LA Weekly and The Village Voice‘s critics’ Best Film and TV of 2022 lists, alongside some key quotes from their reviews, illustrate the enduring vision and power of cinematic entertainment to keep us engaged.

From big budget blockbusters to inspiring indies, 2022’s movie releases were all over the place in the best possible way. Though audiences didn’t necessarily crowd back into theaters as COVID-19 became more manageable, it was encouraging to see large and small films alike get big screen runs (however briefly) before making their way onto streaming services and our television sets. Home viewing is essential, but the thrill of going out to see a movie is not dead… yet.

Still, as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and the rest vied for our attention and subscriber dollars, there was a lot to watch and sometimes it was challenging to get to it all. During quarantine, we had all the time in the world, but when things opened up, not so much. We’ll concede to lots of holiday break catch-up viewing based on our critics’ and other publications’ picks. We’re still watching lots of great cinema and television, and plan to keep bingeing the best of 2022 till Oscar time in March.

Documentaries, dramas, thrillers, comedies and more on big and small screens continue to inspire thought, emotion and escape, reflecting our culture in very real ways and offering respite from reality when we need it most. Great writers, directors, actors, stylists and behind-the-scenes production and crew members are working harder than ever, and the result is a resilience for the art of storytelling, and the entertainment business in general. We look forward to covering it all, in our own unique way, for our readers in 2023.

 

Read full reviews for these titles in our Entertainment Section or click the links below.

 

MOONAGE DAYDREAM (Neon)

The Best Films of 2022

Lina Lecaro

Brett Morgen’s vividly immersive new documentary-driven opus, Moonage Daydream, seeks to capture the music genius’ otherworldly essence and bring something new to the cinematic universe in the process. It succeeds, and then some. This is the film hardcore Bowie fans have been waiting for. And it’s the film David Bowie deserves.

  1. Moonage Daydream
  2. Pinocchio
  3. Weird- The Al Yankovic Story 
  4. Top Gun: Maverick
  5. Everything Everywhere all at Once
  6. Elvis 
  7. The Black Phone
  8. Don’t Worry Darling
  9. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  10. The Batman

EO (Janus Films)

Nathaniel Bell

Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO lands like a defibrillator to the chest, a jolting and immediate dose of cinematic verve designed to shock the stupefied viewer out of complacency and restore a normal heartbeat. As simple and powerful as Au Hasard Balthazar, Robert Bresson’s animal film for art-house habitués, EO uses the central conceit of that 1966 classic as a jumping-off point to spin a parable about a gentle donkey and his misadventures across modern Europe.

  1. EO 
  2. Three Thousand Years of Longing
  3. Petite Maman
  4. Sundown
  5. Avatar: The Way of Water 
  6. Decision to Leave
  7. The Eternal Daughter
  8. Benediction
  9. Vengeance
  10. Dual 
Gaspar Noé's Vortex

VORTEX

Michael Atkinson

Director Gaspar Noé’s Vortex couldn’t be simpler, narratively speaking: A very old couple, Lui and Elle (played by horror movie director Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun), live in their book-cluttered Parisian flat, slowly succumbing to dementia and illness. Not a particularly fresh basket of bread, but look what Noé does with it — formalizes it, creepifies it, turns it into a chilling exercise in empathy.

  1. Vortex
  2. Crimes of the Future 
  3. Hit the Road 
  4. Aftersun 
  5. Playground 
  6. EO 
  7. Brighton 4th 
  8. No Bears 
  9. The Cathedral 
Aftersun

AFTERSUN (A24)

Chuck Wilson

Aftersun, Scottish writer-director Charlotte Wells’ exquisite debut film, has a sneakily complex time structure that may continue to arrange itself in moviegoers’ minds after the film ends, like a personal memory that won’t quite settle into place.

  1. The Fabelmans 
  2. The Black Phone 
  3. White Noise 
  4. Aftersun
  5. Nope
  6. Everything Everywhere All At Once 
  7. Three Minutes: A Lengthening 
  8. Causeway 
  9. Barbarian 
  10. Breaking 

EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE  (A24)

Asher Luberto

Prepare to be astonished by Everything Everywhere All at Once. Written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as The Daniels, this visual wonder is the product of a fierce and fearless team whose ideas are unlike anything you’ve seen before. Watching this film is akin to winning the lottery for cinephiles, especially those who find dark, strange, kinetic and eccentric movies to be in their wheelhouse.

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  2. Top Gun: Maverick
  3. RRR
  4. Aftersun
  5. The Banshees of Inisherin
  6. Hit the Road
  7. Barbarian
  8. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
  9. Glass Onion
  10. Fire of Love
Tár

TÁR (Focus Features)

Chad Byrnes

You’ll feel inspired and exhausted by the end of Tár. But those emotions aren’t cheap; you have to work for them. We are talking about a two hour and thirty-eight minute meditation on systemic power, the problematic nature of making art, and the consequences of an unremitting society. It’s quiet and strange. And it’s not a movie for everyone. Then again, the best ones aren’t.

  1. Tár 
  2. Armageddon Time
  3. The Banshees of Inisherin
  4. Both Sides of the Blade 
  5. The Northman 
  6. The Pale Blue Eye 
  7. Emily The Criminal
  8. Deep Water 
  9. All Quiet on the Western Front

 

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (Pari Dukovic/FX)

The Best TV Series of 2022

 

Erin Maxwell 

Everyone involved deserves praise for bringing this kind of mad, macabre hijinks to television. For a show that breezes by murder, death, destruction, the end of civilization, and the insignificance of the human experience as a whole, What We Do In The Shadows is a lovely escape from the times we live in right now. And that might be the darkest thing about it.

  1. Severance
  2. Shorsey 
  3. What We Do In the Shadows
  4. Better Call Saul 
  5. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty
  6. Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
  7. The Sandman
  8. Andor
  9. House of the Dragon
  10. The Bear

PISTOL (Rebecca Brenneman/FX)

Lina Lecaro

Embellished and heightened by a liberal use of archival footage, Pistol is an exhilarating musical kick in the bum as it was intended and a modern bookend to the slate of films that have attempted to tackle the mythic story of the infamous punk UK band.

  1. Pistol
  2. Wednesday
  3. White Lotus
  4. Cabinet of Curiosities 
  5. Euphoria
  6. What We Do in the Shadows 
  7. This Fool
  8. The Bear
  9. Hacks
  10. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s note: The disclaimer below refers to advertising posts and does not apply to this or any other editorial stories. LA Weekly editorial does not and will not sell content.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.