Top 10 Movies of 2018
2018 was filled to the brink with disappointing movies. It was like a tidal wave of mediocrity came crashing down and flooded theaters with generic time wasters. Fan expectations were unreasonably high as nostalgic cash grabs came hand in hand with movies that didn't mind if you were on your phone for half the time. And in this storm of bad, there were a small group of films that didn't bore me to death. They wowed me with their heart and were more than the sum of their parts. This top 10 list will be a compilation of movies that define the year, not the highest rated ones. When I look back on this list, I don't want to cringe at where I placed certain movies. So if you haven't watched any of these, I highly recommend you do so.
10. A Quiet Place
A Quite Place rounds out my top 10 list of 2018 because of how I felt when watching the movie mixed with how I view it now. There is no denying that I enjoyed it. I was 100% in while I clutched the armrest at the theater, holding my breath when it spooked me. It made for a really enjoyable movie going experience, but that might be due to the fact that I don't watch many thriller or horror movies. And right as I walked out of the theater, the film's logic was immediately called into question. So I had fun watching it, but I don't know if I could again.
9. Creed II
Creed II surprised me by how riled up other audience members got when watching the movie. It felt like I was at a bar watching a real boxing match with all of the shouting and "oof"s. It dawned on me after my second viewing that those reactions helped me to appreciate the film more. Creed II lacks the sophistication of the first entry, but still has enough left in the tank to make you think it can go a couple more rounds. It's one of those movies that rallies in its finale, which is pretty hard to do nowadays.
BlacKkKlansman is a movie about events that happened in the 70s that echo the problems of today. It holds a mirror up to society and points out that we have not progressed as far as we thought. But the movie isn't on the list for its politics; it takes pride in its own merit by delivering strong sentiments which entertain and make you think. A movie that will be mostly overlooked for its strong message that is executed exactly the way the director wanted it to be.
7. A Star Is Born
A Star is Born will be the birthplace of Lady Gaga as a serious actor, probably. It pulls together some great music and visuals that compels you to keep watching. It backs up the fun with great performances across the board, which make you feel... something. The less you know about the movie before you watch it, the better. Let the film take you on a ride, and enjoy the music along the way.
Blindspotting is a movie that almost no one knows about and even less people have seen. It taps into a war and the culture that it has produced, truly showing life on both sides. It takes some pretty serious subject matter and makes it entertaining to watch. Its funny, its heartbreaking, but most importantly it feels real. As someone who lives close to the area where this culture war is happening, Blindspotting rings true in a surreal way.
Vice is the light brightening up a decade shrouded in secrecy. It lets you take a peek behind the curtain to find out that there really is a wizard controlling everything behind the scenes. The importance of this movie comes from the convincing performances and everything that you learn from them. Its probably a movie you will need to see more than once, and you'll wonder each time how we allowed it all to happen.
4. Eighth Grade
Eighth Grade is something you need to see. There are so many things that ground this movie to reality in ways that other films wish they could. In an era of filmmaking that tries to be authentic, this movie is genuine. The story is about a girl leaving the 8th grade; having to deal with all of the pressures and challenges life throws at her while deciding how to navigate them. It has the strongest story on this list and shines for it.
3. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a love letter to the way movies used to be made. With all the stunts in camera and all the action done without CGI, this movie is like no other. Not only does it take its action seriously, but the audience can feel the weight of every movement. Stunts have never been this good which means they have never looked this good. With the bar set so high for action, is it even possible to top? Some might say it would be an impossible mission to even try.
2. Isle of Dogs
It almost feels like a guilty pleasure putting Isle of Dogs so high up on the list, but it has the artistry to back up my decision. There has never been a better looking stop motion movie. The presentation is out of this world and completely eclipses anything that has come before. It isn't shackled by animation and breaks through by dedicating itself to the art on display. The story isn't pushing any envelopes but that fact doesn't hold it back. There are too many things to appreciate that leave you speechless.
1. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse might not have "technically" been the best movie of the year, but it was for me. With an unprecedented animation style acting as the glue to bring fun characters to life, I was delighted by the films cohesive design. Everything fit together; from tone, to music, to visuals, nothing felt out of place. The movie brought a character to life by respecting legacy and putting a spin on a familiar story. It was a blast to watch and I hope they can make another one.