2018 In Film

For the 4th year running, here is a complete recap the films I saw in theatres in 2018… in Tweet-sized reviews.

  1. Call Me By Your Name ★★★★★
    This movie really did things for me, emotionally, aesthetically, as a fan of the 1980’s and summer in general? Beautiful film, Michael Stuhlbarg is amazing, and I would have been happy to see this win Best Picture.
  2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★★★☆☆
    At the end of the day, I don’t know what Three Billboards wants me to feel about the police, violence, and the search for justice, and I don’t care to know either. The blunt writing is not really good enough to warrant a re-watch.
  3. Black Panther ★★★★★
    Another ‘fun’ Marvel movie, greatly elevated by splendid actors, thumping soundtrack, and an opening-weekend-audience that made this feel more like an event than your average comic-book movie.
  4. Annihilation ★★★★★
    Annihilation is deeply creepy, with elements of body horror and man vs. environment. The shimmer will linger in your mind for hours after seeing this. Great women in this movie too (Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh!)
  5. The Death of Stalin ★★★★☆
    Death of Stalin was up my alley in more ways than one. I expected to be amused by a farcical depiction of historic events, and while the movie is darkly funny (but not in an edgelord way) I also found myself somewhat educated.
  6. Avengers: Infinity War ★★★★☆
    I was surprised that Infinity War managed to walk that fine line between MCU ‘fun’ and life-or-death stakes that these movies rarely deal with. Infinity War only works if you feel, in the moment, that things are dire–and it accomplishes that.
  7. Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★☆☆
    Alden Ehrenreich is far from the worst thing about Solo, and honestly, I think he’s fine in it. Were it not for the surprise appearance of a certain prequel character, I could have given Solo 4 stars, but alas, another spinoff movie weighed down by cameos.
  8. Won’t You Be My Neighbor ★★★★★
    WYBMN squeezes 30-40 years of Mr. Rogers history into a well-paced documentary that covers the highs and lows of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the surprising amount of self-doubt he faced, even in the final days of his life.
  9. Hereditary ★★★★☆
    Hereditary is fucked up, y’all. But I love it. Toni Collette should collect a Best Actress nomination for her work in this messed up family horror. The final act may be polarizing, but when the movie goes off the rails is where I found myself most enjoying it.
  10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ★★★☆☆
    No movie in 2018 felt more like a personal obligation than Fallen Kingdom. “Welp, I have MoviePass might as well see this right? It’s dinosaurs, how bad can it be?” The answer? Meh. Dinosaurs in a haunted mansion should have worked better than it did.
  11. Incredibles 2 ★★★★★
    Incredibles 2 does more than just invert the formula from the original, it forces Mr.Incredible to grow in ways he hadn’t in the original, while giving Elastigirl the chance to shine on her own (and drink two Negronis in the process). The mid-century aesthetics too, damn!
  12. Mission: Impossible – Fallout ★★★★★
    Six movies in, you think the Mission: Impossible formula would stop being entertaining, right? Except this series continues to be a delight! So sit back, enjoy some popcorn, the practical stunt work, and the inevitable “I’m wearing a mask!” twists. It’s still fun.
  13. Sorry to Bother You ★★★★☆
    Boots Riley’s directorial debut is strange and absurdist, while also maintaining a clear thesis? Like, even when the movie makes you ask “What the fuck?” deep down, you know what the fuck. I loved it, can’t say the same for the others in my theatre!
  14. The Meg ★★★☆☆
    Oh boy! This movie was some of the best, silly, fun I saw all summer. It’s no Jaws but if you need your shark fix, The Meg should do the trick. The Chinese-co-production also brought in some talented actors, like Li Bingbing, without which the movie would be more forgettable.
  15. Mandy ★★★★☆
    I went into Mandy expecting something John Wick-esque, but what I got was better. Rather than emulating other revenge fantasies, Mandy does its own, weird, horror thing, using Nicolas Cage to full effect, and giving the title character (Andrea Riseborough) defiant strength.
  16. Halloween (2018) ★★★★☆
    David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s ode to the original 1978 film is damn-near perfect, with Jamie Lee Curtis delivering a perfectly broken-but-strong modern Laurie Strode, and John Carpenter adding new, great music like “The Shape Hunts Allyson.”
  17. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ★★★★★
    I don’t think a single movie made me laugh as hard, or as frequently, as Spider-Man. At the same time, this movie had so, much, heart! AND at the same time this a beautiful looking movie!! Don’t miss Miles Morales film debut while it’s still in theatres.

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