While I may not have written any film reviews in 2022, I did make sure to watch as many films as I could. Whilst I have spent most of the year with no Netflix or Prime accounts at the beginning of the year and have never had Disney+ or Apple TV (hence the lack of films listed from those platforms), thanks to my Curzon membership (happy to advertise them for free!) and my subscription to an online DVD / Blu Ray rental service (yes – physical discs do still exist!) I have managed to watch a fair amount of 2022’s releases.
Well, in month order of cinematic release date in the UK (according to the internet), here are one sentence reviews of every single film I did see. Please feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree!
Some decent action set pieces, but is overall the usual mindless and extremely predictable action film that the mainstream tends to produce.
A film made with obvious raw passion and emotion, and this and its complimentary visual style produces a deeply engaging and human story.
A taut and wonderfully acted film filled with relatable characters and genuine tension
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
The slightly madcap visuals and method of storytelling effectively represent the mindset of the protagonist and his genuinely interesting story, but despite a good leading performance it is a highly watchable film, but nothing more.
Alicia Silverstone spends 90 minutes figuring out what happened to her career in this dull and cheap killer shark snooze-fest.
Though it is very well-made and has the occasional enjoyable moment, it is overall a self-indulgent and ill-disciplined mess of a film that complacently ignores one of the golden rules of filmmaking, and one that is especially necessary for a film with a narrative structure like this; make the protagonists actually likeable!
A film that certainly deserves admiration and respect for the fact that is made on its own terms and will be a different experience for every viewer depending on what they are willing to put into it; effort brings reward, and a lack of effort can bring extreme boredom, but it is a risky and potentially alienating method of filmmaking.
A visually atmospheric film with some decent performances, but let down by a story that becomes increasingly predictable
Almodóvar continues his strong run of form with yet another deeply engaging film that successfully incorporates the personal and the political.
A very slick and admittedly quite enjoyable film, even if the self-referencing goes to even further extremes than previous films in the franchise.
A wonderfully original horror film that incorporates plenty of metaphors and themes, but at the same time successfully manages to keep things close to its chest until its unforgettable ending.
Death on the Nile
A perfectly watchable but utterly forgettable piece of pure cinematic style over substance
A visually ravishing and genuinely moving version of a well-known story.
Despite the overall predictable story, a surprising focus on some very mature and serious themes produces an emotionally satisfying film.
A well-acted, genuinely enjoyable and uplifting heartfelt romp that intentionally stays in the middle of the road.
A film told in a very original way, that only serves to make its extremely raw and emotional story all the more engaging.
Not a film that makes any attempt to convert anyone, but for those willing to embrace the juvenile humour there are some very funny and often uncomfortable moments to ‘enjoy’, plus the occasional moment of surprising emotion.
Lingui, the Sacred Bonds
Thanks to its matter of fact, understated approach, this is a raw and moving story of maternal love.
Even by Emmerich’s often poor standards, this is pure cinematic stupidity, with the only redeeming features the unintentional comedy – a car chase with gunshots in the snow and varying degrees of low gravity, anyone?
An absolute narrative mess, but the utter silliness, a decent leading performance and some adequate set pieces produce a just about watchable piece of expensive nonsense.
All My Friends Hate Me
An excellent British comedy that is not only painfully hilarious but is genuinely unforgettable due to being horribly relatable.
Only Michael Bay can turn a police chase across LA into a 136-minute film – though not his worst film, the usual ‘Bayhem’ and panic-attack-inducing editing gets very boring, very fast.
The latest cinematic version of the caped crusader is a suitably moody and appropriately paced film the tightly grips from start to finish.
Though it features the usual graphic nudity that has become a hallmark of Paul Verhoven films, this is also a deeply compelling and intriguing story featuring some exceptional performances.
One of the dullest and most uninteresting comic book adaptations of recent years that has no redeeming features whatsoever.
The Nan Movie
An insultingly unfunny film whose existence is not only surprising, but also completely unjustified.
Paris, 13th District
A wonderfully raw, uncompromising and often appropriately unromantic love story.
Phantom of the Open
A light and fluffy comedy that will never win any prizes for originality, but thanks to a very likeable leading performance it finishes just above par (or below par in golf terms!)
A deeply engaging and very human drama featuring very flawed (and therefore very human) and relatable characters – though the overall story does feel a little too neat and tidy at times.
A very strange film that has a few individually decent moments but does overall feel rather pointless.
