Tag Archives: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Films of 2022

Good lord, 2022 is over. How on earth…? Well, we guess that means it’s time to think back on all the many big, small, emotional, hilarious, terrifying, gorgeous, honest, bleak, hopeful, remarkable movies of the year and winnow down a list of our favorites. Here goes…

1. Tár

At Gateway Film Center or premium Prime rental

It took writer/director Todd Field 16 years to bounce back from his experience with Miramax, but it was worth the wait. Tár, a searing character study of art, arrogance, obsession and power that’s propelled by the towering presence of (surprised face) Cate Blanchett. And, as is her way, Blanchett needs mere moments to define Lydia with sharp, unforgettable edges.

It’s when Lydia dismisses ideas of gender inequality or coyly celebrates the history of patriarchy in her own profession that Field and Blanchett best expose the insidious nature of power. The storytelling is striking in its intimacy, gripping in its universal scope. Tár is a showcase for two maestros working at the top of their game.


All the severity of Beckett with the dark comedy lightened just a few shades, Banshees asks: What if the erosive accrual of daily life is the only way for us to find grace—and what if the dumbest person you know accidentally figured that out? You’d probably have a spiritual crisis too.

-Matt Weiner

2. The Banshees of Inisherin

On HBO Max and VOD

Existential dread picks up a brogue and a fiddle full of longing at JJ Devine’s Public House on an island off the West coast of Ireland in 1923. It’s a microcosm, simultaneously intimate and universal. It’s also the single finest ensemble you will find onscreen in 2022. More than that, it’s a breathing example of the mournful humor and heritage of the Irish.

The Banshees of Inisherin mines a kind of pain uncommon on a big screen. In Martin McDonaugh fashion, the mining is done with wit, insight, humanity and absolutely world-class acting. It must not be missed.

At times both brutally funny and heartbreakingly sad, The Banshees of Inisherin is a profound look at how even the best relationships in life reach their eventual end.

Brandon Thomas

3. Nope

On Peacock and VOD

There are some truly frightening moments in Nope. Some revolve around things you may think you know based on the trailer. Others feature a bloody monkey in a party hat. And writer/director/producer Jordan Peele’s third feature has plenty to say about Black cowboys, the arrogance of spectacle, and getting that elusive perfect shot.

Peele’s direction and writing effortlessly mine comedic moments, but Nope is no comedy. He unravels a mystery before your eyes, and his shot-making has never been so on point. Peele’s direction and writing effortlessly mine comedic moments, but Nope is no comedy. He unravels a mystery before your eyes, and his shot-making has never been so on point. 

4. Moonage Daydream

Prime Rental

Longtime David Bowie fans know of his early fondness for the “cut up” method to writing songs – literally cutting up lines of written lyrics and then shifting them around in search of more enigmatic creations. Director Brett Morgen takes a similar approach to telling Bowie’s story in Moonage Daydream, a completely intoxicating documentary that immerses you in the legendary artist’s iconic mystique and ambitious creative process.

Moonage Daydream is like no music biography that you’ve ever seen. It’s a risky, daring and defiant experience, which is exactly the kind of film David Bowie deserves. Expect two hours and fifteen minutes of head-spinning fascination, and a sense that you’ve gotten closer to one Starman than you ever felt possible.

5. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

On Netflix

Guillermo del Toro’s script film establishes itself immediately as a very different story than Disney’s. The 1940 film – and, to a degree, the live-action remake Disney launched earlier this year – offers a cautionary tale about obedience. So does del Toro’s, although, in true GDT fashion, he’s warning against it.

Co-director Mark Gustafson’s animation itself is breathtaking, and perfectly suited to the content, as if we’ve caught an artist in the act of giving his all to bring his creation to life. Everything about the film is so tenderly del Toro, whose work mingles wonder with melancholy, historical insight with childlike playfulness as no other’s does.


1.     Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

2.     Turning Red

3.     Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

4.     Mad God

5.     Puss In Boots: The Last Wish

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once

On Showtime and Prime

Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert are back with their brand of sweet-natured lunacy for Everything Everywhere All at Once. The result is an endlessly engaging, funny, tender, surprising, touching maelstrom of activity and emotion. This is a hard movie not to love.

