This year I saw 102 new movies in 2018. That number is actual movies released in 2018. I count Netflix and streaming movies released this year because that is where we are heading but the majority of the 102 was in movie theaters. I decided not to rank my top movies this year because at the end of the day the difference between #10 thru #3 is usually based on my mood when I write the list. So I just put my top movies in ABC order.
Leave No Trace – Ben Foster gives a great performance.
Upgrade – What Venom wishes it was.
Avengers: Infinity War – You spend 10 years getting to this point and stick the landing? That deserves recognition.
Hereditary – The creepiest movie of 2018. Just unnerving start to finish.
You Were Never Really Here – An interesting portrayal of a man’s inner demons as he is hired to hunt and stop actual demons.
Apostle – The director of The Raid brings us a horror movie, so weird and intense that Dan Stevens’ eyes aren’t even the strangest part.
Blockers – A movie that has no business being as funny as it is. Ike Barinholtz needs to be in everything.
My Top Movies of 2018
A Simple Favor
This movie was quite simply one of the best experiences I had at a movie this year. It was a last minute date night and neither of us knew much about the movie. It turned out to be a hilariously dark comedy about life and motherhood that I wasn’t expecting. Long live Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick.
I’m in a fairly serious movie chat (not to brag) and I think we talked and dissected this movie more than any other this entire year. Alex Garland crafted a beautiful sci-fi thriller anchored by great performances all around. To me it was an ambitious movie about love, loss, and if you can ever truly change yourself without destroying a part of who you are. Bonus: screaming bear monster!
A coming of age film in the world of social media. Bo Burnham is a genius for writing and directing this. He gets incredible performances out of everyone involved and captures the awkwardness of growing up in every frame.
I don’t get why this movie has been absent from awards and top 10 lists. I really believe that appreciation for this movie will grow over the years. I don’t think it had any flaws. The exploration of a man who dealing with loss withdraws from family and pours himself into going as far away from dealing with that loss as possible (literally) so he can process it.
The less you know about this one going in the better. Arguably Ethan Hawke’s best performance of his career in a truly suspenseful mind fuck of a movie.
A really dark and confusing experience that I couldn’t turn away from. I don’t think it landed all of the themes and things it was trying to do but it was ambitious and interesting start to finish. It is buoyed by 2-3 incredible moments including a devastating shootout that is the most visceral in recent memory.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins directs the hell out of a topical movie that touches on race relations, law enforcement, young pregnancy, love, corrupt officials, the stupidity of the justice system, while still showcasing incredible performances and offering hope.
Tom Cruise is just a more accomplished version of Johnny Knoxville at this point. I’m convinced his goal is to die performing one of these stunts. Christopher McQuarrie fully understands the appeal of this franchise and delivers the best installment. Bonus: Henry Cavill seems tough for the first time on screen ever.
Paddington 2 is just a damn delight. A movie about solving problems with kindness and seeing the good in every situation you find yourself in. I wish I could apply some of the great lessons in this movie more readily in my life.
Is Roma a black and white, foreign language movie on this list so I seem smart? Maybe but all I know is this movie was truly affecting and I cried like a baby towards the end because it is so well directed that you feel every single emotion.
The best superhero movie of the year. The best animated movie of the year. It isn’t even close. Somehow delivers a complicated comic story with humor, heart, great animation, and a message everyone needs to hear.
A weird movie about two women competing for the affection of a Queen played by (in my opinion) the best actress this year Olivia Colman. The quirks made it so memorable, plus Emma Stone showed she can be more than the likeable girl next door.
The Night Comes For Us
The most violent and insane action movie of 2018. I will show this to anyone who wants to see it at any time. It is on Netflix and I’ve watched it at least 5 times.
Another movie that will simply injects empathy into your veins. The movie is largely based on the lead actor’s actual experiences and he performs with his real family and friends in the movie. It is such an emotional journey about finding your way forward when you lose what you thought was your identity.
Mr. Rogers may have been the best person this country ever produced.
(My) Award Nominations:
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really here
Ryan Gosling – First Man
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
Christian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade
Charlize Theron – Tully
Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns
Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Best Supporting Actor
Sam Elliot – A Star is Born
Sam Rockwell – Vice
Josh Hamilton – Eighth Grade
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – Vice
Claire Foy – First Man
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
Bo Burnham – Eighth Grade
Damien Chazelle – First Man
Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
Chloe Zhao – The Rider