The 40 most exciting movies of 2022

·13-min read
The most exciting movies of 2022 (Lionsgate/Disney/Warner Bros.)
The most exciting movies of 2022 (Lionsgate/Disney/Warner Bros.)

Despite the global pandemic throwing a spanner in the workings of Hollywood during 2021, it turned out to be a decent year for movies.

There's still a huge backlog of movies still to be released though, which means 2022 has the chance to be even more incredible.

This list could easily have included 100 new movies, but for the sake of brevity, we've whittled the list down to the 40 most exciting movies of 2022 that we simply can't wait to see.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain - 1 January

Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (Studiocanal)
Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (Studiocanal)

Benedict Cumberbatch's other big awards contender arrives in UK cinemas on 1 January. The period drama is a biopic of sorts about acclaimed outsider artist Louis Wain, whose cat paintings are now incredibly sought after.

Scream - 14 January

Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's
Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott), left, and Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream."

Not a reboot, despite the title, but Scream picks up the story of the Woodsboro murders with a bunch of new victims joining the classic trio of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette. Expect meta murders.

Cyrano - 21 January

This new take on the Cyrano de Bergerac tale stars Peter Dinklage in the lead role, with no rubber noses in sight. 

Read more: The most under-appreciated 2021 movies

Darkest Hour's Joe Wright is behind the camera for this adaptation of the 2018 stage musical.

Uncharted - 18 February

Tom Holland as Nathan Drake in 'Uncharted'. (Credit: Instagram/Tom Holland/Sony)
Tom Holland as Nathan Drake in 'Uncharted'. (Credit: Instagram/Tom Holland/Sony)

Tom Holland plays intrepid adventurer Nathan Drake in this long-awaited adaptation of the hit PlayStation game of the same name. Directed by Venom's Ruben Fleischer, it also stars Mark Wahlberg as Sully.

The Duke - 25 February

Jim Broadbent stars as an art thief in this amazing true story inspired by the theft of Goya's Duke of Wellington portrait in the 1960s

The Batman - 4 March

The Batman is coming to cinemas in 2022 (Warner Bros.)
The Batman is coming to cinemas in 2022 (Warner Bros.)

Robert Pattinson stars as the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves' new take on the DC comics hero. Batman will battle a rogues gallery of costumed villains including Paul Dano's Riddler, Colin Farrell's Penguin, and Zoe Kravitz's Catwoman.

Turning Red - 11 March

TURNING RED (Pixar)
TURNING RED (Pixar)

The new Pixar animation poses the questions, what if the Hulk was a young girl at school, and she turned into a giant red panda, rather than a green beast?

Downton Abbey: A New Era - 18 March

The sequel to 2019's Downton Abbey arrives in time for Easter, promising a delightful period confection, unlikely to offend.

Unwelcome - 18 March

A young couple battle supernatural gnomes in this stylish new horror film from the director of Grabbers. “The original pitch when we took the movie out was a modern revision of Gremlins meets Straw Dogs," director Jon Wright told Yahoo in 2021.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - 8 April

The first Sonic was [whispers] actually quite good? So a sequel with Jim Carrey back as Doctor Robotnik is a welcome sight on the 2022 release calendar, especially now that Tails and Knuckles have been added to the CGI roster.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - 8 April

It's time to return to the Wizarding World for the third film in the Fantastic Beasts series. With Johnny Depp out, all eyes will be on Mads Mikkelsen to see if he has what it takes to be the new Grindelwald

Operation Mincemeat - 22 April

Dreamed up, in part, by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, the real life WW2 mission Operation Mincemeat is a story that's almost too good to be true. "It's bizarre and odd, and unlikely, and surprising, and funny, and then incongruous and very tense," director John Madden told Yahoo in 2021. "And eventually, it's dealing with incredibly high stakes, which sort of sneak up on you as the film unfolds."

The Northman - 22 April

After wowing the critics with his first two films — The Witch and The Lighthouse — Robert Eggers has upped the scale for the third part in his 'definite article' trilogy with this Norse epic starring Alexander Skarsgård as a man out for revenge.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent - 22 April

Pedro Pascal as Javi and Nicolas Cage as Nic Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate
Pedro Pascal as Javi and Nicolas Cage as Nic Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

Nic Cage is Nic Cage in the most Nic Cage movie ever made. A Nicolas Cage superfan hires the actor to appear at his birthday party, but things go drastically wrong for the star in this meta-comedy.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - 6 May

The title treatment for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney)
The title treatment for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney)

After his Spider-Man: Far From Home appearance, Benedict Cumberbatch returns for more multiverse meddling in the Sam Raimi directed superhero sequel. Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch is along for the ride this time too.

