Favourite Films of 2022: Part 1 – The Movies

We still have to see how it will stand the test of time, but 2022 has been a great movie year, and it feels like the movies are rebounding from the pandemic. I will never not champion the movie-going experience, and here are my favourites from the past year in cinema. Individual achievements to follow.

Top 5 Overall

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Few films are ever able to surpass high expectations, but this one exceeded and succeeded. From the moment I saw the trailer and took note of the cast, I knew I was going to be in for a treat, but I had no idea precisely the spectacle The Daniels had in store for us. We’re treated to this beautifully rich adventure that is as bombastic as it is ambitious, as poignant as it is hilarious. Each member of the cast is outstanding in their own right, but almost make a point to let the audience know it’s a team effort. Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn is superb and there’s no denying that, but to bring Evelyn to life, she needs Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis. And they all understand this so perfectly that everything works so in sync. It’s as close to a perfect film that 2022 saw.

The Banshees of Inisherin

Almost serving as counter-programming to Everything Everywhere All At Once, this one leans into the careful and quiet. Colin Farrell delivers a career-best performance, in a career filled with quality, underrated performances. Ultimately I had no idea how to approach my thoughts on this. It’s comedic, it’s dark, it’s oddly optimistic, but incredibly depressing. It’s about the friendships we have and the impact they have on the self. It manages to be about so much of everything, but never once feels scattered or gluttonous or indulgent. It very much feels like filmed therapy session, where you just run through everything, it all connects and makes sense, and you feel a sense of relief on the other side, despite everything you just went through. And that’s something only the trio of Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Martin McDonagh could bring us.

The Glass Onion

I think the best thing Rian Johnson did for Glass Onion was to not feel the need to one-up Knives Out. He just sets out to deliver a twisty, turny murder mystery with a wild cast of even wilder characters. Daniel Craig feels at home inhabiting Benoit Blanc, and is now having fun in this world he and Johnson are building together. It would be easy to parse through and examine the precient commentary various media personalities this COULD be about, but even leaving certain hyper-specific allegories aside, it’s still a general critique of the trend of hoisting these particular personalities onto a pedestal. And then puts it all through a super fun murder mystery that keeps you on the edge until the very end.

The Menu

Much in the same way the chef prepares his food, the film is precise in its presentation. Director Mark Mylod is very careful to keep you on the edge of your seat from the get-go, but never tips his hand, even leading up to the final moments. Ralph Fiennes is magnificently intimidating as Chef Slowik. His presence looming over the proceedings, installing this slow, creeping sense of dread. His claps gain power and control over the restaurant with each passing course. Anya Taylor-Joy always brings confidence to every scene. Even when Margot is as lost and scared as everyone else, there’s still a hint of knowing in her demeanor. The supporting cast is great with Nicholas Hoult and Hong Chau for delivering superb and uniquely unsettling performances.


I’ll admit it, I’m a Jordan Peele fanboy, and will generally follow wherever he leads. His examination of spectacle, and the human need for it, is surprisingly poignant. His meta-commentary never feels trite or contrived. He’s fully aware of what he’s doing and where he’s trying to lead the audience, but never does it with a wink and a nod. I think Nope is his most polished and aggressive film yet, with exciting performances from Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun and Daniel Kaluuya. This one definitely takes a second watch for it to fully sink in, but it’s worth that second watch.

Most Surprisingly Good

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

This could have gone two ways, and it broke the way of being surprisingly fun. Never tries for greatness, but always stays entertaining.

