The Very Best Movies Of 2022, Ranked

It’s official: the Academy has spoken, and Everything Everywhere All at Once has claimed the coveted Best Picture prize at the 95th Academy Awards. But of course, there were many, many other fantastic movies that hit theaters in 2022. Things were looking good as early as January with the release of a new Scream film, and they stayed strong right the way through to the blockbuster release of Avatar: The Way of Water in December. But which movies released in 2022 were the absolute best of the best, according to critics and audience ratings? And how did they fare at the Oscars?

How we calculated our scores

To create our list of the greatest movies of 2022 we first looked at this year's 100 highest-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes. We then combined the ratings from IMDb, Metacritic, the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, and the Rotten Tomatoes audience score for each film — multiplying the IMDb score by 10 to make the math work — and arrived at an average score for all of them. The movie with the highest average is calculated to be the best movie of 2022, with any ties broken by the IMDb score.

40. Prey

Director: Dan Trachtenberg

Stars: Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers, Stormee Kipp, Michelle Thrush

Genre: Sci-fi, action

Our Score: 77.25

Predator was an action classic that kickstarted a franchise and spawned countless iconic lines. But after 35 years of not-always-great sequels, Prey finally bucked the trend and delivered the follow-up fans had longed for. The action is great, the characters are real, and the Predator is back to its bloody best.

39. Barbarian

Director: Zach Cregger

Stars: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long, Matthew Patrick Davis

Genre: Horror

Our Score: 78

In what was a frighteningly good year for horror movies, Barbarian proved to be the one that got everybody talking. But all people were really saying was, “You have to go see this movie.” After all, Barbarian is full of shocking twists and turns — and it’s best enjoyed if you go in completely blind to its many secrets. Fair warning, though: the ending is gnarly. 

38. The Menu

Director: Mark Mylod

Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau

Genre: Horror, comedy

Our Score: 78

It would be easy to go overboard with the foodie puns when writing about a movie called The Menu. But we won’t bore you with stale cliches about the movie serving up delicious body horror that can sometimes be hard to swallow. No, we’ll just tell you that critics and audiences agreed that The Menu will leave you hungry for more.

37. The Bad Guys

Director: Pierre Perifel

Stars: Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina


Our Score: 78.25

The Bad Guys would be much higher on this list if we were just going on box-office takings. The animated comedy ran away with over $250 million at the worldwide box office and was the 14th-highest earner of 2022. Critics also approved of The Bad Guys, and the movie was a big hit with families. There’s even been talk of a sequel.

36. Bros

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Stars: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Guy Branum

Genre: Romantic comedy

Our Score: 78.5

Billy Eichner made headlines in 2022 when he publicly lamented the box-office failure of Bros. “Straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for Bros,” he tweeted. The writer-star will have to take solace in the knowledge that everybody who did show up for Bros seemed to love it.

35. X

Director: Ti West

Stars: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow

Genre: Horror

Our Score: 78.5

Slasher movies have been around for decades, but filmmakers are still finding new ways to reanimate the genre. For director Ti West and X, that meant making sure fans were suitably disturbed by its old-fashioned horror. Critic Mark Kermode called X “entertaining and repugnant, in a good way” — and that about sums it up. 

34. Emily the Criminal

Director: John Patton Ford

Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Jonathan Avigdori

Genre: Thriller

Our Score: 78.75

Aubrey Plaza had something of a breakout year in 2022. Between her star turn in The White Lotus and her well-received title role in Emily the Criminal, Plaza seems posed for world domination. The actor was also a producer on Emily the Criminal, which she later described as “the little movie that could” to GQ. Next up for Plaza? A gig with Francis Ford Coppola.

33. Pearl

Director: Ti West

Stars: Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland

Genre: Horror

Our Score: 78.75

Director Ti West and star Mia Goth filmed Pearl while they were in New Zealand shooting X — not that the public knew about it at the time. That’s why Pearl, a prequel to X, was released just a matter of months after the first film. But the secrecy didn’t result in an inferior movie; Pearl actually has a higher rating than X by our calculations. The trilogy will be completed by another movie — MaxXxine — coming soon. Watch this space.

