The Best Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, and Superhero Movie Moments of 2022

The Best Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, and Superhero Movie Moments of 2022

And no, it's not just a list of scenes from RRR... though there are a lot of scenes from RRR.

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pearl, black panther, RRR, Everything Everywhere, Doctor Strange
Some of the best scenes of the year in movies.
Image: Various

Even bad movies can have good moments—a standout scene, a big reveal, something impactful that sticks with you. In 2022, movies (some bad, but mostly good) were filled with unforgettable moments. We’re talking animals jumping out of trucks, pirate ships flying through the air, John Krasinski’s Mr. Fantastic being murdered... the list goes on and on.

With that in mind, please enjoy io9's picks for the best movie moments of 2022, presented in no particular order.

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2 / 26

RRR

RRR

RRR | Tiger Fight Scene - Jr NTR Entry | Netflix

The truck scene

In what’s very much a good thing, so much of S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR feels like the film is obsessed with constantly topping itself in terms of ridiculous action moments it can put on screen. Nowhere is this more apparent than when Bheem (Jr. NTR) drives a truck right into the middle of the British Raj’s estate during a high-profile party. With two torches in hand, Bheem leaps into action with tigers, wolves, and bears by his side to mow down any British soldiers in their path. It’s absurd. It’s darkly funny. It further cements RRR as the ultimate movie of the year, action or otherwise, maybe even of the decade.

The prison break

We’re not exaggerating when we say there are no words that can truly do these RRR scenes justice. For instance: when Bheem busts Raju (Ram Charan) out of an English prison. His legs practically broken, Raju can’t walk, but that doesn’t stop him from kicking unholy ass upon dozens of soldiers once Bheem hoists his friend over his shoulder. Together, the two slide, flip, kick, punch, steal guns, and blast their way out in a balletic sequence so perfect your jaw will drop. Loading guns has never required more teamwork or looked so badass.

Naatu Naatu

Naatu Naatu Full Video Song (Telugu) [4K]| RRR Songs | NTR,Ram Charan | MM Keeravaani | SS Rajamouli

This dance number is a painstakingly choreographed sequence set to “Naatu Naatu,” an infectious earworm matched by the sheer energy of the film’s stars as they out-dance some colonizers. There’s no question why it’s gone viral online and gets people dancing in the theater.

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Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once | Fanny Pack | Official Clip HD | A24

Fanny pack fight

As Ke Huy Quan’s Waymond Wang steps up to defend his family, he whips off his fanny pack—and immediately it’s clear that this is going to be an ass-kicking for the ages. From its first visual reference to Enter the Dragon, the fanny pack fight is an incredible show of old school kung fu references, dizzying spins, and technical mastery, helped along with camera trickery and minimal CGI.

Jobu Elvis

Jobu Tupaki is officially one of the greatest sci-fi villains and Stephanie Hsu’s intro as the character is an all-timer. Dressed in whatever she damn feels like from anywhere in time, Jobu struts her stuff in an Elvis jumpsuit to take down a row of security guards with an arsenal of weapons (including dildos at one point) and powers—when a victim coughs out glitter instead of blood, it’s straight up Looney Tunes. We support women’s rights but also their iconic wrongs. No notes, just sheer gay pride.

Evelyn super edit

The moment when Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) fully embraces all her multiversal selves is incredible. All her lives flash across the screen, from being a celebrity to an animated character to a rock to a piñata, and this short little sequence is visually stunning and gorgeous. Despite all the wild visuals, these few seconds are full of emotional pathos as Evelyn finally becomes the hero she needs to be to save her daughter.

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Prey

Prey

Prey (2022) / Naru vs Predator. Death of a Predator / 4K HDR (5.1 Atmos)

The final showdown

Sorry, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Glover. The greatest fight in the Predator film franchise belongs entirely to Prey. We’ve seen how difficult Predators are to beat when you have massive guns, so pitting one against Naru (Amber Midthunder), a young Comanche warrior in 1719, seems impossible. But Naru cunningly learns from her encounters with the monster until she sets the perfect trap, using the environment, her hatchet, and the Predator’s own targeting system against it. It’s utterly badass from start to finish.

