2022 has shaped up to be quite the year for cultural cinema. Some of the biggest names in the business pulled out all the stops providing the viewers with a most unforgettable viewing experience. So, with the end of the year approaching, let’s look back at the top ten cultural films of 2022.
1/10 “Wakanda Forever”
The Number one cultural film is none other than “Wakanda Forever.” No one expected less than the best from the award-winning Ryan Coogler, who too directed the gargantuan successful Black Panther. And Coogler rose to meet those expectations.
“Wakanda Forever” takes the number one spot for multiple reasons, from top-tier casting to a stellar soundtrack. And the homage it paid to Chadwick Boseman was moving, making it one of the most memorable films of 2022.
“Till” was a most anticipated film and did not disappoint. This dramatic account of Emmet Till and one of the most harrowing racist crimes in history is riveting. Its historical significance alone renders its impactfulness undeniable.
However, the story is solid, and the superb acting seals the deal. “Till” grabs hold of its viewers, places them in a vice grip, and dares them not to feel anything. Fundamentally, it is too contextual-heavy not to move its viewers. This is it if you want a film that checks all the boxes.
3/10 “Woman King”
“Woman King,” starring Viola Davis, is empowering and inspiring. It is the story of the jewels of Africa, the beautiful but sharply fierce Agojie warriors of the Dahomey people. As noted in the Guardian, “it dares to tackle uncomfortable themes. It’s about overcoming trauma; it confronts and interrogates the role of some African peoples – the Dahomey included – in the enslavement of others.” And in dealing with such complex and intense themes, “Woman King” sets the bar.
The majestic scenery, compelling storyline, and superb acting set this film far above the rest. And of particular note is Viola Davis’s ability to step fully into her role, delivering a most unforgettable performance.
“Beast,” an action thriller, is written to steal the heart of its viewers. It is a story of survival and family. And it was a breath of fresh air as it shed light on fatherhood, single parenting, and the struggle that arises. But most importantly, it focused on the depth of love and the level of sacrifice a threat to that love would render. Idris Elba bought it home, making it one of the most enthralling films of the year.
Keke Palmer was a first-degree bad a** in this film, making it a most unexpected and pleasing treat. This dark thriller intermixes a more present-day setting (60’s) with one reminiscent of the Deep South pre-Civil War. “Alice” is as dystopian as one can get. And it certainly has the propensity to strike ire. But Palmer shows out, delivering excellence in a stand-out performance taking on a caricature that could only rival Pam Grier. As Alice, she is unstoppable, and her brand of justice is particularly sweet. “Alice” surely earns its spot in the top ten films for the culture in 2022.
Jordan Peele came back to film in 2022 with panache. His highly cryptic film “Nope” finally made its debut in the height of summer and had everyone talking. Undoubtedly, “Nope” was a conversation starter whether it leaned to appreciation or dissection of ideologies. With “Nope,” Peele demonstrated what he does best, creating a narrative that begs his audiences to dig deeper. Peele cements the ideology that there is depth and breadth of creativeness within the collective. When looking for something different and wildly creative, Peele always delivers.
7/10 “Day Shift”
Jamie Foxx, turned vampire hunter, made “Day Shift” a massive hit. Although it was a bit dark, it perfectly balanced the darker elements and Foxx’s light character arc. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he shared screen time with Snoop Dogg.
“Day Shift” was comedic gold and one of the highlighted feel-good movies of 2022. It certainly had a lot of people wondering at its conclusion when the next installment would be.
“Master,” starring Regina Hall, was another unexpected film. Yet, despite its limited promotion compared to other films, it was surprisingly good. Master is another dark horror thriller. And in this film, much like in “Alice,” there is a lot to unpack, but the storyline is unique. However, a word of warning: “Master” has the potential to ignite a fair amount of outrage. But ultimately, the film’s ability to delve into dark cultural subtext while maintaining entertainment value renders it one of the top cultural films of 2022.
9/10 “Wendell And Wild”
The 2022 animated film “Wendell And Wild” was phenomenal. And one of the most significant parts of the film was its lack of comparability to any other. The story was solid, and the characters were incredible. The cast, which included Michael Keegan Key and Jordan Peele, was phenomenal. Representation always matters. So, if not for the plot and acting alone, the novelty of something new with a cultural emphasis makes “Wendell And Wild” a must-see.
“Macbeth” is, of course, a classic William Shakespeare piece.
However, this year Denzel Washington donned the robes of Macbeth in the Apple+ reenvisioning. Washington delivered a most austere performance. And his turn of the phrase and grace were undeniable. By the end, it was apparent Washington has an impeccable ability to expand upon what is possible, tearing down stereotypes along the lines of color. That makes this a most impactful film and a cultural hit for 2022.
2022 was a win for the culture, cinematically highlighting a comprehensive look at the pain, tragedy, strength, beauty, class, courage, ugliness, and regalness of the collective. And unbelievably, these ten are only a sampling of what was made available this year, making one thing sure. Directors, producers, writers, and actors gave no less than their best. So, here’s to everything 2022 was and more excellence to come.
Written By: Renae Richardson
Edited By: Nikita Serdiuk
Follow and like FMHipHop on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!