Posted January 18, 2023

The Best of 2022: JBFC Staff's Favorite Films

by JBFC Marketing Manager Paige Grand Pré

As awards season kicks into high gear, what better way to celebrate the cinematic medium than by highlighting all the films that moved us in 2022? We’ve compiled “Best of 2022” lists from staff members across the Jacob Burns Film Center. Featuring a wide range of titles that made us laugh, cry, grow, think, reflect, and cheer, this compilation of lists is a testament to our staff’s undying love for film, and the ways it can bring us together—especially when we’ve been apart for so long.

We’ll see you at the movies!


Ian LoCascio, Programming Coordinator

  1. Saint Omer | Dir. Alice Diop
  2. Return to Seoul | Dir. Davy Chou
  3. TÁR | Dir. Todd Field
  4. EO | Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski
  5. The Banshees of Inisherin | Dir. Martin McDonagh

Honorable Mentions:

  • In Front of Your Face | Dir. Hong Sang-soo
  • No Bears | Dir. Jafar Panahi
  • Top Gun: Maverick | Dir. Joseph Kosinski



Patrick Saxton, Chief Financial Officer

  1. Licorice Pizza | Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson — my first ever movie at JBFC!
  2. Brian and Charles | Dir. Jim Archer — no idea what to expect, my daughter picked it out and it was hysterical!
  3. The Worst Person in the World | Dir. Joachim Trier — First choice was sold out, had no idea what the movie was but was next movie starting so went in and loved it.
  4. An Evening with Kenny Loggins — Dori Berinstein is an amazing host for Q&A sessions
  5. We Feed People | Dir. Ron Howard



Ryan Harrington, Director of Film Programming, Curator-in-Chief

  • Aftersun | Dir. Charlotte Wells
  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed | Dir. Laura Poitras
  • Bodies Bodies Bodies | Dir. Halina Reijn
  • Bros | Dir. Nicholas Stoller
  • EO | Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once | Dirs. Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  • Happening | Dir. Audrey Diwan
  • Last Flight Home | Dir. Ondi Timoner
  • Navalny | Dir. Daniel Roher
  • Triangle of Sadness | Dir. Ruben Östlund

