The time is here at last! We’ve already looked over the worst movies of the year, but now it is time to shed all negativity and to celebrate all the best that 2018 had to offer. I couldn’t be bothered to limit myself to just ten choices as there are far too many movies worth celebrating. While I saw a lot of movies in 2018, I still didn’t see everything, so as is tradition, following the rankings I have supplied a list of every movie I saw this year, either in theaters or streaming, as well as the grade I think they deserve. Most importantly, please remember that this is strictly MY OPINION. If you disagree with my list, that is more than okay, in fact, it is encouraged. Let me know if there’s something here you don’t think belongs, or if you believe I should have included a film I neglected. Now on to the list!

20. Support The Girls

Support The Girls is one of the most down-to-earth movies I’ve seen in a long time. A self-described “big-hearted comedy,” Support The Girls is an economical, honest, sweetly-crafted indie movie about some women just trying to make it in the “breastaurant” industry. A film already made by Andrew Bujalski’s lovely script, it is brought to new heights via some great performances by Shayna McHale, Regina Hall, and the always wonderful Haley Lu Richardson.

19. Night Is Short, Walk On Girl

The world of anime is one that I am still new to, however, after witnessing the bonafide artpiece that is Masaaki Yuasa’s “Night Is Short, Walk On Girl,” I’m almost certainly going to be looking further into the medium. A delightfully unique movie from start to finish, Night Is Short will have you smiling from start to finish, both from its idiosyncratic storytelling to its truly revolutionary art style. If you get a chance, I’d highly recommend tracking this one down.

18. A Star Is Born

“I just want to take another look at ya.” A Star Is Born is great. I mean, really great. If you don’t get chills when they sing “Shallow” the first time, I don’t really know what to tell you. It’s a real Hollywood Movie, the scale and spirit of which are rarely made these days. Lady Gaga is a charmer and Bradley Cooper delivers the performance of his career. What more could you really want?

17. Madeline’s Madeline

Madeline’s Madeline is a very strange movie. For the duration of its runtime it seems to forego any pretense of traditional filmmaking, throwing out decades of film history to blaze its own path. This is precisely what makes it so special. We should be celebrating the movies in the 21st century that dare to try something new. Madeline’s Madeline manipulates your emotions in a purely Pavlovian way, a cinematic experience that is hard to explain, even harder to replicate, and above all else, nothing short of inspired.

16. Roma

Roma is an emotionally measureless film. A movie that on its surface is stark and almost banal, as it expands outward you start to witness more and more meaning unfold. A deeply personal movie for Alfonzo Cuaron, the man crafted a living tapestry of a movie that is burdened only by its own ambition. While at times it might seem “too good for its own good,” it remains an incredible piece of filmmaking.

15. Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a completely overlooked treasure that doesn’t ask for your attention but commands it anyway. A masterclass in honesty over extravagance, Debra Granik’s newest film is a quiet, private, brutally powerful portrayal of a father/daughter relationship that deserves much more praise that it received. At the very least we should be celebrating the two actors at its center as newcomer Thomasin Mackenzie gives an incredible performance which is only rivaled by Ben Foster as her father.

14. Thoroughbreds

Including Thoroughbreds on my list might seem like a misstep to some, but it is truly a movie tailor-made for me. An emotionally distant dark comedy starring two of our most promising young actors Anya-Taylor Joy and Olivia Cooke as well as the tragically late Anton Yelchin, Thoroughbreds is an indie darling that transcends those shackles as far as I’m concerned.

13. The Sisters Brothers

I might be the only person who liked Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers as much as I did. Granted, I might be the only person who saw The Sisters Brothers. An unconventional western starring four powerhouses of acting-John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed-this film is moving and deeply introspective. But again, I don’t know anyone else who saw it, so maybe I’m alone in this estimation.

12. Incredibles 2

Here’s another selection that is probably biased based on how personal it is to me, I simply cannot get over how great Incredibles 2 is. I know some people were disappointed, as it doesn’t quite measure up to the galactic proportions of the first film, but to me, it comes as close as you could expect it to. Brad Bird gave us yet another exciting, meaningful, artfully-crafted animated movie that I believe it deserves to be applauded.

