The Best Reviewed Movies of 2022

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It’s been a solid year for moviegoers, as IGN has awarded over 80 movies a review score of 8 or higher, including a modern entry in the Scream franchise, an animated Pixar adventure, Jordan Peele’s Nope, The Batman, and much more.

To keep track of this year’s best new releases, we’ve compiled a list of every movie released in 2022 that IGN scored an 8 (“great”), 9 (“amazing”), or 10 (“masterpiece”). Read on or click through the gallery below for our full list of 2022’s best-reviewed movies.

This list will be updated throughout the year as new releases receive qualifying review scores.

From our review: Anything’s Possible is a fun, frothy teen rom com that features a trans character front and center. Director Billy Porter brings his boundless energy and exuberance to every frame, which makes the romance between Kelsa and Khal so beguiling and inspiring to watch. By giving audiences an opportunity to celebrate their young love, and empathize with the concerns and worries associated around them, it moves us one step closer to wiping away the stigmas that exist. – Tara Bennett

From our review: The Bad Guys is a slick, hilarious heist movie with buckets of laughs and a lot of heart. It’s Ocean’s Eleven meets Little Red Riding Hood with Sam Rockwell’s Wolf going on a charm offensive to stay out of jail… and he might just win you over in the process. Richard Ayoade has a blast as the sanctimonious Professor Marmalade and the entire voice cast brings their A-game with some stellar gags that will get you roaring with laughter. The Bad Guys is a fun, family-friendly caper that’s bursting with action and brimming with laughs. Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not us. – Ryan Leston

From our review: Colin Farrell plumbs emotional and comedic depths in Martin McDonagh’s witty and wistful period drama, with Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan on solid supporting duty. Set against the stunning vistas of Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin tells an effective and corrosive tale of friendship. – Hanna Ines Flint

From our review: Barbarian is barbaric, comedically brutal, and the antithesis of contemporary horror trends. Some will despise exactly that, but it’s the risk of challenging viewers to reach or surpass their boundaries in one sitting. Zach Cregger embraces extremism in horror cinema that is a sensory overload of hyper frights, grindhouse lawlessness, and the ugliest characterization of society this side of 2022. It’s not always sublimely successful and doesn’t waste time on subtlety in a way that’s a bit too much, but as a horror fan, my chin had to be peeled from the floor multiple times. Fire this one with a crowd and howl the night away — Barbarian comes out swinging and never stops. – Matt Donato

From our review: Bodies Bodies Bodies’ great ensemble and delightfully chaotic script make for a tense and laugh-out-loud funny film. Though it falters a bit in portraying Gen Z talk, it still manages to capture the wild energy of the very best Among Us sessions. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: A lush, richly conceived cannibal road-trip romance, Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All lives in the intimate space between love and self-hatred, with characters who connect over their shared hunger for human flesh. Everything from its performances to its music feels fine-tuned to tell a story about reaching out through the void, no matter what reaches or bites back. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Clerks III delivers all the inappropriate cuss-cluttered humor and pot smoke that is Kevin Smith’s trademark but evolves his sentimentality beyond bong-rip wisdom. The third Clerks installment is a moving ode to working-class nobodies that amplifies Smith’s touchstone sincerity above Randal’s not-so-passive aggression or Jay’s lit-for-days attitude. Smith might be the most in touch he’s ever felt as a filmmaker, and it’s a semi-departure that presents Clerks III as a precursor for what’s still to come from the rebooted writer/director. Whatever my quibbles are with the film’s length and less successful humor when being just another Clerks sequel are a critic’s nitpicks — a critic who still felt satisfied by Clerks III in 36 more ways than presumed possible. – Matt Donato

From our review: Confess, Fletch is a clever soft-baked cookie of a mystery, never getting too intense or presenting massive stakes, which is the perfect sandbox for a wise-cracking investigator like Fletch to play around in as he relies on a mix of charm, smarts, and luck to make it through to the other side. Jon Hamm is pitch-perfect as Fletch, a kittenish case-cracker designed to make you almost feel angry that you like him. – Matt Fowler

From our review: Devotion’s a respectful introduction to heroes the world should know and celebrate. Between J.D. Dillard’s thoughtful direction, the shocking clarity of Erik Messerschmidt’s cinematography, a rousing soundscape, and the tight editing, it’s a riveting drama ready to give even the best aerial war story a run for its money. – Ro Moore

