• Rough Cut Staff

50 Most Anticipated Films of 2022

Focus Features

As we shuffle our best-of lists from 2021, why not look ahead to what’s sure to be a sumptuous year of cinnema? Here are our top 50 most anticipated films of 2022.

Honorable Mention: Marry Me, Dark Glasses, The Pale Blue Eye, Rustin, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Sky is Everywhere, The Gray Man, Red White and Water, Showing Up, The Whale, The Way of the Wind

50. Happening (L’Événement)

Director: Audrey Diwan

Starring: Anamaria Vartolomei

Logline: An adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s eponymous novel, looking back on her experience with abortion when it was still illegal in France in the 1960s.

Why We’re Excited: Happening won the top prize at 2021’s Venice Film Festival and receive scores of praise from those who attended last year’s festival. It made the final three for France’s submission to the Oscars, ultimately losing to Titane.

Release: May 6, IFC Films

49. Under the Light

Director: Zhang Yimou

Starring: Lei Jiayin, Yu Hewei

Logline: An urban crime drama film which will cover topics from anti-corruption to anti-crime.

Why We’re Excited: Zhang Yimou is one of the best (and most prolific!) filmmakers from China’s 5th Generation, but his incisive portraits of Chinese culture and corruption have often been focused on dynastical period dramas. A gritty crime drama from the master behind Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers could be spectacular.

Release: TBD, but it was set for 2020 before the pandemic delayed it.

48. Something in the Dirt

Director: Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson

Starring: Moorhead and Benson

Logline: When neighbors John and Levi witness supernatural events in their LA apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives.

Why We’re Excited: Moorhead and Benson are becoming cult favorites, and after moving toward the big-time with Synchronic, they used the pandemic as an excuse to go back to their roots with DIY, independent filmmaking. Featured at this month’s Sundance, Something in the Dirt sets up to be a tense two-hander in the singular style of Moorhead and Benson.

Release: Sundance debut, distribution not set.

47. Ambulance

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González

Logline: Decorated veteran Will Sharp, desperate for money to cover his wife’s medical bills, asks for help from the one person he knows he shouldn’t—his adoptive brother Danny. A charismatic career criminal, Danny instead offers him a score: the biggest bank heist in Los Angeles history: $32 million.

Why We’re Excited: For every 6 Underground there’s a Pain & Gain. And Gyllenhaal and Abdul-Mateen II don’t strike us as the types to take roles solely for the money.

Release: April 8, Universal

46. She Said

Director: Maria Schrader

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan

Logline: The story of how New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor broke the bombshell Harvey Weinstein scandal report.

Why We’re Excited: Schrader’s presence is more than enough to spike our curiosity in what could have otherwise been a run-of-the-mill ripped from the headlines story, akin to 2019’s Bombshell. The German director’s I’m Your Man beautifully eschewed clichés at every turn, so we’re excited to see what she does with all eyes on her in 2022.

Release: November 18, Universal

45. Moonfall


Director: Roland Emmerich

Starring: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson

Logline: A mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it.

Why We’re Excited: From the director of Independent Day: “what if the moon…fell?” Yeah, we’re in.

Release: February 4, Lionsgate

44. Maestro

Director: Bradley Cooper

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Jeremy Strong

Logline: A portrait of Leonard Bernstein’s singular charisma and passion for music as he rose to fame as America’s first native born, world-renowned conductor, all along following his ambition to compose both symphonic and popular Broadway works.

Why We’re Excited: Cooper broke out as a director with 2018’s A Star is Born, and if nothing else, that movie showed his flair and eye for a musicality in his directing style. He’ll be bringing those talents, along with his acting skills, to bear on the legendary story of Leonard Bernstein – a story that no less than Steven Spielberg suggested he take on after seeing his debut directorial effort.

Release: Late 2022, Netflix

43. The Brutalist

Director: Brady Corbet

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Marion Cotillard, Mark Rylance, Sebastian Stan, Vanessa Kirby

Logline: When visionary architect László Toth and his wife Erzsébet flee Europe to rebuild their legacy and witness the birth of modern America, their lives are changed forever by a mysterious and wealthy client.

