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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Top 10 Movies of 2018


It's been five years since I‘ve been able to sit down and write my quick spoiler-free reviews. But with my pregnant wife at home on bedrest waiting for our second son’s arrival, and our Netflix and Hulu binge-lists shortening rapidly, we’ve had some time to catch up on movies we missed in theaters. As per usual, it’s tough for me to compare the best, cinematic “see-it” masterpieces to my favorite, rewatchable, “buy-it” Blu-rays and digital downloads... but here’s my take on the top films of the year:
  1. A Star is Born: This musical tear-jerker also features the year’s top performances by Bradley Cooper as a drunken-rockstar-turned-romantic and Lady Gaga’s strong-yet-down-to-earth-(at least compared to the typical Gaga)-waitress turned viral sensation. Hands down the “best” film of the year no matter if you’re a renowned film critic, MoviePass-holding cinephile, or once-a-year renter.
  2. A Quiet Place: Shh... I've got a secret to tell you. It's not only the best horror movie of the year but also worthy of a spot in my top 20 “favorite” films of all-time! John Krasinski and Emily Blunt’s real-life love pours over into this terrifying fictional world where you can’t make a noise, or else....
  3. Free Solo: Watching professional rock climber Alex Honnold attempt the first free solo (aka rope-less) climb of the infamous 3,200ft vertical wall nicknamed El Cap at Yosemite National Park was the most intense film let alone documentary I’ve seen since “The Act of Killing.”
  4. Black Panther: Don’t get me wrong, Black Panther was a great, important, fun film — probably the best Marvel movie since the original Iron Man — and it may actually win the Oscar for Best Picture thanks to the Academy Awards' preferential voting system... but, it wasn’t the best picture of the year.
  5. Widows: Despite the powerhouse cast and 91% reviews on RottenTomatoes, this cops-and-robbers movie failed to steal the hearts of America or make bank at the box office. But only marketing can be to blame because everything about this twisty film was shocking and amazing.
  6. Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse: A surprising unformulaic entry into the Marvel universe and hands-down the best animated movie of the year worthy of one of the ten possible Oscar nominations for Best Picture.
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody: If you weren’t a huge Queen fan already you will be after falling in love with Rami Malek’s performance (in every sense of the word) as Freddie Mercury. I’m not sure if lip-syncing or actually singing makes him a better “actor” but either way this film rocks.
  8. Searching: One of the most unique suspense films you’ll ever see. Follow a desperate father (an atypically dramatic role played by John Cho) through the lens of a webcam and Skype-like screenshares as he searches online for his 16-year-old daughter.
  9. First Man: Like Titanic, it doesn’t matter if you think you know how the Neil Armstrong moon-landing ends because you haven’t seen the drama played out by the six-time Academy Award®-winning LaLaLand duo of director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling.
  10. Creed 2: Even you’ve never seen Creed 1 (which you should) or any of the Rocky films (which you should, especially the first three), you won’t be able to throw in your towel of tears during the final round of the riveting fight between the sons of Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago.

    There were A LOT of great films this year. It was hard to leave the wonderful documentary “RBG” about notorious U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg out of my top ten. And the same goes for Green Book’s powerful story inspired by the unique real-life 1960’s friendship between a world-class African-American pianist and his Italian-American driver. But the line has to be drawn somewhere. Here are the honorable mentions to round out my top 25 movies of the year:
     
  11. RBG
  12. Green Book
  13. Molly’s Game
  14. Chappaquidick
  15. Mission Impossible: Fallout
  16. Avengers: Infinity War
  17. Halloween
  18. Incredibles 2
  19. Bumblebee
  20. Roma
  21. Hereditary
  22. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  23. Leave No Trace
  24. The Favourite
  25. Roma
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments:

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