10 Best Films 2022: Sam Sewell-Peterson

5. Nope

Nope Review

Jordan Peele cemented his claim as one of the most exciting mainstream filmmakers working today with this layered, surprising love letter to invasion and suspense films.

The Haywood siblings (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) from a movie horse training family come into contact with something strange living in the skies above their ranch and endeavour to capture evidence of it on camera.

Peele is far from a one-trick pony, in fact he might be the most versatile genre specialist director of his generation. Nope is all about our addiction to spectacle and it offers it in abundance, along with clever twists, palpable atmosphere and enough layers and ambiguity to read the film in as many ways as you like.

Recommended for you: Jordan Peele Movies Ranked

4. Aftersun

Aftersun Review

Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun is firmly rooted in a particular time and place but its exploration of the highs and lows of difficult family dynamics is universal.

Father and daughter Calum and Sophie (Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio) go on a bittersweet, strained holiday to Turkey as Calum battles depressive episodes and Sophie tries to fit in with the older kids at their hotel.

Aftersun will be a pretty raw experience for many who have endured similar challenging family times as Calum and Sophie; the naturalistic, affectionate performances, and Wells’ assured authorial style and willingness to hold a moment for as long as it needs to make an impact sizeable enough to forge an experience, prove to be pretty special.

3. Cha Cha Real Smooth

With two films as writer-director-star, Cooper Raiff has quickly become the new king of affably awkward comedy-drama where kindness prevails.

Andrew (Raiff) is drifting without purpose in life until he becomes a bat mitzvah party-starter and forms a fast friendship with local mum Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her autistic daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt).

Raiff is one of the most confident young writer-director-stars in recent years, a champion of those who haven’t yet found their place in the world – though ironically enough, judging by his own work he clearly has. He’s not afraid to be sentimental, even corny, but his stories have big heart and the glamorised social awkwardness always rings true.

Recommended for you: Cooper Raiff and the Strength of Vulnerability

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