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30 Best Movies Of 2022

After one year in total lockdown and another in limbo, 2022 was the year in which the Hollywood film industry hoped to establish a new normal, and it didn't turn out exactly how they hoped. While the total domestic box office gross is on the upswing, the lion's share of that money was earned by big franchise blockbusters, with prestige pictures seriously underperforming. Whether you want to blame the narrow window between theatrical and streaming release dates or the apparently even narrower interests of the average moviegoer, things are looking bleak for any movie that doesn't have a certain IMAX appeal.

And that's a shame, because in addition to a handful of truly worthy smash-hit spectacles, 2022 had no shortage of terrific low-to-mid-budget films that deserve more widespread attention. Despite what you might have heard from the grumpier cinephiles among us, studios and independent creators are still making a variety of films for every taste, from intimate dramas to zany comedies to the rare treat that can bridge the gap between the two. It was a year of multiple masterpieces both from Hollywood and from abroad, from exciting new voices and some of the most celebrated directors in the business. Whatever tomorrow holds for movie theaters as an institution or streaming as a business model, 2022 removed any doubt that the artform of cinema still has a bright future.

Updated on January 3, 2023: From indie dramas to big blockbusters, these are the 30 best movies of 2022.


"Athena" is a thriller, a family drama, and a snapshot of contemporary tensions between citizens and institutions. It's all told from the perspective of three grieving brothers trying to make sense of their fourth brother's death. If the opening sequence doesn't grab you, you may not have a pulse: In a continuous 10 minute shot, a press conference regarding the police murder of this lost brother collapses into a frenetic raid of the station by well-organized protestors, who proceed to fortify an apartment complex into a revolutionary stronghold. It only gets more intense from there. 

  • Starring: Dali Benssalah, Anthony Bajon, Sami Slimane
  • Director: Romain Gavras
  • Runtime: 97 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

The Banshees of Inisherin

Years after the release of his acclaimed debut feature "In Bruges," writer-director Martin McDonagh reunites stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson for another bizarre and moody dark comedy. Set on a fictional island off the coast of Ireland in the 1920s, where drinking, music, and idle chat are the only available pastimes, "The Banshees of Inisherin" is the story of a messy breakup between lifelong friends Colm and Pádraic. Witty, bleakly funny, and shot on the picturesque Aran Islands, "The Banshees of Inisherin" is a shoe-in for Oscar nominations for acting, writing, and costume design.

  • Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon
  • Director: Martin McDonagh
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%


Now and then, a horror film comes along that has to be seen to be believed. "Barbarian" is one such movie. A woman arrives at the house she's renting for a short period of time, only to discover someone's already home. Now, she must spend the night sharing the domicile with this smitten stranger. That's not all: The house itself seems to harbor its own strange secrets. "Barbarian" is what you get when a sketch comedian (Zach Cregger of The Whitest Kids U' Know) is given free rein to goof around with horror tropes. Equal parts shocking, revolting, and hilarious, "Barbarian" is best enjoyed without spoilers and a room full of likewise unsuspecting viewers.

  • Starring: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
  • Director: Zach Cregger
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

The Batman

The streets of Gotham City have never been grittier than in "The Batman," a new interpretation of DC's most popular superhero. Despite being yet another reboot that takes the character "back to basics" as a lone crimefighter chasing gangsters and serial killers, "The Batman" still feels distinct from both Christopher Nolan's nuts-and-bolts realism and Tim Burton's dark whimsy. More than any previous Batman film, it's a detective story, closer to a 1970s neo-noir than a modern action blockbuster. Within the film's ambitious three-hour runtime you'll find memorable performances, gorgeous photography, and the most in-depth exploration of the title character ever to hit the big screen.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

2018's "Black Panther" was a global sensation, earning over $1 billion at the box office and a slew of Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. As with any successful chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seemed obvious that "Black Panther" would expand into a colossal franchise in its own right. The sudden and tragic death of star Chadwick Boseman threw the future of the series into question, but director Ryan Coogler and his cast and crew committed themselves to reworking the planned sequel into a heartfelt tribute to their absent friend. On top of the familiar action, adventure, and spectacle that Marvel fans have come to expect, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" offers a complex meditation on grief, following the lovable ensemble from the first film through the process of moving on after a devastating loss.

  • Starring: Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong'o
  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Runtime: 161 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%


"Belle" follows a talented teenage songwriter, Suzu, who's been unable to raise her voice in song since the tragic death of her mother. But when she logs into the futuristic social media platform "U," Suzu transforms into "Belle," a spellbinding songstress who becomes a global sensation overnight. As Suzu attempts to reconcile the two parts of herself, she becomes fascinated by an infamous online prizefighter with a monstrous virtual avatar.

