Top 10 movies of 2018
By Drew Renner
1. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
This had me hooked all the way through. Every time I started feeling otherwise there’d be another beautiful scenic shot and another exciting action sequence and another great piece of music adding to the near relentless tension. And along with the technical brilliance, it kept me engaged by drawing from unresolved elements from relationships in the previous films.
2. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and The Wasp is superb, hitting every note you could want out of a Marvel movie, and any other type honestly. It is comedy that never undermines its serious moments with humor and thus really earns the big emotional moments. The action scenes don’t interrupt the story, and they are always unique and exciting. The movie never feels slow and doesn’t fall victim to a dull third act. It is fun, thrilling, emotional or witty at all times.
3. Paddington 2
Paddington is an adorable world to spend 90 minutes. It is the type of movie where a teddy bear goes to prison and converts all the convicts into productive entertainers. When someone pulls a quarter out of his ear he asks “where in the world did that come from?” and then puts it back in. Whether you have children or just want to feed your inner child, Paddington 2 is the movie for you.
4. Ralph Breaks the Internet
Ralph Breaks The Internet flawlessly fuses the continuation of Ralph and Vanellope’s story with a feature length animated adaptation of Dave Chappelle’s classic “what would the internet be like” sketch. That the core relationship is able to stand out among the many distractions of Internet World is the film’s greatest achievement.
Comedy has it tough these days. Every joke has an equal likelihood of drawing a laugh or a rant from someone on Twitter. So while a movie about teenagers trying to lose their virginity was normal only a few years ago, today they had to walk a tight-rope and still somehow managed to soar beyond expectations. John Cena’s innocence-laden tough guy works great for this type as does Leslie Mann’s loving, but clingy, mother.
6. A Star Is Born
The first two thirds or so of this movie are A+ material. Cooper directs the fuck out of it and every big scene hits the feels in just the right way. Ally may win over Jackson with her voice, but Coops knows the audience will need a bit more. So why not have her punch a cop in the face in defense of her new friend? And then smother the audience with the adorableness of the convenience store scenes to follow. Both of them deserve nominations, if not wins, as they make their characters seem so natural, making the audience forget they are watching two of the most famous people on Earth and instead just Jackson and Ally.
7. A Quiet Place
It’s Don’t Breathe + aliens and that is as awesome of a combo as you’d expect. One of the most intense theatrical experiences I’ve had. I was jumping at ambient sounds in the theatre. Any time somebody took a bite of popcorn the whole theatre looked them as if to say “are you trying to get us all killed?”
8. Black Panther
Disney spared no expense, hiring all the best black talent both in front and behind the camera (and even in the studio). They delivered their usual Marvel origin story, but the African authenticity took it to new levels. And the villain, usually a weak point for Marvel, is almost the star here. He has a lot of good points, though all the murder contradicts his view of himself as the hero of this story. My only complaint is that they should have used more of the awesome soundtrack – the traditional classical score never did the movie any favors.
9. Incredibles 2
It is kind of the first movie in reverse, at least concerning the primary plot involving the villain Screenslaver. But the key difference is the home life, where it can focus on the kids instead of using crime fighting as a metaphor for cheating and being unsatisfied with your life. It also has Jack-Jack who is the new Pixar MVP for winning that raccoon battle.
10. The Night Comes For Us
Gareth Evans may have transferred to horror academy this year, but his successor is still bringing the extremely creative martial arts goods with Iko Uwais. There is also a lot of heart that isn’t being ripped out of people’s chest cavities, with a quest for redemption to protect an innocent.
Also worthy: Deadpool 2 (X-Force’s ill-fated sky dive is the scene of the year), Bumblebee (the heart makes it more The Iron Giant than Transformers, with even better special effects), The Death of Stalin (Innuci is so good at crafting worlds built by political incompetence), Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (sometimes I let a match burn all the way down just to feel something), Annihilation (but I will also now be wary of somebody/bear crying help me), The Cloverfield Paradox and Tomb Raider (I know they got bad reviews but I really liked them anyways. Vikander is love.)