Top 10 Best Movies of 2018
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
You've seen the worst, now see the best. 2018 saw some of the best directing, cinematography, screenwriting, acting, camera operating, etc. of all time! That's why we had to recognize these 10 movies as being the best of the best that were released this year! Who knows what 2019 holds?
A diverse year of film served up a wide range of creative visions. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Movies of 2018
For this list, we’re taking a look at the very best films 2018 had to offer, whether they were critical darlings, audience favorites, or maybe a little of both.
#10: “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (2018)
“Fallout” is the sixth entry in a cinematic franchise that began as a television series from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. At this point, you’d think the filmmakers would be running on fumes. Much like Tom Cruise, however, this series is showing no signs of slowing down. If anything, “Fallout” was the most exhilarating addition yet, complete with a charismatic ensemble, thrilling plot, and twists on top of even more twists. Director Christopher McQuarrie definitely earns the “Impossible” in the film’s title, as the stunts here are so mind-blowing that you’d swear they were all CGI. Yet, Cruise and company once again went the extra mile to deliver the most nail-biting, death-defying experience possible.
#9: “You Were Never Really Here” (2018)
Joaquin Phoenix has certainly gone through some interesting phases over the years, but there’s no denying that few modern actors have taken as many chances as him. He gave a handful of strong performances in 2018, and his turn in “You Were Never Really Here” left the greatest impression. Praised by many as “Taxi Driver” for the 21st century, Phoenix channels Travis Bickle as Joe, a suicidal veteran who never really left the battlefield. When a senator’s daughter is kidnapped, however, Joe’s life is suddenly given a glimmer of purpose. Although the title might suggest otherwise, Lynne Ramsay has made a film that sticks with the audience long after the credits roll.
#8: “Eighth Grade” (2018)
There have been numerous movies about adjusting to life after high school, but few films that deal with the equally uncertain transitional period between eighth and ninth grade. Writer/director Bo Burnham’s debut film flawlessly captures this pivotal period in a young person’s life while also providing a time capsule of a generation immersed in social media. Elsie Fisher naturally slips into the role of Kayla, an insecure eighth grader who wants to belong, but feels more comfortable speaking to a webcam rather than face-to-face with her fellow students. It might be rated R, but “Eighth Grade” should be part of middle school curriculum for its important life lessons regarding anxiety, sexual pressure, and disappointment.
#7: “BlacKkKlansman” (2018)
2018 stood out as a phenomenal year for performers of color, but director Spike Lee was exploring race relations decades before Hollywood’s recent push for diversity. Almost thirty years after “Do the Right Thing,” Lee is still fighting the power with this humorous, audacious, and relevant joint. “BlacKkKlansman” reunites Lee with Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington, who delivers a breakthrough performance as Ron Stallworth, an African-American detective who manages to infiltrate the KKK. Although the absurd premise might sound like a work of fiction, you’ll be shocked to learn that the film is actually based on a memoir. What’s even more shocking, though, is how so little has changed since the 1970s.
#6: “A Quiet Place” (2018)
Horror movies are not only starting to receive more recognition from awards groups, but filmmakers are also growing more ambitious in their approach to the genre. When hostile sound-triggered aliens invade Earth, the Abbott family must go through each day in extreme silence. Although this setup easily could’ve turned into a gimmick, “A Quiet Place” fully immerses the audience in its perilous setting where all hell can break loose at the literal drop of a hat. Just as our protagonists are left on edge at all times, so are we. Like an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” the alarming atmosphere is merely half of the film’s appeal, as the engaging characters and narrative take center stage.
#5: “Roma” (2018)
This is a difficult film to describe. That’s largely because life is hard to describe and few movies encapsulate human existence quite like director Alfonso Cuarón’s latest tour de force. Just as he did in “Children of Men” and “Gravity,” Cuarón makes the audience feel as if they’re part of the action in this story about a middle-class family and their maid. Although “Roma” is smaller in scale than some of his other films, the experience couldn’t feel more personal or look more gorgeous. Whether the characters are dealing with tragedy or simply daily routines, every shot could be displayed in a museum. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then “Roma” is worth a million.
#4: “Black Panther” (2018)
It’s hard to think of a film released in 2018 that had a more significant cultural impact than “Black Panther.” Being a MCU adventure, there was little doubt that Ryan Coogler’s film would perform well financially, but not even Marvel could’ve predicted that it’d be the year’s highest-grossing domestic release, and the second biggest worldwide. “Black Panther” also rose up as the MCU’s most critically acclaimed outing to date, earning universal praise for its detailed environments, multi-layered characters, and themes that carry substantial weight in today’s divided world. “Black Panther” proved so successful that Disney’s gone all out with an Oscar campaign and it’s about time a superhero movie broke into the Best Picture race.
#3: “A Star Is Born” (2018)
This classic love story had been told three times already, but never so perfectly. Bradley Cooper makes an extraordinary directorial debut, and his performance as fading country singer Jackson Maine is equally superb. Lady Gaga is an acting revelation as Ally, a small-town singer destined to be a superstar, although finding fame often comes with a toll. Together, Cooper and Gaga share the most charming, heartbreaking, and sincere onscreen chemistry 2018 had to offer. The emotional journey they go through is only made more impactful through the rousing soundtrack, which beautifully personifies each story beat. If “A Star Is Born” gets remade a fifth time, this is the new standard to top.
#2: “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)
We’ll admit it wasn’t easy deciding whether to award a higher spot on this list to “Black Panther” or “Infinity War,” as both demonstrate the MCU at its finest. Between the two, however, “Infinity War” had the taller order to fill. Aside from being an event that’s been in the making for about a decade, it also had to juggle dozens of ongoing storylines while also delivering on Thanos’ big arrival. It couldn’t be more gratifying than watching everything come together in a work of art that balances action, tragedy, and a broad cinematic universe of characters. It may only be the first half of the story, but movies don’t get more epic than this.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Isle of Dogs” (2018)
“Paddington 2” (2018)
“First Man” (2018)
“Green Book” (2018)
#1: “Hereditary” (2018)
This one will leave you lying awake at night. Not only will its eerie atmosphere and unsettling visuals leave you on edge, but you won’t be able to get the film’s haunting themes, twists, or motifs out of your head. The Graham family may not realize it, but they’re trapped in a house where something evil is unfolding. As the pieces slowly start falling into place, we’re left wondering if these characters are descending into insanity . . . or descending into hell. Between Ari Aster’s engrossing direction, Toni Collette’s spellbinding lead performance, and Colin Stetson’s sinister musical score, few films have made our skin crawl like this modern masterpiece.