Though originally released in Japan and on the festival circuit in 2021, the critically acclaimed anime musical "Belle" finally arrived in U.S. theaters in January 2022. It's nominally an adaptation of the classic fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" for the social media age, but "Belle" brings far more to the table than just the familiar beats of its source material. "Belle" is part timeless and part bleeding-edge contemporary, as exemplified by its two distinct but equally beautiful art styles — painterly traditional animation to represent the real world and eye-popping cell-shaded CGI to represent the virtual reality of the Internet.

  • Starring: Kaho Nakamura, Ryō Narita, Shōta Sometani
  • Director: Mamoru Hosoda
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Cooper Raiff (also the writer and director) stars opposite Dakota Johnson (also a producer) in "Cha Cha Real Smooth," a sweet, witty indie comedy that took home the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at 2022's Sundance Film Festival. Raiff portrays Andrew, a recent college graduate who's landed back at his mom and stepdad's house while he figures out the next phase of his life. Though built around the sizzling chemistry between Andrew and Dakota Johnson's affianced 30-something Domino, "Cha Cha Real Smooth" is really a coming-of-age story, a quirky and heartfelt tale about the liminal space created when an adult who's enjoyed four years of independence and higher learning has to get a job at the mall food court.

  • Starring: Cooper Raiff, Dakota Johnson, Vanessa Burghardt
  • Director: Cooper Raiff
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Decision to Leave

South Korean director Park Chan-wook of "Oldboy" and "The Handmaiden" fame presents a seductive thriller that expertly balances suspense, romance, and comedy in "Decision to Leave." When ace detective Hae-jun is assigned to investigate a mysterious death, he becomes bizarrely obsessed with the victim's widow, Seo-rae. The feeling seems to be mutual, but is Seo-rae simply toying with him to cover up a murder? Gorgeously shot and simmering with tension that's occasionally broken by a pitch-perfect gag, "Decision to Leave" is a masterfully crafted mystery.

  • Starring: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il, Lee Jung-hyun
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Runtime: 138 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Do Revenge

Around the turn of the millennium, a string of teen flicks adapting the plays of William Shakespeare to a contemporary high school setting debuted. With "Do Revenge," director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson makes a killer case for giving the same treatment to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. In this comedy-thriller loosely based on "Strangers on a Train," a new kid at an affluent prep school and its disgraced queen bee team up to exact some cruel and imaginative vengeance upon each others' nemeses. Lively, funny, and sporting a tremendous performance from Maya Hawke, if "Do Revenge" doesn't spark a new trend in high school thrillers, someone is going to pay.

  • Starring: Camila Mendes, Maya Hawke, Rish Shah
  • Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Emily the Criminal

"Emily the Criminal" is a crime thriller born of the present moment, as a generation weighed down by debt and denied full-time employment struggles to make ends meet in the "gig economy." Aubrey Plaza stars as Emily, who juggles various menial jobs with combined wages that can't make a dent in her student loans. When presented with the opportunity to make a lot of money fast, Emily becomes a "dummy shopper," maxing out cloned credit cards and reselling the purchases on the black market. The story of a hard-luck outlaw getting in too deep is nothing new, but "Emily the Criminal" has such a modern edge that it can't be denied.

  • Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke
  • Director: John Patton Ford
  • Runtime: 95 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Evelyn Wang is an exhausted and unfulfilled laundromat owner who's just trying to get her taxes done when she's suddenly recruited to fight in an inter-dimensional war. To save the multiverse, Evelyn will have to learn how to "verse-jump," tapping into the feelings, memories, and skills of her alternate selves, all of whom have done more with their lives than she has. "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is uproariously funny, visually dazzling, and deeply moving. Michelle Yeoh delivers an Oscar-worthy lead performance, and that's without even factoring in her multiple off-the-wall fight scenes that demand both great technical skill and comedic timing.

  • Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan
  • Director: Daniels (Dan Kwan & Dan Sheinert)
  • Runtime: 139 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

The Fabelmans

Director Steven Spielberg has shaped the past 50 years of cinema more than any other filmmaker. Now, he's finally ready to tell the story of the events that shaped Steven Spielberg. Though his films are generally known for their sincerity, "The Fabelmans" is Spielberg's most personal work yet, as a semi-autobiographical story based on his own adolescence. 