32. The Innocents

Director: Eskil Vogt

Stars: Rakel Lenora Fløttum, Alva Brynsmo Ramstad, Sam Ashraf, Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim

Genre: Horror

Our Score: 79

Variety called The Innocents a “beautifully creepy fable about kids with powers.” But while it may have the elements of a superhero movie, The Innocents is anything but Norway’s answer to the X-Men. It’s more of a supernatural thriller, and things certainly get far darker and more violent than any superhero flick from Marvel. This one will stay with you for a long time.

31. A Love Song

Director: Max Walker-Silverman

Stars: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 79.25

You’ll know Dale Dickey’s face even if you can’t quite put a name to it. After all, the character actor has an astonishing 133 credits so far in her varied career, according to IMDb. Yet A Love Story marks the first time Dickey has been front and center in a movie. She certainly made the most of it, walking away with all plaudits for this quietly moving drama.

30. Turning Red

Director: Domee Shi

Stars: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 79.75

Turning Red had some parents turning red in the face because it showed teenage girls going through puberty. For most audiences, though, the Pixar movie won them over with its light, funny, and ultimately touching tale of a girl occasionally transforming into a red panda. When Turning Red hit Disney+ this year, it became the streamer’s biggest-ever premiere.

29. Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe

Director: Mike Judge

Stars: Mike Judge, Gary Cole, Chris Diamantopoulos, Nat Faxon

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 80.25

The last time anybody saw Beavis and Butt-Head was in the 1998 movie Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. But writer-director-producer Mike Judge brought the doofuses into 2022 for Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe — literally transporting his characters through a black hole from 1998 to the present day. Audiences were rewarded with a throwback animation that was both nostalgic and forward-thinking — not to mention hilarious.

28. The Bob's Burgers Movie

Director: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman

Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 80.5

The Bob’s Burgers Movie had the misfortune of competing against Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness — two of the biggest movies of the year — when it was released in theaters. Yet the big-screen debut of the much-loved TV series fared well on streaming, earning almost as many viewers as the regular show. It also managed the rare feat of satisfying fans and non-fans alike.

27. The Sea Beast

Director: Chris Williams

Stars: Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, Dan Stevens

Genre: Adventure

Our Score: 80.75

Director Chris Williams has given the world Bolt, Big Hero Six, and, most importantly of all, Moana. So you know you’re in for a good time when his name pops up in the credits. His latest project, The Sea Beast, didn’t disappoint, either. Rotten Tomatoes stated that critics agreed the movie is “a voyage well worth taking.”

26. Official Competition

Director: Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat

Stars: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Oscar Martínez, Carlos Hipólito

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 81.75

At first glance, a movie about people making movies may seem a little too “inside baseball” for casual filmgoers. But rest assured that stars Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas pull out all the stops to make sure everybody is entertained by this media satire. It helps, of course, that their characters have huge egos that are ripe for puncturing.

25. Hustle

Director: Jeremiah Zagar

Stars: Adam Sandler, Juancho Hernangomez, Queen Latifah, Ben Foster

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 81.75

Adam Sandler might make the big bucks when he plays a lovable goof in a comedy movie — but the man can really act, too. So if you’re more of a fan of Uncut Gems than The Waterboy, Hustle could be the perfect addition to your watchlist. It even made some journalists wonder whether Sandler’s name would be on the ballot come Oscar time.

24. Clara Sola

Director: Nathalie Álvarez Mesén

Stars: Wendy Chinchilla Araya, Ana Julia Porras Espinoza, Daniel Castañeda Rincón, Flor María Vargas Chaves

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 82

Clara Sola only enjoyed a limited run in theaters on these shores, so it could be well worth seeking out on digital platforms. Particularly if you’re in the mood for a contemplative drama. “There might be no better time... to mainline a story about a repressed woman pushing at restrictions in her culturally conservative world,” claimed The Los Angeles Times

23. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Director: Anthony Fabian

Stars: Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Jason Isaacs, Anna Chancellor

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 82

Part of the appeal of watching movies, for some, is that they take you to another world for the duration of their runtimes. And if it’s escapism you want from your entertainment — particularly at a time like this — Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris delivers it in spades. The story will whisk you away for two hours and leave you happy to come out the other side. 

22. Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood

Director: Richard Linklater

Stars: Jack Black, Bill Wise, Lee Eddy, Milo Coy

Genre: Drama, animation

Our Score: 82

Director Richard Linklater first had the idea for Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood back in 2004 — and he finally brought it to fruition in 2022. The entire endeavor comes from the thought that the 1960s “was an amazing time” to be a child. So this semi-autobiographical picture uses real and imagined parts of everyday life to cast a nostalgic spell on its audience.

21. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Director: Sophie Hyde

Stars: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack, Isabella Laughland, Charlotte Ware

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 82

Emma Thompson already has a couple of Oscars to her name, but people potentially earmarked her for a third after her performance in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Empire also said that the movie had “an electric script, tackling taboo sexual subjects with wit, flair and welcome realism.” All in all, then, satisfaction is guaranteed.

20. Utama

Director: Alejandro Loayza Grisi

Stars: José Calcina, Luisa Quispe, Candelaria Quispe, Santos Choque

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 82

A movie that has very little in the way of story or action is not going to be for everyone. But those who do take the plunge with Utama will undoubtedly be rewarded with one of the most beautiful movies of the year. Time Out joked — in its positive review — that “if you only see one film about Bolivian llama farmers this year, make it Utama.”

19. The Fallout

Director: Megan Park

Stars: Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 82.25

Before the world came to know Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in the Netflix series Wednesday, she was busy ruling 2022 in other ways. We’ve already seen her film X on this list, and she was the lead in the new Scream. But it was The Fallout — released in January 2022 — that first got people paying attention to her. Variety said the actor “seems to have found her voice” in this movie.

18. Compartment Number 6

Director: Juho Kuosmanen

Stars: Seidi Haarla, Dinara Drukarova, Tomi Alatalo, Yuriy Borisov

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 82.75

This “Arctic road movie” was actually filmed on a real train, and the locomotive becomes almost like a character as a result. But as good as it is, the train doesn’t take the shine away from the two leads. Critic Mark Kermode compared the dynamite chemistry between Seidi Haarla and Yuriy Borisov as similar to Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Sunrise.

17. Happening

Director: Audrey Diwan

Stars: Anamaria Vartolomei, Sandrine Bonnaire, Kacey Mottet Klein, Luàna Bajrami

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 82.75

Happening has an almost-perfect score of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — but it is not an easy movie to watch. The fact that the film arrived at such a pivotal moment in U.S. history makes the subject matter all the more resonant, too. “[Never] did I ever imagine that fiction would ever become such a ferociously crucial reality in the U.S.,” director Audrey Diwan wrote on Deadline in 2022.

16. Tár

Director: Todd Field

Stars: Cate Blanchett, Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 82.75

Audiences seem to be a little cooler on Tár than critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, for instance, the film has a 90 percent critics' score but a 72 percent audience score. Still, everybody agrees that Cate Blanchett is all-but-guaranteed to be in the running at Oscar time for her mesmerizing performance. And the critical love is so strong that the movie is in with a good chance of walking away with Best Picture.

15. To Leslie

Director: Michael Morris

Stars: Allison Janney, Andrea Riseborough, Marc Maron, Stephen Root

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 83.5

Andrea Riseborough took all of the plaudits for To Leslie — and rightfully so. It is her lead performance that takes the audience through its tough narrative about addiction to its satisfying conclusion. Ultimately, though, Riseborough believes the movie is about “a healthy connection with others,” as she told NPR in 2022. She called that “the most important thing.”

14. All Quiet on the Western Front

Director: Edward Berger

Stars: Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus

Genre: War

Our Score: 83.75

Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, was one of the books banned and burned when the Nazis rose to power in Germany before WWII. But now, after two English-language adaptations in 1930 and 1979, director Edward Berger has delivered the first movie version made in German. The story has lost none of its original power and still serves as a timely reminder of the hell of war.

13. EO

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

Stars: Sandra Drzymalska, Isabelle Huppert, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 84

If there was an Academy Award for the best animal performance in a motion picture — and really, there should an award for it — then this year’s gong would undoubtedly go to the six donkeys who brought EO to magical life. EO — a drama told from the perspective of a donkey — would be nothing without them. Instead, it’s one of the best films of the year.

12. The Woman King

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Stars: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim

Genre: Action

Our Score: 84.25

The Woman King comes on like an action movie — but it’s elevated from your usual fare by some stellar filmmaking. In fact, you can expect The Woman King to be in the conversation when awards season kicks into gear. Early predictors have the movie, its star Viola Davis, and director Gina Prince-Bythewood all as Oscar potentials in 2023.

