The new year is pretty much here, meaning we’ve got an entire year of explosive, weird and heart-breaking films to look forward to. Before we look ahead at 2019 though, we’ve got to reflect on the year that just passed and talk about some of the best movies that 2018 had to offer. From box-office destroying blockbusters to heartwarming indie films, the last twelve months have given us some damn good movies (some pretty bad ones too), which only makes my task here more difficult. As you can probably tell, I’m a massive fan of movies, so it won’t come as a surprise to hear that I found it extremely difficult to rank my top 10 films of the year. Being the stubborn fanboy that I am though, I’ve managed to get the job done.
The list you’ll find below is filled with the movies that had the biggest impact on me in 2018. As is always the case when I compose this kind of ranking, I included the movies that I personally enjoyed the most, meaning this list is entirely my opinion. I’m not saying that there are the best movies of the year and everyone else is wrong; I’m just saying that these are the movies I enjoyed the most.
check out the ranking below:
The thing I love about Widows is the way that director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) and screenwriter Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) construct the narrative around the incredible group of female characters, delivering an action-packed and raw heist movie that’s extremely personal and character-driven. McQueen brilliantly steps away from the heist movie formula and instead of focusing entirely on the robbery, Widows explores the days leading up to the heist and examines the desperation and fear that would push someone to commit such a dangerous act. It should also be noted that Widows features the best ensemble cast of the year, which is headlined by the always perfect Viola Davis.
9) A Quiet Place
Elevated by strong performances from writer/director John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place uses its simple but wildly original premise to its advantage, telling a uniquely terrifying and suspenseful story, that’s jam-packed with heart-wrenching emotion and gut-punching scares. Where A Quiet Place succeeds the most is in John Krasinski’s ability to build tension through sound or should I say, through silence. As the title suggests, this is a ridiculously quiet film and if you managed to watch it with a silent audience (or preferably alone), you’ll know how excruciatingly terrifying and tense that 90-minute runtime truly is.
8) Green Book
It’s hard to believe that a powerful and relevant true story from the director of classic comedies like Dumb and Dumber and Shallow Hal would make its way into this list, but life often finds crazy ways to surprise us. Green Book might not delve into some of the bigger issues that were going on in the 1960’s, but the film is a beautifully constructed and endlessly heartfelt story of race and friendship, which is made infinitely more impactful by the truly brilliant performances from co-stars Vigo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.
7) First Man
If there’s one movie I expected to earn a spot in my top ten ranking, it would be Damien Chazelle’s latest film First Man, which stars Ryan Gosling as astronaut and American hero Neil Armstrong. While many said that Chazelle’s success streak couldn’t possibly continue, the La La Land and Whiplash director delivered his most sophisticated, powerful and compelling work so far. First Man is an outrageously raw look at Neil Armstrong’s personal life and the strain that his mission to the moon put on his family.
6) Black Panther
If you’re reading this Kevin Feige and the gods over at Marvel, I demand more solo superhero movies like Black Panther! Coming from a guy that’s obsessed with comic-book films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther spectacularly demolished the Marvel mould and delivered an ambitious, epic-scale blockbuster that was packed with style, heart and passion. Ryan Coogler managed to construct a beautifully personal journey for T’Challa, while at the same time introducing us to the hidden nation of Wakanda and setting-up a surprisingly great villain in Killmonger, which was something the Marvel Cinematic Universe desperately needed.
As this list proves, there have been some really good films released this year, but of all the movies (including the ones higher on this list), BlacKkKlansman, which tells the true story of an African-American police officer who infiltrates the KKK, undoubtedly hit me the hardest. Spike Lee perfectly balances a variety of tones and styles (you’ll somehow laugh as you cry), while successfully giving us an extremely powerful and relevant piece of cinema. BlacKkKlansman also features a career-defining performance from John David Washington, who should be in the conversation when it comes to awards season.
4) A Star Is Born
Who would’ve thought that Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, which also happened to be a remake of a remake (of a remake?), would make its way onto my top ten? I’ll give you one guess…not me. Anchored by outstanding performances from Cooper and Lady Gaga, who should nab herself a nomination, A Star Is Born is a remarkably powerful and raw piece of cinema, that examines fame in a way we’ve rarely seen before, displaying what it’s like for one artist’s light to fade, just as another’s begins to shine.
3) Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
If you had told me a year ago that Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie would be one of my favourite films of the year, I wouldn’t have believed you (actually, I would’ve told you to pi** off) but I guess this is the world we live in. In an attempt to create an animated movie that looks and feels like a comic-book, directors Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr. and Rodney Rothman made one of the most beautiful animated films of all-time, which also happens to be one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse embraces everything that makes comic-books fun and offers the most inspiring and relatable version of Spider-Man so far.
2) Avengers: Infinity War
Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War is unlike any movie I’ve ever seen, and it’s undoubtedly the biggest achievement in the comic-book movie genre since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. Bringing together ten years worth of characters, locations and storylines was no easy task, especially as it’s never been done before, but Marvel Studios and the Russo Brothers somehow managed to find a way and delivered an exceptionally powerful, emotional, action-packed and satisfying crossover. Also, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Avengers: Infinity War offered one of the most entertaining villains in cinema history and arguably the most shocking finale in recent years.
1) Mission: Impossible – Fallout
My number one film of 2018 is the one I’ve had playing on an almost constant loop, Mission: Impossible – Fallout. With the sixth (and easily the best) instalment of the action-adventure franchise, director Christopher McQuarrie combines batshit crazy action sequences, stylish cinematography, daring stunts and a fantastic score with a surprisingly clever script to give audiences a uniquely crazy cinema experience. The great thing about the latest Mission: Impossible film is its ability to keep building and getting bigger. Every action sequence and stunt gets crazier and crazier, to the point where you (and your heart rate) literally can’t believe what you’re seeing. Mission: Impossible – Fallout isn’t only the best movie of 2018, its one of the best action movies I’ve ever seen.
Honourable Mentions: Hearts Beat Loud, Bumblebee, Annihilation, Roma, Bad Times at the El Royale, Blockers, Game Night, Upgrade
Since this is the internet, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that your top ten looks completely different. If that’s the case (or even if it isn’t), let me know what your top ten movies of the year were in the comments section below!