Best movies of 2022, according to film lovers

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, December 29, 2022

Amusement Park Films

Best movies of 2022, according to film lovers

2022 was a banner year for movies. It saw the return of the Avatar and Batman franchises, along with the unexpected soaring popularity of the sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun.” In addition to tentpole blockbusters, you’ll find epics with ensemble casts like “Babylon” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” as well as Steven Spielberg’s sentimental metadrama “The Fabelmans.”

Moving beyond popular entertainment, 2022 also saw multiple films—from dramas to documentaries—examining humanity under dictatorial or authoritarian regimes. Acclaimed nonfiction films took on such subjects as ecological disasters, systemic racism, abortion rights, LGBTQ+ experiences, and the pharmaceutical industry. Several dramas also examined oppressive histories in an effort to illuminate their impact on the present and future.

Stacker looked at Letterboxd‘s data for all 2022 movies and compiled a list of the top 50 films across all genres, according to Letterboxd user scores. Ties are broken internally at Letterboxd, where the data goes deeper than what’s presented online.

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Letterboxd is a uniquely insightful source for the year’s best films because it’s the most widely used film-centric social media platform, where cinephiles log, love-hate, rate, review, and discuss movies and explore film history. As a result, the Letterboxd userbase is more well-versed and up to speed on the year in movies than, say, the IMDb userbase.

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Brendan Fraser in a scene from "The Whale".


#50. The Whale

– Director: Darren Aronofsky
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 117 minutes

Brendan Fraser has drawn praise for his emotional performance as a reclusive, ailing father who reconnects with his estranged teen daughter (Sadie Sink) in his final days. Director Darren Aronofsky garnered criticism for the film’s controversial depiction of obesity, however, which was considered insensitive and maudlin.

Lukas Haas and Diego Calva in a scene from "Babylon".

Paramount Pictures

#49. Babylon

– Director: Damien Chazelle
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 188 minutes

Boasting over three hours of screen time, “Babylon” covers the heyday of old Hollywood’s silent period as it transitions to talkies in the 1930s. It’s a movie about spectacle, behind and in front of the camera, that depicts lavish parties and reckless chaos, with Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, and Diego Calva portraying industry forces.

A scene from the film "Aftershock".

Impact Partners

#48. Aftershock

– Directors: Paula Eiselt, Tonya Lewis Lee
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 86 minutes

This riveting documentary asks why so many women die from complications during childbirth and why a disproportionate number of them are Black. The directors humanize dismal statistics by looking at the deaths of Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Lee, the families left behind, and the systemic racism that creates this ongoing crisis.

Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell in a scene from "Bones and All".

Frenesy Film Company

#47. Bones and All

– Director: Luca Guadagnino
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 131 minutes

Luca Guadagnino once again directs Timothée Chalamet in another atmospheric love story, this time about young cannibals on the run, co-starring Taylor Russell (“Waves,” “Words on Bathroom Walls”). The director called connections between this film’s subject matter and Chalamet’s co-star Armie Hammer in Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” “preposterous.” In 2021, Hammer was embroiled in sexual assault allegations that included text messages that fetishized cannibalism.

A scene from the film "Descendant".

Higher Ground Productions

#46. Descendant

– Director: Margaret Brown
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 109 minutes

This acclaimed documentary examines the history of the Clotilda, the last vessel to illegally bring enslaved people (the 110 persons aboard) to the United States. These people would found Africatown, near Mobile, Alabama, and though their history was willfully destroyed, director, co-writer, and producer Margaret Brown traces their experience and its continuing impact on their descendants who live there today. Brown likewise examines the slavers and their beneficiaries who long continued the cover-up the film exposes.

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A scene from the film "All That Breathes".

Rise Films

#45. All That Breathes

– Director: Shaunak Sen
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 97 minutes

Two brothers create a bird hospital in their New Delhi garage amid an encroaching ecological disaster and a 2019 act in India’s parliament that bars Muslim immigrants from citizenship. The Muslim brothers, Muhammad Saud and Nadeem Shehzad, continue their work for the ailing bird population in a documentary that captures the systemic array of forces contributing to unrest for birds and humans alike.

