While we're not quite out of the pandemic era yet, there are some signs of normal life returning, including the massive box office for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and the efficacy of vaccines, boosters, mask-wearing, social distancing and in general just being safe about things out there.
We're hopeful that things will continue to get better in the new year, and we're excited that as things recover, there will be a ton of good movies to enjoy in the world. Here, we present the top 10 movies to see in 2022 and enjoy (safely) at a theater near you.
Scream - Jan. 14
The spirit of original franchise director (and horror legend) Wes Craven lives on in the resurrected "Scream." While the franchise's original screenwriter Kevin Williamson hands off to new writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Bisick, and new directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet, we're excited to see what the new guys and their cast of up-and-comers can come up with. Of course, the Ghostface-masked killer (or killers?) is back to terrorize the latest generation of wisecracking teenagers. Thankfully, though, original stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette are around to lend a helping hand, karate chop, kick to the groin, and various gunshots to help keep the victim count down.
The Batman - Mar. 4
The Caped Crusader returns with a vengeance to theaters everywhere on March 4. This time, he's played by ex-"Twilight" vampire Robert Pattinson. In the years since that series of films, Pattinson's proved to be an adept and versatile star of indies like the Safdie Brothers' high-strung thriller "Good Time" and the paranoid psychological horror "The Lighthouse." All of which means he's perfect to play an intense Batman, opposite here Paul Dano's Riddler and an unrecognizable Colin Farrell as the Penguin. Alongside Zoe Kravitz's lethal Catwoman, we expect the latest Dark Knight to do great things.
Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness - May 6
Couldn't get enough of Doctor Strange in "Spider-Man: No Way Home"? Neither could we, so this summer can't come soon enough. Benedict Cumberbatch returns in a multi-universal adventure that finds our hero once again travelling across all time and space. This also ties into our last sighting of the Scarlett Witch in the Disney+ series "WandaVision." The film brings back Strange's peers Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and we're sure there will be more familiar cameos.
Top Gun: Maverick - May 27
He's been grounded a few times due to the pandemic. But this Memorial Day weekend, just in time for his 35th movie anniversary, "Top Gun's" Maverick flies again. While it seems like Tom Cruise is the only pilot from the first to return, we know it's been confirmed Val Kilmer's Iceman appears in some form. The new supporting cast is also topflight: Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, and young hot shots Miles Teller, Monica Barabaro, and Glen Powell.
Jurassic World: Dominion - Jun. 10
All the Jurassic worlds come together in "Jurassic World: Dominion." Current series stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard jump into the playpen with the original stars Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum. Mankind and lots of dinosaurs, together again and unleashed the world over. The result? We can't say, but we're sure it's going to be dino-mite box office.
Thor: Love and Thunder - Jul. 8
The "Ragnarok" continues as that "Thor" installment's wild filmmaker Taika Waititi joins up again with his pal Chris Hemsworth; Natalie Portman as a new Mighty Thor; Chris Pratt and the rest of the Galaxy Guardians; and awesome ex-Dark Knight Christian Bale taking on villain duties. Let the good times roll.
Nope - Jul. 22
Not much is known about the plot yet. But Jordan Peele's third social horror film is sure to be just as crazy and amazing as "Get Out" and "Us." What we know…the cast includes Steven Yeun and Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer. And the posters show some very ominous clouds hovering over some isolated city lights. Sold.
Mission: Impossible 7 - Sept. 30
"M:I" director Christopher McQuarrie attempts a hat trick after his last two phenomenally successful movie missions. Human energerizer bunny Tom Cruise closes out the season that started with "Top Gun: Maverick" with more mind-boggling, CG-less physical stunts. The rest of the gang returns, too, including Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson. Hayley Atwell also signs up for action, and veteran Esai Morales is on board as the latest villain.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) - Oct. 7
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" won a richly deserved Oscar for Best Animated Film in 2018. Honestly, it was the best film of that year. Expectations are high for this sequel, which arrives courtesy of the same producers. We're excited to see more of our favorite hero, Miles Morales, and we can't wait for Oscar Isaac's Spidey from another mother (and universe), Miguel O'Hara.
The Flash - Nov. 4
It was very, very cool to watch all of the amazing characters in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." And it will be equally excellent to watch Ezra Miller's Flash mix it up with characters in his movie, which we already know includes both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as their respective Batmen. Who else might join their company? We shall see.
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.