The Top 10 Movies Of 2022, According To Mike Reyes

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc standing in a pool holding a drink and wearing sunglasses in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
(Image credit: Netflix)

2022 has been an exciting year of new movie releases, with everything from legacy-quels to pleasant surprises making some notable splashes. It’s the sort of thing that makes a critic nostalgic whenever a new year is on the horizon, which is partially why you see so many top 10 lists this time of year. Well, that and leaving your personal stamp on the year that was is a fun way to wrap things up.

While we also have CinemaBlend’s Top 10 Movies of 2022 in play, which is based on the entire staff’s ratings of the films released throughout the calendar year. However, if you’re interested in what I personally saw as the 10 best movies of the year, you’re in the right place. Let’s work our way up the chain, hitting each of 2022’s best movies by starting with number 10.

Geppetto and Pinocchio in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

(Image credit: Netflix)

10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

There was no shortage of adaptations for Carlo Collodi’s famed fable Pinocchio in 2022. Three different interpretations found their way to audiences, but the best one happens to also be one of this year’s best films. Resurrecting his passion project through Netflix, director/co-writer Guillermo del Toro turned the story we thought we knew into a beautiful tale of life, death and honor.

A gorgeous stop motion masterpiece, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio took a story known for children’s entertainment and gave it a refresh that allows even the most cynical adults a chance to believe in its powers. And if that ending doesn’t sock you straight in the chest. I’d check your pulse if I were you.

Stream Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio on Netflix

Tom Cruise talking into the radio in an airplane during Top Gun: Maverick.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

9. Top Gun: Maverick

It should be considered a miracle that Top Gun: Maverick even exists. We almost got a sequel to the Tom Cruise classic back in the ‘80s, but Maverick’s timing couldn’t have been better. In a market where legacy-quels are hot, returning to the world of Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was a welcomed respite from world events, and a fantastic welcome back to theaters. 

Through a story that modernizes what we love about Top Gun, director Joseph Kosinski and co-writer Christopher McQuarrie found the right road on which to return to the Danger Zone. Characters and events from the first Top Gun became an even better movie after seeing what Maverick did to honor the series’ legacy. The entire third act is a breathless finale to a movie that took its time setting up, and it should practically act as a blank check for all involved to pursue any project they could dream of.

Stream Top Gun: Maverick on Paramount+.

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Amy Adams smiling in Disenchanted

(Image credit: Disney+)

8. Disenchanted

While it didn’t take nearly as long for Disney’s legacy-quel Disenchanted to hit the world, it’s another firm example of a long-awaited sequel bringing the goods. Rather than just playing to the standard sequel formula of doing the same thing, except bigger and louder, this new chapter in the life of Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) finds a novel concept and plays it to the hilt. 

Reversing the tide for this fish out of water, we’re thrown head first into the magic and music that Giselle knows from her home of Andalasia. Disenchanted gets to go bigger and brighter than its predecessor, but it has a good reason for doing so. Seeing Amy Adams comfortably return to her cheery persona, in addition to playing a more sinister spin on Giselle, only ties the package together into a severely impressive legacy-quel that shines right beside its notable original.

Stream Disenchanted on Disney+.

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Ryan Gosling's Court Gentry with cut on his head in The Gray Man

(Image credit: Netflix)

7. The Gray Man

This could be a controversial choice, but I really don’t care. For my money, Netflix’s The Gray Man was an exciting blast of action, comedy and fast-paced thrills. Starting off strong and slick, and never letting up, the Ryan Gosling-led espionage ensemble is hardboiled fun in the vein of Shane Black’s best. The Russo Brothers, teamed with frequent screenwriting collaborators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, put every inch of their Marvel Cinematic Universe acumen to work on this one.

Some of the action set pieces included in The Gray Man should be studied, as things escalate pretty quickly, but never get lost in the chaos. A new franchise is cooking over at Netflix through The Gray Man, and I really hope they go bigger on the theatrical presence next time, as this was an experience I was honored to actually have in a movie theater. 

Stream The Gray Man on Netflix.

Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne The Batman.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

6. The Batman

Resurrection is a hobby that quite a few heroes engage in throughout the world of comics, which makes The Batman’s existence seem like a natural occurrence. That said, director Matt Reeves' adventure is far from typical DC Comics fare. 

