The newly released films I see in 2022 will appear here. I now include films seen in the cinema and new releases watched via streaming at home, as that’s the future for film releases post-pandemic. The text reviews beneath each film are what I said on social media about each one.
2022 Total: 68. (Seen in cinema: 29. Seen via home streaming: 39.)
The 2021 One Film Per Week page is here.
White Noise didn’t lift me up. That is probably to be expected given the source material that’s apparently a commentary on rampant consumerism and angst in 1980s American suburbia. I haven’t read the book. The film basically revolves around the theme of existentialism and the death anxiety that troubles the two lead characters. Both from the small things in life, and from the big ones, like when a ‘toxic cloud event’ happens.
It’s way too long, and the final act section in the Motel and then the emergency room is like an episode of the Twilight Zone. The credits scene in the supermarket left me cold. Greta Gerwig is as brilliant as she always is. As is Raffey Cassidy as the teenage daughter. From a craft perspective, the film is well done. The 1980s vibe is strong, and the disaster sequences work. It’s okay, but not a classic I’ll rewatch. But we have Baumbach & Gerwig’s Frances Ha to fill that role 😊
Enola Holmes 2 is splendid. It builds on the original film, which was great. The second outing is funny, very tongue in cheek, has intriguing plot threads that come together nicely, plus it has a good social justice message set in a Dickensesque London.
I liked it a lot, and GLOL’d several times. Even the fourth wall breaking didn’t annoy me. And that often does when not done in a way that supports the story. I hope they make more of them.
The Noel Diary is good. A mixture of mystery, family drama, road trip, and romance. I’d have ended it 60 seconds earlier than the ending in the film. But I expect there were notes from on high that mandated the ending they went with. A perfectly serviceable effort. If you want a stress-free film, this will deliver.
Strange World is a pick-and-mix film. Take a chunk of Fantastic Voyage, sprinkle on some elements of Pandora from Avatar, Steampunk craft, plus some ideas and dialogue that could be from The Matrix or Star Trek, then get a fan of the planets and life forms in the game No Man’s Sky to design a world, while on drugs. Then write a teenage rebellion story mixed with a save the world quest script. Then animate with all the colours.
I liked it 😊
Meet Cute is a perfectly serviceable 24-hour time loop film. It doesn’t add anything new to the genre. But doing something similar to what’s been done before, but doing it well is perfectly valid. This falls into that category. I liked it. The main characters are played well, as is the supporting cast.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is the best example of this idea I’ve seen recently and is closely followed by Palm Springs. If you liked those, you’d probably enjoy Meet Cute.
She said is a fantastic film. It tells the story of the reporters (and managers) at The New York Times who investigated and published the story about Harvey Weinstein’s manipulation and sexual harassment of young women in his company and actresses on film projects. The story ignited the #metoo movement and led to the trial, conviction, and imprisonment of Weinstein. The film is done brilliantly. I loved it and had pesky New York Times print run dust in my eyes three times. Easily one of my films of the year.
Glass Onion is good. It’s not as good as Knives Out. It is flashier, and you can see more money has been spent. The storyline is very apposite to the topic that’s energising parts of Twitter. See it at the cinema if you can. Or make it part of your Xmas downtime via Netflix.
Well, this was disappointing. There is a perfectly serviceable film about dysfunctional relationships buried under some very mediocre comedy writing in The People We Hate at The Wedding. If they’d done it as a drama with a very light sprinkling of comedy, it’d be a better film.
I liked Confess Fletch. It’s a typical comedy ‘who done it’. The plot is twisty enough to be interesting and kept me guessing. Plus, the main characters are reasonably well-drawn. I laughed several times & emerged from the cinema feeling good, which is what I want from a film.
Living is a tremendous film. The actors are superb. Especially Bill Nighy & Aimee Lou Wood. It’s about realising that none of us knows how long we’ve got and that we should strive to do good works & make things better for others where we can. Plus, have fun along the way!
Here Before has a twist I wasn’t expecting. For most of it, the focus is the seemingly grief fuelled mental health of the main character, who comes to believe that the young daughter of her new neighbours is the reincarnation of her daughter. She’s not. But there is a link. Strange to see many locations in and around Belfast that I know well.
Causeway is okay. It does showcase that Jennifer Lawrence is a fabulous actor. Hopefully we’ll see her in many more serious roles like this. That scene with her brother was unexpected and fantastic. Brian Tyree Henry is superb. But I had to turn on subtitles to understand the accent he was using in the role.
I liked Raymond & Ray. It’s a road trip film. Both physically and metaphorically as the two main characters discover things about their estranged father from others at his small, bizarre, funeral. Worth two hours of my time.
