Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 at 10:00 am
As we dust off from another summer movie season, and get ready to dive into Fall and of course Oscar season, I think it is time to take a look at my list of the Top 10 Movies of 2018 … so far.
As I look over the list of movies I have seen so far, I can say there are a few surprises and a few movies that I can say disappointed me a little. But let’s keep things positive and talk about the best movies I have seen so far.
But before we get to the top ten, I would like to give a few honorable mentions, which ended up being mostly comedies. Jumanji, Game Night, and Life of the Party, were all movies I wasn’t too interested in seeing, but some early buzz peaked my interest and I have to say that I really ended up liking them. I missed out on seeing Blockers, which is another that got lots of positive buzz, and I hope to check this out before 2018 comes to a close.
10. Ocean’s 8
And we kick things off with Ocean’s 8, a movie all about girl power, with a great cast of ladies, all bringing a little something different to it. A nice heist film with lots of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes. Lots of laughs throughout and some great fashion style for those who are interested. And when James Corden pops up on the screen, he pretty much steals the show. I was a decent fan of the original series, but this was a nice, refreshing installment. And all I really need to do is mention the cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson and Awkwafina; if that doesn’t peak your interest, I am sorry.
9. Ant-Man and the Wasp
And our first Marvel movie on the list, and it’s the sequel to Ant-Man, which I wasn’t a huge fan of, but as you can guess, this one really won me over. We got Michael Pena and his great storytelling back (we all want a special feature that he recaps other Marvel movies), and we got even more Wasp, as Evangeline Lilly was pretty much the star and Paul Rudd was the co-star. Ant-Man and the Wasp movie that begs to be seen in 3D, with the trippy visuals and of course all of the stuff that shrinks and grows is enhanced by the 3D. A nice follow up to Avengers: Infinity War, as we go from dark and dreary to bright and hopeful. Will need to re-watch this and Black Panther again before the end of the year to think about their place on my year-end list.
8: Avengers: Infinity War
And we have yet another Marvel movie, Avengers: Infinity War, next up on my list. I was a little torn by this one, as I struggled to figure out where it belonged on my list. There were parts that I really enjoyed and some that rubbed me the wrong way. But that can be said for most of the Marvel movies, for me. I think my thoughts on this might change after a second viewing, and perhaps after we see what happens in the next installment. They did a great job of making Thanos a great bad guy, and I enjoyed his followers, especially “Squidward.” A story that has been told over numerous movies and I think overall it was worth the wait. With lots of characters in this movie, I will say they did a great job of letting them all get their moments to shine. My biggest issue was with the “snap” was the fact that the emotional impact wasn’t as much for me, as I am someone who keeps up with movie news and I know sequels and such are coming for some of our favorite superheroes.
The great duo of Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, are back with another movie with Charlize Theron leading the way (and quite the transformation), on this journey into motherhood and all that it brings, the good and the bad. Tully is one of those movies that leads you one direction and then throws a curve ball, which begs you to discuss it, and of course, urge a second viewing. It came out recently on Blu-ray and I look forward to watching it again to see all of the stuff I might have missed the first time.
6: Mission: Impossible: Fallout
And we switch things up a little, as we leave motherhood and venture into the wonderful world of Tom Cruise and the Mission Impossible series. I was pretty much excited to see Fallout after watching the very first trailer, that catchy tune and of course the crazy stunts that Tom Cruise does for us. He keeps outdoing himself with each installment, and not even an injury is going to stop him. I said Ant-Man and the Wasp deserves to be seen in 3D, and I would suggest that this begs to be seen in IMAX. It takes advantage of the full IMAX screen as the action turns up. There have been a few movies that got double viewings this year, and this was one of them. There has been some comparisons to Mad Max: Fury Road, and I think this does not compare, yes Mission: Impossible has more realism when it comes to the stunts, but you can’t deny the great visual style that Mad Max Fury: Road that only enhanced the action it brought. And in the Mission: Impossible series I think this is close to the top; this and Rogue Nation are contenders for the cream of the crop. This one I am really looking forward to seeing when it’s released on Blu-ray with special features, especially some behind the scenes of the filming of those crazy stunts.
