Top Gun: Maverick
Few films balanced innovative technical achievements and strong writing like Top Gun: Maverick. It’s easily the best of the recent legacy sequels as it feels like a natural continuation of Maverick’s (Tom Cruise) character. Seeing Maverick risk taking life style catch up to him, and used to examine regret and anxiety, was compelling, even heartwarming as we see his aged relationship with Iceman (Val Kilmer). In addition to the astonishing practical effects, including real jets, Tom Cruise delivers his best dramatic performance in years, showing how, like Maverick, he’s grown significantly as an actor. His scenes with Val Kilmer were one of the year’s most heartfelt and beautiful moments. With memorable side characters bursting with personality, including a committed Miles Teller, I hope we tip our toes in the Top Gun universe again soon.