The best movie 2022 was a challenge this year since theatres were open, film festivals were back in person, and movies were back in business. TIFF 2022 brought a slew of films to Toronto, and the city was as busy as ever. Everything from big blockbusters to smaller, thoughtful indie films hit the screen, some good, some bad, and some great.
There are plenty of honourable mentions like Jordan Peel’s Nope, the Daniel Craig-helmed Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a powerful sequel and tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, and The Whale tackled some dark and painful struggles. However, not every film can be our favourite of the year, so we have narrowed it down to our top five scoring films of 2022. These movies may have made us laugh, made us cry, or just kept us on the edge of our seats.
Here are CGMagazine’s nominees for Best Movie 2022:
Writer: Andrea Thompson
An analogy, if you will. Mulholland Drive is to Hollywood as The Banshees of Inisherin is to bromance. Between the two, it’s hard to picture a more poisonous example of a cinematic valentine to their directors’ obsessions. In David Lynch’s case, it was the town which embraced and embodied the film industry. For Martin McDonagh, it’s platonic male love, especially the kind that goes bad.
We come into the history of Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell) and Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) when the former heads to the latter’s home for their usual routine, only to find it’s been disrupted by Colm himself, who refuses to so much as glance in his direction, let alone speak to him. Their small conflict is more obviously writ large in distant artillery echoes as the 1920s Irish Civil War does its bloody work. Obvious doesn’t always mean simple, however, since the more overt question of why Pádraic is unable to leave Colm alone is quickly buried by the unknowable nature of his counterpart.
Martin McDonagh has a few blind spots, but for the most part, The Banshees of Inisherin is a masterfully riveting exploration on life and love.
Writer: Brendan Frye
The 19th century is the setting for countless westerns. It is an age where the untamed wilderness is still ripe for exploration, and the stories of making it rich in the new frontier are all anyone can imagine when they look at the vast expanse of unknown territory. It is this mindset that brings Harvard dropout Will Andrews (Fred Hechinger) to find his own adventure on a buffalo hunt.
Butcher’s Crossing wastes no time showing the brutality and reality of these hunts. What seemed like something out of stories quickly turns horrific, with the constant struggle to survive an ever present concern for anyone that dares to follow greed and obsession over common sense. The film never glorifies the many issues these hunters need to deal with, and takes the time to strip away the wonder Will feels, leaving only a husk of a man by the film’s end.
Butcher’s Crossing is a new nightmare about the brutality of the old west along with the horrors man inflicts on nature, and it is one of the best films to come out of TIFF 2022.
Writer: Brendan Frye
The Girl from the Other Side wastes no time, diving straight into the dark and mysterious world. This is the world of the outer lands, a place where twisted beasts known only as the Cursed live, away from the rest of the world, hidden in the shadows of the overgrown trees. It is here a young girl named Shiva finds herself lost, with no clear way home or how to keep safe in such a place. Thankfully, she manages to find safety with a Cursed one, who saves her by taking her to his home.
The film spends most of its runtime focusing on the simple interactions between Teacher and Shiva, giving a sense of their bond, and the trusting relationship that develops from that. There is a lot to love about these two interacting, giving a sense of true tenderness and maturity that is often lacking from animation like this.
The Girl From the Other Side is a stunning film that shows the true potential of animation at bringing complex and tender stories from the page to screen.
Writer: Shakyl Lambert
Over 30 years after the events of the original, Navy captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) has purposefully dodged rank advancement and became a test pilot in an age of drone warfare. After destroying an experimental jet and enraging an admiral (Ed Harris) in the process, he is called back to the TOPGUN program to train a team of candidates for a dangerous mission to strike a heavily guarded unnamed enemy nuclear facility.
The script, penned by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and frequent Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie, does a great job at making Maverick come to terms with himself and his relationships with the people around him, whether it be his guilt surrounding Goose’s death, reconnecting with old flame Penny (Jennifer Connelly) or even sharing a touching moment with his old friend/rival Iceman (Val Kilmer).
Top Gun: Maverick is the rare legacy sequel that eclipses the original in every way possible, thanks to mind-blowing action and great character growth.
WINNER: Best Movie 2022 – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Writer: Clement Goh
The movie’s winning ingredients are plenty. But nothing tastes as bittersweet as Joy’s relationship with her mother. It’s rooted in a complicated clash of values. Evelyn struggles to be a loving mother with traditional, but overbearing forms of affection. The film effectively hits this note with Joy, an American-born Chinese, being shaped with repercussions and extra growing pains. For the record, Hsu and Yeoh’s best scene is delivered without uttering a syllable. It’s brilliant.
Behind all the film’s ever-kaleidoscopic dreams, it manages to stay grounded. Hard. Everything Everywhere All At Once not only captures the immigrant’s plight from one family. It especially lays out the ups and downs for children born with a fresh start. Such delivery could have sucked out the laughing gas that Everything Everywhere All At Once has to offer.
Everything Everywhere All At Once dives into the immigrant’s plight through a masterful blend of action, comedy and drama while living up to its name for viewers pondering life’s choices.