Top 10 Movies of 2018

This year I finally did something I've always wanted to do.  I made a year-end top 10 list of my favorite movies.  And it was excruciating.  I hated leaving out several underloved gems.  I just can't fit all my favorites into ten slots.  Sorry, Eeeyore!  So, here is my pared down list of my top 10 movies of 2018 and a couple hundred honorable mentions.  

1. The Hate U Give 
This is the movie that impacted me the most this year.  It inspired me the most and forced me to look at my own prejudices.  It is a shame that Russell Hornsby is not in the awards conversation for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor.  

2. Sorry to Bother You
This is the movie that has crept into my thoughts the second most this year.  Boots Riley's satire about race was one of the funniest movies of the year and also one of the darkest.  

3. Disobedience
This was an early favorite and still holds a special place in my heart.  This is my favorite Rachel Weisz performance of 2018.  The film deals with faith, death, love, and sex in a mature way.  And it doesn't martyr its LGBT characters.  

4. A Quiet Place 
This was the most unique experience I had in a movie theater this year.  Feeling an entire audience hold their breath and try not to make a sound.  The first sequence alone is perfection.  

5. A Star Is Born 
I'm a Lady Gaga fan and she nailed this performance.  It was easy to fall in love with her as a stage shy songwriter.  This is one blockbuster that lived up to the prerelease hype. 

6. First Man  
All of Damien Chazelle's films seem to deal with the cost of ambition.  First Man's flight scenese have a "you are there" quality that's amazing.  

7. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse 
This is my favorite animated film of the year.  Phil Lord brings humor and originality to all of his projects.  Yes, there was another black superhero this year.  But I enjoyed Miles Morales' adventure more.  Plus this movie had Peter Porker the Incredible Spider-Ham who I've waited to see on-screen since I was a kid.  (No joke, I read that comic book religiously.).  

8. The Wife 
This was one of the most underrated dramas of the year.  Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce complement each other perfectly.  I saw some of my own mother in the role and in Close's acceptance speech at the Globes, a woman who could have flown further on her own wings without the constraints put on her by society.  

9. BlacKkKlansman 
While Sorry to Bother You is a comedy that goes down smoothly, BlacKkKlansman is a rocky road.  Spike Lee takes you deep into the Klan and ends with a post script that reminds us this isn't a story that ends in the 1970s.  Rather, it is ongoing and it has repercussions for us today.  Despite its moments of humor and triumph, the film's ultimate message is that racism is still alive and well whether it wears a pointed hood or not.  

10. Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot 

Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of parapalegic cartoonist John Callahan contains some of the most moving scenes of the year.  I don't think I've ever seen Phoenix be quite this vulnerable.  Whether he's weeping as he come to terms with the loss of his legs or offering forgiveness to others as part of a 12-step program, this is some of Phoenix's best work.  Jonah Hill plays his sponsor in a performance that probably would have gotten him a Best Supporting Actor nomination if the film had garnered more attention.  

Honorable mention: 

Black Panther--a cultural milestone 

Won't You Be My Neighbor?--the trailer always got applause 

RBG--one of the best docs of the year 

The Front Runner--a talented ensemble cast in a drama that raises important questions 

The House with a Clock in Its Walls--One of the most fun movies of the year

Avengers: Infinity War--The Marvel Universe goes dark

Talking/speculating about Avengers 4--Was almost as much fun as watching Infinity War 

Christopher Robin--Fun romp with live-action Winnie the Pooh characters

Colette--One of my favorite biopics of the year

Boy Erased--Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman give amazing performances 

Bohemian Rhapsody--Pinkwashing aside, Ramy Malek becomes Freddie Mercury 

Incredibles 2--Everything I love about Pixar 

Mary Queen of Scots--Two of the strongest performances of the year 

Leave No Trace--Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie break your heart 

Ralph Breaks the Internet--A parody of the Disney princess movies 

The Sisters Brothers--I have unfinished business with this movie 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post--Along with Boy Erased, a powerful indictment of ex-gay ministries

If Beale Street Could Talk--A love story betrayed by reality

Mary Poppins Returns--Pure magic 

First Reformed--A hard look at faith and doubt

Can You Ever Forgive Me?--A modern fable about honesty and creativity

Blaze--An elegy for two songwriters 

Eighth Grade--An honest depiction of the worst year of everyone's life 

Haven't seen:


A Private War

Stan & Ollie 


The Rider
Lean on Pete