The list of the most anticipated movies of 2022 is here, so mark your calendars—though you might want to do so in pencil.
If cinephiles have learned anything over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that release dates are but a mere suggestion amid a worldwide health crisis. For example, Death on the Nile, Kenneth Branagh’s latest installment in the ACU (that’s the Agatha Christie Universe) was originally scheduled for release in October 2020. After multiple delays, the murder mystery starring Gal Gadot is now set to come out in February 2022. Fingers crossed, of course.
The onslaught of backlogged films is why you might notice a few repeats from last year’s most anticipated list included here. The movies that we were excited to see in 2021 still feel worth our time in 2022, including the Tom Cruise double-whammy of Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7.
Ongoing pandemic-induced production delays may also explain the abundance of 2022 films whose release dates are still to be determined, including Martin Scorsese’s latest collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, Ari Aster’s Midsommar follow-up and most of Netflix’s upcoming slate including Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel. While these films are coming, the question of when they will arrive is as much of a mystery to the filmmakers as it is to the viewer.
Beyond the aforementioned anomalies, the upcoming year’s catalog of intended releases feels as close to normal as it’s been since COVID-19 closed movie theaters, torpedoing Hollywood’s bottom line nearly two years ago. You should be able to see your big blockbusters in the sweltering summer (Jurassic World: Dominion, Black Adam) and Academy Award fare when the leaves change in the fall (Till, She Said). All is almost right in the world of cinema, which is why it’s an exciting time to be a movie fan.
In 2022, you can look forward to a George Clooney-Julia Roberts rom-com, a Whitney Houston biopic, Jordan Peele’s third horror film and more than one appearance by the Batman. (Be prepared to choose your fighter in the new school vs. old school Caped Crusader debate.)
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The MCU is expected to release its much-delayed Black Panther sequel, sans the film’s star Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 at the age of 43 following a secret battle with colon cancer. Mads Mikkelsen will make his debut as Gellert Grindelwald in the third Fantastic Beasts film after replacing his predecessor Johnny Depp in 2020. And James Cameron’s long-awaited promise of an Avatar sequel finally comes to fruition—13 years after the original broke box office records.
CGI-heavy spectaculars tend to dominate conversations about the state of the movie business, but there are a whole slew of indies and art house fare on the horizon that are worth seeking out when available. Keep an eye out for 2021 critical darling The Worst Person in the World when it hits theaters in February.
Whether you’re heading back to the theater or just taking a comfortable seat on your couch, these are the 58 movies we think you’ll be excited to see in 2022:
Scream (Jan. 14)
Scary movie fans might enjoy the soft reboot of the 1996 original, which has Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) imparting her final girl wisdom to a group of teens with their own curious connections to the original Woodsboro murders.
Aline (Jan. 21)
This fictionalized and rather unhinged take on Celine Dion’s life, which made its debut at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, has director and star Valérie Lemercier playing a stand-in for the French-Canadian singer named Aline Dieu at every stage in her life. Think The Irishman for the “My Heart Will Go On” set.
Moonfall (Feb. 4)
A NASA executive, an astronaut, and a conspiracy theorist travel to outer space. No, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s the premise of disaster film auteur Roland Emmerich’s new movie, in which the above-mentioned trio, played by Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, and Game of Thrones’ John Bradley, try to stop the moon from crashing into Earth.
The Worst Person in the World (Feb. 4)
Love her or hate her, Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s modern romantic dramedy forces you to consider what his protagonist Julie (Renate Reinsve) wants as she embarks on a four-year-long journey towards self discovery, (possibly) at the expense of the two men she’s dating.
Marry Me (Feb. 11)
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Jennifer Lopez plays a pop star who, after being publicly humiliated by her famous fiancé (Maluma), decides to marry a stranger (Owen Wilson). It’s the kind of throwback rom-com you just may risk it all for.
Death on the Nile (Feb. 11)
Hercule Poirot is back in the long (long) awaited sequel to 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express. This time around, Agatha Christie’s fictional Belgium detective, played by the film’s director Kenneth Branagh, is tasked with solving a murder while on vacation in Egypt. Work-life balance? He doesn’t know the meaning of it.
Read more: The 10 Best Movies of 2021
The Batman (March 4)
There’s something in the way Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne flies off the handle that lets viewers know director Matt Reeves might be willing to take his Dark Knight to even darker places than his predecessors. Case in point: Paul Dano’s The Riddler. The There Will Be Blood actor’s take on the classic Batman villain feels more Zodiac killer than Jim Carrey’s merry prankster.
