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The Most Flawless Movie Scenes Of 2022 So Far

2022 is already shaping up to be a great year for movies, and the year is still far from over. Between big-screen experiences and streaming exclusives, popular blockbusters and hidden gems, there have been some powerful reminders of why we love cinema as both entertainment and an art form. Have any of these films been perfect? Of course not; true perfection is impossible. However, one can definitely make the case that certain stand-out scenes from various movies this year have been either perfect or as close to perfection as possible.

The scenes on this list kept audiences on the edge of their seats, moved them to tears, made them crack up in laughter, or, in some very special cases, pulled off multiple conflicting emotions all at once. Some offer a single moment of greatness that elevate their respective films, while others exemplify everything that was already great about them. These 2022 movie scenes perfectly achieve what they set out to do, and promise to stick in your memory for a long time after.

This article contains spoilers for all the listed films.

Cyrano: Wherever I Fall

While given a bare minimum qualifying release for awards in 2021, the commercial release of "Cyrano" was delayed until February 25, 2022, and as such, we're counting it as a 2022 film. This musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac" earned high praise for its performances, particularly that of Peter Dinklage in the leading role, but critics were a bit more divided on the musical numbers. However one feels about the film's many repetitive love ballads, there's one song (and corresponding scene) in "Cyrano" that stands out as truly exceptional.

"Wherever I Fall" is first sung by three soldiers, each writing letters to their loved ones while preparing themselves to die on the battlefield. The chorus of the song turns into a marching anthem in the ensuing battle, wherein Christian is killed and Cyrano barely survives. "Tell 'em not to cry at all," the lyrics might say, but it's pretty hard not to be moved to tears by this powerful portrayal of the tragedy of war.

Petite Maman: The music of the future

"Petite Maman" is another film that qualified for 2021 awards but makes this list because it wasn't given a proper American release until April 22, 2022. This heartfelt fable is about Nelly, an 8-year-old girl who, while visiting her mother's childhood home following the death of her grandmother, magically makes friends with another young girl named Marion. Marion turns out to be a time-displaced version of her mother. Running a compact 72 minutes, it slowly builds to an emotionally overwhelming conclusion just as powerful as that of director Céline Sciamma's previous film, "Portrait of a Lady on Fire."

Like "Portrait...," "Petite Maman" uses music extremely sparingly, and both movies' climaxes gain additional power by being the rare scenes to feature music. Nelly lends Marion her headphones to listen to "the music of the future," which becomes the gorgeous aural accompaniment to the two friends' final day of playing and exploring together.

After Yang: Opening credits

Writer/director Kogonada might specialize in solemn, meditative dramas, but he sure knows the value of starting things off with a fun dance party. The dance party opening theme to the Apple TV+ series "Pachinko," which Kogonada co-directed with Justin Chon, is one of the best series openings around. Kogonada's sci-fi film "After Yang," pulls off something similarly delightful with its opening credits sequence.

The credits showcase multiple families participating in a live video game dance competition. It's one of many quirky details that contributes to the film's convincing, futuristic world-building, while also providing a huge burst of energy and a moment of family togetherness between Jake, Kyra, Mika, and their "technosapien" Yang before the android's tragic death sets the main story in motion. The fact that Yang keeps dancing even after his team has been eliminated from the competition is the perfect ominous way to signal his sudden deterioration.

The Batman: Interrogating the Riddler

The theme of Batman inspiring his own enemies is a central one for many "Batman" stories, but few have addressed this as chillingly as Matt Reeves' "The Batman" does in the scene where Batman interrogates the Riddler at Arkham. When the Riddler starts talking about Bruce Wayne, the initial fear is that he's figured out Batman's secret identity, but it soon becomes clear the two are completely separate in his head: Bruce was the one target he couldn't kill, whereas he believes Batman is on the same team as him.

Batman decidedly isn't on the Riddler's side, but it's easy to see how the supervillain could find inspiration in this fellow masked vigilante. The Riddler doesn't take Batman's rejection well but remains confident that every other part of his plan is going to work out. When Batman tries to interrogate him about what these plans are, the Riddler provides no answers, just singing the creepiest version of "Ave Maria" ever.

Turning Red: The astral plane

Thanks to its great sense of humor and startlingly honest depiction of adolescence, "Turning Red" would have ranked among the best Pixar movies even if it didn't have the big tearjerker moment audiences have come to expect in films from the studio. Of course, Domee Shi's film does manage to pull off such a brilliant emotional climax in the scene where Meilin Lee and her mother Ming find each other on the astral plane.

In a scene with striking conceptual parallels to "Petite Maman," Mei encounters Ming as a young girl, overwhelmed with sadness over her struggles with her own mother and perfectionist feelings of failure. Mei brings comfort to her mom's inner child, allowing both of them to make their ultimate decisions about what to do with their panda spirits. Ming still decides to keep it sealed away, but Mei ultimately chooses differently, embracing her messy imperfections.

Everything Everywhere All at Once: Rocks

Many scenes from "Everything Everywhere All at Once" could be in consideration for this list. The Daniels' eccentric multiverse adventure is packed with tons of brilliant moments; if anything, the main thing holding the film as a whole back from perfection is that there's so much happening that the barrage of great stuff can become overwhelming. Our selection for the best scene is one that slows down for a bit while still perfectly encapsulating the film's philosophy and ridiculous humor: the scene where the main characters are rocks.

Evelyn and Jobu travel to many different parallel worlds throughout the film, and eventually, they end up in one of the many universes where life never evolved. Here, they exist as rocks and communicate via subtitles on-screen. For Jobu, this world just reflects her belief in the meaninglessness of life. Evelyn, however, flips this nihilism around to see possibility: rocks aren't supposed to move, but not only does she do so as a rock, but her rock also has googly eyes, which symbolize the optimistic opposite of Jobu's everything bagel of nothingness.

Navalny: Prank-calling the killers

The most intense scene from Daniel Roher's documentary "Navalny," about the currently imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, shocks viewers even if they were aware beforehand of the events portrayed from watching the news. Agents of Vladimir Putin poisoned Navalny via his underpants in an assassination attempt. After recovering, not only does Navalny track down his would-be killers, but he also prank-calls them. 

The call scene, wherein Navalny pretends to be a fellow agent and gets one of the culprits to reveal all the details of the operation on camera, is an edge-of-your-seat spy thriller in real life. Whatever one makes of Navalny's politics (the documentary certainly leaves some questions about his alliances unanswered), it's impossible not to admire the sheer guts of this man standing up to the totalitarian regime that tried to kill him. 

The Northman: Queen Gudrún reveals the truth

Robert Eggers' proto-"Hamlet" Viking epic "The Northman" is filled with as much brutal, graphic violence as one would expect from its subject matter, but the most intensely disturbing scene in the film is one without any blood and gore—just a mother talking to her son. Up until this scene, Prince Amleth has been the sort of antihero viewers sympathized with primarily because his motivations were understandable and the targets of his vengeance came off as much worse than he was. What Queen Gudrún confesses to her son in this scene completely flips the script.

Amleth wants to "avenge father, save mother, kill Fjölnir," but his mom doesn't want to be saved. It turns out Fjölnir killed Amleth's father to save her from his horrific abuse. Nicole Kidman's performance of Gudrún's monologue is absolutely chilling, especially when the power plays involved reach a level even more perverse than those in "Game of Thrones."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).