10. Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick is a swift and exhilarating achievement, a technical marvel that’s smartly and sharply constructed on just about every level. Joseph Kosinski’s movie is finely cast and efficiently scripted, making for a splendily entertaining movie that goes about its business with great ability.
Todd Field has crafted a haunting and challenging drama – one that’s grand in scope, one that twists and turns – but it’s always so precise and interrogative in the ways it examines its characters. The film provides a forensic examination of its setting through the lens of a grueling character study, anchored by exemplary work from Cate Blanchett.
8. We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
Jane Schoenbrun’s feature debut is a frightening and bleak work of psychological horror, set in the most arcane and unsettling corners of Internet life, remarkably observant and realized with harrowing, atmospheric detail.
7. The Fabelmans
Steven Spielberg interrogates ideas of memory, influence, and family in this searching and deeply autobiographical film. The Fabelmans thinks deeply about the pains and triumphs that shape us, and does so with great emotional clarity.
6. The Cathedral
Here is another remarkable, unflinching examination of a family, and their individual and collective influence on each other’s lives. This is a drama of extraordinary depth and grand perspective, all wrapped in Ricky d’Ambrose’s deceptively spare style, which hides multitudes to be unwrapped under a minimalist top layer.
5. Strawberry Mansion
Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s surreal and engrossing dreamscape journey is endlessly imaginative – a treat to simply experience. It’s also rife with perceptive, satirical commentary on the devastation of ubiquitous consumerism, speculating on a future for capitalism where even our dreams are up for sale.
4. Decision to Leave
In Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave, a marvelous cast and crew bring a complex plot to thrilling life, guided by a director who brings us through his uncompromised vision with terrific skill and unquestionable command.
3. A Love Song
A delicate and moving meditation on the passage of time and personal connection, Max Walker-Silverman’s astonishing feature debut moves with a quiet and well-earned confidence, helped even further by tremendous lead performances by Dale Dickey and Wes Studi.
A three-hour, maximalist action epic, S. S. Rajamouli’s RRR never feels lost for a second. This is an exuberant, endlessly creative, and enthralling ride all throughout, joyous in its unbridled energy and awe-inspiring in its breathtaking technical abilities.
1. Petite Maman
Haunting in a very particular sense of the word, Céline Sciamma’s film is a deeply insightful examination of the shared history of a family and the lingering nature of grief. It poses big questions and does not run from the notion that there may not be simple answers – instead, it reflects on its subject matter with deep deliberation and greatly evident wisdom.