenced by Nan’s creativity and vision, which have motivated my work for years.” The movie had its world premiere on September 3, 2022, at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion, becoming only the second documentary to accomplish so (the first being Sacro GRA in 2013). Additionally, it was a featured film at the 2022 New York Film Festival, where Goldin created two official posters for it. Neon premiered the movie in theaters on November 23, 2022. 

This documentary talks about how important activism is and how if we chose to unite, we can bring actual change. The brilliance of this seven-chapter documentary is how these three issues are intertwined, with Goldin narrating most of it. There is a combination of numerous topics such as activism, art, justice, responsibility, the power of family, and a woman’s struggle. The messages are urgent, the editing is great, and it is just a great movie all around. 

 5. Triangle of Sadness 

Triangle of Sadness is a satirical black comedy film written and directed by Ruben Östlund in his English-language feature film debut. It stars Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Dolly de Leon, Zlatko Burić, Henrik Dorsin, Vicki Berlin, and Woody Harrelson. The film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival where it received an eight-minute standing ovation and won the Palme d’Or. It was released internationally to positive reviews with De Leon receiving international praise for her supporting role. Triangle of Sadness went on to win four European Film Awards including Best Films. 

This is an exceedingly entertaining movie and makes up in ingenuity for what it lacks in subtlety. We follow Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), a couple who bicker over gender roles before their yacht cruise takes a turn for the disastrous. After escaping an exploding boat, they find themselves on an island where Abigail (Dolly De Leon) establishes herself as a matriarchal leader in this ragtag civilization with her practical skills. Triangle of Sadness nicely captures the sensation of being present in today’s reality where everything is out of control. A storm batters the ship and both the upper class and lower class continue like nothing is happening, all while the captain is drunkenly arguing with a Russian capitalist about economic theory. The movie highlights what happens when lower classes get power; privileged people are made aware of their helplessness; and concludes with an ambiguous ending. It is not especially profound but enjoyable, nonetheless. 

 4. The Banshees of Inisherin 

The Banshees of Inisherin is a 2022 dark tragicomedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, the film follows two lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship. The film premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in September 2022, where Farrell won Best Actor and McDonagh won Best Screenplay. Upon its theatrical debut in October 2022, it received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. It received eight nominations for the 80th Golden Globe Awards and took home three prizes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor – Musical or Comedy (for Farrell), and Best Screenplay. 

Martin McDonagh’s latest film is an amazing work of storytelling, location (an evocative Irish island), screenplay, and acting. The dark struggle of helplessness or despair in Ireland is conveyed through the film’s storytelling, uplifting comedy, and atmosphere. The brilliant script combined with the performances of all the major actors involved has truly proved this is an extraordinary film. The story follows Padraic, played by Colin Farrell, and his former friend Colm, played by Brendan Gleeson. Colm is obsessed with time and believes that indulging in his art will make him immortal. Padraic struggles to understand why their friendship ended. There are various small characters that add psychological depth to the plot, as well as animals and distant war explosions that suggest a deeper meaning. Finally, there is an old witch who represents Death in a way reminiscent of “The Seventh Seal”. This beautiful and poignant movie should not be missed! The humor is amazing, and the film is both amusing and dramatic, frightening and shocking at points. It is tough not to empathize with the characters and their predicaments. At the end of the film, I felt that I had witnessed something important though I could not immediately figure out what. 

 3. Tá

Tár is a 2022 psychological drama film written and directed by Todd Field and starring Cate Blanchett. It chronicles the fall of fictitious conductor and composer Lydia Tár, with help from a stellar cast. As a result of Blanchett’s victory at the 80th Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, the movie received rave reviews when it made its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. Despite receiving favorable reviews from critics, it underperformed at the box office, earning only $6.3 million against a $35 million total budget. 

One of the densest and fascinating character pieces that I have seen in recent years. Cate Blanchett transforms herself into Lydia Tár, a world-renowned conductor who rules like a tyrant and demonstrates her transcendent understanding of classical music through Bach’s Prelude in C Major. Even in her personal life, she exudes fearsomeness, killing her daughter’s bullies with the same ferocity as she conducts Mahler’s Fifth. Her obsession with Elgar causes her to replace Francesca (Noemie Merlant) with a cellist who specializes in his Concerto. Todd Field writes this tale like a Greek tragedy, full of arrogance that, in the end, cannot withstand the scrutiny of social media and the moral demands of a public chafing at leadership misuse for its own benefit. Tár poses difficult concerns regarding the interactions between those in positions of authority, the history of art, pop culture, and irrational expectations. It is an intellectually challenging movie that invites viewers to consider their own interpretations rather than imposing any conclusions on them. 

 2. Everything Everywhere All at Once 

A 2022 American absurdist comedy-drama starring Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once is written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The story revolves around a Chinese American immigrant who learns that in order to stop a powerful creature from destroying the multiverse, she must communicate with parallel-world versions of herself. For its creativity, visual effects, costume design, humor, direction, editing, and topics like existentialism, the movie has won unanimous praise. The film was financially successful, earning over $103 million worldwide and earning Yeoh and Quan two Golden Globe Awards at the 80th Golden Globe Awards from six nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Director. It also won five awards from 14 nominations at the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards and received five additional nominations. 

If we could only recognize that those who oppose us in life do so out of hidden pain and fight them with kindness; accept our children for who they are, saying supportive things from the heart rather than trying to mold them; be content with the life we have and set aside other lives we might have led had different decisions been made; and see that freedom comes from life being meaningless, allowing us to do whatever we want with the time we have. We witness how certain decisions may affect our lives in parallel words; children would not be born, love would be lost, and relationships would end, this film has it all. The movie is chaotic, hilarious, and heartfelt, with accurate views of Chinese parents. It stands out as totally unique in an era of immense content. It contains fast-paced action, and it rewards rewatching thanks to its rich amount of small nuances. 

 1. Aftersun 

Charlotte Wells is the writer and director of the 2022 historical drama movie called Aftersun. It features Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio, and Celia Rowlson-Hall and centers on Scottish child Sophie, age 11, as she travels to Turkey with her father. The direction, storyline, and cast performances all earned high praise from critics for the movie. The National Board of Review ranked it one of the top movies of 2022, and Sight & Sound named it the best movie of the year. 

Aftersun is a poignant film about a father-daughter relationship. Sophie and Callum make beloved memories despite battling difficulties such as despair, alcoholism, and uncertainty. It takes a little effort to understand, so why anything happens in this movie is unclear at first, but when you delve deeper into the movie, you start to understand the big picture. Everything you have seen is from the point of view of an adult character looking back, remembering these events, and seeing how it shaped her into the person she is now. We witness an abandoned daughter wishing her father had not become so depressed as to take his life – investigating his inner turmoil & past trauma – learning from vulnerability rather than succumbing to it. 

This concludes the list of the top 10 films of 2022. I am filled with optimism as we look ahead to the films of 2023. With so many talented filmmakers and exciting projects in the works, I am confident that this year will bring us a wealth of cinematic treasures to enjoy. I can’t wait to see what the future holds and am eagerly looking forward to all the amazing films that are yet to come.