Tom Cruise doesn’t just prove audiences’ desire to return to theaters.
The superstar delivered an apolitical smack unify critics and fans. Except “Top Gun: Maverick” does much more than that.
The film checked all the important boxes at modern cinema.
- quality performance
- Heroism, straight up
Not bad for a sequel after 36 years in the making.
“Maverick” is this critic’s Film of the Year, and it doesn’t end. Likewise, the following films have defied expectations, enthralled audiences, and shown that while Hollywood is still plunging into a waking ditch, there’s still room for hope.
The following are in no particular order:
A simple, poignant tale of a friendship that has gone south, “Inisherin” is so chilling that you shiver as you sit in your chair. Charcoal black humor has a lot to offer, but it’s the big picture that confuses us. Death is the film’s uncredited co-star, hanging over the characters like a thick, suffocating cloak.
Colin Farrell has never been better.
The last thing we need this year is a movie that celebrates journalism. Twitter files, anyone?
Don’t hold out against “She Said,” a smart film that celebrates women who have helped both victims of sexual assault and the culture at large.
It’s not the fault of Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor that their industry is corrupt beyond measure. Journalists, respectfully played by Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan, helped bring down Harvey Weinstein with their nagging and sometimes messy reporting.
What can cause screen drowsiness — look, a source answered our call! — became a tribute to those who brought a Hollywood monster to justice.
Hollywood will not give up on China. For starters, there’s just too much money at stake, even as that cash faucet is starting to dry up. That leaves independent filmmakers like Jason Loftus to tell stories that others won’t. And this story of China’s suppression of religion and speech, crafted from brilliantly crisp animation, is something to behold.
“I want you back”
The romantic-comedy isn’t dead yet, but its vitality is weak and the prognosis looks bleak. This year “Ticket to Heaven” has given the genre a wave of vitamin B12, but this Amazon Prime original hints that the best is yet to come.
The wonderful duo of Jenny Slate and Charlie Day fueled this charm, a story ignited by a silly gimmick but punctuated by possibly related woes.
“The Horror 2”
The best horror scene of the year finds Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) taunting his prey in a costume shop. It’s just one trick among many in this stellar sequel, a movie that’s too long on paper but just right once you’ve settled into your seat.
The gore doesn’t stop and isn’t for those with relatively healthy stomachs. If that doesn’t get rid of you, you will be treated. Is there any doubt that Thornton’s clown is the best movie monster of all time?
Director Ti West treats the horror genre with tender loving care. His earlier films (like “House of the Devil”) indulged in slow fire intensity, but “X” hit the mark faster. The scares are cleverly delivered, the actors perform far better than a killer movie deserves, and the plot makes for a curious yet engaging prequel. guide (“Pearl”).
What more do you need?
Director Alex Garland’s horror treatment hits out at the odd, down to its minimalist title. And, obviously, the story doesn’t overestimate a particular gender.
However, the distribution system is far from being awakened. Jessie Buckley’s journey down the rabbit hole of guilt and regret has yielded some of the year’s most memorable images, A-grade scares and twists you’ll never see.
Why isn’t Ralph Fiennes in the Best Supporting Actor race? Perhaps that doesn’t matter, as his performance will be remembered long after the work of his colleagues fades from memory. Plus, the modern Oscar race seems less important to everyone Identity Politics Stunt.
The thriller mocks culinary excess while satirizing the easiest target around – the wealthy elite. The tension served is too good to believe on that point.
The most subversive movie of the year reminds us why documentaries are (still) important. Matt Walsh, who asks dry questions in the desert is a great thing, dissects those eager to dodge some of today’s most essential questions and their consequences.
This is not hatred or problems. Some questions deserve answers and the act of asking them suddenly becomes a problem in 2022. Shame on all of us, even the critics who refused to participate in the film.