The 50 best films of 2022 in the UK – 50 to 5

This list has been compiled by the Guardian film team, featuring all films released in the UK in 2022. Check in every weekday to see our next picks, and share your own favorite movies of 2022 in the comments below.

50

Compartment No. 6

Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen directed this answer to Before Sunrise, about an archeology student who shares a train compartment with a crass Russian; the pair bond despite their differences. Read the full review

49

Top gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise returns nearly four decades for another onslaught of speed and need: this time, he mentors a new generation of Navy fighter pilots, led by Miles Teller, who plays the son of Maverick’s late wingman, Goose. Read the full review

48

Paris, 13th arrondissement

The latest film from Rust and Bone director Jacques Audiard, in which he compiles a collection of short stories about sexual encounters and relationships in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, shot in bold black and white. Read the full review

47

happens

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 the early 1960s, pre-legalization France. Read the full review

46

Glass Onion: A Mystery of the Blades

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

45

Vortex

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

44

The Queen of Women

Riveting epic period starring Viola Davis as the leader of the Agojie, a brigade of women warriors in West Africa trying to fend off threats from the Oyo empire and slave-buying colonialists. Read the full review

43

Brian and Carl

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

42

we (well)

French-Senegalese filmmaker Alice Diop paints a sensitive picture of the disparate communities living along one of Paris’ commuter rail lines in a documentary that predates her critically acclaimed feature debut, Saint Omer. Read the full review

41

Everything went well

André Dussollier and Sophie Marceau excel in François Ozon’s beautifully observed story of a father and daughter whose troubled relationship comes to a head when he asks her for help dying. Read the full review

40

Blessing

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

39

Prayers for the stolen

A heartbreaking study of the traumatizing life experience of a Mexican woman who tries to avoid her daughter from the attention of rapists and narcos who apparently operate with impunity. Read the full review

38

Small body

Mysterious fable by the Italian director Laura Samani, about a woman who desperately wants to revive her stillborn baby and looks for the church that might be able to make this happen. Read the full review

37

Great freedom

Intriguing German drama about a former concentration camp prisoner who is imprisoned after the war for homosexual acts and develops a complex relationship with his straight cellmate. Read the full review

36

A banquet

Body horror with social commentary from debut feature director Ruth Paxton, starring Sienna Guillory as the seemingly perfect single mother with two daughters, one of whom develops a mysterious eating disorder. Read the full review

35

No news from the Western Front

An anti-war nightmare of carnage and mayhem in which teenage boys soon find themselves caught up in the ordeal of trench warfare, in a German-language adaptation of the World War I novel. Read the full review

34

Lingui, the sacred bonds

Chadian author Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s silent fable, about a woman torn between social decency and respecting her daughter’s decision to have an abortion. Read the full review

33

Everything that breathes

In this complex and quietly beautiful film, two Indian brothers fight to save birds poisoned by pollution. Read the full review

32

Corsage

Vicky Krieps stars as a lonely, patronized Elizabeth of Austria in Marie Kreutzer’s austere drama that acts as a cry of rage from an empress’s pedestal prison. Read the full review

31

Crimes of the future

As he did with the 1990s hit Crash, David Cronenberg’s horror sensation is creating a bizarre new society of sick 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 crafts an unexpectedly moving drama about a woman in her twenties (played by Renate Reinsve in a star-studded performance) as she navigates relationships and jobs during a troubled period in her life. Read the full review

29

The Souvenir Part II

Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton in The Souvenir Part II.

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

Second half of Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical drama, with Honor Swinton Byrne as film student Julie who leaves her documentary on social issues to create her own autobiographical memoir. Read the full review

28

Cow

American Honey director Andrea Arnold’s meaty slice of social realism chronicles the lives of dairy cows with unflinching and empathetic precision. Read the full review

27

No bears

Complex metafiction of fear in which now-imprisoned 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 about campus larks and eco-fear gets an elegant, funny movie 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 wife’s surgery and his ailing wife by Somalia-born director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. Read the full review

24

Fire of love

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

23

Descendant

Powerful documentary about the legacy of slavery that shows how an illegal slave ship led to the creation of an Alabama community of inherited trauma but also resistance. Read the full review

22

Nitram

Deeply disturbing drama about mass murderer Martin Bryant that shrinks from depicting the Port Arthur massacre itself – but superb performances still make it a deeply disturbing tale. Read the full review

21

The innocents

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

20

The Norman

Brutal Viking saga based on the same legend as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, starring Alexander Skarsgård as the chieftain’s son who seeks revenge against the man who murdered his father and ascended to his throne. Read the full review

19

Official match

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

18

To live

Beautifully sad drama starring Bill Nighy in a Kazuo Ishiguro-written 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

Enchanting horror film from director Goran Stolevski, a witch tale that follows a shapeshifter in a 19th century village. Read the full review

16

Mass

Jason Isaacs and Ann Dowd star in a drama about the “healing” encounter between the parents of a high school shooting victim and the perpetrator’s parents. Read the full review

15

Bones and all

Teen cannibal romance starring Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, who star 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 named Nora who tries to confront class 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, gruesome, heartbreaking… Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin. Photo: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

Guinness black comedy about male pain in which Martin McDonagh reunites Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in remote Ireland for an eccentric study of isolation and pain. Read the full review

12

Moonage daydream

Glorious, shape-shifting 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

Wonderfully dark coming-of-age comedy from Owen Kline, combining teen innocence with adult sexuality in a tasteless début reminiscent of American Splendor and Crumb. Read the full review

10

Decide to leave

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

9

Memory

Tilda Swinton joins forces with Thai author Apichatpong Weerasethakul for an English-language fable set in Colombia about a woman who can hear sounds that others seem unable to hear. Read the full review

8

The miracle

Haunting adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s tale of divine possession, starring Florence Pugh as a nurse sent to a rural Irish village to investigate a young girl who appears perfectly healthy despite not eating for months. Read the full review

7

RRR

Multilingual, pan-Indian, historical-action-romantic blockbuster set in the 1920s and following a pair of real-life revolutionaries as they battle against the power of the British Raj. Read the full review

6

Hit the road

Beautifully composed feature debut from Panah Panahi, the son of imprisoned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, this suspenseful family drama is drenched in subtle yet urgent political significance. Read the full review

5

Liquorice pizza

1970s romance by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Cooper Hoffman as a former child actor who sets his sights on Alana Haim, 10 years her senior, as he steps into the waterbed world. read more

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