The most anticipated narrative features and documentaries at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, including our reviews.
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Welcome to Sundance II: Couch-Bound Boogaloo. The cinematic house that Robert Redford built is now set to go virtual again this year, alas, after an attempt to return to in-person attendance in Park City, Utah, was defeated by a late-breaking Omicron surge.

But even streamed into laptops and living rooms, this year's lineup still promises a plethora of star turns (Noomi! Julianne! At least two Dakotas!) and returning auteurs, along with a consistently impressive gamut of world cinema, documentary, and underground debuts. Read on below for EW's unranked and highly subjective list of the most anticipated narrative features and documentaries. (For further details and full scheduling, visit the festival's official site.) — Leah Greenblatt

Narrative Films

Sundance Film Festival Preview
'When You Finish Saving The World'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

When You Finish Saving the World

It wouldn't be Sundance without at least one thirtysomething actor's directing debut; Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, The Social Network) helms this wry domestic drama about the low-key estrangement between an Indiana social worker (Julianne Moore) and her aspiring pop-star son (Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard). — LG

Premieres Thursday, Jan. 20

Sundance Film Festival Preview
'892'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

892

The best bank-robbery movies are never just about the money, and this one seems to have cased the genre thoroughly. Taking a page out of Dog Day Afternoon (both films are based on true stories), director Abi Damaris Corbin's thriller stars John Boyega as a former U.S. Marine who's looking for payback of a higher order. — Joshua Rothkopf

Premieres Friday, Jan. 21

Sundance Film Festival Preview
'Sharp Stick'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Sharp Stick

It's strange to think that Stick is only Lena Dunham's second film after 2011's Tiny Furniture; this one, the Girls creator promises, is "a continuation of my career-long mission to create a free dialogue around the complexities of female sexuality and to turn the idea of the 'likable' female protagonist on its head." Costars Jon Bernthal, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Zola's Taylour Paige will see how true that proves to be. — LG

Premieres Saturday, Jan. 22

Sundance Film Festival Preview
'Resurrection'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Resurrection

We like Rebecca Hall's instincts for material — just last year, she stunned Sundance with her directorial debut Passing — and her latest role, about a single mom haunted by a bad dude from her past (i.e., Tim Roth), shows her commitment to the occasional foray into thriller territory. — JR

Premieres Saturday, Jan. 22

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver in 'Call Jane'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Call Jane

Phyllis Nagy knows her way around an impeccable period script — she adapted Carol — and for her first non-TV feature in the director's chair, she's gone back to 1968 to tell the story about a woman in trouble (Elizabeth Banks) and the real-life secret society that was just a hotline call away. — JR

Premieres Friday, Jan. 21

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson
| Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage

Am I Okay?

The bond between lifelong best friends Lucy (Dakota Johnson) and Jane (Crazy Rich Asians' Sonoya Mizuno) is tested by the vagaries of young adulthood in a film codirected by Tig Notaro and her wife Stephanie Allynne and produced by Will Ferrell. — LG

Premieres Monday, Jan. 24

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown in 'Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul

Consider our souls already saved by the acting duo at the center of this dark comedy, Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown. They're a married couple running a megachurch that's been rocked by scandal; can they rebrand in a semi-God-fearing way? Even a pandemic can't keep Sundance from satire. — JR

Premieres Sunday, Jan. 23

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones in 'Fresh'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Fresh

Based on an official program blurb that includes phrases like "unusual appetites" and "deliciously wicked," we're expecting a dating movie that leans into cannibalism. There's no cameo by Armie Hammer as far as we can tell, but Daisy Edgar-Jones and upcoming Tommy Lee, Sebastian Stan, are attractions enough. — JR

Premieres Thursday, Jan. 20

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Regina Hall in 'Master'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Master

The great Regina Hall (again!) stars in Mariama Diallo's feminist-coded campus thriller as a Black dean at a predominately white New England college; occult shenanigans and HR nightmares ensue. — LG

Premieres Friday, Jan. 21

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Karen Gillan in 'Dual'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Dual

Did you like last year's cloning movie with Mahershala Ali, Swan Song? That's fine. Maybe you'd rather see one with Karen Gillan anyway. She plays the character with the incurable disease who decides to double down on her chances for survival. It's not going to work out well for her; the presence of Aaron Paul tells you as much.  — JR

Premieres Saturday, Jan. 22

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Noomi Rapace in 'You Won't Be Alone'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

You Won't Be Alone

First, they came for her livestock in last year's Icelandic arthouse sensation Lamb. Now The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace returns with this pastoral folk-horror entry from director Goran Stolevski (hint: there be "wolf-eaters"). — LG

