Here we are, folks. I’m ready to call it a year and start publishing my retrospectives on 2022 in cinema. For those unfamiliar with how I do things around here, the 2022 review will be separated into three lists.

  • The Masterpieces. This is for the awards contenders. The films that inspire thought and intelligent conversation, the ones that make a sincere effort at advancing the medium of film. These are my choices for the movies most likely to be taught about in college courses.
  • The Disappointments. This is NOT to be confused with a “worst of” list, because I make a genuine effort not to bother with a film when I know there’s no chance it could possibly be good. Instead, this is a list of wasted potential, the movies that could have and should have been so much better than the end result.
  • The Wild Rides. This is for the movies that were just plain fun. They won’t be winning any Oscars (except for maybe the technical categories), but these are the action romps, the comedies, the horror films, and anything else that was just a damn good time at the movies. These are my favorites of the year.

Importantly, NONE of these are Top Ten lists and their entries are ranked in no particular order. Instead, films are grouped into loosely-defined categories and then I pick a “winner” from each one. So instead of ranking a film as number three or five or whatever, I can declare it the year’s “Best Action Film” or “Best Mindfuck” or something like that.

All of the lists and categories have their own little quirks and criteria, but they all adhere to the following rules.

1. Only movies that I’ve seen and reviewed will be considered. This sadly means that Moonfall, Uncharted, Empire of Light, Where the Crawdads Sing, Thirteen Lives, Luck, Easter Sunday, Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul, Confess Fletch, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, and a wide variety of other noteworthy films won’t be listed.

I also won’t be listing Blonde, Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, The School for Good and Evil, or The Bubble. I got halfway through all those Netflix offerings before deciding that I didn’t even want to spend the time or effort of finishing those movies, much less writing and publishing reviews for them.

2a. Only movies released in 2022 will be considered. Though Gagarine didn’t see limited release in the USA until April of 2022, the film made its French wide release debut in June of 2021. Sorry, but I have to draw the line somewhere — this is a 2021 film, so it won’t count here.

2b. Festival premiere dates don’t count. Because movies have been known to change in post between festival screenings and public release, I don’t consider a movie to be truly completed while it’s on the festival circuit. I don’t care if The Black Phone technically made its premiere at the 2021 Fantastic Fest, the filmmakers still had every option to edit the film as they pleased up until the film made its public debut in June 2022.

I might add that Pocket Mouse Protector has only been seen in a handful of festivals and special events, and it still isn’t available on streaming or anywhere that I can find. As such, I won’t be putting that movie on any lists.

3. Only one award per film, and one award per category. I don’t want a situation in which one movie wins everything, and I don’t want to call any ties. That would be too easy, and frankly boring.

The Masterpieces list will be online shortly. Stay tuned!

For more Movie Curiosities, check out my blog. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter and Mastodon.

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