From our review: Dual is a bleakly funny sci-fi story that puts a dying woman, Sara (Karen Gillan), on a collision course with her cloned replacement. Writer-director Riley Stearns transforms depression and disappointment into a hilarious confrontation of death and a peculiar tale of self-image in an uncanny film with a precisely bizarre lead performance. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: The Duke is a searingly funny, quintessentially British comedy with some truly joyous performances from Jim Broadbent and Dame Helen Mirren. The laughs are undercut with themes of social justice and progressive thinking, turning this almost-heist flick into more of a social satire. The Duke pokes fun at the establishment with a Robin Hood lead who might make you think twice about the TV licence fee. – Ryan Leston

From our review: Emergency is a generational stunner when it takes its stances. Stars Donald Elise Watkins, RJ Cyler, and Sebastian Chacon are authentic in their imperfect navigation of an absurd scenario, as the addition of cultural stakes obliterates buddy-comedy molds. KD Davila doesn’t lessen his script’s underlying protest, much like how director Carey Williams won’t sugarcoat climatic moments that intend to make our stomachs drop. Emergency grapples with multiple genres and wrestles its prevailing themes into a place of passionate pleas for better tomorrows, all unified by its final few minutes. The point of a gun, a puff of vape smoke, and the slam of a door in the face of white guilt is all it takes. It walks a tightrope with its topics, but Williams is delicate and confident with every step — his performers following close behind, dominating the screen. – Matt Donato

From our review: Fresh delivers a full-course meal with dazzling cinematography, disturbing imagery, and one of the best horror performances of the past few years. Sebastian Stan joins the pantheon of horror psychopaths as this delightfully gory movie explores the world of modern dating. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: Owen Kline establishes himself as heir to the Safdie brothers’ brand of stressful underworld cinema with Funny Pages. While this story of an arrogant aspiring comic book artist will be entirely off putting to some, it’s that very cringeworthy energy that makes it well worth your time, reveling in an often cruel teenager’s misguided flailing in brutal fashion. – Esther Zuckerman

From our review: The Good Nurse shines a light on the inherent darkness of a for-profit healthcare system while exploring the even darker recesses that allow a serial killer to thrive. Based on a true story, it’s a terrifying examination of systemic failures, not to mention a wild cover-up from self-interested hospitals. A creeping soundtrack and long, lingering zooms heighten the tension while Eddie Redmayne puts in a disturbingly believable performance as Charlie Cullen. Jessica Chastain casts a tense shadow as Nurse Amy, who grows more anxious with every scene. The Good Nurse is a wild combination of exposé and serial killer drama that cuts a stark storyline through the grim landscape of U.S. healthcare. After all, who can you trust with your life? – Ryan Leston

From our review: Hellraiser is a soulful revival of a soulless horror legend that never tries to oust Clive Barker’s original. Director David Bruckner — alongside writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski — examines Hellraiser’s themes with spectacle styles through addition. Jamie Clayton is the Pinhead a new generation deserves, awash in Bruckner’s colder cinematography that stashes redder lighting to signify humanity is where true monsters reside. Hellraiser might be comparatively less grotesque, but a heady calibration of “pain or pleasure” storytelling brings Hellraiser 2022 screaming with glee into a reinvigorated ready-to-franchise configuration. It’s cleverly calculated by saving gore for maximum impact and valuing the psychological edginess inherent in Cenobite storytelling, never getting lost in gooier intentions just for masochistic midnighter distractions. There are developments that feel slighter and less explored even at almost two hours, but that doesn’t stop Bruckner from delivering one of the best Hellraiser films since the original. – Matt Donato

From our review: The Innocents is a slow-burner that stars a majority small-fry cast and yet is far more poised and impactful than those descriptions suggest. Eskil Vogt commands a superhuman story that exposes the wild extremes of childhood experiences and throws in some unsupervised horror for good measure. Audiences of all ages can learn from knee-high characters discovering themselves, recognizing consequences, and standing up for what’s right. The pace of this gorgeously shot Norwegian pseudo-fable will be a roadblock for some, but give Vogt a chance. Storytelling rewards are bountiful once The Innocents executes its conflicts well above the expected maturities of players on screen. – Matt Donato

From our review: Steven Soderbergh’s KIMI follows an agoraphobic tech worker forced to venture outside when she finds digital traces of a violent crime. With a simple but effective script and some fun visual experiments, it’s an entertaining conspiracy thriller set in (and very much about) the post-pandemic world. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Lou is a tight, gripping thriller that opens up a whole new genre for the ever-fabulous Allison Janney. Working off a smart script from Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley, director Anna Foerster proves her skills as an action/thriller director. Janney, Jurnee Smollett, and Ridley Asha Bateman make a winning trifecta who sell the realistic physical and emotional aspects of the script without resorting to melodrama. They’ll have you rooting for them and perhaps wishing for more. – Tara Bennett

