With 2022 in our rearview mirror, we should look back at the films we expect to stay with us. Of course, it’s not as simple as the box office or even which ones we believe leave a cultural footprint. So which films do you think will become the most rewatchable films of 2022, and why? We jump into the list below and hope to hear your favorites in the comments below!
*Of note, I refuse to play the Morbius game. I’ve already watched it twice; I will never dupe myself again.
The Northman – Directed by Robert Eggers
RRR – Directed by S. S. Rajamouli
Smile – Directed by Parker Finn
Uncharted – Directed by Reuben Fleisher
The Woman King – Directed by Gina Prince-Blythwood
With a combination of spectacular films and blockbuster hits, this list falls just short. The Woman King and The Northman will be well regarded as feats of action/blockbuster filmmaking, but the heavy subject matter will not make them rewatchable to the general public (pump this into my veins though). Uncharted has Tom Holland, and as long as these films are successful, expect them to continue releasing. We do not deserve the spectacle of RRR because I imagine the cinephiles throwing it on repeat will be slim. Smile might be the most surprising film of 2022 (to everyone involved), so if it becomes a horror franchise, who knows?
25. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Directed by Jeff Fowler
Iconic character and evident love for these films help Sonic ride a wave onto the list. It might be the most successful video game film franchise when it’s all said and done. Adding Idris Elba only further added cred to the franchise. Plus, Jim Carrey has been marvelous in his two films so far (if this is indeed the swansong, comedy historians will look at this one as the insane last excellent performance by a master).
24. Hustle – Directed by Jeremiah Zagar
Adam Sandler and the NBA make magic together. However, the Netflix factor of this scares the heck out of me. Sandler is simply marvelous and turns in one of the best performances of his career. Littered with NBA Stars, this one will serve as a fantastic time capsule and opens the door for sequels if they want to make more. I love Hustle, and I wish more people would get on board.
23. Bullet Train – Directed by David Leitch
Bullet Train gets a pass on this list, in part due to some weaker action films this year. However, it also gets on because it willingly gets weird. While there’s a bit of a tonal clash in Bullet Train, Brian Tyree Henry, Brad Pitt, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson deliver plenty of fun quips. However, Joey King feels like a weak omniscient character for the sake of having one, and the surprising lack of Asian representation will always make this one feel less exciting than it should.
22. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – Directed by Tom Gormican
Hot off a highly acclaimed performance that wowed crowds at the Cannes Film Festival and received considerable Oscar buzz, Nicholas Cage returned to mainstream movies in the funniest way possible. Playing himself. His committed performance is one thing, Pedro Pascal‘s hilarious turn is another. The two add so much humor to the subtext that it nearly helps Unbearable Weight overcome some of its minor issues. It’s not perfect (we would have liked it to go 10% crazier since we’re here anyway), but it’s a rewardingly fun time.
21. Barbarian – Directed by Zach Cregger
The twists and turns make Barbarian an incredibly satisfying first watch. However, the humor and thriller aspects keep the audience engaged on subsequent viewings. The Justin Long performance remains extremely fun, but Bill Skarsgard and Georgina Campbell display incredible chemistry. The end of the first act remains one of the scariest sequences of 2022. This one will have a shelf life as one you show to friends when they least expect it.
20. The Lost City – Directed by Aaron & Adam Nee
Let Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum be movie stars! Both comedians are more than game for the physical humor being asked of them throughout The Lost City. Casting Brad Pitt in a hilarious but ultimately short-lived role is a stroke of genius. How else are we supposed to believe that Tatum is so incompetent? We genuinely need to see more Daniel Radcliffe at a 10.
19. Prey – Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
Frankly, it’s annoying that Prey falls so far down this list. The fact is Prey seems bound to Hulu, despite 20th Century Studios’ involvement. Disney has not been particularly great at releasing Hulu films on physical disk. Within the world of Hulu, Prey will become an easy-to-pass tile. Amber Midthunder‘s rise as an emerging star gives us some hope, as she’s a proven star at this point. A few more hits for her would go a long way to keeping this one higher. The Predator DNA keeps it in the hunt for a Top 10 spot.
