I really struggled limiting my Top 10 Films of 2018 list to just 10 films. This was an incredible year in films with some landmark achievements. As always, my Top 10 list is comprised of my favorite films for the year. I might have ranked some higher than others, but it comes down to which ones I kept thinking about and rewatching after that initial viewing.
Even if I doubled down and expanded my list to 20, I still wouldn’t have been able to include all of the films that thrilled me as a moviegoer. From Black Panther to Widows to Candy Jar, this was a really impressive year. Let’s see what I ultimately decided on…at this moment.
Like most of my Top 10 lists, repeated viewings might change the order of some of these choices. My top 2 choices pretty much switch up based on which one I saw more recently. Spoiler: it’s not Red Sparrow and The Predator.
Enough build-up, let’s get on with the list!
If I wanted to cheat and expand my list, these would be in no particular order the other films that would have made the cut:
- Ant-Man & The Wasp
- Christopher Robin
- Crazy Rich Asians
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- Operation Red Sea
- Ready Player One
- Set It Up
- The Great Battle
Honorable Mention: The Death of Superman – The Death of Superman trilogy is my favorite involving one superhero as it beautifully captures the essence of what makes Superman special. Warner Bros. Entertainment didn’t get it right with their first take on the iconic story, but the second time was the charm.
In some ways, the script by Peter Tomasi improves upon the original since this time Doomsday has to battle an A-team Justice League roster. The fight scenes were tremendously done and the post-credits teaser ensured the second part The Reign of the Supermen is likely to occupy a Top 10 spot in 2019.
10. Aquaman – I never bought in to the Aquaman can’t be cool narrative. The dude can create sonic booms underwater and command fish. How is that not cool? Jason Momoa rose to the challenge with his first solo outing that’s already looking like it’s going to be the new king of the DC Extended Universe. James Wan crafted a film that didn’t apologize for showcasing Aquaman and embraced everything about the character with the comic book movie equivalent to Avatar.
9. Upgrade – Wan’s frequent collaborator Leigh Whannell comes up with an incredibly fun twist on the man and the machine concept where a quadriplegic gets the chance to get payback on the men who killed a loved one thanks to the aid of a complex microchip.
8. A Quiet Place – I love a good horror/thriller movie and A Quiet Place is a great horror/thriller. John Krasinski delivers a terrifying, nerve-wracking 94-minute ordeal that does way more than tease with jump scares. This clever concept makes for a thriller guaranteed to keep viewers on edge and most importantly stay silent.
7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout – My new favorite of the franchise finds Tom Cruise still sipping from the Fountain of Youth in the most action-packed edition yet. With Henry Cavill trading his Superman cape to pump his shotgun arm special move and a true ensemble feel, Fallout plays out like a greatest hits of the series for a fun, adrenaline rush.
6. Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse – This was so much fun as both an origin film for Miles Morales and a truly great Spider-Man film. The shift to animation allowed for an adventure that could fully explore the topic of the Spider Verse while giving a more than adequate spotlight to Miles Morales’ personal and superheroic life.
5. BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee definitely put on his inspired hat with his latest, which details the too crazy to be fictional account of a black police officer infiltrating the kkk. With a breakout debut performance from John David Washington and an all-around stellar cast, Lee puts together a sharp, biting social commentary piece that questions how far America has fallen in recent years.
4. Creed II – The original Creed was my favorite film from 2015 so it took some strong films to keep its sequel from repeating. Not only was this a terrific followup to the first Creed, but some subplots from Rocky IV were also revisited making this a film that was a sequel to two movies. Michael B. Jordan led the way with another impressive performance that already has me clamoring for another epic in the ring.
3. A Star is Born – There’s always one obvious Oscar contender that I love even if it’s a little too predictable. In this case, it’s definitely the latest take on A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper delivers what has to be considered the definitive take on the tale and his electric chemistry and passion with Lady Gaga makes for a beautifully told tragic love story. Add in a killer soundtrack and you’ve got one of 2018’s standouts.
2. Black Panther – In almost any other year, this would have been my runaway no contest top pick. Black Panther is an elegantly told, masterfully directed and acted film that challenged the notion of a superhero movie in the same manner as Christopher Nolan did with The Dark Knight. Ryan Coogler did so much right with this film that Marvel Studios exec Kevin Feige proclaimed it the finest film the studio has done. Chadwick Boseman was fantastic while Michael B. Jordan delivered the most Oscar-worthy performance in a Marvel film yet.
There’s a reason there’s so much clamoring for Black Panther to receive its due come Oscar season. Few films have made as big a cultural impact and been such a massive box office phenomenon.
1. Avengers: Infinity War – I’m a sucker for team-ups. As great as Black Panther was, I’ll always have a bias toward a strong film assembling so many characters on screen at once. Even then, Infinity War had an uphill battle to dethrone Black Panther, but Joe and Anthony Russo made a brilliant and bold film that shattered blockbuster expectations with an ending so shocking not even comic book fans truly saw it coming.