Like every other year, there is an influx of great films, making it seemingly impossible to dive through everything that comes out. Thankfully, the online world has made it easy to get a solid list of must-see movies. The movies below are not only great films but should reach more mainstream appreciation.
Directed by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén
Logline – In a remote village in Costa Rica, Clara, a withdrawn 40-year-old woman, experiences a sexual and mystical awakening as she begins a journey to free herself from the repressive religious and social conventions which have dominated her life.
The uncomforting and reflective nature paints a character in Clara, trying to find her way in the world around her. Recently released in the U.S., fans of Nomadland (2020 and Pieces of a Woman (2020) will enjoy Clara Sola.
Directed by Mounia Akl
Logline – A couple decide to leave the toxic pollution of their home city of Beirut, hoping to build a utopian existence in a pristine home in the mountains.
Costa Brava, Lebanon takes a unique approach to the family running away from the city to live in nature trope. Rather than fully glamorize the idea, it highlights the idea of isolation and when it becomes solipsistic.
Directed by Sara Dosa
Logline – Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded.
Arguably the best documentary of 2022, Fire of Love, is everything you could want. It features magnificent cinematography and two characters whose bond centers around the film’s focus.
Directed by Jerrod Carmichael
Logline – Jerrod Carmichael makes his directorial debut and stars in On the Count of Three, a darkly comic feature about two best friends, Val (Carmichael) and Kevin (Christopher Abbott), on the last day of their lives.
The blend of drama and comedy is a challenging task for any filmmaker, but first-time filmmaker Jerrod Carmichael pulls it off. Though premiering in early 2021, the film has garnished some traction, having been released on May 13, 2022, by United Artists, Releasing with Annapurna Pictures and Orion Pictures.
Directed by Leo Grande
Logline – Nancy Stokes, a retired school teacher, is yearning for some adventure and some sex. And she has a plan, which involves hiring a young sex worker named Leo Grande.
No one can deny that this story has been done before, but Good Luck to You; Leo Grande does it so well that you can turn a blind eye to its typical story topes. The coming-of-age idea is catapulted to the top with an aging woman’s journey.
Directed by Colm Bairéad
Logline – A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one.
Not enough people are talking about The Quiet Girl, a profoundly lyrical and introspective film with heavy themes of grief. It’s highly fleshed out and is a fine example of why we should pay attention to Colm Bairead’s future.
Directed by Claire Denis
Logline – A love triangle story about a woman caught between two men, her long-time partner, and his best friend, her former lover.
Though polarizing on the audience end, Both Sides of the Blade is a meditative film worth watching if you have the proper patience. The filmmaking challenges you, asking questions that force your perception.