I’ve had the chance to see a ton of movies this year but still feel like I have missed out on some indie ones that are necessary to catch before December. Below is my list so far. I was really shocked with what a good year it has been for horror and movies staying with me in general. It is pretty rare that I think about a movie days after seeing it but this year there have been so many.
These aren’t in any particular order:
The toughest movie to explain in a short blurb. The trailer depicts a group of women going to investigate a strange occurrence known as The Shimmer. The movie (to me) was so much more than that. It was about fighting your worst impulses, self destruction, love, and ultimately evolving as a person. Was all of this presented as a strange world with an alien lighthouse at the center? Sure, but the themes and mysteries of this movie are still talked about with my movie friends.
Hereditary is an unnerving and stressful movie for 2 straight hours. It isn’t the kind of horror film you would expect by today’s standards. When I first walked out of it I said, “That wasn’t too scary just really uncomfortable and full of dread.” Then later that night I’m thinking about the themes and scenes and freak myself out before bed. The next night I hear a noise and I flash to a certain part of the film. It is an uncomfortable, tragic ride of a family dealing with loss and something much more sinister. It is a mood film and the mood is a constant sense of dread. Toni Collette deserves an Oscar nomination.
The Incredibles 2
The best superhero movie of 2018. The best Pixar movie since the last Pixar movie. The movie is just delightful start to finish. It looks good, moves fast, and has two action sequences that I talked about more than I talked about any of the battles in Avengers or Black Panther. It also managed to nail some family dynamics without going off the deep end. A cartoon actually showed a father working hard to be a good Dad, instead of a bumbling fool WITHOUT disrespecting the fact that the Mom is superior at most of those tasks. Do you have any idea how hard it is to write dialogue and scenes that can convey that? This movie definitely belongs in the upper tier of Pixar’s catalog.
Avengers Infinity War/Black Panther
Cheating with a combo pick here. There is very little to say that hasn’t already been said. Black Panther was a fantastic solo superhero film with three dimensional characters that popped off the screen. It introduced an entire new World and gave us one of the only good Marvel villains ever. Avengers: Infinity War was the big, loud spectacle we all wanted with its share of great moments and it makes my list because I loved it and it was the first time a Marvel movie *felt* like there were real stakes.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Just saw this the other day and Taylor Sheridan’s script is everything we hoped it would be. Brolin and Benicio give great performances and the gritty real feel of the film is palpable. A worthy follow up to Sicario.
I went in to this movie knowing absolutely nothing about it aside from it stars Ethan Hawke. I suggest you do the same. It is a exploration of faith and relevant fears about our current times and potential futures. See it.
A Quiet Place
Other than the fact that in a world where no noise is allowed or you’ll die… John Krasinski and Emily Blunt STILL decide its a good idea to get pregnant this movie is really well made. The opening 5 minute sequence was absolutely harrowing for anyone who has children. I’d argue this is the greatest movie ever made about the fears one has about raising kids. Parenting: The Monster Movie. Emily Blunt is on fire in this movie and at this point I wouldn’t be mad if she got a nomination of some kind.
The complete opposite of our current world comes a movie about just being good. Being nice. Having empathy. Sharing. Looking past stereotypes. Family. All while having the most delightful bear in the World cook with Brendan Gleason or dodge Hugh Grant’s schemes. This was a really touching movie with a great message.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor
I know I watched Mr. Rogers as a kid. I had no idea that he was legitimately a saint put her on Earth to show us how to be kind to one another. I had no clue. He might be the greatest man in the history of media. Endlessly kind and caring. He stood up for what he believed in and didn’t have a mean bone in his body. It is physically impossible to not laugh, cry tears of joy and sorrow, and just smile during this movie.
*Honorable mention: Death of Stalin