5: Isle of Dogs
Well at this point on the list, we have come to the one movie that will divide a lot of you. I always have to see one movie in my top ten that isn’t for everyone, but I hope you will give it a shot. Isle of Dogs is a Wes Anderson film, filled with all of the quirks and visual style that make up a Wes Anderson film. So depending on how you feel about him, will have an impact on you. But a touching tale about a group of dogs and a young boy, on the search for his lost dog. The level of Wes Anderson quirks is summed up by the fact that some of the Japanese dialogue is not subtitled, will need to keep an eye on that for the Blu-ray, may have to turn on the subtitles.
4: Incredibles 2
As a huge fan of Pixar films, it should be no surprise that Incredibles 2 was one I couldn’t wait to see. I was a little worried, but after some positive buzz come out, I felt good going into this one. It’s been awhile since the first one was released, and from the first few minutes of this one, you could see some huge improvements in the technology and it just continued to get better. Some great action scenes, and yet another movie with a female lead and the dad who spends most of the time trying to keep things under control at home while mom is gone. Some great scenes with Jack Jack and Edna Mode, perhaps a future short with these two will be coming soon, perhaps on the Blu-ray. And of course, I need to also point out the short that played before this, Bao, which must like a few other Pixar films, makes you go on an emotional rollercoaster in just a short time, and without dialogue, but some great music to make you feel all of the feels.
3: Eighth Grade
Let’s all rewind to that time in our lives, as we are about to finish up 8th grade and are ready to head to high school. But if you are like me, I was lucky enough to be old enough that social media was not a thing at that time, although I still faced some awkward moments trying to fit in. Eighth Grade is a great film from comedian Bo Burnham, and a great find in Elsie Fisher as Kayla. So many emotions in such a short run time, but a movie that should be seen by all, which is actually going to be a theme for the rest of the movies on this list. And I also have to say that this has the most awkward and adorable date ever.
Blindspotting and Sorry to Bother You have been getting lots of attention these past few months. Some similar ideas, but done in very different ways. I enjoyed this more, as it is more realistic and down to earth. A story of a man (played by Daveed Diggs) who is a few days away from ending his probation, and one night on the way home, he comes across a black guy running by his truck, who is followed by a cop, who eventually shoots the running man. A story that we have come too familiar with in the real world. It sends him down a path, that drives him crazy as he tries to work through it, with the memories repeating in his brain. But he’s not alone, as he has his long-time friend, played by Rafael Casal (in a great performance), a guy who has to prove himself in the streets of Oakland. Plenty of things to make you think and laugh, and make you think even more. Writing this reminds me that I need to get the soundtrack to this one, some great rap music throughout, and I am hoping some of the rapping in the movie dialogue is included as well. And also some kudos to both Diggs and Casal, not only for the acting, but also for writing this movie as well. After reading and watching a few other reviews, I really want to see this one again, although to be honest I was planning on seeing it again either way.
1: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
I think we can all agree that life is wild and crazy right now. Bad seems to be winning, and I can think of no better reason why you should check out my number one choice, the documentary about Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I remember watching the show as a kid, although I don’t remember too much from it, but Mister Roger’s was a great role model for kids growing up these past few decades. A sign of what it means to be a good person, and sharing that good with others, to make the world a much better place. There were a few times I had to hold back the tears, so be prepared, but sometimes it is good to cry some happy tears. And I leave you with a quote from Fred Rogers: “Love is at the root of everything — all learning, all parenting, all relationships. Love or the lack of it. And what we see and hear on the screen is part of who we become.”
And there you go, there’s my top ten movies of 2018, so far. Now we wait to see how much of the Oscar season makes an impact on this list. I also feel like a few of these movies could be switched, and that means I will have to re-watch a few of these before my final list is compiled. How does this list compare to yours? Which movies am I missing?