11. Decision to Leave

Director: Park Chan-wook

Stars: Tang Wei, Park Hae-il, Lee Jung-hyun, Go Kyung-pyo

Genre: Thriller

Our Score: 84.75

The Guardian praised Decision to Leave — one of the paper’s best movies of the year — as “a gripping film” that “keeps you off-balance.” So while it may be a slight departure from director Park Chan-wook’s better-known movies, such as Oldboy, it is well worth your time. In fact, The Ringer claimed that Decision to Leave “stands as the year’s purest example of directorial craftsmanship.”

10. Pinocchio

Director: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson

Stars: Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley

Genre: Drama, animated

Our Score: 85

As you might expect from the filmmaker responsible for The Shape of Water and Hellboy, Guillermo del Toro has a unique take on Pinocchio. “I have never believed that transformation [should] be demanded to gain love,” the director told Vanity Fair in 2022. So even though this was the third Pinocchio movie to debut in 2022, del Toro was still able to make his version fresh and exciting.

9. Hit the Road

Director: Panah Panahi

Stars: Hassan Madjooni, Pantea Panahiha, Rayan Sarlak, Amin Simiar

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 85.25

Hit the Road arrived with plenty of pedigree after taking the best film prize at the BFI London Film Festival. And critics have inevitably been falling over themselves with praise. Variety claimed that the movie is so successful that “several stars are born.” This is even though the movie has a secret at its core that is far darker than the feel-good family road trip aesthetic would have you believe.

8. The Banshees of Inisherin

Director: Martin McDonagh

Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 85.5

The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that The Banshees of Inisherin is director “Martin McDonagh's finest work” and features “a pair of outstanding lead performances.” It also calls the film a “finely crafted feel-bad treat.” Yet the audience consensus — while positive — claims it has “a slow, sad story” and features “gorgeous scenery.” This could be a divisive watch, then.

7. Till

Director: Chinonye Chukwu

Stars: Danielle Deadwyler, Jalyn Hall, Frankie Faison, Haley Bennett

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 86.5

A dramatization of a horrendous murder and the effects it has on a mother and society is never going to be a breezy watch. The subject matter even had a devastating effect on actor Danielle Deadwyler, who plays the grieving mother. “I’m completely and utterly wrecked,” she told Deadline in 2022. She ended up in therapy after completing the role.

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Director: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong

Genre: Comedy, adventure

Our Score: 86.5

Everything Everywhere All at Once may have come out on top at the Oscars, taking home an incredible seven awards — including the Best Picture prize. But not everyone loved the offbeat movie. While some people found it thrilling, hilarious, and emotional, others found it, well, a bit too much. If you’re in the first camp, your love for the movie might well be all-consuming. One of the movie’s directors even had to tell impassioned fans to cool their enthusiasm enough to allow others to disagree with them.

5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Director: Rian Johnson

Stars: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson

Genre: Mystery

Our Score: 86.75

There was a lot riding on Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. First off, people loved the original Knives Out movie; it made $311 million at the box office in 2019. And then Netflix paid an eye-watering $469 million for two sequels to the murder mystery hit. So Glass Onion really had to deliver. Fortunately, then, the movie proved to be a hit with critics and audiences, just like the first one.

4. Aftersun

Director: Charlotte Wells

Stars: Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Kayleigh Coleman

Genre: Drama

Our Score: 87

In December 2020 Aftersun basically cleaned up at the British Independent Film Awards. The heartfelt movie walked away with seven awards, including trophies for best director and best screenplay. And away from the awards circuit, the movie has picked up plenty of admirers. The National Board Review named it as one of the top ten movies of the year, for instance. 

3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp

Stars: Jenny Slate, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, Isabella Rossellini

Genre: Comedy

Our Score: 87.5

For such a small fellow, Marcel the Shell has made the long journey to the big screen. Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp first created the little guy for a 2010 YouTube short film. The short proved so popular that Marcel then made an appearance in two best-selling books. And fortunately, when Marcel the Shell with Shoes On hit theaters in 2022, it had all the heart and warmth fans had come to expect.

2. RRR

Director: S.S. Rajamouli

Stars: N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt

Genre: Action, drama

Our Score: 87.5

If you’re not sure what kind of movie you want to watch, do yourself a favor and put on RRR. This Tollywood behemoth is everything you need for a good night in. There’s action, there’s drama, there’s singing, there’s dancing, there’s love, and there’s a great big tiger. Audiences love it. Critics love it. It is the most surprising hit of the year, and we can all be thankful for that.