Sammy Fabelman is a young Jewish kid with a love of filmmaking who must navigate the collapse of his parents' marriage. His is a sweet coming-of-age story that's also a thoughtful and sympathetic examination of a loving couple who've drawn apart from each other. Beyond this, "The Fabelmans" is a charming love letter to cinema, following its protagonist as he embarks on ever more complicated home movie projects that are a delight to see on the big screen. "The Fabelmans" is as awe-inspiring a theatrical experience as any other Spielberg venture.

Fire Island

The latest in a proud tradition of modernized Jane Austen adaptations, "Fire Island" sets "Pride and Prejudice" during a tight-knit, queer chosen family's annual reunion at the titular New York vacation spot. Austen's novel of manners translates beautifully into this contemporary setting, trading prim propriety for raunchy comedy and poking fun at the roles of race, class, and narrow beauty standards in a closed but thriving sexual economy. Conrad Ricamora is a standout as Will, "Fire Island's" version of the steamy and stoic Mr. Darcy, but the heart of the film is the friendship between the lead characters, portrayed by Joel Kim Booster (who also wrote the screenplay) and Bowen Yang. Like "Pride and Prejudice," "Fire Island" is about the family first and the romance second.

  • Starring: Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho
  • Director: Andrew Ahn
  • Runtime: 105 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Fire of Love

"Fire of Love" tells the true story of Katia and Maurice Krafft, fearless volcanologists who visited multiple erupting volcanoes during the latter half of the 20th century. To finance their studies, the couple filmed and photographed their adventures, turning them into books and movies that captivated audiences across the world. This documentary is the distillation of hundreds of hours of footage of their strange journey into one, stunning narrative. Their relationship to each other and the awesome and indifferent forces of our planet is nothing short of enthralling. "Fire of Love" is part nature documentary, part romance, and part tragedy, best seen with the person next to you clutching your hand.

  • Starring: Miranda July, Katia Krafft, Maurice Krafft
  • Director: Sara Dosa
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Remember the live-action remake of "Pinocchio" Disney put out this year? Neither do we. And it's just as well, as it's been blown out of the water by a different version of the classic children's story, directed by "Pan's Labyrinth" and "The Shape of Water" visionary Guillermo del Toro and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" animator Mark Gustafson. Set in Mussolini's fascist Italy, this "Pinocchio" is a dark fairy tale about childhood, parenthood, and mortality, brought to life via stunning stop-motion animation.

What's most remarkable about this film is that it's family entertainment that never panders too hard to either adults or children. There are heavy themes and silly slapstick, but neither feels like a correction for the other. Del Toro is a grown-up with a kid's imagination, equally capable of simplifying complex ideas and extracting the maximum substance from storybook concepts. The result is one the year's best animated features, and a worthy entry in the filmography of the Oscar-winning director.


In between bringing his friends on vacations to sunny locales around the world (and incidentally shooting Netflix comedies while they're in town), Adam Sandler maintains a successful career as a dramatic actor. Following up his critically acclaimed turn in the Safdie brothers thriller "Uncut Gems," Sandler stars in "Hustle," the story of a desperate basketball scout who discovers a world-class talent in a poor single dad from Spain. "Hustle" doesn't exactly break the sports drama mold, but Sandler and co-star Juancho Hernangomez share a lovely chemistry that reminds you how uplifting this dying genre can be. Add in clutch performances from Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, and Robert Duvall and dozens of cameos by NBA and street ball legends, and "Hustle" is a worthy addition to the canon of basketball movies.

  • Starring: Adam Sandler, Juancho Hernangomez, Queen Latifah
  • Director: Jeremiah Zagar
  • Runtime: 118 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

The Menu

The past decade has seen an uptick of major motion pictures and television shows reflecting on the growing divide between the working class and the fabulously wealthy. Hollywood's latest polemic on economic disparity is set in the extravagant world of fine dining, where a celebrity chef is looking to serve his decadent customers their just desserts. "The Menu" is a satirical thriller in which a dozen discerning diners catch a ferry ride to an exclusive culinary experience that just might be their last. "The Menu" has a bit of a "Twilight Zone" edge to it: Its ironic twists are somewhat predictable, but also hugely satisfying. Like a great meal, it's almost exactly what you ordered, but with a few surprising accents and secret ingredients to make what could have been simple sustenance into an experience worth playing top dollar for.

  • Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult
  • Director: Mark Mylod
  • Runtime: 107 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%


Horror auteur Jordan Peele returns with his biggest and most ambitious film yet, a sci-fi-horror-comedy-Western that deconstructs the very concept of filmed entertainment. When a brother-sister pair of down-on-their-luck horse trainers spies a UFO above their ranch, they hope to secure their legacy by capturing the first incontrovertible proof of extraterrestrial life. But at what cost are they willing to attain the impossible shot? And what, "Nope" further inquires, drives people to seek out bizarre spectacle in the first place? Peele doesn't answer every question he poses, to tremendous effect. Expect the wheels in your head to keep turning for days after you see "Nope."

  • Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun
  • Director: Jordan Peele
  • Runtime: 131 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

The Northman

From celebrated director Robert Eggers comes this unflinchingly brutal historical fantasy, based on the ancient Viking epic that inspired Shakespeare's "Hamlet." The dethroned Prince Amleth will stop at nothing to exact vengeance against the uncle who slew his father and kidnapped his mother — but will his quest leave him more beast than man? "The Northman" is as visually stunning as it is disturbing, a meticulous and unsanitized portrait of the grim and miserable past. In Amleth's blood-soaked world, cruelty is the only currency, and debts are always paid with interest.

  • Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang
  • Director: Robert Eggers
  • Runtime: 137 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%


John McTiernan's 1987 genre-mashing blockbuster "Predator" may be a bulletproof classic, but few of its sequels or spin-offs have survived contact with audiences or critics. However, in modern Hollywood, movie franchises can't be killed, no matter how much they bleed — and for once, the world is better for it. "Prey," a prequel to "Predator" set in the North American Great Plains during the 18th century, is by far the best installment in the series since the original. It's a lean, character-driven horror-thriller with some gnarly, cleverly staged violence.

Amber Midthunder makes her mark on action cinema as Naru, a young Comanche warrior looking to prove herself by hunting a dangerous beast. Her prey turns out to be a well-armed extraterrestrial who's come to kill humans for sport, as well as a portent of the colonizing threat that awaits her community. Like all "Predator" films, "Prey" can be enjoyed entirely on its own, but it also contains some cute Easter eggs for longtime fans of the franchise's mythology.

  • Starring: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp
  • Director: Dan Trachtenberg
  • Runtime: 99 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%


Debuting at Sundance and hitting theaters and streaming later in 2022, "Resurrection" is a white-knuckle psychological horror film in which star Rebecca Hall delivers one of the year's first great performances. Hall portrays Margaret, a businesswoman and single parent who seems in total control of her life until a mysterious man from her past resurfaces and sends her spiraling into all-consuming panic. What is it that makes his mere presence so terrifying? We are absolutely not telling — you need to see this one for yourself. Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth sell the film's bizarre and disgusting twists with such conviction that they can stick with you long after you've finished watching.

  • Starring: Rebecca Hall, Tim Roth, Grace Kaufman
  • Director: Andrew Semans
  • Runtime: 103 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%


"RRR" is, as Siddhant Adlakha of IndieWire put it, "a dazzling work of historical fiction — emphasis on the 'fiction.'" Essentially a superhero epic based on two real Indian revolutionaries of the 1920s who likely never actually met, "RRR" is a violent, thrilling, heartfelt, and gleefully over-the-top Tollywood (Telugu-language) action/musical blockbuster. Its song and dance number "Naatu Naatu" has gone mega-viral online, and it teases only a small fraction the bombastic excitement of its battle scenes. And "RRR" is no hollow spectacle. Beyond its anti-imperialist political message, "RRR" also boasts one of the most unreservedly sincere bromances in modern cinema. It's a three-hour film that energizes rather than exhausts its audience. By the time the credits roll, you'll feel like you could punch a hole through the moon.

  • Starring: N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgan
  • Director: S.S. Rajamouli
  • Runtime: 187 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%


In 1996, director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson ushered in a new era of horror movies with "Scream," in which a group of teens are hunted by a mysterious killer who's obsessed with slasher movies. Just as each "Scream" sequel has commented on the nature of horror sequels and the changing landscape of horror cinema, this fifth entry tackles the contemporary trend of the "requel," in which "legacy characters" pass the torch to a new generation. But, as always, "Scream" isn't just about dorky inside jokes for cinephiles, it's also a thrilling horror "whodunnit" in its own right, with scares and chuckles in equal measure. "Scream" can be enjoyed as either a jumping-on point or a satisfying conclusion to one of horror's most consistent franchises.

  • Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
  • Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%


Cate Blanchett delivers one of the most captivating performances of her career as fictional composer-conductor Lydia Tár in this gripping character study. Tár is a titan in the world of classical music, with a colossal ego to match. But in the run-up to her latest career milestone, whispers of her personal and professional misconduct crescendo into a deafening roar that threatens to knock her off her podium.

Blanchett endows Tár with such charisma and menace, one can immediately understand how awful people manage to acquire so much power — or how power can make a person awful. It's a meditation on the movement to hold people accountable, but one that reserves judgement for the viewer. There are moments when you might find yourself sympathizing with this self-obsessed genius, even as you eagerly anticipate her downfall.

  • Starring: Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss
  • Director: Todd Field
  • Runtime: 158 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Director George Miller always seems to zig when he's expected to zag. He became famous for his "Mad Max" trilogy of post-apocalyptic action films, which he followed up with the supernatural sex comedy "The Witches of Eastwick" and the true-life tearjerker "Lorenzo's Oil." After a string of kid-friendly talking animal pictures, Miller exploded back to prominence with his spectacular return to the world of Max Rockatansky in "Fury Road." While fans eagerly await its prequel, "Furiosa," Miller has delivered a haunting adult fairy tale romance, "Three Thousand Years of Longing," combining the bombastic production design and color palette of his wildest genre works with the emotional maturity of his soberest dramas.

Though unsurprisingly a box office bomb, this dark storybook tale of a solitary academic who frees a lonely djinn from centuries of imprisonment is both thought-provoking and heart-wrenching, musing on the nature of love, the shape of stories, and the death of myth in our modern world. It's not a "feel good" movie, it's a "feel everything" movie.


"Till" is based on the true story of Mamie Till's fight for justice after her son, Emmett, was brutally murdered by white supremacists at the age of 14. "Till" introduces us to a bright and charming young man in Emmett "Bo" Till, and forces us to reckon with his inhuman death and the deep wounds it leaves behind — not only on those who love him, but on everyone the lynching is meant to terrorize. An intimate and heartbreaking character study, it centers a woman whose unimaginable pain becomes the center of a national news story and a movement for civil rights. Moreover, "Till" is one of the most beautifully and deliberately photographed films of the year. What results is a commanding debut onto the Hollywood main stage for both director Chinonye Chukwu and star Danielle Deadwyler.

  • Starring: Danielle Deadwyler, Jalyn Hall, Frankie Faison
  • Director: Chinonye Chukwu
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Top Gun: Maverick

We'll be the first to tell you that "Top Gun: Maverick" is, like its predecessor, basically a very expensive recruitment ad for the United States Navy. It's a sports movie in which the sport is flying advanced aircraft that just happen to be tools of death and destruction, and its aim is to make the people who operate them look as cool as possible. That said ... mission accomplished. "Top Gun: Maverick" is a ridiculously fun cinematic novelty that will thrill even the most cynical viewer. Eschewing CGI as much as possible, director Joseph Kosinski puts the actors and cameras right into actual fighter jets and lets audiences marvel at incredible real-life feats of aerial agility. The spectacle is bound together by irresistible charisma machine Tom Cruise reprising the role of Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, leading a new generation of hot shots into the danger zone. Propaganda? Sure, but it works!

  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly
  • Director: Joseph Kosinski
  • Runtime: 131 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Triangle of Sadness

Writer-director Ruben Östlund won his second Palme d'Or for "Triangle of Sadness," a wacky satire about class disparity and the apocalypse. Though its first and third acts contain plenty of laughs, its middle hour — set on a luxury yacht populated by sociopathic billionaires and an exhausted staff — is worth the price of admission alone. Essentially a broad gross-out comedy for arthouse audiences, "Triangle of Sadness" captures the lunacy of the mega-rich. It's not the most subtle film of the year, but it is the only one that offers the thrill of watching the soulless elite violently evacuate their digestive tracts.

  • Starring: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Woody Harrelson
  • Director: Ruben Östlund
  • Runtime: 149 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Turning Red

Overachieving eighth-grader Mei Lee awakens one morning to discover she has transformed into a giant red panda, just as every woman in her family has for generations. Mei's panda form emerges whenever she experiences strong emotions, and her mother Ming expects her to rein it in, like she did. But what if Mei likes being an excitable furry monster? "Turning Red" is a joyful celebration of friendship, family, and how the awkward process of growing up complicates both.

  • Starring: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse
  • Director: Domee Shi
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Rating: PG
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

The Woman King

"The Woman King" is a grand Hollywood war epic unlike any other. Set in 19th century Dahomey, it stars Viola Davis as General Nanisca, the (fictional) leader of the (quite real) Agojie, an elite army of female soldiers. Through the eyes of Nanisca and teenage recruit Nawi, "The Woman King" explores the lives of these incredible warriors as their nation attempts to divest itself from the monstrosity of the slave trade. Like plenty of other war movies, "The Woman King" plays fast and loose with history, but between its taut direction, gnarly action, and heartfelt performances, one can hardly complain. It's a prestige blockbuster that kicks butt while celebrating a piece of history Hollywood has heretofore failed to represent.

  • Starring: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch
  • Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
  • Runtime: 135 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%