Compartment No. 6
An intentionally rough-around-the-edges film that is all the more engaging and emotionally rewarding for it.
Downton Abbey: A New Era
No review necessary – the title says everything.
A deeply engaging and fascinating story about the man behind some of the most famous film scores of all time that only serves to enhance our appreciation of just how vitally important a good, unique and unforgettable film score can truly be.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
An even duller sequel to an increasingly dull franchise that struggles with being too obsessed with mythology and setting up an even duller further sequel to produce any kind of engaging or satisfying narrative of its own right.
The Lost City
A perfectly enjoyable switch-the-brain-off style light-hearted cinematic action romp – though the less said about Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘cheque please’ performance, the better!
A classic revenge tale presented in a raw and visceral cinematic feast for all the senses that deserved to be seen on the biggest screen possible – though some of the accents are rather unusual.
The usual textbook, tick-box-exercise British drama we have been accustomed to these days – watchable but forgettable.
Though it contains a couple of rather jarring narrative developments in its final third, it is otherwise a genuinely well made, written and acted thriller made with a more old-fashioned style.
A film that is brutally and relentlessly intense from start to finish and grips tightly from the start and never let’s go.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Perfectly serviceable silly (and expensive) nonsense, but thanks to the introduction of more classic characters, is a film that is a lot more fun (and funnier) than its predecessor – Jim Carey is of course still ridiculous!
A refreshingly raw and unromantic love story that features two great leading performances, but it loses its way in the final third.
Between Two Worlds
A genuinely engaging human drama about real-life and relatable themes that thanks to this and having well developed characters, successfully produces a genuine sense of character jeopardy.
A pointless and stupid low budget British ‘gangster’ film that seems to think it is funny and clever – it is neither!
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Some interesting visual moments that go to places that no previous MCU film has, but overall, a complete narrative mess that is equally annoying and unsatisfying.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
A film that despite being utterly bonkers, manages to also contain genuine heart and soul at its emotional core, but is let down by its final third – it also does a much better job of the whole ‘multiverse’ concept than some Marvel films!
A laughably bad ‘horror film’ featuring equally terrible performances and dialogue, and one incredibly boring story.
Hit the Road
An assured piece of filmmaking that manages to create genuine intrigue from start to finish with a seemingly simple premise thanks to a strong script and great performances.
A deeply intense film that grips tightly from the start and refuses to let go – the subtle and understated presentation of its dark story only serves to make all the more disturbing, but also deeply gripping.
The Quiet Girl
Understated cinema at its very best, proving that there is nothing wrong with a few clichés if they are presented in the right way and involve characters that we genuinely care about, all leading to one of the most unforgettable and emotional endings of any film this year.
Top Gun: Maverick
Pure cinematic escapism – it will certainly not win any prizes for originality or taking narrative risks, but when watched with the appropriate mindset it is a cinematic experience of infinite rewards.
While the film’s unique visual approach could have so easily become a gimmick, Gaspar Noe makes sure it only serves to enhance what is an unforgettably moving and harrowing exploration of a relatable and emotive subject.
A wonderfully enjoyable Scandinavian film that manages to blend the usual trademarks of dark humour and a menagerie of quirky yet engaging characters.
While a lot of the film may alienate those who are not familiar with the films of Ingmar Bergman, there are still relatable themes to be found in what is a slightly unique depiction of marriage.
Thanks to the usual migraine inducing visuals from Baz Lurhmann, it is certainly never a dull film, but is completely hollow and fails to actually provide any depth or emotion.
Everything Went Fine
Francois Ozon back to clinical, matter-of-fact storytelling, and the neutral approach that avoids moralising only serves to make this story about a very emotive subject all the more engaging.
Jurassic World: Dominion
A genuinely pointless chapter in the franchise with hardly any redeeming features that will hopefully prove to be its very last!
The Haunting of the Tower of London
A very low budget (and factually creative) telling of a true moment in English history that is often terrible, but its narrative stoicism produces some great unintentional comedy.
Though not hitting the heights of the Toy Story franchise, a genuinely enjoyable prequel featuring enough action, comedy, emotion and memorable characters.
A change of tone and theme for Alex Garland, and though it initially conjures up a genuinely tense atmosphere and has some truly unforgettable moments, it often goes a bit too far in its unusualness.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Undoubtedly a film with some wonderfully satisfying and amusing moments for the many Nic Cage appreciators – but it could have gone further and done more to please the really die-hard fans.
