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26 December 2022

The best films of 2022

The New Statesman’s critic picks his top ten movies of the year.

By Ryan Gilbey

The Quiet Girl (Colm Bairéad)

Hankies out for the year’s finest film, based on Claire Keegan’s story set in early-1980s rural Ireland. A perfect heartbreaker.

Aftersun (Charlotte Wells)

Hankies out again: a tormented single dad (Paul Mescal) puts on a brave face on holiday with his daughter (newcomer Frankie Corio).

Funny Pages (Owen Kline)

No movie this year was more grimy or hilarious than this cringe-worthy study of a budding comic-book artist (Daniel Zolghadri).

Great Freedom (Sebastian Meise)

One man, four decades: Hans (Franz Rogowski) is repeatedly imprisoned for his sexuality in postwar Germany.

Ascension (Jessica Kingdon)

Visually stunning documentary exploring the many corners of modern China, from etiquette classes to sex-doll assembly lines.

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Happening (Audrey Diwan)

In the year that Roe vs Wade was overturned, this adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s novel about illegal abortion felt doubly urgent.

[See also: Oppenheimer’s tormented soul]

Nitram (Justin Kurzel)

Based on events leading up to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, with a remarkable performance by Caleb Landry Jones.

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest (Mads Hedegaard)

Arcade nerds aim to smash a record in this fresh and witty documentary.

Compartment No 6 (Juho Kuosmanen)

Before Sunrise vibes galore: a Russian miner (Yuriy Borisov) and a Finnish archaeology buff (Seidi Haarla) are cooped up on a sleeper-train.

Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen)

A gay Afghan refugee escapes to Denmark in a moving animated documentary peppered with pop hits (A-ha, Roxette) and humour.

Explore our other 2022 Culture round-ups:

The best albums of 2022

Books of the year 2022

The best TV of 2022

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This article appears in the 07 Dec 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas Special