What a year! I feel like I saw most of what I wanted to see in 2018. However, I did miss things like Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Front Runner, Boy Erased, and Welcome to Marwen… I guess Mary Poppins too/two. With that all out of the way, it should be known that the best movies (in chronological order) of 2018 were: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Blackkklansman, The Favourite, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!
January’s winner is… Hostiles! I remember seeing ads for this movie last year but it wasn’t available in theatres till 2018 and I didn’t end up seeing it until 2019… but it worked. It’s not my favourite Christian Bale performance but the cast as a whole in a addition to the beautiful scenery really took this movie over the top for me. It’s not necessarily an exciting film, however, there is a vibe to it and I just so happened to catch it.
Den of Thieves wasn’t the thrill ride I thought I was walking into. It actually took itself way more seriously than I anticipated. Not a ton of scenery chewing going on. I kinda missed that. However, it was nice to see the movie and genuinely not know what was going to happen at the end, even though I assumed I did.
A Stupid and Futile Gesture went over better than I was told it would, but I think part of the disconnect was seeing established (to me) comedians taking on other iconic comedians and not really capturing their essence. Or I should say how I saw those people. On the plus side is was interesting seeing Will Forte play more of an antagonistic character.
February’s winner is… Black Panther! I really had high expectations. And Ryan Coogler stepped up to the plate and delivered something special. To say nothing of numbers this movie did, it’s all about the conversations that were had about this movie. On Spoiled Rotten, That Shelf, and on this blog in addition to with family members and the internet in general. I know there are people who are mad (for some really strange reason) that this might be nominated for an Oscar… those ignoramuses aside, this movie is a crowd pleaser that gets at some deep things as well.
Annihilation, I felt, was a lot of good ideas that didn’t come together to make an amazing movie, but a very interesting one. My assumption is that there are people out here that love this movie, and I ain’t mad at them. Game Night was quite the surprise. It wasn’t in danger of being the best movie out this month, but it was way better than the trailers let on.
I have no hate for Cloverfield Paradox or Mute but I have no love for them either. I didn’t think they worked at all. You can listen to me try to dissect Paradox on Spoiled Rotten and Mute was at least a more interesting world to spend time in.
March’s winner is… The Death of Stalin! I love Veep, so it only makes sense that I’d love this movie made by the same person. Yes some of the humour comes from everyone using their natural accents even though they’re all, mostly, Russian. But if you like the mean spirited humour of Veep/In The Loop as well as Russian history, this movie is a can’t miss.
Another movie that was close to winning this month was Love, Simon. There was genuinely moving moments (I’m a sucker for any scene where a parent you think isn’t on board, gets on board or reveals that they’ve always been on board), as well as an interesting mystery to make everything a bit more interesting than just a teen comedy/rom-com. Isle of Dogs was a great movie (said the Wes Anderson fan), however, I really felt like the dogs sounded far too similar. I’d also like to point out that this has got to be the most diverse Wes Anderson cast so that’s not nothing.
Sadly, I have nothing nice to say about A Wrinkle in Time or IT’s Over Man. Despite my love for Ava and the Workaholics, their cinematic output this year left something to be desired.
April’s winner is… Avengers: Infinity War! It is not a secret that I’m in the bag for this MCU thing. But that doesn’t mean that I blindly love everything they do. Infinity War made sure that it gave me what I needed as a fan instead of what I thought I wanted. While I didn’t think everyone got their moment, I was surprised by who stepped up and made a name for themselves in this outing. I don’t know how Endgame will top this but I’m happy even if it just wraps everything up after this truly wonderful film.
A Quiet Place had a great concept that I appreciated being executed on the big screen. I feel like it lost some umph when I watched again on Netflix. Also I’ve learned this year that without a doubt, I appreciate dialogue driven film so…
I really liked Blockers. Not just because it introduced me to the woman WHO NEEDS TO PLAY MS MARVEL, but because it was a raunchy teen comedy that got the parents in on the fun adding a layer that you don’t normally get.
Batman Ninja at least looked pretty, I Feel Pretty had it’s moments (specifically featuring Michelle Williams) and the Week of was horrible. So horrible, in fact, that I didn’t watch Adam Sandler’s stand up special on Netflix before I wrote the post about the best stand up of 2018. That’s unfortunate, since that Special probably would have made the cut.
