What I Saw Last Year – Best Feature Films 2022 – Part 1

I saw a total of 322 films in 2022 – 214 in theaters and 108 streaming or on discs, both new and old. I’ve come up with 30 films that are the best of what I saw, or at least my favorites. My “Top Ten” films will be covered in this post, with the remaining titles in Part 2. Of all of these, my picks for the top three films of the year are EO, She Said, and Women Talking.


EO (Jerzy Skolimowski, director/co-writer)  If I had to pick only one film as best of the year, it would be this one. To think that an 84-year-old Polish director who’s been making films since 1960 could come up with something this fresh and free, unbound by conventions. EO is a road movie like no other, the picaresque journey of a donkey as he travels in and out of other people’s lives, fragments that suggest larger narratives. Not surprisingly, EO is the most human presence in the film.  Six donkeys were enlisted to portray EO, but you’d never know that. The film is mysterious, deeply moving and at times, heartbreaking. I can’t recall seeing anything like it before. I loved it.

Not yet available for streaming.


She Said (Maria Schrader, director)  Terrific film concerning the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story and effectively kicked off the Me Too movement. It would make a good double-feature with Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight (2015). An important, serious film that has unfortunately done very little business, which is a shame.

Not yet available for streaming.


Women Talking (Sarah Polley, director/writer)  Great movie. Feels like a thriller, though it’s mostly just what the title says. I feel a sense of wonder that it even exists.

The following trailers are different enough that I think it’s worth including both.

Available for streaming on Amazon Prime for purchase price of $19.95. This will surely come down eventually.


The remaining seven titles are in alphabetical order.


The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, director/writer)  Reuniting Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleason from the same director’s In Bruges (2008), this film feels like a story told in an Irish bar. I always like seeing Colin Farrell. There’s a very likeable quality about him. Both he and Gleason are excellent in this rather unlikely narrative. Kerry Condon as Farrell’s sister is a standout.

Available for streaming on HBO Max.


Corsage (Marie Kreutzer, director/writer)  Vicky Krieps is excellent as Empress Elizabeth of Austria in this stylized historical drama. What I especially loved were the anachronistic touches scattered throughout the film, such as Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and the Stones’ “As Tears Go By” performed on period instruments, and modern tractors on the road, to cite a few. I’m not sure what the purpose of these anachronisms were, but I liked them.


Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, director/writer)  Hard to take seriously and I don’t think it’s meant to be. More of a straight-faced comedy with really weird stuff happening. In an unspecified future, something called accelerated evolutionary syndrome is causing people to develop “brand new organs, never before seen.” Performance art is involved. Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux are two such performance artists. Kristen Stewart plays a character who works in an agency that registers new organs. She always brings something different to her roles. Her character here has a weird affect, odd line readings, seems to be on the spectrum, but the spectrum of what, exactly? This film is a kind of return to form for Cronenberg, expanding on his earlier science fiction and horror films. Not for everyone — which is probably a good thing — but he’s a visionary filmmaker I really like.


Dead for a Dollar (Walter Hill, director/writer)  It’s nice to see Walter Hill back in the saddle, so to speak. Westerns have always been one of his strengths as a director and writer. Hill’s The Long Riders (1980), about the James and Younger gangs, is one of my favorite films. Dead for a Dollar isn’t on that level, but it’s very good, with a committed cast that makes it more or less believable. I always like a well-done Western that takes itself seriously.

Available for streaming on Amazon Prime.


Holy Spider (Ali Abassi, director/co-writer)  This incredibly tense film is based on the true story of a serial killer in Mashhad, Iran who targeted sex workers and  killed 16 women from 2000 to 2001. He saw himself as being on a holy mission. Members of the public applauded his actions. A fictional female journalist investigating the killings takes us into the story. We learn the identity of the killer early on and the film alternates between his lethal activities and the journalist’s efforts. The tone of this film is very harsh. I hesitate to call it a thriller, because there’s nothing “thrilling” about it. Hard to watch at times, but I think it’s really great. Zar Amir-Ebrahami, who plays the determined journalist, won Best Actress at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, for which she received death threats at home and the condemnation of the Iranian government. Sure.

Not yet available for streaming.


Prey (Dan Trachtenberg, director/co-writer)  Talk about high concept. This is the fifth film in the Predator series and the first prequel. Set 300 years ago in 1719 in the Northern Great Plains of this country, we’re a long way from Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Predator (1987). Naru, a young female Comanche warrior, encounters one of the alien hunters who apparently have visited Earth over the centuries to hunt humans and take trophies. This is an inventive mashup of genres that’s very well done and deadly serious. I was attracted by the novelty of the premise, but then got really caught up in what was at stake.


Tár (Todd Field, director/writer)  Cate Blanchett plays a world-famous orchestra conductor who slowly unravels. It’s an amazing performance. She’s in virtually every scene and seems fierce and unstoppable until things start to fall apart. It’s definitely her movie, and a fascinating study. Oddly enough, I don’t remember the music that much. I don’t think that was the point.

Available for streaming on Amazon Prime.


Supplemental materials for some of the films in this post appear below.



Interview with director Jerzy Skolimowski and co-screenwriter Ewa Piaskowska at the New York Film Festival (26:47)


She Said 

Academy Conversations interview with Carey Mulligan and filmmakers (11:43)

New York Film Festival interview with cast and filmmakers (21:33)


Women Talking

Academy Conversations interview with cast and filmmakers (12:12)

New York Film Festival interview with cast and filmmakers (36:40)



New York Film Festival interview with Vicky Krieps and Marie Kreutzer (30:02)


Crimes of the Future

Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux interview (9:33)

David Cronenberg interview (37:38)


Dead for a Dollar

Director Walter Hill interview (31:16)


Holy Spider

Academy Conversations interview with director Ali Abassi & actress Zar Amir Ebrahami  (13:13)



New York Film Festival interview with cast and filmmakers (22:18)


That’s a wrap for now. Stay tuned for Part 2, which will appear shortly. Meanwhile, stay safe. — Ted Hicks



About Ted Hicks

Iowa farm boy; have lived in NYC for 40 years; worked in motion picture labs, film/video distribution, subtitling, media-awards program; obsessive film-goer all my life.
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4 Responses to What I Saw Last Year – Best Feature Films 2022 – Part 1

  1. David M Fromm says:

    Excellent.lots to catch up with.

  2. Tony Bridge says:

    Thanks for the tips. We’ve seen a few, but will look for the rest.

    Much as I am loathe to be disagreeable, we part company on Dead for a Dollar. A very low-budget project, and it shows. Wasn’t much time spent in rehersal, I think, since most of the cast didn’t even read their lines well. On the other hand, a lot of the lines were pretty bad. I saw that total on-location time in Santa Fe was just 7 days, and again, it shows. Wasn’t able to finish screening it, so maybe I missed the good parts. Not up to Walter Hill’s previous standard. Guess he needed the money, what with the price of grub at Whole Foods in Brentwood.


  3. Karen says:

    Spectacular list, Ted. And I loved all the additional info (which I will go back and check out later). I won’t be watching Holy Spider….I suspect, from your review, it is more than I can handle.

  4. Melanie Bean says:

    So interesting and a valuable guide!  Thanks,Melanie

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