2022: Film Year in Review
As the year winds to a close, we are all perfecting our end-of-the-year lists for every possible form of entertainment. 2022 brought us many great films, both fresh and familiar, to keep us entertained. So here’s just a few of our favorites.
Many of this year’s top films were sequels within an already popular franchise. Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel to the 1986 classic, emerged as the highest grossing film of the year, earning nearly $1.5 billion at the box office. Beavis and Butthead also made their return to the big screen in their critically acclaimed Beavis and Butthead Do the Universe, which didn’t appear in theaters but is available on Paramount+. Marvel and DC continue to carve out a large chunk of the box office, with the new Dr. Strange and Black Panther films grossing just under $1 billion. The Batman was a massive box office success and perhaps the best superhero film of the year. Minions: The Rise of Gru and Jurassic World: Dominion were also strong at the box office, despite receiving lackluster reviews from critics.
Horror films were probably the most successful films aside from the massive franchises. Comedian turned horror director Jordan Peele released another instant horror classic in Nope, which made important points about exploitation and racism in the film industry under the brilliant guise of a sci-fi, UFO horror.
Another massive horror film was Smile, which gained attention for its interesting marketing strategy. People in Smile shirts were seen at public events, such as baseball games, sporting the creepy smile on their faces that can also be found in the film. This campaign proved to be a success, as it caught extensive attention from the media and, subsequently, Smile grossed over $200 million worldwide.
Franchise fever also hit the horror genre with yet another Scream film being released, earning nearly $150 million and garnering critical acclaim. We also saw a return of the partnership between director Scott Derrickson and actor Ethan Hawke after 2013’s Sinister in this year’s The Black Phone. The film grossed over $150 million dollars and was well-liked by critics, with Hawke giving one of the year’s creepiest performances as a terrifying kidnapper known as “the Grabber.”
Zach Cregger made his directorial debut with Barbarian, starring Bill Skarsgård, who had previously received widespread acclaim for his performance as Pennywise, the Clown in It. The film was a huge success among critics and it currently holds a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Noted By Critics
Speaking of critics, many films which don’t fit these categories were well received by them this year. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, starring Austin Butler, grossed nearly $300 million at the box office and is considered a potential candidate for a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. It is considered one of the best musical biopics of all time, even becoming the first one to ever make the annual top ten of the year from the American Film Institute.
Everything Everywhere All at Once was another massive success that is almost guaranteed to be nominated for Best Picture. It also made the American Film Institute’s top ten of the year and was noted for its brilliant handling of many genres, visual effects, and heavy themes. If there is any film to watch after reading this article, it has to be Everything Everywhere All at Once.
The Fabelmans is another film which could be finding a Best Picture nomination. Directed by the great Steven Spielberg, it is a semi-autobiographical piece about Spielberg’s own youth and his development towards becoming a film director. The film has been in the works for over twenty years and is yet another one in the American Film Institute’s yearly top ten. It is perhaps a breakout role for Gabriel LaBelle, who portrays the film’s protagonist, Sammy Fabelman.
RRR was another acclaimed file. A massively popular Indian production, RRR is over three hours long and tells the epic story of two Indian rebels against the British Raj. It became only the second ever non-English language film to make the National Board of Review’s selection for top movies of the year.
Overall, as we see year after year, for every good movie there must be a dud close behind. Nevertheless, the artistry and craftsmanship of filmmaking continues to impress audiences, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.