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The Northman

The Northman

The Northman - Final Battle

Volcano fight

When Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård) finally shows down with the man he’s been hunting the whole movie, Fjölnir (Claes Bang), you expected it to be epic. What you didn’t expect was them fighting among the lavas of a volcano in a scene that made basically turned the end of Revenge of the Sith into reality.

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Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water

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Image: Fox

The Tulkun fight back

The third act of Avatar: The Way of Water is beyond ridiculous. Things are flying, things are swimming, stuff is crashing, it’s beautiful chaos. But when one of the film’s whale-like creatures, the Tulkun, jumps out of the water and smashed down on poacher’s ship, and then wraps another smaller ship with a cable and drags it around, it’s almost like James Cameron doing Titanic in reverse. Magic.

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7 / 26

The Batman

The Batman

The Batman Chases The Penguin | The Batman | HBO Max

Chasing the Penguin

The Batman has some big set pieces in it, but we all know the highlight of a Batman movie is always the Batmobile chase and wow did director Matt Reeves deliver. It’s a chase that’s so beautiful, so visceral, so propulsive, it can leave you shaking in your seat.

Becoming the hero

The Batman sold itself on being yet another in a long line of dark examinations of why Bruce Wayne would become the Dark Knight. But its final, most important moment is one of lightness—both literally, as a haggard Bruce (Robert Pattinson) emerges to the dawn of a new day in Gotham, and as he realizes it’s time for Batman to step out of the shadow and become a symbol of hope, rather than fear. It’s an important beat that all good takes on Batman nail, and The Batman is no exception here, but there was something that remained cathartic about the moment in the sea of the film’s grim, murky world nonetheless.

Spanish lesson

Colin Farrell’s Penguin has a clutch moment when he’s being interrogated by the Batman and Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) over some clues they’ve received. Noting their inability to properly translate “el rata elada,” Cobblepot calls them out: “La, LA RATA,” he corrects them to hilarious effect. “Look at you two! World’s greatest detectives!”

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8 / 26

Uncharted

Uncharted

Epic Fight Tom Holland (Nate) & Mark Wahlberg (Sully) fight scne on ship 🔥 | Uncharted 2022

Flying pirate ships

It’s a sin that the Uncharted movie was so disappointing because the video game series is so over the top and cinematic. But there is one moment where the movie reaches that very high bar, and it’s when cables are attached to pirate ships that are flying through the air as Nathan Drake runs and jumps all over them. For a moment you realized what this movie could, and should, have been.

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9 / 26

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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Image: Marvel Studios

Toussaint

We’ve already written a full article on this one but the quick version is, by introducing T’Challa’s son, Wakanda Forever gets the emotional lift it needs while simultaneously tying up every loose end. It’s the perfect bow on an excellent movie.

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10 / 26

Scream

Scream

Scream 5 (2022). Richie and Amber’s Plan

Killer reveal

A Scream movie isn’t a Scream movie without a great killer reveal, and the fifth Scream had just that. The reveal of killers’ identities was simple enough, but the motivation behind it—that they’re just mad fans who want Hollywood get back to the old ways—sliced a knife into toxic fandom like only Ghostface could.

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11 / 26

Nope

Nope

Akira slide in Jordan Peele’s Nope (2022)

Akira slide

At one point, Jordan Peele was thinking about doing a live-action version of iconic anime Akira. It’s probably not happening, but at the end of Nope, he had a perfect homage to it as Em (Keke Palmer) races to try and get a picture of Jean Jacket and stops her bike with the iconic Akira slide, right in the middle of the big finale.

Jean Jacket reveal

Once it’s established that an alien situation is definitely at play in Nope, everyone—the characters and the audience—assumes the approximately disc-shaped object that emerges from cloud cover to make its rounds is a UFO. But you can forget what sci-fi has taught you, because there’s no ship. There’s no little green men. There’s just Jean Jacket, a hungry extraterrestrial predator that eventually does show off its shape-changing abilities… but initially, at least, uses its Close Encounters camouflage to fool us all.

