The best movies of 2022 – and where to find them

Our Systematic Misuse of the Animal World is one important thread connecting Jerzy Skolimowski’s gorgeous and soulful donkey drama with Jordan Peele’s entirely original Hawksian sci-fi horror about horses, cameras, and insatiable human appetite for spectacle. The tango “EO” with Bresson and “Nope” with Spielberg, but their most expressive images may be the sheer gaze of a glass-eyed monster—a window into the soul that we compromise at our own peril and risk.

(“EO” is shown in select Los Angeles theaters. “Nope” is streamed on Peacock and available on other platforms.)

Ten honorable mentions:

“Armageddon Time” (James Gray) and “The Fabelmans” (Steven Spielberg)
Two gifted American classics return to key moments of artistic self-realization and childhood suffering–and emerge with a sense of introspection few of their critics could have expected, and they have plenty of them.

“Descendant” (Margaret Brown) and “Taunt” (Alun Schwartz)
The two most penetrating documentaries I’ve seen this year–one focused on the wreck of an American slave ship, the other on the bleak fate of a Palestinian fishing village–dig deep into the buried evidence of crimes and atrocities that many would prefer to remain hidden.

“It Happens” (Audrey Dewan) and “Women Talk” (Sarah Polley)
What are you going to do? What should they do? These exquisitely polished and urgent cinematic adaptations are bound by their powerful insistence on female agency – something the world, whether it be France in the 1960s or a Mennonite colony in the 21st century, will always insist on getting rid of.

“Entregalde” (Radu Muntean) and “X” (Ti West)
Whether you’re out delivering canned goods to the needy or you’re just trying to catch a glimpse of porn with your friends in an empty barn, a trip into the wilderness has never been so unwise.

“Film Fiction” (Hong Sang-soo) and “Saint Omar” (Alice Diop)
Two distant contemporary dramas–one set in a small town outside Seoul, the other in a northern French town–as an established novelist sets out in search of inspiration, only to encounter a sound and a vision that awakens a deep sense. from recognition.

I also recommend: “After Yang,” “Knee of Covenant,” “Ali and Ava,” “All That Breathes,” “All Beauty and Bloodshed,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and “The Fathers of Enchirin “,” Barbarian “,” Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths “,” Beast “,” Bones and All “,” Both Sides of the Blade “,” Cathedral “,” Catherine Called Birdy “,” Causeway “,” A Couple”, “Dos Estaciones”, “Emergency”, “Emily the Criminal”, “Everything Everywhere at Once”, “Fire Island”, “Fire of Love”, “Flux Gourmet”, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out of Mystery, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”, “Great Freedom”, “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”, “Hustle”, “In Front of Your Face”, “The Inspection”, “Living”, and “A Love Song” Murina, Nanny, Navalny, Neptune Frost, The Northman, Pearl, Playground, Pleasure, RRR, She Said, Something in the Dirt, “Speak No Evil,” “Stars at Noon,” “Three Minutes: A Stretch,” “Until the End,” “To Leslie,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Triangle of Sorrow,” “The Tsugua Diary,” “Turning Red” “,” spiral , “Watcher”, “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”, “White Noise”, “The Woman King”, “Wonderland”.

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