December Movie Rankings


And thus concludes the year 2022. Not only that, but the final monthly ranking as well, as the new year ushers in the end of Juicy Reviews.

It’s been a full month, to say the least. I managed to jam-pack it with ten reviews, varying from Christmas classics to the latest blockbusters; a complete step-up from recent months, where my review count certainly diminished (what can I say, moving to a new town keeps you busy). December has always been my favorite month, solely for the holiday of Christmas. I got to spend the season with wonderful friends and family, sharing in holiday classics and creating warm memories. Highlights include ice skating for the first time, seeing “Anastasia” on broadway with my girlfriend, building gingerbread houses, and being visited by “Santa” (who gifted me with a golden Polar Express ticket).

Needless to say, it’s been a great month, and a mighty fine close to an eventful year. Typing this last movie ranking will bring me all kinds of bittersweetness (as will the other “lasts” I experience with the Juicy Awards in January), but I am eager to see what the future holds past the website.

Thank you for sticking with me for all these years. Let’s see who is the last Movie of the Month…

#6- “A Christmas Story Christmas”
73%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: A fun family film (especially if you grew up on the original), pays good homage to the first outing, and it’s nice to see some of the original cast back together.
Cons: Fairly predictable, relies on scene copying of the first film, and plays into the common Christmas movie trope of a dad trying to give his family the “best Christmas ever.”

#5- “The Bob’s Burgers Movie”
83%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Great animation and voice acting, fun music/musical numbers, entertaining story, nice arc for Louise, and quite humorous.
Cons: The story itself doesn’t feel that grand to be a big feature.

#4- “Little Women” (1994)
86%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: A beautiful coming-of-age tale, great period piece wardrobe and production design, solid performances, and a wonderful score.
Cons: I didn’t care for a few of the character outcomes (particularly Laurie’s) and the relationship between Jo and Friederich was… not as great of a pairing as I would want.

#3- “Avatar”
90%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Visual effects that still hold up to this day (and were mind-blowing at the time it released), awesome world to explore (Pandora), many cool moments, a fun adventure to experience, and a slew of top-notch performances.
Cons: I didn’t connect with the story as much as I would’ve wanted (or to the degree that I’m sure James Cameron would’ve wanted me to)

#2- “Avatar: The Way of Water”
91%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Out-of-this-world visual effects, amazing new water realm, brilliant underwater cinematography, solid story arcs for Jake’s children, nice theme of family, and an all-around well-paced feature.
Cons: Familiar plot devices rehashed from the first outing and a child with the voice of Sigourney Weaver is off-putting.

#1- “The Fabelmans”
94%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Wonderful performances (primarily from Michelle Williams and Paul Dano), heartbreaking sequences, great cinematography, beautiful moments inspired by Steven Spielberg’s life, and plenty of relatable instances for this fellow filmmaker.
Cons: I wrestled with one of the messages expressed by Mitzi Fabelman toward the end; not sure if it is something I agree with.

Juicy Hall of Fame Inductee“The Polar Express”
96%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Original concept, heartwarming/powerful message, beautiful shots, entertaining adventure, great acting, and wonderful score/music.
Cons: Animation is outdated (the expressionless eyes) and there are quite a few story instances that are silly in nature (like how the kids can get away with so much).

Juicy Hall of Fame Inductee“Home Alone”
97%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Fantastic score by John Williams, fun story, iconic moments, entertaining performances (Joe Pesci at his finest), well-structured, and a Christmas classic.
Cons: A few moments lean toward unrealism (the bandits would have certainly been in need of a hospital a few minutes into the third act).

Juicy Hall of Fame Inductee“Seven Samurai”
97%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Epic tale, wonderful cinematography, great performances, strong direction, well-paced (for the most part), and powerful moments.
Cons: There were a few lulls in the first half.

Juicy Hall of Fame Inductee“Citizen Kane”
97%= Juicy Popcorn
Pros: Fantastic cinematography and lighting, well-structured story, great acting, iconic moments to get inspired by as a filmmaker, great ending, and an all-around timeless feature.
Cons: The opening newsreel felt a bit too long for my tastes.

So we reach the end, and our final Movie of the Month is crowned. Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” will go toe-to-toe with “The Princess Bride,” “Luca,” “The Batman” (2022), “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Northman,” “The Karate Kid,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Tarzan” (1999), “Zodiac,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “The Village” (2004), and “The Banshees of Inisherin” to decide if it has what it takes to become Movie of the Year. Stay tuned!

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