Never have I been so richly rewarded by going in to see a movie knowing absolutely nothing about it. 

Christie Robb

7. The Fabelmans

At Drexel Theatre or premium Prime rental

For 2+ hours, Steven Spielberg uses all the tools of his trade to beguile you with his own origin story. In those moments, you will find everything Spielbergian – tech wizardry, cinematic wonder, artistry, sentimentality, family, loss – dance to life across the screen. The Fabelmans is no Jaws, no Raiders of the Lost Ark or E.T. Instead, it’s an exceptional movie about how those other movies could have ever happened.

8. Women Talking

In theaters January 6

With nuanced writing and one of 2022’s finest ensemble, Women Talking, the latest from filmmaker Sarah Polley, delivers quiet, necessary insight. Polley shows respect for the women in this tale – not just for their bodies, their agency, their humanity. She shows uncommon respect for their faith. This is what every faith-based film should look like.


1.     Top Gun: Maverick

2.     RRR

3.     Top Gun: Maverick

4. RRR

5. Top Gun: Maverick

9. Decision to Leave

On MUBI and Prime

Decision to Leave (Heojil kyolshim) unveils a playful, seductive mystery of longing and obsession, masterfully layered and gorgeously framed by acclaimed director and co-writer Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden, Thirst).

10. Aftersun

Premium Prime rental

Writer/director Charlotte Wells’s first feature film moves at a languid pace, but she repays your patience with a rich and melancholy experience. Like Sophia Coppola with her similar Somewhere, Wells and cinematographer Gregory Oke capture palpable longing, nostalgia and heartbreak. And while the loose narrative may frustrate some, as a work of remembrance, Aftersun film delivers something powerful and powerfully impressive.


1.     Moonage Daydream

2.     Fire of Love

3.     All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

4. The Territory

5. Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down

11. The Menu

In theaters

Darkly hilarious, bold, insightful, and an absolute fantasy come to life for anyone who’s ever worked in food service.

12. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

On Prime

Absolutely the most charming film since Paddington 2.

13. X

On Showtime or premium Prime rental

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets Boogie Nights. Yes, please.

14. Turning Red

On Disney+

Pixar filmmaker Domee Shi navigates the world of female adolescence with an allegorical tale as charming and adorable as a red panda.


1.     Decision to Leave

2.     All Quiet on the Western Front

3.     Holy Spider

4.     Piggy

5.     Both Sides of the Blade

15. The Northman

On Prime

Classic is exactly how The Northman feels. The story is gritty and grand, the action brutal and the storytelling majestic. 

16. The Woman King

On Prime

In many ways, the film is an exceptionally well-made, old-fashioned historical epic. But as soon as you try to string together a list of similar films, you realize that there are none. 

17. She Said

Premium rental on Prime

Frustrating, powerful and intelligently told – another highlight in cinema’s esteemed tradition of investigative journalism films.

18. God’s Country

On Prime

Measured and often visual storytelling is at work here, in a compelling look at what divides us that’s carried on the shoulders of a sensational lead performance from Thandiwe Newton.


1.     God’s Country

2.     A Love Song

3.     Breaking

4.     The Inspection

5.     Dinner in America

19. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

On Netflix

Rian Johnson’s script is funny, smart and intricate, always staying one step ahead of your questions while he builds the layers of whos and dunnits, only to tear them down and build anew.

20. Mad God

On Shudder

Thirty years in the making, Phil Tippet’s stop-motion nightmare is like a Bosch painting and a Tool video accusing each other of being too lighthearted.

21. Bones and All

In theaters

Luca Guadagnino embraces the strength of the solid YA theme that you have to be who you are, no matter how ugly the world may tell you that is.

Like a warped Stephen King riff on Terrence Malick’s Badlands, Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All is a hauntingly beautiful and achingly savage slice of arthouse horror filmmaking.

Daniel Baldwin

22. All Quiet on the Western Front

On Netflix

Grim, powerful reimagining of the timeless truth: war is hell.

23. Memoria

Best of luck to you. More info HERE

Quiet and precise as if always listening and careful not to disturb, Tilda Swinton once again disappears wholly into a role in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s meditative wonder of a film.

24. Vengeance

On Peacock and VOD

Writer/director B.J. Novak’s feature debut delivers a funny and entertaining mystery caper, self-effacing but not afraid to wander into some dark places, with a social conscience revealed in organic and endearing ways. 

25. Poser

On Showtime and Prime

A mysterious trip inside a local music scene, Poser never fails to surprise.

Villains and heroes, pigs and wolves, Aik Karapetian’s Latvian fairy tale

Squeal is populated with many things strange and unusual, and it’s all the better for it.

Rachel Willis

Best Films, First Half of 2022

The halfway mark of 2022 is upon us. You know what that means! Well, maybe you don’t — it means a list! It’s at this point in the year that we look back and celebrate the best films we’ve seen so far. A Top 10, of sorts, except it’s really a Top Baker’s Dozen and it’s in alphabetical order.

Cha Cha Real Smooth

On Apple TV

Dakota Johnson is the unquestioned star of indie darling coming-of-age drama Cha Cha Real Smooth, but it’s writer/director/co-star Cooper Raiff who’s shining bright enough to blind you.

Solid support from Leslie Mann and Brad Garrett offers Raiff opportunities to subvert tropes with surprising compassion. There are also more than enough laughs to balance the drama.

Johnson’s greatest strength as a performer is the almost preternatural chemistry she shares with everyone else on screen. That connection with Raiff aches with human tenderness, as does the entire film.

Cha Cha Real Smooth, which won Sundance’s dramatic competition this year, overflows with charm and warmth. More than that, it points to a remarkable cinematic voice that’s just getting started.

Crimes of the Future

On Prime Video

In a dreary world where “surgery is the new sex,” two performance artists (Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux) turn one’s mutant organs into art.

If that doesn’t sound like a David Cronenberg movie, nothing does.

The film references, directly or indirectly, The Brood, Dead Ringers, The Fly, Naked Lunch, Crash, and most frequently and obviously, Videodrome. Like his main character, Cronenberg has long been an “artist of the inner landscape.” And after several decades of excising that tendency from his work, Cronenberg has come full circle to accept what was inside him all along.

Dinner in America


It’s not often you watch a film about a fire starting, drug dealing, lying man on the run from police and his romance with a woman with special needs and think, this is delightful.

But it is. Dinner in America is a delight.

Writer/director Adam Rehmeier delivers an unexpected comedy, sometimes dark, sometimes broad, but never aimless. Simon (Kyle Gallner, remarkable) is a punk rocker hiding from the cops. Patty (Emily Skeggs) is a 20-year-old punk rock fan who lives at home and isn’t allowed to run appliances when she’s alone.

Rarely does a film feel as genuinely subversive and darling as Dinner in America, the punk rock rom-com you never knew you needed.


On Prime Video

Take two longtime friends on the verge of going their separate ways, and throw in one night of epic partying before they graduate. There will be hijinks, conflict, feelings expressed, and resolution.

We know this formula, right?

Not so fast. Expanding their Emergency short from 2018, director Carey Williams and writer K.D. Dávila run those familiar tropes through a tense, in-the-moment lens that upends convention while still delivering a consistent layer of laughter.

So we get the two friends ready to explore the future, searching for their place in the world. But this wild night of partying holds more sobering lessons than we’re used to seeing.

For these young men, it’s about how quickly their perception of the world can change forever, and the unrelenting weight of navigating how the world sees them.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

In theaters and streaming

Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert are back with their brand of sweet-natured lunacy for Everything Everywhere All at Once. The result is an endlessly engaging, funny, tender, surprising, touching maelstrom of activity and emotion.

This is a hard movie not to love.

At the heart of the insanity lurks Michelle Yeoh and a spot-on depiction of a midlife crisis. Yeoh’s Evelyn arcs as no character has arced before.

The real stars are the Daniels, though, who borrow and recast and repurpose without even once delivering something derivative.

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

On Hulu

If we’re boiling down film narratives to heroes and quests, it won’t take long to define Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.

Nancy (Emma Thompson, glorious as always) is our hero, and sex is her quest. So she hires handsome young Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack) for a tryst.

