The 50 best films of 2022 in the UK – 50 to 9 | Movies


This list is compiled by the Guardian film team, with all films released in the UK during 2022 in contention. Check in every weekday to see our next picks, and please share your own favourite films of 2022 in the comments below.

50

Compartment No 6

Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen directs this answer to Before Sunrise, about an archaeology student who shares a train compartment with a boorish Russian; the pair connect despite their differences. Read the full review

49

Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise returns almost four decades on for another bout of speed and need: this time he is the mentor to a new generation of navy fighter pilots, led by Miles Teller, playing the son of Maverick’s late wingman, Goose. Read the full review

48

Paris, 13th District

A sexy film about sexiness … Paris, 13th District.
A sexy film about sexiness … Paris, 13th District. Photograph: Shanna Besson

The latest film from Rust and Bone director Jacques Audiard, here putting together a short story collection of sexual encounters and relationships in Paris’s 13th arrondissement, shot in tough black-and-white. Read the full review

47

Happening

Golden Lion-winning abortion drama, more relevant than ever, from director Audrey Diwan; a study of a woman (played by Anamaria Vartolomei) who becomes pregnant in early-60s, pre-legalisation France. Read the full review

46

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Entertaining second dose of Rian Johnson’s labyrinthine crime mystery, with Daniel Craig on good form as Hercule Poirot-esque detective Benoit Blanc, here investigating a murder-themed party that turns deadly. Read the full review

45

Vortex

Descent into dementia … Gasper Noé’s Vortex
Descent into dementia … Gasper Noé’s Vortex

Split-screen dementia drama from Argentine provocateur Gaspar Noé, starring Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun as an elderly couple whose lives are dogged by the latter’s cognitive decline. Read the full review

44

The Woman King

Stirring period epic starring Viola Davis as the leader of the Agojie, a brigade of female warriors in west Africa who are attempting to see off threats from the Oyo empire as well as from slave-buying colonialists. Read the full review

43

Brian and Charles

David Earl and Chris Hayward’s story of an inventor’s relationship with his creation blends Caractacus Potts with Victor Frankenstein to heartwarming effect. Read the full review

42

We (Nous)

A tender homage to the unnoticed … We (Nous).
A tender homage to the unnoticed … We (Nous). Photograph: Sarah Blum

French-Senegalese film-maker Alice Diop offers a sensitive portrayal of the disparate communities that live along one of Paris’s commuter rail lines, in a documentary predating her acclaimed fiction feature debut, Saint Omer. Read the full review

41

Everything Went Fine

André Dussollier and Sophie Marceau are outstanding in François Ozon’s wonderfully observed story about a father and daughter whose tricky relationship is upended when he asks for her help to die. Read the full review

40

Benediction

Terence Davies’s account of the life of Siegfried Sassoon (played by Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi in younger/older versions), tracing his career from lionised war poet to unhappy later life. Read the full review

39

Prayers for the Stolen

Children interrupted … Prayers For The Stolen.
Children interrupted … Prayers For The Stolen. Photograph: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy

A heart-rending study of the traumatising life experience of a Mexican woman trying to ensure her daughter escapes the attentions of rapists and narcos who can apparently operate with impunity. Read the full review

38

Small Body

Mysterious fable from Italian director Laura Samani, about a woman desperate to revive her stillborn baby who heads off on a quest to find the church that may be able to accomplish it. Read the full review

37

Great Freedom

Intriguing German drama about a former concentration camp inmate imprisoned after the war for gay sex acts, and who develops a complex relationship with his straight cellmate. Read the full review

36

A Banquet

Unnerving body horror … A Banquet.
Unnerving body horror … A Banquet. Photograph: Signature Entertainment

Social-comment body horror from debut feature director Ruth Paxton, with Sienna Guillory as the apparently perfect single mother with two daughters, one of whom develops a mysterious eating disorder. Read the full review

35

All Quiet on the Western Front

Anti-war nightmare of bloodshed and chaos where teenage boys quickly find themselves caught up in the ordeal of trench warfare, in a German-language adaptation of the first world war novel. Read the full review

34

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

Chadian auteur Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s quiet fable, about a woman torn between social proprieties and respecting her daughter’s decision to get an abortion. Read the full review

33

All That Breathes

Complex and quietly beautiful … All That Breathes.
Complex and quietly beautiful … All That Breathes. Photograph: PR

Two Indian brothers dedicate themselves to rescuing birds that are being poisoned by pollution in this complex and quietly beautiful film. Read the full review

32

Corsage

Vicky Krieps puts in a star turn as lonely, patronised Elizabeth of Austria in Marie Kreutzer’s austere drama that functions as a cry of anger from the pedestal-prison of an empress. Read the full review

31

Crimes of the Future

As he did with 90s hit Crash, David Cronenberg’s horror sensation creates a bizarre new society of sicko sybarites where pain is the ultimate pleasure and “surgery is the new sex”. Read the full review

