2022 Year in Review: EveRRRything, everywhere, with shoes on

This year’s bespoke illustration is by Louise Zergaeng Pomeroy.  
This year’s bespoke illustration is by Louise Zergaeng Pomeroy.  

While nothing could budge Everything Everywhere All at Once from the top spot, your highest rated and most popular films of 2022 also featured many more enormously spectacular and wholeheartedly human delights. 

The Letterboxd Year in Review is presented by NEON.

As a Letterboxd user myself, it’s a big honor to be on the end of the year lists. Letterboxd is a real community and I love that about it.

—⁠Marcel the Shell director Dean Fleischer Camp

Whether it be a miniscule mollusc, an IMAX-sized Bowie, a water spirit or a honey-slathered Steve-O, the Letterboxd community has stared into the everything bagel and come out refreshed and awakened to new possibilities in cinema.

The highest-rated film in the 2022 Year in Review was the multiverse, sci-fi, family action-comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once, directed by Daniels Kwan and Scheinert, with M. Manikandan’s wholehearted Indian drama Kadaisi Vivasayi and Dean Fleischer Camp’s stop-motion, live-action hybrid Marcel the Shell with Shoes On rounding out the top three.

This trio of films couldn’t be more distinct from each other, yet each in its own way embraces situational absurdity to create a case for kindness—human-scale odes to life, flinging fanny-packs at our pandemic-related trauma.

The Year in Review collects together the movies that rocked your world in 2022. 
The Year in Review collects together the movies that rocked your world in 2022. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once has dominated the Letterboxd fanbase since its SXSW debut in March 2022 when early reviews indicated that the “beautiful weirdos” had created something very special. Letterboxd members in those first weeks variously described the martial arts laundromat tax comedy as “a magic trick”, “life-changing”, “a delightful and strange surprise”, “a modern classic”, “one of the most fascinating movies of the decade” and “a joyous mess”.

“We would like to thank recency bias,” the Daniels told us back when EEAaO briefly held the No. 1 spot of all time, threatening to flood the platform with one-star reviews to cool off the buzz. Un/fortunately for them, at no point in the past year did another film manage to overtake EEAaO as the highest rated film of 2022.

Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchett and Matt Reeves were your most watched.
Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchett and Matt Reeves were your most watched.

Cate Blanchett did, however, overtake Zendaya as the most watched actress in 2022, thanks to her work in TÁR, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and the late 2021 releases of Don’t Look Up and Nightmare Alley, which most people caught in early ’22. Nightmare Alley also helped Willem Dafoe retain his most watched actor crown for the second year in a row, along with The Northman, Spider-Man: No Way Home and pretty much every other film in his huge resumé.

The Batman director Matt Reeves makes his debut as most watched director courtesy of our avenging bat pal stepping out of the shadows with a new face—that of Robert Pattinson. The Batman began 2022 as the most anticipated film by Letterboxd members, and ended the year as both the most popular film and the most obsessively rewatched film.  

On the documentary front, our old pals Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and friends were back and you loved their shenanigans so much, Jackass Forever became the most popular documentary of the year, while the fur-coated fab four helped Peter Jackson take the highest rated documentary trophy.

The Jackass gang made the cut.
The Jackass gang made the cut.

There was so much more in 2022, as we tentatively returned to cinemas and doubled-down on home streaming and physical media. We looked to the clouds where we saw flying tigers. We flew in hypersonic jets a little too close to the Aftersun, past burning superyachts and fiery volcanos. We met kids obsessed with outer space in Apollo 10½, Mars One, Armageddon Time and Moonage Daydream. We came across cats in boots, supersized red pandas and donkeys, donkeys, everywhere.

It was a top year for women with blades to sharpen and axes to grind. Among them, 2022 brought us Pearl, Nanisca, Tess, Naru, Sara, Leena, Aisha, Tinja, Julia, Emily, Leonor, Rose, Lou, Margot and Elsa—some of whom we may meet again.

She is a star! (Of the highest rated horror film of 2022.)
She is a star! (Of the highest rated horror film of 2022.)

