With theaters returning to normal and streaming platforms thriving, 2022 could be a bumper year for movies. Here are the best action movies of the year.
2022 is full of high-octane blockbusters, but what's the best action movie of 2022? Audiences have been excited about the action genre for decades, whether it's characters being thrown into space, spies infiltrating the criminal underworld, or superheroes taking down dastardly villains. With better special effects than ever and skyrocketing budgets, 2022 has some groundbreaking action movies filled with jaw-dropping stunts that often defy the laws of physics.
A backlog of project delays due to the coronavirus pandemic means 2022 will be a fantastic year for action movies, as studios wait for theaters to fill up again before releasing potential blockbusters. The year was filled with original action films, highly anticipated sequels and adaptations of beloved novels. With that in mind, here are the best action movies of 2022.
10. Bullet Train
Bullet Train, based on the novel of the same name by Kotaro Isaka, is a comedy about hapless killer Ladybug trying to complete his latest mission peacefully, but when the world's deadliest assassin rides on the same train. Bullet Train's greatest strength is its ever-trusty leading man Brad Pitt, who continues his stellar performance Comedy show following recent hits The Lost City and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Director David Leitch brings his extensive experience in action movies to Bullet Train, making full use of the film's unique setting - Japan's high-speed railway, to create hilarious scenes.
9. The Northman
Following the huge success of The Witch and The Lighthouse, Robert Eggers' third film, Northerners, is one of the most exciting movies of 2022. Set in 9th century Iceland, The Northman is an epic journey centered on the adventures of a Viking prince to avenge his father, save his mother and kill his treacherous uncle. Eggers' signature dark style is at the forefront of The North, but the brutal violence of his latest film is what sets it apart from his earlier projects. Despite a disappointing box office performance, The Northerner's unique aesthetic and compelling lead performance from Alexander Skarsgård make it an unmissable cinematic event.
8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
2022 has been an up-and-down year for the MCU, with Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness falling short of expectations, but fortunately Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Proved to be successful. Centered around Wakanda's battle with Namor and the Talokans, Unsurprisingly, Black Panther 2 was a smash at the box office, but more importantly, it was a fitting tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, hitting all the right emotional notes in the wake of the star's passing. Wakanda Forever also overcomes recent criticism of Marvel's sloppy VFX and finds a way to respectfully advance the franchise, with Shuri being the new Black Panther.
7. Avatar: The Way Of Water
Thirteen years in the making, Avatar: The Way of Water is another stunning spectacle from James Cameron. Set more than a decade after the original Avatar, the late Colonel Quaritch is resurrected in an avatar to hunt down Jack Sully and his Neo-Namei family in support of the Army's efforts on the Pandora colony. While criticism of Avatar 2's bloated runtime and weak plot is fair, The Way of Water visually surpasses its predecessor, and every other 2022 film out there. Avatar 2's stunningly immersive action made it a must-see in theaters, and it's ample evidence for Cameron's decision to hold off on the sequel in order to develop Avatar 2's groundbreaking motion-capture technology.
6. The Batman
The latest incarnation of Gotham City's Dark Knight, Robert Pattinson's Batman, focuses on an inexperienced version of the vigilante, not familiar to general audiences, as he Challenge the Riddler. Bruce Wayne takes on several hired thugs, the police, and even Catwoman, and makes the most of the billionaire's expensive gadgets and famous Batmobile in this grounded detective story packed with action scene. Batman is the sixth highest-grossing movie of 2022, and it's no surprise that the caped crusader's popularity means it's only the first of a new Batman franchise, with sequels and multiple Batman spinoffs on the way. Preparation.
Outside of this year's English-language blockbuster, RRR is the top-grossing action movie of 2022. RRR is a fictional rendition of real life Indian revolutionaries Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem who fought against the British colonists. With a budget of $72 million, RRR is the most expensive Indian film ever made, and in this ridiculously self-aware action flick that sees its central characters wrestle a tiger, pull off a ridiculous prison escape, and cancel their British enemies are dancing. Following in the footsteps of Parasite and Squid Game, RRR provides can't-miss entertainment that breaks down Western language barriers and becomes a global sensation.
4. The Woman King
Historic Epic Queen Seen All-female warriors of the Dahomey tribe rebel against slavers. Sure to please fans of brave hearts and gladiators alike, the Queen's heroes defy impossible odds in savage fashion to defend their precious homeland. While The Queen has an impressive ensemble cast, Viola Davis is the highlight. Davis once again proved why she is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, with a physical performance underpinned by her ability to evoke emotion, which will undoubtedly make her the front-runner for major honors in the 2022/23 awards season.
As "Iron Blood" A prequel to the Warrior films, Prey follows Naru, a determined Comanche warrior, as she tries to prove herself by hunting bloodthirsty alien Predators who are killing villagers. Prey deftly combines practical effects with CGI to create realistic action sequences that culminate in the intense final battle between Naru and the Predator, arguably the series' greatest fight sequence. This patient thriller proves that prequels can do well, as The Predator stays true to its Predator roots by keeping the audience on edge before unleashing its violent action, but its creative and emotional punch The Force breathes fresh life into a stagnant series.
2. Everything Everywhere All At Once
Everything Everywhere All At Once Yes The most imaginative action movie of 2022, about a laundromat owner who gets harassed by the IRS when he discovers he can connect with his alternate universe self. Everything Everywhere All At Once seamlessly spans genres including comedy, action, sci-fi and romance, all neatly blended into one satisfyingly absurd triumph. Despite its modest budget, A24's Everything Everywhere All At Once offers audiences an alternative to trendy multiverse blockbusters like the MCU, and does so in a smarter, more polished way than the likes of Marvel Studios , making it a real candidate to become the first sci-fi best picture winner.
1. Top Gun Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick is the most exciting action movie of the year. 36 years from the original, Maverick puts Captain Mitchell through his toughest test yet as he teaches a group of young pilots to fly an impossible mission while battling the traumatic death of his best friend Goose. The sequel was worth the wait, earning the top-grossing title of the year and becoming Tom Cruise's first $1 billion-grossing film. Top Gun: Maverick rewards Top Gun fans and a treat for newcomers, thanks Stunning jet stunts and an emotional storyline make it the best action movie of 2022. ^More: Movie box office is improving (but still hasn't recovered from 2020)