After breaking my own personal record last year of watching 139 films in theaters in 2021 (not including all of the films I re-watched at home, new ones I watched/reviewed on streaming and TV shows), I ever so slightly upped that amount to 141 films viewed in theaters in 2022. This was the best/most profitable year for Top Pun Reviews and I want to thank everyone who read any of my reviews and especially those of you who were kind enough to donate on the home page. I couldn’t do what I do if not for you guys and gals who support the site. As I look back at last year’s list for what I was most excited about in 2022, I predicted that almost all of the films on my list would indeed come out in 2022. Strangely enough, a few films were completely finished but still got pushed to 2023. Sometimes it was to debut at the Cannes Film Festival but in the case of Yorgos Lanthimos and his new film, no reason was given. That being said, let’s briefly take a look back at my top 10 from last year and see if the films I was hyped up for ended up delighting or disappointing…

10. Crimes of the Future – 6.5/10 While great to have David Cronenberg back following an eight year hiatus (and his newest film begins shooting in March), “Crimes of the Future” was fine and had memorable performances but did feel like it was retreading old ground for Cronenberg in material he has covered better in past, superior films.

9. Napoleon – *DELAYED TO 2023*

8. Beau is Afraid – *DELAYED TO 2023*

7. The Whale – I haven’t seen it yet so this one is TBD. Stay tuned for my review sometime in February…

6. The Northman – 7.5/10 Despite some studio restrictions and a few minor flaws, seeing Robert Eggers get to play around with his biggest budget yet and provide a well cast, visually impressive feast for the senses was greatly welcomed and more people need to check out this underrated, epic tale.

5. Poor Things – *DELAYED TO 2023*

4. Babylon – 7/10 While I haven’t posted my review quite yet, “Babylon” might be writer/director Damien Chazelle’s weakest film but it is still one I enjoy the more I think about it. The performances, production values (score and cinematography in particular) are phenomenal and the underlying message spoke to me on multiple levels. While not everything works (the ending montage felt off), I admired this film and wish more people would take a chance on it.

3. Men – 6.5/10 Despite still having a positive score, I considered this to be a bit of a disappointment due to the incredibly high bar set by writer/director Alex Garland’s impressive body of work. The lack of character development, rather silly theme and a scene or two of questionable CGI overshadowed the phenomenal acting, impressive score, fantastic mood/tone and the most disturbing and memorable ending to a film I’ve seen all year.

2. Killers of the Flower Moon – *DELAYED TO 2023*

1. The Killer – *DELAYED TO 2023*

Looking back at last year’s list, I did pretty well and even films I was slightly disappointed by due to massive expectations (“Crimes of the Future” and “Men”) were still solid overall. Unfortunately, films like “The Northman” and especially “Babylon” failed to make a bigger splash at the box office as adult oriented films really struggled in 2022. “Poor Things” was delayed with absolutely no reason given, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is done but wants a Cannes debut, “Napoleon” is done but Apple wants to make it their 2023 Oscar contender (they would have had better luck this year instead of putting all their cards in on “Emancipation”) and both “Beau is Afraid” and “The Killer” aren’t ready yet because their directors are perfectionists and luckily don’t need to rush their final product, which I am totally fine with, despite having to wait a little longer. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some Honorable Mentions so we can get into the Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2023…

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

20. Air (April 5th 2023)
19. Evil Dead Rise (April 21st 2023)
18. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5th 2023)
17. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30th 2023)
16. Ferrari (Fall 2023)
15. Infinity Pool (January 27th 2023)
14. Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One (July 14th 2023)
13. John Wick: Chapter 4 (March 24th 2023)
12. Megalopolis (Late 2023)
11. Maestro (TBA 2023)

10. AND

Release Date: Late 2023
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Favourite)
Screenwriters: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Starring: Emma Stone, Margaret Qualley, Jesse Plemons, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, Merah Benoit, Susan Elle, Elton LeBlanc, Cynthia LeBlanc, Rose Bianca Grue
Rating: N/A
Trailer Link: N/A
Plot Summary: It is being speculated that “AND” will tell three separate stories; each letter representing a different tale.

9. Rebel Moon

Release Date: December 22nd 2023
Director: Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen)
Screenwriters: Zack Snyder, Shay Hatten, Kurt Johnstad
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Cary Elwes, Michiel Huisman, Anthony Hopkins, Jena Malone, Stuart Martin, Ed Skrein, Djimon Hounsou, Ray Fisher, Corey Stoll, Cleopatra Coleman, Fra Fee, Bae Doona, Alfonso Herrera, Zack Palmisano, Sisse Marie, Ingvar Sigurdsson
Rating: N/A
Trailer Link: N/A
Plot Summary: A peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy is threatened by the armies of a tyrannical regent named Balisarius. Desperate, the colonists dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them make a stand.

8. Civil War

Release Date: TBA 2023
Director: Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation, Men)
Screenwriter: Alex Garland
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jefferson White, Sonoya Mizuno, Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny, Jojo T. Gibbs, Karl Glusman, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Juani Feliz, Alexa Mansour
Rating: N/A
Trailer Link: N/A
Plot Summary: Set at an indeterminate point in the future and serves as a sci-fi allegory for our currently polarized predicament.

7. Poor Things

Release Date: Summer 2023
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Favourite)
Screenwriter: Tony McNamara
Starring: Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, Margaret Qualley, Christopher Abbott, Kathryn Hunter, Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael, Wayne Brett, Suzy Bemba
Rating: N/A
Trailer Link: N/A
Plot Summary: A postmodern revision of Frankenstein that replaces the traditional monster with Bella Baxter – a beautiful young erotomaniac brought back to life with the brain of an infant. Godwin Baxter’s scientific ambition to create the perfect companion is realized when he finds the drowned body of Bella, but his dream is thwarted by Dr. Archibald McCandless’s jealous love for Baxter’s creation.

6. Beau is Afraid

Release Date: April 21st 2023
Director: Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar)
Screenwriter: Ari Aster
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Ryan, Parker Posey, Michael Gandolfini, Nathan Lane, Zoe Lister-Jones, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Kylie Rogers
Rating: R for strong violent content, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language
Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuiWDn976Ek&ab_channel=A24
Plot Summary: Described as an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

Top 5 Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows

5. South Park Season 26 – February 8th 2023 (Comedy Central)
4. The Mandalorian Season 3 – March 1st 2023 (Disney+)
3. From Season 2 – April 23rd 2023 (MGM+)
2. True Detective: Night Country (Season 4) – Late 2023 (HBO)
1. Yellowstone Season 6 – Late 2023 (Paramount+)

FINAL NOTE: After an incredibly weak year for film in 2022, it is nice knowing that there are actually a lot of potentially great films coming next year as the box office still recovers from the pandemic. As always, I will Venmo $10 to anyone whom can get all 5 predictions of my #5-1 (order doesn’t matter). Congrats to last year’s winners: Grady Owen of Chicago, Illinois, who has won or tied four years in a row and Brett in Tucson, Arizona, winning his first year.
I believe this is the first time ever where I have had two films from the same director not only in my top 10, but in the same half section (10-6). Both films from Lanthimos share a lot of the same cast members so the actors who are in both already are in at least two of my top 10 pics. Thank you for reading and stay tuned tomorrow for the Top 5 Most Anticipated Films of 2023 along with my Top 5 Most Anticipated New TV Shows. Happy New Year and may 2023 be wonderful for you and your loved ones.

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