Best summer movies, 2022
From The Good Boss with Javier Bardem to Mr. Malcolm's List starring Freida Pinto and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, here are the 10 films we're excited to see this summer
In this new film from Fernando León de Aranoa (A Perfect Day), the titular ‘good boss’ is the head of a company that sells weighted scales. He has a moralistic reputation to maintain but, actually, he’s not a good person. He's corruptible, has questionable practices, and grooms female interns. All while maintaining a parental persona. Javier Bardem – never one to shy away from villains and antiheroes like in Skyfall and No Country for Old Men – is well cast as the 'good boss' in question, Blanco.
It’s been over 40 years since Jennifer Agutter (Walkabout, An American Werewolf in London, Call the Midwife) enjoyed childish adventures by a Yorkshire railway line in The Railway Children. Now, she returns to play the same character for the 2022 sequel The Railway Children Return, which takes place in the thrust of World War II.
The wartime children in this film delight in similar escapades around the railway, only this time there are American soldiers wandering around – some of whom don’t take kindly to their African-American comrades. The children find one such soldier, Abe (Kenneth Aikens), hiding in one of the railway engines. He tells them he’s on a secret mission and nobody can know.
Ryan Gosling! Chris Evans! Ana de Armas! The Gray Man, a starry action movie from Joe and Anthony Russo (Avengers: Endgame), is Netflix's latest and most expensive effort to shatter the Hollywood blockbuster market. Considering the platform's recent financial woes, let’s hope the $200 million budget is worth it.
Gosling plays the former CIA operative Court Gentry, aka Sierra Six, who accidentally discovers dark agency secrets and is hunted down. The assassin Lloyd Hansen (Evans) is tasked with taking him out, presumably meeting each other during one of nine action sequences. Also stars Billy Bob Thornton and Regé-Jean Page.
If you want a movie that matches with the scorching heat of summer, Where the Crawdads Sing is a perfect choice. Based on the massively popular novel by Delia Owens, the film is set in the fuggy marshlands along the North Carolina coast – following the mythologised ‘Marsh Girl’ as she’s accused of murder.
After living separately from the nearby townsfolk all her life, Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is mocked for her destitution and so stays in her shack to enjoy the surrounding wildlife. But when the body of Chase Andrews (Taylor John Smith) is found, the community point to her. She maintains her innocence, but will anyone believe her?
Photo: PA Media/Sony
Many underrated horrors in recent years have grappled with female-oriented themes. Think of Saint Maud, Censor, and The Babadook – all created by female directors who often aren't placed on the same pedestals as their male contemporaries. But their talents for plunging into the horrors of the human soul should never be underestimated, and Charlotte Colbert’s new film She Will looks like another chilling addition to the genre.
Veronica Ghent (Alice Krige) is an ageing movie star, who started her career at 13 when director Eric Hathbourne (Malcolm McDowell) made her famous… for a traumatic price. After having a double mastectomy, Veronica travels to a secluded retreat in the Scottish Highlands with her nurse. The retreat was built on a site where many witch-burnings took place, and she takes a strange solace in the ghosts of the past.
Photo: Vertigo Releasing
We’ve all heard the cliché of walking through fire for your partner, but that's almost literally the case with Katia and Maurice Krafft. As volcanologists, much of their time together was spent examining fiery mountains up close. They travelled around the world to study volcanos, often during eruptions, and filmed their efforts.
For Fire of Love, director Sara Dosa pored through over 200 hours of footage and crafted a documentary showing the strange love triangle between them and their shared passion. Both Maurice and Katia perished in 1996 during an eruption on Mount Unzen in Japan, but their love continues to fascinate through the decades.
Photo: National Geographic
Trains have been a staple of cinema since the medium was invented, as seen in the silent films of Edwin S Porter and The Lumière Brothers. The mode of transport was then crystallised into comedy by Buster Keaton in 1926 with The General, and then turned into a modern action-thriller for The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (both in 1974 and 2009). It even supplied the ideal setting for the Korean zombie movie Train to Busan.
Bullet Train combines action and comedy with a bizarre concept set on a Japanese shinkansen, a type of high-speed train that travels thousands of miles and has carried billions of passengers. A perfect place, then, for a swarm of assassins to hunt each other down. The unlucky hitman Ladybug (Brad Pitt) wants to complete his latest job without any hiccups, but the presence of four other assassins – each with a similar task in mind – doesn’t make that easy.
Photo: PA Media/Sony
Since his debut film Get Out, the former comedy actor Jordan Peele offers a fresher take on horror cinema – especially with racial representation. He's marked a turning point in the genre, rebirthing ‘elevated horror’ to the masses.
Nope is Peele's third cinematic endeavour and, once again, he blends the funny with the frightening. It's set on a California ranch, run by siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer), which supplies horses to film productions. And then one day, a UFO storms into the sky and the ranchers are determined to capture it on film.
Photo: UPI Media
Anyone with any taste knows Emma Mackey from Sex Education, playing the punky, feministic Maeve Wiley. But now she’s sprouting into cinematic avenues with roles in Kenneth Branagh’s version of Death on the Nile, a new Emily Brontë biopic, and the bubblegum-coloured Barbie movie with Margot Robbie (who's often cited as her doppelgänger).
And this summer, we see her as Adrienne Bourgès in this new biopic of architect Gustave Eiffel (portrayed by Romain Duras). The film follows Gustave’s efforts to build Paris's now-famous landmark, achieved for the 1889 World's Fair, and how his relationship with Adrienne influenced his vision.
Photo: Vertigo Releasing
Missing Bridgerton? Well, you’re in luck: Mr Malcolm’s List shares a lot with the Shondaland period drama. A Jane Austen imitation: check. Regency setting: check. Colour-blind casting: check. Even the film's titular bachelor Jeremy Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) seems to share DNA with Anthony Bridgerton: compiling a list of favourable qualities in eligible brides.
One such potential, the vengeful Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton), is so outraged by the list that she recruits her childhood friend Selina (Freida Pinto) to turn the tables on Mr Malcolm. Selina will court the bachelor, conforming to every point in his list. And just as he proposes, she will take out a list of her own. But as Selina gets to know Mr Malcolm, the plan becomes less and less attractive.
Photo: Obscured Pictures
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