List: M.N. Miller's Top 10 of 2022 – InSession Film








How can we not include a film in our top ten list that saved movie theatres across the globe? Only one man can deliver in a world that desperately needs heroes – Tom Cruise! Stand up and cheer, ladies and gentlemen. Top Gun: Maverick is a full-throttle, action-packed nostalgia machine that delivers the supersonic thrills we all have been clamoring for.

Truly spine-tingling writer and director Robert Eggers’s downright Shakespearean Viking epic combines his distinct style with a film with mainstream mass appeal. The Northman blurs the lines between dreams and haunting nightmares. The magnetic Alexander Skarsgård gives a ferocious and volatile turn that will go down as one of the year’s most underappreciated performances.

This Netflix film also has the type of morality that people try to convince themselves of its ambiguity as the decades pass, never more than when a white descendant of a slave ship captain mistakes a new and unlikely bond to voice his opinion that is as eye-opening as the story itself. Trust me, it’s a stunner. As equally fascinating as it is riveting, Descendant is an extraordinary documentary about oral histories, gatekeeping, and community. Margaret Brown’s film is like no other.

I walked into a coming-of-age romantic cannibal road film, not knowing what to expect and fully knowing my chops for anything horror tend to lean away from the genre. However, Bones and All gets off to a ferocious and effusive start that you will hardly see coming that hooked me and would not let go. A stirring and tender love story that will have you walking out a completely different person than when you sat down. As the film says, there was life before Bones and All and after Bones and All. I left thinking just one thing — Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’s novel is an instant classic.

The wonderful thing about The Banshees of Inisherin is that you have no idea where it’s headed, even in its darkest moments. Director Martin McDonagh’s excellent script takes you to places you don’t expect, even if they are, let’s say, cosmetic, so to speak. Those truly bleak and ominous scenes can be appalling, even jaw-dropping because the film keeps doubling down on the ultimatums the story threatens. Featuring the best performance of Colin Farrell’s career, McDonagh strips away the movie minutia and makes the plot simple. If there was ever a story that offers a metaphor for being aware of boundaries, this is it.

Action spectacle? A Telugu bromance that rivals Peter and Sidney? Stunning folklore about colonialism? S. S. Rajamouli’s wholly exhilarating and highly addictive RRR is a rousing, adrenaline-fueled, dazzling act of genre-bending filmmaking for the ages.

One of the most gut-wrenching, brutal, and uncompromising anti-war films ever made. There are few cinematic experiences this or any year, like Edward Berger’s adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic work. The director captures the source’s material’s visionary concept. The first anti-war novel abandoned popular themes of nobility, patriotism, and the romanticizing of fighting for something as inconsequential as a few meters of land. Berger brilliantly helps bring to life the curtain that Remarque pulled back. All Quiet on the Western Front is an indelible achievement.

There are moments so shocking that transpire on the screen of the CNN/HBO Max documentary Navalny, people would swear this is a fictional film because they may have trouble believing it. The documented account of a man challenging the sitting Russian president is an astonishing and downright chilling film that plays out like a tightly wound political thriller. The ending is so visceral that it can be felt in your bones, and the viewer becomes mindful of the current state of our present world.

His thriller, about an ominous romance, is an atmospheric masterpiece filled with obsession, jealousy, and loss of self-control. Reminiscent of Hitchcock, the tone is seamless, the performances by Park Hae-il and Tang Wei are flawless, and the storytelling is addictively satisfying and engrossing. Perhaps no mystery crime film has been so exquisitely photographed while being so gracefully crafted. Park Chan-wook’s ability to elevate the “genre” film into remarkable pieces of art is breathtaking. Decision to Leave is a transfixing metaphor for what it means to love without trust and trust without love. The final haunting scenes will live in your memory long after the final credits roll and the lights come on.

There are very few film experiences that rival Everything Everywhere All at Once. It may be one of the most original movies I have ever seen. A genuinely bonkers, exhilarating, awe-inspiring, and mind-bending filmgoing experience. It leaves you breathless from sheer creativity while tugging at your heartstrings. The Daniels film is just an electrifying collective burst of creative energy. It will be a film with you saying to yourself that you have never seen anything quite like it, and many will try to duplicate it for years to come.
It’s the year’s best film.
 
 

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