Best and Worst of 2022 Cinema


Mackenzie Vuu, Writer

Entertainment is always one of the best things to look forward to heading into the new year. 2023 looks to be a very promising year for new movies to see from new superhero/action movies like Quantumania and Transformers, Rise of the Beasts, Fast and Furious 10, John Wick, Indiana Jones 5, Star Trek 4, Dune 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Horror movies like Scream VI, and Meg 2. Many new family movies include The Super Mario Movie, Barbie, Shazam, Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Wendy, Willy Wonka, Elements, Spider-Man, and even more. These movies are especially head-turning because of their star-ridden casts. It’s a very exciting year for the entertainment industry but let’s take a look at this past year as we transition and settle into 2023 and reflect on the last year of cinema.

This list will go in order of my personal rankings I will be ranking only three movies in each category going from very worst, to average, to best. I’ll be taking critics’ opinions into account, looking at the Rotten Tomatoes score for each movie

First up is family movies

  • My lowest ranking on this list is Disenchanted. Initially, my standards for this movie were somewhere in the middle due to the first movie, Enchanted being so good. This movie was greatly disappointing, especially to people who were watching to get some sense of nostalgia seeing the old characters they used to love from the first movie. This movie received 37% on Rotten Tomatoes. Top critic Jessie Thompson said “Where’s the satire? Where’s the subversion? Sometimes “happily ever after” isn’t a cop-out, or an outdated, romantic notion that marriage solves everything. Sometimes it’s just the best time to stop the story.”
  • The movie that was in the middle for me was a tie between Lightyear and Strange World. This was a close call but I think Lightyear was a bit better in my opinion. Strange world is only ranked so highly because it exceeded my initial expectations which were already very low. However, they almost felt like the same movie. Wirth the main protagonist traveling to new places they’re not familiar with and having to work with people they’re not entirely comfortable with in the process. Ultimately learning that it’s better to work together. Rotten tomatoes score for Lightyear was 74% and Strange world’s score was 72%. 
  • Finally, my highest ranking family movie of the year was Bad Guys. Though it was a close race with Puss in Boots which rated higher with 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, it wasn’t better than bad guys in my opinion. Now this movie wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen but having read the Bad Guys books as a kid my expectation for this movie were high and the movie still exceeded them. It has a more mainstream message to not judge a book by it’s cover and had a similar feel to Zootopia with an underlying theme of racism. Rotten Tomatoes score was 88%. Critic Oliver Jones said “The movie plays its target audience like a fiddle. That is music, no matter how familiar, that even the most cynical among us can enjoy.”

Next category up is adventure movies

  • Making the bottom of the list is Moonfall. It wasn’t that memorable and the ending was less than satisfactory. The plot is the moon is falling to the earth and no one can figure out why. At the end it’s revealed and it’s underwhelming to say the least. This movie scored 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critic Mark Kermode said “It’s like someone went ‘Alexa write a really, really bad science fiction script’.” I feel like that speaks for itself
  •  My most medium movie for this category ended up being The Adam Project. I enjoyed this movie a good bit, especially the humor and the cast. The ending was a little basic for me which is why it didn’t rank higher but leading up to the ending I was not disappointed by this movie. I thought it had a good message and a heart-touching storyline. It did score relatively low on Rotten Tomatoes with a 67% mostly because critics thought the movie followed a pretty basic storyline and was forgettable but there were just as many good reviews such as one by Amy Nicholson in which she said that “There’s nothing as good as Back to the Future, but I think Levy finds the heart to this picture. It really works.”
  • The highest ranking movie in the adventure category was Wakanda Forever. This movie was really heartfelt and payed homage to Chadwick Boseman in a really nice way. There were many built in moments of silence in the movie to take the time to remember his best moments with Marvel as Black Panther. The movie is mostly centered around Shuri and her journey through grieving the loss of her brother. The movie had a lot of focusses but it balanced them all really nicely while maintaining the overall feeling of loss throughout. It was a vastly different movie than the first Black Panther but I feel like that had to happen. This movie rated 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh saying that “This soulful sequel teams an emotional tribute to late star Chadwick Boseman with some spectacular visual action. A maturity milestone for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring Angela Bassett and Winston Duke.”

Last category is action/thriller movies. In my opinion, one of the strongest this year

  • Lowest movie ranked on this list is Black Adam. Received 39% on Rotten Tomatoes and critic Trace Sauveur said “Black Adam is mostly a movie made up of strictly baseline ideas, or the regurgitation of already existing ones.” For a detailed review of my thoughts refer to
  • The movie that placed in the middle of this list was Don’t Worry Darling. This movie sparked a lot of controversy. Not for it’s contents but for the drama surrounding the movie’s actors/director. This controversy greatly pulled away from actual audience attention to the movie. The ratings for this movie were all over the place which is what placed it towards the middle for me. I personally liked it although I would’ve liked to see more from the ending but otherwise I liked it and Florence Pugh delivered a great performance. Critic score was 39% however, audience score was 74%. Critic David Stratton said “After this promising start the film seems not to know quite where to go next. The ending is certainly a let-down, and perhaps the screenplay should have had another rewrite.”
  • Highest movie on this list and of the year for me was Everything Everywhere All at Once. I had to watch this movie more than once to really appreciate the artistry of it but it was a really beautiful movie and you had to do a little searching to really find the message. The movie had a great balance of humor, thriller, and heartfelt moments. The strained family story really tugged on my heart strings and plenty of hit points on the feelings pertaining to the main protagonist’s love life. This movie received a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Top critic Caryn James saying it’s “Delightfully bonkers on the surface, this inventive extravaganza from the directing team called Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) has a deep layer of family feeling and a well-earned emotional pull at the end.”

2022 initially didn’t have many movies we were looking forward to but it came out with a lot of surprisingly inventive and fun stand alone movies that you can watch more than once without getting tired.