I suspect I’ll be swimming against the tide of opinion here, but I didn’t like The Banshees of Inisherin. It’s grim. In subject matter and in being like a dark fairytale. At its core is the depression of a main character and his melancholia. His actions are extreme. Rating is for craft work as it’s really well done.
Rosaline is fantastic. It’s a pastiche and farce that puts modern sensibilities on the Romeo & Juliet story. From the perspective of a peripheral character mentioned in that play. The cast are great, with Kaitlin Dever showing off her comedy chops once again. Recommended.
Emily is a strange film. A dramatisation of Emily Brontë’s life and how her experiences led to the writing of Wuthering Heights. Her siblings also feature prominently. Emma Mackey is superb. The cinematography is top-notch. The film is too long. It didn’t excite or annoy me.
Not sure how much I want to say about Amsterdam film. It is based on a real plot in the 1930s USA. A plot that has real contemporary equivalence. Obviously, it’s a dramatisation of the earlier plot. Nothing in it excited me. But also, nothing annoyed me. Easily forgettable.
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris is a modern fairy story. Unashamedly. With another cast, it could have become a saccharine mess. But with its stellar cast, it doesn’t. There is a nice blend of fantasy and realism. There is a lot in the story about worker rights. It made me smile.
Don’t Make Me Go is okay. I didn’t expect the twist. I’m not sure I liked the twist. It’s not a film I’ll rewatch. Midnight Sun (Bella Thorn one) covers the same ground much better. It’ll give your eyeballs a good wash. Don’t Make Me Go probably won’t. It didn’t for me.
Don’t Worry Darling is right smack in the sweet spot of Sci-fi stories I like. Think “what’s behind the facade of small-town America” novels. I can’t say more without spoilers. Suffice to say that I loved it. It looks fab. The Dolby sound is fantastic. The cast is great. See it.
Ammonite plays fast and loose with history. In real life, Mary Anning & Charlotte Murchison were friends based on their interest in fossils. Murchison was the older of the two. This is reversed in the film, which is a love story & also about loss. Kaye Winslet & Saoirse Ronan are superb.
Ticket To Paradise is exactly what you expect. It has all the plot devices you’d expect & indeed want in a rom-com. I enjoyed it and laughed several times. The younger cast members are ace: Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, and Maxime Bouttier. Roberts & Clooney do their thing.
I laughed out loud a lot watching See How They Run. So did many others. I emerged into the afternoon sun with a huge grin. It’s fantastic. Very noir in places. With a gumshoe-like detective. Saoirse Ronan is comedy gold as the constable. Some bits have a Wes Anderson vibe. I suspect I’ll be at the cinema to see it again soon. So good 😘
Narrator: He was. The next day. It was just as good the second time!
Look Both Ways is a cosy “what if” split timeline film. The 2 alternatives after the lead gets pregnant show her life with & without her resulting daughter. Basically, it turns into two romantic drama films that intertwine. With relationship ups & downs. Lili Reinhart is ace in lead roles. I liked it.
I see what they were trying to do with Three Thousand Years of Longing. But they didn’t land it for me. There are good ideas, and it’s done competently, but it’s a bit soulless. Ironically. I found myself thinking that the main character was imagining it all. But no. The music is good.
Holy moly. The Quiet Girl is definitely on my favourite films of the year list. It’s a remarkable work. Catherine Clinch is brilliant in the title role of Cáit. Andrew Bennett and Carrie Crowley are also superb. It’s a subtle story about grief, loss, and new connections. A must-watch film.
Mr. Malcolm’s List is okay. It’s not riotously funny. If you liked Emma. and Persuasion then you’ll likely enjoy it. Everyone ends up with who you would expect. The journey getting them there is pleasant enough. The usual suspects will hate the casting. Stay for the credits.
I think they need to be more selective in the use of the Horror category for film classification. Nope is classed as Horror, Mystery, Sci-fi. I’d replace that Horror classification with Drama. There are a few jump scares, some peril, and off-screen violence. It’s not horror for me.
Anyway, I liked it. It doesn’t make a lick of sense from a biology or atmospheric physics POV. But it’s rollicking good fun. The sound design is superb. It’s easy to predict the outcome, but the method employed is novel.
I emerged from seeing Fisherman’s Friends One and All with a grin on my face. Sure it’s predictable plot-wise. It has the beats and plot points you’d expect. I didn’t care. It made me feel good. It has less singing than the first one, IIRC. More of a drama. I liked it.
How It Ends is a strange film. Shot during the severe lockdown in 2020 in a very empty LA. It’s lots of little vignettes stitched together about people coming to terms with an impending apocalypse. It’s weird. I liked it.
