Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2018 Top 10

I saw fewer new movies last year for several reasons: preoccupied with the novel; being with Virginia, doing different things; the rising price of tickets.

Also, more quality films are available exclusively through streaming sites like Netflix. This is a big change that's been difficult for me to accept. When it comes to movies, I'm traditional. I believe the pros of seeing a movie in a theater outweigh the cons — yet that paradigm is shifting.

It hasn't changed completely, though. There are still good movies to be found in theaters if you know where to look. Here are ten of them.

10. The Death of Stalin. I'm surprised this didn't get an Original Screenplay nod at the Oscars. Reinterpreting Soviet Russia and the nastier aspects of the Communist regime for laughs was a bold move that paid off.

9. Can You Ever Forgive Me? The thought of Melissa McCarthy in a dramatic role interested me just enough to go see this, and what do you know, it was pretty good.

8. Leave No Trace. A quiet, contemplative examination of life "off the grid" and why people would choose to live that way. A worthy follow-up to Winter's Bone for Debra Granik.

7. Won't You Be My Neighbor? In a society grown more divisive and dogmatic both politically and culturally, the example of Fred Rogers, a television personality who simply believed in being a good neighbor, continues to speak to us.

6. BlacKkKlansman. An outrageous premise, one that if it wasn't based on reality would be laughed out of every studio in town, yet Spike makes it work, and with style. Once again he reminds us why he's one of the most important filmmakers alive.

5. If Beale Street Could Talk. A love story that captures the beauty, lyricism and soul of its source material.

4. Black Panther. A superhero movie with something to say about the world we live in, that embraces the tropes of the sub-genre without getting bogged down in ham-fisted preachiness. It just plain works as a movie.

3. Cold War. Artfully filmed, solidly performed and well written, one can't ask for much more in a film.

2. Three Identical Strangers. This one stayed with me all year long. Maybe it was more the subject matter than the film itself, but it left a mark on me regardless.

1. Roma. For the audacity of Alfonso CuarĂ³n to make such a personal story in black and white, in a foreign language, and having it speak to so many. For finding a diamond in the rough in Yalitza Aparicio and getting a beautiful performance from her. For capturing the urban and rural splendor of his home country, Mexico, like no one else before has ever done. For all this and more — this movie is tops.

2017 top 10
2016 top 10
2015 top 10
2014 top 10
2013 top 10
2012 top 10
2011 top 10


  1. I still have to catch so many of these.

    One comment on Black Panther. If they hadn't killed Andy Serkis when they did, I would have done it myself!

  2. You prefer him as a CGI ape? Or a deformed Hobbit, perhaps?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.