Premieres Saturday, Jan. 22

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in 'Cha Cha Real Smoth'
| Credit: Apple TV+

Cha Cha Real Smooth

The New Jersey bar and bat mitzvah movie of our darkest imaginings is finally here: Writer-director Cooper Raiff stars as an aimless college grad who finds his purpose as the hot guest at teenage rites of passage — or at least at their afterparties. Sundance MVP Dakota Johnson offers him an honorable way out. — JR

Premieres Sunday, Jan. 23

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Bill Nighy in 'Living'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Living

South African director Oliver Hermanus (see last year's lovely, brutal coming-of-age drama Moffie) returns with an English-language adaptation of the 1952 Kurosawa classic Ikiru, relocated to 1950s London and starring the inimitable Bill Nighy as a terminally ill civil servant in what looks like a spectacular series of bowler hats. — LG

Premieres Friday, Jan. 21

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Aubrey Plaza in 'Emily the Criminal'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Emily the Criminal


Aubrey Plaza, with those googly eyes and thousand-yard stare, was meant to do bad things in movies (see Ingrid Goes West). The trend happily continues with this drama that sees her blithely plunging into the world of credit card fraud. A larger comment about a broken economic system? Bring your own metaphor, critics. — JR

Premieres Monday, Jan. 24

Something in the Dirt
Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson in 'Something in the Dirt'
| Credit: Aaron Moorhead

Something in the Dirt


Two L.A. losers happen upon a supernatural moneymaker in their run-down apartment; out of such meager synopses, Sundance cult movies are born. Co-writer-directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson (The Endless) are born stylists with a junky aesthetic that's immediately appealing. — JR

Premieres Sunday, Jan. 23

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Colin Farrell in 'After Yang'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

After Yang

The mini-trend in melancholy futurism continues with the dreamily art-directed Yang, starring Colin Farrell and Queen & Slim's Jodie Turner-Smith as 21st-century parents shaken by the breakdown of the AI companion they've purchased for their adopted Chinese daughter; mono-named auteur Kogonada (Columbus) directs. — LG

Premieres Friday, Jan. 21

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Renate Reinsve in 'The Worst Person in the World'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

The Worst Person in the World

Just call this the victory lap for Joachim Trier's gorgeously tilted romantic dramedy, already a triumph at Cannes last summer and strong contender for Best International Feature at this year's Oscars (though it truly belongs in the Best Picture category, full stop). — LG

Premieres Thursday, Jan. 20

Documentaries

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Kanye West in 'jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy

A mammoth documentary 22 years in the making — really, that's how long ago the former comedian turned filmmaker known as Coodie first connected with his elusive subject — finally fulfills its three-part destiny (or at least Part 1, which will officially premiere at the festival in advance of its Feb. 16 Netflix bow). — LG

Premieres Sunday, Jan. 23

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Credit: Sundance Institute

Meet Me in the Bathroom

Yes, a Strokes documentary, but one with a wider, nostalgic scope, taking in the New York City of the late '90s right before 9/11. Out of that disenchanted Lower East Side emerged a scene that included the Moldy Peaches, LCD Soundsystem, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. No need for IDs — you won't get carded anyway.  — JR

Premieres Sunday, Jan. 23

Sundance Film Festival Preview
'We Need to Talk About Cosby'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

We Need to Talk About Cosby

W. Kamau Bell's immersive four-part series traces the ignominious fall of America's dad with a damning collection of survivor testimonies, commentators, and archival footage; it premieres here before coming to Showtime Jan. 29. — LG

Premieres Saturday, Jan. 22

Sundance Film Festival Preview
'Fire of Love'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Fire of Love

French vulcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft burned with passion for spewing lava and for each other. After getting too close to a 1991 eruption, their story ended — prematurely, as was expected. But director Sara Dosa's documentary brings it to life, as does narrator Miranda July, doing her best Werner Herzog impression. — JR

Premieres Thursday, Jan. 20

Sundance Film Festival Preview
'The Princess'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

The Princess

If you're not experiencing royal fatigue from The Crown and Spencer, a new Princess Di documentary (said to be authoritative) is here to slake that thirst. You already know she roller-skated around Buckingham Palace listening to Duran Duran; bring on the deeper revelations. — JR

Premieres Thursday, Jan. 20

Sundance Film Festival Preview
Sinéad O'Connor in 'Nothing Compares'
| Credit: Sundance Institute

Nothing Compares

Tragically, Compares was completed before its subject, Sinead O'Connor, lost her teenage son earlier this month. But award-winning filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson (Taking the Waters) promises an intimate look at the artist's life, with a particular focus on the two early albums that first brought her to worldwide fame. — LG

Premieres Friday, Jan. 21

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