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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

Best films of 2022


Siavash Raissi’s top 10 movies of 2022:

  1. “Turning Red”

The authentic depiction of teenage adolescence in “Turning Red” is a refreshing take on the tropes commonly seen in animated movies. While the jokes in Pixar’s more recent movies have varied in quality, the film’s silliness adds to its charm as a genuinely entertaining experience for both children and adults reminiscing on their cringiest years.

  1. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

Many people criticized this movie for its so-so plotting, meandering pacing and poor character writing, but I would argue that Sam Raimi’s direction largely makes up for many of these faults, making the movie a simple, fun time. With excellent and dynamic camera work, unique fight scenes and great tonal balance between camp and horror, Raimi shows that “Oz the Great and Powerful” (2013) was nothing but a fluke.

  1. “RRR”

A fantastical journey of friendship and revolution, “RRR” captures the audience with its over-the-top action and pinpoint-precise dance choreography. The film has a contagious spirit of revolution and animus to contrast the ever-present force of colonialism, expertly weaving between frivolous antics and heartfelt moments. It’s a wholly unique experience.

  1. “Men”

This is easily Alex Garland’s best-looking movie to date. It contains one of the most grotesque scenes I have seen in quite a while, and both Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear give stellar performances. “Men” offers a narrative that’s far more complex than many give it credit for, as Garland successfully integrates religious themes from Genesis and the Green Man, along with grief, trauma and identity to paint an incredibly surreal picture of how past experiences can impact the ways we live our lives. 

  1. “The Northman”

Over the past seven years, Robert Eggers (“The Witch” (2015) and “The Lighthouse” (2019)) has effectively established himself as one of the most interesting directors working today. With roughly a $90 million dollar budget, Eggers created an unforgettable epic that will undoubtedly gain more recognition with time.

  1. “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

In 2010, Dean Fleischer-Camp brought to life the story of a small shell named Marcel. It quickly entered the canon of early YouTube, representing the new age of internet virality. Twelve years later, he and Jenny Slate are back with one of the most heartwarming movies about family I have seen in a long time. The stop-motion animation is spectacular and the half-narrative, half-documentary approach to filmmaking was perfect for capturing Marcel’s journey. At the end of the day, he’s still just a little guy in a big world.

  1. “The Batman”

Matt Reeves’ unique portrayal of Gotham City in “The Batman” has certainly defined the film as one of the most memorable superhero movies in recent memory. Complementing its incredible cinematography, the movie’s darker take on the franchise’s most iconic characters feel like comic book pages coming to life.

  1. “Nope”

“Nope” is Jordan Peele in peak form, taking the lessons he learned from “Get Out” (2017) and “Us” (2019) to make a film that’s arguably far more ambitious from both a narrative and technical perspective. Hoyte Van Hoytema effectively brings Peele’s UFO-horror-thriller to life with the best day for night cinematography I have seen in a movie.

  1. “The Banshees of Inisherin”

With his film about two friends feuding at the tail-end of the Irish Civil War, Martin McDonagh has crafted a narrative that is both heartbreaking and hilarious, and it is easily his most mature thus far. I never thought a film could make me care so deeply about a donkey.

  1. “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Despite its limited budget, production challenges, and being only the second film directed by the Daniels duo(Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), the comedy’s exploration of the multiverse’s possibilities is undoubtedly one of the best movies of 2022. Stupendous performances by Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu successfully complement its absurd plot with a touching narrative that will certainly resonate with the hearts of most viewers.

Overall, my list attempts to capture a variety of films across genres I have only begun to explore. For instance, while I have never been a fan of horror movies, films like “Men” treated me to a new perspective on how to view scary movies. But overall, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” still remains the pinnacle of storytelling this year, and possibly for many years to come. But that’s just my take, what does Carl have to say?

Thanks Siavash! Here’s what I’ve got; you may see some similarities.

Carl Svahn’s top 10 movies of 2022:

  1. “Tár”

Talent, power and the way they can destroy lives are at the center of Cate Blanchett’s best role in years. With an intricate script and near-flawless directing from Todd Field, this one is going to stay in my head for a while.

  1. “Funny Pages”

This is just about the grimiest, silliest and most authentic representation of what it too often means to ‘get ahead’ in any creative industry today. A story dealing with the realities of the modern indie comic industry (and all the nudity that strangely comes with it), “Funny Pages” is one of my favorite comedies and character pieces of the year. 

  1. “The Batman”

As someone who has grown tired of DC superhero films and their fundamental misunderstanding of what makes these characters so great, this is about the best Batman movie I could have hoped for. A chilling reinvention of The Riddler combined with pitch perfect performances, a thundering and magnificent score and an actually somewhat optimistic view of Batman? Hell yes.

  1. “The Northman”

The absolute brutality of this viking revenge drama is second only to the amazement I feel that it actually got made. From one of my favorite historical directors of all time, Robert Eggers manages to keep his high standards intact and deliver a historically faithful (yet still eerily supernatural), blood soaked, drug-fueled revenge quest for the ages. Eat your heart out, “Gladiator.”

  1. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

A far cry from the subdued hues and Stephen King-soaked atmosphere of its predecessor, “Glass Onion” is still a fantastic twist-filled mystery. Rian Johnson misses no steps here in his latest and more showy whodunit, and I can only hope that we get more Benoit Blanc adventures in the future.

  1. “RRR”

Undoubtedly the best (on an international scale) Tollywood film of the year, “RRR” has the energy and passion to dwarf movies with double or triple its budget. The unbelievable, epic action combined with some of the best musical numbers this generally musical-opposed reviewer has ever heard and a surprisingly endearing story of brotherhood and friendship in the face of colonialism makes even the over three-hour runtime feel like a breeze. Oh, and the throwing of tigers at British soldiers is always nice to see.

  1. “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”

I miss parody films, and by god does this one remind me why. Taking one of the greatest artists of our time, wildly miscasting him to great comedic effect with Daniel Radcliffe and giving the whole thing a script that lambasts biopic tropes while throwing a mix of drug wars, accordions and bologna into it all makes this the best tribute to the genius of Weird Al that I could have hoped for.

  1. “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Martin McDonagh has an innate ability to make some of the most down-to-earth and depressing stories one can think of into actually effective comedies, and he does so in perhaps his best form yet in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Though I personally prefer the southern-fried, hate-filled tale in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017), this Irish dark comedy has the charm and reflection on what it truly means to be a great man to make it by far one of the best, funniest and bleakest films of the year.

  1. “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Deciding between this and the following film as the best movie of the year is one of the hardest back and forth decisions I’ve made for myself in awhile. While the following film comes up on top personally, it only does so for its more present focus. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is the most sprawling, ambitious, emotional and creative film of the year, and I truly hope that it gets the recognition and legacy it deserves in the years to come because it is nothing short of exceptional, sex toy weapons and all.

  1. “Nope”

This consistently surprising and visually stunning movie has usurped “Get Out” as my favorite Jordan Peele venture. The mix of Peele’s usual social commentary and film history knowledge with western, alien and horror filmmaking makes this a constantly thrilling and horrifying spectacle, as well as a visual cocktail of my personal favorite ingredients. And when combined with the unbelievable screen power of Danial Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, nothing else can top what is sure to be yet another horror-adventure classic from Jordan Peele.