The Big Movie House's Favorite Films of 2022

2022 had some really great films and it was the first year since the start of the pandemic that felt like a real year for films. We still had a lot of straight-to-streaming films, but we also had a ton of really great theatrical films as well. Here is my list of the “Best Films of 2022”

Honorable Mentions:

We Need to Talk About Cosby (Showtime) Everyone over a certain age was greatly affected by all the stuff that came out about Bill Cosby during the 2010s. This doc is a two-fold deal as it examines how the Cosby stuff affected America, but it also looks at how it affected black America. The doc does a great job of breaking this down for those who don’t know and it shows us how Cosby told us a whole bunch of times of his misgivings but we were too clouded by him being “America’s Dad”

Is That Black Enough For You?!? (Netflix) Film critic and historian Elvis Mitchell narrates this doc that looks at black film dating all the way back to the dawn of film. He does focus on the 60s and 70s more than any of the other decades and he does a great job of breaking these films down. It actually made me look at some of these films a bit differently. 

Wendell and Wild (Netflix) Who would have known that we have one of the best animated films of recent memory in 2022? The film welcomes back director Henry Selick (the actual director of A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) returns to the director’s chair after being absent for 13 years and this is a wonderful film. The stop motion animation is top notch and I love the fact that this focuses on a black girl instead of the usual white hero. I love the animation, the humor, and the look of this film. 

Now, to the Top 6:

6. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) I do not like the original TOP GUN. I have never liked it. I don’t find it fun or exciting. I think it is kind of boring. So, it came to my surprise that TOP GUN: MAVERICK is so good. The film follows the first film’s layout to a T but amps up the excitement by having the actors in actual planes (being flown by actual pilots) as they zip through the various locations. These scenes are thrilling and the character stuff isn’t half bad either. I did love that we got some Val Kilmer here even if it was just the one scene. It is honestly the best scene in the film. After I watched the film, I understood why it is the highest grossing film of 2022.

5. The Black Phone (Universal) I should have known that THE BLACK PHONE was going to be great. I mean, director Scott Derrickson and writer C. Robert Cargill gave us SINISTER but they also gave us SINISTER 2 (they wrote it) and DOCTOR STRANGE, so I was going based on that. THE BLACK PHONE is a film that gives us thrills that it earns. It isn’t a jump scare factory. Instead, it builds to the scares and then delivers on each one of them. Many will say this is a thriller, but let’s face it: THE BLACK PHONE is a horror film and a good one to boot. 

4. Christmas Bloody Christmas (RLJE)
I love CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS. This film is everything the trailer promises and more. The film has two of the most likable characters I have seen in a slasher film in a very long while. These two are not hateful or cynical. They curse a whole lot (like Rob Zombie levels of the word "fuck"), but we are rooting for them. The killer Santa is vicious and can't be stopped. Joe Begos previously gave us BLISS and VFW (a film that was one of my favorite films of 2020.) and he knows exactly what he is doing. His camera work and cinematography are so good and perfect for the film. I can't say enough good things about this film. Go watch it now!

3. Jackass Forever (Paramount) JACKASS FOREVER finds out demented rascals a lot more humble and wise here than we have ever seen them. Scattered throughout the stunts and whatnot are scenes where the guys are a bit more reserved in their approach to the stunts. It feels like these guys are having a ball doing the stunts but also like being around each other. The new members all do their best to fit in and sometimes one up the veterans. The film is also the funniest film of 2022. This is a wonderful JACKASS film and I hope that they do more.

2. Clerks III (Lionsgate) I love the CLERKS franchise. The first film was one of my first laserdisc purchases back in 1995 which birthed my love for audio commentary tracks after listening to the one on that very laserdisc. CLERKS II is really funny and kind of daring with its humor (how many donkey shows have you seen in a summer film?) I wasn’t sure if Kevin Smith would be able to top part 2. Well, he doesn’t really top part 2 in the comedy department. This film doesn’t take nearly as many chances as part 2 with most of the humor not really being in the same league as the previous films. That is not to say that the film isn’t funny. It is really funny. The humor is just a bit different than the previous films. The thing that drove this film up the list of the “Best Films of 2022” is the heart and emotion Smith has added to the film. There really wasn’t much emotion in the first CLERKS while the emotion in the second film was there, just not to the level of CLERKS III. There is a scene towards the end of the film that brought me to tears. No other film has done that in 2022 and I loved it.

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)
How could it be anything else? EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE (EEAAO) is a brilliant multiverse film that does it right. The directors, Daniels, made such a genius decision to cast Michelle Yeoh in this head trip of a film where she gives her best performance. I have always loved Yeoh and this film just deepened my love for her. She is so good here that she deserves an Oscar nomination but that won’t happen. If anything from EEAAO gets nominated for anything, it will be Jamie Lee Curtis for supporting actress as she did with the Golden Globes. I want Michelle Yeoh to get the awards she is due. Anyway, everything about this film is so good that you want to watch the film again right after your first viewing. I have never seen a film like this and in 2022 that is a great feeling.

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