By NARDOS HAILE
Glittering rock ‘n’ roll, women warriors and kings, spellbinding multiverses and stories of friendship and family permeated 2022 cinema and the AP Top 25 Movies list.
Some of last year’s best films, as determined by our panel of 26 journalists from across the U.S., are still in theaters — but many are also available online to stream now. Here’s where you can find the movies:
1. “THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN”
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Kerry Condon star in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” which tells a tale of the ebbs and flows of the friendship between Farrell’s Pádraic and Gleeson’s Colm while highlighting haunting Irish landscapes. It can be streamed on HBO Max and rented on YouTube and Amazon.
2. “EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE”
The A24-produced indie “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has been a critical success and crowd-pleaser since it came out last spring. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu carry a mind-bending multiverse story about a Chinese American family’s disconnection and how they find each other again through the existence of other versions of themselves. The film is available for streaming on Paramount+ with a Showtime add-on.
Cate Blanchett portrays renowned conductor Lydia Tár. As the titular character, she is cunning, talented and on too high of a pedestal to fall from — but of course, she does. Todd Field’s “Tár” deals with the dichotomy between power and art and takes on the culture wars dominating politics and popular discourse. It is available for rent and purchase on Amazon and iTunes.
Writer-director Jordan Peele’s third horror blockbuster stars Keke Palmer and reoccurring Peele favorite Daniel Kaluuya. A story about a family’s successful business as Hollywood horse wranglers dives into strange sci-fi territory when horses on their ranch start to go missing. It’s available to stream on Peacock.
5. “THE WOMAN KING”
In “The Woman King,” Viola Davis is the head of the Agojie, an all-female unit of warriors who protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 19th century. The story follows Davis’ Nanisca as she trains young women for battle while also vanquishing personal demons and enemies. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film is available for rental on YouTube and Apple TV.
S.S. Rajamouli’s three-hour maximalist action epic “RRR” is one of India’s most expensive — and top-grossing — films of all time. It pairs two of Tollywood’s biggest stars, N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, as revolutionaries fighting against the British colonialists in 1920. The film topped Netflix’s streaming charts over the summer, and is still available to watch there.
7. “TOP GUN: MAVERICK”
36 years after the original “Top Gun,” “Top Gun: Maverick” takes the audience to new heights with Tom Cruise reprising his role as “Maverick.” Cruise takes on a leadership and mentor role for supporting cast members Miles Teller and Glen Powell. “Top Gun: Maverick” is available for rental on Paramount+ and Amazon.
8. “THE FABELMANS”
Steven Spielberg’s most personal film yet documents the joys and ultimate perils that fragment the Fabelman family forever. In a love letter to film and his family, Spielberg allows viewers to see behind his passion for film and his search for the meaning of family and life. The film is available to rent on Amazon.
9. “WOMEN TALKING”
Still only in limited theaters.
Director Sarah Polley weaves the story of pervasive sexual assault plaguing the women in a Mennonite community. “Women Talking” is an adaptation of a 2018 book by Miriam Toews. It stars Claire Foy, Rooney Mara and Frances McDormand. The film is still in limited theaters and is not yet available for streaming.
10. “GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY”
The sequel to director Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” features the return of Daniel Craig’s southern twang-heavy detective Benoit Blanc. The twisty whodunit does what the original did best: allow problematic and murderous rich people to measure their egos and decipher which one is a killer. The film is available to stream on Netflix.
Writer-director Charlotte Wells illustrates the bond between a father/daughter duo portrayed by Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio. “Aftersun” focuses on the pivotal moments in adolescent life when the world feels so big and full of wonder that starts to fade when the reality of life peeks through the cracks and taints your memories. The film is available to rent on Amazon and YouTube.
12. “DECISION TO LEAVE”
Director Park Chan-wook’s “Decision To Leave” is a Hitchcockian noir that follows the story of an insomniac detective falling in love with a beautiful suspect in a suspicious death he’s investigating. It is available for digital rental on Apple TV and Amazon.
13. “GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO”
The decades-old child’s tale “Pinocchio” gets retold through the lens of Guillermo Del Toro’s dark mind. This is not the Disney version of “Pinocchio” — in Del Toro’s still musical version, themes of fascism are explored. The cast includes Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Ewan McGregor. The film is available to stream on Netflix.
