Best of 2022: Tudor Leonte’s favorite movies

2022 was a good year for movies, as good as a year can follow a global pandemic. Fingers crossed, the COVID-19 situation seems to be improving every day, although it is not officially over at the time of writing. Still, fans finally returned to theaters, proving that audiences still love watching a good movie the old-fashioned way. Will streaming services completely replace theaters in the future? Maybe, but for now, nothing can offer the same level of excitement as watching a movie like Top Gun: Maverick or Avatar: The Way of Water on the big screen.

Here are my picks for the five best 2022 movies, with the hope that the new year will bring even more exciting stories.

Batman

Matt Reeves’ take on The Dark Knight was the best superhero movie of the year. DC heroes have always been nastier than the happy – and sometimes stupid – Marvel heroes, and Batman fits that image perfectly. Fans have seen a few actors alternate under the mantle of Batman over the past two decades, but Robert Pattinson delivered a unique and memorable performance as Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. Pattinson also had a great dance partner in Paul Dano, who smashed it as a very internet conspiracy driven version of the Riddler. Batman lay the foundation for a bright future for Pattinson’s Dark Knight. Hopefully, Warner Bros. won’t waste it.

Everything everywhere at once

Everything everywhere at once is one of the most peculiar films of 2022, a true genre-bending breath of fresh air. The protagonist (Michelle Yeoh) is a Chinese-American immigrant dealing with a number of issues in her personal and professional life. In a particularly harsh moment, she discovers the existence of the multiverse and that she can connect with parallel universes that are in great danger. Everything everywhere at once takes inspiration from various genres – including fantasy, traditional martial arts films and sci-fi – to create a delightful story that, among other things, deals with relationship issues, immigration and the incommunicability between parents and their children. The Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert-directed comedy is a must-see and critically acclaimed film.

Triangle of Triangles

When people embark on a journey, they are never the same when (and if) they return home. That’s what happened to the unlucky passengers on a luxury cruise in Triangle of Triangles. The Ruben Östlund-directed black comedy could just be seen as a luxury cruise that goes wrong for its uber-rich participants. Yet it has so many layers that it becomes a metaphor for the decay of our society. In 147 minutes, Östlund deals with the application of Marxist theories, emphasizes the critical aspects of capitalism, proves that a matriarchal society would not be much better than the patriarchal one, and more. Triangle of Triangles rightly won the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in a rare combination of critical and audience approval. The cast included Woody Harrelson and the late Charlie Dean, who tragically died a few months after the film’s release.

Top Gun: Maverick

Prior to publication, Top Gun fans feared that the Joseph Kosinski-directed sequel would have just been a pure nostalgia operation. Top Gun: Maverick is more than that. The Tom Cruise-led film skillfully blends a good story, exciting action and reliable characters without forgetting to pay homage to the 1986 blockbuster at the right time. Years have passed, but “Maverick,” like the actor who plays him, still has an itch to be in danger, an innate desire that nothing could ever quench. “Maverick” is chosen to mentor the new generation of Top Gun candidates, including the son of Maverick’s late best friend, “Goose”, wonderfully played by Miles Teller.

Avatar: The Way of Water

If James Cameron didn’t exist, Hollywood would have to invent him. 2022 marked the return of the blockbuster king with another hit, the 13-year-old in the making Avatar successor. Cameron expanded the already impressive world he first showed in 2009 with new creatures and new sides of Pandora in a remarkable world-building effort. While audiences expected Jake Sully to be the same fearless Toruk Makto seen in Avatar, years — and family — have changed the former Marine, who now puts children’s safety first, even before his pride. Too bad the ghosts of his past still haunt him and old enemies present themselves in a different form. There was no better way to end 2022 than with a gigantic blockbuster movie that will make you feel the magic of movie magic.

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