Throughout the year 2018, I have seen roughly 50 films that came out. This is my list of the Top 15 Movies of 2018.
I created this website for me as a way to connect with people and to share with them one of my biggest passions, film. Ever since I can remember going to the movie theater has always been one of my favourite things in the world to do. I love the escapism movies provide and their ability to take us to new worlds and place us right in the middle of characters lives that we start to care for over the span of 90 minutes. For my first post, what better way to kick off than to celebrate all the great movies to have come out in 2018.
This is my list and is completely based on my opinions. Film is subjective and you may disagree with my list, but life would be boring if we didn’t. I have a few honorable mentions and they are as followed: Black Panther, The Incredibles 2, Searching, BlacKKKlansman, and Sicario: Day of the Soldado. Without further ado, here are my 15 favourite films of 2018.
#15. First Man
From director Damien Chazelle, director of Whiplash and La La Land, which were not only my favourite movies of the year they came out, but are among my favourite movies of all time. To say I was excited about this movie is a bit of an understatement. What did I think of First Man? I thought it was great. First Man strips back the wonder and awe of going to space and shares the intense and dangerous side of going to the moon. The space race was scary business. The film is gorgeous and a marvel to look at. Incredibly shot and directed. Ryan Gosling provides a cold portrayal of Neil Armstrong. A performance of more internal processing and he didn’t have moments where he’d lash out, and say what he was feeling. This made it hard to have a connection to the film. But for me, the intense thrill of the space race and how it was depicted was captivating, and out weighted the emotional side of the story that it lacked. Out of Chazelle’s three films, this is easily the weakest but is still a great film about an incredible achievement in our history.
#14. Creed 2
The Rocky franchise is one of the greatest franchise’s out there (except Rocky 5, Rocky 5 sucks). When the first Creed was announced, I was worried about it. But with the name Ryan Coogler attached I knew it had potential and ended up being one of my favourite movies of 2015. When Creed 2 was announced and no Coogler this time, I was even more worried. After hearing that Creed 2 would follow the story built upon the story of Rocky 4 had me even more nervous. I love Rocky 4 but it’s a product of its time and 80% of the movie is a montage. After now having seen Creed 2, it was exactly what I wanted. A satisfying conclusion of this now 8 film series. I really hope they end the story here because this was a perfect ending to this movie. Michael B. Jordan continues to prove he is one of the best actors of his generation. Sylvester Stallone is Rocky and of course, crushes it. Dolph Lundgren is surprisingly good and heartfelt as an older, broken Ivan Drago. This story, set up about fathers is one of the most touching plot lines of the whole series. Creed 2 ranks as one of the best Rocky movies and is a good addition and continuation of this story.
#13. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Can You Ever Forgive Me? was a huge surprise. I loved this film. Watching the trailers, they didn’t do much to get me interested in this story or its characters. Now having seen the film, I can say Lee Israel and Jack Hook are some of my favourite characters this year. I was so surprised by how much this film had me laughing, which I shouldn’t be, considering Melissa McCarthy is starring. A captivating story that is rooted and would not work in the context of a film if it wasn’t for the incredible friendship on display between our two leads. Richard E Grant gives what may be my favourite performance this year. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is one of the most enjoyable watching experiences of the year.
A deeply personal story for director Alfonso Cuarón to share and I’m so pleased he did. Roma is an incredible look into a life that on the surface seems so meaningless but Cuaron finds the beauty in the simple and mundane life. Roma is the best shot movie of 2018. The long takes the camera uses, lingers and takes its time to invest you in the world of Mexico City in the early 1970s. The slow crescendo builds into the powerful and emotional ending of the film. This film is beautiful and deeply moving. Alfonso Cuaron is a master in filmmaking, and Roma ranks as one of his best. And the best part is it’s on Netflix, you can go watch it right now.
#11. Eighth Grade
Never have laughed so hard and felt so awkward while watching a movie reminiscing on my life. Eighth Grade captures something I don’t think I’ve seen done so well in a movie before. Eighth Grade captures perfectly in a very real way exactly what it feels like to be in school in 2018. Bo Burnham, who is a hilarious comedian, is so in tune with today’s teen demographic. He nails every part of growing up to a tee. This movie is funny, relatable, touching, raw, and so endearing. Elsie Fisher carries this film as if she’s done it 100 times before. Her performance is so pure and lovely and reminded me of so much of my life in grade eight. Eighth Grade is the best coming to age film this year, easily. You will not be disappointed with this one.
#10. The Favourite
Yorgos Lanthimos as a director is unlike anyone you’ve seen before. His films are unique and you won’t find many movies like his. The Favourite is easily is his most accessible film for people who have never seen any of his work, however, it’s still very strange and bizarre and I loved every second of it. This oddball Victorian-era period piece tells a tale of rivalry and a battle of wits. All three leading women (Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone) are Oscar worthy. The offbeat humor paired with the strange scenes of dancing and duck racing in some cases make The Favourite unique and entertaining. This is an experience you won’t want to miss.