1. Top Gun: Maverick

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Stars: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm

Genre: Action

Our Score: 89.25

Top Gun: Maverick was the sensation of 2022. It scored big with critics and audiences and soared to almost $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office. We basically have Tom Cruise to thank for bringing people back to theaters, too. In fact, the film was originally due to be released in June 2020 — and Cruise refused to dump it onto a streaming service during the pandemic. “I make movies for the big screen,” he told Cannes in 2022. And for that, we salute you.

The Most-Watched TV Shows, Ranked

How about we take stock of what’s been a pretty incredible year for the small screen, too? 2022 has seen big blockbuster TV events go toe-to-toe with small intimate dramas, and most of the time both of them came out winners. So let’s rank the most talked-about, most binge-watched, most break-the-internet TV shows of the year.

40. The Watcher

Creators: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan

Stars: Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Mia Farrow

Genre: Mystery thriller

Our score: 52.0

The website Vulture said of stalking drama The Watcher, “This is an addictive work of television that invites us to examine our own frivolous, sometimes dangerous addictions.” They were right: watchers of The Watcher got so addicted to the show it actually got an unplanned second season on the back of the first’s success.

39. Yellowstone — Season Five

Creators: Taylor Sheridan, John Linson

Stars: Kevin Costner, Gil Birmingham

Genre: Drama, neo-Western

Our score: 65.5

A lot of shows start to fall off the map in their fifth season, but Yellowstone is still going strong. The Season Five premiere was the show’s biggest so far, drawing in a whopping 12 million viewers. Clearly there’s still plenty of life left in the Dutton family and the titular ranch.

38. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Creators: J. D. Payne, Patrick McKay

Stars: Morfydd Clark, Lenny Henry, Daniel Weyman

Genre: Fantasy

Our score: 66.0

This new take on Tolkien’s epic fantasy may not have pleased every Lord of the Rings fan, but it certainly pleased a lot of them. The Rings of Power is reportedly the most expensive TV show ever made, not just by Amazon but by anyone, yet it all paid off when it set a record for most viewers of an Amazon Prime premiere. No doubt people will be talking about it for years to come.

37. Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Creators: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan

Stars: Evan Peters, Molly Ringwald, Richard Jenkins

Genre: True crime

Our score: 66.8

The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was undoubtedly one of the most-watched shows of the year, but it was also one of the most controversial. Many surviving family members of Dahmer’s victims stated their opposition to the show and their fury at not being consulted — but it became a massive hit for Netflix anyway. Proof, as if any was needed, that sensationalism always sells.

36. The Walking Dead — Season 11

Creators: Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont, Angela Kang

Stars: Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan

Genre: Horror

Our score: 70.3

The Walking Dead has been around for over a decade, so did it go out with a whimper, a bang, or a bite? Well, the series finale drew in 3.1 million viewers, the highest-ever numbers for AMC+. And, much like a (good) zombie, the show still isn’t actually dead — Several spinoffs are coming soon.

35. Pam & Tommy

Creators: Robert Siegel

Stars: Lily James, Sebastian Stan

Genre: Docudrama

Our score: 72.5

This Netflix sex-tape-scandal drama about Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee had many fans, but Anderson herself wasn’t one of them. She stated her displeasure by posting a message on Instagram describing herself as “not a victim, but a survivor,” and promising to tell “the real story.” That, too, is sure to be watched by millions.

34. Obi-Wan Kenobi

Creators: Joby Harold, Deborah Chow

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen

Genre: Adventure, space opera

Our score: 72.7

The show for which Star Wars fans had waited literally decades. Obi-Wan Kenobi finally answered a major question about the galaxy far, far away: what was Obi-Wan Kenobi doing in the time between the prequel trilogy and the original one? Turned out he was rescuing a young Princess Leia, played to perfection by child actress Vivien Lyra Blair.

33. The Patient

Creators: Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg

Stars: Steve Carrell, Domhall Gleeson

Genre: Psychological thriller

Our score: 74.5

This Hulu drama popped up on Disney+, but there was very little Disney about it. Nope, The Patient was all about… serial killings, and a captured therapist, and tormented parent/child relationships. And it was a critical hit, with reviewers especially praising the performances of Carell and Gleeson.

