Here we are again with another list of movies that I thought were the best of the year. This year, regardless of what you may have heard, was tricky. There were better movies than bad, so narrowing it down to ten films was tough.
As usual, I have a list of films that didn’t quite make the cut but needed mentioning:
Licorice Pizza, The Rescue, Mass, Some Kind of Heaven, Turning Red, Coda, X, Nope, The Woman King, Decision To Leave, Triangle of Sadness, Living, Flee, Barbarian
All of those are worth checking out if you have the time and are looking for something to watch on streaming services. Here, however, are my ten favourite films of the year.
10. My Old School
A strange, fascinating documentary about a new boy at a school who may not be who you think he is. A wonderful mixture of talking heads, animation and lip-syncing care of Alan Cummings, the less you know about this gem the better. It’s a film that will shock, surprise and entertain. It also questions our own memory.
9. Brian and Charles
A charming British comedy about a lonely man who invents a robot called Charles. Made from a mannequin’s head and the body of a washing machine, this quirky comedy has more charm oozing from every pour than all the films released this year. Funny, sweet-natured and a film that will leave you smiling hours after viewing it.
8. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Pinocchio was the subject of a few films this year, but none more imaginative and awe-inspiring than Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion version. Moving the story to the start of World War II, this was a film about grief, living life to the full and belonging. Adding Fascism to the story gave it an extra layer. Wondrous.
Baz Lurhmann’s extraordinary biopic of Elvis Presley was a visual treat that captured the tone and mood of the life of the king. Yet, the film wouldn’t have been half as successful without Austin Butler’s extraordinary performance, which left you believing you were watching the real Elvis. An eye-popping visceral experience.
6. The Batman
There was a general condemnation of Robert Pattison taking on the role of the Dark Knight. However, did he prove everyone wrong with the stunning emo version of the DC superhero? Matt Reeves’s direction and a strong story full of tension made this movie just shy of 3 hours, the best superhero movie of the year.
Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical tale of life in Belfast in the late 60s was a joy, thanks to a top-notch cast, beautiful cinematography and a charming lead in Jude Hill. One of those films that captured your heart and left you wanting more. It must be good if a film wants you to go back for a second screening.
4. Boiling Point
In this fantastic drama, Stephen Graham delivers the performance of his life as a chef on the verge of self-destruction. Shot in one take, there hasn’t been a film close to this to capture the tension of working in a restaurant, where you wrung your hands dry from sweat.
3. Everything Everywhere All At Once
The multiverse was where it was this year, and this bonkers film was not only a visceral experience like no other, it left my head spinning. Michelle Yeoh played the laundry owner who entered a tax office only to discover she is part of several different universes. Any movie that has people with hot dogs for fingers gets my vote!
2. Top Gun: Maverick
Who would have thought a sequel to a film from 1986 would be the biggest film of the year. Tom Cruise returns to the sky in the most entertaining blockbuster of the year, where we all returned to the 80s with great visuals, exciting action and a terrific soundtrack. Plus, that scene between Cruise and Val Kilmer will go down in cinematic history.
1. The Banshees of Inisherin
Sometimes the most straightforward stories can be the most effective. This tale of a friendship that ends sounds far too bland to be anything special, yet it is. Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell are magnificent as old buddies who fall out and start a battle of wills. The dialogue is both hilarious and heartbreaking, the look is wondrous and the whole thing is just a masterpiece.
One Comment Add yours
That’s a good list, and many of them appear in either my Top 10 or “11-20” honourable mentions. Some (like your #9 and #10) I need to add to my watch list. My Top 10 video is here – https://youtu.be/KJFMHL2Hcxg