By Kevin Muller
1. My Policeman – (2.5 out of 5) – The second movie in 2022 that starred musical sensation Harry Styles took a familiar story of a forbidden romance, this time two men in love, and creates one of the duller films of the year. It wasn’t a terrible film, but one that just felt like it existed with nothing that made it stand out. Kudos to Styles, who fully committed to the role and all that came with it. Unlike most musicians who try to cross over to the big screen, he can act. The cinematography was also beautiful to behold too.
2. Dual – (3.5 out of 5) – Karen Gillian, taking a break from her big budget appearances, stars as a woman who is on the verge of dying. To spare her loved ones the pain, she clones herself. The clone, who must get used to the life that she will inhabit, is far superior in every aspect where the she fails. Riley Stearns, whose last film The Art of Self-Defense, creates the same atmosphere as that one, where all the actors have the same deadpan seriousness as the film’s tone. If you aren’t into his style, don’t even bother, but it is a twisted little piece of cinema if you are game for it. Gillian does worthy work as both the original and the clone.
3. Aftersun – (3.5 out of 5 ) – Paul Mescal’s star is about to shine bright after being cast in the follow up sequel to 2000’s Gladiator. Here, in a role he was nominated for Best Actor, he plays a broken father spending one special weekend with his young daughter. Frankie Corio is fantastic as the child. It is a heartbreaking tale that hits hard on the emotions but isn’t as special as most people made it out to be. Despite the rating above, check this one out, you’ll probably love it. I just didn’t connect with it as hard as everyone else did.
4. Watcher – (4 out of 5) – Maika Monroe dips her feet back into the thriller genre again, after the successful It Follows, as an American stuck in a foreign country who is convinced that she is being stalked by a killer. The film brings out both the fear of murder and being lost in translation very well. In some of these scenes, you can cut the tension with a chainsaw.
5. Pleasure – (3.5 out of 5) – A Swedish film about one of America’s most profitable businesses, the American porn industry. Sofia Kappel is daring and well-cast as Bella Cherry; the wide-eyed innocent girl who comes to LA to make her mark. While her journey has a predictable A to B structure, the film doesn’t pull any punches. There are explicit images and scenarios that will make even the biggest porn fan cringe. There is no way an American studio could’ve made something this raw and realistic.
6. She said… – (4.5 out of 5) – The famous investigation into the horrific incidents of Harvey Weinstein is a beautiful tribute to the power of journalism. Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan, as the investigators who brought the mogul down, are a fantastic team. Above all, the actresses cast as the victims is what makes this work. You see the pain, regret, remorse, and torture in all their eyes. With this film and Women Talking, 2022 was a hell of a year for women ensembles.
7. Causeway – (4 out of 5) – Twelve years after Jennifer Lawrence was the It girl of Hollywood, won an Oscar, and headlined a multimillion-dollar franchise, she’s back in a role that shows us how incredible she can be. In the film, she plays a damaged soldier who is forced to come back to the place that she wanted to escape. It is a quiet performance, but one that the actress does with perfection. Brian Tyree Henry, who received his first Oscar nomination for his work here, is equally as impressive as someone she connects with while at home. The two have fantastic chemistry.
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