Derek's Top 15 Films of 2018

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Welp, I’m a little late. I told myself so many times that I’d eventually do an in-depth writing for this post and each film, but I had twins at the beginning of 2019, and it just isn’t happening. An interesting thing about waiting so long to write this, is that I’ve had a lot of time to sit with 2018 movies. Films that I fully expected to be in my top 5 aren’t even on this list anymore. It was fun to see what stuck. Also, the lead up to the twins resulted in me missing a lot of films, so if you find yourself asking “where’s _____­­?” there’s a chance I didn’t see it. I’ve got more gaps than usual.

15. Sorry to Bother You
·      It’ll take you places you’ll never expect.

14. Thoroughbreds
·      Simultaneously feels cinematic and like a small play.
·      Pleasing eccentric style.

13. The Favourite
·      The best movie nominated for Best Picture at 91st Oscars.
·      Great/unique cinematography.

12. Tomb Raider
·      Such a good/bad movie
·      Strong 90s vibes

11. Solo: A Star Wars Story
·      Answered too many questions better left as mystery.
·      Answered too many questions that should have been answered in sequels
·      I hope they make more.

10. BlackKklansman
·      Important social commentaries.
·      Strong formal qualities.
·      Great scene of characters discussing film.
·      My second choice for who I was rooting to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

9. Hereditary
·      As I was watching this movie, I took the armrest to my left, raised it up and swung my legs over, so that no ghosts, no spirits, no demons, no anything could grab my legs, pull me under, and get me.

8. Annihilation
·      It’s been so long since I’ve seen this that its placement is based quite a bit on gut. I just remember it being visually stunning and fully captivating.

7. American Animals
·      Stressful
·      Unconventional (maybe even pretentious) storytelling modes.
·      Even if it is pretentious, I was impressed.

6. Avengers: Infinity War
·      ***SPOILERS***
·      The bad guy wins. It was cool to see that.

5. Won’t You Be My Neighbor
·      I spent over half the movie wiping tears from my eyes, trying to hold in guttural cries from exiting my mouth.
·      I think the nostalgia viewers feel while watching this movie is less for the show and the man, and more towards a life before the constant vitriol we’re exposed to on the Internet and in politics.

4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
·      Honestly, I’m amazed this movie happened. It’s so high-concept, so complex. How was it green lit? The pitch would’ve been so obscure that I’d assume it would’ve been shut down immediately. I’m so happy that Sony had faith in fans, faith in audiences, faith that people would go out and watch something so out there.
·      A strong tie between the story and the art.
·      Some of the greatest visual storytelling of the year

3. A Star is Born
·      A high quality studio film
·      I feel like they fixed a lot of issues when compared to some of the earlier versions. Where previous relationships felt surface-level toxic, this one taps into some deeper struggles.
·      My favorite Best Picture nominee of the year.

2. First Man
·      I love that this film goes beyond telling the story of mankind’s greatest achievement, and moves into a story of perseverance, persistence in the face of great obstacles, and great tragedy; much of it personal. Neil Armstrong was surrounded by so much death during this time, and leading up to it. An overall beautiful movie.
·      Deserved a Best Picture nomination.
·      Deserved a Best Original Score nomination (and maybe the win?)

1. A Quiet Place
·      The best M. Night Shyamalan movie not made by M. Night Shyamalan.
·      Entertaining, thrilling, and emotional.
·      I find it interesting that the two movies at the top of my list center around a father and his relationship with his daughter. Had I not seen these leading up to the birth of my daughters, would they be as high as they are?

Thanks for reading!