The 40 most exciting movies of 2022
Despite the global pandemic throwing a spanner in the workings of Hollywood during 2021, it turned out to be a decent year for movies.
There's still a huge backlog of movies still to be released though, which means 2022 has the chance to be even more incredible.
This list could easily have included 100 new movies, but for the sake of brevity, we've whittled the list down to the 40 most exciting movies of 2022 that we simply can't wait to see.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain - 1 January
Benedict Cumberbatch's other big awards contender arrives in UK cinemas on 1 January. The period drama is a biopic of sorts about acclaimed outsider artist Louis Wain, whose cat paintings are now incredibly sought after.
Scream - 14 January
Not a reboot, despite the title, but Scream picks up the story of the Woodsboro murders with a bunch of new victims joining the classic trio of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette. Expect meta murders.
Cyrano - 21 January
This new take on the Cyrano de Bergerac tale stars Peter Dinklage in the lead role, with no rubber noses in sight.
Read more: The most under-appreciated 2021 movies
Darkest Hour's Joe Wright is behind the camera for this adaptation of the 2018 stage musical.
Uncharted - 18 February
Tom Holland plays intrepid adventurer Nathan Drake in this long-awaited adaptation of the hit PlayStation game of the same name. Directed by Venom's Ruben Fleischer, it also stars Mark Wahlberg as Sully.
The Duke - 25 February
Jim Broadbent stars as an art thief in this amazing true story inspired by the theft of Goya's Duke of Wellington portrait in the 1960s
The Batman - 4 March
Robert Pattinson stars as the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves' new take on the DC comics hero. Batman will battle a rogues gallery of costumed villains including Paul Dano's Riddler, Colin Farrell's Penguin, and Zoe Kravitz's Catwoman.
Turning Red - 11 March
The new Pixar animation poses the questions, what if the Hulk was a young girl at school, and she turned into a giant red panda, rather than a green beast?
Downton Abbey: A New Era - 18 March
The sequel to 2019's Downton Abbey arrives in time for Easter, promising a delightful period confection, unlikely to offend.
Unwelcome - 18 March
A young couple battle supernatural gnomes in this stylish new horror film from the director of Grabbers. “The original pitch when we took the movie out was a modern revision of Gremlins meets Straw Dogs," director Jon Wright told Yahoo in 2021.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - 8 April
The first Sonic was [whispers] actually quite good? So a sequel with Jim Carrey back as Doctor Robotnik is a welcome sight on the 2022 release calendar, especially now that Tails and Knuckles have been added to the CGI roster.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - 8 April
It's time to return to the Wizarding World for the third film in the Fantastic Beasts series. With Johnny Depp out, all eyes will be on Mads Mikkelsen to see if he has what it takes to be the new Grindelwald
Operation Mincemeat - 22 April
Dreamed up, in part, by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, the real life WW2 mission Operation Mincemeat is a story that's almost too good to be true. "It's bizarre and odd, and unlikely, and surprising, and funny, and then incongruous and very tense," director John Madden told Yahoo in 2021. "And eventually, it's dealing with incredibly high stakes, which sort of sneak up on you as the film unfolds."
The Northman - 22 April
After wowing the critics with his first two films — The Witch and The Lighthouse — Robert Eggers has upped the scale for the third part in his 'definite article' trilogy with this Norse epic starring Alexander Skarsgård as a man out for revenge.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent - 22 April
Nic Cage is Nic Cage in the most Nic Cage movie ever made. A Nicolas Cage superfan hires the actor to appear at his birthday party, but things go drastically wrong for the star in this meta-comedy.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - 6 May
After his Spider-Man: Far From Home appearance, Benedict Cumberbatch returns for more multiverse meddling in the Sam Raimi directed superhero sequel. Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch is along for the ride this time too.
Top Gun: Maverick - 27 May
Tom Cruise has been holding out for a full theatrical release for this legacy sequel to his most iconic 1980s hit. Expect another thrill ride into the danger zone as Maverick takes to the skies one more time.
Jurassic World: Dominion - 10 June
Colin Trevorrow returns to the Jurassic World series for the follow up to 2018's Fallen Kingdom. The film will reunite the core Jurassic Park trio of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum alongside Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas-Howard.
Lightyear – 10 June
There’s a star man waiting in the sky, he’s Buzz Lightyear but his origins story is about the fictional astronaut that inspired Toy Story’s space ranger. Chris Evans provides the voice, the strong chin is as prominent as ever and, with rumours that Taika Waititi could be involved, what more do you need to know?
Untitled Baz Luhrmann Elvis Film – 24 June
Made a little something to let you good people know we are taking care of business on June 24, 2022.#Elvis #TCB pic.twitter.com/grf8IGqfw9
— Baz Luhrmann (@bazluhrmann) November 15, 2021
Elvis (Austin Butler) will be in the building, alongside Tom Hanks as his legendary manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and a cast that includes Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kelvin Harrison Jr, yet there’s little on the plot so far. It’s not Luhrmann’s style to be shy and retiring and so expect an extravagant look at The King.
Thor: Love and Thunder - 8 July
“Bats*** crazy, off the wall funny” was just part of Chris Hemsworth’s Instagram post about his latest outing as the God Of Thunder. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, this time with superpowers, Christian Bale’s casting as Gorr the God Butcher and Taika Waititi still in the director’s chair all point to a mightily entertaining time.
The Railway Children Return - 15 July
Jenny Agutter returns to the world of the film that put her on the map for a continuation of the beloved children's tale, set 51 years later during WW2. Expect railways and children.
