Best New Movies of 2022: Superhero Flicks, Dramatic Thrillers, and Action-Filled Epics

Shirtless man portraying Viking
Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic 'The Northman.' Courtesy of Focus Features

It’s going to be a big year for movies. From action films to superhero flicks, dramatic thrillers and comedies, the best new movies of 2022 have something for everyone coming to theaters or streaming at home.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau sits beside a sled in the Arctic during the filming of Netflix's "Against the Ice"

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Filming 'Against the Ice'

Read article

Stars like Dwayne Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt all have highly anticipated movies coming this year among plenty others you won’t want to miss.

Here are the best movies of 2022 we can’t wait to see.

1. The Batman

  • Director: Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes)
  • Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell
  • Release Date: March 4, 2022

What It’s About: Following Ben Affleck’s run as Batman, director Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson are taking the character in a new direction, focusing on Bruce Wayne/Batman’s early days as the Caped Crusader. Taking place during Batman’s second year of fighting crime in Gotham, a serial killer named the Riddler (Dano) emerges, taking the hero on a trail that will lead him to uncover secrets about Gotham and his family that he never knew. Along the way, Batman will cross paths with burglar Selina Kyle (Kravitz), crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), rising gangster Oswald Cobblepot (Farrell), policeman James Gordon (Wright), and Gotham district attorney Gil Colson (Sarsgaard). Since this is the early days of Batman, we’ll see the rise of many iconic characters: Oswald’s Penguin isn’t the quite the powerful criminal he’s known as, Commissioner Gordon is just a lieutenant in the GCPD, and Selina isn’t truly Catwoman yet. We won’t give away any surprises, but there are also a few twists and turns in store for Pattinson’s Batman in this film. Reeves is also planning to expand his Bat-verse with a sequel and spin-offs, including an already-announced show centered on Farrell’s Penguin.

Fun Fact: While auditioning for the film, Pattinson took on the time-honored Batman tradition of doing a screen test with a previous actor’s suit. As he mentioned in an interview, he tested in Val Kilmer’s batsuit from Batman Forever, since it was the only one that fit him well enough.

2. Deep Water

  • Director: Adrian Lyne
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts, Lil Rel Howery, Jacob Elordi
  • Release Date: March 18, 2022 (Hulu)

What It’s About: In this psychological thriller, a married couple (Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas) start to play mind games with each other that start to spiral out of control, leaving people in their circle dead under mysterious circumstances. The movie is an adaptation of the 1957 Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name and marks the return of director Adrian Lyne to filmmaking after a two-decade absence, with his last film being Unfaithful, which was another thriller involving a married couple.

3. Morbius

  • Director: Daniel Espinosa (Safe House)
  • Cast: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Michael Keaton
  • Release Date: April 1, 2022

What It’s About: Following in the footsteps of the Venom series with Tom Hardy and the upcoming Kraven the Hunter film, Sony is looking to expand its Spider-Man universe of films with Morbius. Oscar winner Jared Leto stars as Michael Morbius, a scientist who suffers from a rare blood disease and is in search of a cure. During his experiments, he turns himself into a vampire, gaining superhuman abilities like strength, speed, and the ability to heal. Considered one of Spider-Man’s best-known villains—including a run on the classic Spider-Man cartoon in the 90s—it’s likely Morbius could be more of an anti-hero like Venom or a straight-up hero in these movies.

Fun Fact: Michael Keaton is reprising his role from the MCU’s Spider-Man series as Adrian Toomes/Vulture, although it’s unclear how much of a connection the films will have with Marvel’s series for now. Either way, it continues quite a run for Keaton, who won a Screen Actors Guild award for his role on Dopesick, and will be reprising his role as the original big-screen Batman in the upcoming Flash and Batgirl movies for the DC universe.

4. Ambulance

  • Director: Michael Bay (Transformers series)
  • Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza Gonzalez, Garret Dillahunt
  • Release Date: April 8, 2022

What It’s About: This crime thriller might be a bit smaller scale for Michael Bay following his recent work in the Ryan Reynolds action film 6 Underground and the Transformers series, but don’t worry, there will be plenty of explosions. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a war veteran who’s desperate for money for his wife’s surgery, turning to his adoptive brother (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) for help. Together, the duo takes part in a massive bank robbery—only things go wrong and they shoot a police officer, then flee in an ambulance, taking an EMT and the officer along for the ride.

