2018 has been a terrific year at the movies. We haven’t had too many just awful movies, and many very good to great ones. It’s been a landmark year for certain franchises and it’s been a blast to experience it. I have always had unique tastes, and this has been incredibly difficult to limit it down to 10 films. They’re my favorite films, not necessarily the best. Regardless, here is my Top 10 movies of the year.
Ant-Man and the Wasp – Love the characters and story, toughest cut for me
Annihilation – One of the best Sci-Fi films of the decade
Black Panther – Deserving of all the awards coming its way
Three Identical Strangers – Best documentary of the year, sorry Fred Rodgers
Game Night – Best comedy of the past five years
Leave No Trace – Why did no one see this?
Tag – Second best in a year of great comedies
Widows – Steve McQueen is a genius
Crazy Rich Asians – Only film to make me cry this year multiple times
10. Paddington 2
This has to be the most overlooked movie of 2018. Paddington is the most adorable animal in movies today and if you told me that he would be in a better movie this year than Winnie the Pooh, I’d think you’re crazy but here we are. This is a sequel that improves upon the original and leads to such a heartwarming story and I hope we get a third very soon. Yes, it’s a 2018 movie you Brits!
9. Creed 2
Creed 2 felt like a sporting event both times I saw it. The crowd treated it like it was a real fight and were cheering with every punch in every round. I am a massive fan of the first Creed and was hesitant about the directing change for the sequel, but it paid off beautifully and wrapped the Rocky franchise up nicely. How they continue Creed’s story by wrapping up Rocky’s and the Drago’s is awesome and something I never thought I would need in my life. I would love one more but if it doesn’t happen, I’d also be satisfied.
Spike Lee has never been someone considered to be one of the greats but when he puts out a film like BlackKklansman, he is worthy of being in the conversation. This is such a fascinating story about an African-American man infiltrating the KKK and it leads to some laughs and deeply disturbing moments. Spike Lee wraps it all up with an all too real slideshow at the end that truly makes you think about the world today, and that alone is worthy of making my Top 10.
7. A Quiet Place
Horror films have never been my thing, but recently I have come back to them and A Quiet Place is my favorite of the past couple years. John Krasinski and Emily Blunt crafted such an expansive and immersive world that you felt like you were a part of. The entire theater was silent just as the movie was I was at. We were all on our toes ready for the next truly earned scare. The feeling of joy, sadness, and fear I had at the same time might never be matched and A Quiet Place made me feel all of those emotions.
6. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
You have heard nearly every critic say it and you won’t hear different from me, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the best action movie of all time. This franchise just continues to improve and just when you think it is impossible to get better, they do it again. This franchise can go on forever as far as I’m concerned if this quality keeps up. Tom Cruise is one of the most dedicated actors I’ve seen, and I hope he doesn’t die making one of these movies.
5. Avengers: Infinity War
How could this film not make the list? A cinematic achievement like no other was accomplished this year in Avengers: Infinity War and it paid off beautifully. Most of the heroes in the MCU came together in this film and it was everything we expected in laughs, thrills, and what happens in war, deaths. This is a film that leaves you with the sane euphoric feeling every time and when Avengers: Endgame wraps it all up, we can sit back like Thanos and look back at this stunning achievement.
4. Incredibles 2
From one group of heroes to another, Incredibles 2 gets my number four spot. I feel like I’m the only one who still likes this movie. Spider-Verse came out and suddenly everyone hates this film, but not me. This is one of the best sequels I have ever seen. It picks up right where the original left off without missing a beat and somehow finds a way to tell another grounded story. These Incredibles films are the most accurate portrayal of what a world of superheroes would be like and for that I salute it.
3. A Star is Born
A Star is Born is a film that had all the hype around it going in with the same trailer playing in front of every movie and boy did it live up. This is a film that is endlessly re-watchable with Bradley Cooper establishing himself as a fore in Hollywood to look out for and Lady Gaga as a force in every facet of entertainment. The songs are beautiful, the story is heartbreaking, and this will be your best picture winner of 2018.
2. Mary Poppins Returns
A late addition that completely floored me is Mary Poppins Returns. The original Mary Poppins is a masterpiece in Disney history and is the definition of pure magic. For them to make a sequel decades later was a gutsy move and one they pulled off. They made this film feel fresh and not just a rehash with all original new songs and dazzling set pieces. Emily Blunt, my God Emily Blunt, she is stunning as the iconic character and is my favorite performance of 2018 in my second favorite film of 2018.
1. Bad Times at the El Royale
Finally, we arrive at my favorite film of the year and it is one absolutely no one is talking about in Bad Times at the El Royale. This film had an incredible trailer that sold its product perfectly. Drew Goddard throws us into this troublesome world where these strangers all end up at the same place with different motives and chaos ensues. The film is original, tense, thrilling, and entertaining all in one and left me sweating by the end. Every year one film gives me a certain feeling I can’t explain (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, Nightcrawler) that instantly tells me, this is my favorite film of the year.
Well there it is. My Top 10 of the year, with some honorable mentions. This has been a whirlwind year for movies and I have loved the thrill of it all. What is your list? Let us know in the comments and hope 2019 is even better.