Ranking the 2022 Movies That I've Seen (With Star Rating and Short Reviews)


I have not succeeded at fulfilling my promise that I'd have far more articles, reviews and creative pieces written by me on the site in 2022.

If it weren't for my amazing friend, co-host of The Movie Breakdown and the site's contributing writer, Scott Martin, this would be the internet equivalent of a ghost town with an occasional tumbleweed or squirrel to distract you.

But Scott has been writing around four to five pieces each week, and I really hope you've taken the time to read and enjoy them. While I've done significantly less than that, despite grand visions of daily articles, reviews and stories being crafted by me.

Lucky for me, the year isn't over, and I can battle my way to achieving my goal of daily pieces going forward.

Now, my modus operandi is to create an entire article of excuses and empty promises, but it is a new day, so time for a new approach.

Instead, I am going to rank from worst to best all the 2022 movies that I've seen this year. I also will provide links to those that I reviewed along with the star rating and a few short thoughts on each on. Some of these movies deserve in-depth written reviews that I hope to pay off in the future, and as for others, I hope to never need to see them again.

The battle plan for the rest of 2022 is for written reviews of varying length for the 2022 movies that I see along with the usual The Movie Breakdown reviews. I recognize that not all readers of this site are listeners of the podcast, so I've been letting down some readers with the lack of written reviews.

For now, consider the ranking of 2022 movies with quick reviews my apology. The links on the titles will lead to fuller reviews either in podcast or written form.

35. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (*): A dull slasher that relies too much on the gory kills of generic characters that becomes a flying karate kick to the groin of fans of the original by its incomprehensible treatment of the iconic final girl character of Sally Hardesty.

34. Moonfall (*): A big, campy, goofy Roland Emmerich sci-fi disaster picture that doesn't have enough big disaster or campiness to make up for unnecessary subplots, messy story explanations and surprising lack of energy. 

33. Morbius (*): A throwback to the bad comic book movies of the 1990s that battles with finding a tone. meandering subplots and contradictory mumbo jumbo science. But what really drags it down is the nonsensical and eye-rolling mid-credit attempt to build an unwanted Sony cinematic universe. STOP!

32. The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild (*½): A painful reminder that not all side characters are destined to lead a movie, because some are just nauseating enough to make us question if we even like movies anymore.

31. The Tender Bar (*½): This movie made me hate writers.

30. Home Team (*½): Answers the question of what a Happy Madison football version of Bad News Bears would look like. Kevin James brings some warmth and wit to save this from being a total disaster.

29. The Royal Treatment (*½):  It is just like Pretty Woman but without the humour, likable characters or heartfelt moments, but instead, we get a really grating fake New York accent from Laura Marano.

28. Munich: The Edge of War (**): After over two billion movies based on events in World War 2, this well-acted production with beautiful sets and costumes is a soulless thriller that never justifies why we're returning to this well-worn story again.

27. Brazen (**): Alyssa Milano throws herself fully into this cheesy and pulpy erotic thriller, but the twists and turns are done in a plodding and mechanical way thus squeezing out the fun we need in a story like this one.

26. Mother/Android (**): They need to get to Boston, and they will sacrifice engaging characters and a well-paced plot to do it. Chloe Grace-Moretz still finds a way to shine despite the formula script betraying her talents.

25. My Son (**): A thoughtful drama about loss, forgiveness and redemption until it decides to 'screw it' and become a 1990s mainstream over-the-top thriller.

24. Death on the Nile (**): The gorgeous set design that plunges us into the era and wonderful costumes set the tone for a fun whodunit, but none of the character are really engaging and several meandering subplots bury the main murder mystery that also takes way too long to actually happen. 

23. Master (**½): Regina King shows she can really nail the dramatic role after largely being known for comedy, as the professor who feels not totally welcomed at the university. It has a lot to say about systemic racism and the deep feelings we hide, but the need to get across a message really hurts the pacing and thrills of this supposed horror picture.

22. Four to Dinner (**½): The gimmick of what would happen if the couples ended up with other members of the foursome is intriguing but it also is what jumbles the storytelling, and the structure makes it hard to ever connect with the characters. The ambition is commendable, and it has some great moments, but never comes together as a fully engaging romance picture.

21. The Wasteland (**½): The atmosphere is top notch and it has some 'bruise forearm' moments, and it is probably the best thriller take on the pandemic with isolation and its toll being captured well with this supernatural approach. The actual evil is ill-defined, and the characters make some jarring shifts for the purpose of the plot and message. This is still worth it for fans of supernatural thrillers that cherish mood and atmosphere.

20. Windfall (**½): The storytelling structure and the blunt message encoded dialogue makes this screenplay better suited for the stage than cinema. Jason Segel, Jesse Plemons and Lily Collins lean into the characters and give them some interesting layers. It works better as an experiment with engaging scenes rather than a complete movie.

19. No Exit (**½): The first half is the strongest where the Agatha Christie style set-up has all the possible kidnapping suspects trapped at a visiting centre during an inescapable blizzard. It loses its momentum when all the major twists are revealed, and it reverts to a bloody thriller that betrays the tone of the previous build. But the first half was masterful work from director Damien Power, and Havana Rose-Liu is a real discovery in the lead as she brings sympathy and strength to a very complicated character.

