The Best Movies of 2022 – Best New Films of the Year – Rotten Tomatoes

TAGGED AS: movies
(Photo by Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection. Featured image: A24.)
Welcome to the best-reviewed movies of 2022! All eyes are on the film slate as 2022 represents the first year since the pandemic lockdown that saw theaters back at full capacity. The year started strong with Scream in January, becoming the first Certified Fresh movie in the franchise since 1997’s Scream 2.
Spring saw a string of critical hits, including the dark crime epic on The Batman, the spirited YA comedy Turning Red from Pixar, and two from A24: Some throwback horror with X, and Everything Everywhere All At Once, which would become A24’s biggest box office hit, surpassing Hereditary.
Of course, no story about the state of movies in 2022 is complete without full mention of Top Gun: Maverick. With afterburners activated, the crowd-pleasing blockbuster set records across the board, including an easy landing on the coveted billion-dollar movie hall of fame.
More headline-grabbing films include another great Adam Sandler dramatic turn in Netflix’s Hustle, the surprise Predator return-to-form prequel Prey, the latest from auteurs Jordan Peele and Robert Eggers (Nope and The Northman, respectively), and Jujutsu Kaisen 0, which sees anime continuing to make inroads with critics and at the box office.
Read on for the best movies of 2022, ranked! (And for more, explore the best movies of previous years with our guides on 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018.) Alex Vo

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The Quiet Girl (2022) 100%a973a560 d359 11ea 97a0 1760df9b4ed3 audience empty

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rural Ireland, 1981. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her overcrowded, dysfunctional family to live with foster parents… [More]
Directed By: Colm Bairead

#2
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Happening (2021) 99%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright72%

#2
Adjusted Score: 104704%
Critics Consensus: A tough but rewarding watch, Happening puts a personal face on an impossibly difficult choice and its heart-rending aftermath.
Synopsis: France, 1963. Anne is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she falls pregnant,… [More]
Directed By: Audrey Diwan

#3
Adjusted Score: 103736%
Critics Consensus: Poignant, profound, and utterly heartwarming, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is animated entertainment with real heart.
Synopsis: Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint,… [More]
Directed By: Dean Fleischer-Camp

#4
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Adjusted Score: 107421%
Critics Consensus: Featuring some of Martin McDonagh’s finest work and a pair of outstanding lead performances, The Banshees of Inisherin is a finely crafted feel-bad treat.
Synopsis: Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN follows lifelong friends Pádraic and… [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

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Till (2022) 98%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 102390%
Critics Consensus: Till reframes an historically horrific murder within a mother’s grief, brought heartwrenchingly to life by Danielle Deadwyler’s tremendous performance.
Synopsis: Till is a profoundly emotional and cinematic film about the true story of Mamie Till Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice… [More]
Directed By: Chinonye Chukwu

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Girl Picture (2022) 98%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright80%

#6
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Sensitively written and beautifully acted, Girl Picture captures the whirlwind of teenage emotions without sacrificing narrative maturity and depth.
Synopsis: Best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö work after school at a food court smoothie kiosk, frankly swapping stories of their frustrations… [More]
Directed By: Alli Haapasalo

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To Leslie (2022) 98%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright80%

#7
Adjusted Score: 99097%
Critics Consensus: To Leslie‘s familiar framework is granted extra depth through a stellar Andrea Riseborough and a sensitive and nuanced approach to the cycle of addiction.
Synopsis: Leslie (Andrea Riseborough) is a West Texas single mother struggling to provide for her son (Owen Teague) when she wins… [More]
Directed By: Michael Morris

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EO (2022) 98%a973a560 d359 11ea 97a0 1760df9b4ed3 audience empty

#8
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Bravely updating Bresson with brilliant results, EO is a donkey-driven drama that’ll stubbornly stick with you long after the credits roll.
Synopsis: The world is a mysterious place when seen through the eyes of an animal. EO, a grey donkey with melancholic… [More]
Directed By: Jerzy Skolimowski

#9
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Adjusted Score: 98933%
Critics Consensus: Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie offers a thrilling, beautifully animated gift for fans of the anime — and a story that holds up as a standalone effort.
Synopsis: When they were children, Rika Orimoto was killed in a traffic accident right before the eyes of her close friend,… [More]

