Matt writes: We have lost so many legends in the early days of 2022, none of which were more towering than Sidney Poitier, who passed away on January 6th at age 94. He made history as the first Black performer to receive a Best Actor Oscar for 1963’s “Lilies of the Field,” yet that is merely one of the essential titles in his filmography. In 1967 alone, he starred in three bonafide classics—”In the Heat of the Night,” “To Sir, With Love” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner“—the last of which received four stars from Roger Ebert upon its initial release. Yet my personal favorite film of his was Daniel Petrie’s 1961 screen version of Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece, “A Raisin in the Sun,” in which Poitier delivers a climactic monologue that is one for the ages. Be sure to read our cherished contributor and frequent critic Robert Daniels’ tribute to Poitier, as well as view his acceptance speech for the honorary Oscar presented to him in 2002.
The Worst Person in the World (2022). Directed by Joachim Trier. Written by Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt. Starring Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Maria Grazia Di Meo. Synopsis: The chronicles of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is. Debuts in the US on February 4th, 2022.
KIMI (2022). Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Written by David Koepp. Starring Zoë Kravitz, Devin Ratray, Rita Wilson. Synopsis: An agoraphobic Seattle tech worker uncovers evidence of a crime. Debuts on HBO Max on February 10th, 2022.
Catch the Fair One (2022). Written and directed by Josef Kubota Wladyka. Starring Kali Reis, Kevin Dunn, Lisa Emery. Synopsis: A former champion boxer embarks on the fight of her life when she goes in search of her missing sister. Debuts in the US on February 11th, 2022.
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2022). Written and directed by Jane Schoenbrun. Starring Anna Cobb, Holly Anne Frink, Michael J Rogers. Synopsis: Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her. US release date is TBA.
Sex Appeal (2022). Directed by Talia Osteen. Written by Tate Hanyok. Starring Mika Abdalla, Jake Short, Rebecca Henderson. Synopsis: Avery, a teenager with a tendency towards perfectionism, enlists her friend Larson to help her prepare for her first time with her long-distance boyfriend. Now available on Hulu.
Sundown (2022). Written and directed by Michel Franco. Starring Tim Roth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Samuel Bottomley. Synopsis: Neil and Alice Bennett are the core of a wealthy family on vacation in Mexico until a distant emergency cuts their trip short. When one relative disrupts the family’s tight-knit order, simmering tensions rise to the fore. Debuts in the US on January 28th, 2022.
Hatching (2022). Directed by Hanna Bergholm. Written by Ilja Rautsi. Starring Sophia Heikkilä, Jani Volanen, Siiri Solalinna. Synopsis: A young gymnast who tries desperately to please her demanding mother, discovers a strange egg. She hides it and keeps it warm, but when it hatches, what emerges shocks them all. Debuts in the US on April 29th, 2022.
X (2022). Written and directed by Ti West. Starring Jenna Ortega, Mia Goth, Kid Cudi. Synopsis: The latest horror movie from filmmaker Ti West (“The Innkeepers“). Debuts in the US on March 18th, 2022.
A Banquet (2022). Directed by Ruth Paxton. Written by Justin Bull. Starring Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes. Synopsis: Widowed mother Holly is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power. Debuts in the US on February 18th, 2022.
Studio 666 (2022). Directed by BJ McDonnell. Written by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes. Starring Dave Grohl, Jenna Ortega, Whitney Cummings. Synopsis: Legendary rock band Foo Fighters move into an Encino mansion steeped in grisly rock and roll history to record their much anticipated 10th album. Debuts in the US on February 25th, 2022.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022). Directed by Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman. Written by Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith. Starring Kristen Schaal, Kevin Kline, Zach Galifianakis. Synopsis: The Belchers’ trying to save the restaurant from closing as a sinkhole forms in front of it while the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family’s restaurant. Debuts in the US on May 27th, 2022.
Against the Ice (2022). Directed by Peter Flinth. Written by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Derrick (based on the novel by Ejnar Mikkelsen). Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Heida Reed. Synopsis: In 1909, two explorers fight to survive after they’re left behind while on a Denmark expedition in ice-covered Greenland. Debuts on Netflix on March 2nd, 2022.
Last Looks (2022). Directed by Tim Kirkby. Written by Howard Michael Gould. Starring Charlie Hunnam, Mel Gibson, Lucy Fry. Synopsis: A disgraced ex-cop seeks solace by moving to the woods, but his quiet life comes to an end when a private eye recruits him to investigate a murder. US release date is TBA.
Jackass Forever (2022). Directed by Jeff Tremaine. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Machine Gun Kelly. Synopsis: After 11 years, the Jackass crew is back for their final crusade. Debuts in the US on February 4th, 2022.
jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy (2022). Directed by Coodie and Chike Ozah. Synopsis: Follows the life of Kanye West, in an intimate portrait as he builds his way from singer to businessman and becomes a global brand. Debuts on Netflix on February 16th, 2022.
The Girl Before (2022). Directed by Lisa Brühlmann. Written by J.P. Delaney and Marissa Lestrade. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Jessica Plummer. Synopsis: Jane falls in love with an extraordinary minimalist house, but when she discovers that another damaged woman died in the same property three years earlier, she starts to wonder if her own story is just a rerun of the girl before. Debuts on HBO Max on February 10th, 2022.
Shortbus (2006), 4K restoration. Written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Starring Paul Dawson, Lindsay Beamish, Sook-Yin Lee. Synopsis: A group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality. US release date is TBA.
The Godfather (1972), 50th anniversary release. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Written by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton. Synopsis: The film follows Vito Corleone, Don of the Corleone family, as he passes the mantle to his unwilling son, Michael. US release date is TBA.
Peter Bogdanovich (1939-2022)
Matt writes: One of the most renowned and invaluable film historians, Peter Bogdanovich, not to mention a director of multiple masterpieces (“The Last Picture Show,” “What’s Up, Doc?” and “Paper Moon,” to name a few), died on January 6th at age 82. Read Scout Tafoya’s tribute to Bogdanovich, as well as Roger Ebert’s Great Movies essay on “The Last Picture Show.”
Michael Wilmington (1946-2022)
Matt writes: I was privileged to call Michael Wilmington, the former Chicago Tribune critic who died on January 6th at age 75, a friend during his last years in the Windy City. Don’t miss Patrick Z. McGavin’s heartfelt tribute, as well as the invaluable episode of “Siskel & Ebert” celebrating the late Stanley Kubrick that featured Wilmington alongside three of his esteemed colleagues in Chicago: Jonathan Rosenbaum, Dann Gire and Ray Pride (Part I is embedded above, and Part II can be viewed here).
Big News (1929). Directed by Gregory La Cava. Written by Walter DeLeon and Jack Jungmeyer (based on the play by George S. Brooks). Starring Carole Lombard, Robert Armstrong, Louis Payne. Synopsis: A reporter’s marriage is jeopardized by his drinking and he finds himself accused of a murder he didn’t commit.
The Southerner (1945). Directed by Jean Renoir. Written by Jean Renoir, Hugo Butler, William Faulkner and Nunnally Johnson (based on the novel by George Sessions Perry). Starring Zachary Scott, Beulah Bondi, Norman Lloyd. Synopsis: The life of the poor Tucker family, that worked as cotton pluggers and decided to get their own ground, but nature is against them.
Against All Hope (1982). Directed by Edward T. McDougal. Written by Edward T. McDougal, Cecil Moe, Jean Moe and Jerry Newcombe. Starring Michael Madsen, Maureen McCarthy, Cecil Moe. Synopsis: A man struggling with alcoholism turns to a reverend for help.