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Top Ten Films of 2022



2022 was a weird year for movies man.

It was a year where the arse finally appeared to fall out of on-demand streaming services.  Almost every major platform felt the crunch from flat or shrinking subscriber bases.  Netflix responded by taking their biggest film of the year – Glass Onion – and screening it in cinemas for ONE WEEK ONLY before locking it in a vault until late December then dumping it onto their streaming service.  A baffling move for a movie that looked like it could’ve made $500 million at the box office easy.

Disney continued its weird trend of releasing animated movies in theatres and then tossing them on Disney+ almost immediately afterwards, a move that did no favours to Turning Red or Lightyear.  In an information age where people consume movie trailers, news and content in historically high quantities they also somehow produced a $180 million movie called Strange World which tanked at the box office because no one had heard of it or knew it was out.

Warner made a Bat Girl movie and then destroyed any trace of it instead of releasing it because in the weird world of Hollywood accounting, this is somehow a more profitable move.

Depending on which version you watched, Pinocchio could be one of the best (Del Toro’s) or worst (Disney’s) movies you see in 2022.

No one watches Steven Spielberg films anymore.  They just come and go at the box office every December.

Someone has developed a technology that allows directors to make horror films twice as fast as before.  Scream came out in January and if you liked it, you can watch another one next March.  Ti West made in March, the prequel Pearl in September and the sequel MaXXXine is out next March.

I’m told that some of the best films of the year are Another Year, EO, Decision to Leave and Til and none of them are in my top ten because in Australia these movies don’t come out until four months after everyone else has finished watching and talking about them.

The best film of the year is from India.

2022 was a weird year for movies man.


Everything Everywhere All At Once

Directors:  The Daniels
Writers:  The Daniels
Cast:  Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis

“So, even though you have broken my heart yet again, I wanted to say, in another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.”

The Daniels first had my attention with Swiss Army Man, the 2016 Daniel Radcliffe film that was colloquially referred to online as the “zombie, boner, farting corpse movie”.  Even then, the Daniels showed that amongst the surreal and deeply silly minutiae of their film, there was an earnest and emotional core that celebrated friendship and human connections.

In Everything Everywhere, Michelle Yeoh plays Evelyn, an exhausted and overwhelmed migrant mother who runs a laundromat.  While she stresses over business being audited by the IRS, her husband Weyland plans to serve her divorce papers and her daughter Joy just wants a minute of her time to introduce her to her girlfriend Becky.  Evelyn’s world is turned upside down when an Alpha-Weyland from another dimension visits her and tells Evelyn she alone holds the power to stop the multiverse from collapsing upon itself (threatened by an interdimensional bagel).

Multiverse storylines are standard fare at the movies these days but few films push the limits of the concept as the Daniels do.  Sentient rocks at the edge of the multiverse, literal sausage fingers, Matrix style kung fu sequences involving butt plugs, a multiverse variant of Ratatouille involving a feral raccoon, you name it – it’s all here.

Everything, Everywhere, All At Once is a gleefully absurd and heartfelt film.  It is anchored by an incredible central performance from Michelle Yeoh in the role of a lifetime and it is vividly brought to life with the imagination of the script, the incredible editing and fabulous special effects.


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Directors:  Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Writers:  Guillermo del Toro, Patrick McHale
Cast:  Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Gregory Mann, John Turturro, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton

“While you may have eternal life, your loved ones, they do not.”

After having his time in the sun receiving major accolades for The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro is back at it with his favourite cinematic subject matter – young kids sticking it to Nazis in twisted adult fairy tales.  If you loved this stuff before in The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, guess what it still absolutely rules with Pinocchio, an absolutely wild stop motion adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 19th century novel.

In del Toro’s version of Pinocchio, Geppetto creates the eponymous wooden puppet as a surrogate of his son Carlo who is killed in an aerial raid during World War 1.  Unlike the animated Disney adaption of Pinocchio, Geppetto here is a ruinous shell of a man, driven to alcoholism as he struggles to process his grief for the loss of Carlo.  This leads Pinocchio to be susceptible to nefarious influences such as the cruel and manipulative carnie Count Volpe and also (wait for it) no less than the Italian Royal Army who conscript Pinocchio so he can be sent to fight the Allies in World War 2.

Del Toro’s adaption of Pinocchio is darkly imaginative and at times quite provocative with its religious imagery and its unblinking portrayal of children being swept up in the throes of fascism.