I liked Bullet Train. It makes hardly any sense, but it’s brash, loud, colourful, & funny. It’s also violent in a cartoon way. A check your brain at the door film. Exactly what you need sometimes. Ignore the stuffy critics. See it.
Luck starts off well. And the middle section in the land of good luck/bad luck is okay. I’ve no issues with the leprechauns, although I suspect many will. The final act goes off the rails a bit and drags the whole thing down a notch. 7/10 for the first two-thirds. Final third 👎🏻
Come As You Are is good. It’s more heartfelt than I was expecting. This is good. It’d be easy to treat the characters & their impediments for cheap laughs. But that’s not done. There is humour. Plus melancholy. The four leads are ace. Gabby Sidibe is especially good. Recommended. It’s directed by Rich Wong, who directed The Valet (which I rate as my favourite film of 2022 so far), and Ravi Patel from The Valet stars.
Well. Not Okay tackles some topics that have real heft. Whether it tackles them well will be for each viewer to decide. Ultimately I think it does. Pro tip: lying to gain acceptance by the influencer crowd is a bad idea. Zoey Deutch & Mia Issac are great. The ending is 👍🏻
I liked Persuasion. I LOL’d several times and had a grin for much of it. The whole thing made me feel good. Which you’ll know is one of my markers of a good film. I haven’t read the book. This worked for me as a film. I liked the 4th wall breaking. The ensemble cast is superb.
Brian and Charles didn’t work for me. I did go into it in a bad mood, so that may have tainted it. On the other hand, it didn’t snap me out of my bad mood. It uses a fly-on-the-wall documentary style in places. Never explains why. I see reviewers in the newspapers who I usually disagree with liked it. So the trend of mostly disagreeing with them continues. Which makes me think my mood wasn’t the contributing factor. The landscape shots of the hills and forests are nicely reminiscent of Twin Peaks.
I enjoyed Bill & Ted Face the Music. It’s a retread of the first film, coupled with elements of the second one. With new stuff in the mix as well. It’s at its best when the three daughters are to the fore. It’d be good to see more films in the Bill & Ted universe focused on the @Sweaving @BrigetteLPaine and @kristenschaaled characters.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is madcap, colourful, and silly. I didn’t laugh much. The funniest scene is in the press clips.
Good Luck To You, Leo Grande is very good. The acting from the two leads, Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack, is superb. As is the brief performance by Isabella Laughland towards the conclusion. It’s LOL funny in places, and it also has some things to say about sex work.
I enjoyed I Want You Back. It’s a heartfelt romantic comedy that is raised above similar films in the genre by the cast and script. Sure, many of the plot devices are obvious, telegraphed, and occasionally daft. But I didn’t care. It was a fun two hours & it made me laugh.
Well. Ready or Not is fab. It’s not horror as I’d define it. It is very violent and has a full-on gore fest. In a comedic way. Also, Samara Weaving is bloody marvellous in everything I’ve seen her in. What a talent. Recommended.
I enjoyed Last Moment of Clarity. It’s a standard mafia manhunt thriller type story. Heightened by a good cast, and a few good plot twists. I liked the ending, although I suspect many won’t.
Drive My Car is okay. It’s way too long. I don’t recall much music in it until near the end. It’s not a film that I’ll rewatch. To long for that. But probably one everyone should watch once. Did I mention it was long?
Cha Cha Real Smooth didn’t speak to me. I found it way too wholesome. Especially the lead. Who does a petulant bit to show he’s human like the rest of us. It’s also very darkly lit. Nope.
Guns Akimbo is violent. Cartoon violent. With cartoon villains. It’s predictable & formulaic. Surprisingly however, the Nix and Miles characters are done well enough that I started to care what happened to them. The commentary on internet voyeurism is done better in Nerve.
Paris 13 District. Not much happens. People do people things. Then they do some more things. They do them in quintessentially French ways. Then the film ends with the leads in relationships with who you would expect if you were asked to predict them halfway through.
Hollywood Stargirl is a good follow-on from the previous film. Stargirl is one of those people who brings out the best in others. I’ve known people like that! It’s an unashamed feel-good film. Feels like the opening of a TV season. Hopefully more to come. I liked it.
I enjoyed Top Gun: Maverick way more than I expected. A lot more. It’s formulaic, has plot beats where you’d expect them, and a predictable ending. But it doesn’t matter. It’s visually stunning. The flight scenes are incredible. And it’s not jingoistic. Thankfully!
See it on the biggest screen you can.
I really enjoyed The Valet film. It’s a story about how people are just people at the end of the day. Irrespective of what circles of society they move in. You can be rich and still be alone. It’s a love letter to people who too often get treated as invisible by others. Recommended. Eugenio Derbez and Samara Weaving are ace in lead roles. The supporting cast is good as well. Streaming now on Disney+ in the Uk and Hulu in the USA (and Canada I assume). I upped my rating from 9 to 10 after repeated viewings. Fuller review published here.