We met so many different kinds of families, far beyond Evelyn and Waymond’s clan. The parents who pretend to divorce to get their kids to come home; the adoptive love baked into a family dance battle; the staunch truth of a bereaved mother. We hit the road to meet new foster parents and broker new arrangements.

There was so much queer love, towards others and especially of self, including the sham marriage in Badhaai Do, the delicate choreography of Joyland, Joy and Becky (and Evelyn and Deirdre) in EEAaO, the girls in Alli Haapasalo’s picture. And, especially, Jarrod Carmichael’s beautiful secrets in our highest rated comedy special, Rothaniel (directed by last year’s comedy special winner, Bo Burnham).

And hey: we watched one billion movies! And here’s what we also noticed: you’re taking more time to write more words about the movies you love—and your words are being read.

I read Letterboxd religiously. Some of the interpretations are really, really fascinating. I think you learn a lot about the stuff you make from other people. I’ve learned a lot about this film from other people. That’s the best part.

—⁠Todd Field, writer and director of TÁR 

It’s fair to say that many of the films that popped off in 2022 were those that we could see in theaters. But we also heard from you that the act of sharing on Letterboxd creates an infectious energy that anyone, anywhere, can feel—the same kind of charge that some of us still can’t yet physically get as long as that tricky pandemic keeps doing its thing.

One thing that Letterboxd has over the other platforms is just a really direct line to people who watch and love movies. Those are the people that it means the most to see connect to the film. That’s a really cool and special thing.

—⁠Aftersun filmmaker Charlotte Wells 

We do have some important thank yous: to NEON for partnering with us once again to support this retrospective, and to MUBI for supporting our personalized “wrapped” emails (coming your way in the next day or so, if you logged ten or more films in 2022 and are opted-in to emails from us). And to Louise Zergaeng Pomeroy for 2022’s illustration.

Jerrod’s set was lit. 
Jerrod’s set was lit. 

To the Letterboxd crew: David for shaking down the numbers, Hayden for design finesse and Samm for design assistance, Aaron and Flynn for keeping it social, AJ for video wizardry, Dominic and Gemma for curatorial caretaking, Brian for industry liaison and producing our Best in Show podcast, which is anchored by Mia who also provided smart copy. To Slim for always getting our podcasts to air and unflappable support all round, Mitchell for their fresh eyes, Larkin and Brendan for takin’ care of business, and Brett for keepin’ it scary. To our beautiful freelance team for excellent input, always.

To Matthew, Karl and Tom for keeping the home fires burning, and most of all to Jack, our quiet, community-whispering genius, for his care with the data, his liaison with the key list-makers out there, and his constant guidance.

To all the filmmakers for sharing with us your creative visions, the ecosystem of people who get your films to the world, and to our Letterboxd community for the work you do in making sure fellow film lovers know about the movies. RRR director S.S. Rajamouli has a final word just for you.

A big thank you for loving the film. Spreading the word on social media. And if RRR is such a big success today, it is mostly because of the word of mouth. I should say a big thank you for spreading that love.

—⁠S.S. Rajamouli

If you’re curious, you can read on for details on how the Year in Review is calculated. But for now, that’s enough of 2022. How about what 2023 has in store?

The sun rises on 2023. 
The sun rises on 2023. 

How the Year in Review is calculated:

Results are based on the Letterboxd community’s combined ratings as of January 1, 2023. Eligible films are those that had a first national release in any country between January 1 and December 31 2022, and received a minimum of 2,000 ratings following release (minimum ratings requirements differ in some categories with lower overall viewership numbers).

Films that had direct-to-streaming releases, TV movies, and films with limited theatrical are included, while films with film festival screenings but no national release yet are not (they are included in the Year in Review relevant to the year in which they receive a national release).

The main narrative and documentary categories exclude short films, TV shows and specials, filmed concerts and stage shows, visual albums and straight-to-video films; where appropriate, they have their own categories.

As on the platform, Letterboxd differentiates between popular films (a measure of the activity a film receives regardless of rating) and highly rated films (computed from a weighted average of all ratings cast by members during the period).

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