The Best Movies of 2022

The best of the best will outlive the rest.

It’s that time of the year-the time when I reveal to you the best movies I saw in 2022. The number one movie is “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” which is so brilliant and unbelievable, that you have to see it more than once to fully understand it. So what else made my Best Picture List? Find out below.

I hate cutting great movies from my annual Top 10 Best of the Year lists, but I can at least give them honorable mentions.


Five years ago, I changed my title from CJ’s Movie Madhouse to CJ @ The Movies, and I did an Honorable Seven list to celebrate the extra greats that couldn’t crack my Top 10. So, since it’s been five years, I’ll share five quick extras. I wanted to put them in the Top 10 slot. I really did, but at least, I can, at least, thank them for their efforts in entertaining me in more ways than you know.

15.) “The Northman”

14.) “To Leslie”

13.) “The Whale”

12.) “Bros”

11.) “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Now, we enter the Top 10-the ten films that really blew my mind this year. And I mean really blew my mind.

10.)”Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

Jenny Slate gives one of her most delightful voice performances as a boy shell named Marcel, who is on the search for his lost family and learns about the importance of growing up. She and her ex-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp adapt their YouTube short into a feature film with a kind heart. If only all kids films were as considerate as this is. If you loved her voice work in “Zootopia,” you’ll love hers in this.

It may have been a live-action film with stop-motion animation, but it still qualifies in the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars. I hope they don’t overlook it the way they did with “The Lego Movie.” In fact, it could be the first stop-motion/live-action hybrid to be entered in that category.

9.) “Elvis”

Unlike “Blonde,” which felt like a hate letter towards Marilyn Monroe, Baz Luhrmann’s biopic shares its love for Elvis Presley, and shows us the style and struggles in his life. Austin Butler deserves some Oscar consideration as the King. With its combination of classic Elvis hits with modern music (featuring Eminem, Cee Lo Green, and Doja Cat, etc. on the soundtrack), as well as remarkable production and costume designs, this is one of Luhrmann’s most elaborate entries. It’s like if the King was the star of “Moulin Rouge,” baby. Thank you, thank you very much.

8.) “Tar”

Todd Field’s return to the big screen brings Cate Blanchett in a phenomenal performance as a brilliant but unlikable music conductor. Whether or not you’re into classical music, you still are dazzled by its art form. And as you finish watching it, you start to ponder on what will become of her life, given the circumstances she faces. Can’t say. See for yourself.

7.) “Aftersun”

A little father-daughter quality time is presented with authenticity and emotions by writer/director Charlotte Wells. With Paul Mescal as a young father and newcomer Frankie Corio as his tween daughter, there isn’t a single cliche or condescending moment between them. In fact, the girl would like to know her father better, since she’s visiting him, and we want to know about him as well. This couldn’t be anymore relaxing or poignant.

6.) “Top Gun: Maverick”

I was right when I said this delayed sequel would make fans feel like a million bucks. Almost everyone I’ve talked to said they loved this movie, which has also become the highest grossing movie of the year. Tom Cruise is back as Maverick, along with Miles Teller as the late Goose’s son, and even the ill Val Kilmer has a tear jerking scene as Iceman. It’s like a trip down memory lane.

5.) “Turning Red”

Disney/Pixar’s latest animated feature “Turning Red” pushes itself to different limits by having its teenage heroine being transformed into a red panda, as a substitution for her having her periods. It acts like a cartoon with its challenges regarding overprotective mothers and spontaneous BFFs, who are actually better influences on the main heroine than the mother is. More ways than you know. With terrific voice work from the likes of newcomer Rosalie Chiang and Sandra Oh, as well as a Godzilla-inspired scene, writer/director Domee Shi deserves to take home another Oscar.

If she doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, then I hope, at least, Dean Fleisher-Camp wins for “Marcel.” They’re both animated gems made by visionary artists.

4.) “Nope”

Jordan Peele’s latest got snubbed at the Golden Globes, but I still loved it for having a “Jaws” meets “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” quality. Leave it to him to have Daniel Kaluuya (his “Get Out” protege) and Keke Palmer getting an “Oprah Shot” of a UFO, which only slaughters you if you look up. At least, we think it’s a UFO. These two actors both know the stakes and are far from the jump scare idiots that movie-goers are into these days. And Peele confirms their characters respectively have autism and ADHD. Maybe that’s how they both know the stakes.