May’s winner is… Deadpool 2! I get that people weren’t “surprised” by Deadpool 2. But I found that it did what I want from a sequel, it dug deeper into the characters. The first movie explored Deadpool’s vanity, and this movie explored Deadpool’s selfishness… as it pertained to family and relationships that don’t involve sex or money. That’s great, if you ask me.
I mean I guess, Solo is second… it’s not a remarkable movie, but it’s not horrible… so that’s good… I guess. Someone will have to explain the appeal of Tully to me. I felt like I got half a movie. I’m in the bag for Melissa Macarthy so I don’t have anything bad to say about Life of the Party… I got what I wanted out of it. Farenheit 451 would work better as a series a la Sharp Objects. Maybe with more time given to individual characters, some moments would feel better earned. but hey, it’s MBJ! It can’t be all that bad.
Ibiza was all that bad. There was barely anything driving the plot. Things just happened and it never really felt like there were stakes. Let me know if you had fun with it though.
June’s winner is… Incredibles 2! Incredibles is one of the greatest Pixar movies. I didn’t think it was a good idea to try and bring these characters back. Turns out I was wrong. It was fun hanging with this family again and it was great watching Elastigirl get to do her thing. I liked that the villain had the plan that they did but understand what people didn’t like about it.
Hereditary made a great case for A24 being one of the illest. My problem with it is that it’s designed to be great at scaring me… and I don’t like being scared. Meaning where the movie ended up felt disappointing to me. However, I get if people have this at the top of their lists. You can hate me all you want, but I dug Ocean’s Eight. I love heist movies and this one delivered. I didn’t think I’d like Tag but I did. it certainly was a great showcase for Jeremey Renner. I’ll always watch movies like Hotel Artemis. It wasn’t the best it could have been, but I love movies like that and it gave Dave Bautista and Jodie Foster A LOT to do.
I do not like Jurassic World 2. My feelings haven’t changed since I spoiled it on Spoiled Rotten. I didn’t hate Upgrade but it took too long to get going and I guess it was overhyped for me so it had an uphill battle to being with. Uncle Drew was better than I thought it would be and it still wasn’t GOOD.
July’s winner is… Eighth Grade! July actually had some heavy hitters but it turns out nothing gets to me like something from Bo Burnham’s mind. In addition to a great lead. I remember having versions of the awkward encounters that Kayla had and it worked for me.
Alternatively, Mission:Impossible could have won this month. It was a GREAT action film and potentially proof that Tom Cruise, Lowkey, has one of the best franchises going. I think things fell apart in Sorry to Bother You once the true nature of the villains/the movie as a whole was revealed, however, it’s ambitious and I want to see more movies by people like Boots Reily. I’m not joiking. I loved Teen Titans. I never watched the show, I only respected Young Justice, but it was truly Deadpool for kids. The meta jokes, the fourth wall breaking, it even has an amazing Stan Lee cameo… in a DC movie… . It’s amazing.
Ant-Man & The Wasp didn’t work for me. It wasn’t a bad movie, it just needed to be more cohesive. Blindspotting is ambitious, just like Sorry to Bother You, but it felt less sure of itself which I feel hurt the film. I wish I liked The Equalizer 2. There were a couple of good moments, but the first one worked way better for me.
August’s winner is… Blackkklansman! This year I found out Spike Lee’s still got it. Other than my mother, I haven’t met anyone that didn’t recognize that Spike’s latest is operating on a NEXT LEVEL. There’s humour, truly emotional moments and dope performances all throughout!
Searching was surprisingly good considering I thought a certain performance had a flaw when really it was just a layered performance. Way to stay ahead of me, movie. Crazy Rich Asians was a great experience. I know that it’s got all the trappings of a run of the mill rom-com but because it wasn’t the run of the mill leads, i got more out of the experience. And I think we’re all the better for having Constance Wu in the lead of a movie and the ever charismatic Henry Golding.
The Spy Who Dumped Me wasn’t bad at all! I loved the two leads, and it was nice to see Kate McKinnon play a character who gets called out on her wacky ways. Christopher Robin was Hook but with Winnie the Pooh… yeah it worked for me… obviously. I didn’t quite get the ending of Mile 22 but I’ve come to realize that Mark Whalberg is actually a genre of film and this was a perfectly adequate entry in that genre.
