The Best Nollywood Films of 2022
Nigeria's homegrown genre continued to expand in its ability to exhilarate audiences this year.
Nollywood has had an undeniably thrilling year as more movies landed on streaming platforms and cinema ticket sales increased, according to revenue data from the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN). And Nollywood’s progress didn’t reflect only in the boom of business, but also in the quality of projects filmmakers put in front of their devoted audiences.
OkayAfrica put together a list of the top ten movies that stood out this year — from Kunle Afolayan's much-discussed Aníkúlápó to Femi Adebayo’s King of Thieves, which is currently the highest-grossing Nollywood film of the year.
Here are the best Nigerian films of 2022, and in some cases, where you can still catch them:
In Aníkúlápó, Saro is a man who's always in search of greener pastures. When his uncontrollable ambition lands him in mortal trouble, he gets a second chance to do better with great powers. Aníkúlápó has excellent cinematography and a compelling plot that is skillfully conveyed in the Yoruba language, giving the dialogue authenticity. The film is directed by Kunle Afolayan and stars Kunle Remi, Bimbo Ademoye, Sola Sobowale, and a host of other top names. It is currently streaming on Netflix.
For Maria Ebun Pataki
While the film made its world premiere at Film Africa in London during November 2020, it finally was released on streaming networks this year. Derin, a lady in her thirties suffering from postpartum depression, is the haunting star of Damilola Orimogunje's first full-length feature film. While the story and the camera work are great components of this film, Meg Otanwa is the icing of the cake with a career-defining performance as Derin. Star turns from Gabriel Afolayan and Tina Mba also contribute immensely to the film’s critical acclaim. For Maria Ebun Pataki is also streaming on Netflix and Prime Video.
Country Hard makes an effort to portray four distinct tales from the perspectives of seven people in Lagos on a typical day and how their stories intersect. The narrative is excellent and the interwoven plot does an thorough job of maintaining the suspense and making the audience very invested in how it all plays out. It is currently streaming on Prime Video.
A Simple Lie
Directed by Biodun Stephen, A Simple Lie works as an entertaining comedy and captures the audience's attention right from the start, with an hilarious opening act. Boma’s longing for Xavier, her ex-boyfriend, leads her to tell a little lie that unintentionally blows up and sets off a chain of catastrophic events that affect everyone around her.
Dinner At My Place
Released in time for Valentine's Day, Dinner at My Place debuted in February, introducing viewers to Nonso, a young man wanting to propose to his girlfriend over dinner. Despite his best laid plans to get everything right for the occasion, an unexpected guest takes the night in a direction that threatens to ruin his future. Timini Egbuson, Bisola Aiyeola, and Sophie Alakija are the stars of this romantic comedy, which was directed by Kevin Appa. It is streaming on Netflix.
King Of Thieves (Agesinkole)
King of Thieves is a fascinating epic thriller with interesting twists that succeeds in keeping viewers entertained. It's co-directed by Adebayo Tijani and Femi Adebayo, who also stars as the film’s lead. Performances from Odunlade Adekola, Toyin Abraham, Ibrahim Chatta and Lateef Adedimeji round out the cast of this memorable title. It's currently streaming on Prime Video.
Oluchi, an aspiring musician in Kayode Kasum's musical Obara’M, is forced to face her past and rediscover herself as a result of the passing of her estranged father. Oluchi is portrayed by Nancy Isime, who is supported by actors Nkem Owoh, Bolanle Ninalowo, Darasimi Nadi, and Deyemi Okanlanwon. The costumes and production design bring the characters to life, and the music is expertly produced.
The Blood Covenant
The Blood Covenant follows the narrative of three characters, Eddy, Jite and Osiano who fight to get by in the busy city of Lagos. These boys, along with an old classmate who suddenly becomes wealthy, are bonded by a blood covenant they signed in school, and must now face the repercussions when a night of fun goes wrong. Directed by Fiyin Gambo, this film gets praise for the subdued humor, which occasionally serves to detract from the terror that permeates throughout the plot.The Blood Covenant is streaming on Prime Video.
In Brotherhood, twin brothers, Akin and Wale Adetula, end up on opposite sides of the law, living with the very different choices they made as orphans. Director Loukman Ali assembles a star-studded cast for this action thriller, including Falz, Tobi Bakre, Ronke Oshodi Oke, Basket Mouth, OC Ukeje, and Zubby Michael. These actors give genuine performances that enhance the film in numerous ways.
Ema Edosio’s second feature film, Otiti is a dive into the chaotic life of the titular character as she tries to reconnect with her sick father who abandoned her as a child, and at the same time, juggle a business that demands more of her attention and a love life that's uncertain. Otiti has traveled across various film festivals and been lauded for the story and the acting performances, most notably, Gina Bartels and Chimezie Imo.