Why We’re Excited: We don’t have enough movies about architecture (see the underrated Columbus), and we don’t give as much appreciation as we should to Brady Corbet (see the underrated Vox Lux. Add a stacked cast with an alluring premise, this one is sure to be one of a kind.

Release: TBD

42. The Actor

Director: Duke Johnson

Starring: Ryan Gosling

Logline: New York actor Paul Cole is beaten and left for dead in 1950s Ohio. Stripped of his memory and stranded in a mysterious small town, Paul struggles to get back home, piece together and reclaim the life and identity he’s lost.

Why We’re Excited: The last time Gosling took on the mysterious loner role, we got Drive. And as co-director of Anomalisa, And Duke Johnson clearly has technical prowess and a fearlessness when it comes to style. Bring it on.

Release: TBD, Neon

41. I Came By

Director: Babak Anvari

Starring: George MacKay, Kelly Macdonald

Logline: A rebellious young graffiti artist who targets the homes of the wealthy elite but discovers a shocking secret that leads him on a journey endangering himself and those closest to him.

Why We’re Excited: After Under the Shadow, Anvari disappointed with 2019’s Wounds, but he’s got a killer premise and the up-and-coming George MacKay set up for I Came By.

Release: TBD 2022, Netflix

40. Dual


Director: Riley Stearns

Starring: Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, Jesse Eisenberg

Logline: A terminally ill woman opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death.

Why We’re Excited: Stearns last entry was the razor-sharp, funny The Art of Self-Defense, which gave a meaty role to the previously around-the-edges Alessandro Nivola. He has two actors who deserve the substance that could provide breakout star turns in Gillan and Paul, and the plot alone is enough to draw our attention.

Release: Sundance debut, distribution not set.

39. The Wonder

Director: Sebastián Lelio

Starring: Flornece Pugh

Logline: Set in the Irish Midlands in 1859 as an English nurse, Lib Wright, goes to a tiny village to observe what some see as a medical anomaly and others a miracle, that a girl has survived without food for months. Tourists flock to see 11-year-old Anna O’Donnell, and a journalist has come to cover the sensation as two strangers transform each other’s lives in a story of love pitted against evil.

Why We’re Excited: Lelio’s recent output has thrust a spotlight on complicated, independent women, in the process offering a stage for some of the finest performances of the last five years (Daniella Vega, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, and Julianne Moore). He’s got one of the hottest tickets on his next dance card in Florence Pugh.

Release: TBD 2022, Netflix

38. Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood

Director: Richard Linklater

Starring: Jack Black, Zachary Levi, Glen Powell

Logline: A coming-of-age story set in the suburbs of Houston, Texas in the summer of 1969, against the backdrop of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

Why We’re Excited: Some of Linklater’s best films have been his coming-of-age stories – Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some!!, Boyhood – and this time he’s returning to his Texas roots. We’ll have to wait to see if his latest animation/rotoscoping effort can perform better than his prior attempts.

Release: TBD 2022, Netflix

37. The Cathedral

Director: Ricky D’Ambrose

Starring: Monica Barbaro, Brian d’Arcy Janes

Logline: An only child’s meditative, impressionistic account of an American family’s rise and fall over two decades.

Why We’re Excited: https://twitter.com/Glenn__Kenny/status/1469042991016910850

Release: Sundance debut, distribution not set

36. The Batman

Warner Bros.

Director: Matt Reeves

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, Peters Sarsgaard, Barry Keoghan

Logline: In his second year of fighting crime, Batman uncovers corruption in Gotham City that connects to his own family while facing a serial killer known as the Riddler.

Why We’re Excited: Pattinson’s rise, fall, and rise is nearly complete – a successful reboot of arguably the most popular franchise of the last few decades could push him over the edge. Kravitz as Catwoman is also exciting, and from the lack of footage of Dano’s Riddler, it’s sure to be something incredible.

Release: March 4, Warner Bros.

35. Broker

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Starring: Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, Bae Doo-na

Logline: Group of people, brought together by a baby box, set off on a journey that will lead to destinations they never expected.

Why We’re Excited: Kore-eda is always going to ruminate on the concept of family, but more recently he’s moved from investigating traditional family units to meditations on non-traditional families and what they mean for the rest of us. His latest, about people brought together by a “baby box,” promises to be as distinct and surprising as Shoplifters.

