Films of 2022

1. Top Gun: Maverick
Wow. Just wow. Full review here.

2. West Side Story
As if he has done nothing else, the famous Beard™ is in full command of the craft, staging (with the help of Justin Peck) and capturing (with the help of Janusz Kamiński) elaborate set pieces as if it's a piece of cake (spoiler: it isn't). He makes it seem breezy, easy, effortless. Full review here.

3. Close
Great performances, gorgeous music, too many ice hockey scenes, beautiful final shot. Recommended.

4. Spider-Man: No Way Home
Amazing cast, great villains, genuine laughs.
Full review here.

5. Elvis
Austin Butler is amazing (grace) as the titular Elvis Presley, Alton Mason kills it as Richard Penniman, and Olivia DeJonge brings warmth and humanity as Priscilla Beaulieu. Full review here. Had the chance to interview the cast here, here and here.

6. Zillion
The Belgian 'Wolf of Wall Street' may be a little too much praise, but rest assured, 'Zillion' is chock full of great performances, pumping trance beats, funny lines, great editing, long takes and tight directing. Full review here.

7. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
The thrill may be gone, but the magic's still there. Albeit in smaller doses. First installment wins. Full review here. Had the chance to interview the cast here and here.

8. The Batman
Entirely too long at three hours (you could easily trim 30 or 45 minutes, and lose little of value), but a mostly excellent cast, thrilling cinematography and a killer car chase more than make up for any shortcomings.

9. Jurassic World: Dominion
Sadly, not a single velociraptor (and there are only two) says 'Alan!', but other than that, there are quite some positives. Full review here

10. Downton Abbey 2: A New Era
More of the same (and the first movie was also more of the same). Still essential for fans of the series.

11. Avatar
Stephen Lang's Colonel Miles Quaritch reminded me of Rourke from 'Atlantis - The Lost Empire'. He even says 'I'd say diplomacy has failed', almost the exact same line as Rourke's 'Diplomacy has failed us'. Subsequently, his 'that is one big damn tree' made me think of Tron's 'Now that is a big door.' Full review here.

12. Everything Everywhere All At Once
Nothing worked for me. Nothing clicked. I felt nothing, to quote Hector Barbossa. Full review here.

13. The French Dispatch
Hm. Great cast, but the proceedings left me strangely cold. My spouse even fell asleep. Pity.

Honourable mention

Can't pass judgement. I play a supporting role in this one. Check it out, I'd say! It's on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD.

Julian De Backer, 9 August 2023