Not the Oscars, but Close
Throughout this year, hundreds of new movies crossed our screens. Two years after the start of the pandemic, audiences were ready for new films to occupy their minds. These five movies were released in 2022 and were standouts in their genres and in the film world. If you have not had a chance to see them yet, make sure they are on your must-watch list before the new year comes.
Don’t Worry Darling, Thriller/Mystery, Directed by Olivia Wilde
This movie features a star-studded cast including Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, and Nick Kroll. The movie is centered around a married couple, Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles), who live on an idealistic cul-de-sac with Jack’s coworkers and the couples’ friends. Each day, the husbands go to work while their wives stay at home. However, Alice begins to notice odd things happening in her community, and when she starts asking questions, she faces backlash from the community leader guru, Frank (Chris Pine). This fast-paced and beautifully shot movie features twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Nope, Horror/Sci-Fi, Directed by Jordan Peele
This popular horror movie features Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Barbie Ferreira, Michael Wincott, and Brandon Perea. Nope makes itself unique from other horror movies in that it incorporates both comedy and science fiction. It follows two siblings that live on a ranch in California and notice a UFO in the sky, which turns their world upside down. This foreign object causes turmoil in their lives, creating a unique and fascinating storyline for all viewers to enjoy.
Where the Crawdads Sing, Mystery/Drama, Directed by Olivia Newman
This highly anticipated movie is based on the best-selling beloved novel by Delia Owens. The movie focuses on the main character, Kya Clark, played by Daisy Edgar-Jones. Kya was abandoned as a young girl and raised herself in the marshlands of North Carolina. Surviving alone, Kya grew up into a strong young woman. After a man in town is discovered dead, Kya immediately becomes one of the main suspects. This drama is fast-paced and keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat. Additionally, this movie appeals to many Taylor Swift lovers as it features some of her music.
The Batman, Action/Adventure, Directed by Matt Reeves
With another incredibly star-studded cast, The Batman features celebrities such as Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, and Andy Serkis. Following the basic plotline of most Batman movies, Batman (Robert Pattinson) attempts to save Gotham City from the villains of the world. Batman works hard throughout the course of the movie to bring justice back to the city of Gotham and protect its citizens.
The Woman King, Action/Drama, Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
In this movie showcasing Viola Davis, a group of all-female warriors protect their kingdom. This powerful group of women has their own unique set of skills that allows them to ferociously protect the African kingdom of Dahomey. The general warrior amongst all the women is General Nanisca, who trains a new group of recruits to fight against the latest threat posed to their kingdom. This movie is action-packed and guaranteed to keep the viewer’s attention the whole time.
Maybe Darling Should be Worried
A Review of Don’t Worry Darling
Olivia Wilde’s new production Don’t Worry Darling has arrived as one of the hottest movie messes of 2022. From drama amongst the cast and director to volatile audience reviews, this movie has surely attracted a lot of attention over the past few weeks, whether it be good or bad. The film ultimately received a lackluster score of 38 percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a “B-” score from audiences on CinemaScore. This comes as a disappointment due to much anticipation leading up to the film, with lead roles being portrayed by superstars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine.
The motion picture is a psychological thriller with Florence Pugh playing Alice Chambers, a 1950s housewife living in a chilling utopian community with her husband Jack (Harry Styles). When unusual occurrences start to develop, Alice worries that something is wrong in the neighborhood that she and Jack live in. Florence Pugh is reported as phenomenal in Wilde’s thriller, but unfortunately the story barely holds together.
Wilde’s directing debut, Booksmart (2019), was a major critical success, leading to a multi-studio bidding war for the rights of her second film, Don’t Worry Darling, with New Line Cinema eventually winning. The film looks illusive from the outside, with the costume design of a dreamy golden and sky blue 1950s wardrobe, featuring handsome men in suits and beautiful dresses all around. It almost looks too good to be true, which is exactly the point. However, the problem is that Wilde focuses so much on surface and style that she does not follow a consistent, well-developed plot. Although Pugh manages to deliver a stellar performance, she almost single-handedly carries the entire film.
Styles is a major draw for the motion picture, as his devout fan base continues to see the movie regardless of its ratings. According to Warner Bros, female viewers made up 66 percent of the audience during the movie’s opening weekend, which helped propel the box office performances. In addition, the studio reported that 52 percent of the weekend’s ticket sales were made by those under the age of 25. Despite this, Styles is still inexperienced in acting and wasn’t able to deliver a fully complex performance for his role.
Due to the drama surrounding the release of the motion picture and the devout fanbase of the lead actors, Don’t Worry Darling was still able to cash out at the box office. One of the executives shared prerelease projections from market research company NRG, which revealed expectations for the movie had whirled from $16 million (when tracking started in August) to $20 million around its explosive premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5 where drama exploded amongst cast members. It went back down until estimates stayed around $20 million around release week, which was slightly above the $19.1 million that Don’t Worry Darling received at the North American box office. The release for the motion picture was solid, but overall, the movie may have not lived up to the anticipation.