The Pitch’s film editor Abby Olcese picks her top 10 flicks of 2022
The Pitch’s film editor Abby Olcese has filed her top 10 list of best films for 2022. For more like this, including following her work at other sites like RogerEbert.com, check out her free substack No More Popcorn.
Here is the year in review:
Everything Everywhere All at Once — A wildly creative movie that feels like it was made with the imagination of a child and the emotional maturity of an adult. It’s not often we get films that so successfully balance profound thoughts on family and identity with toilet humor, or that look this good doing it.
Further reading: Spirituality of the Multiverse (Sojourners)
To watch: Available on Paramount+, Showtime, Hulu and Amazon Prime
Nope — Jordan Peele’s third film is his most thematically complex, with some of his most visually exciting filmmaking to date. Whole books could (and likely will) be written unpacking all the symbolism and ideas at play in Nope. Extra points to Michael Abels’ superb score, which features elements of John Williams, classic westerns and a unique liminal beauty.
Further reading: Nope‘s Big Ideas, Explained (Paste)
To watch: Available on Peacock and VOD
White Noise — A brightly colored and darkly funny look at apocalyptic living that also features excellent jabs at academia and the intellectual propensity for morbid thinking. White Noise is unlike anything else Noah Baumbach has made, yet his fingerprints are still all over it.
To watch: Available on Netflix on 12/30
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On — During a summer where so much of the world felt like it was marching toward darkness, Dean Fleischer-Camp’s film was a welcome beam of light, a reminder to look at the world for its possibilities and appreciate the time we’re given.
Further reading: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is here to remind you that not everything is terrible (The Pitch)
To watch: Available on VOD
Deadstream — Of the many movies this year celebrating the joys of cinema, Joseph and Vanessa Winter’s found footage horror comedy Deadstream best exemplifies the “let’s put on a show” ingenuity that powered upstarts like John Carpenter, George Romero and Sam Raimi. Deadstream is filmmaking done with love and delight that oozes off the screen like so much fake blood.
To watch: Available on Shudder
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio — How did we get so lucky to have three gorgeous examples of stop-motion animation on our screens in 2022? Whatever bargain we signed, I’m ok with it giving us Pinocchio. Del Toro’s take on the classic fairy tale has thematic and tonal connections to his bittersweet early films, with loving attention to detail and a sly sense of humor to boot.
Further reading: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio will tug your heartstrings (and freak you out a little) (The Pitch)
To watch: Available on Netflix
Tár — An acerbic statement from Todd Field on the dangers of artistic arrogance and rejecting authenticity for pretension. Tár is an emotional horror movie and a dark comedy where the most important elements are hidden in small moments and character choices. Cate Blanchett communicates volumes with fleeting glances or shifts in posture.
To watch: In theaters and available on VOD
Prey — Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey is a clever companion to 1987’s Predator, playfully riffing on that film’s takedown of macho masculinity alongside thoughtful reworkings of iconic lines and visuals. Prey is also a tight, economical action thriller in its own right, with a screenplay that communicates its heroine’s journey by showing rather than telling. It’s a masterclass in effective screen storytelling.
Listen to me discuss Prey with Josh Larsen and JR Forasteros on the Think Christian podcast
To watch: Available on Hulu
Fire of Love — You will believe lava can be sexy after watching Sara Dosa’s film about the lives of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft. This quirky, winning tale about love, science and calling is the kind of nonfiction filmmaking that draws in genre fans and newcomers alike, reminding you that documentary filmmaking has room for serious art and experimentation, but playfulness and sentiment, too.
To watch: Available on Disney+
10. Barbarian — Kudos to everyone who managed to keep this movie’s many twists under wraps. Barbarian features a tense half-hour open followed by a series of delightfully nasty turns that make your stomach drop like you’ve reached the top of a roller coaster. You can never be sure what will happen next in Zach Cregger’s debut film, only that the payoff will be spectacular.
Listen to me discuss Barbarian with Josh Larsen and Joe George on the Think Christian podcast
To watch: Available on HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime and VOD