Best Feature Films of 2022

Plan a movie night with these best of the year picks for films patrons can find at the library. Titles cover plotting murder, escaping assassination, fighting crime, and conducting an affair—and that’s just the start.

Best Feature Films of 2022

The Batman. Matt Reeves, Warner. 2022. DVD UPC 88392972825; Blu-ray/DVD UPC 883929728367. ACTION

In a worldbuilding redo of the cinematic Batman universe, corruption rules in a Gotham City evocative of The Godfather and Chinatown. The tortured caped crusader (Robert Pattinson) navigates an urban noir rife with more foes than allies. 

Belfast. b/w & color. Kenneth Branagh, Universal. 2021. DVD UPC 191329215036; Blu-ray UPC 191329215043. DRAMA

In late-1960s Northern Ireland, a nine-year-old boy (Jude Hill) copes with an oft-absent father thanks to a devoted mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of warring religious factions. Based on the director’s remembrance of his homeland.

Double Indemnity. b/w. Billy Wilder, Criterion. 1944. Blu-ray UPC 715515272117. DRAMA

In this classic film noir, a fast-talking insurance agent (Fred MacMurray) more than meets his match in a scheming vixen (Barbara Stanwyck) interested in life insurance for her husband, as well as an accomplice in plotting his fatal “accident.”

Dune. 2 discs. Denis Villeneuve, Warner. 2021. Blu-ray/DVD UPC 883929701704. SCIENCE FICTION

The third time proves to be the charm with this latest movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s SF epic—first of a two-parter —about a hero bred to be a prophet. Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) is fated to liberate the desert planet Arrakis, aka Dune.

The Godfather Trilogy. 4 discs. Francis Ford Coppola, Paramount. 1972-1990. Blu-ray UPC 191329216132. DRAMA

The epic crime saga of the Corleone family benefits from a frame-by-frame digital restoration, remastered in 4K digital. One of the greatest films ever in HD with lots of supplemental features at an attractive price is an offer that no library can refuse. 

Jude. Michael Winterbottom, Scorpion Releasing. 1996. Blu-ray UPC 738329258696. DRAMA

In late-19th-century England, unhappily married Jude (Christopher Eccleston) has a turbulent affair with his freethinking, married cousin (Kate Winslet) as society’s disapproval leads to dark tragedy. Based on Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.

Monsieur Hire. In French w/English subtitles. Patrice Leconte, Cohen. 1989. Blu-ray UPC 738329260590. THRILLER

A reclusive tailor (Michel Blanc) with the demeanor of an undertaker finds little joy in life, save for nightly gazing at his lovely neighbor (Sandrine Bonnaire) who teases him in a cat-and-mouse game with a murder charge hanging in the balance.

Parallel Mothers. In Spanish w/English subtitles. Pedro Almodóvar, Sony. 2021. DVD UPC 043396581227; Blu-ray UPC 043396581265. DRAMA

An expectant mother (Penélope Cruz) who shared a hospital room with a pregnant teen (Milena Smit) later learns their babies were mixed up in the maternity ward, resulting in a heartrending turn of events and, ultimately, a reckoning with Spanish history and lost family members.

Sin Nombre (“Without Name”). In Spanish w/English subtitles. Cary Joji Fukunaga, Universal. 2009. Blu-ray UPC 810103685123. DRAMA

In search of a better life, a Honduran family with a teenage girl (Paulina Gaitan) hops a northbound freight train, crossing paths with a sympathetic juvenile gang member (Edgar Flores) fleeing his vicious associates in a last-ditch act of survival.

Top Gun: Maverick. Joseph Kosinski, Paramount. 2022. DVD UPC 032429343352; Blu-ray UPC 032429343338. ACTION

Thirty years after earning his wings, top Navy aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is called upon to train a group of flight school graduates for a risky mission in this stratospheric box office and critical hit that defies the sequel curse.

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