Nope (2022) - Gordy’s Home Massacre Scene | Movieclips

Gordy’s Home

Probably one of the most chilling openers in recent cinema, Jordan Peele’s Nope uses a when-animals-attack moment as the film’s framing device, cleverly hinting at its thematic undertones about tempting things with uncontrollable nature. The imagery, the sounds, and the damn shoe standing straight up remain seared in our minds.   

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12 / 26

Barbarian

Barbarian

Justin Long’s New Movie | Official Trailer | Now In Theaters

Justin Long’s entrance...

The first act of Zach Cregger’s Barbarian sets up a cautionary tale about trusting your gut when you enter a situation that just feels off. But just when that story reaches a climactic high point, the movie suddenly changes tones, shifts to an entirely new setting, and introduces a seemingly unrelated character played by Justin Long. (The switch-up is so notable, the movie released entire trailer built around it.) Eventually he becomes intertwined with the main saga, but the abrupt needle-scratch of his entrance is the first hint that Barbarian is an unconventional horror movie designed to yank the rug out from under the audience, which it ends up doing more than once.

...And the moment right before that, too

There are few movies these days where “go in completely blind” truly, genuinely applies, and Barbarian is one of them. Cregger does a great job of making it seem like you know where the story of Tess (Georgina Campbell), a guy named Keith (Bill Skarsgård), and a late night Airbnb mixup is going. It’s the perfect blend of “don’t trust this man” and “what the heck’s going on in this house,” leading up to a turn that’s scary, much more violent than expected, and feels like where the movie truly begins.

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13 / 26

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Scarlet Witch vs. the Illuminati (4K UHD)|Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Wanda vs. the Illuminati

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is enjoyable, but also deeply messy. Many of the problems lie in the middle act, when Stephen Strange and America Chavez end up in a universe packed with cameos that would otherwise be in a poorly photoshopped poster for an upcoming Avengers movie. And just when it feels like the movie is about to overindulge in fan service that would overwhelm all other discussions of the film, director Sam Raimi and writer Michael Waldron put a literal mind-blowing closer on the digression that is simultaneously more violent than any other Marvel movie to date and also incredibly hilarious. It’s the kind of meanness that didn’t fully work in Deadpool 2, but absolutely clicked here.

Zombie Strange

With all credit to the original Spider-Man trilogy, there’s only one Marvel movie Raimi was born to direct and that’s Multiverse of Madness—specifically for the scene where Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) dreamwalks into his counterpart’s corpse to battle the Scarlet Witch. From Zombie Strange’s hand bursting through his grave to conquering the souls of the damned to form a badass cape, the whole scene is quintessentially Raimi, and it gives the movie the Evil Dead edge that makes it so memorable.

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14 / 26

The Black Phone

The Black Phone

Defeating The Grabber (Final Scene) | The Black Phone | Fear

Escape

In which our hero Finney (Mason Thames) strings together all the random tips and tricks he’s picked up from the Grabber’s (Ethan Hawke) ghostly previous victims, and we realize all along he’s been learning the only way he’ll be able to escape with his life—while stopping the serial manic from ever hurting another kid again.

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15 / 26

Halloween Ends

Halloween Ends

Kid Fall Scene (Movie Clip) Halloween Ends 1/9 @Horror Movie Lovers

Staircase fall

The movie itself had its flaws, but it’s hard to fault the opening sequence, which spins a completely unexpected scenario around one of the Halloween series’ favorite character types: the babysitter. Despite its lack of any Michael Myers whatsoever, that bratty kid meeting his bone-crunching doom over the staircase balcony was easily the movie’s biggest “Oh shit!” moment.

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16 / 26

Violent Night

Violent Night

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Image: Universal

Home Alone tribute

Everything about Violent Night feels like an homage to a classic Christmas movie of the past: Die Hard, Christmas Vacation, you name it. But when two of the criminals find their way into the attic and the young girl has set booby traps for them, the violence and humor hits that nostalgia button just right.

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17 / 26

Rise of the TMNT: The Movie

Rise of the TMNT: The Movie

Leo vs Krang final fight(Rottmnt movie SPOILERS)

Leo vs Krang

The much-slept-upon Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was already known to aficionados for its killer animation, but this year’s movie, serving as a fond farewell to this take on the heroes in a half-shell, went to another level. None of that was clearer than in the final battle between the brothers and their new nemesis, the villainous Krangs, culminating in a dazzling solo spotlight on Leonardo as he well and truly stepped into the role of team leader in stunning style—a free-fall, debris-strewn, kinetic slug fest between himself and the Krang… with a last-minute save from his family, because that’s what TMNT is really all about.

