Top 10 Best Movies of 2022 (So Far)



Top 10 Best Movies of 2022 (So Far)

VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
These are the best movies of far. For this list, we'll be looking at movies released in the first half of 2022 that shouldn't be forgotten over the next six months. Our countdown includes “The Bob's Burgers Movie”, “Top Gun: Maverick”, “The Batman”, and more!

Top 10 Best Movies of 2022 (So Far)

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Movies of 2022.

For this list, we’ll be looking at movies released in the first half of 2022 that shouldn’t be forgotten over the next six months. We’re including films that had festival screenings in 2021, but received wider releases this year.

What’s your favorite movie of 2022 so far? Let us know in the comments.

#10: “Lightyear” (2022)

“Lightyear” has everything you’d expect from a Pixar film: stunning animation, inspired humor, and at least one moment that’ll get you teary-eyed. What’s surprising is how strong the science fiction elements are. Director Angus MacLane has made a sci-fi extravaganza with action worthy of “Star Wars” and ideas worthy of Christopher Nolan. The film remains faithful to the spirit of the “Toy Story” movies while still being its own entity. The same can be said about Chris Evans’ take on Buzz, capturing the classic character’s personality without doing a Tim Allen impression. Speaking of toys, we want a Sox robot for Christmas. A Buzz Lightyear origin story could’ve misfired in so many ways, but this film goes to infinity and… you know the rest.

#9: “Emergency” (2022)

On paper, “Emergency” sounds like a standard college comedy with three students trying to get an inebriated young woman to the hospital without arousing suspicion. While humorous hijinks do ensue, the fact that two main characters are Black makes the situation all the more complicated. This sharply written social commentary seamlessly blends a farcical premise with the hard-hitting reality of being a person of color in 21st century America. For much of “Emergency,” you’ll shift between laughing and feeling a paranoid knot in the pit of your stomach. That knot explodes in the final act when every decision catches up to the characters. With Donald Elise Watkins, RJ Cyler, and Sabrina Carpenter giving the most electrifying performances of their young careers, “Emergency” deserves immediate attention.

#8: “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” (2022)

The Belchers make their big-screen debut in a film that sits comfortably alongside “The Simpsons Movie” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.” While the film maintains the animated sitcom’s simple charms, the stakes and artistry have been raised for this cinematic event. The world of “Bob’s Burgers” is given more new dimensions and the same can be said about the characters. It should come as no surprise that Kristen Schaal’s Louise is a standout with the film proving a deeper dive behind the bunny ears. While Louise’s hat has been an enigma for over a decade, the real mystery here involves a body in a race against time. For dedicated viewers, it’s the ultimate comfort zoom. For burger beginners, it’s a succulent first bite.

#7: “Top Gun: Maverick” (2022)

“Top Gun” soared as one of the most quotable and iconic action dramas of the 80s. While the long-awaited sequel pays homage to its predecessor around every turn, it never feels stuck in the past. It’s a movie for audiences in 2022, having the characters evolve with the times. Although Tom Cruise still has the charisma and energy of a person half his age, “Top Gun: Maverick” is arguably the first film to acknowledge that he’s getting up there. While “Maverick” is about passing the torch, it’s just as much about proving that old dogs can learn - and teach - new tricks. Surprisingly emotional and encompassing some of cinema’s most jaw-dropping flight sequences, Joseph Kosinski turns in a sweeping entertainment that would make Tony Scott proud.

#6: “The Northman” (2022)

Between “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse,” Robert Eggers proved that he could do little wrong. Of course, when an auteur gets a $70–90 million budget, some of the magic can be lost. This thankfully isn’t the case with “The Northman,” which maintains Eggers’ signature craft and surrealism on an even grander scale. We’d call the film Shakespearean, but Alexander Skarsgård’s Amleth technically predates “Hamlet.” Even so, “Hamlet” with Vikings is an appropriate description with tragedy, betrayal, and a revenge story that’s unlikely to have a happy resolution. Visually awe-inspiring with superb supporting performances from Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicole Kidman, “The Northman” is Eggers’ epic. While the film has yet to show a profit, time will remember “The Northman” as one of 2022’s best cinematic investments.

