It’s that time of year again when we all collectively binge through our watch lists in a panic before the Letterboxd wrapped hits.
2022 was an incredible year for movies, so here are our favorites (and yes, we’re doing the top 11 best films of 2022 because top 10 just didn’t cut it).
11. Do Revenge
Dare I say this is the modern girl’s chick flick in all the right ways? The bubbly queen bee (Camilla Mendes) and the cynical bullied lesbian (Maya Hawke) team up for the most unexpected and unhinged mission: to do each other’s revenge. Between a makeover montage, lesbian romance, and f*ckboys getting absolutely owned, Do Revenge scratched my brain in all the right ways. This is a chaotic, twisty plot with a perfect blend of fun and sincerity.
Please forgive me in advance, but what a fresh take on the horror genre. This one’s just a damn good time, and it’s refreshing (sorry) to see Sebastian Stan kill a role that’s so different from his superhero legacy. But he’s not alone in stealing the show — Daisy Edgar-Jones gives an equally show-stopping performance as one of the best final girls in recent memory. At the raw heart of it all, Fresh is about the horrors of dating as a young woman. It realizes the fear that every woman has on a first date: that itching feeling that something could go wrong, the urge to text someone the address, and the imaginary escape route planned while feigning a smile. Y’know, just in case.
9. Bodies Bodies Bodies
There’s no doubt this film established the next era of slashers. We all know the standard horror archetypes: the jock, the cheerleader, the nerd, the token minority, the virgin, and on and on it goes. These are the rules of any slasher, and they let us know who’s going to live or die — or at least, they used to. Bodies Bodies Bodies is a modern-day whodunnit slasher that reinvents the genre with a Gen-Z ensemble and probably the best-written teen dialogue I’ve seen in, well, ever. Not a character goes wasted and they each carry that “I know someone like that” quality. Whether you love them or hate them, it’s undeniably fun to watch the movie play out while their backstabbing fake friendships unravel.
Hear us discuss this movie further on the Cinema Vixens podcast.
8. The Menu
Definitely the “eat the rich” movie of the year — and we’ve had a lot of them, not to my dismay. Truly, I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun hating rich people as I did while watching The Menu, and I’d owe that to the stellar tight script and sensational performances from both Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes. The simplicity of this film is what really works for me: it takes place entirely in one room, with the same small group of people, doing more or less the same thing, and yet I was absolutely entranced and on the edge of my seat the whole time. Just saying, Margot (Taylor-Joy) and Samara Weaving’s Grace from Ready or Not would eat this world alive.
I watched this movie on an iPad in a small villa in Florence, Italy at 2 in the morning (I’m sorry Jordan Peele) and it was still one of the best cinematic experiences of the year. Nope is one of those movies that had me spiraling down a rabbit hole of Reddit threads, YouTube videos, and texting all of my friends to compare our thoughts. I’m a fan of all of Peele’s horror works, but this one, in particular, is so rich with storytelling and worldbuilding that I was left truly beguiled. To say I was horrified isn’t quite the right word, but Nope gave me that queasy, funny feeling only Peele knows how to create.
6. The Batman
This is the ultimate Batman movie, I said what I said. The little girl locked up in her room reading every Batman comic she could get her hands on? This movie is for her (me). Honestly, I’m just happy the world got to see a sliver of what Robert Pattinson is capable of as an actor. He’s been absolutely slaying it for most of his career, but his talent wasn’t quite in the spotlight until now. Not a single character or actor goes wasted in this film. Zoe Kravitz is Catwoman, Catwoman is Zoe Kravitz. Colin Farrell is (somehow???) The Penguin and I still can’t wrap my head around how explosive his performance was. Paul Dano’s The Riddler is unsurprisingly creepy because Paul Dano is creepy, but we love him.
I haven’t had this much fun watching a horror movie in years, and maybe that’s because it’s not just a horror. Barbarian begins like a rom-com (the chemistry between Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård is undeniable) that evolves into a horror, then a mystery, then an “eat the rich” something or other, and then it all rolls back into one horrifying package. I was delighted to see Justin Long in a horror once again, and even more impressed by the passion and talent that he put into this role. If you haven’t seen Barbarian, heed my advice: go into this one BLIND.
4. The Banshees of Inisherin
I learned so much Irish slang against my will, but it was worth it. Martin McDonagh is back with his fourth feature film, and (no surprise) it’s incredible. Maybe I’m biased because McDonagh is my favorite director, but his ability to mesmerize with witty dialogue and unique storytelling continues to impress me. His previous film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri received 6 Oscar nominations in 2018 including best picture, and I believe The Banshees of Inisherin blows it out of the water (hot take but I actually think Three Billboards is his weakest film, despite it being a masterpiece). Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are reunited once again (shoutout to all my In Bruges fans) and I've never, ever been happier. Like all of McDonagh’s work, Banshees is a perfect blend of dark humor, unusual drama, and anticipation backlit by Carter Burwell’s haunting musical score.
3. Glass Onion
The Benoit Blanc cinematic universe is superior and I hope it never ends. A follow-up to Rian Johnson’s 2019 film Knives Out, Glass Onion tells the story of another whodunnit in a strange new setting with a brand new cast — except for Daniel Craig returning as Benoit Blanc, the queer (allegedly, but we’re going with it) detective with our favorite Kentucky fried accent. Glass Onion has many layers (sorry) that work, and while I don’t think it’s quite as good as its predecessor, the film lands with an unpredictable mystery that will keep you both laughing and on the edge of your seat the entire time.
2. X & Pearl
Yes these count as one movie, no I will not be taking questions. Let’s start with X: Jenna Ortega, Mia Goth, Brittany Snow, and Kid Cudi star in this buckwild slasher fest from Ti West. Goth plays double roles as both Maxxine, set in the late ‘70s grindhouse timeline of X, and Pearl, set in 1918 in, you guessed it, Pearl. While X stands strong on its own as a gruesome slasher reminiscent of classic horror, Pearl provides a surprisingly tender origin story for its titular character — and the villain of X.
1. Everything Everywhere All At Once
A delightfully weird, warm, and mind-blowing experience. Daniels (as usual) master the balance of strange, comical whimsy with a compelling and tender narrative that will punch you in the gut right when you least expect it. I went through every possible emotion watching this film, but above all, it was an adrenaline-pumping blast — especially for such a long runtime. Give all the awards to Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan I’m begging you.
I hope this movie exists in every alternate universe.