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The Best Film Sound of 2022

In 2022, so many great films — like "Top Gun: Maverick," "Nope," and unlocked their full potential and reached into new dimensions, literally and figuratively, by exploring the aural

Stills from Moonage Daydream, Nope, Top Gun: Maverick, Good Night Oppy, and Elvis

Clockwise from left: “Moonage Daydream,” “Nope,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Good Night Oppy,” “Elvis”

Neon; Universal Pictures; Paramount Pictures; Amazon Studios; Warner Bros. Pictures

Most directors pay lip service to the idea that sound is 50 percent of filmmaking, but it almost always receives short shrift in favor of the visual. And yet so often the key to a film maintaining its emotional hold on the audience is audio.

That was especially true in 2022, when so many great films unlocked their full potential and reached into new dimensions, literally and figuratively, by exploring the aural. Work by veteran artisans like Johnnie Burn, Ai-Ling Lee, Mark Mangini, and Wayne Pashley just underlines how deep the talent pool for sound has grown, and why it’s shame they aren’t household names like Roger Deakins or Ruth E. Carter.

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