As ever though, his work also has a deeply affecting humanist message at its heart and I defy anyone to watch this film and not get investe in the fortunes of not just Pinocchio and Geppetto, but their entourage including Sebastian J Cricket and Spazzaturra.  The film has a melancholic and philosophical outlook on Pinocchio’s cursed existence.  He aspires to be a real boy but his very nature and immortality means he will outlive all who he loves.


Avatar: The Way of the Water

Director:  James Cameron
Writers:  James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Cast:  Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

“I know one thing: wherever we go, this family… is our fortress.”

When the credits rolled on Avatar: The Way of the Water, it took me a while to process exactly what I had seen.

In some ways, James Cameron is still the same master director he ever was.  You don’t get to make the highest grossing film of all time twice! without knowing a thing or two about storytelling and how to connect with your audience.  In terms of the big picture, Avatar is a mesmerising science fiction tale.  The visual effects in this film are absolutely jaw-dropping and there were times when I was so taken with what was unfolding I was reminded of the feeling when I saw the dinosaurs for the first time in Jurassic Park.  The sequences at the Metkayina water village blew my mind.

What unfolds is a fast-moving, solidly crafted action adventure blockbuster that has a surprisingly simple environmental message at its centre.  I think one could reasonably extrapolate allusions to the Iraq War and the displacement of Indigenous people in the real world but whats on offer is mostly surface level social commentary that is largely in service of moving the story along to the next chapter in this sprawling sci-fi series.

Cameron and Jaffa’s screenplay leans heavily into contemporary language (the ‘bro’ count in this movie is very high) and also dabbles earnestly in wellness mumbo jumbo (“I see you, I hear you”).  At times I found it refreshing to hear a modern day blockbuster where the characters speak so sincerely, as if the last fifteen years of snarky, ironic, self-aware Joss Whedonisms hadn’t crept into every Hollywood production.  On the other hand, I swear to God we were moments away from Jake Sully telling his family to live, laugh, love.

Avatar is a technical marvel, a solid B+ action movie and very rough around the edges with everything else.  And I think thats what I like about it.  It doesn’t feel manufactured by committee.  It’s very much James Cameron’s vision, warts and all.  There’s so many weird little details in this film I don’t understand.  Jemaine Clement is in this thing but he has to pretend to be American.  Why?  Who knows.  But overall I decided I liked it for what it was.  It’s not Gone With the Wind but its good popcorn fun.



Director:  Ti West
Writers:  Ti West
Cast:  Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi

“Must be one goddamn fucked up horror picture.”

If you’re a fan of horror films I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know but we’re eating good nowadays.  By rights the genre should be out of steam.  There are so many horror movies made every year.  Every idea should be done to death.  This should all be done and dusted.

And yet every year some absolute freak, some total sicko will come up with a great new film thats creative, showcases a wonderful crop of talented young actors and has some messed up gore and twisted imagery that runs for 100 minutes.

X is a film about a group of young filmmakers who visit a remote farmstead in rural Texas to shoot a porno.  Only the elderly couple who own the place aren’t exactly who they seem.  Things get sexy.  Then they go bad.  Then they go really bad.

Ti West is clearly a man who knows his craft when it comes to making horror flicks.  West shows a great awareness of common horror tropes and I think does a great job of luring in the viewer and subverting their expectations.  In Pearl, we have the makings of a modern day horror icon.  For fans of the genre, X is a must.


Top Gun Maverick

Director:  Joseph Kosinski
Writers:  Peter Craig
Cast:  Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer

“The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction.”  

Maybe so, sir. But not today.”

Top Gun Maverick is a film that simultaneously feels like something from a couple of decades ago – a proper big ticket action movie with a bona fide movie star – and something from the future with the incredible sequences that involve Tom Cruise piloting a fighter jet through a canyon where its genuinely unclear what it real and what is fx generated.

Conceptually Top Gun Maverick is a simple and straightforward sequel to the classic Tony Scott original.  It’s the execution that elevates the film above the litany of other tired sequels that get trotted out year after year.  It feels like a film that understands what made the original work so well, is reverential without being formulaic, and delivers a new chapter that feels exhilarating and fresh thanks to the exceptional, tightly constructed fighter jet sequences.  The original Top Gun casts a long shadow but improbably, I think many would agree that Maverick matches or even surpasses it.

