Barring anymore delays, some highly anticipated films are releasing in 2022, which I’m very excited for. Here are the ones I want to see the most.
I feel I’ve done a good job watching most of the movies I wanted to see this year. Of course, like every year, there are some I wanted to see, but I haven’t just yet. There are also those which flew under the radar, but ended being great, which I probably still haven’t seen. But, it’s time to look ahead to a new year full of potentially phenomenal cinema, and it’s always something that gets me excited. Before we get started, this is my list and there may be some you’re expecting to see which don’t make it. It could be I may not be as excited for them, but it could also be an oversight and I simply didn’t put it on. It doesn’t mean I’m not excited for it. Who knows? Maybe none of these movies make my top 10 list at the end of the year (highly unlikely). Let’s begin.
22. Scream (Jan. 14, 2022)
I haven’t always been a horror fan, partly because I was always scared. As of late though, especially in the last three to four years, I’ve been opening up to the genre in a variety of different ways, including films, TV shows, and video games. I never saw the original Scream, but I figure I’ll watch it, along with its sequels, prior to watching the new one releasing soon. I grew up knowing about Ghostface because of Halloween costumes and the character’s overwhelming popularity at the time as well. As for the new film, something about the trailer completely sold me and I think it’s a film I’ll definitely enjoy. Unfortunately, I don’t have much of an opinion about it since I’m not very knowledgeable about the lore and what it’s all about. What I do know is it’s another horror movie I can add to my growing list of ones I have seen, which is exciting for me. Plus, I think the cast is pretty great, especially Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Courtney Cox, and Dylan Minette.
21. Elvis (June 22, 2022)
I’m not a huge fan of director Baz Luhrmann. He’s not very active as a director, with 2014’s The Great Gatsby being his most recent film, and Australia (2008) coming before it. It’s debatable his best work is his first project, Strictly Ballroom, and he made a very weird, but somehow good, Romeo and Juliet adaptation. In other words, I respect what he’s been able to accomplish with his films, but he’s not one of my favorites. To reiterate, his filmography isn’t very extensive either. That being said, I’m actually a bit excited to see him return to bring the King of Rock & Roll’s story to life on the big screen. I can’t say I’m an expert on all things Elvis Presley, such as his music and his personal life. However, I do know my parents were huge fans and he’s one of the most iconic musicians of all time. Austin Butler wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I’ve heard great things about his portrayal so far. One of my favorite actors, Tom Hanks, being in it only makes me want to see it even more. I hope it does Elvis’ story justice.
20. The Black Phone (Feb. 4, 2022)
Finally, another Scott Derrickson horror film is on the horizon. Sure, he’s had some duds in the past, but he’s one of the premiere horror directors of our era and is always crafting up ways to tell new stories. I was very impressed with what he was able to do with Doctor Strange. Unfortunately, he dropped out of the sequel, but it only means he’ll have more time to work on other projects. It’s definitely apparent The Black Phone is inspired by Stephen King’s IT, especially when you see the first trailer. The balloons, the girl riding a bike in a yellow raincoat, the creepy, clown-like protagonist, and the abduction of various children. Yeah, it’s not hard to catch on. However, there seems to be a sense of originality in this as well. I don’t mind it being influenced by IT, especially if it goes in a completely different direction none of us are expecting. It’s great to see Ethan Hawke in this kind of role as well. I’m not sure we’ve seen him give a performance like this before. I hope it lives up to the anticipation I have for it.
19. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (April 8, 2022)
After years of mediocrity, video game movie adaptations are finally on the upswing. Although some still could’ve been better, the last two I’ve seen, Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog, were both entertaining, especially the latter. I mean, Detective Pikachu is great, but I think I enjoyed Sonic more because I was longing for something in that franchise to be good, for once, in years. Pokemon has been consistently delivering for many years now, despite some annoyances, but that’s a discussion for another time. I was so surprised with how much I liked Sonic the Hedgehog. Yeah, it’s a bit corny at times, but the humor works, the CGI isn’t all over the place or poorly done, it’s charming, and Jim Carrey is fantastic as Dr. Robotnik. It’s about as good as a Sonic film should be. Now, the sequel is promising to bring more fan-favorite characters from my childhood, including Tails and Idris Elba as Knuckles? I’m sold. I’m looking forward to seeing the original cast return as well since Sonic’s (Ben Schwartz) interactions with Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) were fun to watch.
18. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Nov. 11, 2022)
I absolutely loved Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. I honestly believe he’s one of the best directors working today and he was able to deliver a film that felt necessary in the world we’re living in right now, but also one which stacks up incredibly well with every other movie released in the MCU so far. I’m not sure what to expect from the sequel, however. With Chadwick Boseman’s unfortunate and sudden passing, I wonder what Wakanda Forever will be all about. What I do know is it’ll pay tribute to an icon in Boseman, who portrayed a character the African American community will forever be grateful for and will live on in his memory. I have a feeling Shuri is being set up to be the next one to take the mantle though. I really hope it works out.
17. Bullet Train (April 8, 2022)
A David Leitch action film is always something to look out for. He’s one of the best when it comes to fight choreography and the camera angles to go along with it. The stories to go along with his films may not always be the best ones, but you know you’re in for a fast-paced, action-packed, and intense viewing experience. Since I know this will be coming with it, what interests me even more is the casting. Brad Pitt as the lead in any movie is always an interesting prospect. Throw in Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, Logan Lerman, and many others to round out the cast and you have an action thriller about assassins who end up on the same bullet train with individual assignments, but somehow, they’re all connected. I’m predicting not everyone will make it out alive. I’m also looking forward to seeing Joey King in this since we may see a side of her we haven’t seen just yet.
16. The Flash (Nov. 4, 2022)
Other than Zack Snyder’s Justice League, I haven’t been invested much into what the DCEU is doing with Ezra Miller’s Flash. However, recently, it seems the DCEU is taking a turn for the better with the quality of its films and I think Andy Muschietti’s The Flash will only continue to prove that. From what I’ve read and seen, the premise of this movie will deal heavily with the Flashpoint Paradox storyline, which sees Barry Allen trying to go back in time in order to prevent his mother’s murder, while also bringing about unforeseen consequences in his timeline/reality. Along the way, we’ll see the return of many characters from previous DC Comics films, along with some new faces. For example, the most high profile one is Michael Keaton’s return as Bruce Wayne/Batman, which I never thought would happen again. Ben Affleck will also be returning as Batman as well, and the potential interactions between both of them should be awesome. Other characters I’m looking forward to seeing include Sasha Calle as Supergirl and Kiersey Clemons returning as Iris West. Mostly though, I dug what Muschietti was able to do with the IT films, especially the first chapter. I’m hoping he can bring similar feels to this with the humor and the emotional elements.
15. The Northman (April 22, 2022)
With every new project, Robert Eggers is showing why he’s one of the best directors working today. His creative instincts and style are unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time. Sure, he still has a bit more to prove, but he’s on track to becoming one of my favorite filmmakers. I’m very excited to see what he’ll bring to the table with The Northman, which is, yet again, something completely different to what he’s already done. With The Witch being a psychological horror movie and The Lighthouse dabbing into both horror and drama tropes, The Northman will be a historical thriller, and I believe will only cement Eggers as an extremely versatile creator. The cast is fantastic, including Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and Ralph Ineson collaborating with him once again, along with Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke. This should be a good one.