A scene from the film "Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes".

Top Hat Productions

#44. Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes

– Director: James Jones
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 96 minutes

James Jones’ searing and disturbing documentary about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster premiered shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The film uncovers a truthful account of the disaster that was denied by the Soviet government in 1986. Jones uses footage, previously unknown and unseen, that provides chilling details on the horror of the events, especially for the Ukrainians who lived nearby and eventually gained independence.

Harry Belafonte in the documentary “Is That Black Enough for You?!?”Credit...


#43. Is That Black Enough for You?!?

– Director: Elvis Mitchell
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 135 minutes

Film critic Elvis Mitchell dives deep into Blaxploitation and the rich artistry of Black cinema in the 1970s in this documentary about Black innovation and expression. Mitchell traces the contributions of Black actors, directors, and producers whose independent cinematic spirit has had a profound influence on popular mainstream film. Mitchell narrates with interviews from major players in Black cinema along the way.

Viola Davis and John Boyega in a scene from "The Woman King".

TriStar Pictures

#42. The Woman King

– Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 135 minutes

Viola Davis gives a stellar performance in this historical action drama about female warriors set during the 1820s that’s directed, written, produced, shot, and edited by women. With fictional elements based on the real Agojie army that protected a West African kingdom, the movie offers action by women fighters who take on slavers in a rousing epic that foregrounds liberation.

Phil Stutz, the subject of the documentary “Stutz,” directed by Jonah Hill.


#41. Stutz

– Director: Jonah Hill
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 96 minutes

Jonah Hill directs this documentary about his therapist, Dr. Phil Stutz, playing with film form while exploring mental health. “Stutz’ considers how one can come to know, love, and understand oneself and expresses this in a style that examines the possibility of cinema and documentary to be objective and truthful.

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A scene from the film "Retrograde".

National Geographic Documentary Films

#40. Retrograde

– Director: Matthew Heineman
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 94 minutes

Director Matthew Heineman and his documentary crew gain intimate access to the 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The crew was embedded with Green Berets and the Afghan army during the chaotic events before the Taliban took power. The events bring a sense of overwhelming sorrow and irrational helplessness as the focus shifts to the perilous fate that awaits those left behind.

Dakota Johnson and Cooper Raiff in a scene from "Cha Cha Real Smooth".


#39. Cha Cha Real Smooth

– Director: Cooper Raiff
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 107 minutes

Cooper Raiff writes, directs, and stars in his second feature film, which made waves at the Sundance Film Festival and sold in the 2022 festival’s largest deal to Apple. Critically acclaimed for its authentic charm and humor, Raiff plays an aimless college grad whose job is getting people to dance at bars and bat mitzvahs. He soon becomes entwined with a single mom portrayed by Dakota Johnson.

Rayan Sarlak, Mohammad Hassan Madjooni, and Pantea Panahiha in a scene from  "Hit the Road".

Kino Lorber

#38. Hit the Road

– Director: Panah Panahi
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 93 minutes

Taking place during a road trip, “Hit the Road” infuses lighthearted family life with a profound sense of gravity. Writer-director Panah Panahi’s father—acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi, whose work is likewise layered with astute social commentary—is currently imprisoned.

Malea Emma and Justin H Min in a scene from "After Yang".


#37. After Yang

– Director: Kogonada
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.8
– Runtime: 96 minutes

In this poignant sci-fi drama, Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith play the adoptive parents of a human child and a robot, Yang. Yang, purchased second-hand, breaks down, beginning an emotional process of repair in a film that questions the nature of family bonds and what it means to be human.

Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun in a scene from "Vortex".