Top Gun: Maverick - 27 May

Tom Cruise has been holding out for a full theatrical release for this legacy sequel to his most iconic 1980s hit. Expect another thrill ride into the danger zone as Maverick takes to the skies one more time.

Jurassic World: Dominion - 10 June

Colin Trevorrow returns to the Jurassic World series for the follow up to 2018's Fallen Kingdom. The film will reunite the core Jurassic Park trio of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum alongside Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas-Howard.

Lightyear – 10 June

There’s a star man waiting in the sky, he’s Buzz Lightyear but his origins story is about the fictional astronaut that inspired Toy Story’s space ranger. Chris Evans provides the voice, the strong chin is as prominent as ever and, with rumours that Taika Waititi could be involved, what more do you need to know? 

Untitled Baz Luhrmann Elvis Film – 24 June

Elvis (Austin Butler) will be in the building, alongside Tom Hanks as his legendary manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and a cast that includes Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kelvin Harrison Jr, yet there’s little on the plot so far. It’s not Luhrmann’s style to be shy and retiring and so expect an extravagant look at The King.

Thor: Love and Thunder - 8 July

The title treatment for Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney)
The title treatment for Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney)

“Bats*** crazy, off the wall funny” was just part of Chris Hemsworth’s Instagram post about his latest outing as the God Of Thunder. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, this time with superpowers, Christian Bale’s casting as Gorr the God Butcher and Taika Waititi still in the director’s chair all point to a mightily entertaining time.

The Railway Children Return - 15 July

Jenny Agutter returns to the world of the film that put her on the map for a continuation of the beloved children's tale, set 51 years later during WW2. Expect railways and children.

Bullet Train – 15 July

US actor Brad Pitt accepts the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for
Brad Pitt accepts the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "Once upon a Time...in Hollywood", 2020. (Mark RALSTON / AFP)

Sandra Bullock’s no stranger to high speed action and with Brad Pitt, Michael Shannon and Brian Tyree Henry for company, this one could be off the scale. Pitt does 95% of his own stunts in this thriller about five assassins on board a bullet train who discover their missions all have something in common – and it’s setting itself up to be the action flick of the year.

Nope – 22 July

Jordan Peele announced this one to the world via Instagram with a shot of the film’s poster and, while it gave nothing away about the story, both Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun were on the cast list. That, plus what looks like another horror from Peele’s ever-vivid imagination, means the excitement is ramped up to the max.

Black Adam – 29 July

The Rock shared a closer look at his Black Adam suit on Instagram (instagram/therock)
The Rock shared a closer look at his Black Adam suit on Instagram (instagram/therock)

It’s no more Mr Nice Guy as Dwayne Johnson swaps his genial image for that of Shazam’s anti-hero Black Adam, somebody he described on Twitter as “ruthless and unstoppable.” The plot’s still very much under wraps, but it looks like his adversary, Hawkman (Aldis Hodge, making his super powered debut) will have his hands full. Need we say more?

Don’t Worry Darling – 23 September

There’s more than a hint of The Stepford Wives about Olivia Wilde’s sophomore feature as a director, but this time she’s in front of the camera as well, keeping company with Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and Harry Styles. The teaser trailer hints at something dark and murderous – a long way from the joys of Booksmart.

Mission: Impossible 7 – 30 September

 Actor Tom Cruise and actress Hayley Atwell during a high-speed car chase with the Italian Police on the set of the film Mission Impossible 7 in Via Panisperna. Rome (Italy), November 26th 2020
Photo Samantha Zucchi /Insidefoto/Sipa USA)
Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell during a high-speed car chase with the Italian Police on the set of the film Mission Impossible 7 (Samantha Zucchi /Insidefoto/Sipa USA)

Fasten your seatbelts, because the latest outing for Ethan Hunt and co promises everything we know and love from the franchise – international locations, high octane action, the return of Messrs Ferguson, Pegg and Rhames – and Christopher McQuarrie is in the director’s chair for both this and the next instalment.

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse – Part One – 7 October

Spidey’s latest animated adventure has a tough act to follow after his first, spectacularly successful visit to the Spider-Verse. The film’s Twitter account gave us a first peek, hinting at a reunion for Miles and Gwen, but what are the chances of a return for the Nic Cage voiced Spider-Noir or the meaty pun that is Spider-Ham? Hey, anything can happen …..

The Flash – 4 November

Did somebody say Batman? There’s two — Keaton and Affleck — but aside from that Ezra Miller plays the title role in what’s billed as the unlocking of DC’s multiverse and, from what we can tell in a much-viewed clip, there’s plenty of high-speed time travel involved. All super heroes go that way ….