30

The Worst Person in the World

Thelma director Joachim Trier comes up with an unexpectedly moving drama about a twentysomething woman (played by Renate Reinsve in a star-making performance) as she navigates relationships and jobs at a tricky period in life. Read the full review

29

The Souvenir Part II

Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton in The Souvenir Part II.
Austere … Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton in The Souvenir Part II. Photograph: Everett Collection/Alamy

Second half of Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical drama, with Honor Swinton Byrne as film student Julie as she abandons her social issue documentary in favour of making her own autobiographical memoir. Read the full review

28

Cow

American Honey director Andrea Arnold’s meaty slice of bovine socio-realism, detailing the life of dairy cows with unflinching and empathic precision. Read the full review

27

No Bears

Complex metafiction of fear in which now-jailed director Jafar Panahi plays a version of himself, forced to shoot his new film in a town near the border with Turkey. Read the full review

26

White Noise

Don DeLillo’s novel of campus larks and eco dread gets an elegant, droll film treatment from Noah Baumbach, starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. Read the full review

25

The Gravedigger’s Wife

Gentle, funny drama of a man seeking money for his spouse’s operation and his sick spouse from Somali-born director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. Read the full review

24

Fire of Love

Maurice and Katia Krafft in Fire of Love.
Passionate … Maurice and Katia Krafft in Fire of Love. Photograph: Image’Est

Romantic portrait of passionate, doomed volcanologists embraces the mythology around Maurice and Katia Krafft, the scientists who died in the 1991 Mount Unzen disaster. Read the full review

23

Descendant

Powerful documentary on the legacy of slavery showing how an illegal slave ship led to the creation of an Alabama community of inherited trauma but also defiance. Read the full review

22

Nitram

Deeply disturbing drama about mass killer Martin Bryant which shies away from depicting the Port Arthur massacre itself – but outstanding performances mean it is still a highly unsettling story. Read the full review

21

The Innocents

Rakel Lenora Fløttum in The Innocents.
Icily brilliant … Rakel Lenora Fløttum in The Innocents. Photograph: Midnight/Allstar

Creepy-kid horror from Norwegian director Eskil Vogt (co-writer of The Worst Person in the World), about two young sisters who make friends with other children who apparently possess supernatural powers. Read the full review

20

The Northman

Brutal Viking saga based on the same legend as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with Alexander Skarsgård as the chieftain’s son out for vengeance on the man who murdered his father and took his throne. Read the full review

19

Official Competition

Penélope Cruz is on fire in delicious movie industry satire in which she plays an eccentric director using unorthodox techniques to manage lead actors – and polar opposites – Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez. Read the full review

18

Living

Exquisitely sad drama starring Bill Nighy in a Kazuo Ishiguro-scripted remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film Ikiru about a man dealing with a terminal diagnosis. Read the full review

17

You Won’t Be Alone

Noomi Rapace in You Won’t Be Alone.
Spellbinding … Noomi Rapace in You Won’t Be Alone. Photograph: Branko Starcevic/Focus Features

Spellbinding horror movie from director Goran Stolevski, a witch story that follows a shapeshifter in a 19th-century village. Read the full review

16

Mass

Jason Isaacs and Ann Dowd are among the cast of a drama about the “healing” meeting between the parents of a high-school shooting victim, and the parents of the perpetrator. Read the full review

15

Bones and All

Teen cannibal romance with Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, who dazzle in Luca Guadagnino’s blood-soaked parable of poverty and rebellion. Read the full review

14

Playground

Seven-year-old Maya Vanderbeque is brilliant in this Belgian schoolyard drama, as a girl called Nora who tries to confront classroom bullies in this short, intense film. Read the full review

13

The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin.
Hilarious, horrifying, heartbreaking … Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin. Photograph: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

Guinness-black comedy of male pain in which Martin McDonagh reunites Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in remotest Ireland for an oddball study of isolation and hurt. Read the full review

12

Moonage Daydream

Glorious, shapeshifting eulogy to David Bowie from director Brett Morgen, whose intimate montage of the uniquely influential artist celebrates his career, creativity and unfailing charm. Read the full review

11

Funny Pages

Deliciously dark coming-of-age comedy from Owen Kline, that fuses teen innocence with adult sexuality in a bad-taste debut film that recalls American Splendor and Crumb. Read the full review

10

Decision to Leave

South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s sensational black-widow noir romance, starring Tang Wei, keeps the viewer off-balance at every turn. Read the full review

9

Memoria

Tilda Swinton and Elkin Díaz in Memoria.
Mysterious … Tilda Swinton and Elkin Díaz in Memoria. Photograph: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy

Tilda Swinton joins forces with Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul for an English-language, Colombia-set fable about a woman who can hear sounds that others don’t appear to. Read the full review