11. Annihilation

I have not been able to stop thinking about Annihilation since it came out in February. An immense, relentless, bone-chilling Sci-Fi film, Annihilation bends what we perceive as reality and militarizes it against us, creating a true cinematic experience unlike any other.

10. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man! What more is there to be said about this incredibly special movie that hasn’t already been written. It’s inventive, funny, moving, and explosively new. It’s reinvigorated a dying genre and supplied a breath of fresh air to an increasingly tired character. Don’t sleep on Spider-Verse, it’s really that good.

9. Mission: Impossible- Fallout

Mission: Impossible- Fallout soars to heights that all mainstream films should aspire to. It is a nonstop tour-de-force that goes the extra mile in every department, never even stopping to breathe. From a jaw-dropping Halo Jump to a breathtaking motorcycle chase to a bare-knuckled Helicopter Flight, Fallout seeks only to entertain and pushes the limits of what is possible in order to do it. Five Stars.

8. Mandy

Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy is a film that embraces insanity, rides it all the way to the depths of hell and back out again. It gives no regard to what anyone thinks, diving into the deep end without looking, delivering a hallucinogenic thrill ride that melts your brain and chills you to the core. But most of all it embraces what we all know about Nicolas Cage. Just let him go wild so we can sit back and just watch.

7. Widows

There are some movies on this list I’ve included because they’re “important” or “revolutionary.” Widows, more than anything else on this list, is included simply because it is a really solid movie. Every aspect of it is perfectly attuned to the kind of movie it wants to be. The performances are great. The direction is great. The cinematography is great. The movie is great.P

6. Paddington 2

Paddington 2 is a work of art and anyone who refuses to see that because it is intended for family audiences is a coward and lost forever. In a world increasingly divided and scary, the only thing guaranteed to give you comfort is this delightful little bear. Paddington 2 is a masterpiece. It is moving, exquisitely directed, and above all else, charming.

5. Hereditary

Some people hated Hereditary. I get it. This film’s bizarre cinematic voice, combined with its unique brand of horror can be fairly alienating. But as far as I’m concerned, Hereditary is one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen, providing some of the most terrifying moments I’ve ever experienced, as well as some next-level emotion that is just as scary as the hauntings.

4. The Favourite

While I’m not the biggest fan of Yorgos Lanthimos’ other work, The Favourite is easily one of my favorite movies of the year. It’s bitterly funny, endlessly engaging, and has some of the most beautiful cinematography I have seen in a long time. However we can’t talk about The Favourite without discussing the great performances at its center, with Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman each complimenting each other to make a film that will stick around for a long time.

3. First Reformed

First Reformed is probably the opposite of Paddington 2. Its response to the current global climate is one that is paranoid, isolated, and anguished. This real barn-burner is anchored by a phenomenal performance by Ethan Hawke and devolves into misery as it reaches its incredible ending. But perhaps the greatest testament to Paul Schrader’s ability as a director is that he was able to get great performances out of Amanda Seyfried and Cedric The Entertainer.

2. Suspiria

Suspiria is the next level. This decade has been defined by Horror Films aspiring for more, creating the newest wave of arthouse by packaging it in a frightening bundle. It is one of my favorite genres and Suspiria is the best of the bunch, a simmering stunner that dances its way to a perfect, unspeakably unsettling finale that will leave you speechless. But keep in mind, even though it is a vessel for some brilliant commentary on human nature, it’s still not for the faint of heart.

1. Eighth Grade

And now for the most on-brand pick of all time, my favorite movie of 2018 is Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade. The first movie I’ve ever seen that fully understands adolescence in the digital age, Eighth Grade is a timeless movie that perfectly reflects our current time. It’s brilliant, honest, and most importantly, human. Elsie Fisher is a godsend who might not get the recognition she deserves come February, but know this, there is one performance that is the best of the year, and it belongs to her.

Alright everyone, that’s my list! As far as honorable mentions go, I’d like to shout out BlacKkKlansman, Sorry To Bother You, Private Life, and The Tale. Now as promised, here is every new release I saw in 2018 in alphabetical order. See you next year!

