22 movies we're excited to see in 2022

22 movies we're excited to see in 2022

With cinemas now reopened (albeit with reduced hours for the moment) in Ireland, studios that were previously holding back releases will now send them to audiences in 2022.

It goes without saying that 2021 was a tough year, but with productions resuming in the latter part of the year, expect to see a much heavier release schedule in the coming year. With that in mind, we've gone through the releases of 2022 and picked 22 movies we're excited to see.

A final note before we get started. You'll notice that we've left out the release dates on our choices. This is pretty simple. Given how studios have been chopping and changing release dates in recent months, we've opted to simply leave them off this for fear of dating the thing and giving people inaccurate information a week or a month from now.

Right, with the housekeeping out of the way, on to the list.

22 'Nightmare Alley'

Guillermo del Toro's first movie since his Oscar-winning efforts in 'The Shape of Water' sees him back going back in time once again, although there aren't any fish-type romances going on here. Adapted from the 1947 noir classic and the novel, 'Nightmare Alley' is being hailed as a pulpy thriller with an all-star cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and Toni Collette.

21 'Scream'

Well, it was only a matter of time before we got a hard reboot of 'Scream' and it says something that the original cast was willing to turn up for this one. David Arquette, Courtney Cox and (hold for effect) Neve Campbell are all back in their original roles with a cast of young talent ready to be sliced and stabbed by Ghostface.

20 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent'

Nicholas Cage playing Nicholas Cage in what is sure to be the premiere Nicholas Cage experience of the year. Yes, you read that right. Nicholas Cage plays himself in this bonkers thriller where he's hired by a billionaire superfan - played by Pedro Pascal, no less - to attend his birthday party for a cool $1 million. The catch? He has to play some of his most iconic roles, so expect nods and winks to everything from 'Con-Air' and 'The Rock' to 'Vampire's Kiss' and maybe 'Deadfall'? Who knows. Expect weirdness.

19 'Lightyear'

Yes, it may be that 'Lightyear' is axiomatic of corporate influence in filmmaking ultimately resulting in it eating itself as a symptom of late-stage capitalism, but have you considered that starfighter pilots are really cool? Also, the director has said that the idea is essentially to create the movie that would have inspired Andy - the child from 'Toy Story' - to become obsessed with Buzz Lightyear. Considering so many of Pixar's efforts are aimed towards emotional, heartwrenching stories, seeing them try to make an all-out sci-fi adventure is going to be interesting.

18 'Aisha'

Frank Berry's last effort, 'Michael Inside', was a searing examination of Ireland's prison system through the eyes of a young man. 'Aisha', his follow-up, sees Berry turn his focus on Ireland's direct provision system and the degrading and inhuman conditions in which people exist. 'Black Panther' alum Letitia Wright plays the titular role, while Josh O'Connor plays a security guard who develops a relationship with her. Expect this one to be controversial.

17 'Jackass Forever'

Who would have thought that 'Jackass' would make it into a list of anticipated movies in 2022? Well, us. Whatever. Seeing Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and Chris Pontius back in action and making complete fools of themselves - now well into their forties and fifties - would initially read as kind of sad, but there's something completely joyous about this. Is it that they're all still friends, or that they're still completely able to crack themselves up with their antics? Maybe it's both.

16 'Bullet Train'

'John Wick' alum and go-to action impresario David Leitch is back, and this time, he's got a huge ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and all of it is set on a Japanese bullet train as five assassins discover their missions are interconnected. Sony actually moved up the release date of this from July to April, so that already is a very, very good sign.

15 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

With the unfortunate passing of Chadwick Boseman, it seemed like a sequel to 'Black Panther' was unlikely as the character and the actor seemed to be so interconnected. Yet, director Ryan Coogler has nevertheless been hard at work and with Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige confirming that the role of T'Challa would not be recast, it'll be fascinating to see where the story goes from here.

14 'Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness'

There are two words that have us unnaturally excited for 'Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness' more than anything else - Sam Raimi. The man behind 'Spider-Man 2', 'Evil Dead', 'Drag Me To Hell' and Bruce Campbell's single biggest booster in Hollywood is entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's not yet clear exactly what he's going to do, but seeing as how he was able to create a terrifying sequence in a PG-13 movie in 'Spider-Man 2', he should be able to work in the confines of the MCU here.

13 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye'

Jessica Chastain playing an ageing televangelist might seem like some kind of fever dream, but really, that's only half of it. If you're vaguely familiar with the work of Vic Berger, chances are you know who Tammy Faye is already. If you don't, basically imagine those crazy American bible-bashers and then have a biopic about them created by the guy who did 'Wet Hot American Summer'. Yeah, it's gonna get nutty.

12 'Elvis'

Baz Luhrmann is known for not exactly going with subtlety into his work, so expect his biopic of the King to be, well, not subtle. Tom Hanks plays Col. Tom Parker, Elvis' long-scheming manager, and you can absolutely guarantee that if it's halfway decent, he's going to garner himself another Oscar nomination and even a win for this. The man got COVID just for this role, for crying out loud.

