"From great blockbusters to a mockumentary about a talking inch-high shell.

The year is half over, believe it or not. But while studios often hold their most prestigious releases for the second half of the year, 2022 has already served up a feast of cinema worth seeing — if you know where to look. From blockbusters to microbudget indies, documentaries about political issues to a mockumentary about a tiny talking shell, here are the 21 best movies of 2022 ... so far.

Onscreen text at the beginning of The Pink Cloud tells us the film was written in 2017 and shot in 2019, which feels like an odd announcement to make to your audience. The reasons become almost immediately clear. In the story, a rosy pink cloud suddenly rolls across Earth, and if you breathe it in, you die. So everyone is instantly quarantined with whomever they happened to be with at the moment the cloud arrived. That means Giovana (Renata de Lélis) and Yago (Eduardo Mendonça), who met only the day before and spent the night together, are now stuck together indefinitely. The pink cloud hovers over the world for years, and Giovana and Yago slowly experience the stages we’re familiar with now: certainty that it will be over soon, rage, exhaustion, fear, weariness. The Pink Cloud is haunting and riveting in the best way, acutely diagnosing a mental state that will feel startlingly familiar. And in a strange way, it’s a little encouraging. We’ve been isolated, but we’re not alone."