Well… we made it. 2018 has come to an end and a new year of movies is upon us. 2018 brought us some of film’s most shocking, enthralling, depressing and entertaining moments ever and in this ranking, we break down the best of the best. The ten movies that will stand the test of time, being revered for their storytelling and technical achievements. Much like our ten best TV series’ ranking, it is clear that, due to the sheer amount of film’s that premiered this year, there were ones that we missed. However, we believe that the ten films listed below best exemplify 2018 in film, where new and exciting stories were shared with audiences. So, to end off 2018, here is Talkies Network’s ranking of the ten best films of 2018!
10. Beautiful Boy
Transcendental films are the ones that go beyond traditional cinema, altering the viewer’s current state of mind, becoming something more. There are certain movies that achieved a truly moving feeling – not just on an emotional level but on a spiritual one as well. Starring Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy gives the rest of the world an inside look into how it impacts the person, his family and the rest of their lives. It is an incredibly heartbreaking and important watch because it deals with a problem that is very prevalent today. Expertly showcasing the impact addiction can have on a family, Beautiful Boy includes phenomenal performances, incredible music and a message to everyone experiencing some form of addiction – you are not alone.
9. A Star is Born
Coming off a fantastic debut at the Venice Film Festival and a terrific showing from the Toronto International Film Festival, Bradley Cooper’s reboot of the classic Hollywood story, A Star is Born, proved to be enticing to many. It cemented Cooper’s standing as a versatile actor and rising director, but the film’s true star was Lady Gaga. Critics were already calling for her to receive an Oscar nomination upon the film’s initial debut. The chemistry between the two leads and the way Cooper and his writers translated the natural emotions encompassed through each character onto the story is simply incredible. 2018’s A Star is Born is by far, the best adaptation of the story and was an emotionally gripping story from start to finish.
8. Sorry to Bother You
Arguably the most original film of the year, Sorry to Bother You is a story that leaves no stone unturned. Its absurdist nature makes way for some of the funniest moments of 2018, but its intricate plot will have people decoding the messages it offers for years to come. Director Boots Riley has crafted a radical analysis on the current state of America and through its hilarity and horror, a conversation amongst moviegoers will be started. It’s an amazing directorial debut for Riley, features amazing performances and proves that the notion of “original movies don’t succeed in Hollywood anymore” is a falsehood.
Spike Lee’s pent up anger uses BlackKklansman to show he is not lost a step in his line of field. A film that lacks suspense, the comedy and the seamless blunt approach to every interaction shines greatly – reflecting much of Lee’s anger and rage towards the current state of the United States. John David Washington plays the titular lead, Ron Stallworth, and is an absolute riot in the role. Adam Driver stands second on the call sheet as Flip Zimmerman and his interactions with Stallworth as well as with KKK members are both hilarious and brutal as they showcase the harsh realities of their backgrounds and how they are depicted.
6. A Quiet Place
It would seem that in today’s era of filmmaking, the unlikeliest of people create something so fascinating that fans remained shocked for days to come. Last year, Jordan Peele wowed audiences with his jaw-dropping social-commentary horror, Get Out, a film that took everybody by surprise. In 2018, it is John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place. Emotionally-driven and terrifyingly captivating, A Quiet Place is a classic from start to finish. Krasinski is able to build a world where all seems lost while still honing in on what makes the film special; parents looking to protect their children at all costs. It features incredible sound design, fantastic performances and nail-biting tension and with the genre experiencing a renaissance, A Quiet Place embodies the zenith of the high-concept horror film. And remember, if they hear, they hunt you.
5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is by far, one of the best action movies in cinematic history; easily the best since Mad Max: Fury Road. With each installment, the series continues to gain momentum and Fallout will leave you once again wanting more from Ethan Hunt and his IMF squad. It is a film that leaves the franchise with endless possibilities for the future as well as containing incredible performances, dazzling visual effects and a musical score for the ages. Fallout is everything you want and more and becomes something more than a film. It is an experience and the only thing I can say is buy the IMAX edition and see this film.
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
2018 was a banner year for animation but no film had such an impact on a wider audience quite like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The best Spider-Man film since Spider-Man 2, the story about Miles Morales and the greater spider-verse has innovative animation, hilarious beats a story that anyone can relate to. The message of “anyone can wear the mask” rings true as Spider-Verse showcases a universe filled superheroes from literally all walks of life. The use of animation that blends CGI and 2D hand-drawn style breaks new ground for the medium as the film went to great lengths to make the film seem like a moving comic book. It’s a bold project that will be remembered not only as the best comic book movie of the year, but one of the best comic book films of all time.
3. Paddington 2
2015’s Paddington was a film that, quite frankly, nobody saw coming. Paddington 2 will be remembered as one of the great “feel-good” movies of the year. Not only does it keep everything you loved about the first film, it successfully ventures into a new direction that will have you smiling from beginning to end. It takes risks but never manages to lose sight of its emotional core that will translate well with parents while still making children happy. Filled with wonderful performances, slapstick comedy and a mature story, Paddington 2 honors its protagonist’s rich history with a sweet-natured adventure that is purely enjoyable for all ages.
2. First Man
From a story about a jazz drummer to a love story about ambitious dreamers, Damien Chazelle made his mark in 2018 with his most daring project yet, First Man. The feature, which details the lunar landings, is without a doubt, Chazelle at his very best as he takes the massive stakes of the mission and blends it seamlessly with the small narrative of one man: Neil Armstrong. . Damien Chazelle has achieved something truly remarkable with this film as he takes a mission of this size and turns it into the small-scale adventure of one man. Even though the audience knows what the ending of this film will be, the question of “is it worth?” will constantly remain in your brain. Chazelle is able to push this question to its upmost limit but in the end, man did indeed walk on the moon; and it was a beautiful, defining moment in the history of our planet. With great performances, stunning visuals and a beautiful musical score, First Man cements its place as not only one of the best space films ever, but one of the most profound biopics in recent history.
Roma is Alfonso Cuaron’s best film to date. After demonstrating that he can tangle with wizards, fight for the future of mankind and return a woman stranded in space back to earth, Cuarón returned to film with a small yet deeply personal story that acts as an ode to the housekeep who raised him following his own father’s desertion of his family. Roma details both the high and low points of one’s life, never shying away from the quieter moments for something more bombastic. 1970s Mexico depicts a broken world and through Cleo, the audience witnesses a near-broken family just trying to navigate through such troubling times. But Cuarón never allows for cliché rich family/poor housekeeper moments to occur. He breaks down the barrier between rich and poor, demonstrating that class does not matter and that people are more alike than they believe. Phenomenally acted, directed, edited and visualized, Roma is Alfonso Cuarón at his best and is our pick for the best film of 2018.
Honourable Mentions: Eighth Grade, Black Panther, Shoplifters, Crazy Rich Asians & The Favourite