Brian and Charles
A wonderfully unique and quirky film, but struggles to fill its running time and so is let down by some rather uninteresting subplots.
DC League of Super-pets
A thoroughly enjoyable film featuring plenty of genuinely funny references and in-jokes – a film that many other comic book films should take note of.
Elite Air Force
The front cover suggests this to be The Asylum’s Top Gun rip-off, but it has more in common with Passenger 57; enjoyably terrible low-budget nonsense
The Good Boss
An effortlessly watchable and often a darkly hilarious film featuring a suitably sleazy leading performance.
Though the narrative contains some moments that are perhaps a little too unbelievable for the tone of the film – two great leading performances make for an engaging and often quite refreshingly enjoyable road movie.
Minions: The Rise of Gru
A return to form for what appeared to be a tired franchise – a genuinely enjoyable and action-packed prequel.
A dark and unsettling film that manages to grip tightly from start to finish.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Some individually amusing moments and some decent performances, but let down by an overall weak storyline.
Anais in Love
A frantic and fast-paced unconventional love story that takes some unexpected twists, but often feels too cold and alienating to truly engage.
It may have the cast, the budget and some admittedly decent camerawork and cinematography – but they do not matter a jot when the lazy script is straight from a B Movie!
Some enjoyable moments and decent performances that are overall let down by an inconsistent pace and a slightly deluded sense of smugness by those that made it.
A handsomely made film with some good individual moments that features an expectedly charismatic performance from its leading man, but is pure style over substance.
A strikingly original and enjoyable dark horror film that thanks to being extremely well-made is not only genuinely tense and entertaining from start to finish, but also contains a few genuine surprises.
Fisherman’s Friends: One and All
Despite continuous nice shots of the picturesque Cornish coast, this cynical remake lacks the charm of its predecessor due to way too many clichéd and underdeveloped subplots.
A raw and very human story that manages to deeply engage thanks to having an extremely sympathetic protagonist.
A hilariously bad low budget killer shark film with a script so bad it actually emerges as one of the most quotable films of the year!
Jorden Peele’s best film so far (bring on the abuse!) is a very well-crafted exercise in creating cinematic intrigue and tension – predictably the ending is a bit of an anti-climax.
Despite a subject matter that is very easy to mock (and frequently is), this playfully hilarious satire manages to find a fresh and original approach to produce what has to be one of the funniest films of the year.
Though it does have some interesting and original ideas, this Stallone starring superhero film struggles to achieve anything other than mediocrity.
Thor: God of Thunder
The Asylum’s story of everyone’s favourite Norse God features the expected bad acting and dialogue, and some special effects that are bad even by their painfully low standards – it does not even have the unintentional humour of some of their very best (worst) offerings.
5,000 Years of Longing
A real mixed bag: some interesting visuals and themes, as well as a couple of excellent leading performances, but severely let down by its ponderous pacing.
Featuring all of the expected issues of a passion project where one man is producer, writer, director plus actor: One of the most hilariously bad Bond auditions ever made.
Both Sides of the Blade
A gripping and well-acted depiction of jealously and betrayal told in the usual venomous and uncompromising way we have come to expect from Claire Denis.
Crimes of the Future
Cronenberg’s latest features his trademark body horror and vision of a dark future that is filled with compelling ideas and memorable moments – but it is at times unsatisfying due to producing far more questions than answers.
Don’t Worry Darling
A very well-made film brimming with some potentially very interesting ideas and themes, but due to it lacking any cohesive or consistent structure, is ultimately an unsatisfying film of unrealised potential.
Though it requires extreme ignorance of some massive liberties taken with the plot, it emerges as a surprisingly watchable and occasionally genuinely tense, albeit extremely forgettable, film.
Peter Strickland’s latest is quite literally a feast for all the senses, and for those willing to go with his unique approach to visual storytelling is yet another presentation of cinematic delights all put together with his usual sense of self-referential fun.
It Is In Us All
An intentionally bleak exploration of the human condition that may not quite hold together completely, but still packs an emotional punch.
A dreadful low budget ‘action’ film filled with trademark wooden performances, shoddy dialogue and laughable action sequences.
Last Seen Alive
A cliché-ridden genre piece that bores and frustrates in equal measure – the perfect movie to match the acting range of its leading man.
Deserves admiration for trying to create the heist-musical genre and features some excellent leading performances, but is severely hampered by a highly contrived and predictable narrative.