18. Elvis – Directed by Baz Luhrman
Austin Butler is a star, and this theoretically should be higher. However, who will sit down and watch the Tom Hanks swallowed a german man routine multiple times? Some will, especially the Elvis die-hards. If this ends up our Best Picture winner, this rockets up to a top 10 finish.
17. Ticket to Paradise – Directed by Ol Parker
Let George Clooney and Julia Roberts be movie stars! It’s a very simple formula that works wonders. Surprise, this works! Kudos to Parker for not pushing a generation-gap romance that seems like it could be in play at one point. Instead, he inverses which of our characters is set to rob the cradle.
16. Scream (2022) – Directed by Mark Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett
Radio Silence (Bettinelli-Olphin, Gillett, and Chad Villella) has already carved a name for themselves in the heart of horror fans everywhere. Ready or Not would have made our 2019 list (had I not been busy at other sites to write it). Scream (V) was one of the most exciting horror franchises to see a return to the big screen. With Scream VI already around the corner (seriously, Summer 2023), and VII confirmed, Wes Craven would be thrilled to see his baby in the right hands.
15. The Fabelmans – Directed by Steven Spielberg
The “but if the kid was not Spielberg, you would not care” crowd is losing their minds. Here’s the thing: Steven Freaking Spielberg made his own biopic/origin story as a film. To make it even better, it’s not even about talented he is, but about how a passion can consume a person to the detriment of his relationships. Two and a half hours may seem like a long time, but The Fabelmans flies by. It’s the funniest film he’s ever made, and as always, Spielberg’s ability to frame a shot is next level. The mere fact that it’s Spielberg examining his own life guarantees The Fabelmans will stand the test of time in cinephile circles for decades. Just ask Fellini.
14. Pearl – Directed by Ti West
13. X – Directed by Ti West
The advantage Ti West has moving forward will be the trilogy of excellent performances from Mia Goth. It’s a matter of time before she becomes a superstar, and she’s destined to win an Oscar someday. While X and Pearl would not qualify as the breakout (that honor goes to Emma., Suspiria, or High Life), the trilogy accelerated her path. Beyond that, her two roles feature unique challenges that have found considerable support from fans in the horror community. Let’s say we expect to hear about Mia Goth for years.
12. Minions: The Rise of Gru
Gentle. Minions. Universal Studios theme parks. This one will never entirely disappear because it will remain a worldwide phenomenon. It’s that simple.
11. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Directed by Ryan Coogler
One of the benefits of having a filmmaker with a future as bright as Ryan Coogler is that any film they make will be revised regularly. Easily the best MCU film of 2022, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever already rewards repeat viewings. Not only does it feature new protagonists, but its antagonist seems poised to define an entire side of the MCU. A large ensemble helps us notice new things with each viewing. While the emotion of Chadwick Boseman‘s passing will one day fade, there’s plenty to fall head over heels for.
10. Ambulance – Directed by Michale Bay
Ambulance is a stunning visual feat from Michael Bay and a true return to form for the director. Dumb jokes, Jake Gyllenhaal at an 11, and pure adrenaline shots make Ambulance more than just fun. It’s an exhilarating experience if you give yourself over to it. Giving Bay drone shots may have been a mistake. Letting him film already kinetic action sequences from a robot flying 40 miles an hour only adds to his coked-up energy. There’s even a scene where an EMT performs the surgery while receiving advice from doctors via FaceTime. This is exactly what you want out of good Bay.
9. The Batman – Directed by Matt Reeves
The only thing holding this back from a Top 5 finish is an unneeded three-hour runtime. Seriously, end this when he captures Riddler after the interrogation, and we have a set-up for the sequel. The vibe Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson create throughout The Batman feels perfect for this iteration of Gotham. I’m not saying it fits like a nice coat (in fact this version of Gotham is literally cold as heck), but good old fashion crime stories warm my heart. Also, Dano, Farrell, and potential other villains open the door for some very cool future storylines. Even if there were never another film in the franchise, Reeves establishes a vision with merit.
