Top 10 Movies of 2018
2018. The year of exceeded expectations.
As the major releases of 2018 come to a close, now is the time to reflect on some of the year’s biggest films. In this article, I am going to be ranking my TOP 10 Movies of 2018. Some you might expect to see while others…may come as a surprise.
HERE WE GO!
In Paul Schrader’s cleverly written and directed opus, Ethan Hawke delivers the performance of his career. Told in a dysphoric narrative that harkens back to Schrader’s screenplay for Taxi Driver (1976), First Reformed takes on controversial themes and makes the viewer really think about what they are watching as its gripping plots pull you in from start to finish.
Okay, so is the latest installment in the iconic Halloween franchise really one of the year’s best films? Perhaps Top 10 is a little overreaching but on a personal note, as someone who grew up obsessed with this franchise, to see the original Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis return as Laurie Strode, John Carpenter return with his genius score, and the high momentum of Michael Myers coming back to Haddonfield, instantly places Halloween in my Top 10. While this film did have it’s faults, mostly in the writing, it was still a great addition and revamp to the franchise.
Released on the same weekend as Deadpool 2, this romantic comedy was bound to be overlooked by audiences. But come on…Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen? Count me in! AND it’s a great movie! Yes, it has those essential qualities of a cheesy romantic comedy, but Book Club is the kind of movie I think everyone will enjoy.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins (Director of Best Picture winner Moonlight) has an incomparable way of capturing faces and emotions through visually stirring close ups and unique points of color. Set in Harlem in the 1970s, If Beale Street Could Talk is a love story between two young people and the unsettling obstacles they face in uneasy times.
It’s as if Brady Corbet’s musical drama was hidden behind a curtain when I saw it in theatres as there was practically zero publicity for the film prior to its release. It could very well be that the subject matter during the first ten minutes of the film is unsettlingly controversial in our society and audiences would not be receptive to it. But once you get past that, Vox Lux really is one of the best directed films of the year and Natalie Portman delivers an outstanding performance that is being unfairly overlooked by critics. Told in acts (narrated by the great Willem Dafoe), Vox Lux is treated as a musical documentary that does not rest on the heels of a typical film about an artist struggling to overcome their emotional spins.
Here you have grindhouse horror, insane cinematography, and Nicolas Cage delivering those quintessential “Cagey” one-liners, what more could you ask for? Mandy is an action-packed thriller that revolves around Nicolas Cage’s character seeking revenge on a Manson-like cult that has murdered his girlfriend Mandy. Cage takes the idea of revenge to a whole new level, using a crossbow, an axe, and a chainsaw to kill his prey. The story is told in chapters and with incredible use of music, graphics, and lighting, even the least intense moments draw your attention. Mandy delivers on so many levels and has the potential to grow from what many would consider to be a cult film into a mainstream masterpiece in the coming years.
The setting may be lush, the costumes may be extravagant, but The Favourite is not your typical historical piece. The teaming of Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz creates a lavishly brilliant comedy-drama that forces the viewer to not focus so much on the accuracies or inaccuracies of the film but to enjoy the feminine themes and royal wittiness of The Favourite.
As someone who is relatively new to the Marvel Cinematic universe, I went to see Black Panther opening night because my Fiancé MUST see Marvel films the day they are released. I was completely blown away by Black Panther, so impressed that I immediately jumped on the Marvel bandwagon only to find that every movie before and after Black Panther, while some good, could not match the euphoric punch that Black Panther delivers. Black Panther is a true artistic achievement in filmmaking.
Not since Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has a film captured adolescence so perfectly. With a fantastic script, exceptional direction, and incredible use of music and characters, Eighth Grade is a film that every teenager and movie buff needs to see. The element of social media which is heavily used in this film establishes and reinforces the fact that in today’s world of technology, we can be a part of the conversation on our phones and computers but be completely in the dark once we are standing face to face. Although I am a 27-year-old man, I found my teenage self completely identifying with Kayla.
A Star Is Born
Only one film this year exceeded my expectations. I knew that being a huge fan of Lady GaGa since her debut in 2008, that I would enjoy A Star Is Born but I had no idea that a film like this would hit me as hard as it did. The fourth version of this well-known story hit every single note (no pun intended) to make it the best film of 2018 and in my opinion, one of the best films of the past decade. I was at opening night for the highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War and after the lights in the theatre turned on, the audience began to disperse. I was there opening night for A Star Is Born and once the end credits began to roll, I joined the audience in a thunderous applause. If that doesn’t speak volumes to the impact that this film has, I don’t know what does.