Your donation will support the student journalists of Wayland High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, cover our annual website hosting costs and sponsor admission and traveling costs for the annual JEA journalism convention.
Top 10 movies of 2022
January 26, 2023
Director Mimi Cave’s released her newest thriller film on Jan. 20, 2022. The film dives into the life of the main character, Noa, as she attempts to navigate the modern dating world. After a long, fruitless search for a partner, she meets a compelling personality, Steve. He’s rich, funny, attractive and a cannibal. However, she discovers too late that she has become the newest victim of his lucrative business, selling female human meat. The twists and turns that fill the movie horrify its audience. It kept us enthralled, rooting for its strong female main characters. “Fresh” has a sardonic, terrifying tone that made for a thrilling watch. Its complex characters, combined with the movie’s burning suspense make it our top pick for 2022.
Our second pick, “Pearl,” is the sequel to the retro, Texas Chainsaw reminiscent slasher, “X.” “Pearl,” however, set in 1918, stands alone as a horrifying tale of loneliness, mortality and above all, glamor. Teenage Pearl, the haggard villain of “X’s” story, lives on an isolated farm with her cruel mother and infirm father whom she must care for, yearning for the life she sees in the picture shows she sneaks off to town. Her quest for fame and adoration leads her to a bloody streak of violence that kept us simultaneously frightened and fascinated. This movie, even as a historical comment, has relevant themes in modern society, like Pearl’s insatiable thirst for clout, as well as her obsession with her youth, which led to her demise. The candy-colored visuals of the film set a nostalgic and alluring tone to the story, relating to Pearl living out her twisted dreams of being a movie star at all costs. “Pearl” has an unforgettable, already-iconic protagonist whose story will inevitably become a horror classic.
3. “Cha Cha Real Smooth”
“Cha Cha Real Smooth” follows Andrew (Cooper Raiff), a recent college graduate, as he tries to figure out the next step in his life. To fill the time, Andrew gets a job as a bar mitzvah party starter and discovers a true talent for it. While working for many different parties, he finds himself infatuated with a mother-daughter pair he often sees sitting off to the side. Andrew sets out on a mission to lure the daughter, Lola, onto the dance floor, and over time gets closer to her and her mother, Domino (Dakota Johnson). Andrew and Domino develop a deeper connection, and Andrew quickly becomes a strange character in Domino’s pre-existing marriage. “Cha Cha Real Smooth” is an honest and real representation of being lost after college and barely scraping by. Raiff, who not only starred in the film but also directed and wrote it, is a new filmmaker who focuses on coming-of-age that can be so raw and awkward, yet almost always having relatable aspects.
4. “Don’t Worry Darling”
“Don’t Worry Darling” is a thrilling story following Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) and her husband, Jack (Harry Styles) in a seemingly perfect utopian neighborhood. She lives as a housewife, spending her days on shopping trips with her girlfriends, relaxing by the pool and cooking for her husband, all while he is at work. However, she soon realizes that her husband’s work is not what it seems. The movie has strong themes of feminism and the sometimes-twisted reality of modern masculinity. We couldn’t help but obsess over the beautiful costumes, makeup and hairstyling of the cast. Pugh and Wilde had every bit of 1950s glamor, and the impeccable costumes only made the stunning visuals even more so. This movie was a wild ride, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
“Nope” is director Jordan Peele’s most recent film, and it follows two siblings who work as horse trainers for Hollywood movies and their “Twilight Zone”-esque extraterrestrial encounter. “Nope” tackles many heavy issues with refreshing familial connections and humor. We loved watching the chemistry between the protagonist, OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and his sarcastic and magnetic sister, Emerald (Keke Palmer), as they navigate running their family business under the threat of an alien villain. Simultaneously, “Nope” also presented an ominous and terrifying threat because of a UFO, which threatens the duo and the rest of the world. Consistent with Peele’s “Get Out” and “Us,” he weaves in pertinent social commentary about Hollywood and race into the action, and the movie ends up meaning more than siblings and aliens.
“Barbarian” is every young traveler’s worst nightmare. If you are a frequent Airbnb user, we don’t recommend this movie. Tess Marshall rents out an Airbnb for a few days while she’s in Detroit for a job interview. What was left out of the rental description, however, was that a man would be there upon arrival. After conversing, they find that Airbnb double booked them. Tess and the man, Keith, befriend each other and agree on coexisting and sleeping in separate rooms for a few days. At first, although suspicious of one another, things seem to go swimmingly. However, on the second night, the pair explore the basement and find numerous doors that lead them further and further into the home. This movie is shocking and utterly disturbing. This may be the best horror movie of 2022 due to its unpredictability, superb acting and grotesque attributes that I cannot disclose.
7. “Top Gun: Maverick”
“Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to the classic American film, “Top Gun,” is exciting and feel-good. It follows Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) and his son, Bradley “Rooster” (Miles Teller), as he navigates the Top Gun academy in hopes of becoming a star pilot as his father once was. The movie has all the kitschy nostalgia of the original film but without the tackiness and poor acting that is characteristic of “Top Gun.” The 2022 version is polished and well rounded, with stand-out performances from Cruise and Teller. “Maverick” accomplished the weighty task of living up to the 30-some year hype, and impressed everyone from long-time fans of the original movie to young viewers new to the iconic story.
8. “Turning Red”
One of Disney Pixar’s most recent releases, “Turning Red,” made history by covering a topic that many movies shy away from: puberty. As the movie’s main character, Meilin Lee, approaches the maturing age, instead of undergoing the normal changes that other kids her age do, she experiences something very different. Whenever 12-year-old Meilin feels strong emotions, she turns into a giant red panda. Although childish, “Turning Red” covers many different cultures within characters and truly celebrates Chinese culture within Meilin’s family. The film follows Meilin and her friends as they combat her alter ego and explore its origin. Meilin and her friends are cute, relatable and humorous, which make for an entertaining and refreshing watch.
9. “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is chaotic and truly all over the place. The film submits to the recent trend of multiverse stories, but at its core is about a mother-daughter relationship. We watch the main character, Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), as she unravels the depths of multiple realities and somehow becomes the sole savior of the multiverse. She battles many strange dangers and dilemmas (such as having hot dogs for fingers and morphing into a rock) to save the multiverse and, ultimately, the ones she loves. This film was highly acclaimed by both critics and movie-goers, but we can’t seem to understand the hype. It’s not that it’s too complex to understand or the fact that we don’t relate to it, but more so we found it to be dragged out too long. Every time we thought it was going to end, it kept going. We can handle long movies, in fact, we prefer them. But it felt extremely unsatisfying when you expect the plot to come to a conclusion and it simply doesn’t.
10. “Halloween Ends”
“Halloween Ends” is (supposedly) the last movie in the never ending “Halloween” saga. Beginning in 1978, the series follows Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her attempts to stop serial killer Michael Meyers. All of the movies in the series contain brutal murders most of the time without any vendetta or reason. In our opinion, continuing this series is beating a dead horse. The trope is so dead, and adding more movies to the saga never brings anything new to the table, putting this at the bottom of our list.