The 25 Best Movies of 2022

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These are all the must-see films, from blockbusters to indies, to catch up on for the year.

Get ready to catch up with the absolute best movies of 2022. There were undeniably ups and downs at the multiplex and on streaming services this year as the entertainment industry continued to adjust to post-pandemic reality —but rest assured, cinema is alive and well. For this list of the year's greatest films, we're taking all feature films into account, including theatrical releases and features that went straight to digital platforms. In ascending order, here are the 25 best movies of 2022, ranked.

Related: 100 Best Movies of All Time

Best Movies of 2022

"RRR"<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Netflix</a></p>


25. RRR 

The Rs stand for rise, roar, revolt—and international audiences have certainly risen and roared in response to this crossover hit of South Indian cinema, now streaming on Netflix. An epic buddy action musical that's sort of about real-life Indian revolutionaries and their struggle with the Raj, RRR is funny, bloody, and kinetic, with a touching bromance between stars N.T. Rama Roa Jr. and Ram Charan. The VFX are outlandish but remarkably detailed and eye-popping. The film is genuinely spectacular for 187 minutes.

Related: The Best Dog Movies

Channing Tatum in "Dog"<p>MGM</p>
Channing Tatum in "Dog"


24. Dog

There are some cases where a movie practically markets itself: Here's Channing Tatum and a German Shepherd. The actor makes his co-directing debut alongside Reid Carolin, in a dramedy about an Army Ranger who inherits his fallen friend's troubled dog, Lulu. There's a clash of grim and broadly funny tones here and there, but mostly Dog is engaging, nuts-and-bolts entertainment that's easy to ride along with.

Related: The 16 Best, Funniest Comedies on Hulu Right Now

Alexander Skarsgård in "The Northman"<p>Focus Features</p>
Alexander Skarsgård in "The Northman"

Focus Features

23. The Northman

Robert Eggers follows up influential arthouse crossover hits The VVitch and The Lighthouse with a stab at big-budget filmmaking that retains his signature stamp. Alexander SkarsgårdNicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke star in a graphically violent, relentless epic about a Viking seeking bloody vengeance. Some of the dazzling, borderline experimental The Northman feels stagey, not as seamless as Eggers' first two pictures, but that doesn't diminish the fan-favorite auteur's status as one of the most exciting filmmakers of modern times.

Related: Are Romcoms Dead?

Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane in "Bros"<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane in "Bros"

Universal Pictures

22. Bros 

Nicholas Stoller and Billy Eichner's hysterically funny, tender rom-com is one of the funniest films of 2022. Eichner plays an elitist podcast host who meet-cutes with a hunky estate planner (Luke Macfarlane). Both guys think they're out of each other's respective leagues. A journey of discovery ensues, with non-stop laughs. It's an uncynical movie about cynical people. The effect is enchanting.

Related: The Best Romance Movies on Netflix

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star in "The Lost City."<p>Paramount Pictures</p>
Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star in "The Lost City."

Paramount Pictures

21. The Lost City

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum are as delightful together as you'd expect in Aaron and Adam Nee's adventure comedy romance, about a reclusive romance novelist who's kidnapped by an outlandish billionaire. Tatum plays the handsome cover model who sets out to rescue her. Bolstered by a scene-stealing Daniel Radcliffe, The Lost City is a lighthearted but tremendously fun romp on a level that only top-tier talent can deliver.

Related: The Best Romantic Comedies of All Time

Adam Sandler and Juancho Hernangomez in "Hustle" on Netflix<p>Netflix</p>
Adam Sandler and Juancho Hernangomez in "Hustle" on Netflix


20. Hustle

Adam Sandler has once again struck gold for Netflix—in fact, this is his best Netflix movie ever. In We the Animals director Jeremiah Zagar‘s sports film Hustle, Sandler plays NBA talent scout Stan Sugerman, who’s risking his reputation and career for a Spanish recruit (real-life Utah Jazz player Juancho Hernangómez) he believes in. With a quiet determination and subtle, deeper humor than you might expect, Sandler plays maybe his most sympathetic character ever, a 180 from his (lamentably Oscar-snubbed) titanic turn as the angel of death in Uncut Gems.