32. The Crown — Season Five

Creator: Peter Morgan

Stars: Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Elizabeth Debicki

Genre: Docudrama

Our score: 78.3

Season Five of The Crown brought viewers a crushing inside look at the final years of Princess Diana, as well as some of the worst experiences of Queen Elizabeth II’s life. This was the first season to air since the death of Elizabeth, and it was dogged by controversy, but people still tuned in.

31. Euphoria — Season Two

Creator: Sam Levinson

Stars: Zendaya

Genre: Teen drama

Our score: 79.8

Euphoria’s much-anticipated Season Two brought yet more success for the woman at the center of it all, Zendaya. Her performance gained her her second Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy award, making her the youngest person and the first ever black woman to win the award twice.

30. Ozark — Season Four

Creators: Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams

Stars: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney

Genre: Crime drama

Our score: 79.0

Money-laundering drama Ozark continued its run of success in 2022. CNN’s Brian Lowry said of it in January, “After ending the third season with a bang (pun intended), Ozark begins its fourth and final arc with a nail-biting sense of purpose… this Netflix drama remains among TV’s best, unfolding with a perpetual state of dread.”

29. Bridgerton — Season Two

Creator: Chris Van Dusen

Stars: Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley

Genre: Historical Romance

Our score: 76.0

Could Bridgerton really survive without Regé-Jean Page? That was the question on everyone’s lips going into Season Two. But, gentle readers, good news — the show continued on as it always had, a thrill of bright colors and beautiful costumes which were immediately dropped to the floor.

28. The White Lotus — Season Two

Creator: Mike White 

Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Jennifer Coolidge

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 77.0

The White Lotus was intended to be a limited series, but it was so successful HBO turned it into an anthology, and Season Two hit small screens in 2022. It pulled in rave reviews almost immediately. British newspaper The Guardian gave it five stars and said, “This immaculate show’s writing is utterly unrivaled.”

27. Wednesday

Creators: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Tim Burton

Stars: Jenna Ortega

Genre: Comedy horror

Our score: 77.5

The Addams Family spinoff show nobody knew they needed. Wednesday, which tells the supernatural story of the fabulously gothic Wednesday Addams, ended up setting a new Netflix record for most hours viewed in a week of an English-language show, even beating out the hugely popular Stranger Things.

26. The Sandman

Creators: David S. Goyer, Allan Heinberg, Neil Gaiman 

Stars: Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Vivienne Acheampong

Genre: Fantasy

Our score: 77.5

For a long time, Neil Gaiman’s epic graphic novel The Sandman was thought to be unfilmable. Turned out it was, in fact, very filmable in the hands of people who knew what they were doing — and who were happy to have Gaiman on board. The Netflix adaptation won effusive praise for its beauty, its imagination and its faithfulness to the original.

25. Under the Banner of Heaven

Creator: Dustin Lance Black

Stars: Andrew Garfield, Gil Birmingham, Daisy Edgar-Jones

Genre: Drama

Our score: 77.8

Terrifying true story Under the Banner of Heaven caused some controversy with its portrayal of Mormonism, but it received very good reviews all the same. Empire magazine wrote, “Garfield is the beating heart of the show, but the entire ensemble breaks out of expected roles to place Under The Banner Of Heaven among the best miniseries of the year.”

24. Ms Marvel

Creator: Bisha K. Ali 

Stars: Iman Vellani 

Genre: Superhero

Our score: 79.5

Ms Marvel was one of the MCU’s warmest, most thoughtful, most delightful entries of 2022. It was about superpowers, true, but it was also about life as a Muslim-American teenager in the modern world, all anchored by newcomer Iman Vellani and her winning performance as Kamala Khan.

23. The Dropout

Creator: Elizabeth Meriwether

Stars: Amanda Seyfried

Genre: Docudrama

Our score: 80.0

The Dropout, Hulu’s Amanda Seyfried-starring drama about Elizabeth Holmes and the infamous Theranos scandal, was so good it actually dissuaded another actress from trying to play Holmes in a biopic. Jennifer Lawrence exited a planned film called Bad Blood because, she told The New York Times in 2022, “I thought [Amanda Seyfried] was terrific. I was like, ‘Yeah, we don’t need to redo that.’ She did it.”

22. Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99

Creator: Jamie Crawford

Stars: n/a

Genre: Documentary

Our score: 80.3

Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 was a hard watch, but if you did watch it you’d have come away informed about a little-known but horrifying piece of history: the sexual crimes that took place at the 1999 Woodstock festival. Some media outlets pointed out that it serves more as a warning about the future than a chronicle of the past.