The Meg sucked. I don’t care how much money it made.
September’s winner is… White Boy Rick! Not just because nothing else was great this month. I almost had White Boy Rick in the top 5. Granted, I’m going to like any kind of story with this subject matter, but the cast was on point and the music was great too!
The Predator isn’t great but every issue I had with the original was fixed in this movie. AKA more dialogue and a better sense of team building. Yes the ending is dumb and even I, someone who is indifferent to the Predator series, could see how some of the lore was disrespected, but I still had fun with this group of characters. A Simple Favor brought back my boy Henry from Crazy Rich Asians. Albeit in a far less charming role. On the whole the movie felt like Gone Girl lite and there was a bit of tone clash that didn’t help the ending. Still an okay movie that I think I liked more than Pauline [it should be noted I only saw it because Pauline wanted to go see it].
Yikes… Night School… the trailers tricked me. That rarely happens. It didn’t even meet my ridiculously lowered expectations.
October’s winner is… Mid90s! A cast of predominantly unknowns and a great soundtrack is all I needed for Jonah Hill’s directorial debut. The casting was perfect for this movie and it didn’t matter that it dealt with something I never engaged in, skating. It still felt like a group I could have hung out with and I loved learning about what made them tick.
I know I like movies about musicians no matter what, but I didn’t think I’d like A Star is Born as much as I did. I thought there were some great performances and not only did Dave Chappelle show up from the trailers but Eddie Griffin is in it too! Private Life was very interesting but I feel like it ultimately outstayed its welcome as the story kept progressing. I sort of stopped rooting for the main couple which isn’t a good sign. Bad Times took a swing and I’m always impressed when movies do that. It had some great moments and even introduced me to Cynthia Erivo who is a straight up star! First Man confirmed that no matter how well a movie is put together, if it’s about the Moon… I just can’t get into it all the way. And The Sisters Brothers just wasn’t as fun as it needed to be based on its cast. Didn’t mean it was a bad movie though.
Venom… what can I say that I didn’t already in my spoiler review on Spoiled Rotten? I thought it would be horrible, but if you like Tom Hardy, there’s a good chance you’ll be on board with this wacky film that I’d definitely watch sequels to despite it’s complete lack of respect to the source material. The Oath is less a comedy and more a sort of home invasion film with some funny people in it. Not sure how you properly promote that but I enjoyed it for what it is even if it took a bit too long to get to the good part. I wish The Kindergarten Teacher went further on anything it touched on but I guess I’ve never been the subtle film type.
Sorry I didn’t like Beautiful Boy. I can’t ignore the craftsmanship on display but I found that the beautiful boy in question didn’t display enough likeable traits for me to invest in him. The movie made it clear that it didn’t matter what his loved ones did… which is real life, but didn’t make for a compelling film. If I can’t hope that Nic’s family can turn him around I at least need to like him enough to stick with him as he gets clean and relapses throughout.
November’s winner is… The Favourite! My boy Yorgos is 3/3 if you ask me. I don’t want to find out he’s said/done something mad problematic. I just want to trust that he makes great movies because he’s not a horrible person. The thing I love about all of the English language Lanthimos movies is not just the dialogue but how it’s delivered. That’s specifically important in this movie since Yorogos didn’t write this movie, but it still has his signature off-beat line delivery in there. I wanted this movie to be even longer I loved spending time with all the characters.
November was quite the month considering I truly dug Widows. Daniel Kaluuya showed that he can be a nice guy in Get Out but he’s just as believable as a villain in Black Panther and Widows. In fact people like Pauline think he was the villain of the year and she’s definitely not alone. Widows wasn’t just about the villains, it was about the great group of leads who take matters into their own hands and turn a bad situation into a profitable one. Green Book is a nice movie for what it is. I still maintain that it was weird to show Viggo’s character be so racist at the beginning considering they didn’t really want to explore that and just wanted to tell a story about two men who become friends… but whatever. I actually liked Ralph Breaks the Internet less than Incredibles 2… didn’t see that coming, but it was still a solid film and I’m glad it exists. Bodied was just as good as I wanted it to be and had me leaning in at the final battle. Literally at the edge of my seat. Buster Scruggs was a great experience but I wish there was something connecting all the stories or that it was released as an anthology series on Netflix.