From our review: A worthwhile documentary debut from Amy Poehler, Lucy and Desi chronicles the I Love Lucy couple from birth to death, while trying to mirror their personal lives with the stories they told on screen. It may not always succeed, but it arrives with an energy worthy of the TV comedy legends. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Marcel the Shell With Shoes On suffers from an aimless plot that feels stretched too thin, but it provides one of the most endearing and adorable animated characters since Paddington Bear. It delivers enough heart, laughs, and innocence to forgive its shortcomings. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: Director Mariama Diallo explores the creeping horrors of America’s past in Master, her New England-set feature debut about three Black women navigating a mostly white college built atop a Salem-era gallows. With a layered performance by Regina Hall as the university’s first Black dean of students, the film plays with familiar tropes and images from American horror, but re-fashions them into an unexpected, subdued story with a chilling emotional payoff. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Master Gardener rounds off Paul Schrader’s informal trilogy about tortured men reckoning with the past, present, and future, and may be his most accomplished film in years. Joel Edgerton plays a horticulturist with a dark history who mentors the mixed-race grand niece of his stern benefactor, leading to a domino effect of violence, mercy, and unearthed secrets. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special — a one room, one take stand-up routine recorded before Macdonald’s death — captures what made him so uniquely and absurdly funny. It’s also followed by a fitting eulogy from six of his comedian friends, who share stories about him and try to unlock the person he was. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Robert Eggers’ viking revenge saga The Northman works best when it dives head-first into dreams and disorienting visions, but it slows down when it becomes a more traditional Hollywood narrative. With viciousness relegated to its margins, it often feels neutered and bloodless, but still ends up on the right side of entertaining thanks to its pulsating music and measured performances. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Official Competition is a sharp black comedy that skewers grandiose wealth, egocentric artists, and how quickly art is swallowed by money and celebrity. Writer/directors Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn distill the worst cliches of narcissists and place them into four characters who torture one another because they get the funding to do so. Penélope Cruz is witty and beguiling in her curly red wig, trying to break two prestigious actors of their narcissism so they can make some art together. Cruz, Antonio Banderas, and Oscar Martínez continue to prove how versatile they are as actors, shifting from comedy to drama on a dime and making it all work seamlessly. And if peeling back the curtain on filmmaking is a genre of interest, this would make a fine viewing pairing with HBO’s Irma Vep. – Tara Bennett

From our review: A buddy comedy about a suicide pact, On The Count of Three follows Val (actor-director Jerrod Carmichael) and Kevin (Christopher Abbott) on their final day alive, when the rules of tomorrow no longer apply to them. Thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly acted, it’s one of the most bleakly funny films to come out this year. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey never lets up. It’s full of the Predator franchise’s trademark violence and tension, but it’s the ferocious, star-making turn from Amber Midthunder that stands as its greatest strength. The movie’s sole focus on her lead character, Naru, means that the supporting roster comes off a little wooden, but when Prey’s tracking the young warrior’s duel with the Predator — full of powerful imagery and creative kills — it rarely falters. – Tom Jorgensen

From our review: Not only does Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie function as a superb entry point for new fans, but it also commits to tonal and stylistic makeovers that elevate the franchise in unexpected ways. Not all of its emotional beats will stick beyond the credits, but it’s still fun to see just how much the Turtles have to grow in order to become the crime-fighting unit we adore. – Hayden Mears

From our review: Rosaline is charming, energetic, and gives Kaitlyn Dever another opportunity to shine. She proves to be just as adept at comedy as she is in the array of dramas she usually takes on. The script is an inventive romp through Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, giving the tragedy a lighter touch and a slight skewering regarding its approach to portraying acts of true love. – Tara Bennett

From our review: The School for Good and Evil goes full blockbuster scale in telling the stories of small-town besties – and potential witches – Agatha (Sofia Wylie) and Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso). It’s their friendship and care for one another that roots the sometimes over-the-top world into succeeding as a story that still feels intimate and true when all kinds of crazy is swirling around them. In particular, Wylie is the beating heart of the movie who sells both the unfiltered candor of Agatha’s disdain for the shallow motivations of the “Ever” students and her heart-on-her-sleeve support for her tempted friend, Sophie. Director Paul Feig also does an impressive job world-building a story that manages to differentiate itself aesthetically and tonally from other high-end, magic-centric movies and TV series. – Tara Bennett

