The 2022 Sundance Film Festival has officially come to an end. I saw 30 movies at this year’s festival, one less than last year. Overall, this year’s festival was really good. There were a number of movies that I really liked and only two or three that I truly did not like, mostly because they were boring. However, missing from this year’s festival was a movie that was a truly great film. In previous years, there had been a movie that truly blew me away, like Hereditary in 2018, Minari in 2020, and Flee in 2021. This year was missing that. Obviously, I didn’t see every movie that played during the festival, so there might have been a masterpiece that I missed, but for the ones I saw, there was a lot I liked, but not one I truly loved. So with that, these are my picks for the best movies and performances from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
TOP 10 MOVIES
10 – EMILY THE CRIMINAL
- Aubrey Plaza gives the best performance of her career in John Patton Ford’s tight, gripping crime thriller.
9 – JIHAD REHAB
- A fascinating documentary about a terrorist rehabilitation center.
8 – HONK FOR JESUS, SAVE YOUR SOUL
- Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown are a dynamite pair in Adamma Ebo’s church comedy.
7 – FRESH
- A gross, twisted, darkly funny horror movie led by a never-better Sebastian Stan.
6 – RESURRECTION
- The craziest movie I saw all festival features Rebecca Hall battling past demons in a film everyone will be talking about.
5 – DOS ESTACIONES
- Juan Pablo González’s gorgeous film about a tequila company trying to stay afloat in Mexico amid a flood and a plague.
4 – EMERGENCY
- A smart, funny, socially relevant college buddy movie with two spectacular lead performances from Donald Elise Watkins and RJ Cyler
3 – DUAL
- Riley Stearns’s sci-fi dark comedy featuring clones and duels is an inventive and unique genre-bender.
2 – BRIAN AND CHARLES
- The most wholesome movie of 2022 belongs to Jim Archer’s hilarious and sweet look about a man and his robot.
1 – CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH
- New indie wunderkind Cooper Raiff’s sophomore feature is a charming look at how messy life can be regardless of your age. Raiff also stars in the film, along with an outstanding Dakota Johnson. The film brilliantly balances comedy and drama and will slap a smile on your face that won’t leave until after the credits roll.
BEST OF THE REST
BEST DIRECTOR: JUAN PABLO GONZÁLES, DOS ESTACIONES
Runner Up: Cooper Raif, Cha Cha Real Smooth
BEST ACTOR: DONALD ELISE WATKINS & RJ CYLER, EMERGENCY
Runner Up: Sebastian Stan, Fresh
BEST ACTRESS: DAKOTA JOHNSON, CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH
Runner Up: Anna Diop, Nanny
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS, 892
Runner Up: Aaron Paul, Dual
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: AIMEE LOU WOOD, LIVING
Runner Up: Regina Hall, Master
BEST SCREENPLAY: DUAL
Runner Up: Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: DOS ESTACIONES
Runner Up: Living
BEST MIDNIGHT MOVIE: FRESH
Runner Up: Resurrection
BEST DOCUMENTARY: JIHAD REHAB
Runner Up: All That Breathes
BEST FOREIGN FILM: DOS ESTACIONES
Runner Up: The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future
BEST SHORT FILM:
LEAST FAVORITE: BLOOD
Runner Up: The Mission
OVERALL RANKING OF EVERY FEATURE FILM I SAW
Cha Cha Real Smooth
Brian and Charles
Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul
Emily the Criminal
All that Breathes
The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future
Am I Ok?
Palm Trees and Power Lines
Speak No Evil
Meet Me in the Bathroom
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