In a year when the real world seemed to be falling apart every 5 minutes, escaping to the movies was a much needed getaway for many of us. From surprise hits to big blockbusters, 2018 was filled with a lot of great films. It’s difficult to narrow 170 films down to 10 but here we are.
Here are my Top 10 Movies of 2018…
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Making a movie about one of television’s most iconic characters isn’t easy. Director Morgan Neville put together some great archival footage and heartfelt interviews to tell the touching journey of Fred Rogers. From his PBS studio to the hearts and minds of children around the world, Mr Rogers had an impact on so many people, young and old. Won’t You Be My Neighbor is not just a beautiful tribute to Fred Rogers, it’s a reminder to be kind and loving to your neighbors.
The highly anticipated Black Panther solo film lived up to the hype. It was a celebration of culture and a look at politics in a superhero world. Black Panther had great costumes, a great villain, and a fantastic supporting cast. Even without the super suits and vibranium, Black Panther is a compelling story about a Prince learning to be King. Ryan Coogler is 3 for 3 with his feature films. I’m excited to see what he does next.
A Quiet Place
Who knew Jim from The Office could make a crazy horror film? Along with his real life wife Emily Blunt, John Krasinski and his family try to survive an alien invasion. A Quiet Place is a tension filmed thriller with a great concept and very cool alien creature design. I never thought seeing someone knock over a candle would be so terrifying. It’s one of the most interesting takes on horror, I’m sure we’ll see more movies like this moving forward.
Mission Impossible – Fallout
The 6th installment of the Mission Impossible franchise and the magic is still there. Ethan Hunt is still trying to save the world and Benji still loves his masks. This film takes the group all around the world as they chase a terrorist group known as The Apostles. This is everything you want from a Mission Impossible movie with better action, crazier stunts, and a wild third act. The bathroom fight scene is one of the best action sequences of the year. Fallout is the best superhero film of the year that didn’t have any superheroes.
Spider-Man into the Spiderverse
This animated Spider-Man movie is one of the best Spider-Man films ever made, and easily the best animated film in years. A young Miles Morales learns he’s Spider-Man and with the help of other Spider people, he learns how to be a hero. Spiderverse is such a beautiful movie filled with eye-popping animation and heartfelt storytelling. It’s one of the rare movies that gets better with every watch. This is helluva intro for Miles Morales and I hope we get to see more of him soon.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins made of the most beautiful films of the year. Tish and Fonny’s love story is interrupted with tragedy and Jenkins does an incredible job switching between trauma and romance. Kiki Layne and Stephan James give great performances and Brian Tyree Henry steals the movie for a solid 10-15 minutes. Beale Street has some tough subject matter but it’s a film that was made with love and it shows on the screen.
Daveed Diggs and Rafael Cascal team up for one of the most original films of the year. On the surface, it’s a story about a guy trying to get through the last 72 hrs of probation. Underneath, it’s a story about race in America, gentrification, friendship, and culture. Blindspotting is one of the most underrated films of the year that has one of the best screenplays and two of the year’s best performances.
John Cho stars as a dad using the internet to find his missing daughter. Most of the film is shown through phone and computer screens. From the gut wrenching opening to the multi-twist finale, Searching is a lot of fun. John Cho is incredible in this film. He does most of his scenes alone and carries the film for 142 mins. Searching is a one of a kind film that will keep you guessing until the final moments.
Avengers: Infinity War
Thanos quest to get collect all the Infinity Stones brings most of our masked heroes together. How do you put all these people on the screen? Well, you break your movie up into three parts, the Wakanda group, Titan group, and the space group. Each group is comprised of different heroes that are doing their part to stop Thanos. You get to see your heroes be heroes and you get to see them have a few “WTF were you thinking” moments. Captain America’s entrance and Thor’s arrival in Wakanda were the loudest I’ve heard an audience all year. Just when you when you thought the heroes won…SNAP!….and it’s over.
Denkmar’s film about a police officer taking phone calls on an emergency line is one of the best thrillers in years. After a woman calls sounding terrified, Asger finds out this isn’t a normal phone call. The 90 minute thrill ride never leaves Asger and his headset – the entire movie takes place inside an office. The real magic is the story reveal. The more gets revealed, the more crazy and compelling the film becomes.
Honorable Mentions: The Hate U Give, Widows, Hell Fest, Upgrade, Vice, The First Purge, Ready Player One, Crazy Rich Asians, A Star is Born, BlacKkKlansman, Sorry to Bother You, Whitney, Annihilation, Operation Finale, Overlord, and American Animals.