Rectangle Productions

#36. Vortex

– Director: Gaspar Noé
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 142 minutes

Gaspar Noé, known for his unflinchingly and often relentlessly violent films, turns to a more everyday subject in “Vortex”: old age. Noé uses a split screen technique wherein the central elderly couple goes about their lives, fraught with dementia and other ailments in this sober examination of death and dying. The film stars legendary Italian horror director Dario Argento.

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Sandrine Bonnaire and Anamaria Vartolomei in a scene from "Happening".

Rectangle Productions

#35. Happening

– Director: Audrey Diwan
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 100 minutes

In this searing French drama, Anamaria Vartolomei plays a young student who copes with an unwanted pregnancy in 1963. This acclaimed film offers riveting, emotional commentary on the importance of abortion through its historical lens and Vartolomei’s haunting performance. Visceral scenes confront the authentic physicality of the subject.

Alexander Skarsgård in a scene from "The Northman".

New Regency Productions

#34. The Northman

– Director: Robert Eggers
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 137 minutes

Relentless brutality shapes this tale of vengeance which sees Alexander Skarsgård as a dethroned prince looking to punish the uncle who killed his father, King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke). Nicole Kidman plays his long-lost mother, who was kidnapped by the treasonous uncle, in a film praised by Variety for its intensive and authentic production design in its recreation of ancient Viking life and lore.

Franz Rogowski and Anton von Lucke in a scene from "Great Freedom".


#33. Great Freedom

– Director: Sebastian Meise
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 116 minutes

In this acclaimed German film, a masterful queer love story emerges in a bitter prison setting. Told across decades, the length of a life sentence, a man imprisoned for homosexuality develops a relationship with his cellmate. IndieWire praised the film for its somber and tender portrayal of love in a brutal system.

Alexei Navalny in a scene from "Navalny".

CNN Films

#32. Navalny

– Director: Daniel Roher
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 98 minutes

Currently imprisoned in Russia, Alexei Navalny, the Russian activist known for his brazen opposition to Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime, is the subject of this CNN-produced documentary. The film chronicles the assassination attempt on Navalny’s life, his recovery, and the milieu surrounding the threat he represents as well as the resistance he inspires.

Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from "Nope".

Universal Pictures

#31. Nope

– Director: Jordan Peele
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 130 minutes

Jordan Peele’s much-hyped third feature film seduced critics and audiences alike after a trailer campaign amped up intrigue without giving away the premise. The horror film draws on classic monster movies in its themes of exploitation, power, and violence. Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, and Brandon Perea star in the project.

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Charlbi Dean and Harris Dickinson in a scene from "Triangle of Sadness".

Imperative Entertainment

#30. Triangle of Sadness

– Director: Ruben Östlund
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 147 minutes

Set on a luxury yacht filled with elites, influencers, and other members of the one percent, passengers soon find their social and financial power threatened when the ocean turns stormy. This scathing comedy won 2022’s Palme d’Or and stars Woody Harrelson as a luxury boat captain in a movie about shipwrecked rich people whose social order turns upside-down.

Bitaté Uru Eu Wau Wau in "The Territory".

Associação Jupaú do Povo Uru-eu-wau-wau

#29. The Territory

– Director: Alex Pritz
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 85 minutes

Through immersion with the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people of Brazil, this award-winning documentary becomes a powerful tale of underdog heroes protecting their land and people in the face of capitalist takeover. The film documents economic settlers looking to clear out and expand the Amazon rainforest despite dubious rights to do so. “The Territory” highlights the advocacy of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, addresses their leader’s murder, and spotlights their own footage as they face an evil force looking to wipe them out.

A scene from the film "A Night of Knowing Nothing".

Petit Chaos

#28. A Night of Knowing Nothing

– Director: Payal Kapadia
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 99 minutes

This examination of the caste system in India merges its subject with filmmaking itself. In this experimental documentary about political cinema, “A Night of Knowing Nothing” revolves around love letters between an estranged couple after one of them is ousted from film school. The documentary includes poetic uses of footage that is both powerful and transcendent.

