Year in Review: My 5 Favorite Movies of 2018

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

mi falloutSimply 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

isle of dogsDirector 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.

3. Mandy

nicolas cage mandyNicolas 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

deadpool 2Bigger, 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.

1. Hereditary

hereditary toni colletteI 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!

9 thoughts on “Year in Review: My 5 Favorite Movies of 2018

    1. Same. I’ve grown tired of superhero/comic book movies and t.v. shows, probably because there are like a million released every year. Deadpool is different though. The character is super whimsical and fun, even in situations where he is doing some pretty nasty stuff. I’m looking forward to the third one; it has a lot to live up to.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel Mission: Impossible – Fallout to be the best of the Mission Impossible films. It really raised the stakes without overshadowing what the team accomplished in the past installments.

    Isle of Dogs is an excellent example of a mature animated film that doesn’t go the super raunchy route, and it’s a memorable effort for it.

    Mandy barely got any attention, which is a shame because it certainly is one of the most memorable films from 2018. It’s like what would happen if Andrei Tarkovsky directed a revenge film. Also, King Crimson.

    Personally, I feel Deadpool 2 is better than the original. The jokes landed better and were a lot more creative, and it also fell under the standard superhero sequel clause in that it didn’t have to waste time outlining the main character’s origin story (which is admittedly less well-known than that of Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man, but still).

    When it comes to the quality of the film releases, I don’t think I’ve seen a year more hit-or-miss than 2018. I feel this is mainly because there were quite a few critical darlings that utterly failed to live up to the hype. Usually, that only happens once or twice per year (if that), yet in 2018, it seemed to happen with every fourth release (not to mention distributors often failed to do their jobs and let many quality films fall by the wayside for no reason). 2017 may have had no middle ground between the turkeys and the winners, but it was at least consistent – the worst film I saw that year was, not coincidentally, the one with the lowest score on Rotten Tomatoes (it was Atomic Blonde, and even then, I don’t think it was bad per se – just lacking in substance). It really made me appreciate whenever a film actually does live up to the hype. I say this because in any other year, Hereditary would have been the incontestable nadir (as it stands, Upgrade is worse). It’s a shame because I was actually onboard with it at first, but after being genuinely horrifying for 90% of its runtime, the ending was just laughable. As you know, I tend to be very harsh on works that don’t stick the landing, so I don’t think I’ll be hailing this film.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad we see eye to eye on the majority of these films. Agreed that Mandy deserves more attention and praise. And yes, that opening with King Crimson’s “Starless” is pretty amazing.

      I also appreciate you praising Isle of Dogs for not being raunchy. I never thought about it before, but a lot of animated content goes for cheap laughs by being as raunchy as possible. It’s refreshing to see something more witty and clever.

      To be honest, I’m not surprised you disliked Hereditary. I feel like that movie was pretty hit or miss with most people I spoke with. I liked it after my initial watch, but I took me a few days to realize that I actually love it. I couldn’t stop obsessing over it for some reason. I would spend hours reading about it until I finally decided to watch it again. Not surprisingly, I enjoyed it much more the second time around, particularly because I focused more on analyzing scenes and picking up on clues that went over my head the first time.

      What didn’t you like about the ending, if you don’t mind me asking?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The problem with the ending is it was way too exposition-heavy. The film had done a reasonably good job showing rather than telling, so to basically explain to the audience what just happened rather than, for instance, having the possessed son actually demonstrate his powers felt extraordinarily cheap. It makes you wonder if the bad guys even won in the end or if the cultist is just spouting a bunch of nonsense. Not coincidentally, it was also by far the least scary part of the film. I thought it was passable when I saw it, but it really didn’t hold up under any kind of critical scrutiny. At the end of the day, I compare the experience of watching Hereditary to a lighting a firecracker with an extraordinarily long fuse only for it to turn out to be a dud. Not quite the worst film I saw in theaters in 2018 (that would be Upgrade), but close enough.


      2. That’s a fair critique. I haven’t even heard of Upgrade, probably because it really is as bad as you say it is. I’ll be sure to stay away from that one.


  2. The creation (and…dissolution) of X-Force has got to be one of the greatest moments in super-hero cinema.

    I haven’t seen Hereditary, but a lot of people told me they were displeased with it. Would you say I should watch it anyways?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed!!! It was definitely the highlight of the film for me. All their stories ended pretty brutally, but I can’t help but feel the worst for poor Peter.

      Regarding Hereditary, most people I know either loved it or hated it. Obviously I’m one of those people who loved it, so of course I’m going to recommend you watch it. If you do, I would love to hear your thoughts! It’s been fun to hear about different people’s experiences with the film, both positive and negative.

      Liked by 1 person

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