2022 has been an interesting year in Nollywood, with the growing attention of international streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video and more authentic portrayals of Nigerian stories.
Top 5 Nollywood movies of 2022 [Pulse Picks]
Nollywood embraced originality and diversity in a big way this year, from historical dramas to musicals, and we loved it.
Writers, directors, actors, and the rest of the production crew worked hard to put out good projects that thrilled viewers on streaming platforms and increased cinema ticket sales.
Aside from the revenue, we noticed an increase in quality and diversity, with more filmmakers taking risks with their work by moving away from popular, well-performing genres like comedy, and drama. We cannot wait to see this new development pay off next year.
In no particular order, here are the top five Nollywood movies of 2022:
‘For Maria’ (Ẹ̀bùn Pàtàkì)
Even though Damilola Orimogunje’s movie premiered in 2020, it was released on Netflix this year hence its spot on this list. ‘For Maria’ stands out for its core theme —postpartum depression and handling it brilliantly.
Showcasing an often overlooked issue, a first-time mother (Meg Otanwa) is unable to bring herself to bond with her newborn after a difficult delivery. Her well meaning family worsen the situation with their impatient, clumsy attempts to help. The result is a well-handled take on her heartbreaking journey with post postpartum depression.
‘King of Thieves’ (Agesinkole)
In 2021, the incredible biopic ‘Ayinla’ led the resurgence of indigenous movies in theatres. This year, ‘King of Thieves’ took the baton and got it moving with a successful theatrical run before getting well received after it landed on Amazon Prime Video.
In an exciting blast from the past, the epic, historical drama is a tale of betrayal and vengeance with a sprinkling of the supernatural with gods, witches and masquerades. Despite the underwhelming opening, the movie delivers a lot of excitement and drama. It's a personal favourite of ours.
In an interesting twist that no one saw coming, we got to receive a major breath of fresh air with this Nollywood musical created by directing/producing duo — Kayode Kasum and Dare Olaitan.
Led by Nancy Isime, Obara’M is a compelling, relatable story that progresses smoothly. Despite a few issues, the beautiful cinematography, music and exceptional performances from veterans like Onyeka Onwenu and Nkem Owoh make for a great experience.
Jade Osiberu delivers every time from her solo projects like ‘Isoken,’ and ‘Sugar Rush’ to collaborations like ‘Ayinla’ and ‘Brotherhood’ is no exception.
Directed by Loukman Ali, ‘Brotherhood’ is a satisfying, fun movie that relies heavily on action scenes. It works because of the outstanding performances from OC Ukeje, Falz, and Tobi Bakare, who proves his acting chops.
Whenever Kunle Afolayan creates anything, he goes all out, putting his heart and soul into his craft. He did just that with ‘Anikulapo’ which was filmed in Oyo for 6 to 7 weeks and involved approximately 300 people, according to Business Day. It's also reported that he built the entire production set from scratch.
While the set design and acting are commendable, the plot leaves more to be desired. However, this film makes the list due to its massive scale and the effort that went into making it. With his ongoing deal with Netflix, we can not wait to see what Afolayan does next year.
‘Choke’ - Orimz creates a thought-provoking thriller that draws viewers in with how he handles the movie’s delicate subject matter.
‘No U-Turn’ - Director Ike Nnaebue delivers an introspective look at the popular japa movement.
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