Turning Red (March 11)
An overachieving 13-year-old named Meilin “Mei” Lee (Rosalie Chiang) must learn to control her anger or else she’ll turn into a red panda in director Domee Shi’s full-length debut for Pixar—and the follow-up to her Academy Award-winning short film, Bao.
Downton Abbey: A New Era (March 18)
The Crawleys and the rest of the upstairs-downstairs gang’s all here in the second film based on the beloved British drama — and they’re headed to the south of France for a little fun in the sun as the Roaring Twenties come to a close.
The Lost City (March 25)
Sandra Bullock plays a reclusive romance novelist who goes on a book tour with her Fabio-esque cover model (a perfectly cast Channing Tatum), only to get caught up in a kidnapping attempt that leads them on a dangerous (and hilarious) jungle adventure.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (April 15)
The third installment of the Harry Potter prequel series takes place in the years leading up to World War II as the globe-trotting Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his Wizarding pals figure out how to take down two dark lords: Adolf Hitler and Gellert Grindelwald, now played by Mads Mikkelsen, a.k.a. Hannibal Lecter.
The Northman (April 22)
Director Robert Eggers’ follow-up to his hallucinatory 2019 film The Lighthouse is a revenge thriller set in 10th century Iceland, which stars Alexander Skarsgård as a Viking prince. Best casting ever?
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (April 22)
Nicolas Cage plays a “stylized” version of himself in this surreal comedy in which “Nic Cage” becomes a CIA informant to take down one of his superfans, a Mexican drug lord played by The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal.
Legally Blonde 3 (May 22)
Top Gun: Maverick (May 27)
Tom Cruise’s need for speed led him back to the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, 36 years after he originally took to the skies. No longer the young hotshot, he’s training the next generation of the Navy’s top pilots. Notably, the new cohort includes his dearly departed friend Goose’s son, played by Miles Teller.
John Wick: Chapter 4 (May 27)
Jurassic World Dominion (June 10)
Human-made dinosaurs now roam the Earth in the third installment of the Jurassic Park spinoff, which is why OG stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum are back to save us from ourselves. Hold onto your butts, indeed.
Lightyear (June 17)
Elvis (June 24)
Romeo Montague. Jay Gatsby. Now Elvis Presley is getting the Baz Luhrmann treatment in this musical biopic, which stars Austin Butler as the “King of Rock and Roll” and Tom Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8)
Bullet Train (July 15)
Brad Pitt goes full-on action star in this adaptation of Kotaro Isaka’s 2021 satirical novel of the same name in which he plays an assassin who finds himself on a fast moving train with four other highly motivated hit men and women. The problem is: they’ve all been given the same mission—and only one of them will make it to their destination alive.
Nope (July 22)
Where The Crawdads Sing (July 22)
Whether it’s despite the controversy surrounding Delia Owens’ hugely popular debut novel of the same name—or because of it, this coming-of-age film about a lonely young girl living in the 1950s North Carolina marsh feels like a movie that’s bound to spark discussions.
Black Adam (July 29)
Beast (Aug. 19)
Summer isn’t summer without a killer animal movie and this one is about a lion who has a bone to pick with Idris Elba. Let’s just hope it’s not Elba’s bones the big cat’s picking its teeth with when the credits roll.
Don’t Worry Darling (Sept. 23)
Olivia Wilde’s thrillingly kinky follow-up to her 2019 directorial debut, Booksmart, stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles as a 1950s couple who join a commune in the California desert that seems too good to be true. Turns out, it is.
Mission: Impossible 7 (Sept. 30)
Not much is known about the follow-up to 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout—but viewers should expect Tom Cruise to pull off another death defying stunt in the name of cinema.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) (Oct. 7)
Till (Oct. 7)
Halloween Ends (Oct. 14)
It’s Michael Myers vs. Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode in the final installment of David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy, which the director teased will be a tribute to the 1978 slasher film’s mastermind John Carpenter.
Ticket to Paradise (Oct. 21)
An estranged couple, played by George Clooney and Julia Roberts, band together in hopes of convincing their daughter not to marry a man she just met and repeat the same mistake they made 25 years earlier. Funnily enough, it’s been just as long since Clooney last starred in a rom-com.
The Flash (Nov. 4)
Michael Keaton is Batman in this much anticipated DC superhero standalone that has Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) pinballing through space and time in order to prevent his mother’s murder.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Nov. 11)
Chadwick Boseman is gone, but his boundary-breaking performance as Black Panther will never be forgotten. His co-star Angela Bassett promises that the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel will honor its late star — fans expect nothing less.
