The Twin Geeks’ 10 Best Movies of 2022

Our ambitions have got the best of us and we have a slew of exciting end-of-year content. Exponentially more than we’ve ever produced, in fact. In the next two weeks, we’ll have articles from all the folks you read at The Twin Geeks, but also quite a few guests. It’s a whole production, but to kick things off, we’ve locked ourselves into a room and found a consensus top-10 films of the year that best represent our article output and the releases we cared enough to make proper The Twin Geeks content about. It was actually fairly easy and straightforward. There was no vote. We just found ten films that best speak to who we are as a site and hit send. It’s a classy affair that has come together quite easily: here are the ten must-see films from the last year that ought to tell you what we’re about as an outlet.


Aftersun. Dir. Charlotte Wells.

There is an astonishing poignancy to Charlotte Wells’ direction that feels utterly distinct, an astonishing act for a debut director, who can already so capably surface the depth of her character’s feelings. The hero of the film is the creator’s heart and profound empathy for what she is shooting. Perfect casting lends her a hand. Sophie is rounded out by a remarkable youth performance from Frankie Corio, an eminent force of empathy on camera, so emotionally attuned to the fragmented needs of the filmmaking. Corio plays so easily off of Paul Mescal, as her father, who is also perfect in both showing compassion and withholding so much until he is swallowed by everything lingering out of frame. — CALVIN KEMPH

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin. Dir. Martin McDonagh.

As stark black comedies go, The Banshees of Inisherin is always funny and always means something. When characters interact, it always advances our understanding of who they are. All of the performances are keyed in and superbly directed and written by McDonagh. There is not a word or scene out of place. The film carries a deeply moving sentiment about male loneliness that so radically different from the standard Bressonian model. It understands that men are not just lonely but they crave a companionship that is often totally unavailable to them. It’s a wonderful work on every level, a gorgeous seaside allegory that intelligently offers bleakness and compassion for its characters. Sometimes movies make us feel less alone. — CALVIN KEMPH

Crimes of the Future

Crimes of the Future. Dir. David Cronenberg.

The collision of the world’s fractured societies all through the lens of transgressive art and bodily mutilation is constantly revelatory, the graffiti-coated walls and organic machinery filmed with reverence by cinematographer Douglas Koch, and Howard Shore’s latest soundscape of shaking drums and humming synths is persistently captivating and mesmerizing. It’s the culmination of Cronenberg’s filmography: a film that dissects, deconstructs, and examines, the master himself peering into a buzzing scanline screen to explore how his career has defined him and how his art must transcend his own existence as he finds himself in an aging vessel. Politics necessitates art and art is defined by its own politics, particularly in a crumbling world caught between those who are actively destroying it and those who seek to evolve along with it and become a part of its renewal. Eventually, we must look inward and understand what is becoming of ourselves – perhaps we are not decaying, we are just becoming something new. — VAUGHN SWEARINGEN

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once. Dir. Daniels.

The best movies have to be movies. There’s no other way to tell their story. They are essentialist works where the very act of filmmaking is a necessity-driven fact of their being. The vision is specific. It just has to be filmed. That’s how it is with Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s (collectively, “Daniels”) latest feature. It’s everything good about cinema, everywhere, all at once. — CALVIN KEMPH

Hit the Road

Hit the Road. Dir. Panah Panahi.

In the confines of a dust covered Mercedes, a young boy softly taps the keys of a piano, one scribbled with jagged ink onto his father’s leg cast. With each gentle tap a note escapes into the hot air, emanating with beautiful resonance as if he were seated at a Steinway in a grand concert hall. His father, trying to get a moment of sleep, nudges him with knowing annoyance in an attempt to stop him. His elder brother, the driver of their transport, paces in the sand on the side of the road, stretching his legs in preparation for more miles on their currently undefined journey. His mother sits pensively in the front seat, staring ahead blankly, before turning to stare into the lens with an unforgettable melancholy painted on her face, peering into the soul of the viewer before asking, “Where are we?” The young boy looks up from his resting place on his father’s ankle and replies plainly, “We’re dead.” — VAUGHN SWEARINGEN

The Lad Goodbye

The Lad Goodbye. Dirs. Nolan O’Kane, Kirk Percival, & Victor Dubyna.