#10
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is a simple story with a big heart — and a reminder of film’s ability to communicate universal truths across international borders.
Synopsis: An aspiring singer living with his grandmother in the capital of Bhutan dreams of getting a visa to relocate to… [More]
Directed By: Pawo Choyning Dorji

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Come From Away (2021) 98%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright97%

#11
Adjusted Score: 98920%
Critics Consensus: Come from Away sifts through the wreckage of tragedy to find hope — and the healing power of human connection.
Synopsis: “Come From Away” is the filmed version of the award-winning Broadway musical which tells the story of 7,000 people stranded… [More]
Directed By: Christopher Ashley

#12
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Aftersun (2022) 97%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright78%

#12
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Led by Frankie Corio’s tremendous performance, Aftersun deftly ushers audiences to the intersection between our memories of loved ones and who they really are.
Synopsis: At a fading vacation resort, 11-year-old Sophie treasures rare time together with her loving and idealistic father, Calum (Paul Mescal)…. [More]
Directed By: Charlotte Wells

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The Duke (2020) 97%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright84%

#13
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A sweet swan song for director Roger Michell, The Duke offers a well-acted and engaging dramatization of an entertainingly improbable true story.
Synopsis: In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National… [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

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Hellbender (2021) 97%cf921970 d359 11ea a15f bdf29fa24277 spilled55%

#14
Adjusted Score: 98544%
Critics Consensus: Hellbender stirs a boiling cauldron of adolescent angst, serving up a coming-of-age story with dark horror overtones.
Synopsis: A teen and her mother live simply in a home in the woods, spending their time making metal music. A… [More]

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Great Freedom (2021) 97%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright90%

#15
Adjusted Score: 98508%
Critics Consensus: With intelligence and sensitivity, Great Freedom draws on past injustices to present a beautifully crafted tribute to the persistence of the human spirit.
Synopsis: In Germany after WWII, the liberation by the Allies did not mean freedom for everyone. Hans (Franz Rogowski) has been… [More]
Directed By: Sebastian Meise

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Adjusted Score: 98468%
Critics Consensus: Fart-knockers beware: Beavis and Butt-Head are back, and they’re just as stupidly hilarious (or hilariously stupid?) as ever.
Synopsis: A tale that technically spans two centuries, BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD DO THE UNIVERSE promises to sit atop all future lists… [More]
Directed By: Mike Judge

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Top Gun: Maverick (2022) 96%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright98%

#17
Adjusted Score: 113515%
Critics Consensus: Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style.
Synopsis: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is… [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski

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Official Competition (2021) 96%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright81%

#18
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Its premise may resonate most with hardcore film fans, but Official Competition‘s tight focus and sharp humor have a universal appeal.
Synopsis: Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas star as two egomaniacs commissioned by a millionaire to make a movie together in this… [More]

#19
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The Innocents (2021) 96%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright71%

#19
Adjusted Score: 99607%
Critics Consensus: The Innocents chillingly subverts the purity of youth in a powerfully acted thriller that lingers long after the credits roll.
Synopsis: During the bright Nordic summer, a group of children reveal mysterious powers. But what starts out innocent soon takes a… [More]
Directed By: Eskil Vogt

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Neptune Frost (2021) 96%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright71%

#20
Adjusted Score: 98301%
Critics Consensus: Bursting with ideas and ambition, Neptune Frost is difficult to describe — and just as hard to resist.
Synopsis: In an otherworldly e-waste camp made of recycled computer parts, a subversive hacking collective attempts a takeover of the authoritarian… [More]

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Sissy (2022) 96%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright62%

#21
Adjusted Score: 97804%
Critics Consensus: Sissy weaves timely themes into its rich blend of horror and dark humor, topped off by terrific work from a talented cast led by Aisha Dee.
Synopsis: Cecilia and Emma were tween-age BFFs who were going to grow old together and never let anything come between them,… [More]
Directed By: Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes

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#22
Adjusted Score: 97226%
Critics Consensus: Lingui, the Sacred Bonds uses one family’s fraught story to offer a forceful rejoinder to the oppressive norms of patriarchal culture.
Synopsis: On the outskirts of N’Djamena in Chad, Amina lives alone with her only 15-year-old daughter Maria. Her already fragile world… [More]
Directed By: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

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Saloum (2021) 96%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright69%

#23
Adjusted Score: 97056%
Critics Consensus: Smart, dynamic, and fast-paced, Saloum mixes tones and genres into a tart, smoothly blended treat.
Synopsis: Shot down after fleeing a coup and extracting a drug lord from Guinea-Bissau, the legendary mercenaries known as the Bangui… [More]
Directed By: Jean Luc Herbulot

#24
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The Long Walk (2019) 96%a973a560 d359 11ea 97a0 1760df9b4ed3 audience empty

#24
Adjusted Score: 96850%
Critics Consensus: The Long Walk may require patience from some viewers, but they’ll be rewarded with a thoughtful and alluringly atmospheric ghost story.
Synopsis: An old man walks the dusty roads between his isolated farm and the nearby rural village in the company of… [More]
Directed By: Mattie Do

#25
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Adjusted Score: 108269%
Critics Consensus: Led by an outstanding Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once lives up to its title with an expertly calibrated assault on the senses.
Synopsis: Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action… [More]

#26
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Turning Red (2022) 95%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright71%

#26
Adjusted Score: 105370%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, humorous, beautifully animated, and culturally expansive, Turning Red extends Pixar’s long list of family-friendly triumphs.
Synopsis: In “Turning Red”, Mei Lee is a confident, dorky thirteen-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos… [More]
Directed By: Domee Shi

#27
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Belle (2021) 95%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright90%

#27
Adjusted Score: 99157%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable story brought to life with dazzling animation, Belle finds writer-director Mamoru Hosoda setting a brilliant new benchmark.
Synopsis: Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a… [More]
Directed By: Mamoru Hosoda

#28
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A Love Song (2022) 95%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright74%

#28
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Providing a brilliant (and too-rare) showcase for veteran actors Dale Dickey and Wes Studi, A Love Song tells a small, stirring tale with quiet grace.
Synopsis: Faye (Dale Dickey) is a lone traveler biding her time fishing, birding and stargazing at a rural Colorado campground as… [More]
Directed By: Max Walker-Silverman

#29
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Hit the Road (2021) 95%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright82%

#29
Adjusted Score: 97746%
Critics Consensus: A beautifully acted drama with steadily cumulative force, Hit the Road uses one family’s journey to make trenchant observations about society as a whole.
Synopsis: Panah Panahi, son and collaborator of embattled Iranian master Jafar Panahi, makes a striking feature debut with this charming, sharp-witted,… [More]
Directed By: Panah Panahi

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Gagarine (2020) 95%cf921970 d359 11ea a15f bdf29fa24277 spilled50%

#30
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Balancing whimsy-tinged magic realism against serious themes of community and displacement, Gagarine is as bracingly original as it is ultimately poignant.
Synopsis: Teenager Youri (gifted newcomer Alseni Bathily) has lived his whole life in the tight-knit community of Gagarine, even being named… [More]

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#31
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A mother’s fierce love fuels the drama in The Justice of Bunny King — and it’s rendered even more combustible thanks to Essie Davis’ incendiary performance.
Synopsis: Bunny King is a mother of two with a sketchy past and a razor sharp tongue. While battling the system… [More]
Directed By: Gaysorn Thavat

#32
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Utama (2022) 95%a973a560 d359 11ea 97a0 1760df9b4ed3 audience empty

#32
Adjusted Score: 96800%
Critics Consensus: With breathtaking cinematography and naturalistic performances, Utama touchingly captures love and tradition in times of climate change.
Synopsis: In the arid Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living a tranquil life for years. While he takes… [More]

#33
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The Woman King (2022) 94%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright83%

#33
Adjusted Score: 102706%
Critics Consensus: All hail Viola Davis! The Woman King rules.
Synopsis: The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom… [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince-Bythewood

#34
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X (2022) 94%d45a9e00 d359 11ea b5d9 dd031ef2e6cb upright