Swampflix’s Top 10 Films of 2022

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once Maybe we’re living in the worst possible timeline, but maybe we’re just living in the one where Michel Gondry directed The Matrix.  It’s nice here.  The absurdism, creativity, and all-out maximalism of Everything Everywhere has made it the most talked-about movie of the year, and with good reason.  Films about intergenerational trauma and poor parental relationships often come across as schmaltzy and reductive, but this one is complex in ways that you can’t predict or imagine.  You’ll even find yourself empathizing with a googly-eyed rock.

2. Marcel the Shell With Shoes OnIn the tradition of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the Borrowers books, and the half-remembered TV show The Littles, Marcel the Shell shrinks itself down to the level of a tiny being to view the world from their perspective.  Like the original stop-motion YouTube shorts, it’s a rapid-fire joke delivery system where every punchline is “So small!”  It also has a big heart, though, acting as an emotional defibrillator to shock us back into the great wide world of familial & communal joy after a few years of intense isolation. 

3. Mad GodBoth a for-its-own sake immersion in scatological mayhem and an oddly touching reflection on the creative process, the indifference of time, and the cruelty of everything.  Phil Tippet’s stop-motion descent into Hell is meticulously designed to either delight or irritate, so count us among the awed freaks who never wanted the nightmare to end.

4. RRR An anti-colonialist epic about the power of friendship (and the power of bullets, and the power of wolves, and the power of grenades, and the power of dynamite, and the power of tigers, and the power of bears, oh my).  A real skull-cracker of a good time.

5. Neptune FrostA post-gender Afrofuturist musical that triangulates unlikely holy ground between Space is the Place, Black Orpheus, and Hackers.  This movie is gorgeous, even if it takes more than one viewing to piece together a thorough understanding of its plot, since it phrases its protests against colonialism & strip-mining in the language of dreams & poetry.

6. Men If it weren’t for the tabloidization of Don’t Worry Darling, this would easily be the most over-complained about movie of 2022.  The Discourse was not kind to Alex Garland’s shift from chilly sci-fi to atmospheric folk horror, but the spectacular MPreg climax & Rory Kinnear’s terrifying face will haunt us forever anyway.

7. Triangle of Sadness A delightfully cruel, unsettling comedy that invites you to laugh at the grotesquely rich as they slide around in their own piss, shit, and vomit on a swaying luxury cruise ship.  It’s incredibly satisfyingand maybe even Östlund’s bestas long as you prefer catharsis & entertainment over subtlety & nuance.

8. Funny Pages Proudly wears its 2000s indie nostalgia as a grimy badge of dishonor, questioning why Ghost World and The Safdies can’t share the same marquee.  You might wonder where its alt-comics slackerdom fits in the modern world, but any dipshit suburbanite poser who’s ever romanticized suffering an “authentic” life as a starving artist in The City should be able to relate.

9. Nope After examining the horror of suburbia and neoliberalism in Get Out (our #1 film of 2017) and the horror of self and manifest destiny in Us (our #7 film of 2019), Jordan Peele’s latest is an oddly laidback, immensely scaled sci-fi thriller about a brother & sister’s fight to understand, outsmart, document, and monetize an extraterrestrial being beyond our comprehension.  Consider it a Signs of the times. 

10. Hatching A great entry in the Puberty as Monstrous Transformation canon, alongside titles like Ginger Snaps, Jennifer’s Body, Teeth, and CarrieHatching stands out in that crowd by adding an extra layer about mothers living through their daughters in unhealthy ways. In fact, we recommend all mothers and daughters watch this twisted Finnish fairy tale together; it’s gross-out fun for the whole family.

Read Alli’s list here.
Read Boomer’s list here.
Read Brandon’s list here.
Read Britnee’s list here.
See Hanna’s list here.
Hear James’s list here.

-The Swampflix Crew

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