In “Elvis,” Baz Luhrmann’s vision transforms relatively unknown child actor Austin Butler into the King. The unconventional biopic tells the life of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his former manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. The film is available to stream on HBO Max.
15. “ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED”
Still only in limited theaters.
American photographer Nan Goldin’s life’s work is told throughout “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” and it’s not just about photography. Directed by Laura Poitras, this documentary dives into Goldin’s political activism and how the sticky web of the Sackler family’s philanthropic interests in the art world intersected with their pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, which has faced a barrage of lawsuits alleging that it helped spark an opioid addiction and overdose crisis. The film is in limited theaters and is not yet available for streaming.
16. “AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER”
Still in theaters.
After a 13-year wait, “Avatar: The Way of Water” delves into the journey of the original “Avatar” main character Jake Sully’s family through adversity and loss. Director James Cameron builds a spiritual and visually compelling world in this sequel that stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. The film is still in theaters and is not yet available for streaming.
16. “THE WHALE”
Still in theaters.
Brendan Fraser plays Charlie, the 600-pound central character of “The Whale.” Charlie is a father, an English teacher and has terminal health issues that give him a life expectancy of a week. In that week, he attempts to bond with his estranged daughter, played by “Stranger Things” actor Sadie Sink. The film is based on and adapted from the off-Broadway play by Samuel D. Hunter. The film is still in theaters and is not yet available for streaming.
Still in theaters.
From “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle comes a journey into 1920s Hollywood hedonism and a drug-fueled fever dream of the bygone cinematic era. The film stars Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and newcomer Diego Calva in a three-hour story about filmmaking at a crucial time for American cinema. The film is still in theaters and is not yet available for streaming.
19. “SHE SAID”
Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star as New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who uncovered the decadeslong sexual assault and misconduct allegations against disgraced Hollywood movie executive Harvey Weinstein. Their story was the catalyst that sparked a worldwide reckoning known as the #MeToo movement. The film is available for streaming on Peacock.
20. “MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON”
“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” is a feature-length, stop-motion animation film based on the YouTube shorts made by Jenny Slate, who voices Marcel in a high-pitched octave, and director Dean Fleischer Camp. The experience of being small, cute and unassuming is the heart of the film about a mollusk. The film is available to rent on Amazon.
21. “TRIANGLE OF SADNESS”
Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund has created a prickly social satire examining race, wealth, social class and inequality. It stars the late Charlbi Dean and Harris Dickinson as a model/influencer couple who end up on a sponsored yacht trip with other rich guests. Chaos ensues when the yacht gets stuck in the middle of a storm and the guests end up on a deserted island. The film later focuses on maid-turned-ringleader Abigail, played by Dolly De Leon. The film is available to rent on YouTube, Apple TV and Amazon.
A drama about the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till, director Chinonye Chukwu centers on Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, played by Danielle Deadwyler. The film follows the aftereffects of Emmett’s brutal murder, Mamie’s private trauma and her evolution into a civil rights activist. The film is available to rent on YouTube, Apple TV and Amazon.
Still in limited theaters.
“EO,” is the story of a circus donkey who is taken from his owner and begins a long, spiritual journey through the modern Polish and Italian countrysides, encountering humans both kind and cruel. It is a love letter to animals , directed by Jerzy Skolimowski. “EO” is still in limited theaters and is not yet available for streaming.
24. “TURNING RED”
“Turning Red” is the first Pixar movie directed solely by a woman. Helmed by Domee Shi, who also made the Oscar-winning short “Bao,” the animated film is a coming-of-age tale about a Chinese Canadian eighth-grader who turns into a big, fluffy red panda — a walking metaphor for growing young womanhood. “Turning Red” is available to stream on Disney+.
25. “NO BEARS”
Still in limited theaters.
Iranian director Jafar Panahi was banned from making films for 20 years in 2010. He’s nevertheless made five films since then, including “No Bears.” The film dramatizes Panahi making a film along the Turkish-Iranian border. In July 2022, Panahi was arrested on an old charge. He is now serving six years in jail and was not able to attend the premiere of “No Bears.” The film is still in limited theaters and is not currently available on streaming.
For more on AP Top 25 Movies, including a breakdown of the votes and individual ballots, visit our hub at https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-movies.
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