Fun Fact: The movie is a remake of a 2005 Danish film of the same name and has been in development since 2015, when Phillip Noyce (The Adjustment Bureau) was attached to direct. Gyllenhaal even got involved behind the camera: In a recent interview, Abdul-Mateen spoke about how his co-star shot some scenes of the movie himself: “There were times when he would take the camera from Mike. And then you look around and Jake is shooting the scene. I had never seen anything like that before. I’m curious about those things, but I would never ask the director if I could shoot a scene.”

5. The Northman

  • Director: Robert Eggers
  • Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Björk
  • Release Date: April 22, 2022

What It’s About: If you’re a fan of a show like Vikings, the historical drama The Northman will be up your alley. Inspired by the Scandinavian legend of Amleth, Alexander Skarsgard stars as a Viking warrior and prince who’s out for revenge after his uncle murders his father (Ethan Hawke) when he’s a young child. Following his critically acclaimed work in The Witch and The Lighthouse, Eggers brings his unique directorial style to tenth-century Iceland, staging massive battles of warriors and some incredible, gory action set pieces.

Fun Fact: Strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who most memorably played “The Mountain” on Game of Thrones for five seasons, has a role in the film. It also was almost a family affair for Alexander Skarsgard: His brother Bill (It, Eternals) was originally cast in a role, but had to drop out due to scheduling issues.

6. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

  • Director: Sam Raimi (original Spider-Man trilogy)
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams
  • Release Date: May 6, 2022

What It’s About: The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is ready to go full-multiverse. Following the shenanigans of Spider-Man: No Way Home that saw three different Spider-Men share the screen together, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to get another massive dose of the mystic arts. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns for the long-awaited followup to the character’s 2016 solo film and must join together with a range of friends and foes from different universes to fight against a mysterious new villain. Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch will be a major part of the story—possibly as both a hero and a villain—while different variants of Doctor Strange himself will also appear, including Sinister Strange, Defender Strange, and Supreme Strange. The film will see the MCU debut of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a fan-favorite comic book character who has the power to travel between dimensions through star-shaped portals. The film will connect back with the Disney Plus series Loki and WandaVision, while also picking up on the threads leftover from Spider-Man: No Way Home. This may be the biggest MCU move since Avengers: Endgame.

Fun Fact: As he’s done in many of Sam Raimi’s films over the years, actor Bruce Campbell will be making a cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, although he did not yet reveal who he’ll be playing. Campbell has been friends with Raimi since high school and starred in Raimi’s Evil Dead series. Since those early collaborations, Raimi has found a way to get Campbell a cameo in nearly all his films, including the original Spider-Man trilogy Raimi directed.

7. Top Gun: Maverick

  • Director: Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion)
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Val Kilmer, Jay Ellis, Miles Teller, Monica Barbaro
  • Release Date: May 27, 2022

What It’s About: It’s finally time to enter the danger zone again. Following multiple delays, Tom Cruise is ready to return as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the anticipated sequel to Top Gun. Picking up over 30 years after the original film, Mitchell is still flying as a test pilot and putting off a promotion that would keep him out of the skies, the place where he’s at his most natural. Soon enough, Maverick finds his biggest challenge yet when he takes on a new class of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission with new planes that not even the best pilots have mastered. Among those cadets? Miles Teller’s Lt. Bradley Bradshaw—the son of Maverick’s late partner Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. Cruise isn’t the only one returning to the series, as Val Kilmer is also back to play “Iceman,” while composer Harold Faltermeyer will be updating his iconic score for the sequel. Kosinski has a great visual eye, shown by his work in the underrated Tron: Legacy, and now he’ll put his camera to the sky for Top Gun: Maverick.

Fun Fact: The film was originally set for a July 2019 release, but was pushed back to June 2020 at the time so Kosinski and Cruise could do even more work on the “complex flight sequences.” The extra time allowed Cruise to train in actual planes and Kosinski to find ways to mount cameras on the fighter jets used in the film. As you can see in the trailers, the extra time was well spent.

8. Jurassic World Dominion

  • Director: Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World)
  • Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Justice Smith, Omar Sy, B.D. Wong
    Release Date: June 10, 2022

What It’s About: Picking up four years after Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, dinosaurs and humans are now trying to find a way to co-exist. The previous film saw the destruction of the island where Jurassic Park was located, and after saving many of the creatures from the island, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) uncovered a nefarious plan to sell dinosaurs on the black market. While they were able to stop that from happening, it resulted in dinosaurs roaming across the planet from big cities to deserts to snowy terrains. With dinosaurs seemingly retaking Earth as their own, the big question is which species will be able to survive? The big news about Dominion is the eagerly anticipated return of Jurassic Park’s original trio: Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum.