#9. Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody is a formulaic, very run of the mill, rock biopic, but also gave me one of the most emotional responses I had this year. The beginning of the movie is standard rock biopic storytelling. We go from scene to scene tracking through the life and rise of Queen. It isn’t until the second half of the movie when we dive into the life of Freddie Mercury that Bohemian Rhapsody becomes one of the best of the year. Let’s talk about Rami Malek, or should I say Freddie Mercury reincarnated. My god, what an incredible performance. What I love about this role and what makes the movie so good is the way Freddie is portrayed. They take this larger than life character, the greatest frontman of all time, maybe even the greatest vocalist of all time, and they bring him down to a human level that everyone can relate to. His story was so meaningful and emotional and brought this movie to a whole new level. And the last 20 minutes of the movie makes it into my top 10 alone. The Live Aid scene is stunning to watch and so moving, it adds the perfect emotional weight to the film. Bohemian Rhapsody is a great film and I’m so happy it exists to introduce generations to come to the music of Queen.
#8. Avengers: Infinity War
I remember going to the theatres and watching the first Iron Man and falling in love with the character, and after that going to see every Marvel movie in theaters. Now to see this 10-year accumulation of all these great characters finally battle the villain that has been set up since 2012 on the big screen, and to have it pay off the way it did, made for one of my favourite theater experiences ever. Infinity War pulled off something we have never seen before and did it while looking so cool. To balance all the characters and each giving them a moment to shine (for say Hawkeye and Antman) is an incredible achievement. Not only that but to set up Thanos, brilliantly played by Josh Brolin in some of the best performance capture work I have ever seen. Thanos is one of the best villains ever. Not that you agree with him, but you understand his motives. He’s not just another bad guy. In his version of the story, Thanos is the hero. When the villain believes he is doing the right thing and that he is the hero, it always makes for the best villains. Avengers: Infinity War had me jumping up and down in excitement and cheering, while at the same time in complete shock and horror by the end. End Game, you better deliver.
#7. Beautiful Boy
A harrowing tale of addiction and the effects it carries on a family. Beautiful Boy is able to capture what both our main characters are feeling. Nic Sheff’s feeling of unfulfillment and finding meaning in drugs is brought to life by the incredible Timothee Chalamet. The heartache of wanting to help as a father, but feeling so lost on what can be done is beautifully displayed by Steve Carell. Beautiful Boy explores the horrors of drug addiction and how much it can harm a person and their loved ones. This is one of the years most emotional movies. It will make you want to call your family after and thank them. I was so captured by the story, I went the next day and picked up the book the movie was based on and did my own research on the topic of addiction. Beautiful Boy is a hard watch but I think an important watch, and brings up a discussion on addiction that should be had.
#6. A Quiet Place
The years best thriller came out swinging at the beginning of the year and was never dethroned. Who knew Jim from The Office had this in him, and I mean that in the best way possible. The sound design and lack of dialogue made me conscious of how loud I was chewing and breathing. John Krasinski does a great job of making you a part of the family and going with them in this journey of survival. At its core, A Quiet Place is about family and how far a father will go to protect his family. With Krasinski’s real-life wife playing his wife in the film, Emily Blunt, their chemistry was unreal. The relationships of the family are the heart and soul of this film which just amplifies the tension and horror of the situation.
#5. Mission Impossible: Fallout
Mission Impossible is a series that gets better with every film. It is so impressive that the sixth film in a franchise is the best and still feels fresh. Tom Cruise’s dedication to the art is so entertaining to watch and can be seen in every frame he’s in. He literally risks his life for our entertainment. This is one of the best action movies ever made, right up there with the recent Mad Max Fury Road. Each action scene carries weight and impact with the story and feels so real due to the incredible stunt work on display. Mission Impossible Fallout is my favourite in the whole series.
#4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
The biggest surprise of the year. I was completely blown away with this movie. Not only is the animation style original and so visually grasping, but the story was so heartfelt and touching. The story of Miles Morales was engaging and filled with so much heart. And it was funny. I had such a blast watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This is the best superhero film this year and quite possibly my favorite of the past few years. Go see this movie!
#3. Green Book
The friendship that develops during this film makes this movie special. This is a movie I can recommend to anyone. Green Book is a great crowd-pleasing story that could have taken a much darker route, but the filmmakers wisely choose to focus on the friendship between Viggo Mortensen (in a role you’ve never seen him play) and Mahershala Ali, who is given much more time to shine then he did in his academy award winning role in Moonlight. Choosing to take this subject matter of racial tension in the south and to play it in a way that uplifts an audience adds something so special to this film. Green Book is a crowd-pleasing, enjoyable film with a great message of friendship at its core.
#2. A Star is Born
When I heard that Bradley Cooper was remaking A Star is Born for his directorial debut and cast Lady Gaga in the lead, I kind of rolled my eyes. Now after watching the film, I realize how wrong I was for doubting it. I envy how talented Bradley Cooper is, not only did he give his best performance ever in this movie, he learned how to sing and play guitar pretty damn good, and directed the hell out of this movie. Lady Gaga convinced me she was this character and gave the best performance this year by a woman. She is my pick for the Oscar. Sam Elliott, although a small role, was so powerful in just the look he gives. The acting talent on display is some of the best work this year. The story of these two people is heartbreaking and personal. A Star is Born pulled the biggest emotional response from me this year.
My number one movie of the year is a movie that next to no one saw. When I saw this in theaters I was the only person there. Blindspotting is the most overlooked film this year. This is my favourite screenplay this year. Blindspotting has a unique feel to its dialogue as most of the scenes are strung together through rhyme and rhythm. It makes this film feel fresh and bold. The message was put together poetically through the film’s title Blindspotting. And the final spoken word scene is my favourite scene this year. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Please do yourself a favour and go watch Blindspotting, it is my favourite movie of 2018.