With June finally in the rearview, we are officially halfway through the year (yikes), so I thought it’d be useful to recap some of the best releases thus far, and look ahead to what other anticipated releases we can expect this year. As a sidenote: some films listed technically made their premiere during 2021’s competition season, but all have a wide release date in 2022. Semantics aside, these are all must-watch movies!
- The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
- Mad God
- The Batman
10. In Front of Your Face
The latest offering from Korea’s most singular auteur is perhaps one of Hong Sang-soo’s best films yet. While audiences can still expect a pared-down, philosophical exploration of a variety of themes, there’s something about this particular film that makes it a real jewel in Hong’s filmography. Perhaps it’s the stellar performances by every actor, or the shot composition and writing; either way, this is absolutely a must-watch!
S.S. Rajamouli’s newest film is epic in every sense of the word, from the Bollywood-styled dance routines to the heart-jolting action sequences. This journey to rescue a young girl from British colonizers is intense, moving and unforgettable. There’s a reason I made it my last Stream of the Week for June; watch it on Netflix while you can!
8. Huda’s Salon
Hany Abu-Assad has given audiences one of the best political thrillers in recent memory. Through its socially-aware framing, this film offers a heart-stopping look at occupation and resistance as a Palestinian woman is coerced into working for the occupation’s secret service. Timely and poignant, be sure to watch this on Prime Video!
7. The Northman
Robert Eggers’ third film was an adrenaline-fueled critique of the hypermasculine revenge genre that is bound to keep audiences on the edge of their seats right up to an ending that can only be described as ‘classically-Eggers.’ This is not your average Viking movie. Spoiler-free review here!
6. Strawberry Mansion
Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley’s wild-ride of a film is easily one of my favorite releases of 2022. The cinematography was phenomenal, and I think its political undercurrents are among the best-written this year. Tons of fun, smartly-written and gorgeously shot, there’s no reason you shouldn’t watch this movie on MUBI!
5. Great Freedom
Centered around a gay man’s constant prosecution in West Germany, Sebastian Meise’s heart-rending dive into one of the most ignored parts of history is guaranteed to guide viewers along the full spectrum of emotions. It’s funny in some moments, bleak in others; a breathtakingly human movie. Watch it on MUBI ASAP!
4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes on
Director Dean Fleischer-Camp’s feature-length debut is as tender and insightful as it is hilarious. From the moment we join Marcel to find his long-lost family, viewers are sure to be captivated by one of the most heartfelt movies we’re bound to see this year. Full spoiler-free review coming this week!
3. Crimes of the Future
CRONENBERG IS BACK, BABY! This wild-ride of a dystopian character exploration has all the hallmarks of an instant classic from one of Canada’s most beloved auteurs: body horror, a motley group of philosophical misfits, and an ending viewers aren’t likely to forget. To learn more, check out my full spoiler-free review!
2. After Yang
Kogonada’s stunningly tender take on the sci-fi genre is centered around themes of family, race and identity. After their daughter’s AI companion powers off, two parents must reconcile familial rifts they didn’t even know were there. This movie is beautiful both in terms of the cinematography and the phenomenal writing brought to life by delicate but powerful acting performances. I couldn’t recommend it enough! Full analysis here.
1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
Earlier this year, when I named it my second most-anticipated movie, I knew Daniels’ epic sci-fi exploration of class, family and so much more was going to be special; I just didn’t know how correct I would be. As of right now, I’ve seen it four times in theaters, and there’s no guarantee I won’t see it again. If this doesn't convince you to watch it, read my spoiler-free review!
- Three Thousand Years of Longing
- Decision to Leave
- Triangle of Sadness
- Blossoms of Shanghai
- Killers of the Flower Moon
- Disappointment BLVD.
- Del Toro’s Pinocchio (NOT Disney’s)
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