Now that we’ve seen my favorite games and albums of 2018, it’s time to move on to the movies I enjoyed the most from last year. It was a strange year for cinema, mainly due to the fact that nothing I saw struck me as best-picture-worthy. Nevertheless, there were still some films that I enjoyed the hell out of, especially from the horror genre.
From lovable anti-heroes to spooky occult witchcraft to vintage Nicolas Cage insanity, here are my five favorite films from 2018.
5. Mission Impossible: Fallout
Simply put, Mission Impossible: Fallout is a great action film. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s aware of its off-the-walls absurdity and uses it to its advantage. From people peeling off lifelike disguises of other characters to a ludicrous helicopter chase to the second best bathroom fight scene ever shot (The Warriors still takes the cake on that one), Mission Impossible: Fallout is chock full of moments that will leave you laughing at how bonkers it is, but also on the edge of your seat in suspense. Once again, Tom Cruise delivers as protagonist Ethan Hunt, as do returning cast members Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames in their respective roles. If Hollywood can continue delivering Mission Impossible films of this quality, sign me up for another several.
4. Isle of Dogs
Director Wes Anderson returns to animation for the first time since 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the result is a smart, clever, spirited adventure that will have you smiling and chuckling from beginning to end. Familiar Wes Anderson collaborators, such as Bill Murray and Edward Norton, lend their voices, and Bryan Cranston leads the pack as the voice of main protagonist and alpha dog, Duke. Per usual, Anderson leverages stylistic elements that he’s relied on throughout his entire career – from the emotional flatness of the acting to the interesting uses of color to the unabashed quirkiness. In other words, it’s as Wes Andersony as Wes Anderson films get, so if you’re a fan of the director, you’ll get a kick out of Isle of Dogs.
Nicolas Cage vengefully and brutally murders hideous monsters and cult members whom killed his wife. Need I say more? A friend of mine always says the ultimate test for a great director is how well they’re able to use Nicolas Cage’s… unique talents. Up-and-coming writer/director Panos Cosmatos passes with flying colors, crafting a psychedelic action-horror acid trip that brings out one of the best performances in years from everyone’s favorite psycho. Without taking itself seriously in the least bit, Mandy manages to reach masterpiece status with interesting shots, LSD-inspired visual effects, and an intense score from one of the industry’s most renowned composers (RIP Jóhann Jóhannsson). Oh, and there is a Nic Cage freakout for the ages that shouldn’t be missed.
2. Deadpool 2
Bigger, funnier, and more violent than the first, Deadpool 2 was not only my one of my favorite films of the year, but also my biggest surprise. Going into it, I did not expect that I would love it so much more than the first. Once again, Ryan Reynolds delivers a perfect performance in a role that he was born to play. Likewise, Josh Brolin is terrific as Cable, and Zazie Beetz steals the show as Domino, a mercenary whom claims to have the superpower of luck. There is also a surprise appearance from fan-favorite X-Men villain Juggernaut, whom Ryan Reynolds hilariously provides the voice for. It’s thrilling, riotous and, most importantly, it doesn’t take itself seriously. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun watching anything.
I wasn’t initially grabbed by Hereditary. It was marketed as this terrifying horror film, but the first hour and a half felt more like a really well-written-and-acted drama about the tragic aftermath of losing a family member. Then came the absolutely batshit crazy ending that had me thinking about this film for days. Even though I knew something disturbing was bound to happen, I was absolutely floored by the closing 30 minutes. While I do love the ending, what I appreciate most about Hereditary is all of the clues it gives you leading up to its conclusion. Whether you’re a fan of horror or not, I highly recommend you watch this film and do some reading afterwards to see what you might have missed. Chances are it’ll be a lot. Hail Hereditary.
Did you see any of these films? What did you think of them? What were your favorite films of 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments below!