Related: Best Comedies on Netflix

"Fire Island"<p>Searchlight Pictures</p>
"Fire Island"

Searchlight Pictures

19. Fire Island

Pride and Prejudice leans into pride in Spa Night and Driveways director Andrew Ahn's magnificent rom-com (written by star Joel Kim Booster) that loosely adapts Jane Austen for gay mecca. Pride and Prejudice didn't have orgies or drug use, but Fire Island perfectly modernizes Austen's assertions about the arbitrariness of class and classism, and the power of family bonds.

Margaret Cho and SNL's Bowen Yang co-star. The characters in Fire Island talk like real people, and there are some mighty, mighty one-liners. An Academy Award nomination for screenwriting would be well deserved here.

Related: The Best Comedies on Hulu

Anamaria Vartolomei in "Happening"<p>IFC Films</p>
Anamaria Vartolomei in "Happening"

IFC Films

18. Happening

What started as a festival darling is now a must-see movie of the moment. Audrey Diwan's searing French drama/thriller follows a promising student in 1963, and the aftermath of an unexpected pregnancy. Shot in claustrophobic 4:3 and devoid of any kind of filmmaking pyrotechnics, Happening is utterly brutal and chilling without being graphic. Anamaria Vartolomei's central performance is one of the year's best. Happening won the Golden Lion at 2021's Venice Film Festival.

Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan in "See How They Run"<p>Searchlight Pictures</p>
Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan in "See How They Run"

Searchlight Pictures

17. See How They Run 

Underrated and purely delightful, Tom George's caper imagines a whodunit within a whodunit. Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan headline a sparkling comic cast, as authorities investigating a strange death behind the scenes of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap as it rolls out a historic 100th performance in 1953. This is a lightweight film, but any fan of murder mysteries will find much to enjoy, thanks to the movie's seemingly boundless charm.

Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan in "She Said"<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan in "She Said"

Universal Pictures

16. She Said 

Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan shine in a gripping journalistic piece about the New York Times investigation that jumpstarted the #MeToo movement. She Said disappointed at the box office (it's a fantastic film that probably should have launched directly to a streaming platform), but Oscar buzz for the film is still pretty palpable.

<a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Keke Palmer;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Keke Palmer</a>, Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun in "Nope"<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun in "Nope"

Universal Pictures

15. Nope 

Does Jordan Peele's third, largest-scale outing have the revolutionary punch of Get Out, or the under-the-skin creepiness of Us? Nope. But thanks to remarkable set pieces, provocative if underdeveloped themes, brilliant production design and strong performances from Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun, the sci-fi no-Western about horse-wrangling siblings investigating a UFO is a worthy follow-up. Nope owes a lot to Jaws; it lacks the steely focus of its predecessors as it perhaps bites off more than it can chew. Still, it only furthers Peele's standing as one of the modern era's most resonant, not to mention popular, filmmaking voices.

Related: Your Guide to Every Glass Onion Cameo

"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery"<p>Netflix</p>
"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery"


14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery 

Rian Johnson's follow-up to box-office leviathan Knives Out can't quite match the airtight thriller storytelling that was one of that masterpiece's most striking attributes, but it's arguably even more entertaining. An ensemble cast headlined by a returning Daniel Craig are uniformly excellent, though Janelle Monáe is really the star here, and she delivers the best performance of an already remarkable acting career.

Related: Everything to Know About Knives Out 3



13. Till

Chinonye Chukwu's handsomely crafted, utterly heart-wrenching drama is based on Mamie Till's pursuit of justice in the wake of son Emmett's murder in 1955. Till is staggering, its final scenes unforgettable and unmissable. Any lineup of Best Actress contenders this year would be flat-out incomplete without Deadwyler.

Related: Adrienne Warren on Playing Emmett Till's Mother

Timothée Chalamet in "Bones and All" <p>A24</p>
Timothée Chalamet in "Bones and All"


12. Bones and All 

Luca Guadagnino's unsettling, graphic cannibal romance is so good it's easy to forgive the hot interminable mess of Suspiria. Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell and especially Mark Rylance are terrific in a road movie that's kind of like Badlands for a new generation, and kind of like Twilight gone to hell. Whatever it is, it's mostly brilliant, and leaves a hell of a mark.