See How They Run
An intentionally daft, but genuinely enjoyable murder-mystery filled to the brim with playful references
A truly original film that is both a deeply compelling and genuinely haunting vision of a dystopian future that is equally bizarre, sinister and surprisingly believable
Ticket to Paradise
Though it has the occasional amusing moment, it features the expected committee-driven narrative and smug performances from its cast who are on a very nice, all expenses paid holiday.
All is Vanity
A bizarre film that manages to be quite gripping due to its peculiar style of storytelling, but needs to go further to produce any kind of narrative satisfaction.
The Banshees of Inisherin
An exploration of male friendship featuring great performances that is often darkly hilarious and moving, but just let down by a couple of narrative choices in its final third.
A playful use of some genre tropes and good individual moments, but let down by an increasingly lazy plot.
Decision to Leave
An intoxicating and labyrinthine psychological thriller filled with plenty of surprises that grips tightly from the start to its unforgettable conclusion.
A very well made and acted character-driven depiction of the life of its protagonist that includes the occasionally inevitable cliché, but most importantly its protagonist emerges as very relatable and sympathetic.
An intentionally rough around the edges coming-of-age comedy that has some funny and surprising moments, but lacks any real genuine power or punch.
The Asylum’s obvious rip-off of a famous franchise is as hilariously bad as is to be expected, but may still be marginally better than the far more expensive version, and may actually contain more original ideas (well, it’s not had to beat the number zero!)
The Lost King
Despite the genuinely interesting true story, even an excellent leading performance cannot save a film that is as smug and hubristic as its lead writer and co-star.
Despite its potentially relatable concept, the result is a disappointingly bland and generic film featuring a very flat and miscast leading performance.
An infectiously brooding film that grips tightly all the way until its unforgettable conclusion.
Triangle of Sadness
Arguably the director’s weakest and most ill-disciplined film so far, but still filled with plenty of painfully hilarious moments at the expense of the narrative’s main subject matter.
A deeply engaging sci-fi film that creates some interesting world building, unforgettable visuals and has a genuinely emotional character-driven narrative.
A deeply moving film about very relatable subjects told in a very assured and unique way, that not only grips tightly from start to finish, but also lingers in the subconscious long after.
Some decent action sequences and performances fail to save what is a really underwhelming mess of a film with too many characters, a predictable storyline and dodgy script that features some genuinely cringey moments.
Bones and All
Despite being very well made, featuring some great performances and having some excellent individual moments, this boy meets girl (who both happen to be cannibals) road movie labours its themes way too much and has a painfully clunky inclusion of an antagonist, and so ends up being frustratingly dull.
A very well acted and often thoroughly engaging character study filled with plenty of intrigue.
A slick and well-made thriller that manages to grip tightly from start to finish, with a few genuine surprises along the way.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Well-made and thoroughly enjoyable, but just as smug and disappointingly predictable as its predecessor – and the lazy attempts at social commentary do not help.
A classy, genuinely moving and well-acted story told in an appropriately understated tone that contains some genuinely unforgettable and emotive themes that stay in the subconscious long after the film has ended.
Despite some rather substantial plot holes that increase in size as the narrative progressives, thanks to some great performances and a witty script, this is a thoroughly enjoyable jet-black comedy with plenty of meat.
My Father’s Dragon
Though not the studio’s best film, it is still a visually stunning film with some poignant themes at its core that make sure it still contains plenty of genuine emotion.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
A visually stunning and often very moving adaptation of a very well-known tale.
A competently made and very well acted film about a very important subject that is certainly never anything less than highly watchable – but it does feel like it exists solely to win awards.
An effectively atmospheric and well-acted film, but is somehow lacking genuine intrigue or emotional involvement.
Avatar: The Way of Water
Though always watchable; it features even more painfully clunky clichés, badly written dialogue and poorly developed characters – a film forgotten about even before that much needed trip to the toilet.
A film clearly made on its own terms; though some its core themes are painfully obvious and over-emphasised, thanks to is great leading performance it still manages to grip and intrigue.
Peter Von Kant
A very well-acted and at times intriguing character study, but often feels quite stagey and lacks genuine substance.
An enjoyable and knowingly silly festive treat filled with plenty of satisfying season’s beatings.
6/10Read more: 2022 IN REVIEW: ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS OF EVERY FILM RELEASED IN 2022 (THAT I HAVE SEEN) Read more: 2022 IN REVIEW: ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS OF EVERY FILM RELEASED IN 2022 (THAT I HAVE SEEN)