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Top 10 Movies You Missed This Spring

Script written by Nick Spake

They may not have been blockbusters, but they're still great films! From Lean on Pete, to First Reformed, to Unsane, the spring of 2018 saw the release of plenty cinematic gems that may not have heard of. WatchMojo ranks the top movies you missed this spring.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Movies+You+Missed+This+Spring+%282018%29 Special thanks to our user Moral Free for suggesting this idea!


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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Movies You Missed This Spring

In a season that brought us “Avengers: Infinity War,” a few hidden gems are bound to get lost in the shuffle. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies You Missed This Spring.

For this list, we’re taking a look at movies released in spring of 2018 that received critical acclaim, but went widely unrecognized by mainstream audiences.

#10: “Lean on Pete” (2017)

“Lean on Pete” is a familiar story, wonderfully told, exploring the bond between man and animal. Charlie Plummer took home the Marcello Mastroianni Award for his performance here as a stable boy who forms a connection with a racehorse. Upon learning that his new friend is headed for a glue factory, the two set off on a journey for a new home. While “Lean on Pete” is far from the first movie of its kind, the genuine performances, sincere writing, and atmospheric nature shots set it apart from the rest of the crowd. Despite being a big hit at the Venice Film Festival, the film’s theatrical run sadly went by faster than the Kentucky Derby.

#9: “Disobedience” (2017)

Director Sebastián Lelio’s previous picture, “A Fantastic Woman,” won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. His first English language film is another engaging LGBTQ+-related drama with two magnetic performances at the center. Rachel Weisz stars as a woman who’s exiled from her Orthodox Jewish community, but reenters the fold with the passing of her estranged father. Matters become increasingly complex as she reconnects with a married woman, played by Rachel McAdams, who has been repressing her true feelings. Both Rachels deliver some of their best work as a pair of women torn between society and sexuality. Their on-screen relationship easily could’ve come off as gimmicky, but instead emerges as a deeply personal love story.

#8: “Chappaquiddick” (2017)

Throughout history, a long string of heartbreak and misfortune has loomed over the Kennedy family. The 1969 Chappaquiddick incident is one tragedy that’s rarely discussed in popular culture, however. The underappreciated Jason Clarke portrays Ted Kennedy, who derailed his chances of being president after causing a car accident that claimed the life of Mary Jo Kopechne. The filmmakers aren’t afraid to depict Kennedy in an unflattering light, which might be why the studio was pressured by “some very powerful people” not to release the picture. In the end, though, the film offers a glimpse behind the curtain at one of the Kennedy family’s darkest and most infamous hours that shouldn’t be overlooked.

#7: “The Endless” (2017)

Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead previously brought us the 2012 horror film “Resolution.” In “The Endless,” which takes place in the same universe as their debut picture, the filmmaking duo play two brothers who were once part of a UFO death cult. Upon returning to the cult’s camp years later, the brothers find themselves caught in an endless loop where things are more complicated than they seem. A bit like “The Master” meets “Groundhog Day,” this is a surreal and hypnotic trip down the rabbit hole that frequently catches the audience off-guard. As strange as matters get, however, Benson and Moorhead’s dynamic remains usually relatable.

#6: “American Animals” (2018)

With echoes of “Reservoir Dogs” and various Coen Brothers movies, this true crime story chronicles a caper gone horribly wrong. Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, and Jared Abrahamson all turn in strong work as four college students who conspire to steal some priceless books from Transylvania University. Although the plan appears foolproof, it quickly becomes apparent that these kids are WAY in over their heads. The film additionally features appearances from the real-life people involved in the heist, at times giving “American Animals” the essence of a documentary. Intense, darkly humorous, and fresh in its approach to a popular genre, the film serves as a cautionary tale for privileged youths who want instant gratification.

#5: “Revenge” (2017)

After being raped and left for dead, a young woman treks across a merciless desert while exacting vengeance on her attackers. With a grim premise like this, it’s not surprising that “Revenge” barely grossed over $100,000 at the domestic box office. Given its graphic violence and occasionally gratuitous nature, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. However, it’s by no means an exploitation flick or snuff film. Between Coralie Fargeat’s stylish direction and Matilda Lutz’s compelling lead performance, this is a bold, bloody, and empowering film that rings especially true on the heels of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. For those who can handle the more brutal moments, it’ll definitely leave an impression.

#4: “First Reformed” (2017)

This understated drama comes from writer/director Paul Schrader, the same man who scripted “Taxi Driver” and “The Last Temptation of Christ.” “First Reformed” shares numerous other parallels to those aforementioned films, centering on a troubled reverend searching for a higher purpose. Ethan Hawke gives one of his best performances as Ernst Toller, who’s driven to take drastic measures on a mission to save the world God blesses us with. While the film has a strong environmental message at its core, “First Reformed” functions more as a character study about a man constantly coming up empty-handed in his search for answers. Speaking of answers, the ambiguous ending is sure to inspire plenty of debates amongst moviegoers.

#3: “Tully” (2018)

This dark comedy reunites director Jason Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody, and actress Charlize Theron, who all produce their finest work in years. Theron stars as Marlo, an exhausted mother of two with a third on the way. Marlo is eventually convinced to hire a night nanny named Tully, played by rising star Mackenzie Davis, who you might recognize from “Blade Runner 2049” and “Black Mirror.” The mother and nanny soon begin to develop a friendship that takes them and the audience to some highly unexpected places. While “Tully” can feel a bit out-there at times, its spot-on representation of parenthood is bound to resonate with anyone who’s experienced the hardships of raising kids.

#2: “Unsane” (2018)

Claire Foy rose to prominence with her refined performance as Elizabeth II on “The Crown.” “Unsane” finds the English actress in a completely different kind of role as an ordinary woman who’s suddenly locked up in a mental hospital. The plot only thickens when she realizes one of the staff members looks just like a man who’s been stalking her. Like any great philological thriller, “Unsane” keeps the audience guessing whether this woman is truly losing her mind or if everyone else around her is insane. The fact that director Steven Soderbergh shot the entire film on an iPhone 7 Plus only adds to the claustrophobic tension, making us feel trapped inside an enclosed area.

#1: “You Were Never Really Here” (2017)

2018 has been a great year for the thriller genre and an even better year for actor Joaquin Phoenix. This film from Scottish director Lynne Ramsay follows Phoenix as a suicidal veteran who makes a living rescuing young victims of human trafficking. The movie gained a great deal of buzz after an unfinished version was shown at the 70th Cannes Film Festival where it received a seven-minute standing ovation. Alas, “You Were Never Really Here” had a brief life at the box office, which is oddly appropriate considering the film’s title. Those who were lucky enough to catch this cinematic diamond in the rough were treated to a harrowing, gritty, and exceptionally acted experience.

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