A scene from the film "The Janes".

HBO Documentary Films

#27. The Janes

– Directors: Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 101 minutes

This timely documentary examines The Jane Collective, a covert group of women who created an underground network where women could obtain safe, but illegal, abortions before Roe vs. Wade legalized bodily autonomy for pregnant people in 1972. The film underscores the connections between a fairly recent history, the modern resubjugation of abortion rights, and the confusing mass of social inequities that affect the lived experience of those wanting and needing an abortion.

Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, and Jessie Buckley in a scene from "Women Talking".

Hear/Say Productions

#26. Women Talking

– Director: Sarah Polley
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 104 minutes

Sarah Polley directs an ensemble cast of acting heavyweights including Frances McDormand, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, and Rooney Mara in a drama about the effects of systemic sexual abuse. Set on a remote Mennonite farm, women grapple with how to finally fight back in a cultural milieu set against them.

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Britain Dalton in a scene from "Avatar: The Way of Water".

20th Century Studios

#25. Avatar: The Way of Water

– Director: James Cameron
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 192 minutes

The long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 megablockbuster set on the fictional planet Pandora has a reported production budget between $350 million-$400 million. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana play Jake Sully and Neytiri, the Na’vi couple whose kids must deal once more with colonizing humans.

Park Hae-il and Tang Wei in "Decision to Leave".

CJ Entertainment

#24. Decision to Leave

– Director: Park Chan-wook
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 139 minutes

Park Chan-wook won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for this acclaimed mystery, which features a layered plot and engrossing romance. Critics lauded the film’s complex plotline and stunning visual tableaus that infuse a film noir edge into this tale of desire and death.

Mia Goth in a scene from "Pearl".


#23. Pearl

– Director: Ti West
– Letterboxd user rating: 3.9
– Runtime: 103 minutes

Director Ti West co-wrote the sequel to his slasher film “X” with star Mia Goth who depicts Pearl, an aspiring actress with murderous tendencies. Here, we learn Pearl’s origin story, which takes place on the same desolate farm we saw in “X,” this time in 1918. The films were shot at the same time, but Pearl has a glossy classic Hollywood aesthetic that gives its horror subject a stylish verve.

Chin Siev in the documentary “Bad Axe.”

IFC Films

#22. Bad Axe

– Director: David Siev
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.0
– Runtime: 100 minutes

Following a Cambodian refugee who fled the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, this documentary examines the contemporary American landscape for small business owners, particularly in the context of COVID-19. Director David Siev takes his family and their restaurant as his subject, documenting the harrowing events they endure as their community is asked to follow mask guidelines and participates in Black Lives Matter protests.

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis in a scene from  "This Much I Know to Be True".

Uncommon Creative Studio

#21. This Much I Know to Be True

– Director: Andrew Dominik
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.0
– Runtime: 105 minutes

Celebrating the artistry of songwriting, this documentary features Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, who delve into their collaborative process in the studio. Cave, of the band the Bad Seeds, was also the subject of director Dominik’s 2016 “One More Time with Feeling.” Here, Cave pairs up once again with Ellis in their second film about music, friendship, and creativity.

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Felix Kammerer and Albrecht Schuch in a scene from "All Quiet on the Western Front".

Amusement Park Films

#20. All Quiet on the Western Front

– Director: Edward Berger
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.0
– Runtime: 148 minutes

Adapting the famous 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque, this harrowing film provides an unrelenting entry into the war drama canon. While the original material, including the first film adaptation in 1930, is known for its bleak despair, this update dives even further into the nihilism and meaningless horrors of war.

Eden Dambrine in a scene from "Close".

Menuet Producties

#19. Close

– Director: Lukas Dhont
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.0
– Runtime: 105 minutes

In this Dutch Grand Jury Prize Cannes winner, Eden Dambrine and Gustav De Waele give powerful performances as two 13-year-old friends who fall prey to teasing from classmates. The film has been praised for its intimate, soulful style that gets at the emotional heart of both boys as they’re pulled apart.

