Time flies at the movies. It feels like it’s only been a month or two since I made a list of the best movies of the year. But it’s already December once again. The arbitrary period when we stop everything we’re doing and compare all the movies released since the last arbitrary period when compared all the movies released since the last arbitrary period has begun!

The typical format for such lists is 10 films, and I have adhered to that rule for most of my professional career. But this year I realized: No one but me and my weird self-inflicted neuroses are forcing me to pick only 10 best movies — and I saw a hell of a lot more than 10 good movies in 2022. So this year, my list contains 20 excellent films. If you want to pay attention to just the top 10, go for it! But then you will miss out on a lot of outstanding titles, some of which are already available to stream at home right now.

Critics will often use these lists as an occasion to pontificate at length on the state of cinema; whether it was a “good year” or a “bad year,” whether cinema is “healthy” or “dying,” whether criticism is thriving or under attack. This year I feel like the fact that I couldn’t settle on just 10 films and willingly doubled the size of the list pretty much says it all.

In ascending order of preference, here are my picks.

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