TAGGED AS: blockbusters, MCU, movies
(Photo by Paramount/ courtesy Everett Collection)
2022 held the first full summer blockbuster season since pandemic lockdown, after several starts and stops: 2019’s Tenet gambit tested the waters but ultimately backfired, and 2020’s Black Widow basked in what felt like the light at the end of the tunnel, before the Delta surge swallowed up the nation. But with the 2022 summer movie season, it’s been full steam ahead, with the heat high and popcorn bursting to keep the blockbuster engine chugging. By early August, 2022 box office numbers had surpassed all of 2021’s total.
With that, we’re bringing back the Summer Movie Scorecard, which ranks by Tomatometer all the major releases during the season. (You can check out the previous editions: 2019, 2018, and 2017.) The start of the summer movie season shifts each year. Instead of a set date, it’s usually marked by the release of a big-budget, highly-anticipated film, and runs until the end of August.
This year, things kicked off with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 6. Some of the biggest movies that followed included the now-legendary box office run of Top Gun: Maverick, the meme-driven Minions: The Rise of Gru, and the dino-closer Jurassic World Dominion.
Only wide releases are included, which means 600+ theaters. And we left off re-releases, like Everything Everywhere All at Once (all A24 movies ranked) and Morbius (see: worst superhero movies). After that, we ranked them by Tomatometer, with Certified Fresh films first. —Alex Vo
Adjusted Score: 105123%
Critics Consensus: Poignant, profound, and utterly heartwarming, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is animated entertainment with real heart.
Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint,… [More]
Adjusted Score: 121649%
Critics Consensus: Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style.
After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is… [More]
Adjusted Score: 100889%
Critics Consensus: Led by a luminous Lesley Manville, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is a good old-fashioned story charmingly told.
In partnership with the House of Dior, MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS tells the story of a widowed cleaning lady… [More]
Adjusted Score: 96023%
Critics Consensus: Impeccably cast and smartly written, Bodies Bodies Bodies is an uncommonly well-done whodunit.
When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game goes awry… [More]
Adjusted Score: 94649%
Critics Consensus: The Bob’s Burgers Movie offers all the heart, humor, and clever callbacks that fans of the show will be looking for while remaining an entertaining entry point for the unconverted.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ is an animated, big-screen, musical comedy-mystery-adventure based on the long-running Emmy®-winning series. The story begins when… [More]
Adjusted Score: 93605%
Critics Consensus: Although its story may lack surprises, Watcher benefits from director Chloe Okuno’s chilling grip on the material — and Maika Monroe’s terrific work in the leading role.
As a serial killer stalks the city, Julia — a young actress who just moved to town with her boyfriend… [More]
Adjusted Score: 96712%
Critics Consensus: While Downton Abbey‘s frothiness comes close to curdling, A New Era‘s familiar comforts will please longtime fans.
From award-winning creator Julian Fellowes comes the motion picture event DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA. The much-anticipated cinematic return of… [More]
Adjusted Score: 104881%
Critics Consensus: Admirable for its originality and ambition even when its reach exceeds its grasp, Nope adds Spielbergian spectacle to Jordan Peele’s growing arsenal.
Two siblings who run a California horse ranch discover something wonderful and sinister in the skies above, and the owner… [More]
Adjusted Score: 95869%
Critics Consensus: The Black Phone might have been even more frightening, but it remains an entertaining, well-acted adaptation of scarily good source material.
Finney, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where… [More]
Adjusted Score: 86499%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Malcolm’s List references countless Regency romps without particularly distinguishing itself from the pack, but it gently entertains as a diversely-cast ode to Jane Austen’s works.
When she fails to meet an item on his list of requirements for a bride, Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton) is… [More]
Adjusted Score: 88510%
Critics Consensus: Breaking struggles to effectively convey its messages, but its noble intentions are well served by John Boyega’s electrifying performance.
When Marine Veteran Brian Brown-Easley is denied support from Veterans Affairs, financially desperate and running out of options, he takes… [More]
Adjusted Score: 86618%
Critics Consensus: Writer-director-star B.J. Novak could have taken a sharper approach to this dark comedy’s deeper themes, but if you’re in the mood for a slyly smart mystery, Vengeance is yours.
Vengeance, the directorial debut from writer and star B.J. Novak (“The Office”), is a darkly comic thriller about Ben Manalowitz,… [More]
Adjusted Score: 98115%
Critics Consensus: The standard rock biopic formula gets all shook up in Elvis, with Baz Luhrmann’s dazzling energy and style perfectly complemented by Austin Butler’s outstanding lead performance.