From our review: Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno’s Shin Ultraman manages to do for the tokusatsu superhero what the duo did for Godzilla, updating the classic character to modern times with a new origin and outlook while preserving the sensibilities and uplifting themes of the original show. It’s a joyful, uplifting ode to tokusatsu and to superhero tales, and well worth a watch no matter your level of familiarity with the character. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: Showing Up tells the muted story of an artist suffocating beneath feelings of inferiority as she struggles to carve out a place amid her artistic community. The weight of expectation bears a staggering toll on Michelle Williams’ Lizzie as she prepares to make her mark, all while juggling the responsibilities others place upon her. Director Kelly Reichardt paints a subtle picture with fine strokes, painting in the details as we learn more about Lizzie’s history with those around her. It’s a beautiful portrait created by a master at work, with lingering shots that highlight the internal struggles of the starving artist while exposing the thoughtlessness of those around her. Showing Up takes a unique look behind the canvas, laying the artist bare. – Ryan Leston

From our review: Significant Other is a tight and well-constructed thriller that offers some genuine surprises and showcases the talents of Maika Monroe and Jake Lacy. A character study that takes some interesting story swings, it makes you wish more films of a similar ilk would take the same care and precision in finding fresh ways to mesh the intimate with high-concept ideas. – Tara Bennett

From our review: Something in the Dirt is another genre-bending winner for filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, a highly entertaining and mind-melting sci-fi film about two neighbors encountering mysteries much larger than themselves and getting trapped by their own obsession with truth and fame. Before they likely explode in popularity from their involvement in Marvel’s Moon Knight series, this film encapsulates what makes them some of the most unique and important voices in genre filmmaking today. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: Speak No Evil isn’t for the faint of morality and weak constitution. Its message is simple — our world is full of monsters. Christian Tafdrup doesn’t coddle his audience, nor does the film pad its landing. Speak No Evil hits with the impact of leaping off the Empire State Building and greeting 34th Street at full force, with the aftermath to match. Patience is rewarded by knock-down, soulless-nasty payoffs that cast an exquisitely malevolent cloud over humankind, which will lose some viewers — it’s excessively backloaded, one of my only criticisms. But it’s also proficient and tactical in its momentum buildup, meticulous in its naive stroll-about pace, which viciously sells an epic heel turn that will make you want to cancel plans for the next 24 hours of recovery. – Matt Donato

From our review: Much like he did with Apollo 13, Ron Howard takes an outsized moment in history, the 2018 Thai soccer team rescue, and reshapes it into an intimate event that allows the audience to experience the intensity and stakes of the ordeal. Utilizing his recent skills in documentary-making, Howard highlights the timeline of the flooding, and subsequent rescue attempts, to create a subtle but effective ticking clock undertone that heightens the stakes and gives us a visceral sense of how overwhelming the endeavor was. As cameras follow the divers from the water-line into the impossibly cramped spaces they had to navigate, it makes for some unbearably intense cinematography that captures the claustrophobia needed to put viewers in the fins of everyone involved. The grounded and understated performances of the Thai and western actors, meanwhile, ensure that the story doesn’t veer into bombastic territory. – Tara Bennett

From our review: With a stunningly raw performance from Danielle Deadwyler, Chinonye Chukwu’s Till lives in the body of a traditional biopic — about Mamie Till-Mobley in the aftermath of her son Emmett’s lynching — but it turns real events into regretful, wistful memories, with a camera that refuses to look away from a mother’s pain. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Triangle of Sadness pokes fun at the ultra-rich, playing their undoing for laughs in the worst of situations. It’s a masterclass in cringe comedy with Harris Dickinson playing it straight throughout as he finds himself in appallingly toe-curling situations. A spectacular turn from Woody Harrelson amps the laughs up even more, and while toilet humor literally erupts in the second half, it’s the performances of the film’s stellar cast that keep this ship on course. The script could’ve been tighter, but Triangle of Sadness keeps the laughs coming thick and fast, even well into the home stretch. Who knew class politics could be this much fun? – Ryan Leston

From our review: It probably goes without saying that Nicolas Cage obsessives will get precisely what they’re looking for out of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’s meta-exploration of the actor’s persona, but the real heart and soul of the picture is Cage’s on-screen bromance with Pedro Pascal’s Javi. Their chemistry carries the movie into far more memorable territory, and more than makes up for a few of the film’s less-interesting elements. – Alex Navarro