3.) “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Martin McDonagh’s next entry is further proof that he is a filmmaker who knows how to combine comedy and pathos with twisty results. It’s set in a fictional town off the coast of Ireland in 1923, when Brendan Gleeson calls off his friendship with Colin Farrell, because he believes he’s too dull. Every time, he tries to reconnect with the old timer, decisions are made amongst themselves, and consequences come in. All these “In Bruges” collaborators are equally funny and powerful in terms of how such a good friendship can end up becoming toxic. This is proof that McDonagh can be trusted to make great movies.

2.) “The Fabelmans”

Steven Spielberg has finally made a masterpiece inspired by his childhood. You know the one when he filmed a model train crash, which set him on a riveting track to become the famous filmmaker we know and love. But this movie isn’t just about movies, but also about his family life, and he refuses to insult them. With a dream cast of Michelle Williams, Gabrielle LaBelle (as who we think is the young Spielberg), Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch, there’s enough nostalgia and warmth to keep his loyal fans viewing.

1.) “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

A24’s highest grossing film is directed with ambition and dazzling creativity by the filmmaking duo known as Daniels. It’s a multiverse movie that takes greater risks than the otherwise entraining “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” did. You also have Michelle Yeoh delivering an unbelievable performance in multiple realities, where she’s the owner of a laundromat, an actress, a chef in a “Ratatouille” parody, or even a rock. And it all hangs on the delicate balance of what we believe is an everything bagel. It’s a challenging and funny film that tests your senses and draws you in with comedy and fantasy.

More Honorable Mentions:

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Babylon,” “Bullet Train,” X,” “Pearl,” “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story,” “Till,” “The Batman,” “Hustle,” “Emergency,” “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “The Black Phone,” “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” “Vengeance,” “Thirteen Lives,” “Women Talking,” “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” “Breaking,” “The Woman King,” “Fire of Love,” “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” “Return to Seoul,” “Decision to Leave,” “The Adam Project,” “The Forgiven,” “White Noise,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

The Best International Films

  1. “The Innocents”
  2. “The Good Boss”
  3. “EO”
  4. “Paris, 13th District”
  5. “Petite Maman”
  6. “Happening”
  7. “Official Competition”
  8. “All Quiet on the Western Front”
  9. “Decision to Leave”
  10. “Return to Seoul”

The Best Animated Films

  1. “Wendell & Wild”
  2. “Lightyear”
  3. “Beavis and Butthead Do The Universe”
  4. “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood”
  5. “Entergalactic”
  6. “The Bad Guys”
  7. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”
  8. “Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio”
  9. “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
  10. “Turning Red”

The Best Documentaries

  1. “A Peloton of One”
  2. “Salt in My Soul”
  3. “Lucy & Desi”
  4. “Sr.”
  5. “Girl in the Picture”
  6. “Moonage Daydream”
  7. “We Need to Talk About Cosby”
  8. “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
  9. “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story”
  10. “Fire of Love”

The Best Performances of the Year

  1. Cate Blanchett in “Tar”
  2. Andrea Riseborough in “To Leslie”
  3. Kerry Condon in “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  4. Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
  5. Jeremy Pope in “The Inspection”
  6. Brendan Gleeson in “The Banshees of Inisherin”
  7. Frankie Corio in “Aftersun”
  8. Keke Palmer in “Nope”
  9. Brendan Fraser in “The Whale”
  10. Austin Butler in “Elvis”

The Best End Credit Songs

  1. “Hold My Hand” performed by Lady Gaga from “Top Gun: Maverick”
  2. “Time” performed by Giveon from “Amsterdam”
  3. “Feelin’ Alright performed by Elle King from “The Bad Guys”
  4. “Stars in the Sky” performed by Kid Cudi from “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”
  5. “Ride or Die” performed by Tai Verdes from “The Man From Toronto”
  6. “La Vida Es Una” performed by Karol G from “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”
  7. “Turn Up the Sunshine” performed by Diana Ross feat. Tame Impala from “Minions: The Rise of Gru”
  8. “The King and I” performed by Eminem feat. Cee Lo Green from “Elvis”
  9. “Lift Me Up” performed by Rihanna from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
  10. “Love Power” (Credit Version) performed by Idina Menzel from “Disenchanted”

The Best Stars I’ve Met

  1. Kathryn Hahn
  2. Tom Kenny
  3. Tara Strong
  4. Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert)
  5. Patrick Warburton
  6. Jenny Slate
  7. Harvey Guillen
  8. The “Clerks” cast including Kevin Smith, Jeff Anderson, Brian O’Halloran, and Jason Mewes
  9. Idina Menzel
  10. Al Pacino

Categories: List

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