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Top Ten Films of 2022

Based on UK release, Focus Film and talkabout have joined forces to compile a Top Ten list of the year on the big (and sometimes small) screen.

It's been a year of googly eyes, wooden puppets and satirical piss-takes of the rich and white. And as predicted at the end of last year, 2022 has been an excellent 12 months for independent cinema. Seeing original, fresh stories on the big and small screen has been a refreshing change in the world of film from the usual franchise dominance; and although we've swam in Pandora and goggled at Jurassic World, people have been talking about the unexpected. From Daniels' Everything Everywhere All at Once to an Ugly Sonic cameo, it's been the unexpected that's made those water cooler chats thrive. Representation still has a long way to go as we move in to 2023, but there's a lot to look forward to with hype already forming for the likes of Barbie, Oppenheimer and of course Dune: Part Two.

There were over 50 films up for contention on this year's list, all of them unique and loved for different reasons, but here is the final list compiled by Ellis, Gareth, Becci, Oli & Gwilym to be named as the Top Ten Films of 2022.

- Ellis Barthorpe (Editor at Focus Film)

 

10. RRR

Directed by S. S. Rajamouli | Run time: 187 mins | ★★★★ | Netflix

RRR first gained buzz on the big screen, as it released earlier this year to massive audiences, but it was it's arrival on Netflix that tempted us. It's 3 hour run time is a lot to absorb when you first hit play, but it doesn't take long before you're completely engrossed by the action, romance, adventure, revenge, comedy, musical, periodic thriller that lives so expertly in each of its genres.

 

9. Nope

Directed by Jordan Peele | Run time: 130 mins | ★★★★ | rent or buy

Nope! A word that's become a horror movie trope of its own in recent years. And Jordan Peele decided to make a full film based on the cliché to conclude his psychological horror trilogy. Though this one goes bigger; shooting on IMAX cameras and adding a sci-fi element too. Jordan Peele is one of the best directors of our generation, and Daniel Kaluuya one of the best actors, so already a recipe for success, it's a film that grabbed people by the mane and made you watch with your mouth agape.

 

8. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Directed by Sam Raimi | Run time: 126 mins | ★★★★ | Disney+

Doctor Strange was one of the survivors from the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame, and with legendary horror director Sam Raimi signed on, it was time to enter that regularly-mentioned multiverse. Although not leaning as much into the madness as people thought it might, we thought this was an exciting, risk-taking, unique Marvel film that pushed the boundaries and didn't just finish with a massive CGI, city-destroying battle...it was multiverse-destroying instead!

 

7. Cha Cha Real Smooth

Directed by Cooper Raiff | Run time: 108 mins | ★★★★ | Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is the place to be right now, with excellent film and TV content in every corner. When Cooper Raiff's recent film was added to the streamer, we met Andrew, Domino & Lola, three incredibly endearing characters who command the screen and fill an audience with positive energy and heartbreak.

 

6. The Menu

Directed by Mark Mylod | Run time: 107 mins | ★★★★ | rent or buy soon

Go into this blind! If you're yet to see The Menu, then you should watch this knowing as little as possible. Ralph Fiennes is one of the absolute best in the business and put opposite a stupidly talented Anya Taylor-Joy, created is an upper class recipe for success. This will have you laughing when you shouldn't be and clenching your buttocks when you absolutely should be. Pure cinema!

 

5. Glass Onion

Directed by Rian Johnson | Run time: 139 mins | ★★★★ | Netflix

The most recent release to appear on the list, Glass Onion has instantly taken the world by storm. Daniel Craig returns as Detective Benoit Blanc to solve another crime, this one even more stupid than the last. An exceptional cast leads the proceedings and these Knives Out mysteries aren't going anywhere soon, so we can't wait to indulge ourselves in however many come our way.

 

4. The Banshees of Inisherin

Directed by Martin McDonagh | Run time: 114 mins | ★★★★ | Disney+

The rolling hills and dulcet score show beauty from corner to corner. But there's also beauty in the storytelling (what little there is of it), as a subtle metaphor is shown through two friends that have fallen out of love with eachother. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are so believably brilliant and it's this films subtlety that makes this the triumph it is.

 

3. The Batman

Directed by Matt Reeves | Run time: 177 mins | ★★★★★ | Now TV & Sky

The anticipation for The Batman was unreal. Since that first trailer dropped in 2020 everyone's wanted to see just how badass RBatz would be. And it did not disappoint. We didn't think it possible to have a darker version of the Caped Crusader than the Nolan trilogy, but Matt Reeves hits it out of the park with a crime, superhero thriller full of grit and confidence.

 

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Directed by Daniels | Run time: 140 mins | ★★★★★ | Amazon Prime Video

Two words...batshit insane! This is a multiverse movie more crazy than it ever promised to be, with sausage fingers, conversing rocks, raccoon chefs and an everything bagel with everything on it, any daft ideas that the wonderful minds of Daniel Kwan & Scheinert came up with was included in the film. There's a fanny pack fight and a butt plug and sign spinning and so many more unapologetic theories. This is generation-defining!

 

Honourable Mentions

Each of the team's top pick that didn't quite make the Top Ten

Ellis - White Noise

Too late of a release to make the list, White Noise debuted at the London Film Festival and it is a beautifully chaotic look at an intelligent family dynamic.


Gareth - Boiling Point

A film all shot in one take, yet still never becoming gimmicky, this was an early release in 2022 and it's stuck in Gareth's head since.


Becci - Don't Worry Darling

Although this received a mixed response, Becci was smitten with a combination of Pugh & Styles...you can't blame her!


Oli - Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

A hilarious parody of a biopic about the king of parodies starring said parody king parodying the manager stereotype.


Gwilym - Good Luck to you, Leo Grande Thompson gives one of the best performances of the year. Honest, heartbreaking, and one of those candid conversation films that Gwilym loves.

 

1. Top Gun: Maverick

Directed by Joseph Kosinski | Run time: 131 mins | ★★★★★ | rent or buy

Tom Cruise is a legend; that's common knowledge at this point. Here, he leads a legacy sequel like no other that has a terrific story, some jaw-dropping set pieces and just the right level of nostalgia. It's cheesy in places but brilliantly dramatic in others and it holds up for rewatch upon rewatch upon rewatch. Three of the five of us had this as our individual top film of the year, so there was no doubting its place at the top of the list. This will take your breath away, and take you to a danger zone that you won't want to leave. One of the greatest films of this century, and the best film of 2022.

 

And so it's complete, our Top Ten Films of 2022. Dune topped our list last year and this year's top spot went to Top Gun: Maverick. Will another visually stunning blockbuster top the list in 2023, we can't wait to find out.

Want to tell us your favourite films of the year? Let us know @focusfilmblog on Instagram, and give us a follow while you're there. Thanks for all your continued support, we'll see you in 2023. Happy New Year!

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|2022 in review podcast coming soon|

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