Movies

Favorite Movies of 2018: The Top 15

With the expansion of distribution outlets continuing to expand, it’s almost impossible to watch EVERY SINGLE MOVIE that comes out every year. That was certainly the case with 2018 which saw a heavy dose of digital releases including the award season darling Roma (I was not a fan of it) streaming on Netflix along with regular limited distribution in theaters.

There are some notable omissions from this list. Creed II and A Star Is Born are probably the two biggest omissions and will be added to the master list over on Letterboxd.

This list includes my Top 15 favorite movies of the year. For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to go through every single movie on this list:

top15

Let’s start with The Spy Who Dumped Me which, based on the trailers and ad spots I did not expect much from. It looked like a run-of-the-mill action comedy but it took enough turns and the chemistry between Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon was so good that it helped propel the movie along wonderfully.

Sensei is a Japanese movie starring Suzu Hirose and Ikuta Toma that ends up on here both for the performances by the leads and more importantly because of the cinematography. It floats along in a very hazy daze much like first loves do. While I’m not exactly crazy about the overall plot or the somewhat forced plot twist in the final act, it is the only movie of the nearly 100 that I watched this year that has earned multiple viewings. While I’m not sure why, that tells me that I really liked this movie and will likely be watching it again.

Sticking with the love theme, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is certainly a movie on paper that doesn’t seem to be anywhere near my target niche. But after much coercing, I finally fired up Netflix and watched it and absolutely loved it. Lana Condor and the supporting cast work so well together and the story is told in a very un-cheesy manner that made it very easy to watch and enjoy.

The fact that Bumblebee is in my Top 15 surprised even me, but for the first time I watched a live-action Transformers movie that actually had a decent story to it. Throw in one of my favorite actresses (Hailee Steinfeld) as the lead and just enough Autobots versus Decpticons action and I’m actually optimistic about whatever Transformers movies follow this — and that’s something I certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t have said with Michael Bay in the director’s seat.

Ok, let’s address the Top Three. I feel like these three films could easily interchange and switch spots among themselves, especially between Searching and A Simple Favor. I give the edge to Searching for not only it’s technical and visual execution but also for fully engaging my attention the entire film. That’s not to say Favor and Spider-Man didn’t. Both of those movies are excellent but they admittedly have a few spots where the foot comes off the throttle.

I’m certain Searching will get snubbed at the various prominent awards shows in the next few months and be overshadowed by the likes of Roma and Beale Street. And that’s fine. As the saying goes, “Different strokes, for different folks.”

I imagine Creed II would fall somewhere in the Top 25 as I really liked the first one and had hoped to catch this sequel at a number of media screenings and later in theaters. A Star Is Born is a different story as I really had no interest in it and, honestly was annoyed with the bombardment of the same damn trailer attached to every film I watched in the summer.

I hope I’m wrong about that one. Regardless, any 2018 titles that were not included in the round-up will be listed over on Letterboxd. You can also browse through Favorite Movie selections going all the way back to 2010.

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