The best movie of 2022 was also its highest-grossing one, according to one in five Americans. 

Our recent survey of 2,000 respondents found that 19% selected “Top Gun: Maverick” as one of their favorites for the year, making it the most popular choice among those polled.

But fans weren’t the only ones who walked away impressed.

In addition to the $1.48 billion it achieved at the box office this year, “Maverick” has already received two Golden Globe nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as well as the title of Best Film by the National Board of Review.

Originally announced by Paramount Pictures back in 2010, the sequel took its time getting to theaters as a result of behind-the-scenes complications and pandemic-related delays, moving its release date four times before finally landing on May 27, 2022. 

Tom Cruise himself was adamant that the film would debut in theaters, telling a Q&A at Cannes that a streaming-only premiere was “never going to happen.”

Looking at the rest of our Best-Of list:

Only one streaming-exclusive film cracked the top ten  – “Enola Holmes 2,” starring Millie Bobby Brown as the titular Enola and Henry Cavill as her better-recognized brother, Sherlock Holmes. 

Other films that made the list included highly anticipated sequels like “Jurassic World: Dominion” (17%) and Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” (15%), as well as critically acclaimed films like “The Whale” (11%) and new cult classics like “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (11%).

And although “Top Gun: Maverick” received the largest number of thumbs up total, other movies received a slightly higher percentage of positive reviews relative to the number of respondents who watched. 

Most ‘liked’ movies

A few other movies had more unanimously positive feedback among those who watched it, such as “Where the Crawdads Sing” (61%) and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (58%). 

Still, “Top Gun: Maverick” stood out as one the top-ten most-watched films of 2022, and the film to receive the largest number of “thumbs up” among respondents.

Not one to take his success for granted, Cruise recently posted a video to social media thanking everyone for “coming out to the theaters” and supporting “Top Gun: Maverick” — just before fist-bumping “Mission Impossible” director Chris McQuarrie and free-falling out of a plane.

How much of a movie buff are you? Take our quick quiz to find out! 🍿

Top Ten “Best” Movies of 2022
  • Top Gun: Maverick - 19% 
  • Jurassic World: Dominion - 17% 
  • Enola Holmes 2 - 15% 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - 14% 
  • The Batman - 14% 
  • Thor: Love and Thunder - 13% 
  • Death on the Nile - 13% 
  • The Whale - 11% 
  • Amsterdam - 11% 
  • Bodies Bodies Bodies  - 11% 
Most Watched Streaming-Only Movies
  • Tyler Perry's A Madea Homecoming - 19%
  • Enola Holmes 2 - 18% 
  • Weird: The Al Yankovic Story - 17% 
  • The Tinder Swindler - 16% 
  • Cheaper by the Dozen - 16% 
  • Turning Red - *16% 
  • Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers”- 15% 
  • Hocus Pocus 2 - 14%
  • Running With the Devil: The Wild World of John Mcafee - 14%
  • Prey - 13%
*”Turning Red” was given an extremely limited theatrical release before being rerouted nationwide for a streaming-only premiere on Disney+
Most Universally Liked Movies*
  • Where the Crawdads Sing - 60% 
  • Black Adam - 58% 
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - 58% 
  • The King’s Man - 57% 
  • Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness - 57% 
  • Bullet Train - 56% 
  • The Woman King - 56% 
  • The Gray Man  - 56% 
  • The Lost City - 55% 
  • Elvis - 55% 
*Based on the number of people who watched

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was conducted between Dec. 16–19, 2022. It was launched by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Photo credit: Header image by Corina Rainer