11 'Benedetta'

You might think that we're putting this one in just to bolster our arthouse credentials or something, but the truth is Paul Verhoeven could direct the next TV advertisement for a damn cryptocurrency or some bullshit and it'd still make the list. The fact that he's making a lesbian drama set in a 17th century convent is beside the point. The movie has already been banned outright in Singapore, so expect there to be A LOT of controversy over this when it reaches these shores.

10 'Knives Out 2'

'Knives Out' was one of the highlights of 2019 and seeing as how Daniel Craig's dance-card is now empty of Bond, we can look forward to many years of him and his outrageous Kentucky Fried accent as Benoit Blanc. The cast for 'Knives Out 2' is frankly ridiculous. Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn (!), Janelle Monae, Kate Hudson, Ethan Hawke, Jessica Henwick and who knows who else have been cast so far, with production ending in Greece in September of this year. Netflix and Rian Johnson haven't set a release date just yet, but nevertheless, we're expecting great things here.

9 'John Wick: Chapter 4'

Is it any wonder that John Wick has made it into our top 10? Of course not. Keanu Reeves is back in the black suit, pissed off and ready for revenge against Ian McShane and the rest of the High Table and with names like Scott Adkins, Donnie Yen, and Hiroyuki Sanada on the cast, 'John Wick: Chapter 4' is going to be something special. Can they keep up the pace? Can they make it as satisfying as the past three movies? Can Keanu Reeves find new ways to kill people with stationery?

8 'The Northman'

Robert Eggers' follow-up to 'The Lighthouse' sees the director take on a 12th century Viking revenge saga. As you do. Alexander Skarsgard gets shirtless and kills people, you've also got Nicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke playing his dead parents, and Bjork is in there too as - you guessed it, folks - a far-seeing prophetess who portends great doom for all concerned. Oh yeah, this is going to get good and weird.

7 'Avatar 2'

Aside from nuclear fusion, the most powerful energy known to mankind thus far is spite. And that's exactly what Big Jim Cameron is working with on 'Avatar 2'. Utterly peeved that someone had the gall to point out that 'Avatar' left no cultural imprint, he's back to make everyone care about blue aliens whether they want to or not. If anyone is going to do it, it's the guy who turned a cruise liner going down into the defining romance of the '90s.

6 'Top Gun: Maverick'

We're putting this down in black and white so director Joseph Kosinski and anyone else in Paramount can read this. If this movie doesn't have 'Danger Zone' by Kenny Loggins somewhere in the soundtrack, we're going to automatically remove one star from whatever we would have given it in our review. You have been warned here and now.

5 'Thor: Love & Thunder'

After the unbelievable success of 'Thor: Ragnarok', bringing Taika Waititi back and throwing even more money at him was a genius step by Marvel. Not only that, wheeling in Natalie Portman to play Lady Thor is an intriguing proposition, and adding Christian Bale of all people to the mixture is equally so. If it's half as entertaining as 'Ragnarok' was, 'Love & Thunder' could well be the best Marvel movie of the year.

4 'Belfast'

If you're following the odds on Oscar nominations and the like, Kenneth Brannagh's 'Belfast' is leading the pack and it's not entirely beyond the realms of possibility of it winning. Our review for this goes live next week, but for now, know that 'Belfast' is an absolute masterpiece and will win over audiences here and abroad. Expect to see this making it into many end of 2022 lists too.

3 'Nope'

We know exactly zilch about Jordan Peele's follow-up to 'Us'. We know that it reteams Jordan Peele with his star from 'Get Out', Daniel Kaluuya. We know it's a horror. We know that cinematographer Hoyte van Hotema is involved. And we know that it's due for release in July. That's all we know. And yet, it is easily one of the most anticipated movies of 2021 for us. Why? Because all of those things we just mentioned. Jordan Peele's filmography thus far has been required viewing. Why should this be any different?

2 'Mission: Impossible 7'

This year, the Cruiser hits the big six-zero. How many more years can he throw himself out of planes and dive off of bridges and trains? Nobody expected 'Mission: Impossible: Fallout' to be one of the biggest and best action movies of the last decade or the best in the franchise, and yet here we are. Following on from that, can Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise possibly top themselves? The anticipation of finding out is why this is so high on the list. We've got to find out if they can pull it off.

1 'The Batman'

Matt Reeves' take on 'The Batman', from what we've seen so far, seems to be closer to something like 'Se7en' or some kind of grimy, gritty '70s detective horror-thriller than a big-budget blockbuster. Paul Dano as the Riddler feels like an inspired bit of casting, and our own Colin Farrell looks completely unrecognisable as Oswald 'The Penguin' Coppblepot. Robert Pattinson as Batman, well, who knows how that's going to turn out, but everything we've seen so far is positive. Given how frequently Batman seems to be reinvented on screen, there's always the fear that they'll walk back over certain topics. Reeves as a director seems to be smart at avoiding those comparisons, and given his work on the 'Planet of the Apes' movies, he knows how to make smart and thrilling blockbusters.