21. 1883

Creator: Taylor Sheridan

Stars: Sam Elliot, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Isabel May

Genre: Western

Our score: 81.8

The prequel to Yellowstone got just as much acclaim as the main show, if not more. Website The AV Club said of the first episode, “A blend of perseverance and optimism through backbreaking times gives 1883 the potential to be the prestige Western fans of the genre have been waiting for.”

20. We Own This City

Creators:  George Pelecanos, David Simon

Stars: Jon Bernthal, Wunmi Mosaku, Jamie Hector

Genre: Docudrama

Our score: 81.8

One of 2022’s hardest-hitting shows, We Own This City told a story of police corruption made all the more horrifying by the fact it happened so recently. It received very high acclaim from critics, and Jon Bernthal’s performance especially got rave reviews.

19. House of the Dragon

Creators: Ryan Condal, Miguel Sapochnik

Stars: Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Milly Alcock

Genre: Fantasy drama

Our score: 82.3

Many people who had quit Game of Thrones in a fit of rage were brought back in with this better-than-anyone-expected prequel. House of the Dragon averaged 29 million viewers per episode for the first five weeks, an astounding figure. Daenerys who?

18. Stranger Things — Season Four

Creators: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer

Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, David Harbour

Genre: Horror drama

Our score: 83.0

Everyone knew the 2022 season of smash-hit Stranger Things would basically break the internet, and break the internet it did. It also had the surprising but delightful effect of getting Kate Bush’s 1985 track “Running Up That Hill” to the top of the music charts all over the world.

17. Our Flag Means Death

Creator: David Jenkins

Stars: Rhys Darby, Taika Watiti, Con O’Neill

Genre: Romantic comedy

Our score: 83.5

A comedy based on an already-funny footnote in history: back in the 18th century, a British aristocrat named Stede Bonnet decided for some reason to give up his wealth and become a pirate alongside the legendary Blackbeard, despite having no aptitude whatsoever for a life at sea. Our Flag Means Death gave the story an LGBT twist and it quickly became one of the most popular shows of the year.

16. Peacemaker

Creator: James Gunn

Stars: John Cena

Genre: Superhero

Our score: 84.0

Who would have thought a show starring John Cena as a very obscure, not very likable D.C. character would turn out to be one of the hits of the year? But this spinoff show from recent comic carnage masterpiece The Suicide Squad proved that Cena and showrunner James Gunn are a force with which to be reckoned.

15. Andor

Creator: Tony Gilroy

Stars: Diego Luna

Genre: Sci-fi drama

Our score: 84.8

The year 2022 was a very, very good one for Star Wars fans. Andor told the full story of Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, one of the main characters from 2016’s Rogue One, and it was hailed as one of the best things to come out of the franchise in recent years.

14. Atlanta — Seasons Three and Four

Creator: Donald Glover

Stars: Donald Glover, Zazie Beetz, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 85.5

Atlanta released its third season in March 2022 and its fourth and final season in September 2022. Of the two, Season Four was hailed as the better one, with website The Wrap calling it “a return to form for the series, while also having the distinction of being the huge undertaking that comes with being a satisfying conclusion to an extraordinary story and series.”

13. Abbott Elementary

Creator: Quinta Brunson

Stars: Quinta Brunson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tyler James Wlliams

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 87.3

One of the most wholesome shows of the year, if not the decade, Abbott Elementary follows the put-upon teachers at the titular school in the form of an endlessly hilarious mockumentary. So far the show has three Emmys — Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Casting, and Outstanding Supporting Actress for Sheryl Lee Ralph — and it’s only just getting started.

12. Severance

Creator: Dan Erickson

Stars: Adam Scott, Christopher Walken, Patricia Arquette

Genre: Sci-fi

Our score: 87.5

Severance has a fascinating premise: what if you could split yourself into two personas, one for work and one for recreation? And the execution of that premise was largely flawless. Variety magazine called it “an effectively eerie, perversely thrilling corporate nightmare.”

11. The Rehearsal

Creator: Nathan Fielder

Stars: Nathan Fielder

Genre: Reality… We think.