Release: TBD

34. Triangle of Sadness

Director: Ruben Östlund

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson

Logline: When a yacht sinks during a luxury cruise, a celebrity couple is left stranded on a desert island with a group of billionaires and a cleaning lady. In the fight for survival, hierarchy is turned upside-down.

Why We’re Excited: Östlund’s last effort, the Palme d’Or winning The Square, was a vicious takedown of the privileged elite. It certainly seems from the logline like the master is returning to the well.

Release: TBD, but keep an eye on a Cannes 2022 debut.

33. Mission: Impossible 7

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Rom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Kirby

Logline: Tom cruise does stunts.

Why We’re Excited: McQuarrie has brought a certain stability to the franchise, but he’s also continued the attempts to approach each new picture with a different style. We’ll see if he can continue his strong run, and what new tricks he and Cruise have up their sleeves.

Release: September 30, Paramount

32. Everything Everywhere All at Once


Director: The Daniels (Scheinert and Kwan)

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, James Hong

Logline: An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.

Why We’re Excited: The Daniels released one of the most polarizing debuts in recent memory in 2016, Swiss Army Man, and if nothing else, the two clearly have a very particular vision and the technical know-how to achieve it. Add to that a dose of Michelle Yeoh back in independent cinema, and March can’t come soon enough.

Release: South by Southwest debut, in theaters March 25, A24.

31. The Zone of Interest

Director: Jonathan Glazer

Starring: TBD

Logline: Based on the novel by the same name. A Nazi officer stationed at Auschwitz becomes enamored with the camp commandant’s wife.

Why We’re Excited: Another man of uncompromising but polarizing visions, Glazer hasn’t made a film since his Under the Skin dotted year-end best-of lists in 2013. The novel received fairly positive reviews, but if we can assume one thing despite the tight lid being held around production, it’s that Glazer’s literary adaptations will look nothing like we’re used to.

Release: TBD, A24

30. Asteroid City

Director: Wes Anderson

Starring: Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Matt Dillon, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Jeffrey Wright, Willem Defoe

Logline: A love story set in Europe.

Why We’re Excited: If Anderson’s idiosyncratic meticulousness works for you, this is probably top 10. If not, it’s probably not on the list. We split the difference, and arguably it should be even higher – with two of the most exciting newcomers to Anderson’s growing repertory players in Tom Hanks and Margot Robbie.

Release: TBD

29. Bullet Train

Director: David Leitch

Starring: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Zazie Beats, Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock

Logline: Five assassins aboard a fast moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common.

Why We’re Excited: “Brad Pitt leading an assassin-thriller from the director of Atomic Blonde” should spike the heart rate of any red-blooded human being, but add in a killer ensemble cast, and we’re there on opening night.

Release: July 15, Sony Pictures

28. Rebel Ridge

Director: Jeremy Saulnier

Starring: Aaron Pierre, AnnaSophia Robb, Emory Cohen

Logline: An ex-marine takes on a group of dirty cops.

Why We’re Excited: Saulnier is dug deep into the dark heart of our nation’s violent, vengeful spirit, and turning his spotlight on the mind of an ex-marine and the law enforcement institutions promises another bleak but captivating entry.

Release: TBD 2022, Netflix

27. Cha Cha Real Smooth


Director: Cooper Raiff

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Cooper Raiff, Leslie Mann, Brad Garrett

Logline: Fresh out of college, Andrew befriends a local mom, Domino, and her daughter, Lola, he finally discovers a future he wants, even if it might not be his own.

Why We’re Excited: Raiff broke out as director-actor with 2020’s Shithouse, an incisive dramedy and coming-of-age story. He’s graduated with his sophomore feature – from unknowns to bigger names and from college to the real world – but based on the logline, seems to have kept his next effort close to the heart.

Release: Sundance debut, TBD

26. The Fabelmans

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Gabriel LaBelle, Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Julia Butters

Logline: A drama loosely based on Spielberg’s own childhood.

Why We’re Excited: Not much to say about a Spielberg movie loosely based on his own childhood – except that with Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood breakout Julia Butters playing his surrogate sister, we might wish the movie was focused on her by the time the credits roll.

