It’s finally that time again when I list all the great and maybe not so great films I’d seen that year. I don’t know about you, but 2018 wasn’t too bad for me personally. Everything outside my bubble however was a fucking shit show.
But I digress, like every year we were handed a ton of great movies and a ton of shit. Like most years, that scale leans more to the shit side of things.
This year I feel wasn’t the year of movies, but the year of actors, as we got many tremendous performances but performances in maybe not so stellar movies. The best example of that being Bohemian Rhapsody.
Like every year, I’m breaking down the films that I loved in 2018, with a list of the films I hated to come shortly later. But before the countdown begins, I want to highlight some films that didn’t make my best list, but are still noteworthy films that I think are worth checking out.
So to start things off, here is my list of some honorable mentions.
Bad Times at the El Royale – Very cool Tarantino, Coen brothers vibe.
Upgrade – What Venom should have been.
The Night Eats the World – A fun zombie movie worth checking out.
Set It Up – A Netflix film that took me by surprise as it’s a romantic comedy that’s both romantic and funny? Really enjoyed it, worth giving it a view this Valentine’s Day.
Bad Samaritan – A fun little thriller, with David Tennant playing a very convincing psychopath.
Alpha – This one took a bit of trying to get me to sit down and fully watch this one. A film like this can’t fully be appreciated unless you’re watching it on a giant screen. This film is stunning to look at.
You Might Be the Killer – The best horror comedy of the year. I found this film witty and original, something most horror comedies or just horror in general is sadly missing.
Arizona – I ended up loving the hell out of this. Danny McBride is fantastic, turning on the creep factor as his character becomes more and more of a lunatic. You think you’re there to see this comedy film, but really it’s a dark humored thriller. A must see.
White Boy Rick – This film is worth seeing just because of how fantastic Matthew McConaughey is in it.
Annihilation – This was on my best list but got knocked off at the last minute, but it was a hard choice to make as I loved this movie.
Outlaw King – Basically a sequel to Braveheart as this film picks up almost exactly where that film left off with Mel Gibson’s character William Wallace murdered and hung in the streets.
First Man – Just some fantastic acting from Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. Claire Foy should have been nominated for an Oscar in this. Ryan Gosling gives this very subtle performance as this quiet man dealing with the death of his young daughter. It’s especially worth seeing if you have a love for the moon landing and NASA.
Creed 2 – Another film that should have been on my list but got cut. I enjoyed this a bit more than the first and loved it as a true sequel to Rocky 4.
Halloween (2018) – People were split on this film, I absolutely loved it. I didn’t think the premise of retconning all the other movies but the first would work, but I ended up really enjoying it. I also enjoyed the humor Danny McBride gave it.
Ant-Man and the Wasp – The second best Marvel universe film this year. Unfortunately it didn’t make the cut. But it was still a super fun film worth checking out.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – It had one too many bad or boring stories to get on the list, but the stories that were great are a must see.
Isle of Dogs – Absolutely loved this movie. I was head over heels for it. Then I remembered I fell asleep during the third act. I still think the film is fantastic, but the end does slightly drag a bit.
Vice – I’m pretty sure Christian Bale will win another Oscar with his performance. My issue however isn’t with the acting or the writing, as I loved the writing in this, my issue was with the subject matter itself. Dick Cheney is an evil dirt bag and the only thing you learn about his life before getting into politics was he used to be a drunken dirt bag.
Now that that is out of the way, here are the best films of 2018 according to me.
BEST FILMS OF 2018
10. What They Had –Robert Forster gives an Oscar worthy performance, so does Michael Shannon and Hilary Swank. It had a perfect balance of humor and drama. It could get you laughing one minute and holding back tears the next. It’s a shame not many got a chance to see this one what it was released straight to on demand. Give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed.
9. Ideal Home – One of the funniest comedies I’ve seen this year. I really wasn’t expecting too much from this one as the only reason I even heard of it was because Paul Rudd was in it. He’s also the only reason I decided to give this one a watch and boy am I glad I did, as this film was hilarious, not to mention touching as well. Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan play a bickering gay couple and wow do they have some great chemistry together. Their characters aren’t the most likable in the world but somehow they make you care about them and their sometimes toxic relationship they have with each other. I found the film so touching and hilarious, it is a must see.
8. Green Book – I was shocked at how much I ended up really loving this movie. Viggo Mortensen gives an outstanding performance, who I have my fingers crossed gets him an Oscar win.
