Top 10 Films of 2018

Antony Post, Arts and Features Editor

2018 has brought many groundbreaking films to the cinema. Stars were born, diversity was king, and a snap was heard all around the world. Balancing entertainment and prestige craftsmanship, both blockbusters and independent movies told compelling, engaging, and heartwarming stories that will live on for many years to come. So, as the year closes, here are what I feel are the best films of 2018.

A Star is Born – Bradley Cooper breathes new life into this age old story about the rise and fall of stardom. Lady Gaga is dazzling in this career defining performance. From the music to the direction to the romance, if you are not crying at the end, then there is no movie that will ever make you cry.

A Quiet Place – A more mainstream horror film, newcomer director John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) shows off his talents in this film, all about family and the importance of love, while still delivering the high concept idea that captured the world’s eye. The performances are top notch, and it is genuinely one of the scariest films of the decade.

Avengers: Infinity War – Marvel created the biggest film in cinematic history. Never before has a film like this been made. And somehow, with its fifty plus characters, it still tell an engaging story I could watch again and again. With stellar action, great character moments, and a a truly shocking ending, seeing a villain’s perspective of a superhero movie was so intriguing, and has set up another great film coming out in 2019.

Black Panther – This was one of the most important films of all time. Being my favorite movie of the year, this Marvel superhero changed what diversity means in Hollywood, all the while telling a story with emotional depth and intriguing characters with complex morals, brought to life by a stellar ensemble cast. The choice to both look backwards and forwards, to acknowledge African Americans’ past, but to choose to move past that image and redefine the future, truly makes this a stunning achievement in not just blockbuster, but filmmaking, period.

Bohemian Rhapsody – It should not surprise anyone who knows Freddie Mercury that this film is just a burst of fun, music, humor, and heart. The journey of Queen and Mercury as they found their sound was truly a crowd pleaser in every sense of the word, leaving me speechless. Rami Malek shines as Mercury, with a story that leaves you with messages and characters instilled with soul, and a third act scene at Live Aid that truly ends the movie on the highest of high notes.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Melissa McCarthy delivers the best performance of her career, as she tells the story of Lee Israel, an author who forged fake letters from celebrities, and the struggles she went through. Mariele Heller’s deft direction, matched with the performances from McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, make this a beautiful look at the stories of those that are typically not told.

Green Book – This film celebrates the human spirit in such an entertaining way. About a middle class driver and his African American client he drives through the racially charged South for his concert tour, I sat there laughing from ear to ear, but then thinking about the deep morals the film depicts. Viggo Mortensen is terrific and Mahershala Ali gives you goosebumps. This true life friendship shape the feel good film of the year.

Hereditary – This twisted, dark, horror film centered around family, and the effects of mental illness marks for one of the most shocking movies of the year. Ari Aster’s first feature astounds, with insane attention to detail, while Toni Collette gives a performance so astounding and layered, it is on caliber with Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby. It’s an entertaining, yet cerebral, new horror classic.

If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins brings this personal and poweful story to life. With great performances and a fantastic score, this is one film you do not want to miss this season.

Mary Poppins Returns – At first skeptical to the idea of a sequel to one of Disney’s, and one of my all time, best films, Emily Blunt shines as she leads you to a new world, one that respects the original, but does its own thing. It’s magical, heartwarming, cheerful, and classically fresh, being the movie we all need right now.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Tom Cruise leads this intense movie about life, love, and family, in one of the most action packed films in history. The stunt work is filled with emotional, thrilling, and real action set pieces, while telling an engaging story. The film never lets up, making it one of the greatest achievements in the action genre.

Roma – Alfonso Cuaron’s masterpiece captures life in its truest form. This film explores Cuaron’s experience of his parents’ divorce and the effect it had, through the family’s maid, through the eyes of first come actor Yalitza Aparicio. The aesthetics of the film are staggering, leaving you in complete awe of the cinematic mastery on display.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – A marvel-ous change of pace, the fourth iteration of the web-slinger leaps off the screen and captures the child in you, in this beautifully animated, vibrant, fun adventure. The artistry on display is outstanding, but matched with the passionate story about family, purpose, and of course, responsibility, this film changes the game for the animated genre.

The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos’ witty and nonsensical tale of Queen Anne and the two women who shaped her country, is one of the most surprising and entertaining films of the year. Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz give powerhouse performances, all shining and supporting each other in this picture, and giving it deeply emotional undercurrents.   

Three Identical Strangers – This is the best documentary I have ever seen. The story is three identical triplets who were separated at birth and then found each other 19 years later, and from there, it twists and turns in ways a documentary have never done before. Truly a step forward when it comes to what is capable with documentaries.