A fistful of films: The good, the bad, and the unreleased of 2022

Sonali Khanna and Noah Grabianski


  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Offering a refreshing new look at the otherwise stagnant and imitative genre of “multiverse” stories, Everything Everywhere All at Once was quick to become one of the most praised works of the year. With Michelle Yeoh leading as the multifaceted Evelyn Wang, the film owes its admiration to its talented ensemble of amusing characters and mostly enjoyable humor. It intertwines an intergalactic battle with a contrastingly simple story of a family overcoming their adversities, but its uneven pacing limits the strengths of its otherwise appealing premise. Dragging out some uninteresting segments while frantically rushing past others, the already convoluted story gains another layer of confusion. Despite outshining most of the releases this year, Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s taxing complications put it behind some more notable works.

  1. TÁR

Featuring possibly the most entertaining yet appalling protagonist of the year, Todd Field’s TÁR is an ironic, precisely conducted hate letter to modern culture. At the epicenter of the slow-paced drama lies the renowned maestra Lydia Tár (played by Cate Blanchett), whose satisfying fall from grace makes for a cruelly compelling watch. In his first film in 16 years, Field orchestrates an immersive look into the world through the guilty eyes of a celebrity facing public scrutiny. However, the film’s appeal might not last once the contemporary subject matter it tackles eventually loses relevance, as some of its segments already feel outdated and inaccurate. The occasionally awkward writing proves that within TÁR lies a better, more focused film that conveys Field’s vision more potently and spares itself the unintentional humor. 

  1. Nope

Jordan Peele’s third film hovers between the lines of sci-fi and horror, pairing a thrilling UFO hunt with a layered commentary on the exploitative nature of our society. Despite feeling a little scattered because of its disconnected stories at first, nearly every scene in the film has a deeper meaning seeping beneath its surface, and satisfyingly intertwines to form an eventually cohesive message. Each personality in the diverse ensemble of characters is a well-acted, entertaining addition to the story— with Keke Palmer as Emerald standing out the most. Compared to TÁR, which also attempts to tackle similar social commentary, this film succeeds in conveying its message in a much more engaging way. Backed by a rich soundtrack and captivating scene designs, Nope floats its way up to be the best release of 2022.



  1. Don’t Worry Darling

The release of Don’t Worry Darling was largely surrounded by gossip and drama behind the scenes, and that’s rather fitting for the film itself. Olivia Wilde’s direction isn’t terrible, and the more seasoned actors such as Florence Pugh are decent, but for the most part they get overtaken by how much of it just falls short. It spends every single second overcompensating for itself, trying to convince you that it’s actually really thoughtful and says a lot about society. But in reality, its vapid social commentary falls so much shorter than most of the other movies released this year.

  1. Moonfall

This action flick is the epitome of lazy, forgettable filmmaking in pretty much every single way you can imagine. Name a part of a movie, and Moonfall fell short. But in many respects, that might be what saves this from being placed as the worst film of the year. At least you can tell that nobody put any effort into it, and that’s better than having a bad movie that clearly was the product of a lot of time and money. The biggest shame is that the premise really isn’t that bad, and had there been more of an attempt made, it probably could’ve been a fun and lighthearted viewing. Sadly, rather than being so bad it’s good, it’s just, well, bad.

  1. Death on the Nile

This movie was so bad that we needed multiple paragraphs to prove it. For a story that’s been successfully adapted three times before, you’d think that one more go at it would be a pretty simple recipe for success. That wasn’t the case for the most recent version of Agatha Christie’s timeless 1937 mystery classic, whose atrocious changes from its source material turned into what might possibly be the single worst movie of 2022. 

It takes it upon itself to improve upon the original, which wouldn’t exactly be an issue if they didn’t try to do it in the most nonsensical ways – including, no joke, a backstory on Hercule Poirot’s mustache. Every actor from this mess of a cast is at their absolute worst, the sets and effects are lazy and cheap, Kenneth Branagh’s direction is sloppy and trivial, and the story is horrifically paced, with the titular death occurring over halfway through the film’s bloated 127 minute runtime. The entire thing cost 90 million dollars to make, and one could only guess where it all went. To scenes of Armie Hammer and Gal Godot awkwardly grinding on each other atop shoddy renders of ancient Egyptian temples? Was it for all the extra champagne they needed to fill the Nile?

You can tell that under this monstrosity of film, there’s a real gem -that’s what makes it such an abysmal disappointment. This is a story that should’ve been put in the hands of people who really cared about it, then maybe it could’ve been worthwhile. Since this comes as the second subpar Agatha Christie adaptation (2017’s Murder on the Orient Express was also met with room-temp reviews), let’s hope that this being the worst film of 2022 makes it the last.



Though we only have but a few more weeks until the new year, there’s still a pretty long list of films yet to be released to wide audiences. Among the most awaited include Damien Chazelle’s sprawling Hollywood epic Babylon, featuring a star-studded cast including Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt. Brendan Fraser is expected to make a comeback in his starring role in A24’s The Whale, from acclaimed thriller/horror director Darren Aronofsky. And after a 13 year wait, James Cameron is returning to theaters with the long-delayed sequel to his record-breaking sci-fi blockbuster, Avatar 2: The Way of Water, expected to be even bigger and bolder than the 2009 original. With so much to look forward to in the remainder of 2022, it’s safe to say that theaters are the place to be for the next few weeks.