The Satirical Troll’s Top 5 Best and Worst Movies of 2022

The end of 2022 is upon us and honestly, I used my one good joke for these intros on my top 5 games list so there isn’t going to be one here. That being said, there were a lot of really good and really bad movies in 2022, so populating both lists this year was actually difficult because I’ve gone back and forth on how to fill out both of them quite a bit. But I think I’m satisfied with the ones I’ve chosen. Remember that this list is completely subjective to my tastes and that I’m only including films that released in 2022 and films that I’ve seen. Let’s get into it.  

5th Best: Top Gun Maverick-  

 The pretentious side of me wants to call this military propaganda and a Tom Cruise vanity project, but I can’t deny how much fun I had with this film. And saying Maverick is a “dumb fun” movie is honestly diminishing the level of craft on display in this film. It’s not just the well shot and executed action sequences or the great performances that make this movie so well made, it’s also in the ability to write a script for a sequel to a beloved older film that not only respects the legacy characters, but also has new characters that are fantastic in their own right without leaning too heavy on the first’s legacy. I would argue that Maverick isn’t just a great sequel to the original, I would say it surpasses it in basically every way, with one of the most crazy and fun 3rd acts I’ve seen in a big budget movie in quite some time.  This is what a modern blockbuster should be and this is what all legacy sequels should strive to achieve. Unfortunately, judging by the Indiana Jones 5 trailer, Hollywood seems to not have learned its lesson.  

5th Worst: Thor Love and Thunder-  

I can already feel people seething because insulting comic book movies on the internet and expecting mainstream film to be anything other than a parade of generic, low effort, recycled garbage apparently means I’m a joyless cynic who sits and watches movies drinking wine like an anime villain, but I found Love and Thunder fucking insufferable. And it’s not even that the movie is poorly made or doesn’t have some good aspects because it does. But Taika Waititi’s only concept of tone is the little bell sound in his head that tells him to run another stupid joke into the ground. The tonal whiplash in this movie was utterly insane; where a scene starts with a character being diagnosed with terminal cancer and ends with Thor doing the old fish out of water schtick that got old 2 movies ago.

Christian Bale does his best to portray a villain that absolutely does not fit into this film whatsoever, and the overall narrative and character arcs are weak. Thor Ragnarök was a big colorful ball of intergalactic fun that managed to be genuinely well written and a fun explosion of creativity in the dredges of the MCU sameness. Love and Thunder feels like when westerns were the cultural zeitgeist for 20 years and then Blazing Saddles came out and parodied them so well that it killed the mainstream relevance of the entire genre, except Love and Thunder is a self-parody. The Marvel formula has felt like it was teetering on the edge of collapsing in on itself for about half a decade now, but this was the moment that I felt it completely jumped the shark. Compare this to a movie like The Batman and it goes to show how poorly thought out this entire film is.  

4th Best: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery  

The first rule for any mystery story is that you can’t lie to the reader or viewer and deliberately deceive the audience. Well Glass Onion not only says “I’m going to lie directly to your face and make it a massive part of the story’s narrative, but I’m also going to make you think the mystery is way more complex than it actually is.” Glass Onion much like its namesake is a movie that at first seems complicated and layered, but is actually quite simple and straightforward. Glass Onion is a clever deconstruction of the genre (and no, not in a pretentious way or a way that disrespects the material like another Rian Johnson film I won’t name.) The structure and the ultimate twist of the narrative completely turns the film on its head and makes you reevaluate everything you thought you knew about the narrative because it doesn’t actually change how anything in the case works, just how you the viewer and the characters themselves perceive it. There is a lot of well-done dark comedy here, and the great ensemble cast really sells it, especially Craig’s Benoit Blanc who is a character I just fucking love. It also has some really relevant social commentary about how rich people are often set up for success by others and aren’t actually themselves intelligent or honest people. Overall, while the 3rd act is a bit ridiculous, I really enjoyed this stylish and well-made whodunnit.  

