Top 10 Hollywood movies of 2022: 'Top Gun Maverick', 'Barbarian', and 'The Batman' – WION

2022 was truly a great year for movies.  While the adverse effects of COVID-19 are still here, things are not nearly as bad as they had been in 2020 and 2021. Though it must be said, 2021 was not a bad year, either, mainly because many movies of 2020 had to be delayed due to the global pandemic shutting down theatres across the world. Well, 2022 just proved that theatrical film releases are here to stay, even as streaming releases gained even more popularity. Here is a list of the best movies Hollywood had to offer. This is an eclectic list and consists of both big studio releases as well as indie titles. 
There is here something to please everyone, whichever genre they love. So without further ado, let’s dive in. Note that the list is ordered.
Dan Trachtenberg’s ‘Prey’ was the fifth installment in the ‘Prey’ series. It was also a prequel and takes the story back to the early 18th century. I remember thinking pitting a more primitive Predator, alien trophy hunters for whom human individuals are ridiculously easy prey, against a Native American tribe was a fascinating idea, and could make for a great time at the movies if executed well. Thankfully, not only was ‘Prey’ a riveting action-thriller, but it also gives the long-languishing ‘Predator’ franchise a shot in the arm. It was a raw, primal return to the franchise’s roots and in this scribe’s opinion the best film in the series since the 1987 original. 
 
‘Nope’ can often be ponderous and there are sections that feel clumsily paced. But with this film, Jordan Peele has once again crafted an original film brimming with fascinating ideas. There are plenty of nods to the classic science-fiction horror fare, HP Lovecraft, and even biblical myths, but ‘Nope’ is not at all a homage. It is very much its own thing. The film and the entity at its centre spoke something to this scribe’s psyche. Those with sufficiently heightened imagination know that the sky is terrifying. Even hundreds of years after the beginning of the scientific revolution, we have barely ventured out of our solar system, and we only guess as to what happens in the vast emptiness of the universe. And Peele, when he was writing ‘Nope’, certainly had that on his mind. 
 
There is something about British comedy, it just feels more elegant and effortless in comparison to the American kind. In ‘The Duke’, Jim Broadbent plays the role of a real British old man called Kempton Bunton who did an outrageous, public thing in 1961, just to make a point. No, not what you are thinking. You see, watching TV without a proper licence was not allowed then, and he was imprisoned for 13 days for the crime. To take revenge against the state, he stole the Portrait of the Duke of Wellington. Helen Mirren played the role of long-suffering wife of Kempton, Dorothy Bunton. The film is classic British comedy with superb performances by Broadbent and Mirren.
 
Ti West’s ‘X’ proved that the slasher genre still has a lot of room for innovation. The barebones cast and crew of a pornographic film arrive at a farm owned by an elderly couple. They seem eccentric but do not seem like the killers they turn out to be later. Pearl particularly grouches about her advanced age and openly expresses jealousy about Maxine’s youth and beauty. At night, she turns into a stone-cold killer and begins to murder the cast and crew, something that has seemingly happened before as well. Also keep an eye out for prequel ‘Pearl’.
 
‘The Black Phone’ comes from the screenwriter-director duo of Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill and is based on the 2004 short story of the same name by Joe Hill. A child-kidnapper is on the loose in a Denver suburb. After Finney Blake (Mason Thames) also gets captured he finds himself in a soundproof room. Spotting a retro-style phone, he realises that he can mysteriously talk to children who were abducted earlier. A well-executed, frightening experience.
 
It is said that the most effective horror is the one we know, and can relate to. We do not meet ghosts and ghouls in real life, but we, if we are unfortunate, can encounter a creepy kid who has all the makings of a psychopath. Eskil Vogt’s Norwegian gem ‘The Innocents’ scares the viewer in a way that will remind you of ‘Hereditary’. 
 
Zach Cregger’s ‘Barbarian’ is a horror film marked by sudden, drastic tonal shifts and concurrent stories that come together in the end. It is a very unique and effecting horror film in that it is not the film you would expect it to be, before the end. A gripping horror film that no fan of the genre should miss.
 
Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’, starring Robert Pattinson in the lead, is probably the best Batman movie ever about Batman. The film was a reboot of the franchise but wisely stepped away from an origin story — we have seen that Crime Alley Wayne murders too many times on the screen to be interested now — but still told the story of a young Caped Crusader coming to terms with his grief-fulled rage and violence. It was also visually stunning with lurid oranges contrasted with drab greys and blacks. 
 
Directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie from a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks, ‘Maverick’ was the sequel to the 1986 classic ‘Top Gun’ and brought back Cruise in the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who is now a test pilot and flight instructor. Cruise has single-handedly nearly monopolised the action genre with ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies, and he proved it yet again with ‘Maverick’. The film was a non-stop entertainment ride from start to finish. Easily the best action movie this year.
 
Led by Michelle Yeoh,  Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ was everything ‘No Way Home’ and ‘Multiverse of Madness’ were not. It had a minuscule budget in comparison, was not backed by a giant, multi-billion dollar grossing franchise, and the cast was not populated by big, bankable movie stars. And yet if one were to chop off a few minutes of footage from ‘Everything…’, it will still pack in more ideas and wit than the entirety of those two movies. It is the best science-fiction movie in ages and the most fun you will have while watching a movie this year. ‘Everything…’ riffs on everything from ‘The Matrix’ to ‘Ratatouille’ to Hong Kong martial arts movies, and yet feels fresh and inventive. And insane, bizarre, brilliant, and endlessly clever. The English language will run out of adjectives before ‘Everything…’ can be described in a fitting manner.
 
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