So 2018 recently wrapped to a close and I’m sure the first thought on all of your minds was ‘what movies really captured my intrigue this year’. Well, I had the same thought around 12:01 AM January 1, so I’m going to tell you my top 10 movies for the year. With my favorite holiday, the Oscars, coming up soon, lots of speculation will be going around, so I’m going to let you all know my thoughts on what 2018 has given us!
This is, in my opinion, Spike Lee’s greatest work. This follows two detectives who infiltrate their local Ku Klux Klan chapter. It has incredible comedy and political and social commentary about modern events that are frighteningly similar to racist attacks back in the 70’s. Taken from a true story, this black comedy is incredibly poignant and carries a great deal of relevance into Trump-era America.
9. Deadpool 2
If you loved the first Deadpool movie (like me), you will be overjoyed with the second one. It keeps the same level of humor (if not better) with themes of redemption and finding your own family. Ryan Reynolds cements that he is the perfect man to play Deadpool and the other castings follow suit. Each actor delivers their lines perfectly. The only thing I regret about this movie is that I can’t watch it for the first time again.
8. Black Panther
Black Panther got a lot of backlash saying that the only reason reviews are so high is that the majority of the actors are black. Whoever said this clearly hasn’t seen the movie because it is incredible. On top of stunning visuals and an incredible soundtrack produced by Kendrick Lamar, the movie’s plot features relevant social themes while being incredibly interesting and action-packed. The cast is perfect in this, with dazzling performances by Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and many others. If this does not win the Oscars’ new award for “Outstanding Popular Film”, I will be furious.
7. A Quiet Place
2018 is filled with incredible new horror movies, but A Quiet Place brought something entirely new to the table by using the element of silence to build tension and fear in the viewer. Krasinski did expertly in this through his directing AND his acting, delivering a horror film that will be remembered for years to come.
If A Quiet Place renewed the horror industry, Hereditary takes it back to its roots with good ol’ demonic possession. This movie is just so goddamn scary. There’s literally no other way to put it. Every angle, noise, and line is perfectly engineered to induce fear and it does it. Perfectly. It’s just the perfect horror movie. Did I say perfect too much? Not too mention the incredible twist at the end that switches everything upside down and delivers one final shock. 12/10 example of how to do a horror movie.
5. Eighth Grade
The first scene of this movie made me think that my phone didn’t load the movie and caused a minor fit of rage as I constantly reloaded it trying to make the graphics clear. But it’s a post on Kayla’s YouTube channel, so I guess I’m just a dumbass. There’s been so many of these “middle school/high school is so hard” and “why, oh why can’t I fit in” movies that I thought it was well beaten to death. But the issue is just that no one has done it as well as Bo Burnham. Eighth Grade has successfully perfectly portrayed the struggles of modern youth and the brutality of growing up through incredible acting and even better writing. Every single scene, line, and visual project the theme that is trying to be set forward and is the pinnacle of coming of age movies. Yeah, I said it, Lady Bird. No, wait. Actually. Ugh. Never mind. Point is, this one is really damn good. Not to mention it pulls in messages about the #MeToo movement in a brilliant and flawless manner. Honestly, not only is the movie incredible and enjoyable, but it is also super interesting in the messages it sets forward about the world.
*Okay, quick side note here. Every movie going forward can be interchanged, they are all sooo amazing. I struggled so much trying to rearrange these over and over before realizing they’re all perfect but I don’t believe in ties, so this is my VERY TENTATIVE order. I would equally agree with this list if A Prayer Before Dawn or If Beale Street Could Talk were at number one so.
4. If Beale Street Could Talk
Director Barry Jenkins follows up Moonlight incredibly. There is a beautiful love story that is truly breathtaking. But right below that, there is a sense of despair and a feeling that you can’t escape. It displays incredible emotion and really shows Barry Jenkins’ power as a director. This movie cuts right to your heart, quickly and I am sure Jenkins will have many more hits forthcoming.
3. A Prayer Before Dawn
UGHHHHHGHHGHGHGHHGHGHGHGHG. This is brutal. There’s no other way to put this. It’s just ruthless, dark, and so damn unforgiving. I mean there’s prison rape, gang violence, heroin, and some of the most violent film murders. The worst part of it is that it is a true story. Yet in spite of the brutality, the movie shines because of its hope. Throughout everything, Joe holds onto his hope of getting back to freedom. The story is truly inspirational and conveys pure, raw emotion unlike no other.
*ONLY watch this movie if you are prepared to be completely uncomfortable. It actually made me feel SICK. Like SICK to my stomach. You have been warned.
2. Sorry to Bother You
The first thing to tip me off about this movie was Lakeith Stanfield. That man is incredible in every single role he plays (Shoutout to “Atlanta”). But Boots Riley, who directed this, did an incredible job. Following Cassius Green, who finds a hidden talent at a call center, opens up a hidden slave labor company. This movie is the epitome of satire and would make Voltaire one proud papa. Every aspect of this movie is stunning, from its unique film style to superb acting to plain disturbing images and will be listed as a great for a good long while if all is right in the world.
Roma follows the autobiography of the writer and director Alfonso Cuaron with incredible style and skill. He shows exactly what it was like growing up Mexico and really connects the viewer to his own personal experience. He showcases what it felt like but amazingly does it from the perspective of the family’s maid, instead of his own. Now I know many people do not like the black and white style of modern films, but I was thrilled to see another incredible movie filmed in noir. The movie’s visual style is amazing and expertly crafted, showing once again Cuaron’s mastery of the artistic medium. This better damn well win the Oscar, that’s all I’m saying. It is so difficult to convey how amazing this movie is because watching the movie is truly an emotional experience. It’s on Netflix, so go watch it right now if you have Netflix. If you don’t have Netflix, yoink a friend’s password. If you don’t have friends, pirate the movie. This movie is so damn good and is a must-see for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the cinematic arts.
Close But Not Quite: “Annihilation” (best sci-fi film in a good long while), “A Star is Born” (the twenty-somethingth version of some star’s new pupil), “Burning” (iconic cinematography), “Blindspotting” (incredible social commentary)
All in all, 2018 was a golden year for film, leaving me and many others excited to see what comes out in the near future. If you want to see the worst movies of 2018, I reviewed those as well. And as always, let me know your thoughts!