12 Strong: C

The 15: 17 To Paris: F

1985: B-

A Simple Favor: B-

Adrift: C+

Alpha: C+

Annihilation: A

Ant-Man and The Wasp: B-

Aquaman: B

Assassination Nation: C-

Avengers Infinity War: D+

Bad Times At The El Royale: B

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs: B+

BlacKkKlansman: A-

Black Panther: A-

Blaze: B

Blockers: A-

Blood Fest: B+

Bodied: A-

Bohemian Rhapsody: D+

Book Club: B+

Cam: B-

Can You Ever Forgive Me: A-

The Christmas Chronicles: C+

Christopher Robin: B

The Cloverfield Paradox: C

Colette: B

The Commuter: C+

Crazy Rich Asians: B+

The Darkest Minds: D-

Deadpool 2: B-

Death Wish: C-

Den of Thieves: C+

Disobedience: B

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot: B-

Dumplin’: C

Early Man: B

Eighth Grade: A+

Every Day: B-

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald: D

The Favourite: A+

Fifty Shades Freed: D+

First Man: A-

The First Purge: C

First Reformed: A+

A Futile and Stupid Gesture: C+

Game Night: B

The Girl In The Spider’s Web: C

Green Book: C+

Happy Anniversary: C+

The Happytime Murders: F

The Hate U Give: B-

Hearts Beat Loud: B

Hereditary: A+

The House That Jack Built: B

The Hurricane Heist: D+

I Feel Pretty: C-

Incredibles 2: A

Insidious: The Last Key: D+

Instant Family: B+

Isle of Dogs: A-

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: D

Kin: C-

The Kissing Booth: F

Leave No Trace: A

Let The Corpses Tan: B

Let The Sunshine In: B-

Life Itself: F

Life of the Party: D+

The Little Stranger: B-

Love, Simon: B

Madeline’s Madeline: A-

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: B-

Mandy: A+

Maze Runner: The Death Cure: C+

The Meg: C+

Meow Wolf: Origin Story: B-

Mid90’s: C+

Midnight Sun: D+

Mile 22: D+

The Miseducation of Cameron Post: B-

Mission Impossible- Fallout: A+

Mortal Engines: C

The Mule: B+

Never Goin’ Back: B-

Night Is Short, Walk On Girl: A

The Nun: C-

Ocean’s Eight: B-

The Old Man and The Gun: B-

On Chesil Beach: C+

Operation Finale: C+

The Other Side of the Wind: A-

Overboard: C+

Overlord: B+

Pacific Rim: Uprising: D+

Paddington 2: A+

Peppermint: D+

Peter Rabbit: C-

Pick Of The Litter: B

The Possession of Hannah Grace: D+

The Predator: C

The Princess Switch: D

Private Life: A-

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich: B

A Quiet Place: B-

Ralph Breaks The Internet: B-

Rampage: C

Ready Player One: C-

Red Sparrow: B

Robin Hood: D

Roma: A

Run Like The Devil: B+

Searching: B

Sherlock Gnomes: D-

Shirkers: B+

Sicario: Day Of The Soldado: C

Sierra Burgess Is A Loser: D+

The Sisters Brothers: A

Skyscraper: C

Slender Man: D-

Smallfoot: B+

Solo, A Star Wars Story: C+

Sorry To Bother You: B+

The Spy Who Dumped Me: C

A Star Is Born: A-

The Strangers: Prey At Night: B+

Support The Girls: A-

Suspiria: A+

The Tale: A-

Thoroughbreds: A

Three Identical Strangers: B

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: B

Tomb Raider: C+

Truth Or Dare: D-

Unsane: B+

Upgrade: B

Venom: C

Welcome To Marwen: C-

Widows: A+

Wildlife: B+

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: B+

A Wrinkle In Time: C

You Were Never Really Here: B+

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Posted by:Ethan Brundeen

One thought on “The Best Movies of 2018

  1. Excellent list; well done. I have not yet seen Eighth Grade or First Reformed yet, but would like to. As for Hereditary, people hated it? I got the impression it was pretty widely acclaimed. And I’ve seen Paddington show up on a number of lists now. Huh.

    Like

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