Taking a look at the box office this past year, KTLA 5’s Sam Rubin has one word for it: “fallow.”

“Let’s compare 2022 to 2019, which is the last non-COVID year, and this was a relatively non-COVID year, it’s down almost 30%,” he explained. “There were far fewer movies released in 2022 and I think there’s also people who have a reticence to go back to the theater, they’re a little scared of the idea of returning to the theater. So it was not a banner year.”

With that thought in mind, this past year saw the return of the blockbuster with Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick.”

After waiting out the pandemic so the fim could debut in the theaters, the final product blew audiences away, including Sam.

“What happened here, and this never happens, is the movie not only lived up to the hype, it exceeded the hype,” he exclaimed. “You can’t deny when something is genuinely entertaining. Two things I particularly liked about it, after all these sort of grim ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies, we see Tom Cruise smile. Tom, people want to see a smile. I fell in love all over again with Jennifer Connelly and it’s so light and so breezy.”

The year brought more big movies under Marvel’s belt like “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

“I thought ‘Wakanda Forever’ was really good and I thought that here’s an impossible circumstance, you’re making ‘Black Panther’ without Black Panther and they did a really admirable good job,” Sam praised. “The other Marvel movies this year, I’m hard pressed to remember. ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ was terrible, And that’s a really good director, Taika Waititi. It was kind of a dud, it wasn’t good.”

As for the most overrated movie of 2022, Sam’s eyes were set on the Hollywood film “Babylon,” which stars Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt.

“‘Babylon’ was truly awful, shockingly bad, aggressively bad,” he confessed. “This movie, which is over three hours long, there are entire sequences you could remove, and the movie wouldn’t miss anything. There’s a good movie screaming to get out of that movie, but it’s bloated, and indulgent and terrible. I just couldn’t believe how bad it was.”

This past year also had it’s fair share of underrated films. Sam’s list includes “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.” He also enjoyed Brendan Fraser’s performance in “The Whale,” but couldn’t necessarily recommend the movie.

“It’s a really, really great performance. But I wish there were more of these little gems like ‘Coda’ from last year, and I’ve been hard pressed to find the one,” he explained. “I’m excited to see ‘Living’ with Bill Nighy, we remember from ‘Love Actually,’ he’s great. I’ve heard wonderful things about that movie.”

Another big movie on Sam’s overrated list was “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

“I think you definitely saw the money on the screen,” he said of James Cameron’s project. “So there’s something to be said for that. But yeah, it was really wildly overrated.”