From our review: War Pony tells a surprisingly personal story of two young men trapped by their circumstances. Challenging perceptions of life on the poorest Native American reservation, the film highlights the struggles they face while desperately trying to grasp at a better life. Jojo Bapteise Whiting and Ladainian Crazy Thunder play two sides of the same coin and could easily be the same boy seen at different periods in his life. But their similarities, it seems, are a product of their environment. It’s up to them to change it. An effective debut feature from director Riley Keough, War Pony is a rare breed – a native story told by an outsider seeking to uplift the community rather than exploit it. – Ryan Leston

From our review: Henry Selick returns to our screens with Wendell & Wild, a new stop-motion nightmare that brings an edgier and darker tone, more mature subjects, and even more laughs to the director’s toolbox. Partnering with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, this is a feast for the eyes; a hilarious, spooky, empowering story; and a movie you’ll want to add to your Halloween rotation. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: A technological horror drama with lingering transgender subtext, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair follows an online role-playing challenge connected to an urban legend. With a stunning debut performance from Anna Cobb, as a teenager in search of connection, the result is a moody, meditative film about loneliness in the digital age. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: When the Screaming Starts is a clever, cleaver-waving mockumentary that deals in the price of infinite recognition paid in flesh. Commentary behind Aidan’s ambitions, Amy’s gratifications, and Norman’s obsession skewer why all these people would rather be known forever as malevolent bastards than live average, upstanding lives. Conor Boru might have directed When the Screaming Starts as a razor-sharp horror comedy, but it’s effectively a morbid tragedy about the state of contemporary media. “Serial killers don’t get forgotten — no one remembers the victims.” A pointed screenplay and stellar ensemble of slashers slice-and-dice their way through true-crime obsessions that hold the audience accountable for what they’re watching, presenting one of the year’s surprise horror favorites like a body bag with a bow on top. – Matt Donato

From our review: When You Finish Saving the World sees debuting director Jesse Eisenberg ironing out his visual wrinkles, as he spins an awkwardly funny, emotionally intricate tale about a disconnected mother and son. Led by moving performances from Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard, the film takes a roundabout approach to its drama, resulting in a realistic portrait of a relationship in stasis. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: The Woman King overcomes the perils of its overstuffed script with a collection of performances that elevate the whole. As expected, Viola Davis is the emotional center of the piece, masterfully fine-tuning her performance to go from fierce to vulnerable as needed. More surprising is breakout star Thuso Mbedu as the Agojie’s new recruit, Nawi. She drives the majority of the story and lands everything the movie asks of her and then some. What results is a crowd-pleasing movie featuring an inspiring array of female heroes who, even in 1823, are more than capable of saving themselves, and do it quite thrillingly. – Tara Bennett

From our review: While its gnarly payoffs eventually peter out, X is filled with fun and intense setups that harken back to classic slasher fare. A story of a doomed porn crew shooting in the middle of nowhere, it has the makings of a traditional splatter-fest, but injects its story with an unexpected sympathy for its cleverly conceived villains. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: You Won’t Be Alone forges a melancholy coming-of-age nightmare that touches on all aspects of humanity. Elements of body horror and traditional folk horror carve a bizarre niche, while star Sara Klimoska traverses this strange new world with wide-eyed naivete. A stirring performance by Anamaria Marinca elevates a role that could exist within classic horror tropes to that of a Shakespearean tragedy. Less of a straight-up horror movie and more creeping dread, You Won’t Be Alone explores the spectrum of human emotion with an otherworldly curiosity. Perhaps it takes someone on the fringes of society to find out what it really means to be human. – Ryan Leston

From our review: The Adam Project is a thoughtful, witty mash-up of all the movies from my childhood. It’s Back to the Future meets The Last Starfighter with a slew of wonderful performances from a cast that clearly loves the concept as much as I do. Ryan Reynolds is on top form as Adam, while Walker Scobell matches him punch for punch with a great debut performance. The Adam Project is a love letter to the family sci-fi flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s, packed full of Amblin-like charm. – Ryan Leston

From our review: A tale of love and death told through an android’s vivid memories, After Yang is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching sci-fi mystery about an aloof couple (Colin Farrell and Jodie-Turner Smith) discovering the secret life and hidden emotions of their artificial son (Justin H. Min). With melancholy performances and an eye for natural beauty, Kogonada’s second feature film draws from masters of the past to create a glowing and moving future. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: All Quiet on the Western Front is just as bleak as you might imagine, with an unflinching examination of the horrors of war. It’s a brutal, exhausting, and raw reminder of the evil humanity is capable of inflicting upon each other, and it couldn’t be more timely. Felix Kammerer stuns as Paul Bäumer with stand-out performances from Albrecht Schuch and Edin Hasanovic. The attention to detail is phenomenal, with director Edward Berger retelling this classic story in a new and interesting way. All Quiet on the Western Front is a grim, harrowing march towards an inevitable conclusion that’s held together by a minuscule thread of humanity. It’s a tough watch, but believe me, it’s worth every wince-inducing moment. – Ryan Leston

