The highly-anticipated sequel to 1986’s Top Gun has received a major honor. Top Gun: Maverick has been named the best film of 2022 by the National Board of Review (NBR) of Motion Pictures, a continuation of the film’s record-breaking success since its release this past May.
The NBR is a non-profit organization chaired by film critics, enthusiasts and professionals from within the industry. Established in 1909, it’s highly regarded by many in Hollywood, who view its picks as a sign of what’s to come from awards seasons.
This year, 269 films were reviewed, including Top Gun: Maverick, which went on to secure the win for the best film of 2022. In a statement, NBR President Annie Schulhof said of the Tom Cruise feature:
“Top Gun: Maverick is a thrilling crowd-pleaser that is expertly crafted on every level. Tom Cruise, Joseph Kosinski, and the entire filmmaking team have succeeded in making an incredibly popular film that brought audiences back to theaters, while at the same time being a full-on cinematic achievement.”
The movie also won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. Among the other films to be recognized was the Netflix adaption of Erich Maria Remarque’s World War I novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. The German-language movie won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay and was named one of the Top 5 International Films of 2022.
Top Gun: Maverick has been the recipient of a number of honors since its release over the Memorial Day long-weekend. Along with being added to the American Film Institute‘s Top 10 Movies of the Year, it has also been nominated for six Critics Choice Awards and two Golden Globes, among a number of others. It was recently named The Action Movie of 2022 at the People’s Choice Awards.
Tom Cruise reprised his role as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell for the film, with his character tasked with training a group of recent TOPGUN School graduates for a dangerous mission. Among the aviators he’s told to mentor is Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of his late best friend, Lt. Junior Grade Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.
The top grossing movie of 2022, Top Gun: Maverick has earned $1.488 billion at the worldwide box office thus far. It was the first film of Cruise’s to experience a $100 million opening weekend, earning around $124 million in North America alone in its first three days in theaters.
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To ensure the film was authentic as possible, Cruise created an intense flight training program for his co-stars, which saw them sit in the cockpits of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, an Extra EA-300, an Aero L-39 Albatross and a McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. This allowed for the scenes to be filmed within the aircraft, as opposed to having them edited to include computer-generated imagery.
That being said, the actors never operated the aircraft controls – that was left to the professionals.