Ranking Movies Between Laundry and Taxes #001: A 95th Oscar Primer

So the 95th Academy Awards are quickly approaching, a time when we all wait for Oscar Claus to come down our chimneys and grant us our myriad of movie wishes. We all pray Oscar Claus will give us that pony or that laptop or, I don’t know, a nomination for any woman director, but it’s safer to just expect a pile of plain, predictable, and very white men’s socks.

But who cares, right? That’s the question we ask ourselves each year. The celebrities wearing their shiny gems and gowns will again trade some more shiny things amongst themselves, and we will watch while eating our Hot Cheetos in one hand and Googling in the other where to stream My Year of Dicks. Who cares, indeed?

Okay well, this is embarrassing, but I do care. Part of me still believes in Oscar Claus and knows that, if you wait long enough and you’ve been really good, you might just get a Best Picture win for Parasite. Mostly, I just fricking love the movies. I love watching them, celebrating them, analyzing them, and having healthy debates about them far, far away from the Twitter mosh pit. I’m the guy that says you really should watch The Revenant, and, yes, you’re supposed to feel like a pulverized lemon by the end. I’m the guy that recites Nicole Kidman’s AMC monologue at parties. Yep… that’s me. Sorry about that.

Like I said, I love movies. I don’t love movie politics. I don’t care whether or not a movie won at SAG or BAFTA or ESPN and what that statistically says about its chances this coming Sunday. I just care about good movies being watched by more people. So, I’m not going to list my Oscars predictions for each category at stake, as many journalists might. I’m instead going to highlight the 2022 movies I watched and suggest the ones you should watch.

Below are all of the 2022 movies I saw, ranked from incredible to straight up bad. I should preface this by saying that, more often than not, I found something enjoyable in whatever movie I watched. Even watching a “bad” movie like Don’t Worry Darling, I still had a blast witnessing Florence Pugh’s incredible talent and Harry Styles’ truly awful line deliveries. Also just know that there are some beloved movies I unfortunately missed (sorry RRR fans), but even a movie ambassador like me still gets distracted by laundry and taxes.

Incredible Movies (5/5)

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  2. Aftersun
  3. Top Gun: Maverick
  4. Banshees of Insherin
  5. Glass Onion
  6. The Fabelmans
  7. Avatar: The Way of Water
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front
  9. Tar
  10. The Menu
  11. Pinocchio
  12. Nope
  13. The Woman King

Great Movies (4/5)

  1. Women Talking
  2. The Batman
  3. The Northman
  4. Elvis
  5. Decision to Leave
  6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  7. Marcel: The Shell with Shoes On
  8. Black Phone
  9. Triangle of Sadness
  10. Bones and All
  11. Pearl
  12. The Whale
  13. She Said
  14. The Outfit
  15. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Good Movie(3/5)

  1. White Noise
  2. Lightyear
  3. Babylon
  4. Devotion
  5. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  6. Bros
  7. Bodies Bodies Bodies
  8. Bullet Train
  9. Violent Night
  10. Barbarian
  11. X
  12. Doctor Strange 2: The Multiverse of Madness
  13. See How They Run
  14. The Adam Project
  15. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  16. Turning Red
  17. Smile
  18. The Sea Beast
  19. Wendell and Wild
  20. Death on the Nile

Passable Movies (2/5)

  1. Thor: Love and Thunder
  2. Minions: Rise of Gru
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing
  4. Lost City
  5. Uncharted
  6. Fantastic Beasts 3
  7. Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers
  8. Ticket to Paradise
  9. Enola Holmes 2
  10. Hocus Pocus 2

Bad Movies (1/5)

  1. Don’t Worry Darling
  2. Men
  3. Black Adam
  4. Halloween Ends
  5. Jurassic World Dominion
  6. Spirited

Bonus round, here are some random thoughts I had on the state of movies in 2022:

  • You may be tired of hearing it, but Everything Everywhere All at Once (EEAAO) truly is worth the hype, butt plugs and cheesy quotes and all.
  • You should be tired of hearing how good Aftersun is, but you’re likely not because this movie has been off most radars. It truly left me in emotional pieces by its subtle but powerful ending. We can all at least be grateful that Paul Mescal is being recognized, and by the time you see him in the follow-up to Gladiator you might get tired of hearing his name too.
  • I’m seeing Twitter folks discuss The Fabelmans, Tar, and All Quiet on the Western Front as this year’s predictable, white Oscar bait, but I’m guessing most of the haters haven’t actually seen those three. After seeing all three, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable and multilayered they were. I still think EEAAO deserves the spotlight more than these films, but losing to them would not be a Green Book level disaster.
  • I am embarrassed and shocked to say that the Puss In Boots sequel really is “that” good and you should probably give it a try. It also gave me hope that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has steered the world of animation into a promising direction, given its influences here.
  • I am also embarrassed to say I ultimately left Barbarian, a horror crowd pleaser in 2022, feeling pretty empty. It starts off so strong and ends in a predictable, B level thud.
  • Wow, Mia Goth in Pearl scared the crap out of me! Her smile haunted my dreams for weeks! Her snub hits just as hard as Toni Collette’s snub for Hereditary.
  • Don’t watch Spirited.
  • I love Alex Garland’s work, so the disappointment of his film Men hit extra hard. But plenty of great directors have churned out some duds, and everyone should consider giving Garland another chance.
  • On a similar note, I love Damien Chazelle’s work and expected more from Babylon. There is a reason though that Babylon has gained a cult following, there is a really good movie buried somewhere in all of that elephant poop. It perhaps just needed more time in the oven.
  • Hot take here, Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t save movies. If anything, Spider-Man: No Way Home did when everyone stormed the theatres and cheered for Toby Maguire like they were watching the Super Bowl. No movie reached that cultural height in 2022, but Top Gun and Avatar were still incredible fun.
  • Another hot take, movies are doing just fine right now. 2022 was packed with sequels sure, but it also had a myriad of creative and inspiring films about raccoon chefs and evil murderer chefs. You just have to look beyond the movies in your Youtube ads, get out of your house, and actually support them when they drop.