Our score: 88.5

What even is The Rehearsal? A comedy? A reality show? A fake reality show? A work of exploitation masquerading as humor? To this day no-one seems sure, and Nathan Fielder clearly likes it that way. Whatever you personally think the show is, there’s no doubt it was one of 2022’s most interesting offerings.

10. Old Enough!

Creator: Junji Ōuchi

Stars: n/a

Genre: Documentary

Our score: 89.0

Old Enough! or Hajimete no otsukai, was popular in Japan for ages before it suddenly came to Netflix in 2022 and became a hit with Western audiences as well. Many American watchers weren’t familiar with the concept of sending a toddler on their “first errand,” but they watched with fascination and their hearts were warmed.

9. Pachinko

Creator: Soo Hugh

Stars: Youn Yuh-jung, Jin Ha, Lee Min-ho

Genre: Drama

Our score: 89.0

Pachinko, a drama based on the book of the same name by Min Jin Lee and told in three different languages, was a big hit for Apple TV+.. The website AV Club described it as “an immersive, poignant, must-see journey,” and declared, “Only three months into 2022, it’s hard not to proclaim Pachinko as one of the best new shows of the year, or years even.”

8. The Last Movie Stars

Creator: Ethan Hawke

Stars: n/a

Genre: Documentary

Our score: 89.5

Yes, 2022 was a very good year for documentaries. The Last Movie Stars carefully and passionately told the love story of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, introducing a new generation to the 50-year marriage the two A-listers enjoyed. And it was directed by a famous actor, too: Ethan Hawke.

7. Hacks

Creators: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Jen Statsky

Stars: Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Carl Clemons-Hopkins 

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 89.8

The first season of Hacks gained near-universal critical acclaim, getting the much coveted Certified Fresh 100 percent rating on RottenTomatoes. Could the second season possibly live up to that? Turned out it could… because it also won the 100 percent RottenTomatoes rating. Very few shows can boast that.

6. This Is Going To Hurt

Creator: Adam Kay

Stars: Ben Whishaw, Ambika Mod

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 90.3

This Is Going To Hurt did, indeed, hurt. It pulled no punches in its depiction of working at a hospital; though it was technically part-comedy, every moment of humor was laced with heartbreak. Anchoring it all was Ben Whishaw as the often-hard-to-like Adam Kay, the man upon whose memoir the show was based.

5. The Bear

Creators: Christopher Storer

Stars: Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 90.8

Chef drama The Bear came out of nowhere to be one of the most-watched, most talked-about shows of 2022. How did it do it? Well, without mincing words — pun intended — it was just really, really good. And according to FX head John Landgraf, it was one of the biggest hits for Hulu in terms of numbers.

4. Reservation Dogs — Season Two

Creators: Sterlin Harjo, Taika Waititi

Stars: Devery Jacobs, D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai 

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 90.8

Reservation Dogs continued its run of critical success when Season Two dropped this year. Variety magazine said of it, “There’s still simply nothing else on TV quite like Reservation Dogs. Yes, it gives voice, time, and flawed-dirtbag humanity to indigenous Americans, who have long been little more on screen than one-note punchlines. But it also does so with an approach that could only have come from these writers, actors, directors and production crew members.”

3. Barry — Season Three

Creators: Bill Hader, Alec Berg

Stars: Bill Hader, Sarah Goldberg, Henry Winkler

Genre: Comedy drama

Our score: 91.3

Barry had taken a break over the pandemic, so would audiences remember it when Season Three came out in 2022? It turned out that yes, they would. The third season met with just as much praise as the previous ones, with Bill Hader and Sarah Goldberg lauded for how effectively they disappeared into their characters.

2. Heartstopper

Creator: Alice Oseman

Stars: Joe Locke, Kit Connor

Genre: Romantic comedy

Our score: 92.3

Heartstopper didn’t actually stop hearts, it just warmed them. This wholesome tale of two boys falling in love racked up 1.3 million Twitter engagements and made the Netflix top-ten list in a whopping 54 countries. The Guardian described it as “like a hug in TV form.”

1. Better Call Saul — Season Six

Creators: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould

Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn

Genre: Crime drama

Our score: 94.3

The final season of Better Call Saul was everything fans hoped it would be and more. Not only did it pull in millions of viewers, it drew near universal critical acclaim. In their round-up of the year’s TV, Time magazine called it “one of the most visually gorgeous, carefully plotted, and emotionally involving shows in the history of TV.” And they’re right.