Top 10 Films of 2022
Another year is coming to a close, believe it or not, my fifth year writing one of these lists. More than any of the previous years — when films like Roma and I’m Thinking of Ending Things topped the lists — this has been a year of great change for me. In the first year post-Covid closures I’ve ventured back into theaters more and yet seen fewer movies than anytime in the last few years. As a result this is the first time in some time my list will feel somewhat incomplete. Despite monumental change for me personally, the types of film that spoke to me remained quite consistent. My favorites of 2022 feature a great deal of coming of age stories, a theme that still resonates with me as much at age 28 as it did at age 23 when Lady Bird topped my 2017 list.
Still, there are quite a few films left to see this year and things can still change a lot. For now, here are my top 10 films of 2022.
Cody’s Top Ten of 2021
This year I found myself optimistic as the film industry was, like most everything else, getting back to “normal.” Theaters prior to the pandemic were facing difficulty in staying relevant and finding innovative ways to keep seats filled. Heck, the most hype for movies in recent years could arguably be the AMC meme stock. But now, as we navigate life aside the pandemic, we are reminded again of the underlying fact that people love interaction with other humans and enjoy experiencing something together. Movies fall under this category and it was a major factor that weighed heavily on how I rated films this year. That personal human to human connection is something that simply can’t be beat. As the year went on more and more people, my friends included, returned to theaters and enjoyed one big blockbuster after another. We were able to laugh, to love, to cry, and every emotion in between. Best of all, we could finally experience all of this together again.
Evan’s Top 25 of 2021
As I contemplate this year in film, I find it difficult to contextualize against previous years. Streaming options have expanded with Paramount+ and Peacock joining the fray in earnest and the result has been a race for content, revivals of long dead properties and some truly awful movies. Undoubtedly my average film from 2021 has been worse than previous years, but as with the product of any 365 day period, this year has given us a lot of really special filmmaking.
Cody’s Top 10 of 2020
In the world of cinema, just like everything else these days, we have all had to embrace change. What used to be an experience going to the theaters has been put on hold for what feels like an eternity. Viewing film via streaming service has become the new normal and our living rooms, the new theaters, our kitchens, the concession stands. Although location changes the viewing experience, it does not mean that we still don’t get to indulge in something special.
Evan’s Top Ten Films of 2020
In the world of movies, every year follows a similar pattern. Halfway through the calendar, those critics inclined to pessimism start ringing the warning bell over a lack of quality film. Outlandish fear over the death of cinema persists through the splashy summer season, but as Oscar season winds down the same conclusion is nearly always reached: a great year for film. Now, 2020 has broken just about every mold we understand, up to and including the way we perceive time. One thing this pandemic decimated year hasn’t changed? It has still been a great year for film.
Evan’s Top Ten Films of 2019
Towards the end of Summer, the year in film was looking pretty bleak. Endgame had smashed box office records, but moviegoers had precious few truly great films to choose from. Fast forward to December and to consider 2019 anything less that great year in film would seem crazy.
Like most years, the best movies in 2019 were reflections of the world around us. Some of the most resonant films put a microscope on the global inequality we see today. We were treated to films that thoughtfully explored economic hardship, the uphill battle faced by women in male dominated worlds and the zero sum nature of late capitalism. It’s truly been a spectacular year for movies and here are my 10 favorites from 2019.
Top 10 Films of 2018
2018 was a year unlike any in my recollection. America was rocked by countless scandals, unimaginable cruelty, but also undeniable glimmers of hope. Personally, my life changed in ways that have forever altered my way of thinking. The word that comes to mind when trying to distill this year gone by is "tumult." Indeed, 2018 has been a tumultuous journey, but one that has always been lined with the optimism that smoother seas lie ahead.
The world of film was no different. Cinema so often is a mirror to society, so it is no wonder that many of the movies that resonated enough to make this countdown traversed in a familiar instability. Each of the following films center on displaced or disparaged people. More often than not they depict the plights of those seeking stability and control over their own fates. Here they are, my top 10 films of 2018: