It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s superlative awards season. The following list is Write Through the Night’s top 20 best movies of 2022. To be eligible, movies had to have been released for the first time this year. Ratings were done by Aakanksha, Vania, Chinwe and myself in order to give you the best possible recommendations. All movies were watched by at least one member of the staff and given a minimum of a 4 star rating. We broke ties by number of people who read the book, whether it had been reviewed on the blog, and through discussion, in that order.

We watched a total of 41 movies, and 8 of them were watched by more than one person, so we did our best to get you all the best!

22. Falling for Christmas

Director: Janeen Damian

Genre: Christmas Romance

The Ratings

  • Jocelyn: 4 stars

I know that it’s a bit cheesy to include a Christmas movie on the list, but given that it starred Lindsay Lohan I think I get to make an exception here. Lohan did incredibly and the movie was such a cute holiday romance! —Jocelyn

21. Persuasion

Director: Carrie Cracknell

Genre: Romance / Drama

The Ratings:

  • Aakanksha: 4 stars

Sorry, Jane Austen purists—I adore this movie! In this adaptation of Persuasion (Austen’s last novel), Dakota Johnson shines as the witty and lovable Anne. The movie had me laughing, swooning a bit, and even just stilling because of all the emotions. The anachronisms in the dialogue did take me out of the story at points, but it still worked! Also, this is a good pick for those who like fourth-wall breaks. —Aakanksha

20. Grindr Baby (Short Film)

Director: Gabby Dunn

Genre: Romance Short

The Ratings

  • Jocelyn: 4 stars

This short film was so incredibly well done! The director, Gabby Dunn, is dating actor Mal Blum, and that care and relationship translated well to magical on-screen art. —Jocelyn

19. Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist

Director: Tony Vainuku & Ryan Duffy

Genre: Documentary

The Ratings

  • Jocelyn: 4 stars

The Manti Te’o story is one that I never intentionally followed, but was deeply engraved into my subconscious nonetheless. I truly thought this man was gay and lying about having a girlfriend to hide it! Watching this documentary just made it so much sadder, because Te’o was a victim in so many ways. —Jocelyn

18. Wendell & Wild

Director: Henry Selick

Genre: Animated Fantasy

The Ratings

  • Jocelyn: 4 stars

Unlike Aakanksha, I don’t normally watch animated movies. I made an exception for this one because it was on Netflix, getting good reviews, and seemed to have a positive message. I love the way they incorporated fantasy with an analysis of the prison industrial complex and still made it enjoyable enough for kids and adults alike! —Jocelyn

(Aakanksha has this one on her TBW list and can’t wait to get to it!)

17. Crush

Director: Sammi Cohen

Genre: High School Romantic Comedy

The Ratings

  • Jocelyn: 4 stars

This movie was absolutely adorable! I love the enemies to lovers romance, the fact that there’s a set of gay twins, and the sheer normalization of queerness that this movie provided. If you’re looking for a high school lesbian romcom, this is my go-to recommendation. —Jocelyn

16. Enola Holmes 2

Director: Harry Bradbeer

Genre: Action / Adventure

The Ratings:

  • Aakanksha: 3 stars
  • Vania: 4 stars

This was a decent follow-up to the first movie, even though I didn’t enjoy the pacing and cinematography as much. Nonetheless, I loved watching Millie Bobby Brown reprise her role of the plucky and ambitious young detective. I’m sure there will be another movie in this series, and I look forward to watching it! —Aakanksha

Enola Holmes 2 is an intriguing adventure. I loved the ability of this film to shuffle between comedy and drama. I had a great time watching this movie, much like the first. I also enjoyed the case, being based on true events. Overall I’d definitely recommend this to anybody looking for a fun adventure, especially those who liked the first movie. —Vania 

15. Look Both Ways

Director: Wanuri Kahlu

Genre: Romance

The Ratings:

It’s somewhat amusing that in the year 2022, a movie that was essentially about how life changes depending on whether or not you decide to have an abortion was made without it actually being about an abortion. Other than that, I thought the film was interesting and fairly well done. —Jocelyn

After recent college graduate Natalie has a pregnancy scare, the movie breaks off into two parallel timelines: One follows Natalie’s original plan and the other explores what would happen if Natalie were pregnant. I was puzzled by this movie avoiding the word “abortion” especially since the lead actor (Lili Reinhart) and director (Wanuri Kahiu) claim that it’s pro-choice. Despite this and other stumbles, Look Both Ways is a cute and mostly well-done story! I’d love to see Lili Reinhart in more non-Riverdale shows and movies ASAP. —Aakanksha

14. White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch

Director: Alison Klayman

Genre: Documentary

The Ratings

  • Jocelyn: 4.5 stars

I didn’t know anything about Abercrombie & Fitch before watching this movie, and while I wasn’t necessarily surprised by what it revealed, I was impressed by the depth of reporting and just how deep the marketing scheme went. This is a must watch that opened my eyes to other similar brands that were a staple of my youth. —Jocelyn

13. Top Gun: Maverick

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Genre: Action

The Ratings:

  • Jocelyn: 4.5 stars

To be quite honest, I’m surprised by how far up on this list Top Gun made it. It was a movie I only watched because that’s how my dad wanted to spend his Father’s Day, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences of the year! Every scene was so action packed, I was on the edge of my seat throughout. — Jocelyn

12. The People We Hate at the Wedding

Director: Claire Scanlon

Genre: Comedy

The Ratings:

  • Jocelyn: 4.5 stars

I loved this movie so much! Kristen Bell is an absolutely all-star talent, and her particular brand of humor was so well suited to this movie. It made my entire family and me laugh out loud at multiple moments, which is honestly more than I’ve gotten from a lot of comedies lately. —Jocelyn

11. Ticket to Paradise

Director: Ol Parker

Genre: Romantic Comedy

The Ratings:

I am a sucker for anything romance, especially when the leads are two tried and true movie stars like Julia Roberts and George Clooney. There was such great chemistry in this movie, and despite how cheesy it was it still landed exactly as I would have liked. I went to the theater to see this movie and was not disappointed in the slightest. — Jocelyn

Now I understand why Jocelyn told me that Ticket to Paradise could kickstart the return of the classic Romantic Comedy. Though the movie was predictable, it was so much fun to watch! Julia Roberts and George Clooney have a ridiculous amount of chemistry and play to each other’s strengths very well. My main complaint (hence the rating) about the movie is its use of the “white people go to a foreign country and make light of the language and culture” trope, which is both terrible and worn out, even though the characters meant well. That aside, this romcom is corny in the best way possible and in the words of Iris Simpkins from The Holiday, “I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life.” —Aakanksha

10. Fire Island

Director: Andrew Ahn

Genre: Romantic Comedy

The Ratings:

I am a sucker for romantic comedies, especially when they’re based off of my all-time favorite classic novel, Pride and Prejudice. This gay, Asian-led romcom was hilariously witty, took on tropes about race and wealth in the queer male community, and felt incredibly relatable. I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a lighthearted romp that was slightly deeper than what meets the eye —Jocelyn

9. The Menu

Director: Mark Mylod

Genre: Horror / Thriller / Dark Comedy

The Ratings:

  • Jocelyn: 4.5 stars
  • Vania: 4.5 stars

The Menu is a film about social inequality, wealth, and criticism. The writing gives them all such brilliant material which the whole cast executes perfectly. This movie will make you uncomfortable on many moments, but all that adds up to the fantastic cinematic experience of a black comedy-thriller. —Vania

I saw this film in the theater and I’m so glad I did! As Vania said, it was remarkably well executed in its critique of class, and Anya Taylor Joy delivered another remarkable performance. —Jocelyn

8. Do Revenge

Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Genre: High School Drama

The Ratings:

Do Revenge was such an adorable comedy thriller filled with countless twists that I both saw coming and didn’t. The cast was incredible and it’s definitely a movie that has become a high school classic in my mind. — Jocelyn

I can definitely see Do Revenge becoming one of the beloved coming-of-age classics for millennial and gen-z movie lovers. The leads have excellent chemistry, the banter is funny, the fashion is impeccable, the story keeps you hooked, and the soundtrack is great too. Give it a watch! —Aakanksha

7. Heart Shot (Short Film)

Director: Marielle Woods

Genre: Action Short

The Ratings:

I started getting into short films last year at the Women in Film festival, and I was so excited to see this LGBTQ+ short film on Netflix. It has such an extreme plot twist in such a short time that you’ll never guess where it’s going! (side note: i don’t know why I could only find the cover in a different language) —Jocelyn

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Director: Ryan Coogler

Genre: Action / Drama

The Ratings:

  • Aakanksha: 4 stars
  • Chinwe: 5 stars

I may be a little biased, but this was probably my top film of the year. I’m glad they didn’t recast Chadwick Boseman. The way they handled his death was imperative and the tribute was absolutely beautiful. Letitia Wright’s step up was pulled off flawlessly by both the writers and cast. The introduction of Riri Williams (Ironheart) played by Dominique Thorne was my personal favorite and I can’t wait to see her journey through the MCU and the impact that will have on young black girls. Tenoch Huerta was fantastic as Namor. There are so many people to applaud, but most of all Ryan Coogler. A gem. “To be young, gifted and black though, right?” —Chinwe

As Chinwe said, the tribute to Chadwick Boseman (rest in peace) was beautiful—the grief was palpable and handled beautifully. This is a complex story with emotional depth, especially in how it addresses the long-lasting impact of colonialism. I appreciated how the movie explores the clash between a community that has always been autonomous and one that was colonized—this is something I haven’t seen in mainstream movies before. Overall, I feel this sequel didn’t fully capture the essence of the first, but that might be partly because I was still reeling from the absence of Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa. I also find that Marvel has a tendency to not let its characters breathe by cramming in too much action into scenes. Still, it was great to see Shuri (Letitia Wright, who I absolutely love) step up and grow up through so much adversity. I enjoyed her dynamic with the amazing Okoye (Danai Gurira) and I also liked the new characters Riri (Domonique Thorne) and Namor (Tenoch Huerta). Go watch it! —Aakanksha

5. Luckiest Girl Alive

Director: Mike Barker

Genre: Thriller

The Ratings:

  • Jocelyn: 5 stars

Although this movie is absolutely filled with topics to put in a trigger warning, I still found it incredibly well done. Mila Kunis was incredible as the adult main character who lived through unspeakable trauma in high school and lived to tell about it. This is a poignant story about what women go through and who will be believed. —Jocelyn

4. Emily the Criminal

Director: John Patton Ford

Genre: Thriller

The Ratings:

  • Jocelyn: 5 stars

I am a sucker for all things Aubrey Plaza, and so this film, which premiered at Sundance, was on the top of my “to watch” pile the second it got added to Netflix. Plaza, who played a young artist unable to get a job due to a past felony conviction, was absolutely incredible as per usual. —Jocelyn

3. The Janes

Director: Tia Lessin & Emma Pildes

Genre: Documentary

The Ratings:

  • Jocelyn: 5 stars

This movie about the Chicago illegal abortion group, The Janes, premiered on HBOMax at an extremely apt time. With many states descending back into a place where abortion is not legal, it’s inspiring to see how willing people were to help each other and make sure women were getting the care that they needed. —Jocelyn

2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Director: Rian Johnson

Genre: Mystery / Comedy

The Ratings:

  • Jocelyn: 5 stars

It’s difficult to even write about this movie without giving too much away, but suffice it to say it was utterly delightful at every turn. Although (contrary to popular belief) a comfy-mystery style detective is by no means groundbreaking, I did love Daniel Craig in this role. Everyone in this was so damn talented and it was fun to watch them having fun with their roles on screen. —Jocelyn

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Director: Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert

Genre: Comedy / Action / Science Fiction

The Ratings:

  • Aakanksha: 5 stars
  • Chinwe: 5 stars
  • Jocelyn: 4.5 stars

Absurd, hilarious, thought-provoking, groundbreaking. I think any adjective in the world could somehow fit into this film. Just incredible. Just incredible in all aspects. —Chinwe 

I can’t decide if this movie was actually great or if I was just buying into the hype, but regardless the latter half of the movie was good enough that I was left feeling satisfied. Michelle Yeoh is so incredibly talented and she truly shined in this role. —Jocelyn

Everything Everywhere All At Once simultaneously devastated me and warmed my heart. Be warned: this absurd take on a multiverse will break your brain. But beyond the metaphysics of it all, this is a story about love. It is about people who are still learning how to love themselves and each other, especially when life feels different than they imagined it to be and harder than they want it to be. Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan are a brilliant trio, and I hope they star in more movies together. —Aakanksha


What were your favorite movies of 2022?