Fun Fact: The movie was in heavy production in March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic shut most of the world down. Dominion ended up being the first big-budget movie in the world to start filming during the pandemic, with production resuming in July 2020 with strict Covid protocols. Many of those protocols were adopted by other studio productions to continue filming during 2020.

9. Lightyear

  • Director: Angus MacLane
  • Cast: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, Taika Waititi, Peter Sohn, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.
  • Release Date: June 17, 2022

What It’s About: This could be a fun ride for everyone in the family. The movie will tell the (fictional) origin story of the “real” Buzz Lightyear, the character who was the inspiration for the Buzz Lightyear toy in the Toy Story films. Chris Evans stars as the titular space ranger, who travels across the galaxy and explores new worlds, creatures, and dangers before becoming the hero Andy Davis admires in the Toy Story series. The meta premise is a way for the franchise to keep going without actually making a direct sequel, and if this story is a success, we could see more missions of Buzz Lightyear in the future.

Fun Fact: The film expands off the story nugget from the original Toy Story film, in which the character, Andy, saw a movie that popularized the Buzz Lightyear character, making him the most popular new toy on the market.

10. Elvis

  • Director: Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)
  • Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Xavier Samuel, and Kodi Smit-McPhee
  • Release Date: June 24, 2022

What It’s About: For his first feature film in nearly a decade, director Baz Luhrmann is turning his attention to one of the most notable figures in American history: Elvis Presley. The biopic will follow Elvis’s life as he rises up the ranks to become one of the most famous musicians and movie stars in the world. Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) stars as Elvis, while Tom Hanks is playing Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager, who discovered the singer and helped him become a worldwide sensation.

Fun Fact: Butler beat out some notable names for the role, including Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and singer Harry Styles.

11. Thor: Love and Thunder

  • Director: Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok)
  • Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Russell Crowe
  • Release Date: July 8, 2022

What It’s About: The God of Thunder is ready to return: Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor, appearing in an MCU project for the first time since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Plot details are being kept mostly under wraps, but what we do know is that Waititi is taking elements from writer Jason Aaron’s fan-favorite comic run on the Mighty Thor, which saw Jane Foster become Thor herself, gaining powers and Thor’s hammer in the process. Natalie Portman is returning to the franchise as Jane for the first time in nearly a decade since appearing in Thor: The Dark World, meaning she’ll likely fight alongside Thor as a hero herself. Christian Bale is playing the villain Gorr the God Butcher, marking his return to superhero movies after his iconic turn as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of films. Other story threads that will get picked up after Endgame include Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) continuing to lead Asgaard as King, along with Thor’s rivalry with Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, whose heroes like Drax (Dave Bautista) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) will also appear in the film.

Fun Fact: After appearing as Asgardian actors telling the story of the previous Thor movie to comedic effect in Thor: Ragnarok, Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth will cameo again as Loki, Odin, and Thor, while Melissa McCarthy will appear alongside them as Hela, and the villain will be played by Cate Blanchett.

Trailer not yet released.

12. Bullet Train

  • Director: David Leitch
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz
  • Release Date: July 15, 2022

What It’s About: Brad Pitt stars as an aging assassin named Ladybug, who’s tasked with picking up a briefcase on a bullet train from Tokyo. What he doesn’t know is that the train is filled with a number of other assassins (including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, and Hiroyuki Sanada) who all want their hands on the package too. Leitch has plenty of experience working in the action genre, having directed films like John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs & Shaw, so expect some unique fight scenes on this bullet train.

Fun Fact: Lady Gaga was originally going to star in the movie as Ladybug’s handler but had to drop out because of scheduling issues with House of Gucci, with Sandra Bullock taking her place. Pitt also took some hits on this movie, as stunt coordinator Greg Rementer told Vulture the star did nearly all of his own stunts: “Brad did 95 percent of his physical stunts—the fighting. He’s like a natural-born athlete. He really got in there!”

13. Nope

  • Director: Jordan Peele
  • Cast: Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, Barbie Ferreira, Michael Wincott
  • Release Date: July 22, 2022

What It’s About: Following his mind-blowing work on Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele is back behind the camera for his third original movie. As usual, plot details are being kept under lock and key, but the premise is centered around a small town in rural California that deals with a mysterious event—maybe aliens or UFOs?—that starts to terrorize and kidnap people in the town. Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer star as the owners of Haywood Ranch, which is located in the town and trains horses for Hollywood productions. If this film is anything like Peele’s previous two other movies, there certainly will be some scares and twists along the way.