Best Comedy

  1. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
  2. Confess, Fletch
  3. Clerks III

Best Drama

  1. The Northman
  2. Emily the Criminal
  3. The Fabelmans

Best Action

  1. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  2. Violent Night
  3. Bullet Train

Best Superhero

  1. The Batman
  2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy

  1. Three Thousand Years of Longing
  2. Troll
  3. Next Exit

Best Horror

  1. Barbarian
  2. Pearl/X
  3. Black Phone

Best Animated

  1. Wendell & Wild
  2. Sea Beast
  3. Turning Red

Paramount+ Launches on March 4th

Launches is not quite the right way to describe what we’ll get on the 4th, as it’s CBS All Access expanding to become a more of a competitor in the streaming wars, with Viacom/CBS rebranding All Acces to be Paramount+


CBS AllAccess launched all the way back in 2014, but didn’t start picking up steam until they launched some original programming, specifically their revival of the Star Trek franchise on TV with Discovery in 2017 and Jordan Peele’s approach to Twilight Zone in 2019. With the re-merge of Viacom and CBS in 2019, as well as all the major studios gunning for a piece of the streaming pie, it was only a matter of time before they pushed to have the entire catalogue under one branded umbrella.

And as glad as I am they are doing this, as there is a lot of content to be enjoyed under this banner, really Viacom/CBS? Paramount+? Like… Disney already had “+”. Technically Hulu had it when they had their first premium iteration, but since Hulu and Disney+ are both Disney platforms (Comcast/NBC/Universal still has like a 30% non-controlling stake, FTR). But Disney+, and Discovery+ just launched on January 4th.

My hope is that we’ll see them really fill out some of their problem areas. Currently, CBS AllAccess has a smattering of various back catalogues, and some of the shows they have are missing episodes. A lot of episodes. By focusing on a robust content library, I think they can really be a modest player in the streaming landscape to set themselves apart. And they do have a very key segment they can lock in with a full library: 90s/early 00s nostalgia.

Late Gen-X, Millennials, and early Gen-Z. Specifically with their Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and MTV properties. If they can build that out, they can get some of the younger crowd to their platform. They’ll get the older crowd with their deep well of NCIS/CSI/JAG shows. But tap into that 90s nostalgia. The 2020 documentary The Orange Years already got that ball rolling for you.

What gives me pause are three big properties Paramount has that are showing up elsewhere right when it would be beneficial to have them in their arsenal. I won’t pretend to know the intricate ins and outs of licensing and distribution and all that. But cult fave TV show Freaks & Geeks is going to Hulu, with its music rights intact, which is a huge win for fans of the Paramount produced show. That show did air on NBC, so maybe it’s a distribution issue, and with the music rights in play, maybe Hulu was the best option. I don’t know. But that would have been a good selling point for Paramount+.

As would the delayed theatrical releases of Coming 2 America, the long gestating sequel to the 1988 Eddie Murphy classic, and Without Remorse, the Jack Ryan-adjacent Tom Clancy film starring Michael B. Jordan. Both would have been solid theatrical successes had 2020 not happened, and both would have been good launch content for Paramount+, had they not auctioned the distribution rights to Amazon Prime.

Freaks & Geeks heads to Hulu on January 25th, while Coming 2 America and Without Remorse head to Amazon in February. Again, I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of distribution rights and streaming rights, and there are probably bigger things at play preventing those properties heading to Paramount+, but it just feels like missed opportunities for Viacom/CBS to launch Paramount+, and doesn’t fill me with much confidence on their library going forward.

Courtesy CBS AllAccess on Twitter

I’m already a subscriber to CBS AllAccess, so not much will change for me. I do it to support Star Trek. I will sing its praises if they invest in and fill out their Nick, MTV and Comedy Central libraries. That and Paramount Picture’s 110 year history of cinematic excellence that includes The Godfather films, Forrest Gump, Titanic (with Fox, so Disney has that, too), Marx Brothers films, Hope/Crosby’s Road To… series, (some of) Friday the 13th. If they highlight that and their TV properties, they can be a contender, following a similar path to success Warner has with HBOMax. Paramount even has Showtime, so a well known, well respected premium cable brand is in their back pocket, too.

Viacom/CBS may not have the most exciting launch of a branded streaming platform, as they’ve just completely dragged their feet to the finish line. But they do have an impressive catalogue if they can just make effective use of it. As an elder millennial, I’m anxiously awaiting the chance to deep dive 90s era Nickelodeon. Been far too long without Hey Dude or Salute Your Shorts in my life.

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