Hey, would you look at that! 2018, the year we never thought would end, is finally coming to a close. Although the cash cow that is Hollywood still insists on hastily spewing out reboot after reboot, an abundance of great films came out of this year, both big and small. A preface to this list is that no film is objectively better than others (in most cases; pitting The Godfather up against The Emoji Movie is another discussion), so they won’t be in any order or ranked in anyway. Also, these aren’t necessarily the “best” movies of the year, but rather movies that came out of this year that are definitely worth a watch. This list is based on my own personal preferences and not just which films received the most critical acclaim. Enjoy!
Avengers: Infinity War – Arguably the biggest movie of 2018, the third Avengers installment and like, 7,000th Marvel movie brought together a ridiculous ensemble of comic book characters and mashed together a big steaming heap of Hollywood talent pretty seamlessly. An abundance of great and surprisingly long-lasting memes arose out of this movie (which obviously has nothing to do with the quality of the movie itself, but I thought I’d mention it). Coming from a huge nerd, Infinity War defied my expectations and proved itself to be extremely rewatchable.
Hereditary – I’d like to specifically give this film credit for reinvigorating my love for the horror genre, after a slew of trashy, jump-scare filled flicks have stunk up the box office for such a long time. Hereditary is a great movie for both general film-lovers and for horror-lovers (though it may not be for general audiences). Toni Collette certainly deserves more recognition for her frighteningly-good performance (I’m looking at you, Academy!), and Milly Shapiro turned in a terrifying performance as well.
A Star is Born – Probably the biggest surprise on this list, A Star is Born had everything working against it. An A-list actor’s directorial debut, a Grammy-award winning artist in her first leading film role, and the fact that this movie had been literally made three times already apparently had no effect on the power and emotion that this film brought us. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga demonstrate a raw and intense chemistry that is one for the ages, and the music is quite memorable as well. And for those of you who felt too manly to go see a romance movie with singing in it, go check it out– it’s worth a watch.
Mission Impossible: Fallout – For some weird reason, this series just keeps getting better. The sixth Mission: Impossible movie ended up being quite possibly the greatest action movie I’ve ever seen. Loaded with twists and turns and mindblowing set pieces, this film defied the notion that a grand finale must be saved for the end of a movie. Tom Cruise once again puts his life in danger (literally, the man does his own stunts) as Ethan Hunt in this spy-thriller action flick.
Beautiful Boy: A slow burn, this movie gets a slot on this list because of the fact that it’s stayed in my mind months after having watched it. While this movie may not go down as one of the best of this year, it contains two fantastic performances (Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet) and expresses a raw and important message about drug abuse and addiction.
Sorry to Bother You: Somehow, the marketing for this movie managed to advertise it as something completely different than it is. I don’t want to spoil it either. Just go check it out, it’s a wild ride.
Upgrade: Another crazy action movie, Upgrade follows discount-Tom Hardy (Logan Marshall-Green) as he’s followed by some bionically-enhanced super-assassins in a dystopian world. This movie contains some stunning camera work, impressive choreography, a super-cool soundtrack, and a plethora of moments that will leave you in shock. You’ll have to get past some cheesy dialogue, but this movie is a great pick if you’re ever bored and want to watch something with your friends.
Unsane: The fact that this movie was allegedly filmed entirely on a smartphone just makes it that much more creepy. Unsettling close-ups and fuzzy, dimly lit cinematography make for a pretty great combination. This film is a weird hybrid of The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and a bunch of other B-list horror films. Claire Foy hands in a great performance as someone who literally never has things go her way. And the guy who plays the stalker in this movie will give you nightmares.
Game Night: This is another film that would be a great choice for someone who’s looking for something On-Demand at 11:00 on a Saturday night (that’s how I found this movie). Game Night is the perfect blend of comedy, action, and thriller, and it took a number of risks that impressed and surprised me the whole way through.
Mid90s: This movie was chock-full of child performances that just aren’t seen in Hollywood today. Sunny Suljic leads a pack of skater kids in this nostalgia-filled coming-of-age movie. With a great soundtrack and some fun moments, Mid90s was a blast.