Top 13 Movies of 2022
With so many new films released each year, 2022 was no different. It was another year of some hits and some flops, but we have made things easier for you. From movies made in Pakistan to Hollywood, Libas Now has listed their top movies from the year, that you can’t miss.
- Joyland: Pakistan’s first film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Joyland not only received a standing ovation at its debut but also received numerous awards at various film festivals this year. The film stars Ali Junejo, Alina Khan, Rasti Farooq, Sarwat Gilani and Salman Peerzada to name a few. Joyland has been one of the few Pakistani movies to portray transgender characters as strong, independent and three-dimensional. With a strong message, excellent acting and well-rounded characters, this film became one of the best of the year.
- The Legend of Maula Jatt: Bilal Lashari’s The Legend of Maula Jatt finally hit cinemas in October 2022, after being at a halt for various reasons. It began production half a decade ago and was set to release in 2019, but the release kept postponing. Following its release, it became a global blockbuster setting the bar high for Pakistani cinema. It made people believe that great films can come out from this country with strong acting, production and sound. The star-studded cast included Pakistan’s biggest actors, Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, Humaima Malik and Gohar Rasheed as each delivered one brilliant performance after another. With sets and costume design rivalling those of any Hollywood blockbuster, this film was worth the wait.
- Kamli: Sarmad Khoosat’s Kamli was released this summer to positive critical reception. The film starred Saba Qamar, Sania Saeed, Nimra Bucha and Omair Rana, alongside Hamza Khawaja’s debut performance. The film utilises a simple framework but is elevated with its surrealism, symbolism and complex themes. It became one of the biggest movies to hit cinemas post-Covid, and this unusual masterpiece pushes the bounds of Pakistani cinema.
- Top Gun: Maverick: Top Gun fans who waited 36 years for this sequel were over the moon when Maverick was released. It easily became one of the highest-grossing Hollywood movies this year, with Tom Cruise, who looked like he hadn’t aged at all. The nostalgia-filled, adrenaline rush with high-flying action, amazing visuals and the soundtrack was a treat to watch.
- Bullet Train: David Leitch’s Bullet Train is a fun, action-packed watch. The film has an ensemble cast, starring Brad Pitt, and an acting style that feels reminiscent of Tarantino, particularly in how it uses gore. A fun, entertaining watch, that simultaneously unravels a complex, intertwining story that is held together perfectly.
- Women Talking: The movie is a dark, disturbing but necessary story to be told. Based on the 2018 book of the same name, the film draws inspiration from the 2009 true story of an extremely sheltered religious community in Bulgaria that holds a dark secret. It is only when the women of this community begin to share their common experiences that they realise what the men are hiding.
- The Banshees of Inisherin: This surrealist comedy-drama is one for film enthusiasts. Starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, the film follows the duo’s lifelong friendship suddenly ending, and the bizarre events that follow in attempts for reconciliation. This film is a head-scratcher for all those who want to puzzle it out.
- Everything Everywhere All at Once: This movie stars Michelle Yeoh, as a Chinese-American middle-aged woman who is struggling to hold any aspect of her life together. The fantasy adventure kicks off with our protagonist suddenly being able to access parallel dimensions. With incredible special effects and characters that are fun and sincere, this film is a must-watch.
- The Swimmers: This movie chronicles the true story of Olympian Yusra Mardini and her sister Sara Mardini. Portrayed by real-life sisters, Nathalie and Manal Issa, the dynamic between these two shines throughout the movie. The film follows the two as they escape Syria as refugees, during which their skill in swimming keeps them alive, and how it formed Yusra’s path towards the 2016 Rio Olympics. The miraculous journey of the two, the hardships they bore as refugees, and the strength of the duo make this an inspirational and moving film.
- The Fabelmans: Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film tells the coming-of-age story of his own adolescence and early years as a filmmaker. Starring Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano and Seth Rogan, this beautiful, nostalgic film has every bit of Spielberg’s classic flair, with a little extra dash of honesty.
- Nope: Jordan Peele’s Nope, is a surrealist sci-fi thriller. Peele’s signature social commentary emanates throughout the film, while the intriguing narrative holds up on its own. The movie stars Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya.
- The Batman: Batman’s latest iteration starred Robert Pattinson in the titular role, alongside Zoe Kravitz, as Catwoman. The film took a new angle at the story of Batman, this time focussing on the responsibility of the multi-billionaire Wayne family. The movie’s relevancy has only increased in the months since its release. Gotham played a central role as a “living setting” in this film, captured through brilliant cinematography. An excellent watch, especially for superhero movie fans.
- Turning Red: Following Disney’s latest wave of strong, feminine, family-centric films, Turning Red follows a Chinese-Canadian girl as she grows into adolescence. The film tackles the all-too-relatable issues faced by most teenagers–whether to remain dutiful to their parents or to allow themselves to mature. This sweet coming-of-age story tackles complex topics of individuality, family legacy, maternal relationships and growing up in a way that all audiences can understand.