Highest Rated Movies of 2022, According to the Critics

Movie fans made a return to theaters this year with the release of highly anticipated flicks like “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water.” While those films may have been box office hits, it turns out they had some competition when it came to the critics. Over the course of 2022, critics weighed in on the best films of the year — and you may not have even heard of some of them. From foreign language films like “No Bears” to animated flicks like “Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie,” Rotten Tomatoes gathered the best films of the year that you should probably add to your watch list!

Find out which films made the cut…

“No Bears”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Film festival favorite “No Bears” from imprisoned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi debuted in September to rave reviews from critics. In the film, Jafar plays an alternate version of himself, acting as a filmmaker remotely directing a movie that is being shot in Turkey while he is forced to remain in an isolated village in Iran. Following two parallel love stories, the Persian-language film showcases how relationships can be derailed by unavoidable obstacles and challenges viewers to examine a layered story of a man oppressed by his country.

“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Based on the beloved series of shorts, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” follows Marcel, a whimsical one-inch-tall shell living alone with his grandmother in the tiny world they’ve created inside a home. When they are discovered by a filmmaker who moves in, he begins documenting their lives, learning that they were once a part of a vibrant community of shells. After Marcel becomes an online phenomenon, he uses his newfound fame in the hopes of finding his long-lost family.

“Girl Picture”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Finnish queer coming-of-age film “Girl Picture” follows misfit best friends Mimmi and Rönkkö, on the cusp of becoming young adults. As they set out to discover themselves, Mimmi finds herself falling in love for the first time with ice skater Emma while Rönkkö gets wrapped up in the teen party scene looking for her own version of love.


Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Based on Annie Ernaux’s semi-autobiographical novel, “Happening” transports viewers back to France in 1963. Anne has a bright future ahead but when she gets pregnant, she believes she’s lost everything she’s worked for. With abortion still illegal, Anne weighs her options, eventually deciding to take matters into her own hands — even if it means she could face prison.


Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

“Till,” based on the horrific 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, shares the never-before-told story of his mother, Mamie Till Mobley. The film follows her pursuit of justice for her son, turning her overwhelming sorrow into activism and the power to change the world.

“The Quiet Girl”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Irish film “The Quiet Girl” takes place in rural Ireland in the early 1980s. When withdrawn nine-year-old Cáit’s neglectful parents send her away to live with distant relatives for the summer, she is quiet and reserved in the care of her foster parents. But after spending her summer days in the countryside, the young girl begins to blossom and discovers a new way of life — as well as a secret her new family has been keeping.

“To Leslie”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

When single mother Leslie wins $100,000 in the lottery, she finally has a shot at providing a better life for her son. But just a few years later, the money has dried up and Leslie is back to living a life of struggle. She returns home to her former friends but discovers she’s unwelcome by the people hurt. Leslie is hopeless until a motel clerk named Sweeney takes a chance on her and helps her confront her past while getting a second chance at creating a greater life for her family.

“Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Based on the massively successful “Jujutsu Kaisen” Japanese manga series, “Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie” gives an introduction to the world of Jujutsu sorcerers by way of a series prequel. The film follows Yuta Okkotsu, a teenager haunted by the spirit of his old friend Rika, who died in an accident when they were children. When her spirit becomes cursed, she becomes a monstrous apparition who torments him and leaves him desperate for freedom.

“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Bhutanese film, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” follows a Ugyen, who is training to be a teacher in Bhutan — but dreams of moving to Australia to become a singer. When he is assigned to a school in one of the most remote places in the country, he is tempted to quit — but quickly ends up realizing the significance of his job.

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