14. Lightyear (June 17, 2022)
This is a story I never thought I wanted to see until I heard about it. There’s some who still seem a bit confused about what it’s all about, and I totally understand. Basically, this is the story about the astronaut who Buzz Lightyear is based on. In other words, Buzz Lightyear was an actual person and I guess they made an action figure in his honor? Yeah, it seems about right. The first teaser trailer was fantastic and many of the backdrops shown were almost photo realistic, which showcases how Pixar continues to raise the bar with its animation. I like how they went with Chris Evans to voice the character this time around as well instead of Tim Allen. It’s going to take a bit of getting used to since I grew up listening to Allen’s voice and I’ve only ever associated that voice with the character. But, I’m sure Evans will do a phenomenal job. He seems incredibly passionate about the project too, which only affirms he’ll be putting his best foot forward. I’m very much looking forward to going on a new adventure and potentially seeing how Lightyear ties into the Toy Story mythos.
13. Untitled David O’Russell film (Nov. 4, 2022)
After seemingly taking an extended break (almost 7 years, to be exact), director David O’Russell will be returning with a new project I’m very excited about. I’ve been a fan of his work for so long now, including The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and Joy. Little is known about this movie, other than a doctor and a lawyer forming some sort of partnership. All I do know is the cast is completely star-studded, but this isn’t surprising since most of his films are. To name a few, there’s Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Robert de Niro, Zoe Saldana, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, and Anya Taylor-Joy. If one thing’s for sure, the acting will be the highlight of this movie was so many talented performers. O’Russell is known for crafting clever and original stories as well, and after taking some time off, I’m sure he’s rejuvenated and ready to be creative again. This has awards season written all over it.
12. Untitled Super Mario Bros. film (Dec. 21, 2022)
Honestly, this is a dream come true. One of my favorite video game franchises is (hopefully) getting the proper film treatment it rightfully deserves. With Nintendo, along with Shigeru Miyamoto heavily involved, and Illumination working on the movie, this has the potential to be the best video game film adaptation yet, and I say this confidently since the bar hasn’t been set very high just yet. Illumination doesn’t always make the greatest films, but the company does have some I really enjoy, and the animation is always spectacular. I’m also a fan of the voice cast involved (yes, even Chris Pratt). All love to Charles Martinet for providing the voice of Mario for so many years, but just imagine hearing him talk as Mario with the same voice for two hours. Yeah, it’ll definitely be an annoying experience. If there’s any movie I hope works out for good in 2022, it’s this one, considering the bad rep most video game movies get. But, as I mentioned before, they’re getting better.
11. Nope (July 22, 2022)
Jordan Peele has become one of the best horror directors working today. Honestly, I always saw him as the funny guy from Mad TV and Key and Peele. I mean, who knew he had this in him? I’m not saying he wasn’t capable of it, but since we always saw him in comedic work, I never would’ve expected him to create something like Get Out or Us. Now, with the success of those movies, he’s bringing us Nope. I still have no idea what it’s about, but Daniel Kaluuya is once again collaborating with him, and I’m hoping for another Oscar-worthy performance from him, which I’m sure he’ll deliver. Throw in Keke Palmer and the highly underrated Steven Yeun, and this cast is going to work together to bring something special to the big screen.
10. Babylon (Dec. 25, 2022)
Director Damien Chazelle is insanely gifted. When I first saw Whiplash, I was blown away by his direction, tone, and story he was able to craft, while also bringing the very best out of the two main stars, J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. Then, I was dazzled by La La Land and its vibrant visuals, gorgeous cinematography, and musical numbers. It’s sort of shocking to think he’s only getting started since Babylon will be his fourth feature film. I’m expecting more of the same here, that being beautiful camera work and visuals, the cast giving amazing performances (Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde, Spike Jonze, and Tobey Maguire, to name a few), and a compelling story the audience can get behind. When it’s all said and done, I truly think Chazelle will be regarded as one of the best at his craft.