#5: “Turning Red” (2022)

“Turning Red” ushers Pixar into bold new territory for a variety of reasons. This nostalgic coming-of-age story marks the studio’s first feature with an all-female creative team. This is reflected through the film’s humorous, insightful, and down-to-earth portrayal of puberty. We know that “down-to-earth” might seem like an odd way to describe a film with a giant red panda, but if you replace “red panda” with “menstruation,” Meilin Lee’s story suddenly becomes far more layered. Kids will appreciate the film’s vibrant animation and comedy, but they’ll likely appreciate “Turning Red” even more as they get older. While the film is a landmark for female and Asian representation, anyone who’s endured the awkward baggage of growing up will identify with Mei’s evolution.

#4: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (2022)

The MCU meets the horror genre? It’s certainly a promising approach, but even with Sam Raimi behind the camera, a lot of us expected “Multiverse of Madness” to be tame compared to “Evil Dead.” Although it doesn’t enter that R-rated territory, Doctor Strange’s second solo movie pushes the limits of what a PG-13 movie can get away with. The same can be said about Rami’s “Drag Me to Hell.” It’s still an MCU movie with clever quips, rousing action, and cameos that’ll have the theater erupting in applause. However, it’s just as much a Raimi movie with eerie settings, demented characters, and creative deaths that may give youngsters nightmares. Hell, we’re still on edge thinking about some of the imagery! Also, all hail Elizabeth Olsen.

#3: “X” (2022)

Some people are looking for a layered horror movie that challenges conventions of the genre. Others just want a good, old-fashioned slasher flick that delivers on the graphic content. “X” somehow manages to have its cake and eat it too… with a side of blood. The plot is straightforward enough to be interpreted as fun escapism that’s best experienced with an audience of horror enthusiasts. Behind the simple story, though, is intricate commentary on youth, beauty, and what happens when age claims all of the above. The film has drawn comparison to “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” which also worked as both a popcorn flick and something more thematic than expected. From the performances to director Ti West’s atmospheric vision, it’s got that X factor.

#2: “The Batman” (2022)

After so many interpretations, we weren’t sure if “The Batman” could offer much new. With Matt Reeves in the director’s chair, though, the Dark Knight hasn’t felt this fresh since Christopher Nolan was at the helm. While “The Batman” is dark and grounded, it doesn’t feel like a retread of Nolan’s version. It’s a unique cinematic interpretation that also weaves in some of the otherworldliness of Tim Burton’s “Batman.” We could see this Gotham existing in the real world, but it’d also fit in on the printed pages of the comics. Few interpretations have balanced the two extremes better. It also may be the first live-action feature to put more emphasis on Batman than Bruce Wayne with Robert Pattinson bringing out the character’s identity crisis.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” (2022)
The Ultimate Easter Egg Hunt for Animation Fans

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (2022)
Best Paired with a Nicolas Cage Marathon… or “Paddington 2”

“The Outfit” (2022)
A Classic Gangster Movie Meets Hitchcock’s “Rope”

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (2022)
Ugly Sonic Isn’t the Only One Having a Great Year

“Montana Story” (2021)
A Quiet Meditation on Grief & Forgiveness Carried by Haley Lu Richardson & Owen Teague

#1: “Morbius” (2022)

Forget “No Way Home!” Sony totally knows what they’re doing without Marvel holding their hand! Okay, let’s get real.

#1: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (2022)

In this day and age, the only thing harder than getting an original film made is getting people to see it in the theaters. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has defied all the odds, becoming A24’s highest-grossing domestic film through mostly positive word of mouth. The directing duo of the Daniels bend genres, minds, and reality itself in this wildly inventive entry to the ever-expanding multiverse subgenre. You’ve seen multiverse movies before, but this one’s creativity and themes surpass everything that’s come before. In a role originally intended for Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh delivers a Best Actress caliber performance as a laundromat owner on a journey of self-reflection. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll ask, “what am I watching and where can I get more please?”