She Said (Nov. 18)
For fans of Spotlight: Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan play New York Times journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor in the drama inspired by the women’s 2019 book of the same name that looks at how their reporting led to the downfall of former Hollywood megaproducer Harvey Weinstein.
Avatar 2 (Dec. 16)
Whether you loved Avatar or thought James Cameron’s effects-heavy blockbuster was overrated, the fact that this sequel is finally coming out, 13 years after the original, is reason enough to be intrigued. Also intriguing? The choice to stick with that same font.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Dec. 23)
Babylon (Dec. 25)
The Adam Project (TBD)
Adam Sandler’s Netflix Films (TBD)
The Sandman returns to the streamer with two new films: Hustle, a comedy about a down-on-his-luck basketball scout (Sandler) who tries to turn a once-in-a-lifetime overseas talent into an NBA star. And Spaceman, a sci-fi movie inspired by Jaroslav Kalfař’s 2017 novel, Spaceman in Bohemia, in which the Uncut Gems actor plays an astronaut on a desperate mission to escape his past.
Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood (TBD)
Richard Linklater’s animated feature, which will be available on Netflix, covers the 1969 moon landing from two perspectives: the astronauts who made history and an excited kid who watched them do it.
This Lena Waithe-penned queer drama for Netflix looks at a gifted young Black woman (played by Gracie Marie Bradley), who, after getting a big record deal, has to fight to keep her voice.
The Bubble (TBD)
Judd Apatow heads to Netflix with a comedy about a group of actors who are stuck quarantining together as they finish filming a movie amid the pandemic. The ensemble cast includes Karen Gillan, Leslie Mann, David Duchovny, Fred Armisen, Keegan-Michael Key, Pedro Pascal and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’s Maria Bakalova.
Day Shift (TBD)
Jamie Foxx is a pool cleaner by day, vampire hunter by night in this Netflix sci-fi film.
Disappointment Blvd. (TBD)
Escape From Spiderhead (TBD)
Chris Hemsworth tries his hand at sci-fi in Netflix’s adaptation of George Saunders’ 2010 New Yorker article of the same name.
The Gray Man (TBD)
Ryan Gosling’s first film in three years casts him as a former CIA operative who is on the run from a former CIA agent (Chris Evans) hellbent on taking him down in the Netflix thriller directed by Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo.
Killers of the Flower Moon (TBD)
Martin Scorsese and his go-to stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, reunite for an adaptation of David Grann’s nonfiction book about the mysterious Osage tribe murders in the 1920s that led to the birth of the FBI.
After an agoraphobic tech worker, played by Zoë Kravitz, witnesses a violent murder, she’s forced to face her fear of leaving her home amid the COVID-19 pandemic in this Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller for HBO Max.
Knives Out 2 (TBD)
Daniel Craig and his Kentucky Fried accent are back to solve another murder in the star-studded follow-up to Rian Johnson’s 2019 murder mystery set to stream on Netflix. Honestly, it might be easier to name which Hollywood celebs aren’t in this one.
Luckiest Girl Alive (TBD)
Netflix’s adaptation of Jessica Knoll’s 2015 thriller of the same name stars Mila Kunis as Ani FaNelli, a woman who reinvented herself following a series of teenage tragedies, which are now coming back to haunt her after a documentary filmmaker starts asking questions.
The Mother (TBD)
The Netflix thriller casts Jennifer Lopez as a deadly assassin who has come out of retirement to protect the daughter she gave up years earlier.
The Pale Blue Eye (TBD)
Hostiles director Scott Copper reteams with Christian Bale for this Netflix gothic thriller about a series of murders that took place at West Point in 1830—and may have a connection to a young cadet who would later become Edgar Allan Poe.
The Jane Austen hive should get hyped for the Netflix adaptation of the author’s final completed novel starring Dakota Johnson as the melancholic Anne Elliot.
The School for Good and Evil (TBD)
Paul Feig heads to Netflix for an adaptation of Soman Chainani’s 2013 YA fantasy novel of the same name about an enchanted school that trains its students to be heroes or villains.
Wendell and Wild (TBD)
White Noise (TBD)
Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to Marriage Story has him reteaming with Netflix and that film’s star Adam Driver (as well as his real-life partner Greta Gerwig) for an adaptation of the 1985 Don DeLillo novel of the same name.
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