4th Worst: Black Adam-  

Again, I know people are going to crucify me, call me an anti-fun terrorist and act like I can’t enjoy any film that wouldn’t show at an arthouse theater that seats 7 people, but I really don’t see how this movie can even be remotely considered acceptable quality from a brand as big and popular as DC. Just on a basic script writing level this movie is a complete mess. The stupid kid character whose actor can’t even properly enunciate words has no business being in this film as much as he is. On top of that, you don’t hire The Rock to play a stoic, ages old anti-hero from another time. You hire him to play a charismatic, relatable and fun character. As if the writing wasn’t bad enough between the absolutely godawful sequences of obvious exposition and the constant, terrible quips that don’t land, the conclusion of the film is a motherfucking sky beam like it’s 2012 all over again. Yes, there are a few cool sequences, but this movie is a generic, poorly written, dated dud. At this point, the drama surrounding the DCEU would make a far better movie than anything DC and WB actually puts out. The only good thing in this movie was Brosnan’s Dr. Fate who I genuinely hope we see more of.  

3rd Best: The Northman  

The Northman is a very nuanced look at the cycle of violence and how evil begats evil set to a story that is basically Viking Hamlet. While the overall revenge plot is not particularly interesting or fresh, the way it is structured really changes things up to make the narrative more interesting. Alexander Skarsgard gives a stellar, almost animalistic leading performance, and Anya Taylor-Joy can help me make beautiful children whose eyes are just slightly too far apart gives a fantastic supporting performance as well as Willem Dafoe who plays a bit part as a highly entertaining character. The Northman truly defines the term “epic” and the final battle is one of the most insanely well shot and choreographed concluding sequences I’ve seen in a movie in quite some time. Overall, I was surprised how enthralled I was in the movies’ world and the stunning cinematography no doubt helps with that. Robert Eggers has yet to put a foot wrong in what is a limited but already stellar filmography and this brutal action film shows that he can do everything from a slow burning horror movie to a claustrophobic thriller to now a decade spanning epic. 

3rd Worst: Jurassic World: Dominion-  

If Top Gun: Maverick is now the gold standard for how to properly do a legacy sequel, Jurassic World: Dominion should be the gold standard, or maybe rather the driveway gravel standard for how not to do one. I would challenge anybody to actually tell me the personalities of these new characters or what their arcs are. The answer is you can’t because they don’t have any personality or arcs and it was a trick question. If you think you can, then that is why you will go to hell for lying. Every single movie in this trilogy might as well just be a full reboot because the characters do not grow or change at all. Putting aside the poor characters, the story is so barebones and boring. The core idea of dinosaurs having basically taken over the earth again is essentially ignored in favor of an exceedingly generic environmentalist and anti-corporate message that is handled with zero nuance. I remember watching the original Jurassic Park for the first time and being in awe of how these dinosaurs were fully realized and being captivated by that Spielberg magic. Meanwhile the big moment in this movie is a scene at the beginning of the third act where the new guard are finally meeting up with the old cast and it’s about as engaging as a lukewarm sponge.  The original movie masterfully balances the dangers of playing God with the majesty and magic of experiencing long extinct creatures. Every single sequel has been increasingly empty action spectacle made only to milk nostalgia for the one good film in the franchise, where the only magic is seeing how hard Jeff Goldblum can phone it in while he pays off an infinity pool. 

2nd Best: Everything Everywhere All at Once- 

EEAAO (Yeah, I’m just abbreviating it from the start, if you want me to write that long ass title out every time then somebody can pay me for this shit) is a multiverse spanning, yet still grounded film about an immigrant family being called upon to stop a dimension hopping God. This movie, much like the characters in the story, is wearing many different hats. It is simultaneously a family drama, a comedy, a story about the immigrant experience in America and a multiverse spanning odyssey all in one, and it manages to hit all of these aspects super well. In my interpretation, I see the whole movie as being an allegory for depression or other mental illnesses; how you always imagine ways your life could be different or better and how you’re always in your head and I think that is a message a lot of people can relate to. Besides just being a weird and cool movie, EEAAO manages to tackle some serious issues while never being afraid to also have its lighthearted moments. Michelle Yeoh was absolutely phenomenal as the lead, while the supporting cast wasn’t too far off her level. And this is the type of movie where the entire cast needs to shine for it to work and they do. If this film doesn’t win best Editing at the Oscars, something is terribly fucked up because I don’t even want to know how much effort went into editing some of these sequences. EEAAO despite its slower moments is a film that is equal parts weird, heartfelt and funny. This is how you do multiverse stories, take note Marvel.  