18. Vince Carter: Legacy (***): An interesting look at a basketball legend that delves into Carter's side of the Toronto Raptor's drama, and projects an image of a hard-working and committed player who just loves the game. It likely won't connect as strongly with non-basketball or Raptor fans, but I am both of those things and lived through his time with the team.

17. Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood (***): Director Richard Linklater crafts a very personal animated coming-of-age tale of a 10 and half year-old boy growing up in 1969 during the peak of the space race. It is an intriguing look at nostalgia and how our memories transform over time. The picture makes one yearn for 1960s even if one wasn't born at the time, Jack Black is great as the narrator, even though the structure makes it a bit harder to fully connect with the family and plot elements.

16. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (***): It is a beautifully animated feature length version of a high-energy and wacky Saturday Morning Cartoon of the 1980s. If that sounds appealing, then this will be your jam.

15, Deep Water (***): The plot turns and reveals are ridiculous, but that is part of the fun in this atmospheric and dark erotic thriller that feels like a proper throwback for a forgotten genre. This should not be a surprise as this is the 20-year return of Adrian Lyne who gave us pulpy sexualized fare like Fatal Attraction and 9½ Weeks. The movie plays like a cat and mouse game between husband and wife where we never quite understand the rules, and they never seem to uncover who is playing who -- and that is what makes it fun. Ben Affleck shines as the disturbed husband and Ana De Armas is great as the dangerous tease. I won't argue that the movie isn't a mess, and it isn't up to the standard of the Patricia Highsmith novel, but it stands out as something very different and moody in modern movies.

14. Dog (***): This is standard formula broken lead goes on road trip with untrainable animal but then not only bonds but learns something about themselves. It is elevated because Channing Tatum knows how to balance heart-tugging dramatic moments with straight-up great comic beats. His star presence elevates the predictable format and makes one care about the lead. It also has many fun supporting characters that pop up on the road trip, including the paranoid pot smoker played by Kevin Nash and the police officer with a big chip on his shoulder played by Bill Burr. This was a definite pleasant surprise. I may need to revisit it, to give a proper review, since we never reviewed this on the podcast.

13. Marry Me (***); I actually wrote a review for this one. This is another example where fun and engaging characters can elevate a formula picture. Jennifer Lopez radiates as the big pop star who is embarrassed on the world stage and Owen Wilson has the scruffy charm as her rebound. We root for these characters, and the energy hooks us even if the plot is absurd. Believability is overrated when the characters and energy click.

12. The House (***): A very ambitious and unique animated anthology that present three shorts that I need to stress are crafted for an adult audience. It balances the bizarre and disturbing with the heartfelt and touching. An interesting dive into human emotions and how we must deal with the choices we make.

11. Uncharted (***): Is the high placement of this movie have to do with the fact that I saw it in the theatre with a very excited and enthusiastic 10-year-old boy that was all in on the action and twists? Yes, definitely. But that is how I saw it, and a critic must be open to how a movie connects given the circumstances and emotional headspace. I also never played the game, so for the script that was constructed, Tom Holland was perfect casting for the naive and optimistic petty thief thrown into a world of scoundrels and hardened criminals. There were also some unforgettable action sequences that stand-out during an era where we get pounded with them weekly, especially the one where Holland is floating through the sky avoiding villains and objects. The plot has cavern size holes, but this is about the fun and adventure, and it has loads of it. I hope to revisit this one to write a full review someday.

10. X (***): Going forward, just assume I confess all the proceeding movies deserve a revisit for the purpose of a proper written review (be it 400 words to over a thousand). This is a delightful throwback and homage to 1970s ad 1980s slashers with well-crafted references to everything from Texas Chainsaw Massacre to The Shining to Friday the 13th to so much more. The first half with the build-up is actually by far the strongest before it sort of blows through the slasher elements and kills of the second half. It builds up characters we care about. At its core, it is a love letter to filmmaking and the creative process. This is a must for fans of the slasher genre, as long as you can handle this being about the filming of an independent pornographic picture gone horrifically wrong. 

9. Scream (***): This is the movie to be blamed for my horrible lack of written movie reviews. I wanted to review the first four movies before this one, and life had other plans, but I kept holding out hope thus pushing all other reviews until I could get to watching and reviewing all five movies. And I really want to review every Scream movie, because this installment really does a wonderful job of being a love letter to the previous pictures while also setting things up for a new generation. If this ends up being the last movie with Sidney Prescott, then it was a beautiful farewell while creating intriguing new leads. While my favourite horror movie doesn't come from the Scream series, this may be my favourite horror series as whole as every movie has something worth talking about.

8. Fresh (***½): Hey look, I started my top ten with three straight horror movies. This was not on purpose. Horror comedy is really hard to pull off as it needs to have those funny moments, but it can not be at the sacrifice of scares and thrills. The movie succeeds by having a very dark and disturbing premise but keeping up the comedy with the quirky characters and how they respond. Though it is more horror than comedy, and there are some legitimate queasy and chilling scenes. A great horror needs a lead that we root to get out alive, and Daisy Edgar-Jones embodies a tough-as-nails lead that we also sympathize and care about.

7. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (***½): This list has three animated movies that were crafted for adults (Apollo 10½ & The House), but Japan has always known that animation is not just for kids and has countless anime geared for adults. This may be the first time an anime for adults has come to my Brantford theatre, and at the very least, this is my first anime I saw on the big screen. The animation is absolutely gorgeous and imaginative. It is about a world where there is a school for gifted students that can see cursed creatures and they battle them to save the world. The creature designs are disturbing and grotesque, and make for a great blend of horror and action. If you're ready for something with a frantic pace and aren't afraid to plunge into the absurd, then this may be quite the treat. It is one of the most original 2022 movies, easily.

6. I Want You Back (***½): Charlie Day and Amy Smart are not your typical romantic leads, and seeing these type of characters as the focus rather than the supporting is a major part of the fun. The two capture characters that are nuances but still relatable, and it explores some interesting ideas around our need for relationships and friendships. It also does a good job of making some interesting supporting characters that make it about much more than the central relationship.

5. The Adam Project (***½): The Ryan Reynolds act and time travel movies tend to be things that totally connect with me, and they both come in full force here. If you love the conundrums, time paradoxes and outright plot holes that are littered in most time travel movies then you'll have blast like me who sees those things as features rather than detractions. This is the first Netflix 'blockbusters' that looks like it could have soared on the bog screen, and there are some really fun big action sequences. The best thing about this movie is the relationships, and the heart that beats throughout. This is about being easy on your past self, and knowing that those hurts and mistakes are what turns one into a better person. There are some great dramatic and emotional scenes from Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Reynolds, Zoe Saldana and Walker Scobell. It remains a very fun and energetic sci-fi actioner.

4. BigBug (***½): Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet presents the most colourful, candy-coated, playful and funny take on the machines and AI rising up against humanity. The movie is quirky but due to the well-rounded characters and inventive world-building of a near alternate future, it all blends naturally and allows us to be immersed into the experience. Many critics liked this much less than me, but this is one of the true gems on Netflix.

3. The Batman (***½): This is the first time in a live-action feature that Batman gets to show why he is billed as the world's greatest detective, and the movie showcases Gotham and its residents as modern examples of crime noir storytelling. It has classic noir elements like the broken-down protagonist haunted by his past, the sexy femme fatale with secret motives, a city shrouded in different types of darkness and a case that has many twists that leaves a toll on the supposed hero. Robert Pattinson is great as a conflicted and young Batman that is still trying to work through what it means to be a vigilante, and fights to not be consumed by his dark persona. The movie also has a long-time Batman message about trying to seek acceptance and redemption with each character having that goal but choosing different paths that are not always just and moral. For those worried this is all too serious, the movie provides some incredible big action sequences including one of the best car chases in quite some time.

2. The Lost City (***½): WHAT!?! I dared to put this ahead of The Batman! For now. I reserve the right to change my mind after revisits and when best of the year top ten list time arrives. I am a huge Romancing the Stone fan, and while this doesn't quite hit that magic combination of romance, comedy and adventure. this is a great blend of a modernized take on this while going its own way as well. Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum not only have a fun chemistry playing off each other, but both have proven to be great in both comedy and action. We believe them in the big high stake moments, but they also have a fun banter and pull off the hilarious sight gags. It is also speckled with fun supporting characters, and Daniel Radcliffe is a lot of fun as the spoiled villain with daddy issues. Of course, Brad Pitt in his limited screen-time created one of the best secondary characters in modern movies. It is a perfect date night movie, and has a strong chance on making my list for top comfort movies.

1. Turning Red (****): It is another Pixar classic, and anyone following for any amount of time knows that I love me some Disney and Pixar animated adventures. They almost always rank very high on my best of the year, and this is a solid contender for top spot, even though there are still many more months of movies to come. Roger Ebert has famously stated that movies are empathy machines where they allow us to see perspectives and lives that we would not ever encounter, and it gives us a chance to experience the challenges and life of others, thus provide more understanding for different views and beliefs. It was great getting the perspective of a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl obsessed with boy bands who is trying to be her own person while still pleasing her mom. Obviously, girls don't actually turn into giant red pandas when they hit puberty, but this was a fun, fantastical way of approaching a challenging part in a girl's life. As someone married to a beautiful Chinese woman, I can say that this captures a lot of the culture of a Chinese immigrant family and the pressures that brings with characters I have seen many times. But the thing about great storytelling and movies is that it can be about a specific group but still project a universal message. We all have had parents, and we've all hit that period where we are growing up and need to make decisions on our own while trying not to disappoint them. It is a masterful work, and I will dive deeper into this with a proper review in the future.

These are all the 2022 movies that I've seen so far. A written review of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is on its way, as I'll be seeing that with Everett. For now, what are your favourite 2022 movies, so far?


  1. Always love your reviews - short or long!

    I've seen, I think, three of these films and would probably rank them in the order that you did.

    Looking forward to hearing about the blue hedgehog.


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