Nancy’s journey is, of course, an intimate one, and director Sophie Hyde doubles down on the intimacy, rarely leaving the privacy of the hotel room. Regardless, the film is never claustrophobic and always cinematic, framing even the most sexual moments with a refreshing honesty that the characters (and these two impeccable performances) deserve.

And you know what? We deserve it, too. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a simply wonderful look at embracing who you are and what you want.

Mad God

On Shudder

Phil Tippett’s demons take center stage in his stop motion head trip 30 years in the making, Mad God. It’s like a Bosch painting and a Tool video accusing each other of being too lighthearted.

Mad God delivers a nightmare vision like little else, overwhelming in its detail and scope. Tippett plumbs cycles of mindless cruelty. 

Mad World revels in Tippett’s vulgar, potent fantasy without belaboring a clear plotline. The world itself resembles hell itself. Tippett peoples this landscape with figures and images that also feel reminiscent: a doll’s befouled face, a fiendish surgeon, a cloaked figure.


Traveling theatrically

If you are in the mood for something decidedly different, let Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s meditative wonder Memoria beguile you. Or bewilder you. Or both.

The film becomes a mystery of sorts, but one that dredges up more questions than answers. On the filmmaker’s mind seems to be concepts of collective memory and isolation, sensory experience and existence.

Jessica’s (Tilda Swinton) travels through Colombia in search of answers to a confounding sound following her becomes an entrancing odyssey. Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr’s sound design heightens the experience, almost becoming a second character in the way that the sound supports Swinton’s performance.

And what a performance. Quiet and precise as if always listening and careful not to disturb, Swinton once again disappears wholly into a role.


On Prime Video

Jessie Buckley (flawless, as always) plays Harper, a woman in need of some time alone. She rents a gorgeous English manor from proper country gentleman Geoffrey (Rory Kinnear) and plans to recuperate from, well, a lot.

Filmmaker Alex Garland unveils Harper’s backstory little by little, each time slightly altering our perception of the film. The more about Harper we learn, the more village folk we meet: vicar, surly teen, pub owner, police officer, and a naked man in the woods. Each is played by Kinnear—or by actors sporting Kinnear’s CGI face—although Harper never mentions this, or even seems to notice.

Is she seeing what we’re seeing?

Garland’s bold visuals—so precise in Ex Machina, so surreal in Annihilation—create a sumptuous environment just bordering on overripe. The verdant greens and audacious reds cast a spell perfectly suited to the biblical and primal symbolism littering the picture.

Rather than clarifying or summing up, the film’s ending offers more questions than answers. But if you can make peace with ambiguity, Men is a film you will not likely forget.

The Northman

On Peacock

Robert Eggers released his third feature this year, a Viking adventure on an epic scale called The Northman.

What you have is a classic vengeance tale: prince witnesses royal betrayal and the murder of his father. He loses his mother and his crown and vows revenge.

Alexander Skarsgård is cut to play a Viking. His performance is primarily physical: blind rage looking for an outlet. He’s believably vicious, bloodthirsty, single-minded and, when necessary, vulnerable. The entire cast around him is equally convincing.

Classic is exactly how The Northman feels. The story is gritty and grand, the action brutal and the storytelling majestic. As is the case with Eggers, expect a fair amount of the supernatural and surreal to seep in here and there, but not enough to outweigh the meticulously crafted period realism.


At Gateway Film Center

Directors Noah Dixon and Ori Segev, working from Dixon’s script, drop you into the indie music scene you may never have realized existed in Columbus, Ohio. Lennon (Sylvie Mix) wants to change that with her podcast. She may not have a lot of listeners, but she promises those who do listen a deep dive into the scene, with interviews and performances from the best bands you’ve never heard of.

Mix’s open stare and stealthy movement — a technique she used to great effect in her haunted Christmas flick Double Walker — here feels slyly deceptive. Lennon’s an introvert, a fan, an artist herself. Or is she?

Like a cagey, pink-haired Jena Malone, Kitten commands the screen playing a version of herself. The singer from Columbus-based indie band Damn the Witch Siren, Kitten performs along with bandmate Z Wolf, whose presence adds a fascinating air of whimsy, danger and apathy.

