Australian Cinema > best 2022

Films of 2022: best to worst

I've seen

Tár (Todd Field, 2022)

Guardian: Demanding, passionate, mercurial, brilliant: Cate Blanchett stars as the fictional principal conductor of a major German orchestra in a sensational and hypnotic film that tracks her increasingly intense state of mind as she heads for a creative breakthrough or a crackup. Read the full review.

Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)

Guardian: Father-daughter bonding drama starring Paul Mescal and nine-year-old Francesca Corio, attempting to navigate post-divorce family life in a Turkish beach resort. A brilliant debut feature from Charlotte Wells. Read the full review.

The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022)

Guardian: Guinness-black comedy of male pain in which Martin McDonagh reunites Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in remotest Ireland for an oddball study of isolation and hurt. Read the full review.

Official Competition (Mariano Cohn & Gastón Duprat, 2021)

Guardian: Penélope Cruz is on fire in a delicious movie-industry satire in which she plays an eccentric director using unorthodox techniques to manage lead actors – and polar opposites – Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez. Read the full review.

Parallel Mothers (Pedro Almodovar, 2021)
Guardian: Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar collaborate once again to tremendous effect; this time Cruz plays a woman sharing the same maternity ward as a much younger, troubled mother to be (played by Milena Smit ). Read more.

The Quiet Girl (Colm Bairéad, 2022)

Guardian: It’s an accomplished work from first-time feature director Bairéad, who, appropriately, has the knack of telling us everything we need to know without words: a tense momentary standoff over some sticks of rhubarb, for example, is more eloquent than pages of dialogue could ever be.

Death on the Nile (Kenneth Branagh, 2022)

GG: Spectacular piece of cinematic art. Surprisingly effective overture commences an interest in the detective himself, Hercule Poirot, which deepens throughout as one strand of the narrative.

Everything Everywhere All at Once (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, 2022)

GG: Technically brilliant. Surprisingly soppy conclusion.

Benediction (Terence Davies, 2022)

Not the kind of thing I wanted to know about with regard to Siegfried Sassoon's life.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Rian Johnson, 2022)

Guardian: Entertaining second dose of Rian Johnson’s labyrinthine crime mystery, with Daniel Craig on good form as Hercule Poirot-esque detective Benoit Blanc, here investigating a murder-themed party that turns deadly. Read the full review.

Nope (Jordan Peele, 2022)

Guardian: Peele’s script is crammed with about 210% more material than he can meaningfully cohere into a single script with any dramatic weight and point. Front-loading a movie with witty imagery and narrative premise without enough of a satisfyingly worked-through plot to come behind was what made his second film, Us, less than his sensationally scary and funny debut Get Out. This is another step back ...

The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier, 2021)

Guardian: Thelma director Joachim Trier comes up with an unexpectedly moving drama about a twentysomething woman (played by Renate Reinsve in a star-making performance) as she navigates relationships and jobs at a tricky period in life. Read the full review.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Tom Gormican, 2022)

GG: Nic Cage and Nicolas Kim Coppola play Nick Cage and Nicky Cage. It's a metafilm.

The Menu (Mark Mylod, 2022)

GG: It might have helped if I could have seen it as a comedy – which apparently it is supposed to be. Lacking that, I was watching an increasingly uncomfortable and implausible horrorshow. It also didn't help that Ralph Fiennes didn't have his heart in it. For the story to work, his character had to be remarkably charismatic, but he is dull.

The Wonder (Sebastian Lelio, 2022)

GG: I don't know why Florence Pugh's gets such well-paid work. She's not a very good actress. I think it's because she's plain and film-makers feel sorry for her.

The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022)

GG: Nobody would bother watching this if it weren't for the name of the director.
Guardian: Steven Spielberg has never been more personal than in this quasi-autobiographical film about a young Jewish kid called Sammy Fabelman, exploring his own childhood and young adulthood. Read more.

Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosinski, 2022)

GG: Effective propaganda for an imperialistic capitalist war-machine.
Guardian: Tom Cruise returns almost four decades on for another bout of speed and need: this time he is the mentor to a new generation of navy fighter pilots, led by Miles Teller, playing the son of Maverick’s late wingman, Goose. Read the full review.

Poker Face (Russell Crowe, 2022)

GG: Elaborate entertainment in the style of Glass Onion, but hundreds of millions cheaper.

Northman, The (Robert Eggers, 2022)

GG: People lopping each other's limbs off, or something. Up north, revenge is apparently a dish eaten hot. This might be where Nicole Kidman belongs in the twilight of her career, but not Anya Taylor-Joy. She won't be taking parts like this again but will move into Tilda Swinton territory.

3000 Years of Longing (Dr George Miller, 2022)

GG: Childish story for infantile adults.

I haven't seen

Living (Oliver Hermanus, 2022)

Guardian: Exquisitely sad drama starring Bill Nighy in a Kazuo Ishiguro-scripted remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film Ikiru about a man dealing with a terminal diagnosis. Read the full review.

Bones and All (Luca Guadagnino, 2022)

Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron, 2022)

Elvis (Baz Luhrmann, 2022)

Blonde (Andrew Dominik, 2022)

Hopper (Phil Grabsky, 2022)

Garry Gillard | New: 26 December, 2022 | Now: 28 December, 2022