David Bowie in "Moonage Daydream".


#18. Moonage Daydream

– Director: Brett Morgen
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.0
– Runtime: 135 minutes

David Bowie’s singular genius comes to life in this luminous documentary. Created through previously unreleased footage and remastered songs, the film provides visual rhapsody for Bowie fans and a transportive immersion into the legendary artist’s life and work.

A scene from "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery".


#17. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

– Director: Rian Johnson
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.0
– Runtime: 140 minutes

Daniel Craig returns as the intrepid Detective Benoit Blanc, who is back for more murder-solving adventures, this time set on a Greek Isle. The ensemble cast, each playing potential suspects in the central mystery, includes Ed Norton, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista.

Jeffery Robinson in the documentary “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America.”

Off Center Media

#16. Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America

– Directors: Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 117 minutes

Jeffery Robinson, a former defense attorney and current legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, offers sober, accessible lectures on the history and current state of racism in America. Robinson lays out the case with powerful eloquence that offers an entry point into the crucial conversation and its undeniable facts.

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A scene from the film "Fire of Love".

Sandbox Films (II)

#15. Fire of Love

– Director: Sara Dosa
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 98 minutes

Miranda July narrates this documentary about two volcanologists, Katia and Maurice Krafft, who died in the field during the Mount Unzen eruption in 1991. Created from the married scientists’ own archival footage, the film explores fiery passion in all forms including love and work, documenting their study of volcanoes.

A scene from the film "Mr. Bachmann and His Class".

Madonnen Film

#14. Mr. Bachmann and His Class

– Director: Maria Speth
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 217 minutes

Director Maria Speth’s film explores the possibilities of documentary form as it pursues its subject—a German elementary school teacher who has a surprising impact on his students, many of whom are immigrants. Dieter Bachmann is an unconventional instructor with a job not associated with flash or excitement, yet the film manages to uplift and enthrall even across its nearly four-hour running time.

Catherine Clinch in a scene from "The Quiet Girl".


#13. The Quiet Girl

– Director: Colm Bairéad
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 94 minutes

The highest-grossing Irish language film of all time, “The Quiet Girl” proceeds with a lyrical directness in its tender tale of a young girl sent to live with foster parents for the summer. As the timid 9-year-old, Catherine Clinch gives an engrossing performance as a child not used to being seen as she slowly forms bonds with her new parents and learns of their own sorrows.

Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz in a scene from "The Batman".

Warner Bros.

#12. The Batman

– Director: Matt Reeves
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 176 minutes

The Batman franchise is known for its dark and gritty, pessimistic underworld—and the latest entry, starring Robert Pattinson as the caped billionaire crimefighter, creeps even further into lurid shadows and noir style. The all-star cast also features Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, and Colin Farrell in a murderous game of cat and mouse filled with riddles, twists, and a convoluted plan to destroy Gotham City.

Tom Cruise in a scene from "Top Gun: Maverick".

Paramount Pictures

#11. Top Gun: Maverick

– Director: Joseph Kosinski
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 130 minutes

The iconic 1986 action movie about aerial dogfights returns with Tom Cruise starring once again as the rebellious Maverick. This time, Maverick is a teacher at the hotshot pilot school where he used to be the star student. Miles Teller plays the grown son of Maverick’s deceased partner, Goose. “Top Gun: Maverick” was a stunning, record-breaking blockbuster, raking in over $1.4 billion worldwide.

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David Bradley and Gregory Mann in a scene from "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio".

Netflix Animation

#10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

– Directors: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 117 minutes

This captivating, PG-rated retelling of the classic fairy tale is as much for adults as it is for children. The mesmerizing stop-motion animation adds philosophical heft to the story’s familiar themes about what makes a human real. Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, and Cate Blanchett provide the voice talent with Gregory Mann voicing the titular puppet.

Cate Blanchett in a scene from "Tár".

