Top 10 Movies of 2018

The new year is here and with 2018 wrapped up, it’s time to take a look back at the best filmmakers had to offer the last 12 months.

Before getting into my top 10, though, here are some honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut.

Now, the list:

10. If Beale Street Could Talk

Courtesy Plan B Entertainment.

I found “Beale Street” to have a few pacing issues and some scenes in the second to third act that felt out of place. However, this flick from Barry Jenkins was extraordinarily well crafted, with superb acting and writing, too.

The movie features some of the most powerful scenes of the whole year and also one of the best on-screen romances in quite a while.

9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Courtesy Sony and Columbia Pictures

“Incredibles 2” was my top animated movie of the year until this “Spider-Man” adaptation hit theaters in December. I thought some of the humor was a little too on the nose and it could have maybe been a little shorter. But still, it was such a fresh take for the “Spider-Man” concept. It introduces a great new character, has a lot of heart and features some great interactions between the protagonists.

Plus, the animation is amazing, with the art style of a comic-book portrayed with top tier computer generated imagery.

8. A Star is Born

Courtesy Warner Bros, MGM and Live Nation Productions

The newest version of “A Star is Born” was a fantastic directorial debut for Bradley Cooper, who also co-wrote and starred in the picture. If there were any complaints, I did feel like the passage of time could have been better portrayed here and a few moments were a bit overly dramatic.

With that said, though, this is still one of 2018’s best films. The movie is well crafted, the acting is great across the board and the musical sequences are amazing.

7. Hereditary

Courtesy A24

The scariest film of 2018 was “Hereditary” by far. The film is not just terrifying, it’s also mind-bending. Along with being a unique, well-written film, “Hereditary” is also very well shot, with a plethora of interesting camera angles, making the experience otherworldly and offsetting.

The ending might be a little hit or miss for people, but overall, this is a top tier film.

6. Can You Ever Forgive Me

Courtesy Fox Searchlight.

“Forgive Me” is a smart, witty feature that brilliantly balances drama and comedy, with great moments dedicated to both.

Helping to power the film was arguably the best performance Melissa McCarthy has done and award caliber work from Richard Grant in a supporting role.

5. Eighth Grade

Courtesy A24

Here’s another fantastic feature film directorial debut. Bo Burnham, who also starred in the picture, created a phenomenal piece of coming-of-age cinema. The film so wonderfully captures the awkwardness, insecurity, fear of the unknown and steps for self improvement that every teen tries to go through during this time of their life.

On top of a stellar performance from Elsie Fisher and strong writing, “Eighth Grade” also featured an excellent score.

4. Avengers: Infinity War

Courtesy Marvel Studios

“Infinity War” was an ambitious project and even considering Marvel’s track record, I questioned how well this huge roster of super heroes could be handled in a cohesive way that didn’t feel convoluted.

They pulled it off, perfectly. The movie has a long runtime, but never overstays its welcome. It has several characters, but each of them gets proper amounts of time and their interactions are great. It’s a superhero movie, but it still features great writing and wonderful performances.

Most importantly, it turns what could have been a big, simplistic CGI villain into an interesting character with a purpose. Plus, the action sequences are incredible.

3. Roma

Courtesy Participant Media and Netflix

“Roma” is one of the films on this list that has slightly unconventional storytelling, as it’s very much a slice of life picture. The quality is undeniable, though.

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma” is a rich piece of art, exploring the human condition in very authentic ways. The film is wonderfully acted and it looks incredible. Visually, it’s my favorite of 2018.

2. The Favourite

Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

“The Favourite” is amazing in how smart and well written it is. The picture has incredible dialogue and features everything from toxic relationships to political intrigue.

Along with all of that are amazing performances from a star-studded cast, including Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and Nicholas Hoult. Additionally, the film is very well shot and the production design is on point.

1. First Reformed

Courtesy Killer Films and A24.

“First Reformed” is a brilliant, somber feature, working both as a thriller and a thought-provoking drama. Regarding the latter, themes of doubt and pessimism are heavily explored in intriguing fashion and there’s constantly a sense of dread.

It deals in heavy subject matter, and that comes through in every scene. Even moments with simple day-to-day tasks and conversations carry emotional weight underneath.

Along with a fantastic script, “First Reformed” also has great performances from its cast, including Amanda Seyfried, Cedric Kyles, Philip Ettinger and Ethan Hawke. Hawke is in the lead role, and he 100 percent deserves an Oscar nomination for his work here, which is arguably the best of his career.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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