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 11 November

The title treatment for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
The title treatment for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

We already know T’Challa won’t be re-cast, that the makers are determined this sequel will be a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, and that much of the original cast will be returning, yet apart from hints that the mythology of Wakanda will be explored in more depth, details of the plot are scarce. But good things are worth waiting for ….

Creed III – 23 November

Michael B Jordan as Adonis Creed in Creed II. (Warner Bros)
Michael B Jordan as Adonis Creed in Creed II. (Warner Bros)

It’s unclear if Michael B Jordan will make a return appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but his name is written all over Creed III, as both star and first-time director. There’s no Sly Stallone this time, but Jonathan Majors has signed up as Adonis’s as yet unnamed nemesis and he’s recently indicated a change of tone to “something more intimate”. Appetites well and truly whetted.

Avatar 2 – 16 December

Twitter.com/officialavatar (20th Century Fox)
Twitter.com/officialavatar (20th Century Fox)

This first outing since the 2009 original is said to focus on Jake Sully’s children, with Kate Winslet joining the cast and doing all her own underwater stunts. Delays aren’t unusual for Cameron – there were seven years between the first Terminator and part two – but will he get lucky after thirteen years? 

Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom – 16 December

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II becomes Black Manta in Aquaman (Warner Bros.)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II becomes Black Manta in Aquaman (Warner Bros.)

Filming wrapped just weeks ago on this sequel to James Wan’s 2018 spectacle, but there’s still little detail on the story, although the director revealed at this year’s DC FanDome that “Black Manta is still seeking his vengeance to try and kill Aquaman.” Most of the cast are back – Jason Mamoa, of course, alongside Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren. Could we be in for a deep dive?

Mario – 21 December

'Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'. (Credit: Nintendo)
'Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'. (Credit: Nintendo)

This animated version comes from Illumination and, with Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong, Anya Taylor Joy as Princess Peach and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, it’s shaping up to be the perfect family film to round off the year.

Babylon – 25 December  

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 22: US actor Brad Pitt (L) and Australian actress Margot Robbie (R) pose during the photocall for the film 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood' in competition at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 22, 2019. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Brad Pitt (L) and Margot Robbie (R) pose during the photocall for the film 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood', 2019. (Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The lip-smacking line up – Damien Chazelle directing with Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde and Brad Pitt heading the cast – is enough to get you booking your seat right now. The story’s believed to be set in pre-Code Hollywood and, although that’s all we’ve heard, with that cast and director you don’t need to know more to be excited.

Prey – Summer

The first look at Prey (20th Century Studios)
The first look at Prey (20th Century Studios)

The origins story of the alien with the spectacular teeth is set 300 years ago among the Comanche nation and sees the series going back to its roots after the disappointment of the 2018 re-boot. Due for the release on Disney+ in the 35th anniversary year of the original, it all apparently boils down to a warrior who won’t give up – which sounds more than a little familiar. But why change a winning formula?

Hocus Pocus 2 – Halloween

The first look at Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney)
The first look at Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney)

Disney’s announcement of a sequel to its 1993 witchcraft caper received mixed reactions on social media, but the return of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the 17th century Sanderson sisters has to inspire more than a little confidence. Destined for a home on Disney+, it sees the trio back in Salem looking for revenge and finding three high school students standing in their way. Sounds wicked. 

Disenchanted – Autumn

A still from Enchanted. (Disney)
A still from Enchanted. (Disney)

Disney’s other sequel, this time to the 2007 favourite Enchanted, looks like casting its spell on audiences all over again. Amy Adams returns as Giselle in a story set 15 years after her happily ever after, Patrick Dempsey sings for the first time and both James Marsden and Idina Menzel are back as well. With more songs than the original and an equal amount of hand-drawn animation, it sounds like pure magic. 

Evil Dead Rise – TBC

Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead 2 (credit: Palace Pictures)
Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead 2 (credit: Palace Pictures)

Sam Raimi returns, but only as a writer, for this fifth in the series that started back in 1981 and which, by all accounts, marks something of a change. There’s no Ashley Williams and the twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose reunion is cut short by vicious demons gets an urban setting instead of the usual cabin in the woods. Even more people to terrify, then …..

Knives Out 2 - TBC

Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc in thriller 'Knives Out'. (Credit: Lionsgate)
Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc in thriller 'Knives Out'. (Credit: Lionsgate)

Doughnut anybody? Rian Johnson is back at the helm for the hugely anticipated return of Benoit Blanc, again played by Daniel Craig. A stand-alone with a whole new mystery to solve instead of a continuation of the first film, new cast members include Ethan Hawke, Kathryn Hahn and Dave Bautista. And we simply cannot wait.

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