Films & TV in 2022

Dec 2022

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish - A romantic comedy drama anime with a beautiful score & some unexpected twists & turns

The Batman - Robert Pattinson gives a nuanced portrayal of the titular character during his early days of being a vigilante, with an equally powerful performance from Paul Dano as the Riddler

Encanto - The 60th film produced by Walt Disney animation studio, Encanto delivers a multifaceted story about the importance of family & acceptance, along with some Billboard top-charting songs

Turning Red - A heartwarming and culturally expansive coming-of-age Pixar film about a young girl’s journey growing up

The Northman - An epic historical viking drama that is the OG Hamlet (seriously)

Everything Everywhere All At Once - Michelle Yeoh gives a career-defining performance in the Daniels’ very own multiverse sci-fi comedy drama (sorry MCU, this was the better multiverse movie of 2022)

The Empty Man - a fresh indie horror film with a slow build-up of tension, suspense, and jump scares

Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness - An impressive addition to the MCU that sets up some interesting plot points for the future of this franchise, with some horror influences from director Sam Raimi

Thor Love and Thunder - An ambitious fourth film in the Thor film series that could have benefitted from some focused plot + more screentime and character development for Christian Bale’s Gorr

Nope - One of the few films where immediately after watching, you want to: 1) contemplate what you just watched, and 2) watch again to catch all the missed references

RRR - A Telugu-language epic action-drama film with some of the most insane VFX action shots I’ve seen in any movies this year

Prey - A creative re-boot of the famous franchise that revists its horror roots, and takes viewers back to 1719 in the Great Plains, following a young Comanche woman as the protagonist agains the alien Predator

Bullet Train - An action comedy film that takes place entirely on a Japanese bullet train, starring Brad Pitt in a character that’s very similar to the one he played in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever - A film that both pays tribute to the incredible legacy of Chadwick Boseman and introduces some realistic conflicts that paves the path forward for the nation of Wakanda

The Gray Man - An action thriller film where Chris Evans displays (yet again) that he is excellent at playing a villain

Ambulance - An action thriller film that kept me on the edge of seat the entire runtime (Michael Bay loves dizzying drone shots & massive explosions)

All Quiet on the Western Front - A truly anti-war film that shows the futility of sending men to their deaths during the Great War

Howl’s Moving Castle - A classic Studio Ghibli film with an score that brings nostalgia to memories I didn’t know I had

Glass Onion - An excellent follow-up to Knives Out, with excellent casting, plot twists, and intricate puzzles (for those who like escape rooms)

His House - A horror film about a refugee couple that makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan that shows real life is sometimes more horrifying than fiction

After Yang - A deeply thoughtful film that avoids the tropes of dystopian science fiction, and instead focuses on a deeply human story about care, from the lens of a fictional futuristic world where robots live amongst humans

Top Gun: Maverick - An incredible sequel that in many ways surpasses its predecesser when it comes to action, thrill, accuracy, and cinematography, a rare accomplishment for any film

Avatar: The Way of Water - A visually stunning, immersive cinema experience that transports viewers back into the beautiful world of Pandora, created by director James Cameron more than a decade ago, albeit a bit long in runtime and lacking in character building + plot

开端 - A time-loop series that has a healthy combination of romcom, scifi, & mystery

Ozark S4 - A fitting conclusion to the Byrd family’s excursion in the Ozarks that wraps up most characters’ journey

The Wire S4-5 - One of the best television series I have seen so far, it changed my perspective about how institutions work together to make a city run

The Expanse S6 - The last season of this scifi series had its ups and downs, but its characters, story, and set design attracted a strong loyal fanbase until the end

Archive 81 S1 - An eerie horror thriller that was cancelled too soon after only one season

Stranger Things S4 - Rare for a series to get better and better every season, but Stranger Things did it again with its S4 part 2

Severance S1 - One of the most mind-bending scifi series I’ve seen this year; give it all the awards

Obi-Wan Kenobi S1 - A series specifically for the prequel Obi-Wan Kenobi fanbase, delivering strong nostalgia at the cost of a somewhat flat storyline

Better Call Saul S1 - I can see why some critics say this series is on par with its sequel Breaking Bad; will continue the remaining seasons next year

Tokyo Vice S1 - A surprisingly captivating series that transports viewers back to 1990s Japan, told from the perspectives of a policeman, a journalist, and a member of the Yakuza

Westworld S4 - A somewhat weak ending to the series, as indicated by HBO’s cancelling a few weeks following the season finale

The Rings of Power S1 - A strong first season that does both fan service to Lord of Rings trilogy viewers / book readers, as well as newcomers who are interested in learning about the history of Middle Earth

House of the Dragons S1 - Combine what GoT fans loved most about the series – political intrigue, gruesome violence, complex characters, & add better VFX, high budget, DRAGONs to the mix – you got a hit

Andor S1 - This show explores the parts of the Star Wars universe that many of us fans have yearned to see since the excellent Rogue One - how everyday folks resisted an opressed system / institution that is Emperor Palpatine’s galactic empire

1899 S1 - The showrunners behind Dark did not disappoint, back again with a mind-bending series about ships, ships, ships (yes, each repetition means something different..)

White Lotus S2 - If you like people watching and observing drama happening in real time, this is the show for you