Andy’s Top Five Movies of 2022


Andy Behrman '24

With the majority of movies released in December being slowly removed from movie theaters (other than Avatar 2) to make way for others such as M3gan, the 2022 movie season has come to a close. Some honorable mentions before ranking the top 5 best movies of 2022 are Violent Night, an action movie in which Santa does a “Die Hard” and Minions 2: The Rise of Gru, both of which were undoubtedly and universally considered to be cinematic masterpieces.  


#5: Top Gun: Maverick

The sequel to the iconic Top Gun movie, which was released 36 years ago, came out of nowhere. Starring Tom Cruise, the movie has an extreme dedication to realism, with the director hooking up IMAX cameras to real-life military fighter jets and shooting the movie using very little CGI. Likewise, Tom Cruise did all of his stunts, as he has throughout his career, and flew these jets during the entirety of filming. This movie was originally supposed to be released on Paramount+ alongside the release in theaters, but Tom Cruise insisted that it only be released to theaters. This turned out to be an amazing decision, as it was the highest-grossing movie of 2022 until being passed by Avatar 2: The Way of Water, making over $1.4 billion.  


#4 Smile

Easily the best horror movie in recent years, Smile’s first 30 minutes were extremely well written and finished with an unexpected climax. Due to having a relatively small budget, the movie couldn’t rely on an excessive amount of CGI and large set pieces and could not fall back on a recognizable character like Pennywise, Freddy Kruger, or Jason. However, the movie uses this to its advantage and creates horror through extremely simple yet effective means, making even a smile extremely unsettling.


#3 The Menu

Walking into the theater, I did not expect this movie to be this high up on the list. The greatest strength of the movie was its extremely well-written dialogue, which was funny, but not so over the top that you couldn’t take it seriously. The first 30 minutes, oversimplified, is just a dozen people eating extremely fancy food. If that was the movie, along with some character dialogue, I would be perfectly fine with it. However, gradually the restaurant gets more and more suspicious until it becomes, essentially, a very fancy “Saw” game. Ralph Fiennes plays the psychotic version of Gordon Ramsey and does an excellent job of coming off as an obsessive egotist. The ending of the movie was one of my favorites of the year, as it was perfectly tied back to elements introduced earlier in the movie. I definitely would recommend watching this movie the most out of all the movies on this list.


#2 The Batman

I think the main reason The Batman was so good and so successful was that it was a superhero movie that thought outside the box. Other superhero movies released recently, such as Black Adam or Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, have felt a lot like every single other superhero movie that has been mass-produced since the mid-2000s. The Batman, on the other hand, felt more akin to movies like Se7en or Zodiac than to your typical Marvel movie. Another reason for The Batman’s high ranking is that the action sequences are some of the best I’ve seen in a while. I loved the design of the Batman suit and how the bullets bounced off it, the awesome John Wick-style fight choreography with well-executed long takes, and one of the best car chases I’ve seen in a while. Finally, the director made the big gamble of making the movie over three hours long. In my opinion, this paid off, as the movie was able to fully flesh out characters and plot lines.


#1 Babylon

Coming from the same director as Whiplash and La La Land, Babylon could best be described as a cross between The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street. One thing that was extremely unique about the movie was that it was almost set up to be a series of vignettes. The movie is divided into several extremely long 10 to 20-minute scenes, the first of which is one of the biggest, most extravagant parties ever put on screen. It makes The Great Gatsby look like a tea party. The movie had a massive budget and starred Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, who were both firing on all cylinders and delivered some of my favorite scenes of the year. The movie ends with one long, hallucinogenic montage that is filled with extremely deep-rooted symbolism that could probably give someone epilepsy. Despite Babylon flopping at the box office, I consider it to be an extremely underrated gem and easily the best movie of the year.