I loved Everything Everywhere All At Once. It’s quirky, manic, nods to plenty of other films, has a message I fully endorse, and entropy gets a shout-out in the credits song. What’s not to like.
The Novice film is superb. It’s a brutalist study of obsessive drive to be the best in the things you do. Brutalist in the architecture of the campus and the intense training. Isabelle Fuhrman is remarkable as the lead. Amy Forsyth is great as support. The music and videography are brill.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a fun buddy comedy. But it’s also much more than that. I’m not a huge Nicolas Cage film buff. You don’t need to be to enjoy this. I had a grin on my face the whole time. It’s funny, poignant, and has a good message. I liked it.
An hour into this film and the question “Why?” kept popping into my head. If the studio threatened to make a new Matrix film without the original team, maybe the original team should have gone with “Knock yourself out!” It’s run of the mill. There is no reason it should exist beyond looking to cash in on the franchise.
Operation Mincemeat was good. It has a slightly different storyline than the 1956 film about the same real-world espionage operation. I enjoyed it. There is a James Bond related subplot.
The Bubble is fun. It’s a satire about filmmaking, with a layer of COVID lockdown humour layered on top. It’s not a treatise on what it means to be human. It’s a comedy with literal dick jokes. Treat it as two hours of entertainment & let it wash over you. I enjoyed it.
The Worst Person in the World is a tremendous film. Renate Reinsve is brilliant as the lead. Her character Julie can’t see things through. I so related to that. As anyone who knows me will attest I’m like that. I also related to the mushrooms trip, a story for another time!
I enjoyed Phantom of The Open. It’s another feel good film. Which is no bad thing. The message to always reach for the stars no matter what is a good one. Also, in my view this is a better depiction of 1960s/1970s working class life than was shown in Belfast.
Good message. The first two-thirds dragged for me. The final 3rd is good. I’m so not the target audience that. This’ll be important to those that are.
The Adam Project is okay. It’s a pretty simple story that we’ve seen many times. All done competently, but nothing special. I didn’t gurn. It isn’t anywhere near as good as Free Guy.
When I started this playing on Netflix, it was dubbed into English from the original French. Yuck. I switched it back to French with English subtitles. Much better. It’s a strange film. Surreal, in fact. It’s okay, but let’s not invent the future it depicts. Okay?
I enjoyed that Tall Girl 2 on Netflix. It’s a retread of the first one and 100s of other high school-based teen romcoms, but it’s 100 minutes of fun and has several LOL moments. I was smiling during and afterwards. Plus, I laughed out loud more than I have watching more edgy comedies.
Grief and what it does to your mind. That’s what The Sky is Everywhere deals with. And to my mind, it does it well. It tells the story of a teenager dealing with the death of her idolised older sister. It uses fantasy realism, vivid colour, sound, and more to depict events.
I enjoyed Death on the Nile a lot more than I expected to. I wasn’t expecting a body count worthy of a spaghetti western. Nor a Mexican standoff! Murder mysteries are not my usual fodder. But this was good. The cast is great. The locations too. Clues abound throughout.
So glad I forced myself to go and see Parallel Mothers film. I really enjoyed it. The plot twists are obvious but I didn’t care. It’s well acted and I enjoyed it. Which is what two hours in the cinema should deliver. The Oscar nod for Penelope Cruz is justified.
All the good things I heard about CODA were true. It is an exceptional film. A brilliant cast, a great story, beautifully shot, a fabulous score, and songs. I’m only sorry I didn’t see it at the cinema. A must-see film. I got salty sea spray in my eyes at the end.
Update: I also got to see CODA in the Strand cinema on the 19th of April after it was rereleased due to winning the Academy Award for best picture.
Swan Song is good. A medium-term future story about the early availability of a process that allows people with a terminal illness to create a clone to replace them. With their memories intact. Their family doesn’t know it happens. How would you deal with that? Recommended.
If you are from Belfast then the Belfast film will probably embarrass or depress you. Or both. Thankfully the stupid religious bollocks that was the excuse for the fighting depicted gets short shrift. The film itself is okay. Ciarán Hinds is stellar as the Grandfather.
Licorice Pizza then. It’s eclectic. Lots of storylines weave around the two lead characters. I wasn’t expecting to see the Haim sisters (and their parents) playing the family of the female lead. Alana Haim is superb. Lots of grotesques who you wouldn’t piss on if on fire! It’s a coming of age teen romance we’re one of the leads is a teen who is confident and seems older, and the other is in their 20’s but seems younger. The music is fantastic. It’s a film that will reward multiple viewings I think.