From our review: A dreamlike fictional biopic about Marilyn Monroe, Blonde features a stunning, volatile performance from Ana de Armas, whose daring vulnerability is matched by director Andrew Dominik’s equally daring formal approach, which keeps Marilyn in constant conversation with her iconic photographs, with the camera, and with the public at large. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Bubble captivates both as commentary on the cyclical nature of existence and also a bittersweet sci-fi romance. Featuring gorgeous hand-drawn animation melded with fluid computer-generated graphics, a unique take on the beleaguered post-apocalyptic landscape, and a romance you’ll want to root for right until it fizzles out, this is an anime film you’ll want to add to your permanent collection right away. – Brittany Vincent

From our review: Catwoman: Hunted proves Selina Kyle hardly needs Batman around to have a good time. This new DC Universe Movies release benefits from a strong, efficient script and a talented voice cast as it explores a jewel heist gone horribly wrong. But above all, it succeeds in merging DC’s superhero universe with a strong anime aesthetic, resulting in a globetrotting adventure with strong echoes of Cowboy Bebop and Lupin III. That’s great company to be in. – Jesse Schedeen

From our review: “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” Those words by the great Jim Valvano apply to film as well. Movies like Cha Cha Real Smooth that make us laugh, think, and cry deserve special celebrations for encouraging viewers to feel less alone, filling our hearts with courage to weather life’s oncoming storms. Cooper Raiff cements himself as an invaluable contemporary voice shaping American cinema’s future through something so authentic and without emotional restraints. If all Raiff’s stories are this vulnerable, reassuring, and spoken like a whisper in our ear during one long hug? I’ll be first in line without even reading a tagline. – Matt Donato

From our review: Decision to Leave is Park Chan-wook’s unabashed ode to Hitchcock and Wong Kar-wai. Park Hae-il and Tang Wei have such potent, simmering chemistry that even when they’re just eating across from one another, they’re riveting. Portraying their shift from cat and mouse adversaries to unrequited soulmates is a journey that’s mature, surprising, and rather enthralling. – Tara Bennett

From our review: Steven Spielberg goes autobiographical with The Fabelmans, his warmest and most personal film to date. With a coming-of-age story that is universal in its portrayal of misunderstood artists and broken homes, but hyper-specific in its portrayal of the childhood that formed a legendary filmmaker, this is a therapy session turned into a hugely entertaining movie, aided by a fantastic cast, and one of John Williams’ best scores in years. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: Indie director Andrew Ahn creates a mainstream queer classic with the romcom Fire Island, his inventive modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Following a group of gay friends on a wild vacation, it features some of the funniest and most tension-filled scenes in any movie this year. As complete as any piece of entertainment can be. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a bigger, bolder, funnier, angrier sequel that improves on almost every aspect of its predecessor. Rian Johnson plays with an air-tight script that targets the absurdity and stupidity of the one percent while delivering a hilarious murder mystery on the most luxurious private island not owned by a Bond villain. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a heartfelt dramedy about a middle-aged woman and the sex worker she hires and their candid conversations about life, shame, and acceptance. Director Sophie Hyde and writer Katy Brand beautifully explore aging women’s desires and needs and what it means to finally love yourself. Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack’s chemistry is intense and each give brilliant performances. – Laura Sirikul

From our review: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special delivers all the Christmas cheer, sentiment, catchy musical numbers, and laugh-out-loud moments you could ask for in a quick 43 minutes. Kevin Bacon is hilarious as he plays himself in an insane situation, as is Dave Bautista’s Drax, but the real star here is Pom Klementieff as Mantis. James Gunn gives this former background character tons of layers, and Klementieff brings it all home with a charming performance. It all makes for a delightful addition to any MCU fan’s annual Christmas rotation. – Alex Stedman

From our review: Guillermo del Toro sprinkles his signature dark whimsy on a fairytale classic with stunning puppetry and catchy original songs. Filled with heart, humor, and historical grounding, it’s a phenomenal feat of animated cinema. – Hanna Ines Flint

