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The 50 best films of 2022 in the UK | Film

This list is compiled by the Guardian film team, with all films released in the UK during 2022 in contention. Check in every weekday to see our next picks, and please share your own favourite films of 2022 in the comments below.


Compartment No 6

Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen directs this answer to Before Sunrise, about an archaeology student who shares a train compartment with a boorish Russian; the pair connect despite their differences. Read the full review


Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise returns almost four decades on for another bout of speed and need: this time he is the mentor to a new generation of navy fighter pilots, led by Miles Teller, playing the son of Maverick’s late wingman, Goose. Read the full review


Paris, 13th District

A sexy film about sexiness … Paris, 13th District.
A sexy film about sexiness … Paris, 13th District. Photograph: Shanna Besson

The latest film from Rust and Bone director Jacques Audiard, here putting together a short story collection of sexual encounters and relationships in Paris’s 13th arrondissement, shot in tough black-and-white. Read the full review



Golden Lion-winning abortion drama, more relevant than ever, from director Audrey Diwan; a study of a woman (played by Anamaria Vartolomei) who becomes pregnant in early-60s, pre-legalisation France. Read the full review


Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Entertaining second dose of Rian Johnson’s labyrinthine crime mystery, with Daniel Craig on good form as Hercule Poirot-esque detective Benoit Blanc, here investigating a murder-themed party that turns deadly. Read the full review



Descent into dementia … Gasper Noé’s Vortex
Descent into dementia … Gasper Noé’s Vortex

Split-screen dementia drama from Argentine provocateur Gaspar Noé, starring Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun as an elderly couple whose lives are dogged by the latter’s cognitive decline. Read the full review


The Woman King

Stirring period epic starring Viola Davis as the leader of the Agojie, a brigade of female warriors in west Africa who are attempting to see off threats from the Oyo empire as well as from slave-buying colonialists. Read the full review


Brian and Charles

David Earl and Chris Hayward’s story of an inventor’s relationship with his creation blends Caractacus Potts with Victor Frankenstein to heartwarming effect. Read the full review


We (Nous)

A tender homage to the unnoticed … We (Nous).
A tender homage to the unnoticed … We (Nous). Photograph: Sarah Blum

French-Senegalese film-maker Alice Diop offers a sensitive portrayal of the disparate communities that live along one of Paris’s commuter rail lines, in a documentary predating her acclaimed fiction feature debut, Saint Omer. Read the full review


Everything Went Fine

André Dussollier and Sophie Marceau are outstanding in François Ozon’s wonderfully observed story about a father and daughter whose tricky relationship is upended when he asks for her help to die. Read the full review



Terence Davies’s account of the life of Siegfried Sassoon (played by Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi in younger/older versions), tracing his career from lionised war poet to unhappy later life. Read the full review


Prayers for the Stolen

Children interrupted … Prayers For The Stolen.
Children interrupted … Prayers For The Stolen. Photograph: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy

A heart-rending study of the traumatising life experience of a Mexican woman trying to ensure her daughter escapes the attentions of rapists and narcos who can apparently operate with impunity. Read the full review


Small Body

Mysterious fable from Italian director Laura Samani, about a woman desperate to revive her stillborn baby who heads off on a quest to find the church that may be able to accomplish it. Read the full review


Great Freedom

Intriguing German drama about a former concentration camp inmate imprisoned after the war for gay sex acts, and who develops a complex relationship with his straight cellmate. Read the full review


A Banquet

Unnerving body horror … A Banquet.
Unnerving body horror … A Banquet. Photograph: Signature Entertainment

Social-comment body horror from debut feature director Ruth Paxton, with Sienna Guillory as the apparently perfect single mother with two daughters, one of whom develops a mysterious eating disorder. Read the full review


All Quiet on the Western Front

Anti-war nightmare of bloodshed and chaos where teenage boys quickly find themselves caught up in the ordeal of trench warfare, in a German-language adaptation of the first world war novel. Read the full review


Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

Chadian auteur Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s quiet fable, about a woman torn between social proprieties and respecting her daughter’s decision to get an abortion. Read the full review


All That Breathes

Complex and quietly beautiful … All That Breathes.
Complex and quietly beautiful … All That Breathes. Photograph: PR

Two Indian brothers dedicate themselves to rescuing birds that are being poisoned by pollution in this complex and quietly beautiful film. Read the full review



Vicky Krieps puts in a star turn as lonely, patronised Elizabeth of Austria in Marie Kreutzer’s austere drama that functions as a cry of anger from the pedestal-prison of an empress. Read the full review


Crimes of the Future

As he did with 90s hit Crash, David Cronenberg’s horror sensation creates a bizarre new society of sicko sybarites where pain is the ultimate pleasure and “surgery is the new sex”. Read the full review


The Worst Person in the World

Thelma director Joachim Trier comes up with an unexpectedly moving drama about a twentysomething woman (played by Renate Reinsve in a star-making performance) as she navigates relationships and jobs at a tricky period in life. Read the full review


The Souvenir Part II

Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton in The Souvenir Part II.
Austere … Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton in The Souvenir Part II. Photograph: Everett Collection/Alamy

Second half of Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical drama, with Honor Swinton Byrne as film student Julie as she abandons her social issue documentary in favour of making her own autobiographical memoir. Read the full review



American Honey director Andrea Arnold’s meaty slice of bovine socio-realism, detailing the life of dairy cows with unflinching and empathic precision. Read the full review


No Bears

Complex metafiction of fear in which now-jailed director Jafar Panahi plays a version of himself, forced to shoot his new film in a town near the border with Turkey. Read the full review