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18 / 26

Pearl

Pearl

► Pearl | PLEASE I’M A STAR

“I’m a Star!”

The prequel to Ti West’s X is a bloody Technicolor nightmare focused around Mia Goth’s tour de force performance as Pearl. The story follows a farm girl who doesn’t get to go somewhere over the rainbow when Hollywood auditions come into town. When she’s told a clear no, she reaches a breaking point repeating “I’m a star!” until she’s dragged off the stage and goes from Dorothy to Norman Bates.

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19 / 26

Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2 | Official Clip | Disney+

Drugstore

Bringing back Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker could have easily been just a nostalgic cash grab, but the Sanderson sisters don’t miss a step. In a scene featuring ridiculously overt product placement for Walgreens, the witches are hoodwinked into believing that youth serums are just that—and for a hilarious moment or two, as they chug down skin care, they think they’ve found a replacement for luring children to their deaths.

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20 / 26

Brian and Charles

Brian and Charles

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Image: Focus Features

Cabbage fight

The final act of this wonderful British comedy tracking an inventor’s roller-coaster relationship with his best friend, who happens to be a robot, teaches us two important lessons: one, if a story casually mentions a cabbage gun anywhere along the way, that cabbage gun is 100% going to be deployed before the credits roll, and two, you don’t mess with Brian and Charles.

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21 / 26

Cucuruz Doan’s Island

Cucuruz Doan’s Island

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Image: Crunchyroll

Doan vs. the Southern Cross Corps

The latest Gundam movie’s nostalgic lens on the original show did more than just have a chance to bring justice to a much-maligned episode of the original 1979 animated series, it delivered an incredible Zaku versus Zaku fight for the ages in the last-act battle between the deserting Doan and his former, horrifying comrades in the elite Southern Cross Corps unit. A brutal fight scene that sees Doan defend his new family by carving through his old one, no matter the cost to his soul, it’s a perfect balance of the kind of electrifying action you only could’ve dreamed of in the original show—while still showing the tragedy and horror of war that Gundam’s thematic core has always been about.

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22 / 26

Turning Red

Turning Red

“She’s A Red Panda” Clip | Turning Red | Disney+

Giant panda transformation

When Turning Red’s protagonist Mei turns into a giant red panda as she goes through teen changes, we immediately related to the challenges of coming of age when you’re an awkward and passionate teen. It does feel like you’re this larger-than-life kaiju stomping through the smallness of your childhood and coming into your own. We would do anything for Mei, truly.

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23 / 26

Inu-Oh

Inu-Oh

INU-OH Official Clip | Burial Mound of Arms

“Burial Mound of Arms”

This first musical number, when Inu-Oh and Tomona collaborate to put on a concert, is so incredible. Visually and musically it really showcases what this whole film is going to feel like. It’s a classic mid ‘70s punk rock energy and Inu Oh perfectly channels Iggy Pop’s Raw Power vibes through a historical lens. This is when the movie really tells you to pay attention—this is a film about performance. The plot is in between.

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24 / 26

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022 Movie) Official Clip “Paddington 2” – Nicolas Cage

Paddington 2

When Nicolas Cage has a close encounter with superfan and possible criminal Javi (Pedro Pascal), he’s forced to befriend him and become the larger-than-life Cage from his movies, if he wants to make it out of his vacation/kidnapping alive. Out of the many wild moments in the film, the wildest is when Javi shows Cage Paddington 2, and both men cry at the undeniable greatness of the earnest Peruvian bear who immigrated to London living his best pure life. Sheer greatness that everyone can agree with.

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25 / 26

Belle

Belle

BELLE | Official Opening Scene

Opening ballad

This is an incredible opening number that made us tear up immediately. Besides just being a banger of a song, there’s something so powerful and gorgeous about the visuals of this animation. They convey depth, beauty, and an incredible amount of scope, providing a stark contrast to the later scenes with the main character in her pastoral hometown.

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