Top Gun Maverick feels like it takes on extra significance during a tumultuous period for the film industry where we mull over the death of big-screen experiences at the cinema vs the convenience of streaming at home and the end of the era of big movie stars carrying the fortunes of a film at the box office.  In this respect, Tom Cruise can feel like a one man last stand.  Cruise personally insisted that the film ride out the pandemic and be kept on ice until it could be released to packed multiplexes.  It’s a film you won’t see on streaming services for a long, long time and it unquestionably benefits from being experienced at the biggest screen possible.  The box office results would appear to vindicate Cruise but it remains to be seen if other studios will follow suit.



Director:  Dan Trachtenberg
Writers:  Patrick Aison, Dan Trachtenberg
Cast:  Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Dane DiLiegro

“If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

At some point a numbness had washed over me with the glut of unremarkable and totally forgettable sequels that were made to Eighties classics like Predator, Alien, Terminator and Die Hard.  I watched Terminator 3 and Alien vs Predator.  I think I made it up to the fourth Die Hard.  But after that I stopped watching.  I couldn’t even tell you know number they’re up to.

So it was with a certain degree of trepidation that I fired up Prey when I noticed the crazy amount of positive word-of-mouth this film was receiving from fans.  I’m glad I took the plunge.  Prey takes the Predator series 300 years into the past and centres the film on a tense game of survival between the Predator and a small group of Comanche warriors.  The result is the best Predator film since the original and arguably its the film that feels most in common with the original’s memorable third act.

Best of all, the success of Prey has me optimistic once again for the future of the series.  If this, the fifth Predator movie, can be decent, why couldn’t we have more in the future?  The idea also feels like it has a lot of mileage in it.  How about a Predator that battles an ancient Egyptian or a Samurai in feudal Japan?



Director:  Jordan Peele
Writers:  Jordan Peele
Cast:  Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yuen

“Since the moment pictures could move, we had skin in the game.”

Jordan Peele, man.  What a steady and reliable hand he is.  Even after Get Out and Us, he feels like he has plenty of fresh ideas in the tank.  I think thats the best thing about Nope, a strange and mesmerising sci-fi western set in California, is that it has an enjoyable air of mystique about itself.  It doesn’t feel for a second like he’s re-treading the ground from his earlier films.  Nope isn’t even a horror film.  It has a brand of weirdness all of its own.

The film is also a fabulous showcase not just for Daniel Kaluuya (who starred in Get Out) but sorely under-utilised talents Keke Palmer and Steven Yuen.  It’s a film brimming with interesting ideas about the history of cinema, racial representation in cinema, capitalism and exploitation.  Nope wasn’t quite the cultural force that Get Out and Us were but I think Peele deserves plenty of plaudits for his ambitious and colourful brand of storytelling.



Director:  Zach Cregger
Writers:  Zach Cregger
Cast:  Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgard

“Why is it always the girls who get their hearts ripped out in these things?”

The other properly great horror film of 2022.

Barbarian is so good.  I knew within minutes I would love it.  The film opens with a cleverly constructed, super tense first act where a young woman Tess arrives at her Air BNB only to discover there is another tenant there, seeming double booked by accident.  It’s a dark and strange neighbourhood and its raining outside.  Should she trust this stranger?  Should she enter the house?  I absolutely loved how the film plays on our expectations here.

After this tightly constructed set up, Barbarian then opens up in a whole new direction and goes completely off the rails in the most marvellous way that I don’t want to spoil.  This is definitely a film best enjoyed going in spoiler-free.  It’s the sort of entertaining shift in direction that even mentioning the rest of the cast feels a bit like a spoiler.

In a general sense just know that Barbarian is one of the unabashedly fun horror films I’ve seen in years.  It’s scary, it’s funny, it’s weird as hell.


Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Director:  Rian Johnson
Writers:  Rian Johnson
Cast:  Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson

“It’s a dangerous thing to mistake speaking without thought for speaking the truth.”

Glass Onion, first and foremost, is a fabulous murder mystery, just as Knives Out before it, made in the style of an Agatha Christie classic.  You have an ensemble cast of big names playing a rogues gallery of misfits.  Everyone has a motive for the murder.  Solving the crime is a brilliant but quirky detective who solves the unsolvable by untangling the human psychology that lead to the murder.

In just two films, Daniel Craig has made a huge impression with his incredible wardrobe and outrageous Southern drawl as mastermind Benoit Blanc.  Craig made five Bond films spanning fifteen years and yet it feels like his second act as Blanc might actually be the role he is more fondly remembered for.  It certainly seems like its the role where he’s having more fun.

If Avatar‘s screenplay is notable for reading exactly like a middle aged man who is never online wrote it in 2012, Glass Onion is equally noteworthy for its language written by a person who is extremely online and specifically extremely online on Twitter.  How else to explain not only the contemporary references scattered throughout the script but also the film’s most significant feat of correctly identifying note-for-note, the dire political views and the “Emperor Has No Clothes” stupidity of one of the world’s most notorious billionaires.

Blanc’s evisceration of a tech billionaire who, despite all evidence to the contrary, is continuously lauded as brilliant by his peers is a cathartic ending to not just the film but current events that dominated the global landscape in 2022.  It’s incredible that, in a screenplay written two years ago, the Musk analogue in Glass Onion destroys a famous cultural icon through his own hubris and stupidity which in turn obliterates the value of his company.

Glass Onion is great, light-hearted fun.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record (I know, its too late), it’s the sort of film that got made far more regularly in the traditional Hollywood ecosystem before the pandemic, streaming services and the monolithic might of Disney + Marvel turned everything into what it is now.

I think we’d all be happy if Johnson and Craig pumped out a new one of these every two or three years.  Just let the next one have a proper run at the box office so we can all have a laugh together in big, sold out screenings please Netflix.



Film of the Year

Director:  S.S Rajamouli
Writers:  S.S Rajamouli
Cast:  N.T Rama Rao Jr, Ram Charan Teja, Alia Bhatt, Olivia Morris, Ray Stevenson, Alison Doody

“Your friendship is more valuable than this life, brother. I’ll die with pride.”

This is it.  The ultimate Dudes Rock movie.

RRR is my favourite film of the year.  I didn’t respond as viscerally to anything else I saw.  I laughed, I cried, I rewound the Naacho Naacho song a dozen times and watched it over and over.  It is an absolute titan of a film and the long awaited mainstream Western breakthrough of a film from India (note: RRR is Tollywood though, not Bollywood).

For the uninitiated, RRR is a re-imagining of the lives of two Indian revolutionaries – Rama Raju and Bheem – who fought against the British.  In S.S Rajamouli’s vision, the two become friends and unite as a force to battle the British Raj.  The film is named RRR as it takes the initials of the director and two lead actors who are amongst the high profile movie personalities in India.

RRR must be the fastest moving three hour film of all time.  It explodes out of the gates with its introduction of the two leads.  Bheem fights a tiger with his bare hands and Rama fights one thousand men single-handedly.  The film’s spectacle only builds from there.

RRR doesn’t feel fair.  There are scenes that would be a worthy climax to a traditional Hollywood action movie and then Rajamouli just outdoes himself a dozen times over in a way that feels effortless.  Better still, not only does RRR have countless thrills, its elevated to greatness thanks to the charming performances from Ram Charan and N.T Rama Rao who have a marvellous chemistry together and are magnetic screen presences.  This is like getting a buddy movie with Arnie and Stallone as leads when they were at the peak of their powers (and they did song and dance numbers too).

There aren’t enough superlatives to praise RRR with.  I talked about this movie incessantly to anyone who would listen all year.  It’s probably the greatest movie of all time.  I mean, look, maybe it isn’t.  But also, maybe it is.


Top Ten Films of 2021  |  Film of the Year – The Father

Top Ten Films of 2020 | Film of the Year – The Invisible Man

Top Ten Films of 2019 | Film of the Year – Parasite

Top Ten Films of 2018  |  Film of the Year – BlackKklansman

Top Ten Films of 2017  |  Film of the Year – Get Out

Top Ten Films of 2016  | Film of the Year – Hunt For The Wilder People

Top Ten Films of 2015 |  Film of the Year – Mad Max Fury Road

Top Fifty Films of 2014 |  Film of the Year – Grand Budapest Hotel

Top Ten Films of 2013 |  Film of the Year – Gravity

Top Ten Films of 2012  |  Film of the Year – The Descendants

Top Ten Films of 2011 |  Film of the Year – True Grit

Top Ten Films of 2010 | Film of the Year – The Social Network

Top Ten Films of 2009 | Film of the Year – In The Loop

About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.

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