I watched 522 movies this year. I say that as both a slight boast and a cry for help. So much for watching TV with intention, amirite? Much like in years past, I borrowed deeper and deeper into my own obsessions and hobbies as a way to combat societal issues and any struggles I may have along the way. Feeling unproductive? Watch a movie. It’s blizzarding outside? Watch a movie. Don’t want to make food? Go to the theater, eat some popcorn, and watch a movie. You get the idea.
But thanks to the good people over at Letterboxd (not a sponsorship, just a hearty recommendation), I can go back and reflect on what happened this year and what I watched to coincide with it. I moved in with my girlfriend of over four years and couldn’t be happier, and apparently around that same time I watched Linklater’s “The Before Trilogy.” I sure hope that watching “Before Midnight” doesn’t foreshadow things to come (I’ll be sure not to show Kaylee that film anytime soon).
We also went to Nashville this year – one of the first times in years that I’ve taken a trip outside of Minnesota and had a chance to relax. Unfortunately, the infamous COVID-19 bug had other plans and I stayed inside the Airbnb and caught up on a handful of new and old releases. Some good (“All the President’s Men” and “The Sea Beast“), and some not so good (what were you thinking Woody Harrelson with “The Man from Toronto”).
All of this is to say that your passions become your personality. They orbit you, and I can feel film growing closer and closer to me by the day. Out of those 522 aforementioned movies, over 150 of them were 2022 releases. Many I saw in theaters, but like my friends and family, many I saw at home. I loved my time seeing “Aftersun” in a second run theater by myself at noon on a Wednesday just like I loved my time watching “White Noise” and “Decision to Leave” yesterday to get ready for this ranking – and their rankings are subject to change, it’s way too soon to tell.
I also wrote a handful of reviews and lists in 2022; 60+ reviews and 15+ lists and features. Some were positive, but I imagine a few more were negative. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe the cynicism that festers inside of me comes out when I write about something that I wish was better. Maybe I feel that a year end list will suffice in giving the best films the praise they deserve.
Lastly, this list is fluid. I swapped my first and second films around every other day this year. There’s many that I haven’t seen yet (that I’ll list shortly) that I’m sure may have made this list or would’ve come close. Last year, I kept the list to 25. This year, I’m expanding it. 50 films seems right considering I saw quite a few more releases this year and the overall quality of them were a bit better.
Unfortunately, I didn’t check out the following, and I apologize. I plan on it and maybe I’ll share my thoughts in the future – “Vortex,” “Deep Water,” “Bones and All,” “Empire of Light,” “The Whale,” “RMN,” “Broker,” “Close,” “Master Gardener,” “Women Talking,” “The Inspection,” “Devotion,” “Till,” “Spoiler Alert,” “Happening,” “Living,” and “God’s Creatures.” Now onto the list:
50. The Sadness
49. Significant Other
47. The Fallout
46. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
45. Jackass 4.5
43. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
42. All Quiet on the Western Front
41. The Fabelmans