My 20 Favourite UK
First Run Movies Of 2022
Okay, so I basically said on Twitter that I wasn’t going to bother posting a ‘best of year’ list for 2022 because, as seems to be the case the last ten years or so, my main ‘first run’ diet has consisted almost entirely of movies made in America. Not that there’s anything wrong with American movies (even the stupid blockbusters) but... it gets a bit boring if you keep having chocolate ice cream and neglect the cherry, vanilla and cookie dough flavours. That being said, disappointment was expressed by certain followers and people who know me so, I had a quick look at what my films of the year list would actually be and discovered that, although the top two or three are US made, the list is actually a little more diverse than that (although many of the films are still English language). So, what the heck, judge me as you will but here’s my list of my favourites from the year and, where I’ve managed to get the reviews up so far, a link to my initial ramblings. Please note, some of these films are dated as 2021 but they didn’t get any kind of proper ‘out of festival’ release over here in the UK until 2022. Please also note that I missed quite a few movies this year so, another reason why a list like this isn’t all that relevant at the moment, perhaps. Oh... and I’d definitely put Diabolik on this list (reviewed here)... but I’m still waiting for a UK release.
20. Thor - Love And Thunder
Australia/USA Directed by Taika Waititi
The only Marvel film in the list and pretty much one of only two traditional super hero movies that made the cut (although Black Adam came close). My review here.
19. The Batman
USA Directed by Matt Reeves
And here’s the other super hero movie... although technically Batman isn’t actually a super hero, just incredibly well trained. Also... and this is his talent emphasised in this particular iteration of the character... he was often referred to as/marketed as the world’s greatest detective, in the comics. This film is not big on action but it does carry some weight in both the atmosphere and mystery departments. My review here.
18. The Unbearable
Weight Of Massive Talent
USA Directed by Tom Gormican
Nicolas Cage playing a public facing parody of himself makes for great fun. I don’t usually watch that many comedies but anyone who has the gall to include the old ‘climbing a wall’ gag and its clichéd pay off certainly has my vote. My review here.
17. Orchestrator Of Storms -
The Fantastique World Of Jean Rollin
USA Directed by Dima Ballin & Kat Ellinger
Nicely researched documentary which is a good starting point for people who have not imbibed on this director’s unique movies. My review here.
USA Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
Never thought I’d put a movie from the Predator franchise in an end of year list but this stealth prequel, the seventh in the series, which throws native American indians in against the fierce alien hunter is maybe the best of these films. My review here.
15. Violent Night
USA/Canada Directed by Tommy Wirkola
One of what I hope will be a franchise... this one has David Harbour playing Santa, punishing the bad guys in this 1980s style, action flick homage with extra gory bits. Hope all concerned pick this one up for another couple of movies. My review here.
Norway Directed by Roar Uthaug
This one basically comes off like, as one character puts it in the movie, a ‘Norwegian Godzilla’. Lots of trollduggery abounds in this stylish monster movie. What’s the Norwegian for Kaiju? My review here.
13. Emily The Criminal
USA Directed by John Patton Ford
I dunno, if Jules Dassin were alive and well and living in the USA today, I can’t help but feel he might be churning out movies like this. My review here.
12. Occhiali Neri aka Dark Glasses
Italy Directed by Dario Argento
You know what? It’s just nice to see Dario Argento returning to form and producing a pretty decent giallo again... although, let’s not mention the snakes scene, okay. My review here.
USA/Canada Directed by Ti West
I don’t really like US slasher movies but, this one is so nicely filmed and edited, not to mention doing some nice stuff with genre clichés. Really enjoyed this one way more than I thought I would and I’m looking forward to catching up with the back-to-back prequel and sequel very soon. My review here.
Sweden/Netherlands/France Directed by Ninja Thyberg
An enlightening dramatisation of somebody attempting to break into the American porn industry, I’m surprised this didn’t get more exposure in the UK. I’ve not gotten around to scheduling my review of this one yet but I’ll try and get it up within the next couple of weeks. Which has now happened and you can read my review here.
9. Christmas Bloody Christmas
USA Directed by Joe Begos
Ha. This is a real throwback to 1980s Christmas horror genre. Again, another US slasher which is a genre I profess to dislike but this one... about a rogue Robo Santa that won’t stop coming... has great performances, a great ear for dialogue (courtesy of The Mighty Begos) and is just loads of fun. A new Christmas standard. My review here.
8. Everything Everywhere All At Once
USA directed by Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
The multiversal action comedy pitches the great Michelle Yeoh as an inadvertent defender of the multiverse and, Short Round from Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom as her husband. This film shouldn’t work at all but it’s just so charming and never gets dull. My review here.
France/Belgium/Netherlands Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven somehow manages to get away with directing a good old sexy nunsploitation picture which is every bit as exploitative and trashy as the heyday of the genre in the early 1970s... just hiding under the guise of ‘arthouse’ (yeah... it really isn’t). Nunsploitation or is it... funsploitation. My review here.
6. Crimes Of The Future
Canada/Greece/UK Directed by David Cronenberg
Cronenberg returns with a movie which feels like a summing up of his early body horror films but, with more of a sense of humour and an incredible ending. Really good stuff. My review here.
5. Mad Heidi
Switzerland Directed by Johannes Hartmann & Sandro Klopfstein
Billed as the first ever Swissploitation movie... I’m not sure if that’s true or not... Mad Heidi is a pure dose of fun and ‘zombie cheese nazis’ silliness, which needs some kind of physical Blu Ray release please. My capsule review is here.
4. Three Thousand Years Of Longing
Australia/USA Directed by George Miller
Finally a romantic movie that's perhaps a tad reminiscent of some of the kinds of films that Powell & Pressburger used to make. I don’t know why everyone else hated it enough that it actually ended up on a major news outlet’s ‘Worst Movies of 2022’ list but, they obviously have no heart or soul. Or perhaps they’re not used to the kind of quirkiness that this kind of genre cross bred with a large slice of fantasy has to offer. My review here.
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Wait... what? My review here.
2. Clerks III
USA Directed by Kevin Smith
The 8th of Smith’s live action Jay And Silent Bob movies is also, bizarrely, the most moving film of the year. To say I left the cinema with a tear in my eye would be a bit of an understatement. Weeping buckets on a bus load of embarrassed passengers more like. My review here.
1. Confess, Fletch
USA Directed by Greg Mottola
Finally! Despite the rights to the character of Flynn evading the producers, we finally get a Fletch movie done pretty much straight to the book on which it was based (it even survives the technology update to a contemporary setting pretty well). A worthy successor to the Chevy Chase original which fans of the novels have been waiting for now for decades (let’s not mention Fletch Lives and forget that ever happened). My review here.