From our review: The desire for justice becomes warped in A Hero, the story of a prisoner named Rahim, whose good deeds make him a micro-celebrity before his past comes back to haunt him. Told through director Asghar Farhadi’s signature brand of neo-realism, it pulsates with anxiety even in its quieter moments, thanks to the mounting realization that Rahim’s decency may not be enough to save his dignity. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Hit the Road is a masterful debut film for writer/director Panah Panahi. His skill at capturing this bittersweet chapter for this family so naturalistically, yet cinematically is breathtaking at times. The chemistry of the actors, who all give top-tier performances, is so potent that there isn’t a moment where you don’t believe they are an actual family, navigating this final road trip together with humor, sorrow, and vulnerability. – Tara Bennett

From our review: James Morosini’s shockingly funny I Love My Dad builds on the actor-director’s real-life tale of being catfished by his distant father. The story is told from the point of view of his dad, a character played with hilarious desperation by comedian Patton Oswalt, resulting in a bizarre act of cinematic empathy that’s as moving as it is intense. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: The final chapter in American comedy’s most chaotic saga, Jackass Forever is a hilarious last hurrah for its original crew. An extravagant stunt show filled with more cinematic homages (and more bodily fluids) than ever before, it takes an ill-advised trip down memory lane and raises the stakes in maniacal fashion. Few recent films have been funnier or more delightfully nostalgic. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Jujutsu Kaisen 0 manages to work as both a standalone introduction to the anime and also a satisfying prequel to those familiar with this world. With stunning animation, complex and memorable characters, and a healthy dose of horror imagery, this is one of the best shonen anime films in a while. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: The Menu is a hilariously wicked thriller about the world of high-end restaurants, featuring a stellar cast led by a phenomenal Ralph Fiennes, some of the most gorgeous food shots in recent film history, and accompanied by a delicious hors d’oeuvres sampling of commentary on the service industry, class warfare, and consumerism. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: A hilariously bleak vision of the American dream, Jordan Peele’s Nope is a farcical love letter to Hollywood filmmaking. A sci-fi-horror-comedy that builds cinematic myths before casually knocking them over, it’s one of the most effective and purely entertaining summer blockbusters in years, from a studio director at the peak of his craft. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Odd Taxi was one of the best anime of 2021, if not the past decade as a whole. In the Woods manages to make its epic, interconnected, funny, thrilling story more streamlined by focusing on its central mystery and peppering it with the character beats and hilarious banter that made the original so special. Fans of the show may not feel the need to revisit the whole story — though a new epilogue provides a satisfying closure — but newcomers may find a great gateway to both the world of Odd Taxi and anime in general. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: One Piece Film: Red breaks the mold of the typical anime shonen film, capturing the magic of the series. It’s confidently a musical, too, with J-Pop star Ado providing several fantastic earworms as Uta Shanks doesn’t get as much screen time as fans may hope, but it’s still satisfying to spend more time with him. It’s not the movie that will convert non-believers into fans – it feels more like a lost episode than a cash grab for newcomers – but by heavily integrating itself with the main series and understanding the humor that makes it shine, Film: Red ranks at the top of One Piece’s features. – Just Lunning

From our review: Project Wolf Hunting goes for broke in terms of exquisite beatdown violence in the pursuit of primal genre happiness. Writer/director Kim Hong-seon executes like there’s a going-out-of-business sale on fake blood, and we reap the benefits as showstopping displays of action-horror devastation take center stage. Fugitives and coppers aren’t just killed; they’re pummeled into oblivion until maybe half their identifiable traits remain — if lucky. Project Wolf Hunting is a cornucopia of killing-machine kookiness that keeps reminding us why South Korean horror frequently reigns supreme, and leaves us wanting more even after Boat to Busan docks for a refuel. – Matt Donato

From our review: Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth deliver explosive, career-best work in Resurrection, a psychological thriller that takes shocking and upsetting turns. The film is powerful both in its quietly disturbing scenes — which toy with the perspective of a troubled mother who believes her traumatic past has returned — and in its most deranged and violent movements. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: The latest addition to the Scream franchise expertly blends reverence for the source material while creating something that feels almost completely new. All of the performances are pitch-perfect as the new generation of Woodsboro teens step into their futures, the kills are gnarly, and no version of toxic fandom is left unmocked. – Amelia Emberwing

From our review: The Stranger might just be one of my favorite films out of Cannes 2022. It’s dripping with gritty realism, cloaked in the shadows of a muted palette, and finished off with some truly inspired style choices. It’s the kind of thriller that only comes along every once in a while – truly unsettling and with enough twists and turns to not only keep you interested but on your toes. There’s plenty of great acting, too, with both Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris throwing their characters up against a wall and dissecting them with brutal efficiency. There’s a lot to love in The Stranger, and even more to wrap your head around. The reward is a rich, dark thriller that will be on your mind for some time. – Ryan Leston

