The AU Review’s Best Films of 2022

It’s always an amusing statement to hear when people say that “There are just no good movies out there.”

You can cry foul on 2022 being “the worst year of movies, ever” all you want – it’s considerably not true – and, perhaps, because certain blockbusters failed to wow you or due to the endless amount of streaming platforms you didn’t leave your home and, therefore, had a limited view on what constitutes “quality” entertainment; no shade, but streaming-only movies are not indicative of what’s truly out there in the world.

Here at The AU we are not only aware of how great cinema was this year, we compiled a list of our favourites so that you can too share in said eminence and, maybe, realise that the endless stream of comic-book movies are not the only properties given the big screen treatment; though, yes, we did have to give a shout out to one in particular here.

From the multiversal disruption for the woman that just wants to do her taxes, to an island murder mystery, by way of a fantastical love story between a British scholar and an oversized genie, this year has served up a heft of beautifully original films.

In alphabetical order, here are ten of 2022’s best films as chosen by our AU crew.


The plot for Aftersun is one that we have seen countless times before in one form or another: Adult reflects on a childhood trip with a parent that was often laced with memorable experiences.  It’s how writer/director Charlotte Wells chooses to frame such a story though – almost like a faded memory – that transforms proceedings into something that imbeds itself in our psyche, refusing to let go for long after this deceptively haunting film has closed.

Read our full review HERE.  Aftersun was reviewed as part of our 2022 Brisbane International Film Festival coverage.  It’s scheduled for release in Australian theatres on January 26th, 2023.

The Banshees of Inisherin

As it descends into a far bleaker, more reflective film than the romp it begins as, The Banshees of Inisherin never wavers from Martin McDonagh’s impassioned vision.  There’s a sense of literary poise to the way he has crafted such authentically Irish dialogue, and handing his words to such an ensemble as Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan only elevates his prose.  It’s a beautiful, yet desolate, film and I doubt you’ll see anything better this year.

Read our full review HERE.  The Banshees of Inisherin was reviewed as part of our 2022 Toronto International Film Festival coverage.  It’s scheduled for release in Australian theatres on December 26th, 2022.

The Batman

Continuing the trajectory of DC’s bold branding of its staple characters, The Batman, for better or worse, is a film more in line with the violently polarising Joker than that of Justice League or The Suicide Squad.  Thematically unsettling and finally embracing the detective grit that so much of the original comics alluded to, Matt Reeves’ unapologetic nature is unlikely to satisfy those expecting traditional genre thrills, but for the many who have witnessed the Bat’s evolution, this hardened, adult-minded actualisation is the Dark Knight we have been waiting for.

Read our full review HERE.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Somehow, in a film as wild and as bold as this, The Daniels have managed to streamline their eccentricities into something that’s likely to earn serious mainstream appeal.  An easy film to collapse underneath itself, Everything Everywhere All At Once is, well, everything that makes cinema as magical as it truly is.  The sheer fact this didn’t go to a streaming service is another miracle in of itself, furthering the film’s emotional hold on an audience who appreciate all facets of the medium that is genuine, passionate filmmaking.  As strange a film it may be, I dare anyone to call Everything Everywhere All At Once a boring experience.  You may not get it, but, my word, you’ll remember it.

Read our full review HERE.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

The original Knives Out remains its own entity when all is said and done as this sequel, Glass Onion (and that title will make much more sense when you see the film), has opted to take influence from the original film’s DNA rather than straight up imitate it.  Both can be viewed and enjoyed individually or as companion pieces, especially when looking at the film’s scathing commentary on the obscenely wealthy and the hypocrisy that comes with wealth and power; advantages that Rian Johnson’s variety of who’s whodidits share

Read our full review HERE.  Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was reviewed as part of our 2022 Toronto International Film Festival coverage.  It’s scheduled for release on Netflix on December 23rd, 2022.


Taking his biggest swing yet, Jordan Peele‘s Nope is sure to be an unexpected trip for audiences, both positively and negatively for anyone expecting something thematically similar to his last films.  This is big, compelling cinema that the filmmaker expertly weaves blockbuster mentality and grounded terror together, refusing to sacrifice his unique vision in the process.  Cliché to say, but it’s a resounding ‘Yep’ here.

Read our full review HERE.

The Northman

Utilising his healthiest budget to date, Robert Eggers should be commended on seeing through his interpretation of such a story in The Northman, with the elements that speak to the masses (revenge, love, redemption) infused with his unique sensibility that may catch general viewers off guard, but will sure tickle those that have come to expect nothing less from a filmmaker unafraid to be bold and gorgeously weird.

Read our full review HERE.


In the case of Prey, Dan Trachtenberg‘s directorial skills are on full display and that is one of the reasons why Prey is not only the best film in the Predator franchise since the original, but also one of the best genre films of the year. In its taut runtime of ninety-nine minutes, Trachtenberg and co-writer Patrick Aison forgo verbose exposition, numerous franchise call-backs and patronizing dialogue to focus on strong visual storytelling.

Read our full review HERE.

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Put simply, it’s a beautiful movie. Three Thousand Years of Longing is vibrantly colourful, with a warm palette of colours so deep and rich you can almost taste them. Everything is heightened, with quirky filming that focuses on throats swallowing and knees jiggling making you feel right up close, as though you’re inside the film yourself.

Read our full review HERE.

Top Gun: Maverick

With more and more films opting for an exclusive theatrical engagement over the apparent ease of immediate streaming, that prospect of cinema is starting to feel as if it’s back on the straight-and-narrow, and Top Gun: Maverick is the epitome of that emotional connection to a simpler time.  This is blockbuster movie making, a joyful blend of the old-fashioned and the new-wave advancements, packaged neatly in a winning underdog spirited tale that’s worthy of both admiration and ovation.

Read our full review HERE.


Thank you to Caitlin Scott, Simon Clark, Stephen Parthimos and Harris Dang for their contributions to this list. 

Peter Gray

Seasoned film critic. Gives a great interview. Penchant for horror. Unashamed fan of Michelle Pfeiffer and Jason Momoa.