Nick’s Top 12 Best Films of 2022

Greetings fellow movie goers from around the globe. 2022 is over, it’s now 2023. Without further ado here are my Top 12 Best Films of 2022. Why Top 12? Because I refuse to add another number or else bad luck will happen. What are your favorite movies of 2022? Please leave a comment and I’ll respond back.

12. BARDO

Final Verdict: A-

Box Office: $38,190

Alejandro “Al” González Iñárritu’s first film in seven years since “The Revenant.” Bardo’s best described as a spiritual successor to Federico Fellini’s “8 ½” centers around a Mexican journalist named, Silverio Gama who embarks on a surreal odyssey returning to his home country having visions linked to his past, heritage, family and career. Despite divisive reactions from critics, I thoroughly enjoyed Al’s epic comedy-drama for its direction, performances, cinematography and trippy sequences.

My only complaint is the slow pace. As a fan of Mr. Iñárritu’s work, I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt. His films are unique.

11. Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

Final Verdict: A-

Box Office: $675,500

Although I’ve never been a fan of the show “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” I first became interested in the duo’s movie featuring cartoons characters co-existing in the real world like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” John Mulaney & Andy Samberg carried the film with their chemistry.

One boo boo that bothers me. A character often labels a revival as a reboot. Hear me out, whenever I hear the definition of the word “Reboot,” I think of a franchise getting a redo going back to the very the beginning discarding the status quo in favor of something brand new. Examples such as “Batman Begins,” “Casino Royale,” “The Incredible Hulk” & “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” The proper definition of “Revival” is bringing back an old series picking up where a storyline left off years later.

10. Scream

Final Verdict: A-

Box Office: $140,041,405

An unexpected entertaining fifth installment of the “Scream” series, Sidney Prescott forced to come face-to-face with another killer or two assuming the role as Ghostface. Unlike Star Wars’ horrendously bad Sequel Trilogy, this movie gives old and new characters equal prominence. They didn’t overshadow Sidney, Gale & Dewey. Scream 5 is a decent follow up to the first four movies. Only problem I dispose is this one is called, “Scream.” Why not “Scream: Old Memories, New Problems?”

9. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Final Verdict: A-

Box Office: $955,775,804

Set after “WandaVision” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role as Doctor Strange in a solo sequel. This time he teams up with America Chavez as they face off against a powerful adversary. Nine Years after making “Oz the great and Powerful,” Sam Raimi returns to Marvel bringing element of horror in the sequel as well as collaborating with his good luck harm, Bruce Campbell. I enjoyed the performances, action sequences, chemistry between Strange & America, unexpected cameos etc.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the only near perfect MCU film. “Morbius” stinks, “Thor: Love and Thunder” felt underwhelming and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is painfully average like “Avatar.” Hopefully, Phase 5 gets better. My most anticipated Marvel movie is “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

8. Elvis

Final Verdict: A-

Box Office: $286,040,048

Baz Luhrmann’s biopic chronicles the life and career of a cultural icon. Austin Butler delivers a mesmerizing performance as Elvis Presley. Tom Hanks also did an excellent job playing against type as Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker who’s secretly a greedy con man. I really enjoyed Elvis’ humble beginnings to his tragic final performance in 1977. Props go to Baz for telling a dignified story giving Elvis’ family members Priscilla and Lisa Marie a seal of approval. My favorite song out from the soundtrack is “Power of my Love” with Jack White singing a duet with The King.

If Baz’ use of Shaky Cam wasn’t heavily involved, this could’ve been

7. Dragon Bull Super: Super Hero

Final Verdict: A-

Box Office: $86,562,140

Set after “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” Piccolo and his former pupil Gohan team-up to fight The Red Ribbon Army. Even though Goku single handedly defeated the organization as a kid in “Dragon Ball,” they return with a much bigger scheme. For the first time DBZ since The Garlic Junior Saga, Goku & Vegeta have zero involvement in the main story. Which is a breath of fresh air focusing on the former two characters fighting a deadly foe.

As a lifelong fan of DBZ since Toonami’s golden age, I didn’t mind the animation’s CGI look blending anime like a polished video game, my only gripe is a fusion character felt wasted. Regardless, I liked the voiceover performances, kinetic action sequences, chemistry between Gohan and Piccolo, humor, callbacks etc. “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” is my favorite anime film of 2022. If you haven’t seen it, give this one a shot.

6. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Box Office: $402,656,846

Picking up a few months after Sonic the Hedgehog’s cinematic debut, the blue speedster crosses paths with his archenemy Dr. Robotnik & Knuckles whose goal is to obtain a powerful artifact. Sonic teams up with Tails using their skills and abilities to conquer the baddies. Like its predecessor, the sequel retains core elements from the video games including Sonic, Tails & Knuckles appearances, skills and personalities lighthearted tone, jokes, pop culture references just to name a few.

If you’re a fan of Sonic, watch the first and second movies. Don’t forget to buy “Sonic Frontiers.”

5. X

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Box Office: 14,779,858

An A24 produced film described as a cross between “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” & “Boogie Nights,” X takes place in the ’70s with a film crew arriving at farm somewhere in the middle of Texas (my home state) to shoot a pornographic film. Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega and the rest of the cast all did an amazing job. Scare Factor didn’t rely on Jump Scares. Ti West crafted a throwback to slasher films from the ‘70s like the aforementioned Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A creepy old couple gave me the heebie jeebies.

As of January 2023, I’ve yet to see “Pearl.” A prequel focusing on the titular character. I’m onboard for the sequel “MaXXXine.”

4. Bullet Train

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Box Office: $239,268,602

A live-action adaptation of a Japanese novel, “Bullet Train” features five hired guns onboard a Japanese train traveling at a high velocity. David Leitch (the John Wick series, Atomic Blonde, Nobody) knocked it outta the park adapting the novel on the big screen. Brad Pitt leads an ensemble cast including one of my favorite actresses Joey King, all did a great job. Action Sequences kept me under my seat. It was hard for me to root for nearly every single character with mysterious and interesting back stories. Towards the end, the story all makes sense. Humor contains legit jokes.

If you’re a fan of action movies, Bullet Train’s worth your spare time.

3. The Batman

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Box Office: $770,836,163

Remember when WB announced Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen from “Twilight) signed on to play The Caped Crusader? Everyone went nuts including me. Sometime Later, I soften up after seeing Mr. Pattinson’s roles in “Good Time,” “The Lighthouse” & “Tenet” leaving me with an open mind he’ll exceed audience expectations. Result? It worked. Although not set within the DC Extended Universe, “The Batman” is a competent stand-alone film not retelling Bruce Wayne’s origin story told countless times. In his second year as a vigilante, Batman investigates a series of murders leaving cryptic riddles from a calculative serial killer known as The Riddler. With help from Catwoman & Jim Gordon, Batman must stop The Riddler’s grandmaster plan from coming to fruition. The Batman is the only flawless superhero film far superior to Marvel’s slate of entries.

Props go to Matt Reeves’ direction, performances, action sequences and Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack invoking the late Shirley Walker’s music from “Batman: The Animated Series.” I’m open for a sequel. I’m interested in seeing The Court of Owls and Mr. Freeze as the primary antagonists. The latter deserves a proper big screen treatment. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s god-awful ice puns ruined a three-dimensional tragic villain.

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Box Office: $103,740,689

Another A24 film directed by sibling duo The Daniels made a unique take on the multiverse involving a subject “verse jumping” to an alternate version of the person from another universe acquiring skills.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is more absurd and psychedelic than BARDO & Doctor Stange in a blender. Michelle Yeoh headlines this organic multi-genre indie as a middle-aged woman having an existential crisis, is destined to save the multiverse.

Upon first view, a rewatch allows you to spot subtle clues. I love it whenever you see a movie for the first time, indulges you on a thought-provoking experience. I didn’t expect Ke Huey Quan in a comeback role and Jamie Lee Curtis playing against type as a villain with a pot belly. Action Sequences we’re spot on organic courtesy of stunt work. Everything Everywhere All at Once won’t disappoint you from beginning to end.

1. Top Gun: Maverick

Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Box Office: $1,488,732,821

You knew this was coming, “Top Gun: Maverick” is arguably my number one pick. Thirty-Six Years in the making, Tom Cruise reprises his role as Maverick assigned to teach a new generation of pilots including Goose’s son Rooster to become full-fledged pilots before they embark on a dangerous mission.

The sequel became the highest grossing film of Tom Cruise’s career. Besides Mr. Cruise’s performance, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and the others all did a phenomenal job. The flight scenes made it look like I was flying with them. Chemistry between Maverick & Rooster made me care about them. Lady Gaga wrote a song for the film titled, “Hold my Hand.” She also collaborated with Harold Faltermeyer & Hans Zimmer on the soundtrack. The Third Act paid off perfectly. For more details, check out my non-spoiler review of Top Gun: Maverick.

So that’s my Top 12 Best Films of 2022. I can’t wait for new films in 2023. The one I wanna see is Christopher Nolan’s 12th film, “Oppenheimer.”

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