From our review: Todd Field’s first feature in 16 years, TÁR is a richly detailed portrait of power and creative genius, led by Cate Blanchett’s towering performance as a world-famous composer whose private and professional life enters the public spotlight. A pressing film that feels distinctly of-the-now. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: A story of magical transformation as a metaphor for personal and cultural change, Turning Red (from Bao director Domee Shi) is Pixar’s funniest and most imaginative film in years. It captures the wild energy of adolescence, uses pop stars as a timeless window into puberty, and tells a tale of friendship and family in the most delightfully kid-friendly way. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: Weird: The Al Yankovic Story does for the music biopic what the real Weird Al did for many a hit pop song: it makes fun of it, reveres it, remixes it, makes it weirder, and improves it. With Daniel Radcliffe in the role he was born to play, Weird tells the definitive and totally true story of one of our greatest musicians and comedians while making you wish all music biopics were this funny or bizarre. – Rafael Motamayor

From our review: Werewolf by Night is a wondrous homage to the classic Universal monster movies. It’s about as scary as those original films are to a modern audience, but that doesn’t matter – it faithfully evokes the kind of classic horror that we haven’t seen in decades. The style may be old, and the tropes may be well-worn, but the film’s Marvel twist is enough to keep it feeling relatively fresh while tapping into the nostalgia of horror film fans. Gael Garcia Bernal is excellent as Jack, and the dynamic between him and Laura Donnelly warrants further screentime. Werewolf by Night may not make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat with a slow, creeping tone that captures the very best of classic horror. – Ryan Leston

From our review: The Whale forces us to face some uncomfortable truths, not just concerning its grotesquely proportioned protagonist, but about ourselves, too. Much of its power comes from breaking down the barrier between the audience and the film’s subject, forcing us to accept that there’s a human being beneath the fat. A powerhouse performance from Brendan Fraser explores every facet of the deeply complex man, while Sadie Sink digs deep for a quirky role that keeps you guessing. A sharp script is delivered with slow brutality by Darren Aronofsky who gets to the heart of what it means to be Charlie. The Whale isn’t just a great film – it’s an important one, too, delving into our own humanity with the dogged relentlessness of Ahab himself. – Ryan Leston

From our review: White Noise holds up a mirror to contemporary America, forcing a self-examination that both amuses and terrifies. It may be set in the ‘80s but it’s as prescient as ever, forcing us to examine the failings of postmodern culture and face the comedy and terror inherent in our society. It may be funny, even light-hearted in places, but White Noise confronts heavy, poignant topics with a level of awareness that will make you laugh while your skin crawls. A flamboyant performance by Adam Driver drills down into our own inadequacies, while Greta Gerwig’s Babette keeps the whole sorry mess together with a graceful banality that’s beautiful in its ordinariness. White Noise is an overtly weird yet almost mundane take on some heavy existential issues. After all, aren’t we all tentatively scheduled to die? – Ryan Leston

From our review: Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World features a stunning lead performance and peppers its realism with occasional dreamlike flourishes. It explores several years of millennial uncertainty through the eyes of Julie (Renate Reinsve), an indecisive, self-loathing 20-something who switches careers and languishes in a doomed romance until she’s able to find fleeting moments of joy amidst emotional turns that twist like a knife. – Siddhant Adlakha

From our review: The Batman is a gripping, gorgeous, and, at times, genuinely scary psychological crime thriller that gives Bruce Wayne the grounded detective story he deserves. Robert Pattinson is great as a very broken Batman, but it’s Zoe Kravitz and Paul Dano who steal the show, with a movingly layered Selina Kyle/Catwoman and a terrifyingly unhinged Riddler. Writer/director Matt Reeves managed to make a Batman movie that’s entirely different from the others in the live-action canon, yet surprisingly loyal to Gotham lore as a whole. Ultimately, it’s one that thoroughly earns its place in this iconic character’s legacy. – Alex Stedman

Watch The Batman on HBO Max on April 18, 2022.

From our review: Everything Everywhere All at Once is a complex film that encompasses a variety of subjects, but it does justice to each of them with a carefully written script, marvelous performances, and a healthy dose of bizarre humor to counter its bleak story. Michelle Yeoh in particular gives a powerhouse performance in a story that puts a fresh, welcome spin on the idea of the multiverse. – Rafael Motamayor

This story was originally published on February 11. It was most recently updated on October 23 with the latest information.

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