9. The Gray Man (TBD 2022)
The Russo Brothers’ Cherry was a huge miss for me. I could never get into it for some reason and the only redeeming quality was Tom Holland’s performance. However, I will forever be grateful to the directing duo for their contributions to the MCU with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. All four of these films are some of my favorites in the entire MCU and they perfectly capture what The Russo Brothers are capable of. Now, with The Gray Man, I think they’ll be returning to some familiar territory with this action thriller, similar to the likes of The Winter Soldier. I love Chris Evans collaborating with them once again, but what interests me even more is Ryan Gosling being in it. He’s one of my favorite actors and he’s been sort of MIA since 2018’s First Man. It’ll be great to see him again, alongside Evans and Ana de Armas. I’m expecting some high octane action sequences between the two leading men and I’m sure I won’t be let down.
8. Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8, 2022)
I enjoyed the first Thor and while some aspects of Thor: The Dark World are redeemable, it’s still the worst MCU movie to date. Then, along came Taika Waititi with Thor: Ragnarok and changed the character for the better. Ragnarok was absolutely hilarious and an overall blast. I’m glad Waititi returned to work on Love and Thunder, which is shaping up to be absolutely bonkers. What I’m most looking forward to is Christian Bale playing Gorr the God Butcher. I don’t think we’ve seen a villain in the MCU like this just yet, and Bale is going to deliver a certain intensity to the character that no one else can pull off. Throw in Natalie Portman returning to take up the Thor mantle, Tessa Thompson coming back as Valkyrie, and the Guardians of the Galaxy making an appearance and this may be the most entertaining MCU movie to date. Waititi’s comedic timing is off the charts, both on the director’s chair, and as Korg. I’m sure he’s going to pull something awesome off.
7. Top Gun: Maverick (May 27, 2022)
After frequent delays, I’m confident I’ll finally be able to see Top Gun: Maverick next year. It’s been so long since the original one released and although I wasn’t around during that time, I know the impact Top Gun had with everyone who saw it. Critically, it was a bit mixed, but its commercial success speaks for itself. The budget was $15 million, and it earned $357 million at the box office, making it the highest grossing movie of 1986. Seeing Tome Cruise returning to this role after 36 years will be something special, along with Val Kilmer, who I feel hasn’t done much of anything lately. I think the new faces in the mix will also add quite a bit, especially with talents such as Miles Teller and Jon Hamm. I’m a big fan of Joseph Kosinski and what he’s directed so far. His filmography is well-versed as it stands and adding Maverick to his ever-growing list will only cement his status as a great filmmaker.
6. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Part One (Oct. 7, 2022)
Some argue Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was the best movie of 2018 and arguably the best Spider-Man film ever made. Honestly, I can’t blame them for this sentiment since it’s absolutely fantastic. It was the first movie, if I remember correctly, to use this sort of animation and at times, I thought I was watching a comic book on the big screen. It’s a very unique and creative style to create a film with and initially, I thought it would have its issues. However, it paid off. I’m so excited for the sequel and what this will do with the rest of the Spider-Verse moving forward. As we know by now, in this universe, anything is possible when it comes to multiple Spider-Men coming together. Even if it doesn’t push the multiverse even further, I do know this sequel will be a phenomenal standalone story that’ll continue to show the audience why Miles Morales is another great Spider-Man. Seeing Miles in live-action would be dope, though.
5. Creed III (Nov. 23, 2022)
It’s crazy to think the Rocky series is still going after so many years. I was sure the franchise was running out of steam, but after Rocky Balboa in 2006, maybe the Italian Stallion isn’t done yet. With Creed, it’s technically a new story, but its rich in Rocky lore. It isn’t until Creed II where Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed’s story really begins to take shape and sets himself up for a life without Rocky Balboa. In Creed III, Sylvester Stallone has stated he won’t be reprising his role as Rocky, which is a bit worrisome for me. I can’t imagine a movie based in the Rocky universe without Rocky. But, I think Jordan is more than capable of crafting a story (he will also be directing) and delivering yet another electrifying performance. Not sure what they’ll be going for in the third installment, but rumors say Jonathan Majors is involved, and I loved his work in Lovecraft Country and Loki. A part of me still thinks Stallone will make a small cameo, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
4. Mission: Impossible 7 (Sep. 30, 2022)
This series continues to get better and better. It started off a bit shaky, if I’m being honest, but it truly began to take form with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Some say Mission: Impossible III is where it made a change for the better, and I can’t fault them for that. I mean, the first one is great, it’s the second one that’s pretty bad and easily, the worst in the franchise. But, as the series has gone on since then, it’s gotten better and better, especially with the series’ best Fallout. I hope this is a trend that’ll continue since this series has the chance to cement itself as one of the best in cinema history. I think it’ll be rather difficult to top Fallout, but Christopher McQuarrie hasn’t disappointed yet and I don’t think he’ll stop trying to one-up himself anytime soon. I’m looking forward to seeing Tom Cruise return as the borderline immortal Ethan Hunt again, as well as Simon Pegg’s Benji, Ving Rhames’ Luther, and Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa. Hayley Atwell seems to have an important role as well, so that’s interesting. I’m expecting some series best stunts as well, and some of the rumors about the set pieces in this film are thrilling. I’m so excited to check it out when the time comes.
3. The Batman (March 4, 2022)
I’m making a bold claim here, but I think Matt Reeves’ The Batman will be the best live-action Batman film to date. There’s something about the tone and style I’ve seen from the first two trailers that has convinced me. Obviously, it’s still way too early to tell and I’m jumping the gun, but after seeing what he was able to do with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes, I know he’s creating an emotionally engaging and compelling story with the supremely talented Robert Pattinson. I still say Pattinson will be the best Bruce Wayne/Batman. Some are still skeptical, but Pattinson has been doing incredible work for years now and his casting comes as no surprise to me. This will be a different Batman we haven’t yet, though. He’ll still be relatively new as the Caped Crusader, so he’ll be learning new things along the way, but also being vicious and brutal against his adversaries. I’m excited to see Paul Dano as The Riddler as well, along with Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, and Andy Serkis as Alfred. Once again, I think this will be the best Batman movie of all time. I hope I’m not terribly wrong.
2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022)
When thinking about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so many possibilities come to mind. But, after seeing WandaVision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, I think I have some sort of an idea of what’s going to happen. Then again, with the MCU, it’s hard to predict anything. I try not to get too invested with all the rumors and speculation since most of it doesn’t end up panning out the way we want. I’m simply hoping for a story that makes sense and pushes the entire universe forward by opening up new adventures for these characters. At the same time, I hope it’s a standalone story for Doctor Strange as well. These event films don’t always have to be set ups for even bigger tales to come. I’m looking forward to seeing Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch again, as well as the MCU debut of America Chavez, and so on. Maybe Mephisto finally appears? I mean, if it’s going to happen, it’ll be in this movie. And, of course, Sam Raimi making superhero movies again. It’s the 2000’s all over again. In all seriousness, I think this is going to change the MCU as we know it moving forward, which is why it’s one of my most anticipated films of 2022.
1. Avatar 2 – The Way of Water? (Dec. 16, 2022)
This may be a bit controversial. People love to hate on Avatar because some consider it to be a bit overrated. I mean, I hear your claims and I won’t say you aren’t valid. However, I’m a bit biased since I was completely blown away by what I saw in theaters in 2009. The movie was simply ahead of its time and till this day, it’s hard to find another film with better visual effects and CGI. With it being so advanced for the time it was released in, I have a feeling James Cameron is taking his time with these sequels because he’s about to take it to the next level with the technology at his disposal. I truly feel Avatar 2 will surpass everyone’s expectations in terms of scope, the use of CGI, and the characters/story. Most of the same characters are returning, as well as some newcomers. Plus, it’s the first of four sequels planned, so whether you like it or not, there’s definitely demand for these movies since it absolutely destroyed the global box office when it first released. I’m so ready.