Looking forward: Close | Dir. Lukas Dhont in 2023



Paige Grand Pré, Marketing Manager

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once | Dirs. Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert — As the title would suggest, this film does everything…and then some. I’ve enjoyed past work from “The Daniels,” but EEAAO really knocked it out of the park. Defying all conventions of genre, the film transitions seamlessly between family drama, martial arts action film, multiverse sci-fi, slapstick comedy, and poignant character study. And its emotional resonance? I literally cried over rocks with googly eyes. I would absolutely be happy doing laundry and taxes with this film forever.
  2. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed | Dir. Laura Poitras — To say Poitras’ deep dive into the life, art, and activism of photographer Nan Goldin transcends the documentary genre doesn’t even begin to cover it. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is, hands-down, some of the most beautiful storytelling I’ve ever seen on a big screen. Weaving together what at first seem like disparate threads from Goldin’s life, Poitras draws out through lines that create a cohesive, moving portrait of a life lived to the fullest. I’ve always been a fan of Goldin’s work, but this film made me appreciate her activism, artistic work, and mere survival even more. A celebration of life and art that is, in and of itself, a masterpiece.
  3. Triangle of Sadness | Dir. Ruben Östlund — I’m normally not squeamish, but the Captain’s dinner legitimately made me dry heave in the theater—and I loved every second of it. Doubling down on his social critiques of the ruling class, Östlund creates a three-act setpiece that works masterfully to skewer capitalist indulgence. I was in stitches throughout, despite the lengthy runtime—truly the mark of a great comedy.
  4. The Banshees of Inisherin | Dir. Martin McDonagh — I’ve always felt McDonagh’s background as a playwright contributed to his keen ear for dialogue, and nowhere is that more on display than in Banshees. The characters’ rapport through back-and-forth banter creates an undeniable chemistry amongst the leads, creating a simmering slow burn that ultimately erupts in ways both hilarious and devastating. McDonagh deftly utilizes that tension to explore deep-seeded grudges and hatreds and the carnage they produce, both at the microcosmic, interpersonal level between the two leads, and macro/political level, as the film sees Ireland and England begin to entrench in their centuries-long feud that would ultimately be known as “The Troubles.” This film deserves every screenplay award there is.
  5. Hawa | Dir. Maïmouna Doucouré — One of the most charming, original films I’ve seen in a long while, Hawa gives us an adorable yet fiery protagonist whose refusal to bend to societal norms makes her impossible not to root for. An endearing look at diasporic communities, blood and chosen families, and the potent power of an unattainable goal, Hawa was a real treat.
  6. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent | Dir. Tom Gormican — I’ve been a Nicholas Cage fan my entire life, and this film—a hyper-meta action buddy comedy that pays tribute to Cage’s career and persona while leaning hard into highly self-aware self-deprecation—was an absolute blast. Adding Pedro Pascal to the mix, not to mention multiple Paddington references, was nothing less than inspired.
  7. Saint Omer | Dir. Alice Diop — Though literal on its face, Saint Omer‘s high-wire act of balancing dry courtroom procedure against powerful, moving diatribes delivered on the stand ultimately creates an intimate character study. Almost play-like in its limited settings and stark camerawork, Saint Omer delivers a masterclass in acting, particularly as it explores the grey areas of justice, morality, compassion, identity, and family. Letting us listen in on courtroom proceedings without any clear editorialization, the film effectively gives us multiple unreliable narrators, leaving it to audiences to parse fact from fiction, and ultimately pass their own judgements. I couldn’t get this film out of my head for weeks, and I still keep coming back to it—a beautiful testament to the film’s many nuances.
  8. Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel | Dir. Bo Burnham — Last year I included Bo Burnham’s Inside on my list for its ability to push the boundaries of comedy, and Jerrod Carmichael’s Rothaniel, directed by Burnham himself, is no different. While obviously hilarious at points (it is a comedy special, after all), Rothaniel is far more quiet and contemplative than traditional stand-up as Jerrod—more reserved than his usual public persona, and largely contained to a single stool—weaves jokes into tragic and complicated stories from his own life, alit by a melancholic blue haze. The result is a powerfully moving dialogue that will make you laugh through tears both happy and sad.
  9. Fire of Love | Dir. Sara Dosa — The cinematography in this film alone is enough to make your jaw drop.
  10. Riceboy Sleeps | Dir. Anthony Shim — A pensive, quiet reflection on immigration, assimilation, sacrifice, and love, this semi-autobiographical retelling of Shim’s own emigration to Canada with his mother is at turns heartwarming and heartbreaking. A profound, self-assured sophomore feature from an exciting new voice.



Tara Bongiorno, Customer Service Manager

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once | Dirs. Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  2. TÁR | Dir. Todd Field — saw it twice!!
  3. Wings Over Water | Dir. Andrew Young
  4. Petite Maman | Dir. Céline Sciamma



Hannah Douglas, Marketing Associate

Looking back on 2022, I enjoyed many envelope-pushing, powerful, poignant, and thought-provoking films. I even laughed a little too! It was a wild year, and I didn’t fulfill my watch list entirely, but the movies I got to see will be sticking with me for quite some time. Here are my favorites from the year:

  1. RRR | Dir. S.S. Rajamouli — Best movie of 2022, and one of my favorites of all time. Yes! Even with a 187 min runtime, it ended too soon, in my opinion. With a captivating plot, an impassioned cast of characters, and a whole slew of emotionally stirring scenes, this film is ferocious and unforgettable.
  2. Men | Dir. Alex Garland
  3. Everything Everywhere All at Once | Dirs. Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  4. Emily the Criminal | Dir. John Patton Ford
  5. Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. | Dir. Adamma Ebo



