2022 just began, and already I’m wanting to fast-forward a bit—not just because of the below-zero temps here in Chicago, but also because of… well, you know, pretty much everything going on in the world.

At least the bad-news-weary masses can always turn to movies for some escapism. Thankfully it’s shaping up to be an amazing year in that regard. This isn’t an exhaustive list because there’s that much coming out, so instead I tried to pick the most buzzed about titles across genres. I’m not going to tempt fate by including release dates, because COVID could wreak havoc on such plans once again, and we’ve already seen some 2022 dates pushed back.

Big franchise installments dominate this list, so I’m going to make the assumption that most people already know what those movies are about, so I’ll focus on brief overviews of titles you may not have heard of yet.

Superhero

  • The Batman
  • Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
  • Wakanda Forever
  • Morbius – A long-delayed Marvel film starring Jared Leto as a doctor who tries to cure his own blood disease, messes up big-time, and becomes a vampire as a result
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • The Flash
  • Black Adam – Dwayne Johnson joins the DC family as an antihero with ancient powers
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) – The animated sequel to 2018’s universally loved Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

  • Avatar 2
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  • Jurassic World: Dominion

Action

  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Bullet Train – Brad Pitt stars in this tale of 5 assassins who discover they’ve been given interconnected missions while on a Japanese bullet train
  • The Gray Man – The Russo brothers direct. Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling star. Need I say more?

Thriller/Mystery

  • Don’t Worry Darling – Harry Styles and Florence Pugh play a 1950s husband and wife with a lot of secrets
  • Death on the Nile
  • Knives Out 2
  • Ambulance – Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza González star in this story about siblings who steal an ambulance in the midst of a heist … and then realize there’s a critically injured police officer and paramedic in the back
  • Nope – Jordan Peele’s latest; not much is known about this one except what you can glean from its mysterious poster.

Comedy

  • Legally Blonde 3 
  • The Lost City – Sandra Bullock is a romance novelist who gets pulled into a nefarious (but hilarious) plot in the middle of the jungle with her books’ long-standing cover model (Channing Tatum)
  • Ticket to Paradise – George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite to play a divorced couple who travel to Bali to try and stop their daughter from getting married

Drama

  • Downton Abbey: A New Era
  • I Wanna Dance with Somebody
  • Elvis
  • The Woman King – Viola Davis stars as the title character in this true story about the West African general of an all-female military unit


Family

  • Lightyear
  • Sonic 2
  • Disenchanted 2
  • DC League of Super-Pets – Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart lead the voice cast of this animated film about the Justice League’s pets.
  • Hocus Pocus 2
  • Minions: The Rise of Gru

What movies are you looking forward to most this year?

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