2nd Worst movie: Moonfall-  

In his quest to make only disaster movies, ironically, Roland Emmerich is forever destined to make disastrous movies. Moonfall is just an awful idea for a film. The plot revolves around, you guessed it, the fucking moon falling except it’s also hallow and full of alien robots. It’s like Independence Day for those fringe Right Wingers that spend all day watching poorly researched conspiracy videos on YouTube in between yelling about transgender people on Twitter. This movie has several big-name actors in it like Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson and Michael Pena, yet they would have saved a lot of money hiring random hobos off the street since no quality of actor would have mattered because these are all absolutely nothing characters. This movie was so boring, I can’t even insult it properly because that would imply remembering anything about this tedious, generic film. At this point, I’m not sure why every aspiring director doesn’t pitch something to Netflix, because apparently these hacks will throw 500 million dollars at fucking anything. No wonder they constantly raise the price and pull anti-consumer shit like the right to share your account with other people when it’s like they have a coke habit but instead of cocaine, they’re addicted to spending 300 million on forgettable Ryan Reynolds movies.  

Best movie of 2022: Pearl  

I went back and forth a lot between this movie and EEAAO, but Pearl was the most I’ve been captivated by a slasher movie in years. Calling Pearl a slasher movie is kind of undercutting what it really is though. Pearl is much more than that, it’s a film about the psychology of delusions of grandeur and an excellent look at what makes a killer. Ti West has perfected his own style of the throwback horror movie, and has become one of my favorite directors in recent years. What makes Pearl so special is the way West weaves his own style with techniques similar to those in films around the time that the movie takes place, with stylized cuts and wipes and specific framing conventions, it feels just as much of a parody of these old films at it does a loving homage to them. 

 Mia Goth gives one of the best performances of the year which makes it truly sad that she absolutely will be snubbed for any Oscar nominations, and she even gets her first writing credit on this film. Pearl is on a very slow burn, but it’s that build up and the way the character’s simple farm girl façade starts to crack and splinter as the movie goes on that makes it so enthralling. It also subverts your expectations of what makes a horror film as most of the kills in this movie happen in broad daylight, proving that horror movies don’t need to take place at night or in the rain to be scary. The ending sequence despite not even being particularly graphic for a horror movie is still one of the most chilling conclusions I’ve seen to a film and that’s totally a credit to West’s craft. Pearl is technically a prequel to the movie X which also came out this year (another film I quite enjoyed) but it isn’t required to have seen either to enjoy the other one. Just a masterfully crafted vintage horror movie with modern twists.  

Worst movie 2022: Morbius  

How can it be anything else honestly? A movie that was a truly awful idea from the very start ending up a disaster is no surprise, but what is surprising to me is just how bad this movie fails on even a basic level compared to the standard super hero film of the day of which the blueprint is essentially public knowledge. From the very moment this film’s trailer was first shown it was utterly clowned by the entire internet and ironically, it will probably have a place in popular culture due specifically to being such a meme. And the thing is, Morbius isn’t even funny bad, it’s just excruciating. Sony, not content with making absolute bag loads of money from doing fuck all while the MCU Spider-Man movies garner critical and audience acclaim, decided that wasn’t enough, so now they’re determined to wring any hint of money from whatever characters they own, which is how we end up with a solo film about an F-list Spider-Man villain with no Spider-Man to be seen.  

The movie itself would be nothing but an inconsequential flop if it weren’t for the fact that Sony was so insanely desperate to make it work. The post credits scene is such a pathetic attempt to lend legitimacy to the film it’s actually laughable, and Jared Leto has to be the most obnoxious and overrated leading man working in Hollywood these days. Talking about the actual content of the movie is almost pointless because the film’s entire existence is utterly pointless. It exists for no reason other than because Sony wants to milk money from a property that they know people like, even if it doesn’t involve that character. Giving Morbius the worst movie of 2022 title feels like giving it more attention than it deserves and honestly, there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about this movie a million times. Just an awful idea for a movie executed in the worst way possible that goes to show just how sick of super hero movies I am. They had their time in the sun, even some truly great entries on the way to being a cultural phenomenon on through the Infinity Saga, but it’s time to make a new type of movie now, Hollywood.