Related: How to Watch Every Batman Movie In Order

Zoë Kravitz is Catwoman to Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader in "The Batman."<p>Warner Bros.</p>
Zoë Kravitz is Catwoman to Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader in "The Batman."

Warner Bros.

11. The Batman

After years of positive and negative hype, postponements and rumors, was The Batman actually good? Yes, it’s pretty great, actually. A sprawling three hours that feels its length but is never less than fully absorbing, this is an intoxicating neon-splashed neo-noir that thrills in unexpected, patient ways. It might have all come off as too emo were it not for the radiant ensemble cast’s uniform commitment and a masterful command of tone. The Batman is more Blade Runner than Batman Begins, but this is damn good, consistently surprising filmmaking, and it all works.

This is a movie of startling excellence across the board, but the single most striking element is Michael Giacchino‘s thunderous, chameleonic and jazzy score. It’s arguably a new career high for the Oscar-winning Up composer.

Related: All Batman Movies, Ranked 

Georgina Campbell in "Barbarian"<p>20th Century Studios</p>
Georgina Campbell in "Barbarian"

20th Century Studios

10. Barbarian 

One of the cleverest and best films of 2022, The Whitest Kids U'Know's Zach Cregger's chiller stars Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård as strangers who've apparently booked the same Airbnb on a dark and stormy night. That's also the same cold open of Netflix's lightweight rom-com Love in the Villa. It's safe to say the two films go in different directions.

To spoil any of it would be a disservice. Barbarian is a striking, frightening horror debut with a strangely satisfying emotional kick. The mysteries, internal and external, all come together with graceful precision. It's also the Justin Long comeback the talented actor deserves. The film is a tremendous small-scale horror invention.

Related: The Best Horror Movies of All Time

Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"<p>A24</p>
Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All at Once"


9. Everything Everywhere All At Once

Daniels Schwert and Kwan's fantasy dramedy stars Michelle Yeoh as a laundromat owner propelled through a midlife crisis by a trip through the multiverse. Everything Everywhere All At Once is undeniably the breakout indie of 2022, and recently became A24's highest-grossing earner ever. Oscar nods seem likely.

Living up to its name, Everything Everywhere All At Once runs nearly two and a half hours, and it feels like there's a stronger 115-minute movie in here, but the wow factor is high throughout, and there's a heartbeat, thanks in no small part to a star-making turn from Stephanie Hsu. Yeoh, who's been one of the best actors in the world for decades, is more compelling than any of the effects and set pieces.

Related: The Most Beloved Star Around! We Ranked The 27 Best Tom Hanks Movies of All Time, From Big to Elvis

Austin Butler in "Elvis"<p>Warner Bros.</p>
Austin Butler in "Elvis"

Warner Bros.

8. Elvis

Stylized within an inch of its life, sometimes positively pulsing with anachronistic hip-hop beats, Baz Luhrmann‘s best since the mighty Moulin Rouge! does everything it must, honoring pop music‘s pioneer for a modern audience. Like the Australian auteur’s 2001 Oscar winner, Elvis is so opulent and kinetic it would be chaos if it weren’t for fine performances and heart—and there’s much of that.

Sure, it’s a biopic in a sequined cape, but the methodical spectacle and earnest melodrama make it feel timeless. A lively Tom Hanks chews the scenery as infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker, likely his least sympathetic character ever; ultimately this is Austin Butler’s show—and oh, what a show. A star is born.

Related: Inspiring, Uplifting Movies on Netflix

Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio in "Aftersun"<p>A24</p>
Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio in "Aftersun"


7. Aftersun

A late-season dark horse contender for Oscar consideration (that it fully deserves), British director Charlotte Wells' stunning debut feature explores a daughter's memories of a complicated father. Starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio, this is one of the great father-daughter stories on film. Few movies have captured the bond with such tenderness and perceptiveness since Ozu's Late Spring.

