Best movies of 2022, so far: 'Turning Red,' 'Elvis,' and more – Insider

Baz Luhrmann takes his all-consuming storytelling style to give us an Elvis Presley biopic that’s as big and expansive as how the music legend lived his life.
In typical Luhrmann fashion, he uses dazzling visuals to chronicle Presley’s humble beginnings to eventually becoming one of the biggest acts in music history. But unlike some of the other projects Luhrmann has done, it’s his performers that elevate the spectacle he’s crafted.
Tom Hanks is twisted as Presley’s infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker and Austin Butler delivers the best Presley performance we’ve ever seen. — Jason Guerrasio
Typically, Disney’s animated features burden the protagonist with harboring a massive secret by themselves for the majority of a film.
Director Domee Shi’s “Turning Red” flips the script by letting Mei’s (Rosalie Chiang) friends and family in on the fact that she keeps turning into a massive red panda, a metaphor for puberty.
The result is a more inclusive family film that makes the idea of something scary or stressful — like getting your first period — a conversation worth tackling head-on with your loved ones, instead of handling it in isolation.
This film should have been Pixar’s return to theaters, not only because of its messaging, but because of its original music from Billie Eilish and Finneas, and its stunning animation.
One early scene involves chopped and sizzling veggies that look gorgeous enough to be part of a cooking commercial until you realize it’s just someone making dinner. — Kirsten Acuna
Director Matt Reeves delivers a gritty action-thriller reminiscent of “Se7en” and “Zodiac” that finally makes “the world’s greatest detective” deserving of the title instead of merely appearing on-screen as a playboy billionaire. 
A love letter to fans who have read the comics, grew up watching the animated series, and played the video games, Robert Pattinson delivers a younger and more relatable Bruce Wayne who works through family trauma by beating Gotham baddies to a pulp. You feel his performance not only in the low growl of his voice, but in the subtle expressiveness of his eyes.
Michael Giacchino’s beautifully haunting score captures the internalized pain and trauma built up inside of the young Bat. Some of Giacchino’s best work can be heard in the nearly seven-minute track titled “The Batman.”
The film smartly leans into Batman’s vast rogue’s gallery to insert multiple villains and antagonists — Selina Kyle, the Penguin, Falcone, and Riddler — for Batman to play off instead of pretending like the Bat’s other villains don’t coexist in Gotham City. — KA
You can read our review here.
Robert Eggers’ latest gothic tale follows a Viking prince (Alexander Skarsgård) who has dedicated his life to avenging the murder of his father (Ethan Hawke).
In telling the story, Eggers presents his most epic story yet, with beautiful vistas of Iceland and a bloody authenticity that only he has the stomach to take on.
This is without question the best Viking movie ever made. — JG
“Marcel the Shell” takes the YouTube sensation and puts him on the big screen in search of his family.
Simply charming and pure, the 89-minute A24 film has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and serves as a reminder to slow down and appreciate the simpler things we may overlook day to day.
If only we could all approach the world with the same curiosity and genuine enthusiasm as that tiny shell. — KA
It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to experience S.S. Rajamouli’s “RRR,” just because it’s unlike anything audiences have seen before. 
From its dazzling action sequences to its songs and dance numbers, this three-hour epic from India’s Tollywood is the most unique movie you’ll see this year.
The story focuses on Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, two real-life Indian revolutionaries during the British Empire’s rule of India in the 1920s. Although the film is highly fictionalized, as we’re pretty certain neither battled a tiger nor fought soldiers while one was on the other’s shoulders.
But it’s these highly creative sequences that will keep you on the edge of your seat. — JG
A24’s highest-grossing movie worldwide, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is the multiverse movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” wanted to be.
Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert effortlessly shift through different parallel universes in this sci-fi martial arts epic to tell an incredible story about acceptance, being seen, and being true to yourself.
Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu give Oscar-worthy performances in a beautiful mother-and-daughter story across time and space.
Hilarious and heartwarming — you’ll never look at hotdogs or googly eyes the same way again — you’re better off going into this movie blind or knowing as little about it as possible. — KA
There aren’t many stars like Tom Cruise anymore.
He’s one of the last actors standing who can draw people to the movies just because his face is on the poster. He’s proven that once again with “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Director Joseph Kosinski completely blindsides us with a sequel to Cruise’s classic 1986 movie that is hands-down better than the original.
From the amazing dogfight sequences to the cameras inside the cockpit showing the actors go through the g-forces, the action scenes are what you’d expect from a Tom Cruise movie.
But what elevates this one is the actual story.
By the third act, you are completely sucked into Maverick’s latest adventure and you have no clue if he’s going to survive it. That’s a dramatic quality you don’t often get these days with a blockbuster.
And it’s paid off. The movie has grossed over $1 billion at the box office, a surprising first in Cruise’s career, but even more astounding as it was achieved during the pandemic, while audiences are still slowly returning to the big screen. — JG
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