Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2022, By Patrick McDonald

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CHICAGO – Lists are very arbitrary, but the exercise in determining a personal 10 BEST FILMS list of any year is a celebration of what I love, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. The filtering of experiences that form our opinions is a great gift, and the journey I’ve had with film criticism and reporting has been the greatest of my life.

So begins my* list of the 10 BEST FILMS OF 2022, in a reflective time I guess. There were more films seen this year on the big screen since the pandemic era began, with a shout out to AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, TOP GUN: MAVERICK and the Superhero genre for really bringing movie fans back to the theaters.

*THE Über Critic, Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, WBGR-FM & WSSR-FM.

For the second year in a row, I’m formatting this 10 BEST to reflect the on-air reviews I do weekly on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin, Thursdays at 7:35am) and WSSR-FM (Joliet, Illinois, Fridays at 8:35am). Each of the 10 BEST will be in the on-air or audio format for your listening pleasure. Kudos to broadcasters Scott Thompson, Dan Baker, Eddie Volkman and Hannah B. (Brummer), as well as HollywoodChicago.com publisher Adam Fendelman for allowing me to project my movie-ness to the world.

I begin by ranking the 25th film favorites through the 11th, with the option to click on the highlighted title links for reviews or associated interviews… 25th - MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS (a throwback feel-good film about going after your dreams), 24th - DC LEAGUE OF SUPER PETS (Hilarious animated skewering of the DC universe through their various animal characters), 23rd - THE BATMAN (a re-launch of the franchise in a tougher, grittier and more story oriented realization), 22nd - PEARL (beyond the horror necessity of stab-stabby, the film is completely unique), 21st - EMANCIPATION (necessary redemption for Will Smith, besides being intriguing U.S. history), 20th - BLONDE (needed more Marilyn Monroe joy, but still packed a narrative punch and point of view).

For the 19th - PLEASURE (stark and direct reveal of the porn industry through a bizarre “star is born” tale), 18th - CLOSE (a Belgium/Netherlands/French collaboration that is about friendship and childhood, relatable on many levels), 17th - (the path of a donkey as metaphor for life), 16th - THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (two Irish blaggards work out their friendship, in ways unexpected), 15th - MEN (not much of good feeling in this Alex Garland story, but brilliant filmmaking), 14th - THE NORTHMAN (outrageous and magnificent, filmmaker Robert Eggers continues creating his worlds), 13th - WOMEN TALKING (in gaining a voice, making a better world for all), 12th - FUNNY PAGES (although off-putting, closer to real human interaction than most stories) and 11th THE INSPECTION (when you need an America that we should have, send the Marines) CLICK HERE for an interview with director Elegance Bratton.

The 2022 Best for genre and other films … Animated it’s GUILLERMO dEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO (see below), for Documentary it’s MOONAGE DAYDREAM (see below), for Best Foreign Language Film it’s RRR (see below), and for Superhero it’s THE BATMAN (see above), for Comedy and pure laughs, it’s the much maligned BROS (CLICK HERE) and for Local Chicago Filmmakers it’s RELATIVE, written and directed by Michael Glover Smith (CLICK HERE).

As far as the list below, the order is based on the vibrancy of the initial experience in viewing it, I consider all the films tied for the top spot. Below each review will be the reason for its designation plus where to watch it now, and any associative interview or article where applicable. Let’s get to it …

StarPOMPO THE CINEPHILE

“Pompo"
Pompo the Cinephile
Photo credit: GKids






Why a 10 BEST for 2022?: Loved it from the very beginning of seeing it, as it completely understands the passion of filmmaking. Pompo is here! Available for streaming rental or purchase.

StarEMILY THE CRIMINAL

Mering
Emily the Criminal
Photo credit: Roadside Attractions/Vertical Entertainment






Why a 10 BEST for 2022?: Emily is a reflection of all of us, barely keeping our larcenous souls in check. Available on Netflix or for streaming rental/purchase.

StarVENGEANCE

Vengy
Vengeance
Photo credit: Focus Features






Why a 10 BEST for 2022?: Who would have thought that Ryan from THE OFFICE (B.J. Novak) would write and direct a searing satire regarding our current American Dream and provide it to the cinema landscape? Not me, sayeth I. Available on Peacock TV or streaming rental/purchase.

StarWHITE NOISE

WhiteNoise
White Noise
Photo credit: Netflix






Why a 10 BEST for 2022?: The source for this film, the novel by obtuse master Don De Lillo, seemed unadaptable … until adapter/director Noah Baumbach got his experts hands upon it. Beautifully poignant, in the end. Available on Netflix TODAY (12/30/22).

StarMOONAGE DAYDREAM

“Bowie“
Moonage Daydream
Photo credit: Neon






Why a 10 BEST for 2022?: A perfect and necessary elegy for an elusive and necessary glam rock gawd named David Bowie. Available for streaming rental or purchase.

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