Well, folks, it’s that time of year again when all the other movie review people are releasing their top 10 lists so hey, I’ll join the lot. 2018 for me didn’t have many movies that completely 100% wowed me like last year, but still there were a lot of great movies! Like last year, horror came up again as surprisingly one of the best genres of the year. As someone’s who’s not entirely a horror junkie, I’ve come to really appreciate the genre over the last two years. This year also saw some nostalgic releases and big events that you had to have been living under a rock to miss out on in every way.
Before we go any further with the article, I’d like to mention a list of movies I haven’t seen yet so I won’t be considering unfortunately:
Mary Poppins Returns
If Beale Street Could Talk
Can You Ever Forgive Me
You Were Never Really Here
I also have twelve honorable mentions:
Sorry to Bother You
Bad Times at the El Royale
Set It Up
Finally, here is Blugger’s list of the ten best movies of 2018:
I didn’t think I would like this movie as much as I did. I’m not really into political-based movies especially during a time like now. However, you can’t deny the topical talking points director Spike Lee poses to the audience. This was one of the few movies I saw this year that really engaged with the audience rather than asking the audience to engage with it. It presented parallels between then and now in a haunting manner, all with a comedic coat that doesn’t feel harsh or attacking. John David Washington and Adam Driver do a fantastic job portraying characters who witness a dark side of America. They aren’t just good guy cops – they’re people upset with the hatred they see rampant across the country, and their exploration of racist ideologies serves to explain how that has passed on to modern day.
Out of all the movies on this list, this is the best example of a movie that’s boosted by a single performance. Toni Collette’s performance in this horror debut by Ari Aster is absolutely incredible and should easily garner her an Oscar nomination. I can’t see anyone else pulling this off, and this movie would have been nothing without her. This movie actually kept me up for days, but it’s more than your average scary movie with typical jump scares. This is a movie that gets under your skin with its messages about family, and I don’t want to reveal too much for people who haven’t seen it. I was also led in to believe one thing from the trailers, but the movie around the halfway point turned in another direction and really got me. Aster directs the movie with clear visual attention and upon re-watch, I noticed he carefully placed things in the corner of the movie with just enough focus to peak your interest before he took it away. This kind of attention to detail really kept my eyes open throughout.
8. Crazy Rich Asians
I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, but even if you take away my clear bias, this is a great movie that explores the responsibilities of parents and their children. It poses questions about how people should prioritize their relationships while providing a savory plate of good humor, great scenery, and interesting twists. Constance Wu, Henry Goulding, and Michelle Yeoh are all incredible in this movie and share a unique chemistry that elevates the script from your average rom-com. The film also plays with rom-com stereotypes such as the obligatory airport scene, but it’s grounded by genuine performances that are wholeheartedly aware of the tropes. It’s a great movie mix, and I think there’s something in it for everyone.
7. Mission Impossible: Fallout
“Mission Impossible: Fallout” is why I go to the movie theaters. It’s why I’m nearly addicted to buying popcorn every time I see something on the big screen. It’s the perfect summer blockbuster, the best in the series, and honestly one of the most breathtaking action movies I’ve seen in a while for pure spectacle alone. Director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise have managed to make a thrill ride from start to finish, and while the final product may have had slight narrative issues, it’s a damn near perfect experience. Despite a very long run time, there isn’t a single dull moment, and the movie goes by very quickly. It’s a thrill ride throughout, and the most fun I’ve had at the movies in months. Even if you’re not a fan of Cruise, there’s no denying that he did an incredible job in this movie. “Fallout” reminds us why he’s one of the biggest stars of all time.
6. Game Night
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a comedy this smart and hilarious. Maybe I’m in the minority on this because I haven’t heard much talk about this movie, but I loved “Game Night.” Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, and everyone else in the movie is really funny, and I really liked how each main character played an integral role. Everyone was clearly having a fun time with the movie. I also really liked how certain shots were framed from a bird’s eye view that almost made the certain scenes in the movie feel like the audience was playing a board game, and that distinguished this movie from similar comedies. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. Upon rewatch, I noticed the movie also has a couple of subtle running jokes, which was great to find. This is the type of popcorn comedy that’s great for everyone.