8. Glass Onion – Directed by Rian Johnson
We’ve already declared this the funniest film of 2022. So why so low? Well, Netflix does not exactly inspire confidence when it comes to keeping their former hits popular. On the film side, flicks like Set It Up and Do Revenge have already disappeared from the public consciousness. The disposable nature of Netflix is one cut that weakens Glass Onion. The other is the central figure of the parody has already proven Johnson right. When The Social Network warned us about Zuckerberg, it took years before he became the self-fulfilling prophecy predicted. Musk is already there, and we know it will only get more ridiculous.
7. Avatar: The Way of Water – Directed by James Cameron
Lore and the sea. Teenagers and the sea. Jake Sully and the sea. As a wise man once said, the sea is dope. No one gets that more than James Cameron, who has seemingly made his entire career on that fact. As Cameron builds out his original sci-fi franchise, The Way of Water will be the transition point. Not only has it been wildly successful, but it allowed us to divert from the Ferngully and Dances with Wolves comps. It’s still trope-based, but The Way of Water‘s earnest approach to storytelling feels even more wholesome in 2023 than in 2009.
6. Spirited – Directed by Sean Anders
There’s an unfair advantage here, but that shapes some of the Most Rewatchable List. Not only is it a holiday film, not only is it a musical, but Spirited enters the “based on a story everyone knows” territory as well. Taking Dickens, adding humorous songs, and capitalizing on Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds bodes well for Spirited‘s long-term prospects. I was asked to watch this too many times this holiday season to possibly rate it lower.
5. The Menu – Directed by Mark Mylod
Rather inarguably, The Menu delivers the strongest satirical screenplay of 2022. Mylod’s direction also elevates the film up a level, which is no surprise given his TV pedigree. The Menu truly hits the trifecta: it’s timeless in its satire, features excellent performances from generational talents, and it looks gorgeous. Parts will age, but it’s hard to imagine the film will lose its relevance.
4. Turning Red – Directed by Domee Shi
It receives a massive boost from Disney and Pixar opens up Turning Red to possibilities. Maybe somewhat surprisingly, with Minions a few spots behind it. Why do we think Turning Red will emerge victorious? This ultimately swings in favor of Disney because of their streaming and theme park industry, making Peacock the tie-breaker. Already a social media sensation in its own right, Turning Red will age like Ratatouille in years to come. If Domee Shi continues to craft stories as strong as Turning Red, her legend will grow, and her first feature will continue to thrive. Expect a ride in Canada at Epcot within the next decade.
3. Everything Everywhere All At Once – Directed by Daniels
The cult of Everything Everywhere All At Once continues to grow. For better or worse, it caught on with younger viewers in a way that feels more rooted in stan culture than appreciation for what it’s doing. Then again, films like Pulp Fiction, Animal House, and Fight Club had similar dorm-room fandoms before being appreciated for their legitimate greatness. Make no mistake, Everything Everywhere All At Once is brilliant. How the rewatches evolve will determine how popular it will remain in the long term.
2. Nope – Directed by Jordan Peele
One aspect of Nope that’s often overlooked – for a film full of ideas, Jordan Peele kept it surprisingly lean. Clocking in at a shade over 2 hours, Nope features plenty of scares, humor, and iconic moments to bring us in for any watch. The thriller elements and Jaws influence keep us hooked on scenes far longer than we expect, and the first half of the film remains hilarious. A beautiful score and brilliant cinematography help. Ultimately, decoding Peele’s thoughts remains the culprit for why we’ll return to Nope time and time again.
1. Top Gun: Maverick – Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Was there ever any doubt? Other films will be more acclaimed, and others may leave a longer legacy. Yet Top Gun: Maverick delivers a high-octane experience with plenty of emotion. The fact that it is such a crowd-pleaser makes it an unlikely contender for Best Picture at the Oscars. Add in the months of dominance at the box office and celebration across the USA, and you’ve got a movie destined for a couple of rewatches a year.