White Noise

Don DeLillo’s novel of campus larks and eco dread gets an elegant, droll film treatment from Noah Baumbach, starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. Read the full review


The Gravedigger’s Wife

Gentle, funny drama of a man seeking money for his spouse’s operation and his sick spouse from Somali-born director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. Read the full review


Fire of Love

Maurice and Katia Krafft in Fire of Love.
Passionate … Maurice and Katia Krafft in Fire of Love. Photograph: Image’Est

Romantic portrait of passionate, doomed volcanologists embraces the mythology around Maurice and Katia Krafft, the scientists who died in the 1991 Mount Unzen disaster. Read the full review



Powerful documentary on the legacy of slavery showing how an illegal slave ship led to the creation of an Alabama community of inherited trauma but also defiance. Read the full review



Deeply disturbing drama about mass killer Martin Bryant which shies away from depicting the Port Arthur massacre itself – but outstanding performances mean it is still a highly unsettling story. Read the full review


The Innocents

Rakel Lenora Fløttum in The Innocents.
Icily brilliant … Rakel Lenora Fløttum in The Innocents. Photograph: Midnight/Allstar

Creepy-kid horror from Norwegian director Eskil Vogt (co-writer of The Worst Person in the World), about two young sisters who make friends with other children who apparently possess supernatural powers. Read the full review


The Northman

Brutal Viking saga based on the same legend as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with Alexander Skarsgård as the chieftain’s son out for vengeance on the man who murdered his father and took his throne. Read the full review


Official Competition

Penélope Cruz is on fire in delicious movie industry satire in which she plays an eccentric director using unorthodox techniques to manage lead actors – and polar opposites – Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez. Read the full review



Exquisitely sad drama starring Bill Nighy in a Kazuo Ishiguro-scripted remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film Ikiru about a man dealing with a terminal diagnosis. Read the full review


You Won’t Be Alone

Noomi Rapace in You Won’t Be Alone.
Spellbinding … Noomi Rapace in You Won’t Be Alone. Photograph: Branko Starcevic/Focus Features

Spellbinding horror movie from director Goran Stolevski, a witch story that follows a shapeshifter in a 19th-century village. Read the full review



Jason Isaacs and Ann Dowd are among the cast of a drama about the “healing” meeting between the parents of a high-school shooting victim, and the parents of the perpetrator. Read the full review


Bones and All

Teen cannibal romance with Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, who dazzle in Luca Guadagnino’s blood-soaked parable of poverty and rebellion. Read the full review



Seven-year-old Maya Vanderbeque is brilliant in this Belgian schoolyard drama, as a girl called Nora who tries to confront classroom bullies in this short, intense film. Read the full review


The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin.
Hilarious, horrifying, heartbreaking … Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin. Photograph: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy

Guinness-black comedy of male pain in which Martin McDonagh reunites Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in remotest Ireland for an oddball study of isolation and hurt. Read the full review


Moonage Daydream

Glorious, shapeshifting eulogy to David Bowie from director Brett Morgen, whose intimate montage of the uniquely influential artist celebrates his career, creativity and unfailing charm. Read the full review


Funny Pages

Deliciously dark coming-of-age comedy from Owen Kline, that fuses teen innocence with adult sexuality in a bad-taste debut film that recalls American Splendor and Crumb. Read the full review


Decision to Leave

South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s sensational black-widow noir romance, starring Tang Wei, keeps the viewer off-balance at every turn. Read the full review



Tilda Swinton and Elkin Díaz in Memoria.
Mysterious … Tilda Swinton and Elkin Díaz in Memoria. Photograph: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy

Tilda Swinton joins forces with Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul for an English-language, Colombia-set fable about a woman who can hear sounds that others don’t appear to. Read the full review


The Wonder

Haunting adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s story of divine possession, with Florence Pugh as a nurse who is sent to a rural Irish village to investigate a young girl who appears to be perfectly healthy despite not having eaten for months. Read the full review



Multilingual, pan-Indian, historical-action-romance blockbuster set in the 1920s, following a pair of real-life revolutionaries as they take on the might of the British Raj. Read the full review


Hit the Road

Hassan Majooni and Pantea Panahiha in Hit the Road.
Outstanding … Hassan Majooni and Pantea Panahiha in Hit the Road. Photograph: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy

Beautifully composed debut feature from Panah Panahi, the son of jailed Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi, this tense family drama is drenched in a subtle but urgent political meaning. Read the full review


Licorice Pizza

70s-set romance from Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Cooper Hoffman as a former child actor who sets his sights on 10-years-older Alana Haim as he gets into the waterbed business. Read more



Distinctive fusion of documentary and animation from Danish film-maker Jonas Poher Rasmussen, outlining the journey and heartache of a gay Afghan man living in Copenhagen, having left his home country as a 10-year-old. Read more


Parallel Mothers

Penelope Cruz in Parallel Mothers.
Poetic conviction … Penelope Cruz in Parallel Mothers. Photograph: Sony/Allstar

Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar collaborate once again to tremendous effect; this time Cruz plays a woman sharing the same maternity ward as a much younger, troubled mother to be (played by Milena Smit ). Read more


The Quiet Girl

Deeply moving tale of rural Ireland in which a silent child is sent away to live with foster parents on a farm, in a gem of a film from first-time feature director Colm Bairéad. Read more



Touching moments … Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio in Aftersun.
Touching moments … Paul Mescal and Francesca Corio in Aftersun. Photograph: Sarah Makharine

Father-daughter bonding drama starring Paul Mescal and nine-year-old Francesca Corio, attempting to navigate post-divorce family life in a Turkish beach resort. A brilliant debut feature from Charlotte Wells. Read the full review

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