Turning Red

On Disney+

Turning Red – Pixar’s twenty-fifth – keeps the winning streak alive with a frisky, meaningful and culturally rich update of a well worn message.

Director Domee Shi (who also co-writes with Julia Cho) has much to offer in her feature debut. Here, the often generic moral of “be true to yourself” plays out with stakes that will feel authentic to both kids and parents. Pixar has a long history of finding true poignancy amid big laughs, but Turning Red feels like a turning point.

Not only is it the first Pixar film with a female director, women are also in leadership roles throughout most areas of the production. The mission was clearly to begin speaking to a slightly older target, with a tender honesty that adolescents – girls especially – could appreciate.

Respect the past, but embrace the possibilities of the future. That future is going to include parts of your true self that are messy, and that’s okay. In fact, accepting those awkward, messy parts is the first step to being okay.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent


It’s not just that it’s the role he was born to play. It’s also that it feels like precisely the right moment for him to be playing it, as if the cosmos themselves are aligning to deliver us some rockin’ good news.

How good? Well, for starters, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent gives him about a minute and a half just to name check himself as “Nic f’innnnnnnnnnggggggggow!WoahCage!”

And while we’re loving all manner of Cage, here comes Pedro! More natural and endearing than he’s ever been, Pascal starts by channeling the fan in all of us, and then deftly becomes the film’s surprising heart. Yes, there are nods to Hollywood pretension, but they’re never self-serving, and the film is more than content to lean all the way in to a madcap adventure buddy comedy spoof.




The Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets Boogie Nights?

Yes, please!

Filmmaker Ti West delivers an utterly unexpected and absolutely inspired horror show like nothing he’s made before. A group of good-natured pornographers descends upon an out-of-the-way ranch to shoot a movie, unbeknownst to the owners. Mia Goth leads a thoroughly entertaining cast, each actor making the most of the humor crackling throughout West’s script.

West explores some common themes, upending every one without ever betraying his clear love of this genre. Blending homages of plenty of Tobe Hooper films with a remarkable aesthetic instinct, West fills the screen with ghastly beauty.

Screening Room: Everything Everywhere All at Once, Ambulance, Sonic 2, All the Old Knives, Cow & More

All the Small Things

Everything Everywhere All at Once

by Hope Madden

The Daniels do not make ordinary films. In fact, they tend to make extraordinary films. While their charming 2016 fantasy Swiss Army Man slipped toward sentimentality, Daniel Scheinert’s remarkable 2019 solo follow up The Death of Dick Long did not.


Co-director Dan Kwan and his brand of sweet-natured lunacy are back for the duo’s big, big new effort Everything Everywhere All at Once. The result is an endlessly engaging, funny, tender, surprising, touching maelstrom of activity and emotion.

Michelle Yeoh is Evelyn Wang, and today is not her day. She has to meet an IRS auditor (Jamie Lee Curtis, priceless) about the lien on the coin laundromat she owns with her “silly husband” (Ke Huy Quan, nice to see you!). Meanwhile, she’s planning a big party for her judgmental curmudgeon of a father (James Hong, amazing). Instead of helping, her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is clearly planning to come out of the closet. Today, of all days.

And then the multiverse shows up.

This is a hard movie not to love.

The Daniels find the absurd in the ordinary, wring emotion from the most mundane moments, and manage to create something adorable even when really large items are entering or hanging from — I don’t even know how to end that sentence.

On an unrelated note (I swear to God, it’s unrelated), what they do with hotdogs is inspired.

At the heart of the insanity lurks a spot-on depiction of a midlife crisis, and Michelle Yeoh’s depiction of that crisis is revelatory. The formidable veteran brings physical prowess and nuanced drama to the screen, as you might expect. She’s also really funny, but that wouldn’t be nearly enough to hold this manic experience together. Yeoh convinces while Evelyn arcs as no character has arced before.

Curtis, Hong, Hsu and Quan all provide excellent support in role after role after role. The real stars are the Daniels, though, who borrow and recast and repurpose without even once delivering something derivative.