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10 Best Films of 2022 (So Far)

The best films of 2022 so far have us appreciating the majesty of the multiverse and the nuances of the nutshot

Best Movies 2022 So Far
Illustration by Steven Fiche
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    Our 2022 Midyear Report continues with a look at our favorite movies of 2022 so far.


    What’s fascinating about looking back at the best films to be released so far this year is realizing how damn hard it’s going to be this December, when we have to do this all over again for the entirety of 2022. Because without seeing any of the fall movies which will likely be the year’s chief contenders, we’ve already gotten some truly mindblowing feats of cinema, from jaw-dropping historical epics to equally jaw-dropping adventures through the multiverse.

    More importantly, some quieter films have shone through the chaos, ruminations on life and love and loss… okay, and also ruminations on what happens when a guy gets hit in the nuts an awful lot of times. The below list is eclectic in the extreme, but each film represents something special about the place and time we’re still struggling through. Making it was hard, and it’s not going to get any easier over the next six months as more and more great films are released. But definitely expect to see a few of the below on our end-of-the-year list, when the time comes.

    Liz Shannon Miller
    Senior Entertainment Editor


    10. Lucy and Desi

    This documentary from director Amy Poehler premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and while a few others have tried to explore the life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (looking at you, Being the Ricardos), Lucy and Desi has one essential ingredient many others don’t — access to the real thing. With its treasure trove of tapes from Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of the titular couple, the doc unlocks new sides of the iconic Hollywood duo. — Mary Siroky

    09. Top Gun: Maverick

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    The DNA of most great sequels can be found in the original film, something Top Gun: Maverick is very conscious of, bringing back all the jet-fueled machismo of the original while also openly acknowledging the passing of years. As timeless as Tom Cruise aims to be, Maverick is all about grappling with inescapable facts — time, age, death, the sound barrier — and blowing past them to find infinite glory. — L.S.M.

    08. Jackass Forever

    Johnny Knoxville and the gang may be long in the broken tooth by now, but that just lends the outrageous, ball-busting gags of Jackass Forever a surprising amount of warmth and poignance. It’s a film that will expand your understanding of the feats the human penis is capable of achieving. — Clint Worthington

    07. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is 100% an MCU adventure, complete with multiverse-expanding plot and fan-servicing cameos galore. But it’s also one of the most unique Marvel romps since Thor: Ragnarok, thanks largely to director Sam Raimi. By putting his unique style into the proceedings, Raimi created a film that stands out amidst a crowded franchise — including some of the most innovative and dazzling fight sequences in superhero cinema history. — Ben Kaye

    06. Turning Red

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    Director/co-writer Domee Shi’s fantastical tale of a 2002-era young woman who keeps turning into a giant red panda during emotional moments isn’t just a metaphor for puberty, but a joyful romp about embracing your own power and connecting with your family legacy. With a fantastic cast including Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Orion Lee, Wai Ching Ho, Tristan Allerick Chen, and James Hong, and a commitment to exploring the complicated mess that can be the mother-daughter bond, Turning Red proved that when Pixar embraces inclusion with its storytelling powers, the results are magical. — L.S.M.

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