Ross is a student at the University of Maryland. He is planning on majoring in Film Studies and English.
As 2019 rolls in, I look back at the films that I watched in 2018. Every year comes with good and bad movies, but luckily this year, I enjoyed most of the movies that I watched, even the ones that didn't get great reviews. Some exceeded my expectations while others disappointed me. However, there were some that stayed with me more than others. Here is my list of the top 10 best movies of 2018. This is strictly my opinion so all of this is subjective. I wasn't able to see every movie in 2018 so there are some good ones that I may not have seen yet. Here are some honorable mentions before the top 10. Some of these were hard to keep off of my list.
- A Star is Born
- A Simple Favor
- The Incredibles 2
- Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Isle of Dogs
- Love, Simon
- Eighth Grade
- Creed II
- Black Panther
It's hard to believe that a franchise which started in the 1990's would still be this good. This is the sixth film in the franchise and it is still as action-packed as ever. Director Christopher McQuarrie elevated the franchise with the fifth entry and continues to knock it out of the park with this film. This film has some of the best action scenes ever, especially the helicopter chase scene at the end. The film has a great cast, but once again it all revolves around Tom Cruise who continues to nail this role. I really do respect his dedication to these films when he does his own stunts. It really does help to give the action scenes a raw and intense feeling. I still think that the fifth film is the best of the franchise, but this is very close to the top.
9. Deadpool 2
Apparently, I liked this movie a lot more than everyone else did. In fact, I think I liked it more than the first one. It had more heart, more laughs, better action, and a more interesting story. It even had more X-men. Not only that, but we were introduced to two great new characters with Josh Brolin as Cable and Zazie Beetz as Domino. However, Deadpool still steals the show. Ryan Reynolds is clearly born to play this role and he knows it. It is unclear whether a Deadpool 3 is coming, but I really hope it does. Disney, please make it happen.
8. Bad Times at the El Royale
This is definitely one of the most overlooked films of 2018. It didn't do very well at the box office and it deserved to be seen. The film features great performances from a stellar cast including Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Jeff Bridges, and Chris Hemsworth. However, the two standouts would be Bridges and rising star Cynthia Erivo. Director Drew Goddard does a great job at creating stories that intertwine with one another and giving each character interesting backstories. The stories all come together to deliver a suspenseful and action-packed payoff. The best way to describe this movie is a Tarantino film that is not directed by Tarantino. If that at all interests you, then definitely check this one out.
7. First Man
While receiving critical praise, the film had some mixed reactions from audiences. I think that is because some people were expecting an intense story about the space race, but that's not what we got. What we got was an in depth look at the man Neil Armstrong, with some amazing space scenes. Ryan Gosling gives a great performance as Armstrong who is a stoic man who hides his emotions away but has a lot going on underneath his strong frame. Claire Foy also delivers an amazing performance as his wife. However, the star of the film is director Damien Chazelle. He delivers some of the best space scenes I have ever seen. The effects are great and the way he films it just makes it feel as though you are in the spacecraft with the crew. The incredible score from Justin Hurwitz also adds to the epic scope of space. There are moments of intensity, but in the end, this film does an amazing job at capturing the events of the space race and the actions of an American hero.
Look out, Oscars. Netflix is coming! Typically, I don't like movies like this . An artsy movie that just follows the lives of a family, but doesn't have much story. However, something about this movie riveted me. This is due to the outstanding direction of Alfonso Cuaron who I think delivers the best directed movie of the year. Even though the film is black and white, every frame is beautiful and filled with detail There are many scenes that focus on one thing, but have so much going on in the background. The film follows the character of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) and what she goes through is very traumatic and intense but it is captured beautifully by Cuaron. The main reason it is not higher on my list is just that it's not an enjoyable movie. It's heartbreaking at many moments and some moments are hard to watch. Cuaron really lets certain scenes linger and stick with you emotionally. It also can feel a bit lengthy at times. However, if you have a Netflix subscription, then I strongly suggest watching this.
5. A Quiet Place
Another year, another fantastic horror movie from a surprising director. Last year, it was Jordan Peele, and this year it is John Krasinski. Krasinski does an excellent job setting up suspense and thrills throughout the film. He also does a great job at building the world that the film is set in. The film uses sound in such a unique way. From the noises of the creatures to the way that the film puts us in the perspective of the deaf daughter, it is all so well done. A Quiet Place is also elevated by the fantastic performances, not just from Krasinski and Emily Blunt, but from the two kids as well. The connection and likability of the film only makes their scenes of peril even more intense. The film even managed to make the audience be quiet while watching this and that is a big plus in my book.
Spike Lee is known for his movies that contain a powerful social message. BlacKkKlansman did deliver on that, however, it also delivered a movie that had a surprising amount of humor and heart. Obviously, there are disturbing moments, especially at the end, which reminds us how the racism and hate seen in this movie is still present today. There are still moments of humor that help to take the darkness out and bring some light in, making this film even more entertaining to watch. Sometimes the symbolism does become a bit too obvious, but it is still a very powerful film. John David Washington emerges as a star along with a great performance from Adam Driver. What makes this film even more interesting is that it is based off of a true story.
Another very overlooked movie, this movie really surprised me. It is a very relevant movie that provides interesting commentary on things such as racial identity, gentrification, police brutality, gun control, and more, but it does it in a very interesting way. It never hits you over the head with it. It feels very natural. The characters sometimes discuss through freestyle rap which actually worked for me. The film stars Daveed Diggs, who starred in the original Broadway cast of Hamilton, so he is an already proven rapper. Rafael Casal also gives a great performance and him and Diggs have great chemistry since the two are friends in real life. The film has a lot of good humor and suspense and the two are intertwined very well. If you haven't seen this yet or just heard about this for the first time, definitely go check it out.
2. Green Book
This movie is an absolute delight. It is one of the funniest movies I saw this year and has a ton of heart. Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen both give fantastic performances and their chemistry is infectious. They are both very different but the way that their friendship develops is very convincing and you really like both of their characters. It does deal with issues such as segregation, racism, homosexuality, and class division but it never gets too serious, which honestly isn't a problem because this film is more of a crowdpleaser. I found myself laughing, becoming immersed in the drama and getting emotional at certain parts. What more can you ask for in a movie?
1. Avengers: Infinity War
Is this the best film of 2018 in terms of filmmaking and storytelling? Probably not. However, I would be lying if this was not my favorite movie of 2018. This film is just epic. The action scenes, the character moments, and the massive scale of the settings just create an immensely entertaining film. I am a huge Marvel fan so I definitely felt very invested in the characters as I have seen all of the other films already. Marvel really delivered to fans of the franchise by wrapping everything together so nicely. Every character has a moment to shine, some more than others. Although, the star of this film is absolutely Thanos. Marvel had been building him up and they absolutely delivered. He is an awesome villain and, even though I strongly disagree with his methods, you sort of understand his motivations, which is a quality seen in great villains. I also cant forget about that ending mainly because it scarred me. The ending left me speechless and thinking about endless predictions for Avengers: Endgame. I have seen this movie at least 5 times since it first came out simply because there is so many new things to catch every time I watch it. The film still has the classic comedy in a film that is full of hopelessness in so many scenes, but it still works. Infinity War is an absolute masterpiece for Marvel fans and one of the best superhero movies ever made.
John Plocar from Weatherford on January 06, 2019:
Fantastically solid list! I'm glad that it seems you had such a great year in terms of film. While I certainly have a somewhat different list of my own going for the year 2018, there are a few of your picks that overlap with mine and I do say that they are some excellent choices. Great job on your 'Best of' and I hope that your 2019 is full of even better flicks to watch.