5. A Star is Born
I’m calling “A Star is Born” this year’s “La La Land” because it seems to be the runaway box office success of the Oscar contenders. I really loved “A Star is Born,” and it would probably be number 1 if I hadn’t seen all the previous iterations of the film (even the Bollywood remake). It has the best acting all year without a doubt from Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Sam Elliot, who each portray nuanced characters who easily top most in romance dramas. The soundtrack is amazing as well!
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
This was the last film of the year that I saw so this might be a recency effect, but wow, I loved this movie a lot more than I thought I would. As a huge fan of the comics, there are so many nods to what makes Spider-Man such a compelling character. The film’s visual style alone is enough to sell two tickets to this movie, but the story is a crop above the dime-a-dozen superhero movies we have now. While Miles Morales gets a worthy introduction to his character, I found myself seriously sympathizing with Peter Parker in this film. The Peter from an alternate dimension that we get to know isn’t the hero we’ve come to expect. He’s a broken man, confused by normal, non-superhero life things, and the film subverts our expectations by constantly bringing something new to the Spider-Man mythos that we might have never thought of. “Into the Spider-Verse” got my friends into comics, and I’ve been trying to convince them for a while so that’s a plus. The soundtrack and the original score by Daniel Pemberton are both amazing, and the film definitely lends itself to rewatchability.
3. A Quiet Place
“A Quiet Place” is a perfect example of how to utilize the advantages of the film medium. This couldn’t have been a book or anything else because it uses sound in unique situations and asks audiences to pay close attention visually. Director John Krasinski has come a long way from being Jim in “The Office,” and this movie shows promise that he could be a modern day John Carpenter in the making. This movie was terrifying right up to the end and established a believable world explained through the eyes of this isolated family. This movie also had one of the most tense scenes I’ve seen in a horror movie. Emily Blunt particularly stands out and gives a nail-biting performance. I really like it when a movie is able to get so much exposition out of the way without it feeling like it’s an obligatory exposition scene. It makes me want to go back and analyze certain scenes to find theories about the film. I read that Paramount is supposedly working on a sequel so we’ll see where it goes, but I’m perfectly fine with just this.
2. Avengers: Infinity War
Ten years and eighteen movies of buildup totally paid off big time. It might be premature to put this up so high considering it’s a part 1 of 2, but I was blown away by this movie. I thought it was genius to make Thanos the main character because this is after all his story. Josh Brolin is the best part of the film and truly is the hero of his own twisted story. Thanos is not just the best villain in all of the MCU so far, he’s up there with the greatest cinematic villains ever in my opinion. Interestingly like “Incredibles 2,” this also challenged the notion of what it means to be a hero, but I think “Infinity War” goes a step further by examining the major flaws in these heroes we’ve learned about through this cinematic web. I go into a lot more detail on how “Infinity War” deconstructed the superhero myth so if you want to read more on that, here you go. It’s also one of the most shocking endings ever in a superhero movie even if it’s going to be undone in the sequel.
1. Eighth Grade
This was the movie that absolutely floored me. Bo Burnham is one of my favorite comedians ever, and I was surprised to see such a heartfelt (and at times even depressing) work of art from such a young director. I usually save the top spot every year for a movie that left the most lasting impression on me and got me to think about it well after I saw it. “Eighth Grade” allowed me to relive what was arguably one of the toughest times of my life. Elsie Fisher’s subtle lead performance is grounded yet cinematic, and Burnham expertly created a dramatic atmosphere around her that resembles what most people of that age actually go through. I love how the film juxtaposes online personas and reality, and it’s the first film I’ve seen that tackled social media culture perfectly. While the story suggests the main character Kayla is simply confused, Fisher’s performance adds layers of insecurity and loneliness that makes her character relatable. I didn’t think I would cry my eyes out in a Bo Burnham movie, but wow, this one really got me. I also really like how Burnham shows the parental aspect of it too since it further reminded me of how patient and amazing my own parents were when I was that age. It’s the type of movie I see myself revisiting and recommending to everyone for years to come.
So those are my top 10 movies of the year! I look forward to sharing my worst of the year list as well as some lists on games and TV shows that came out this year. What do you think about this list, and what is your favorite movie of the year so far? Do you think I should change anything? Please feel free to let me know in the comments section! Thanks 🙂