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Commentary By Judith Miller

What Are 2022’s Best Movies? You’ll Be Shocked If You Look at the New York Times’ and Legacy Media Lists

Culture Culture & Society

The list of best movies reveals a sharp contrast between what the public watched and what critics loved

‘Tis the season of endless "best of" lists. Newspapers, magazines, and social media sites have been flooded with their cultural critics’ views of 2022’s ten best books, plays, restaurants, "hatemongers," and, of course, movies.

A glance at these lists, particularly the "ten best films," suggests how utterly out of touch some of the nation’s most prominent film critics are with what Americans want to watch.

Consider the recommendations of my former employer, The New York Times. Though critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott have written some incisive, powerful reviews this year, their "ten best" recommendations were mystifying. But perhaps even more striking than their recommendations were their omissions. While quality should not be confused with popularity, critics at The Times and other journals must have decided that they could virtually ignore films that Americans actually paid to see.


Photo by LeMusique/iStock