01. A Star is Born
It is a remake of a remake of a remake and most of the songs are really terrible but I was straight up bawling my eyes out in a cinema in Brooklyn and it took me most of the flight home to recover. The chemistry between the leads and the honest way it treats alcoholism is why it is so heart breaking. I don’t think I’ll ever put myself through watching it again though!
02. Black Panther
There are all sorts of cultural/political reasons why this was an important film — all totally valid and timely. It should not get lost in the mix though that this is a fantastic piece of sci-fi fantasy adventuring. Chocked full of great performances, amazing set-pieces, a truly complex ‘big bad’ and spectacular design it breathed new life into the Marvel Universe. Wakanda Forever!
03. Three Billboards
This movies contains humour so dark you can get lost in it. It is a tragic story where nobody really comes out of it unscathed or redeemed but there is a glimmer of hope towards the end. Frances McDormand rightly received the plaudits and Sam Rockwell went to town in his showy role but Woody Harrelson gave a wonderful performance.
04. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best Spidey movie ever? I think maybe yes. My favourite animation? Too early to tell but it is certainly in the running. Unexpected movie love letter to Brooklyn? 100% yes. Best graffiti scene in a movie since Wild Style? Hell yes. Funniest Banksy mention in a movie? You know it.
05. I, Tonya
Took me a long time to get around to watching this. I thought I knew the story and to be honest it never really interested me. This is a film that is much more than the sum of its parts though. The cast really pull out all the stops, the director makes some interesting choices in the telling of the story and it never goes easy on the characters or takes the easy option. Plus it is funny. Sort of.
06. A Simple Favour
Actually I mostly love the first 30 minutes or so of those before the ‘mystery’ gets going and thought the end was a bit weak. Those first 30 minutes as the Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively characters get to know each other and way their characters interact is one of my favourite double acts on film — I thought the way they bounced off each other was likely something from another age of movies (which was clearly the goal!).
07. Lady Bird
This is a slightly strange movie for me. Nothing really happens. It is all quite quiet and subtle. The relationships are beautifully portrayed and you can feel the love and angst throughout but nothing really happens. It just doesn’t happen beautifully and realistically.
08. Avengers: Infinity War
I think this is a movie they will end up studying in film scores. It is actually quite a unique thing. It is like a highlight reel of Marvel movies. It makes no attempt to blend the different tones from different franchises — just pretty much gives them their own mini-movies and when they do cross-over it just embraces the clashes. I can’t even imagine how you can watch it without a decade of Marvel continuity downloaded already — it makes no allowance for that at all. Bloody hell it is fun though!
The story is absurd. One of those it could only be based on a true story or it would be too crazy to be believed things. It is sharp and looks great but weirdly feels like it lacks a little bite given it is a Spike Lee joint + the subject matter. It was a great watch though — even if the bit that really kicked my ass was the short montage of clips showing the rise of the far right and re-emergence of the Klan in the US. Bad times.
10. Deadpool 2
I’ve never actually been a big Marvel comics guy (well in comparison to other publishers and my standards!). I love the ‘Marvel Knights’ characters (who basically became the Marvel Netflix cast of characters) and for a minute in the 90s I was a huge Cable/X-Force fan. It didn’t last but I wonder if this would have been quite as bladder pressuringly funny if it wasn’t for my knowledge of those characters and their treatment here? Who cares really — it really did make me scream with laughter!
This top 10 is based on movies I have seen from this IMDb list of 2018 movies releases. I have watched 57 of the 100 (listed below — the 17 in bold are movies I watched in the cinema) with a couple of big ones missing but likely to be ticked off in the next week or so.
The worst movie I saw in a cinema was ‘Jurassic World 2’. Painful. Most overrated movie was a tie between ‘You Were Never Really Here’ and ‘Widows’.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Ready Player One
You Were Never Really Here
Avengers: Infinity War
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Jurassic World 2
Ant-man and the Wasp
A Simple Favour
A Star is Born
Den of Thieves
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Life of the Party
Crazy Rich Asians
The Equalizer 2
The Cloverfield Paradox
When We First Met
Father of the Year
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Hold the Dark
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
The Spy Who Dumped Me
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Sicario 2: Soldado