The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship… [More]
Adjusted Score: 92251%
Critics Consensus: Quintessential if not classic Cronenberg, Crimes of the Future finds the director revisiting familiar themes with typically unsettling flair.
As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice… [More]
Adjusted Score: 91344%
Critics Consensus: Lightyear settles for being a rather conventional origin story instead of reaching for the stars, but this gorgeously animated adventure ably accomplishes its mission of straightforward fun.
Legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits Izzy, Mo, Darby, and his robot companion,… [More]
Adjusted Score: 94284%
Critics Consensus: Blending beautifully animated action with fresh character development, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero is everything fans of the franchise will be looking for.
The Red Ribbon Army was once destroyed by Son Goku. Individuals, who carry on its spirit, have created the ultimate… [More]
Adjusted Score: 98595%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness labors under the weight of the sprawling MCU, but Sam Raimi’s distinctive direction casts an entertaining spell.
In Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further… [More]
Adjusted Score: 80286%
Critics Consensus: Although it never quite soars, DC League of Super-Pets is a more than satisfactory diversion for families in search of four-legged fun.
In “DC League of Super-Pets,” Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting… [More]
Adjusted Score: 82072%
Critics Consensus: Fundamentally absurd yet as evocatively minimalist as its title, Fall is a sustained adrenaline rush for viewers willing to suspend disbelief.
For best friends Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner), life is all about conquering fears and pushing limits…. [More]
Adjusted Score: 78519%
Critics Consensus: The Minions‘ antic shenanigans are beginning to grate despite this sequel’s injection of retro chic, although this loony marathon of gags will still delight young children.
In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar® nominee Steve Carell)… [More]
Adjusted Score: 83381%
Critics Consensus: Although its story isn’t as impressive as its visual marvels, it’s hard not to admire Three Thousand Years of Longing‘s sheer ambition.
Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is an academic — content with life and a creature of reason. While in Istanbul… [More]
Adjusted Score: 82242%
Critics Consensus: If its narrative and thematic reach sometimes exceeds its grasp, magnetic performances from a stellar cast help Men make the most of its horror provocations.
In the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Harper (Jessie Buckley) retreats alone to the beautiful English countryside, hoping to have… [More]
Adjusted Score: 88086%
Critics Consensus: In some ways, Thor: Love and Thunder feels like Ragnarok redux — but overall, it offers enough fast-paced fun to make this a worthy addition to the MCU.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — a quest for… [More]
Adjusted Score: 55463%
Critics Consensus: While it might be intriguing for Mel Brooks completists, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank is an often ungainly blend of kid-friendly animation and grown-up gags.
A down-on-his-luck hound finds himself in a town full of cats who need a hero to defend them from a… [More]
Adjusted Score: 71481%
Critics Consensus: Bullet Train‘s colorful cast and high-speed action are almost enough to keep things going after the story runs out of track.
In Bullet Train, Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too… [More]
Adjusted Score: 47643%
Critics Consensus: Easter Sunday‘s refreshing representation is frustratingly undermined by stale gags and an unimaginative approach to its numbingly familiar story.
Stand-up comedy sensation Jo Koy (Jo Koy: In His Elements, Jo Koy: Comin’ in Hot) stars as a man returning… [More]
Adjusted Score: 11953%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
When their pastor encourages the congregation to sign-up for a week away at family camp, Grace (Leigh-Allyn Baker) believes she’s… [More]
Adjusted Score: 43671%
Critics Consensus: Daisy Edgar-Jones gives it her all, but Where the Crawdads Sing is ultimately unable to distill its source material into a tonally coherent drama.
From the best-selling novel comes a captivating mystery. Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl… [More]
Adjusted Score: 50233%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic World Dominion might be a bit of an improvement over its immediate predecessors in some respects, but this franchise has lumbered a long way down from its classic start.
This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time. Chris Pratt… [More]
Adjusted Score: 27472%
Critics Consensus: Diane Keaton gives Mack & Rita her all, but this cloying comedy lets her down at nearly every turn.
When 30-year-old self-proclaimed homebody Mack Martin (Elizabeth Lail) reluctantly joins a Palm Springs bachelorette trip for her best friend Carla… [More]
Adjusted Score: 28008%
Critics Consensus: Despite a very likable lead and a refreshingly light touch, The Invitation is ultimately too predictable to thrill as either a romance or a horror story.
After the death of her mother and having no other known relatives, Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) takes a DNA test… and… [More]
Adjusted Score: 18273%
Critics Consensus: There was plenty of room to improve on the original, but Firestarter trips over that low bar and tumbles toward the bottom of the long list of Stephen King adaptations.
For more than a decade, parents Andy (Zac Efron; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Greatest Showman) and Vicky… [More]
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