This is certainly an ode to film. But, beyond that, it uses film to create an ode to friendship. After all, the core of these great works is relationships. It is either a dynamic in the film between characters that draws our attention; our own specific connection to a specific figure or, most often, quite simply our relationship to the film itself. We forge relationships through films and to films, our cultural heritage underpins our realities. These filmmakers live on film, they are buoyed up by it, but they are more than it. This film that they have made chronicles this. It is also an arbiter of what cinema should be. It is so easy to get caught up in the systemic lie that profit and competition pushes quality. The Lad Goodbye reveals this for the sham it is. This is a bold work that exists outside of the capitalist moviemaking system, and is antithetical to it. The things that makes this an outsider work are the things that make it special, not only does the show not need the business, it is better without it. It is purer, more special and more human. — STEPHEN GILLESPIE

Magic Spot

Magic Spot. Dir. Charles Roxburgh.

Though it specifically refers to a plot critical element in the film, Magic Spot‘s title is a perfect encapsulation of the movie’s success. This film just works. All the elements combine to create this precise piece that, quite simply, just hits the spot, and that feels like magic for doing it. It is a film of lofty ambitions and intimate sensibilities. Its low budget and homemade backbone is pronounced enough to foster real charm while its undeniable craft and intricacy elevate it to great heights. It’s no secret that we at The Twin Geeks are fans of Motern Media movies (the crew behind this work), with our podcast on their filmography and glowing review of their last feature. But, Magic Spot reminds you why you are a fan to begin with, and sits comfortably as the gang’s best movie since the superlative Don’t Let the Riverbeast Get You (2012). — STEPHEN GILLESPIE


Powerlands. Dir. Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso.

A film about ongoing colonial oppression of Indigenous communities could easily be a document of suffering. Though it is vital to recognise the sins done to communities, it is far more important to watch works where those communities speak for themselves: something that chronicles ongoing cultural practices as a resistant and joyous act; something told in the right way from the right perspective. That film is Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso’s Powerlands, a beautiful and deeply moving documentary that uses the thread of resource colonisation and displacement in Indigenous communities to present a portrait of resistance, culture and identity. — STEPHEN GILLESPIE

Something in the Dirt

Something in the Dirt. Dirs. Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead.

The chillingly precise construction defines its intent with perfect clarity and with continued sincerity, building it up as the radically biased piece that its characters believe it to be while adding a forceful punch of beckoning sonic ambience by experimental project The Album Leaf. As chaos creeps through every winding asphalt detour to converge on one site of collapsing cosmic vortex, the nebulous and impossible magic of L.A. comes alive, and somewhere in the green haze and the knowing acceptance of madness it will feel viscerally real. There has to be something there. Something in the light. Something in the dirt. Do you believe? — VAUGHN SWEARINGEN


TÁR. Dir. Todd Fields.

Lydia Tár’s (Cate Blanchett) carefully constructed monolithic status and leviathan celestial presence is a destructive gravitational force, ensnaring everyone in her periphery and carrying them alongside her downward spiral into complete oblivion, spectator included. Tár’s presence is so immediately magnetic that it’s hard to look away from the inevitable obliteration she promises, ever toeing a razor thin line between joining the pantheon of musicians she deifies and being crushed beneath their infinite weight. Introduced by a verbose and eloquently flowered description of her perfect rise to greatness, Todd Field’s TÁR constructs an almighty being, an unassailable master of her craft preparing to push symphony towards adoration while the music carries her towards perfection.— VAUGHN SWEARINGEN

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