Bullet Train – 15 July
Sandra Bullock’s no stranger to high speed action and with Brad Pitt, Michael Shannon and Brian Tyree Henry for company, this one could be off the scale. Pitt does 95% of his own stunts in this thriller about five assassins on board a bullet train who discover their missions all have something in common – and it’s setting itself up to be the action flick of the year.
Nope – 22 July
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) July 22, 2021
Jordan Peele announced this one to the world via Instagram with a shot of the film’s poster and, while it gave nothing away about the story, both Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun were on the cast list. That, plus what looks like another horror from Peele’s ever-vivid imagination, means the excitement is ramped up to the max.
Black Adam – 29 July
It’s no more Mr Nice Guy as Dwayne Johnson swaps his genial image for that of Shazam’s anti-hero Black Adam, somebody he described on Twitter as “ruthless and unstoppable.” The plot’s still very much under wraps, but it looks like his adversary, Hawkman (Aldis Hodge, making his super powered debut) will have his hands full. Need we say more?
Don’t Worry Darling – 23 September
There’s more than a hint of The Stepford Wives about Olivia Wilde’s sophomore feature as a director, but this time she’s in front of the camera as well, keeping company with Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and Harry Styles. The teaser trailer hints at something dark and murderous – a long way from the joys of Booksmart.
Mission: Impossible 7 – 30 September
Fasten your seatbelts, because the latest outing for Ethan Hunt and co promises everything we know and love from the franchise – international locations, high octane action, the return of Messrs Ferguson, Pegg and Rhames – and Christopher McQuarrie is in the director’s chair for both this and the next instalment.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse – Part One – 7 October
Spidey’s latest animated adventure has a tough act to follow after his first, spectacularly successful visit to the Spider-Verse. The film’s Twitter account gave us a first peek, hinting at a reunion for Miles and Gwen, but what are the chances of a return for the Nic Cage voiced Spider-Noir or the meaty pun that is Spider-Ham? Hey, anything can happen …..
The Flash – 4 November
Did somebody say Batman? There’s two — Keaton and Affleck — but aside from that Ezra Miller plays the title role in what’s billed as the unlocking of DC’s multiverse and, from what we can tell in a much-viewed clip, there’s plenty of high-speed time travel involved. All super heroes go that way ….
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 11 November
We already know T’Challa won’t be re-cast, that the makers are determined this sequel will be a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, and that much of the original cast will be returning, yet apart from hints that the mythology of Wakanda will be explored in more depth, details of the plot are scarce. But good things are worth waiting for ….
Creed III – 23 November
It’s unclear if Michael B Jordan will make a return appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but his name is written all over Creed III, as both star and first-time director. There’s no Sly Stallone this time, but Jonathan Majors has signed up as Adonis’s as yet unnamed nemesis and he’s recently indicated a change of tone to “something more intimate”. Appetites well and truly whetted.
Avatar 2 – 16 December
This first outing since the 2009 original is said to focus on Jake Sully’s children, with Kate Winslet joining the cast and doing all her own underwater stunts. Delays aren’t unusual for Cameron – there were seven years between the first Terminator and part two – but will he get lucky after thirteen years?
Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom – 16 December
Filming wrapped just weeks ago on this sequel to James Wan’s 2018 spectacle, but there’s still little detail on the story, although the director revealed at this year’s DC FanDome that “Black Manta is still seeking his vengeance to try and kill Aquaman.” Most of the cast are back – Jason Mamoa, of course, alongside Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren. Could we be in for a deep dive?
Mario – 21 December
This animated version comes from Illumination and, with Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong, Anya Taylor Joy as Princess Peach and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, it’s shaping up to be the perfect family film to round off the year.
Babylon – 25 December
The lip-smacking line up – Damien Chazelle directing with Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde and Brad Pitt heading the cast – is enough to get you booking your seat right now. The story’s believed to be set in pre-Code Hollywood and, although that’s all we’ve heard, with that cast and director you don’t need to know more to be excited.
Prey – Summer
The origins story of the alien with the spectacular teeth is set 300 years ago among the Comanche nation and sees the series going back to its roots after the disappointment of the 2018 re-boot. Due for the release on Disney+ in the 35th anniversary year of the original, it all apparently boils down to a warrior who won’t give up – which sounds more than a little familiar. But why change a winning formula?
Hocus Pocus 2 – Halloween
Disney’s announcement of a sequel to its 1993 witchcraft caper received mixed reactions on social media, but the return of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the 17th century Sanderson sisters has to inspire more than a little confidence. Destined for a home on Disney+, it sees the trio back in Salem looking for revenge and finding three high school students standing in their way. Sounds wicked.
Disenchanted – Autumn
Disney’s other sequel, this time to the 2007 favourite Enchanted, looks like casting its spell on audiences all over again. Amy Adams returns as Giselle in a story set 15 years after her happily ever after, Patrick Dempsey sings for the first time and both James Marsden and Idina Menzel are back as well. With more songs than the original and an equal amount of hand-drawn animation, it sounds like pure magic.
Evil Dead Rise – TBC
Sam Raimi returns, but only as a writer, for this fifth in the series that started back in 1981 and which, by all accounts, marks something of a change. There’s no Ashley Williams and the twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose reunion is cut short by vicious demons gets an urban setting instead of the usual cabin in the woods. Even more people to terrify, then …..
Knives Out 2 - TBC
Doughnut anybody? Rian Johnson is back at the helm for the hugely anticipated return of Benoit Blanc, again played by Daniel Craig. A stand-alone with a whole new mystery to solve instead of a continuation of the first film, new cast members include Ethan Hawke, Kathryn Hahn and Dave Bautista. And we simply cannot wait.