Related: The Best Family Movies on Netflix

Mia Goth as Pearl<p>A24</p>
Mia Goth as Pearl


6. X and Pearl (tie)

Mia Goth delivered two (technically three) of the year's best performances in astoundingly good, artful slasher movies that will never get the Oscar recognition they deserve. Ti West's X earned head-turning praise from critics, who loved the uncommonly highbrow yet deliriously fun exploration of genre tropes and the porn industry of bygone era. In the prequel Pearl, tantalizing emotional threads from X are fully developed. This is glorious, character-rich cinema that transcends its genre while exploiting it.

Related: Every Tom Cruise Movie, Ranked

Tom Cruise in "<a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Top Gun;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Top Gun</a>: Maverick"<p>Paramount Pictures</p>
Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick"

Paramount Pictures

5. Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick is the perfect American blockbuster. It plays like as much a legacy sequel to the 1986 film as to 40 years of Tom Cruise movies, with the best of what we’ve come to expect from Hollywood’s most consistent star accounted for. This was the most urgent reason to go to a movie theater in years, a more spectacular and gratifying experience than similarly delayed No Time to Die.

The heart is always what made the original film resonate, and Maverick builds on it in unexpected, fulfilling ways. There’s loss and romance, getting older and forgiveness. The action is groundbreaking, armrest-gripping and heart-pumping stuff, though ultimately nothing can match the power of Cruise’s on-screen reunion with Val Kilmer‘s “Iceman” Kazansky, which is handled perfectly. Cruise is still operating at the peak of his powers, and Top Gun: Maverick is his first to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

Related: How to Stream Top Gun: Maverick

Cate Blanchett in "Tár"<p>Focus Features</p>
Cate Blanchett in "Tár"

Focus Features

4. Tár

Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett has delivered her finest performance in Todd Field's disturbing, strange drama about cancel culture, power and sexual politics. A nearly three-hour drama about the personal life of a fictional EGOT-winning conductor might sound boring, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Truth is something Tár examines, in fact, and perhaps fragments to puzzling but fascinating effect. It's an uncomfortable and masterful picture about genius, and about the modern world.

Related: The Best Movies on Netflix

Barry Keoghan in "The Banshees of Inisherin"<p>Searchlight Pictures</p>
Barry Keoghan in "The Banshees of Inisherin"

Searchlight Pictures

3. The Banshees of Inisherin 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri director and writer Martin McDonagh has crafted a career best in this bizarre, mesmerizing tale of a broken friendship between two men. Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon all deliver performances that deserve Academy Awards nods. An Oscar win for original screenplay is highly probable. The Banshees of Inisherin is hilarious, then resoundingly heartbreaking.

Related: The 75 Best Directors of All Time

Michelle Williams as Mitzi in "The Fabelmans"<p>Universal Pictures</p>
Michelle Williams as Mitzi in "The Fabelmans"

Universal Pictures

2. The Fabelmans 

Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical drama (he wrote it with West Side Story collaborator Tony Kushner) is a flat-out masterpiece. The Fabelmans failed to catch fire at the box-office, but in time it will go down as one of the finest films about making films—and about the all-consuming love of cinema—ever. Commanding performances, especially from Michelle Williams and newcomer Gabriel LaBelle, complement Spielberg's crackling craft. Every inch of The Fabelmans feels etched from memory.

Related: Every Steven Spielberg Movie, Ranked

"Avatar: The Way of Water"<p>20th Century Studios</p>
"Avatar: The Way of Water"

20th Century Studios

1. Avatar: The Way of Water 

The most heart-stopping action scenes in years, the best motion-capture performance by an ensemble on record, and a story that's simple but primally effective have pretty much silenced the doubters of James Cameron's long-delayed space opera sequel. Was it ever worth the wait!

Avatar: The Way of Water recently crossed the one-billion mark at the global box office, and it feels like it's just stretching its legs. At the end of a year where blockbusters were mostly forgettable and airy (many of them outright bombed) The Way of Water reminded audiences how enthralling the cinema can be. Cameron has once again taken an enormous gamble... and delivered a must-see movie event that's unlike anything else.

Next, check out the 101 best science fiction movies of all time.