I’ve been doing this long enough to know that all year-end rankings like this one are, at best, tentative; There is no way to know what will really hold up from this year, and what we will revisit and appreciate in years to come. I might regret leaving Avatar: Water Road Off this year’s list, but I kind of doubt it; like the first symbol pictureIt’s like it’s a movie to see in a theater or not to see at all, and revisiting these images is, well, not easy. Honestly, I think there’s a better chance I’ll regret leaving ass forever Off the list – I really can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard in a movie theater; I may not do it again – but we’ll see.
I’ve had the theatrical releases on this list because I value the theatrical experience; I watched only two of the following films at home on TV instead of in the theatre. We may have entered the age of streaming, but I can’t help but feel as though the stuff Netflix and the rest are made for are glorified TV movies, with all the baggage that entails. There is nothing wrong with television, some of my favorite entertainment is teleportation. But movies to me mean the big screen, a hill on which I’ll die happily one day, muttering to myself about backtracking as it goes by.
The only exception to this rule is the world of animation. Most of the big animated movies that were released in theaters were, frankly, crap. But on streaming services, you had some real gems: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Is one of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever seen, while Phil Tippett’s pictures good food It is one of the most terrifying things. They are both genius. Richard Linklater Apollo 10 ½ is a nice bit of nostalgia. Beavis and Butthead Is the Universe I inspired more than a few guffaws, even though I’m not bob burger A connoisseur, I must say I was completely intrigued. I should watch this show, right?
It’s been a good year for horror and horror-adjacent pictures: I really enjoyed it Orphan: First killAnd the food menuAnd the smiling; Terrifying 2 is one of the year’s finest box office stories; And while X And the Pearl It didn’t do much for me, I’m glad they found fans (plus, I’ve always enjoyed watching quirky roles for Mia Goth; check out A cure for wellness sometimes). men And the No Both were missing things for me, but I’m glad Alex Garland and Jordan Peele are able to get funding for their somewhat bizarre and utterly personal images.
This is the first year in a while that I haven’t even considered a comic book movie on my shortlist. I don’t think it’s because I’ve become more mature – see: ass forever, above – but because the genre is somewhat exhausted. However, five of the ten best pictures of the year, domestically, were of this type. Even if some of these pictures are modest disappointments at work (looking at you, Wakanda forever And the Black Adam), it seems clear that audiences are still very much engrossed in cloaks and symbols, as my friend Matt Labach wryly puts it.
Oh alright. To the best of the year, right?
(Check here.) There’s just something so amusing about Michael Bay’s commitment to blowing up real things with real explosives. The drone work in this film is also a reminder that we’re approaching a new visual language of filmmaking, even if I don’t think Bay has quite mastered how to cut it with more traditional camera work.
9. future crimes
(Check here.) It’s been a year of movies about movies (Pearl And the X(or movies that were sort of marketed as movies about movies)Fablemans And the The Empire of Light). But the movie with the most interesting things to say about the clash of art and modern technology is David Cronenberg’s future crimes. Viggo Mortensen gives fresh resonance to the phrase “suffering for your art,” and Kristen Stewart’s tense weirdness is well worth the price of admission.
8. Thirteen lives
(Check here.) Ron Howard’s Picture is one of two films on this list that I haven’t seen in theaters, and honestly, I’m glad I did: I’m claustrophobic, and this is the most claustrophobic of all films. I’ve seen it since The descent. A great rescue story from the director who made the greatest rescue story ever, Apollo 13.
(Check here) The other movie I didn’t see in the theater. Too many movies together are taking too long now, and the whole thing is running, but Athens It keeps it fresh by increasing its intensity throughout. And the coda adds a dash of contrast refreshing in an age of political politics. As my friend Ali Arikan described it: The movie Centrism Le.
(Check here.) It truly is one of the most exciting films of the year, and I have no idea how to play it at home. I will say that watching him out in the open in theaters surrounded by people who were constantly snoring and looking around to see how people reacted to him was at least half the magic.
5. Anisherin from Inisherin
(Review here.) Martin McDonagh in Bruges It’s still one of the best movies of the 2000s, but I worried a little bit that it might not reach those heights again: The Seven Madmen It was a bit aloof and dead for my taste; Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri It was a messy business. But Anisherin from Inisherin Frighteningly beautiful, just a wonderfully intimate look at the way friendships can run south and sour. Best Professional Work from Kerry Condon, who deserves all the accolades.
4. Bodies Bodies Bodies
(Check here.) Very funny and very mean. Besides the “Decolonization” episode of Reservation dogsIt’s the best misrepresentation of Gen Z’s political and personal sentiments I’ve seen this year.
3. Top Gun: Maverick
(Check here.) Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from this movie despite my admiration for Tom Cruise, director Joseph Kosinski, and co-writer Christopher McCurry. The original, beloved as it is, is less a narrative feature than a collection of motion pictures. But Paramount clearly knew they had something special here and their patience with the release date is paying off. Just pure Hollywood spectacle with a tight, propulsive narrative that nonetheless hits all the notes of nostalgia.
2. Everything everywhere at once
(Check here.) One of the rare films that shocked me so hard, I immediately went home and started writing. I’m perfectly happy to concede that this picture won’t be for everyone – it’s so silly and it strives a bit to be visceral – but I think it’s a massive cinematic achievement that seamlessly blends styles and feelings into something that feels completely new and comfortably familiar.
(Check here.) Kubrickian in the sense that it’s the movie from this year that I think will be the most rewarding to rewatch for years to come. From framing shots to deconstructing plot to the film’s relationship to its own times to the tangle of performances, there’s just a wealth of material here to delve into. It’s also managed to inspire some of the best and some of the worst writing this year, without a doubt.