by Abb Jones
The Reelness

After two years of pandemic-related theater closings and repeatedly delayed film premieres, 2022 finally witnessed a return to normalcy for moviegoers, resulting in an abundance of riches in the process. This year we had 19 movies that scored either A+ or A at The Reelness, meaning that some excellent films didn’t even break into our 10 Best list. (We’ve included them in the Honorable Mentions below.)

With a wide-ranging list that includes drama, fantasy, romance, comedy, horror and even a big action blockbuster, here is The Reelness 10 Best Movies of 2022. Click on the movie titles below for our full review.

#10 The Woman King (Grade: A)

Viola Davis is magnificent in this historical drama based on the Agojie, the real-life tribe of women warriors in early 1800s West Africa. This old fashioned, epic tale, in the spirit of Braveheart, is a riveting, fascinating story of human triumph.

#9 Bros (Grade: A) Best Romantic Comedy

The first LGBTQ+ film backed by a major studio (thank you, Universal) is a heartfelt, HYSTERICAL comedy starring Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane. Unfailingly authentic in its ability to poke fun at itself, and with a slew of unexpected laugh out loud moments, Bros is a winner.

#8 Where the Crawdads Sing (Grade: A)

Daisy Edgar-Jones brings the popular 2018 novel to life, starring in this poignant romantic drama which chronicles a young survivalist living alone in the North Carolina marshlands in the 1960s and the crime mystery that results from her relationships with two young men in the area.

#7 Pearl (Grade: A) Best Horror

This A24 prequel to this year’s 1970s-era slasher X again stars Mia Goth as the younger, 1918 version of Pearl, a woman who, frustrated that her life isn’t turning out as expected, takes matters into her own hands, with wildly gruesome results. Goth gives a career-defining performance, that if Oscar was smart, would reward her with a big fat nomination for Best Actress. She’s THAT good.

#6 The Northman (Grade: A+) Best Historical Drama

Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman and Anya Taylor-Joy star in this sweeping Viking epic which accurately captures life in the early 10th century unlike any film before. Director Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse, The Witch) pulls together meticulous period detail, Old Norse language, and even the historically accurate erupting Hekla volcano to immerse viewers back in time to the violent, brutish era of the Vikings.

#5 Top Gun: Maverick (Grade: A+) Best Action

Who would have thought that THIS would be among the year’s best, but here we are. Capturing the spirit of the original, iconic, Tom Cruise-led 1986 blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick is even better, with a more compelling narrative and a non-stop array of thrilling, high-flying maneuvers.

#4 Three Thousand Years of Longing (Grade: A+) Best Fantasy

Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba star in this clever romantic fantasy tale from director George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), about a scholar who releases a wish-granting djinn from an ancient bottle during a visit to Istanbul. Offering her the fabled three wishes in exchange for his freedom, the djinn recounts the cautionary tales of some of those for whom he’s granted wishes over the prior 3000 years.

#3 Till (Grade: A+) Best Biography

This is the heartbreaking true story of 14-year-old Emmitt Till, who was brutally lynched and killed in 1955 by a group of white men while visiting his cousins in rural Mississippi. Told with unflinching realism, Danielle Deadwyler gives a powerhouse performance in recounting this key turning point in the civil rights movement.

#2 Empire of Light (Grade: A+) Best Romance

Olivia Colman gives yet another incredible performance, this time as an early 1980s movie theater employee struggling with mental illness while starting an unlikely romance with a much younger, new employee. Director Sam Mendes (1917, Skyfall) weaves a poignant, poetic tale about the transformative nature of forging human connections in the most unexpected of circumstances and places.

#1 The Banshees of Inisherin (Grade: A+) Best Drama

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson headline this dark comedy/drama about a farmer in 1920s Ireland whose life goes into a tailspin after he is dumped abruptly by his longtime best friend, leading to devastating consequences for both of them. Phenomenal acting across the board in this simple, deeply symbolic story makes it the most heartbreaking, haunting – and BEST – film of the year.


Honorable Mentions:

The Fabelmans A
Honor Society A (Best Young Adult Film)
Spoiler Alert
A (Best Tearjerker)
Happening A (Best International Film)
Downton Abbey: A New Era A
Everything Everywhere All at Once A
Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down A (Best Documentary)
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande A
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery A

Here is The Reelness’ 10 Worst Movies of 2022.

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