More than half of 2022 is already in the rear view mirror and hot damn we’ve seen some great films drop in seven months time. All indications point to the return of the big budget movie with box office records being broken again, and again.
Theater goers have been stuck inside for too long and Hollywood is rewarding their patience with some of the most creative, bold and fun movies to hit screens in a long time.
Before the popcorn gets too stale and the cold cola goes flat, let’s take a moment and celebrate the last half of 2022 with our favorite films. Some of these you may have seen, others are lesser known and more obscure. But it’s all good in the movie hood.
Yes, there are some spectacular movies scheduled for the next five months that include Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry, Darling, Amsterdam and its all star cast including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and Robert De Niro, the long awaited Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But we have to give credit where credit is due. And folks, it’s certainly due here.
So, before we get too far ahead of ourselves and talk Fall and Winter 2022, let's not let another big box office weekend go by without bringing to your attention the best films of 2022. For the seven months that have gone by, here are seven of our favorite films so far.
Cha Cha Real Smooth
The darling at Sundance this year, Cha Cha Real Smooth, is the brainchild of Cooper Raiff. Actually, we should say it’s from his heart because the film is full of it. Cooper not only wrote the film but stars opposite Dakota Johnson in it.
Cooper is Andrew, a uber lovable young man who makes his living as a party starter (mostly for bar mitzvahs and what not). He meets Domino (Johnson) and her daughter and is overcome with feelings. For a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve this is not a good thing for the complicated and complex older woman.
His innocence is beyond endearing and only adds to the gentle, yet heartbreaking emotional story that is full of heart. We love this film and everything it made us remember about first love and first heartbreak.
Top Gun: Maverick
Rarely, if ever, does a sequel measure up to its predecessor. Then again, most movies don’t have Tom freakin’ Cruise as its leading man. Top Gun: Maverick is the exception. The looong awaited movie was delayed more than most flights this summer. But that did not affect the sonic-sized bomb it dropped at the box office having grossed a billion dollars already.
Top Gun: Maverick picks up 30 years after the original and finds Maverick (Tom Cruise) back at Top Gun teaching a bunch of punk pilots how to fly the most dangerous mission of their lives. Among the group is Rooster (Miles Teller) who is the son of Goose, Maverick’s partner in the original.
Like the finest of wines, Tom Cruise only gets better with age. Top Gun: Maverick is as close to perfect as possible.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Everything Everywhere All At Once is a flick about Evelyn Wang, (Michelle Yeoh) a Chinese immigrant who has more than most on her plate. The premise isn’t a new one but the nuances and details that are used to tell the story are certainly original to put it mildly. Case and point? There are hot dog fingers and butt plugs in the film. The defense rests its case your honor.
Not only does Jamie Lee Curtis own her role as an IRS agent, but there is some pretty great action with just the right amount of humor sprinkled in just about every one of the films timelines and universes.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Speaking of the universe, if there is a universe in which Emma Thompson does not exist, we don’t want any part of it. In Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Thompson is Nancy Stokes. Poor Nancy, she has more tension in her whole body than the entirety of the Golden Gate Bridge. To cut to the chase, our leading lady has never had an orgasm in her life. So it’s not shocking when Nancy wants a little adventure in her older years. Having been with the same man for decades she decides to hire a male escort named Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) after the death of her husband.
The film is a rare gem in that it proves that you don’t need a big budget with lots of special effects to make it good. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande takes place in a single hotel room with two people. The story is beautiful and special and we aren’t just referencing the full frontal naked scenes by Thompson either.
Now one movie that has an older woman naked and climbing into beds is X. This one does not have the same charm. In X, six people rent out a spare house in the middle of nowhere with the intention of shooting a porn. Poor suckers don’t realize that the old crusty couple in the main house are freaks. Soon a killing rampage is underway and not everyone will make it out alive.
X is another example of an overdone theme (in this case horror) done with out of the box details that help to elevate the genre. Starring in X is Jenna Ortega (Wednesday) and Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect).
Be on the lookout for its prequel Pearl in September
If there is ever an example of why women should not trust a fella who picks them up in the produce aisle of their grocery store, we don’t know what it is. Fresh stars Daisy Edgar-Jones (Where the Crawdads Sing) as Noa and Sebastian Stan (Pam and Tommy) as Steve.
Noa is seduced by Steve, whisked away to his super secret cabin and soon finds herself in chains. And it’s not the chains that some find sexy. Fresh is delicious in its horror and takes the audience to the brink of queasiness, in a good way. That said, this is not for the faint of heart. While we love the creativity and braveness in this genre, we caution that this may be the most “die-hard” of fans may have a hard time swallowing this one. What we will take more of is Sebastian Stan. He is tasty AF in this role.
Thor: Love and Thunder
We could say we love Thor: Love and Thunder for the superb comedic talents of the movie's director Taika Waititi (who is also in the movie). Or, we could say we love that Natalie Portman, a woman, picks up the hammer as Thor. Then again, we could say that Christian Bale is righteous as Gorr The God Butcher. But, the truth is we love it all! And we didn’t even get to mention the soundtrack.
In this latest Marvel movie, Thor and the gang are back together to defeat Gorr who is on a mission to kill, well, everyone. We loved Thor: Ragnarok, but this latest one is better. We said what we said.