14. Black Adam

  • Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
  • Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge, Sarah Shahi, Quintessa Swindell, and Pierce Brosnan.
  • Release Date: October 21, 2022

What It’s About: Dwayne Johnson will take on the mantle of the titular antihero Black Adam in the upcoming DC superhero film, bringing the fan-favorite character to the screen for the first time. While story details are being kept behind closed doors, it’ll likely tell the story of how the ancient God-like character made his way to the present day. In comics lore, Black Adam is imprisoned for thousands of years before finding his way out, and the story could pick up on some of those classic threads. We already know that the Justice Society of America will be involved, but will Black Adam be fighting alongside the team—or against them? Noah Centineo is set to play Atom Smasher, a member of the JSA who can grow to massive size, while Aldis Hodge will portray Hawkman, one of the leaders of the team. Black Adam is also a classic foe for Shazam (Zachary Levi), so this film could have some connections back to the Shazam series.

Fun Fact: Johnson has been looking to play Black Adam for over a decade, and the film has been in development for even longer than that. Johnson became attached to the film when it was going to be a Captain Marvel/Shazam-centered project in which he would play the titular hero, but he later showed interest in portraying Black Adam instead. Over the years the project morphed into two separate projects, with Zachary Levi playing Shazam in the 2019 film and Johnson fronting his own Black Adam movie.

15. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

  • Director: Ryan Coogler (Creed)
  • Cast: Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Dominique Thorne
  • Release Date: November 11, 2022

What It’s About: With the sad news about Chadwick Boseman passing in 2020, the filmmakers of the Black Panther sequel had to change course, while also finding a way to honor the incredible character Boseman portrayed in King T’Challa. Specific plot details have not been released, but the story might focus on who will take over the Black Panther mantle and step into the void that T’Challa left behind. That could mean more screen time for the warrior M’Baku (Winston Duke); T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright); Dora Milaje/special forces leader Okoye (Danai Gurira); and Wakandan spy Nakia. This will be the first return to the world of Wakanda since the Avengers films and there will be a lot of story threads to pull, like what happened in the nation during the five-year blip? While Okoye survived and appears in Avengers: Endgame, we never get to see her in action in Wakanda and that could be a great way to catch things up to the present-day story.

Fun Fact: Something we do know is that parts of the movie will be set at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has some major connections in the MCU already, as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) attended the school. Part of that may tie into Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), who becomes the Iron Man-inspired Ironheart and has her own Disney Plus series on the horizon. Williams is set to make her debut in this film and it could put her on the path to get an Iron suit of her own.

Trailer not yet released.

16. The Gray Man

  • Director: Joe Russo and Anthony Russo
  • Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, Wagner Moura, Billy Bob Thornton, Regé-Jean Page
  • Release Date: 2022, Netflix (Specific release date not yet announced)

What It’s About: Based on the first book in the Gray Man series of spy novels by Mark Greaney, directors Joe and Anthony Russo make their return to the world of big-budget action films after their work on Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. The story centers on Ryan Gosling’s Court Gentry, the titular “Gray Man,” a CIA mercenary who has a hidden identity no one in the world knows. When Court uncovers a conspiracy involving the agency itself, he goes on the run and has a target put on him by Lloyd Hansen, an off-the-rails former colleague of Court’s played by Chris Evans. Gentry is forced to go on the run around the world as groups of different assassins come after him. The excellent supporting cast includes Ana de Armas, who co-starred with Evans in Knives Out and Gosling in Blade Runner 2049.

Fun Fact: An adaptation of the novel has been in development for over a decade, with various actors in talks to star as the Gray Man, including Brad Pitt with James Gray (Ad Astra) as director. Later on, Charlize Theron was in talks to star with the character being gender-flipped as a woman. That version was going to be written, but not directed by the Russo Brothers, as they were busy working in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Clearly the brothers were excited about the film, as they now have delivered it as their next directing project.

Trailer not yet released.

17. Knives Out 2

  • Director: Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
  • Cast: Daniel Craig, Ed Norton, Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, Ethan Hawke
  • Release Date: 2022, Netflix (Specific release date not yet announced)

What It’s About: Following the box office success of Knives Out, director Rian Johnson is back to write and direct the sequel, a whole new murder mystery for Daniel Craig’s detective Benoit Blanc to solve. This time around, Blanc will be investigating a case that takes him to Greece and he’ll be the only character returning from the first film. As you can see from the list above, the cast for this movie is stacked with actors, including Dave Bautista, who will get the chance to once again show his comedic chops like he has in the Guardians of the Galaxy films.

Fun Fact: After the box office success of Knives Out making over $300 million worldwide, Netflix outbid Apple and Amazon to lock in a $469 million deal for two more sequels starring Craig. The James Bond series made Craig a very rich man, and he will earn another $100 million to star in the two Knives Out follow-ups.

Trailer not yet released.

 

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!