Bohemian Rhapsody is about musicians. So I liked it. I just didn’t love it and I don’t know why. Creed II had a similar issue. I was already on board to love it and it came up just a bit short. No big deal, they’re still two really strong films. Apparently I’m the only person (other than the audience I saw it with) who liked Fantastic Beasts 2. I liked that the wonder was gone and the movie focused on adults just using the magic for their adult needs. And I liked the possibly accidental on-the-nose commentary on what type of people support dangerous politicians who have a kernel of policy that may help them. Roma was one of the better looking films I saw but it fell into the category of possibly too subtle for me. Beyond the technical aspects I need someone to hold my hand and walk me through what else was great.
December’s winner is… Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse! Everything I love about this movie can be heard in great detail on this episode of Spoiled Rotten.
Beale Street and Ben Is Back are tied for second place this month. I’m all in for Lucas Hedges movies and I’ve got nothing but respect for Barry Jenkins but both these movies are something else. I know Ben is just the Lucas version of Beautiful Boy, and I get the sense that people don’t like it as much, but I found Lucas’ Ben to be way more engaging than Timothée’s Nic and the family dynamic worked better in Ben since I got the sense that Ben cared about how he was perceived by his family even if he didn’t think they could help him. Beale street looked amazing and had two scenes that were exactly what I want out of a movie like this. The families meeting to talk about the pregnancy and Regina King going to Peurto Rico. Amazing!
Vice came off as a bit of a confused movie. I heard Adam McKay say that the first act was the toughest to figure out, and as an audience memeber I can say it was the toughest to sit through. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to love in the movie but it’s not as cohesive as The Big Short… we don’t need to get into the Will Ferrell movies I love by Adam either. I loved watching Bird Box more than I liked thinking about some of the issues the movie had once the movie was over. But it was still a nice surprise.
Aquaman… I talked about it on Spoiled Rotten. It’s a movie I wanted to like because of the effort put in but I ultimately couldn’t because of the character it was about and a weird tendency to gloss over any type of dramatic moment that could give depth to characters. Bumblebee isn’t a much better film than Aquaman but I liked it more for some reason.
Now that you see which were the best movies of each month, you can see how I got the top 5 that I did. It’s time for you to learn which movie I liked the most. I love Infinity War and Black Panther for very different reasons but I love them the same amount. I guess that means they cancel each other out.
If I’m talking the best film of the year I don’t want to have “it was great but…” at the top of my mind. Black Panther and Infinity War have that. I loved Black Panther but felt the visuals could have been better. Which is an issue when the final battle between Killmonger and T’Challa isn’t as great as the initial battle between M’Baku and T’Challa or even the first battle between Killmonger and T’Challa. I know the movie has more important things it’s dealing with and I respect that about the movie but… Infinity War just isnt’ a complete movie. I can’t ever forget that. It requires that you saw everything that came before it and definitely Endgame. The Favourite was amazing until the weird arthouse ending with kaleidoscope bunnies. Again… I’ll cop to not being the most sophisticated film-goer but I just couldn’t get my head around that choice given everything that came before it that worked so much better. Blackkklansman was near perfect but the one thing that always sticks out is that Ron doesn’t change his voice at all when he meets Duke and the boys. I understand that he probably wouldn’t need to because why would Duke and them ever suspect anything but it still should have been a concern for Ron. I also didn’t like that Flip didn’t seem all that torn up about the white power stuff he leaned into at the end of the movie. Also the ending seemed like everything got wrapped up in a neat package… so much so that I was sure they were going to tell me it was all a dream.
2018’s winner is… Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! I honestly can’t think of any “but…”s . it was the best looking movie I saw all year. It had representation. It had a team up. It had great music. It had witty dialogue. It had everything I want in a movie. It even had something I don’t usually see. A relationship between a father and a son that mirrors mine. No I’m not every single detail. But one important one. The fact that Jefferson vocalizes his belief in Miles is what puts Miles over the top. It wasn’t Peter. B Parker always rooting for him, and it wasn’t even a moment where he needed it to stay alive or get the job done. It was the moment that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that his father loved him and believed in him. Which is something that resonates with me in a big way. Welp! I’ve pretty much guaranteed that I haven’t picked the Oscar winner of this year but I’m ok with that.