2018 is in the books and it is time for the Top 10 Best movies of 2018. 2018 brought forward a diverse line of great films. We got faith-based films, Asian films, action film, we even got some horror movies on the list. I’m pretty sure most people reading this will be unfamiliar with a few of these movies so I suggest you check them out as they are worth the watch.
We begin this list with two faith-based films, the first being Indivisible. Indivisible is one of the strongest dramas of the year and a legitimate teak jerker in a year where we don’t have many of those. Based on the true story of Army chaplain Darren Turner who deploys to Iraq during the height of the War in 2007 and has to deal with the loss of his friend and the break down of his family. Indivisible is about the harsh realities of maintaining faith in the face of grief and war. An amazing cast and crew delivers a strong performance as you empathize with the stress and tribulation of their characters and for real-life families in this country who are put in the same situation.
The second faith-based film on the list is not only one of the best Christian films ever but one that was a noticeable box office success becoming the highest grossing independent film of 2018. I Can Only Imagine is a film about the story behind the band MercyMe’s smash hit song under the same title. In the early 2000s, the song became the most-played contemporary Christian song of all time going triple platinum. The story is centered on the lead vocalist Bart played by J. Michael Finley, growing up in Texas with his abusive father and a mother that abandoned him. Bart says the inspiration behind his faith and the song was the fact that faith turned his father from the monster he despised into his best friend. I Can Only Imagine mirrors the song it is based on as it keeps the Christian genre rolling.
Ready Player One is a complete nostalgia trip that will have you marking out over all the many references to video game history, movie noir, and fan service that makes the film hard not to enjoy. Much of the film is computer animated which explains the massive $200 million budget, much of which you have to believe went to licensing the many video game and film characters in the movie. As fun as Ready Player One is, there is a very important message about living life and not letting your online persona define you because you never truly know what is real or fake in an online bubble. With that said, Ready Player One is easily the most fun I’ve had in the theater all year.
A Quiet Place is a well done and welcome addition to the horror genre. John Krasinski wisely keeps it simple in his directorial début. A small cast with a handful of actors, the setting is very confined to a specific location, and the premise allows the actors to do more with very little dialogue. Normally I would complain about jump scares, but in a film like this, the jumps are actually more effective because hearing any sounds usually means that something really bad is going to happen to someone. There is also a very clever recurring plot device with a nail on the floor that the film squeezes every bit of usefulness out of. Krasinski and Emily Blunt knock this film out of the park and it was a no-brainer for the top 10.
If I told you that a period piece action film about zombies would be one of the most entertaining films of the year? You would probably ask if I was high while watching it. Fear not, because Rampant is one of the wildest and sober experiences of the entire year. Within the first few minutes of Rampant, you are treated to a zombie eating a small child among other villagers pretty much letting you know things are going to get crazy. The premise is pretty insane; it plays very much like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets 28 Days Later. With some gorgeous cinematography, set-pieces, and costume design there are many things to love about this film on a technical side. As a story, Rampant is exactly the fun, ridiculous escapism you desire right now.
A film that was awesome from the very first trailer. Fallout is a near perfect action film. Unlike franchises such as Fast & Furious and Transformers, Mission Impossible doesn’t feel like it’s overstayed its welcome. The action is some of the best the franchise has to offer. Maybe Tom Cruise is going to die doing these crazy stunts one of these days, but the man is always trying to find new ways to top himself. The visuals of the film are stunning, from an amazing looking HALO jump that is one of the sequences in the franchise to an intense helicopter chase in the Eastern European mountains, the action is thrilling and crisp, all the credit to action Cinematographer Rob Hardy. Henry Cavill is a standout character whose presence here is stronger here than in the last Justice League film. Mission: Impossible – Fallout is easily the best action film of the year.
Who knew a film from South Korea could draw so many parallels to the 2016 American election. A country’s intelligence agency working with foreign powers to stop a candidate they deem unfit while excusing him of colluding with said foreign power. Even going as far as leaking classified information to the media to damage one’s reputation. The Spy Gone North is one of the most politically thought-provoking films I’ve seen in the last few years. There is so much to this film that can be used as a subject of political debate. Capitalism vs Communism, South Korea vs North Korea, The Millennium Democratic Party vs The Liberty Korea Party, Conspiracy Theories such as false flag operations led by the government. This film has enough material to be the subject of a history/government final (your grade depends on whether your professor believes North Korea is ‘real’ communism). The Spy Gone North is a near-perfect political chess game that blows many spy thrillers before it out of the water.
Every year there is a horror film that stands out and creates a big word of mouth buzz with audiences, it looks like we have our film this year in Hereditary. It is impossible to call something a ‘masterpiece’ without sounding like a massive tool, however, this film is near perfect filmmaking and one of the best horror films to come out this decade. This film is a Marvel at storytelling and filmmaking, the story is presented in a fashion that keeps you guessing and keeps you interested. You’ll never truly know what is going on but the film cleverly drops hints about the bigger picture, some of those hints you probably won’t catch the first time around. Writer and Director Ari Aster introduce both elements of mental illness and supernatural occurrences that always has the audience questioning if they are seeing is real, a figment of our character’s imagination or something more. Hereditary is a near perfect horror assault on your senses that ups the game in style and execution.
I am legitimately stunned that this film isn’t getting the award season consideration that it deserves. It is rare that a film with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes is actually worth the rating but this one is. Leave No Trace is a story about homelessness, community, independence, and mental illness that leaves out all of the hamfistedness of those topics by keeping everything simple. The drama of the film is purely psychological that provides its conflict without demonizing anyone in the process. The acting is stellar, one of the best jobs all around this year as Ben Foster adds to his impressive resume. Thomasin McKenzie is heartwarming, optimistic, and is the driving force of humanity that makes this film a classic. Leave No Trace is undoubtedly one of the best movies of 2018, whether Hollywood acknowledges it or not.
The sequel to the 2015 hit film Sicario proves that Taylor Sheridan is the best screenwriter in Hollywood. Even his worst work to date Wind River can be compared to many people’s best. Sheridan’s films subject matter are usually ripped from the realms of reality, meaning you will get a film that is authentic and not for the weak of heart. One of Sheridan’s best assets as a writer is his ability to make you feel for everyone in a film even if what they are doing is on the morally wrong side of the table. There are no wasted characters in this film. Josh Brolin is back as the flip-flop wearing CIA operative who is the guy you call when the mission needs to get done by any means necessary. Benicio Del Toro also returns as the charismatic hitmen who is given the task of getting the daughter of a brutal cartel leader into the United States before a rival cartel or the CIA can get to her first. Sicario 2 may look like an action film, but it is much more of a suspenseful thriller that will leave you guessing until the end. The slow buildup of the story will grip your interest and keep you wondering what will happen next until the credit begins to roll. Much credit to director Stefano Sollima as well who brings to life Sheridan’s vision and keep the tone of the first film intact. Sicario 2 is very much on par with the original and all I have to say is that if they do a third film, especially if Emily Blunt makes a return, you can shut up and take my money.
Honorable Mention For Best Films Of 2018