Hello, and welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG's "Movie Talk", where I talk about everything film-related. 2023 is beyond the horizon, with more exciting movies coming out to fuel our passion for cinema and popcorn entertainment. But before we start thinking about the future, we should take the opportunity to celebrate the best ones that came out in 2022. As usual, this year had plenty of films that are intriguing, surprising, bizarre, heartwarming, thought-provoking, or all of the above. We also have adaptations, remakes, and sequels that are either surprisingly great, understandably average, or painfully mediocre. I would love to list these movies in any specific order, but today, I'll be counting down the ten films of 2022 that impressed me with their storytelling, technical aspects, and the impact that they left on me and everyone else. Also, just a reminder that I couldn't review every movie that came out in 2022, so don't expect your favorite film to be on this list. This is my list of movies that I think were outstanding in their own right. I've seen a lot of great films, but only ten are perfect enough to be included. As always, if you want in-depth reasons for my choices, look for them on the "2022 Reviews" page. With that said, let's count down my top ten favorite movies of 2022.
Pixar may not have hit a home run with the studio's big-screen return with "Lightyear", but it did strike gold with its outstanding animated feature about puberty. "Turning Red" is another Pixar triumph that effectively combines family-friendly storytelling with a complicated and mature topic, making it accessible to audiences of all ages. Despite specific sequences that were a bit much, the film benefits greatly from its brilliant storytelling, voice cast, likable characters, clever humor, and outstanding animation. It may not top "Inside Out" regarding Pixar's presentation of adolescence, but it proves that the studio is still on top of the animation game regarding their original content.
Five years ago, the entire world was shaken by the horrific actions made by Harvey Weinstein toward the actresses and employees working in Hollywood. This year, The story behind the journalists responsible for revealing the shocking truth was revealed. "She Said" is a straightforward yet thought-provoking depiction of the journalists' journey to expose Weinstein's heinous crimes against women. Director Maria Schrader provides an exquisite sense of realism and heartache regarding the characters without showing any sexual abuse on screen. Additionally, it benefitted from its compelling cast, mainly Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan, and Rebecca Lenkiewicz's screenplay. It's a superb representation of the story that sparked the "MeToo movement" and changed how we see the industry today.
DreamWorks Animation took notes from "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" regarding its animation style. As a result, the studio produced two great animated features that provided stiff competition for Disney. However, only one was fantastic enough to appear on my list, and it's a sequel to a decade-old spin-off. "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" was originally seen as another cash-grab sequel for the studio, similar to "The Croods: A New Age" and "Boss Baby: Family Business". But, to our surprise, it became something much more. The movie is a vast improvement over the 2011 spin-off film regarding its mature themes, characters, storytelling, and fantastic animation. I would even say it's one of the best animated sequels I've seen from the studio, joining alongside "Shrek 2", "Kung Fu Panda 2", and "How to Train Your Dragon 2". It also marks a great starting point for DreamWorks' latest stage in its presentation that'll likely give Disney a run for its money.
This year, acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro took the animation format out for a spin with another adaptation of Carlo Collodi's beloved novel. The result is just as profound and grimly wondrous as you'd expect from the director. "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" outshines Disney's live-action remake tremendously by offering a dazzling and highly ambitious take on the tale of a wooden boy longing to be human. The story is refreshing for its themes and characters, the voice cast is impeccable, and the stop-motion animation is incredible for its designs and backgrounds. If you want another reason why animation should be treated as an art form, look no further than this amazing piece of animated filmmaking.
If you want to be overwhelmed by cuteness and heartfelt scenarios, my number six pick will fill your heart with joy in seconds. "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On" is a delightful and sincere adaptation that honors the title character and Dean Fleischer Camp's short films. As someone who hasn't watched the short films, I was pleasantly surprised at how adorable and well-written the film turned out. The cast, mainly Jenny Slate, was sublime in their roles, and the mixture of live-action and stop-motion was flawlessly spectacular. It may not be like the other fast-paced family films with cute animated characters, but it does offer enough heartwarming moments to put a smile on my face.