7. The Sisters Brothers – The trailers for this film are wildly misleading. I assume since this stars John C. Reilly, they weren’t completely sure how to market this. So they tried their best to make the film seem like this jokey silly western, when in reality this is a gritty, violent western that starts the film off with horses burning to death in a barn. Talk about comedy! Pure slapstick! That isn’t to say the film isn’t without humor, it’s just not at all how the trailer portrays it. Scenes in the trailer that seem to be jokey, are actually serious moments in the film. Even Hostiles had some humor to it at times. This was the best western of the year in my opinion. There’s a fantastic scene where John C. Reilly has a spider crawl into his mouth as he sleeps, then a good portion of the movie his face is swollen, vomiting up baby spiders and blood. When he wakes from his fever, he comes to with his brother post battle with a giant bear and his horse scarred from the attack. No explanation really, he just wakes up to find that while he was out, this insane thing just happened. Then the rest of the film we watch as John C. Reilly’s horse gets sicker and sicker, his wounded eye gets more and more infected… the film also kept my interest with Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed’s side story. Is Riz Ahmed a snake oil salesman, trying to fool everyone with this glow in the dark gold finder? Even the end result to that story was shocking. The film does however end somewhat disappointing as it sets up this big showdown with the Commodore after he’s sent bounty hunter after bounty after the Sisters brothers, only to find that the commodore died off screen some time ago. Still a fantastic film, just don’t go into thinking this is some kind of comedy, as it is far from it.
6. Overlord – The most fun I had in the theater seeing a movie. This was the last film I reviewed for horror month and boy did I go out with a bang. In that review I described it as a badass, over the top grindhouse film. And that pretty much sums it up.
5. The Death of Stalin – This might be the funniest film of the year for me. When Hank reviewed the script for this, I had never even heard of the movie. But I managed to track a copy down and watch it that night. The best word to describe this movie is it’s clever. The writing is so clever, the acting, especially the acting from Steve Buscemi gave an Oscar worthy performance.
4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Hands down the best documentary I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in many many years. I was slightly hesitant to see this, as I was afraid it might reveal that Mr. Rogers was some creepy dude. I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and I don’t think I could handle some kind of scandal about him too, in this world now where every celebrity you like ends up being a molesting asshole. Thankfully, Mr. Rogers wasn’t a monster but this genuinely great guy who just loved kids. The documentary is touching and really heartwarming. The film didn’t really go into how he died however, leaving things slightly ambiguous as to what he died from. I’m sure a simple google search could answer that question for me, but honestly, I’d rather not know. Which might be why they didn’t touch on it in the film. If you grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood like myself, then this is absolutely with checking out. Fantastic film about a fantastic person.
3. Deadpool 2 – I found the sequel funnier than the first, with better action, better character moments, better everything. But that might have to do with the fact I’d seen the first a million times and all the jokes had gotten somewhat old. Much like the first bluray release, this is packed full of special features and deleted scenes. So many features in fact that I have yet to get through them all. There’s even another cut of the film which is funny, but it cuts out one of the theatrical’s best gags, being Deadpool wearing Professor X’s helmet cerebro. I passed on seeing the cash-in PG-13 cut that came out on Christmas, Once Upon a Deadpool. I really hope it isn’t a sign of things to come.
2. Avengers: Infinity War – It took several movies over so many years to finally lead up to this movie and oh my god did it deliver. People more importantly, kids where devastated in the theater, seeing all their favorite superheroes die horribly. My main focus was towards this one kid upfront who cheered when Black Panther showed up then cried when he disintegrated by the end. Then having to witness Spiderman also suffer the same fate… the word of the day, kids was Schadenfreude. Don’t worry, they got their revenge by bringing a crying baby into the theater. Fuck off, parents for taking your screaming infant to a 2 and a half hour movie. Either find a babysitter or just don’t go to the fucking theater. Oh course it goes without saying I’m excited for Endgame and obviously you should expect a review on it in the future.
1.Mandy – Nic “The Rage” Cage is back with a vengeance as he portrays Red Miller, a recovering alcoholic lumberjack who lives in a forest out in the middle of nowhere with his girlfriend Mandy. Once she catches the eye of Jeremiah, a narcissistic psychotic cult leader, played by from what I learned, an actual cult leader, that’s when all hell breaks loose and they did the one thing you should never do. Anger the Rage Cage! I absolutely loved this movie. No other film in 2018 got my as hyped up as Mandy did. Mandy is the long awaited follow up to director Panos Cosmatos’ only other film Beyond the Black Rainbow. Once I heard Nic Cage was onboard, I knew I’d be in for one hell of a ride, leaving me eagerly anticipating what Mandy was or could be. Then the trailer drops and it’s about as insane and brutal as I ever could have hoped for. But could the movie live up to what the trailer promised? A hell ride of insanity? Yes! And then some. The visuals are stunning, the score is this synth throwback to the 80’sJohn Carpenter inspired soundtrackgoodness. Nic Cage was allowed to be Nic Cage who yes, has been stuck doing straight to video movies like Bruce Willis, but unlike him, Cage still gives his all and in Mandy he gives 110%. The film takes its time, giving you a moment to know and understand Red and Mandy’s relationship. So when the evil guys show up to take away their quiet peaceful lives, you should care. No other film since maybe Fury Road got me this excited and actually lived up to the hype. It’s hands down the best film I have seen this year and I’ve seen a lot of really great movies this year, making this list hard to narrow down. But not one ever took the top spot, Mandy’s rightful thrown.
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