Focus Features

#9. Tár

– Director: Todd Field
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.1
– Runtime: 158 minutes

Cate Blanchett gives a virtuoso performance as a world-renowned maestro caught up in a storm of allegations about her conduct toward her underlings. The taut drama features a surreal style to indicate psychological turmoil in its examination of prestige, power, loss, and downfall.

Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Keeley Karsten, Sophia Kopera, Gabriel LaBelle, and Julia Butters in "The Fabelmans".

Amblin Entertainment

#8. The Fabelmans

– Director: Steven Spielberg
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.2
– Runtime: 151 minutes

The latest from iconic director Steven Spielberg is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama about a young filmmaker inspired by the magic of movie-making. The drama recreates 1950s family life with a Norman Rockwell aesthetic and many of the iconic filmmaker’s familiar themes, including the lost innocence of childhood as he faces the truth about his parents.

Nan Goldin in a scene from "All the Beauty and the Bloodshed".


#7. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

– Director: Laura Poitras
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.2
– Runtime: 113 minutes

This award-winning documentary tells the story of the artist and activist Nan Goldin, who took on the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, responsible for creating the controversial painkiller OxyContin and the resultant opioid epidemic. The film approaches Goldin’s life and work—inncludinng her uncompromising work as a photographer records the depth and gravity of LGBTQ+ experiences—through the artist’s own photographs and narration.

Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in a scene from  "The Banshees of Inisherin".

Blueprint Pictures

#6. The Banshees of Inisherin

– Director: Martin McDonagh
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.2
– Runtime: 114 minutes

Set in rural Ireland in 1923, Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell star in this highly acclaimed black comedy about a strained friendship. The film has a 97% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics hailing the performances and taut, tragicomic plotline that features biting violence and a bleakness that disrupts the spare, coastal setting.

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N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan Teja in a scene from "RRR".

DVV Entertainment

#5. RRR

– Director: S.S. Rajamouli
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.2
– Runtime: 187 minutes

“RRR” boasts a kinetic, visually thrilling visual style in its fictional imagining of two real-life Indian revolutionaries who take on the British colonial establishment in 1920. Sumptuous production design and epic scale combine with musical numbers to create a full-throttle viewing experience for this story of revolution.

Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal in a scene from "Aftersun".

AZ Celtic Films

#4. Aftersun

– Director: Charlotte Wells
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.2
– Runtime: 102 minutes

Told with poetic splendor, “Aftersun” tells the story of a woman looking back at her idealized memories of her father as the truth comes in and out of focus. It’s the first major feature from Scottish writer-director Charlotte Wells and has received several nominations and honors during the 2022 awards season.

Ricardo Darín and Peter Lanzani in a scene from "Argentina, 1985".

La Unión de los Ríos

#3. Argentina, 1985

– Director: Santiago Mitre
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.2
– Runtime: 140 minutes

Director and co-writer Santiago Mitre’s acclaimed courtroom drama shines a light on the true story of the civil court case that brought Argentina’s military dictatorship to justice. With terse suspense, “Argentina, 1985” outlines how some 30,000 people reportedly perished under the regime and the efforts to prosecute those responsible for the horrors.

Screengrab of a scene from "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On".


#2. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

– Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.3
– Runtime: 90 minutes

Jenny Slate voices Marcel, a small shell with one eye, while Isabella Rossellini is his grandmother, another character created with delightful stop-motion animation. The quaintly absurd premise, and the mystery of the shell’s lost family as they become documentary subjects, provides a heartwarming and poignant tale adored by critics and audiences alike.

Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu in a scene from "Everything Everywhere All at Once".


#1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

– Directors: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
– Letterboxd user rating: 4.5
– Runtime: 139 minutes

Michelle Yeoh gives a knockout performance as Evelyn, a Chinese American woman, disconnected from her grown daughter, her listless marriage, and her declining laundromat. Her life takes a turn toward the existential once she’s yanked into a psychedelic multiverse and caught up in epic battles.

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