Cat Saraceno, Audience Services Associate 

  1. The Menu | Dir. Mark Mylod
  2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery | Dir. Rian Johnson
  3. Turning Red | Dir. Domee Shi
  4. See How They Run | Dir. Tom George
  5. The Bob’s Burgers Movie | Dirs. Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman



Sam Van Der Meer, House Manager

  1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio | Dirs. Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson — Jaw-dropping for its skillful stop-motion puppetry and the inspired character and set designs, at its core is a remarkably sweet and poignant story, relevant for its condemnation of fascism and timeless in its acceptance of loss.
  2. Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the Jungle | Dir. Arthur Harari — A war film in the tradition of Apocalypse Now and The Thin Red Line, Onoda’s close-to-three hour run feels like three particular acts, all with remarkable pacing and compelling character study that transcends the actual conflict and tells the deeply introspective story of one man.
  3. The Tale of King Crab | Dirs. Alessio Rigo de Righi, Matteo Zoppis — An Italian fable whose plot shifts dramatically, though is mystically beautiful, whimsical, and exciting from start to finish.
  4. Prey | Dir. Dan Trachtenberg — The best Predator (or Alien!) film in 30 years.
  5. Bones and All | Dir. Luca Guadagnino — 2022’s “it’s horror but it’s really about LOVE” movie! A road movie whose sense of pacing and episodic qualities maintain its run, propelled by sharp dialogue. Reminded me of a sort of Jim Jarmusch/Jonathan Demme cocktail… with cannibals! Not for the squeamish, but worth the endeavor!
    (I still really want to see Corsage, and I missed Elvis!)

Honorable Mention: Andor — I’m not much of a TV guy—and even less of a Disney one! But never in 45 years of Star Wars has an entry in the saga far, far away dealt so maturely and rivetingly with the themes and ideas that support its galactic spectacle and excitement. Oppression, resistance, and the human cost (physical and spiritual) of both are wrung out across this first 12-episode season, with a consistently-excellent cast (Diego Luna in the charismatic title role, and Stellan Skaarsgard becoming one of Star Wars’ greatest characters, instantly) and thoughtful, exciting setpieces, this is the best Star Wars has been… maybe ever.



Elizabeth Garrigue, Membership Director

  1. Sundown | Dir. Michael Franco — Loved the slow pace and stillness of the story. Tim Roth is such a compelling actor. Feels very much like sundown.
  2. The Batman | Dir. Matt Reeves — Great big-screen movie. Dark, brooding. Great cast. Big, thrilling, full movie experience.
  3. The Automat | Dir. Lisa Hurwitz — Glad to learn more about this institution, the company, and their intentions and ‘mission’ to provide a simple, reliable, democratic experience. People’s recollections of time spent there were fun.
  4. God’s Creatures | Dirs. Saela Davis & Anna Rose Holmer — Emily Watson is always good. Tense, dark story in a claustrophobic small town environment where everyone knows everyone’s business/story/mistakes/crimes.
  5. Emily the Criminal | Dir. John Patton Ford —Aubrey Plaza does a good job taking you along for the ride as she dips into the ‘criminal life’ and toughens up to extricate and reinvent herself.



Allie Garner, Donor Engagement & Special Events Manager

  1. Crimes of the Future | Dir. David Cronenberg
  2. Everything Everywhere All at Once | Dirs. Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
  3. Emily the Criminal | Dir. John Patton Ford
  4. Not Okay | Dir. Quinn Shephard



Chris Holliday, Director of Special Event Programming

  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed | Dir. Laura Poitras
  • Bros | Dir. Nicholas Stoller
  • Saint Omer | Dir. Alice Diop
  • TÁR | Dir. Todd Field
  • Winter Boy | Dir. Christophe Honoré



Want to see the complete list of staff film favorites? Head to the JBFC’s Letterboxd for the full compilation!

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

Email Sign Up

Get updates on screenings at the JBFC Theater, upcoming events, and more!