Release: November 23, Universal

25. Hustle

Director: Jeremiah Zagar

Starring: Adam Sandler, Robert Duvall, Ben Foster, Queen Latifah

Logline: The story follows an American basketball scout who is unjustly fired after discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player abroad. The scout decides to bring the player to America to prove that they both have what it takes to make it in the NBA.

Why We’re Excited: Adam Sandler + basketball player (Juancho Hernangomez) + up-and-coming independent director – sound familiar? Zagar brings a much softer tone to his films than the Safdie brothers, but let’s hope Sandler’s passion for the game brings a similarly livewire performance.

Release: TBD 2022, Netflix

24. Master Gardener

Director: Paul Schrader

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver

Logline: Narvel Roth is a meticulous horticulturist who is devoted to tending the grounds of a beautiful estate and pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill. When she demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great niece, it unlocks dark secrets from a buried violent past.

Why We’re Excited: Schrader is on a late career tear with First Reformed and The Card Counter, and Edgerton is the perfect actor to complete the trio of performances by dark, repressed, troubled men. This one is set to start filming in early ’22, so we might not see it this year, but Schrader typically works fast.

Release: TBD

23. White Noise

Director: Noah Baumbach

Starring: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Raffey Cassidy, Don Cheadle, André Benjamin

Logline: A lethal black chemical cloud, unleashed by an industrial accident, disrupts the lives of Jack and his fourth wife.

Why We’re Excited: Baumbach follows up his most successful movie to date with an ambitious adaption of the Don DeLillo novel - bringing some of his favorite actors back, including his wife, Greta Gerwig. After letting their directorial careers blossom independently since last working together on 2015’s Mistress America, the reunion of Baumbach behind the camera and Gerwig in front is enticing enough on its own.

Release: TBD 2022, Netflix

22. Three Thousand Years of Longing

Director: George Miller

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba

Logline: A lonely and bitter British woman discovers an ancient bottle while on a trip to Istanbul and unleashes a djinn who offers her three wishes. Filled with apathy, she is unable to come up with one until his stories spark in her a desire to be loved.

Why We’re Excited: Miller is following up the best action movie of the last decade with what he has called the “anti-Mad Max.” It’s an epic fantasy romance film, and it finally gives Idris Elba the lead role he has deserved for literal decades.

Release: TBD 2022, MGM

21. Landscape with Invisible Hand

Director: Cory Finley

Starring: Tiffany Haddish

Logline: A dark, surreal comedy set in an alien future.

Why We’re Excited: With 2019’s Bad Education, Finley proved he’s not just a one-hit wonder, and an incredible ability to take on a wide variety of tones and substance with his droll visual style and trademark wit. Haddish is continuing to flex her acting chops, though this time in a return to her comedic roots.

Release: TBD, MGM

20. Scream


Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

Logline: Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.

Why We’re Excited: We’ve been disappointed by reboots/sequels of legendary horror properties before (you won’t find Halloween Ends on this list), but Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett have proved themselves more than capable 2019’s Ready or Not.

Release: January 14, Paramount

19. Knives Out 2

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Daniel Craig, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Dave Bautista, Ed Norton, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Ethan Hawke

Logline: Master detective Benoit Blanc is taking on a new murder case.

Why We’re Excited: Johnson has assembled a monster cast, and his decision to keep Craig but jettison the rest of the original’s ensemble is an encouraging sign that he will continue to innovate in this sequel, rather than resting on the laurels of the first.

Release: TBD 2022, Netflix

18. The Worst Person in the World

Director: Joachim Trier

Starring: Renate Reinsve

Logline: Chronicles 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.

Why We’re Excited:

Release: February 4, Neon

17. Poor Things

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring: Victoria McCandless is a free-spirited, highly sensual woman who drowns herself to escape her abusive husband. In the aftermath, she is brought back to life by an eccentric scientist named Godwin Baxter. He replaces her brain with the brain of her unborn child and changes Victoria’s name to Belle Baxter.

Logline: Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Mark Ruffalo

Why We’re Excited: Lanthimos is clearly returning to the wacky scenarios of his pre-The Favourite work, though Poor Things is a loose adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s novel. It’s arguably his strongest ensemble to date, with Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael, and Margaret Qualley filling out the cast.

Release: TBD 2022, Searchlight

16. Men

Director: Alex Garland

Starring: Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear