2022 has been somewhat of a reawakening for Hollywood. After COVID delayed some of the most anticipated projects, this year was the time to set them all free, bringing the box office (somewhat) back to life. It was also a big year for sequels. Films like Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have collectively brought in billions of dollars since they dropped, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water also did numbers upon their releases.
Top Gun fans waited 36 years for the sequel to arrive, and when it came out in May it flew straight to the No. 1 spot, making it the highest-grossing film of Tom Cruise’s career. Avatar 2 took 13 years to return but it was also well worth the wait. Not only were they a commercial success but they also received rave reviews, proving that when done well, reboots and sequels can be just as thrilling and successful as the original.
Experiencing the reactions that this year’s best films, like Maverick and Nope, elicited from the audience in person was a treat. As much as streaming has shifted how we consume movies, films are meant to be communal experiences that unite movie lovers, and this recent box office boom looks promising for the film industry’s future—even if smaller, quieter films have taken a hit.
We spent so much time inside movie theaters this year (thankfully!), and each experience was more rewarding than the next. From Everything Everywhere All at Once to The Batman, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best films 2022 had to offer. While there was no shortage of films to choose from, these are the ones you absolutely need to watch by year’s end if you haven’t already. Check out our picks below, and stay tuned for what 2023 has in store.