Leaning into the neo-noir nature of the character, Robert Pattinson’s new Bruce Wayne/Batman is seen feeling his way through those middle years of a superhero’s origins we rarely get to see. With iconic characters reinvented through a powerhouse cast like Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, Zoë Kravitz, and Andy Serkis, the future of Gotham couldn’t be brighter. 

Stream The Batman on HBO Max.

Lesley Manville smiles with delight at a fashion show in Mrs Harris Goes To Paris.

(Image credit: Focus Features)

5. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Adults deserve a good fairy tale as much as the kids do, and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris delivers on that front. A pleasant surprise that sparkles with beauty and heart, Lesley Manville’s titular washerwoman sets out to get a dress from Paris. Reading that plot on paper may not seem exciting, but co-writer/director Anthony Fabian makes an absolute delight out of author Paul Gallico's mid-century tale of high fashion and the high hopes it inspires.

Stream Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris on Peacock Premium.

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Belle dressed in red flowers during a performance in Belle.

(Image credit: GKids)

4. Belle

The world of anime continues to make a huge impact on the medium of animation, expanding its audience with each sterling hit. Mamoru Hosoda has been one of the talents that have pushed that effort with fantastic effect, through movies like Belle. While it didn't score a nomination at this year's Academy Awards, Belle is still stiff cultural competition for contemporaries like The Mitchells vs. The Machines and Encanto

A social media influenced spin on Beauty and the Beast, Hosoda’s film continues his tradition of gorgeous that sit on the crossroads of traditionally animated stories and those more modern, thoughtful films we’ve seen in more recent years. No matter if you enjoy the subbed or dubbed version, Belle doesn’t lose one ounce of its charms, providing a rousing story of empathy in a world of disconnected celebrity.

Stream Belle on HBO Max.

Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy standing together in The Menu

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

3. The Menu

Surprises are a valued thing in the world of movies, especially when the trailers seem to give away so much of any given film out there. The Menu is one of those movies that is enjoyed as cold as possible, even with the mystery being preserved rather well through its own marketing campaign. 

Riding the line between horror and comedy with surgical precision, Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy hold down an ensemble that is put through its paces, inspiring equal amounts of laughter and screams. Be warned: the lines between those feelings get quite blurry throughout the picture, right down to The Menu's fittlngly twisted ending.

Stream The Menu on HBO Max, starting January 3, 2023.

Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, Daniel Craig and Leslie Odom Jr. in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

(Image credit: Netflix)

2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

When you score a surprise hit like Knives Out, the pressure to deliver again is pretty damned great. Rian Johnson not only landed a laugh out loud comedy with that first film, but he also made a compelling and surprising mystery. Once again, the temptation of “bigger and louder” comes a calling with a movie like Glass Onion.

Johnson and star Daniel Craig actually manage to give into that tradition without cheapening the resulting product. Lusher and funnier than its predecessor, the latest Benoit Blanc mystery is even more fun to try and solve. It’s also sharper and more viciously entertaining, proving that this gentleman sleuth's success with audiences was no fluke.

Stream Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Netflix.

The Wang family in Everything Everywhere All At Once sitting in an the tax office.

(Image credit: A24)

1. Everything Everywhere All At Once

Early on in the year, I called Everything Everywhere All At Once the best film of the year and dared any other movie to best it. A lot of films came pretty close, and wound up with respectable slots on my list of the 10 best of 2022. But no movie could beat Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s totally bonkers tale of struggling to understand yourself, and your family, in a true multiverse of madness.

The narratives surrounding Michelle Yeoh’s performance and the resurgence of Ke Huy Quan’s career are only part of what’s endeared this movie to me. What’s even better is that by engaging in what Daniel Kwan dubbed “maximalism,” Everything Everywhere All At Once allows itself to be a large and colorful adventure that never loses sight of its personal stakes. We’re going to be talking about this one for some time, and it’s only fair because any movie that can make us all laugh, cry and smile this memorably deserves the attention it continues to get.

Stream Everything Everywhere All At Once on Showtime.

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With competition like this, 2022 is yet another memorable year in movie magic. As we continue to make our way to 2023, plenty of other critics and viewers will slug it out to log their top 10 favorites from this year that was. From where I’m standing though, this is the definitive list of movie experiences that were the most thrilling. Let’s keep these movies in mind as we make our way into another promising year of cinematic adventure.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.