Let's face it. No one wants to relive the traumatic experience that was the murder of Emmett Till, especially in movie form. However, there's no denying that this film matches the shocking impact with its exceptional filmmaking aspects. "Till" is a highly compelling and bittersweet drama that successfully captures the pain and frustration of Emmett Till's murder and the black community in the 1950s. Chinonye Chukwu did an incredible job honoring this challenging topic through her direction, and Danielle Deadwyler delivered a stunning performance as a mother filled with grief. It can be tough to watch, but it is essential for us to learn, so we don't let history repeat itself.
My number four pick is a very late addition that I had to include immediately after watching it. Not just because of how great it was but also how it got me excited for its future. "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" is the latest movie from Rian Johnson that made me realize his impressive talent as a filmmaker. It's also a delightful sequel that lives up to the expectations set up by Johnson's mystery classic "Knives Out". From its fantastic cast to Johnson's top-notch screenplay to its social commentary, the film is an entertaining, clever, and occasionally wild experience that'll satisfy fans of the original and, in general, murder mysteries. Here's hoping his upcoming third "Knives Out" film can round up the trilogy in glorious fashion.
The multiverse is a wild concept filled with multiple possibilities for Hollywood to play around with. This has been brought to life through recent Marvel films like "Into the Spider-Verse" and "Multiverse of Madness". However, my third favorite movie of 2022 proves that the multiverse isn't just for superheroes to encounter. "Everything Everywhere All at Once" would've been widely forgotten regarding its bizarreness. Instead, it became a unique and kooky experience that you have to see to believe. The movie is a never-ending mixture of chaos, vibrancy, and heart that's balanced very well with a thought-provoking narrative about the relationship between mother and daughter. The cast delivered great performances, including Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, the direction and emotion were consistently admirable, and the visual effects were outstanding. It's also a great distraction for those waiting for the Flash or Spider-Man to tackle the insanity that is the multiverse next year.
Steven Spielberg has done it again! His latest film, "The Fabelmans", took an interesting approach to reflect his childhood and filmmaking quest through his originality. The result is a beautiful and well-written coming-of-age journey that celebrates the heart of filmmaking and the passion behind it. The director effectively surrounds it with a strong sense of charm and is never afraid to showcase the drama involving the characters' waning relationships. It's also a compelling showcase for the actors involved, including Michelle Williams and the young Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy. Combine them with its strong screenplay and John Williams' score, and you get another terrific reflection of how the power of movies affects our lives. It's also another reason why Spielberg is one of the best filmmakers of all time.
We all knew that this was coming. We just didn't know where it would land on my list. Now we know. When we first heard about "Top Gun: Maverick", we thought it would be another sequel that carelessly cashes in on the success of its original. Tony Scott's "Top Gun" wasn't a critical hit back in 1986, so we assumed its long-awaited follow-up wouldn't fare any different. But, boy, did we shoot ourselves in the foot with our quick judgment? "Top Gun: Maverick" not only surpassed the original in more ways than one but also delivered one of the best theatrical experiences and blockbusters of the decade. Joseph Kosinski proved himself to be the underdog of the film industry by providing a legacy sequel that combines thrilling action, lovable characters, and heartwarming drama. Tom Cruise delivered one of the best performances of his career as Pete Mitchell, a role that made him a household name in the movie business. Additionally, the aerial sequences are incredible, and the direction and screenplay are superb regarding the character arcs and nostalgia. I've only seen it twice in the theater. The first time was in the regular cinema with the largest screen, and my second time was in an IMAX theater with my mother. I loved it the first time I watched it, and I loved it even more in my second viewing. Regarding the cinematic experience and storytelling quality, "Top Gun: Maverick" is the best legacy sequel I've seen and my favorite film of 2022.
In conclusion, 2022 marks another good year for movies. While most of them failed to meet all of our expectations or wound up being total bombs, the rest of them managed to impress or even surprise us, especially the ones on my list. Knowing me, I'm always a fan of the underdogs. Speaking of bombs, be on the lookout for the next episode of "Movie Talk", where I share my top ten least favorite movies of the year, which seems to be limited compared to my other worst film lists. Until then, have a blessed day.