Sunday, January 13, 2019

Top 20 Movies of 2018

I wasn’t able to see every movie I had been meaning to see in 2018.  And some of those unwatched movies – particularly Bohemian Rhapsody, Anna and the Apocalypse, Creed II, and Mirai – would have likely ended up being strong contenders for this list if I had seen them.  Nevertheless, from among those that I did get the chance to watch, here are my twenty most favorite.

Honorable mentions: Upgrade, The Endless, BlacKkKlansman

20.) Ready Player One
“…one of the geekiest movies of all time, and it’s designed to be rewarding to those who have been invested on huge amounts of varied pop culture properties in their lifetime…  It has set itself to be a feast for our inner child to relish, and it triumphantly delivers.”
Click here for the full review.

19.) The Death of Superman
“…best DCAMU installment yet… It effectively captures what made ‘The Death of Superman’ [comic book story arc] so gripping and poignant... In fact, there are even aspects of [this film] which I think are done better than the source material.”
Click here for the full review.

18.) Ralph Breaks the Internet
“Its interpretation of a world inhabited by prominent digital functions and brands is utterly amusing and thoughtful… Ralph Breaks the Internet takes the Internet and translates it into a fascinating anthropomorphic civilization.”
Click here for the full review.

17.) The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
“…a stimulating, poetic film that satisfies cravings for Western tall tales in a diversity of forms – from the comedic to the dark – while simultaneously inspiring some reflection about the timeless themes of life and death.”
Click here for the full review.

16.) A Star Is Born
“…Bradley Cooper... is the standout among all standouts of this film… [He] did a tremendous job in constructing this elegant, poignant film.”
Click here for the full review.

15.) Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral
“…I think I love Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral more than Heneral Luna.  I feel that it’s more cerebral, nuanced, penetrating, and well-crafted.  It’s a masterpiece historical film…”
Click here for the full review.

14.) Three Identical Strangers
“…after starting at a feel-good note, it gradually evolves into something more gripping, disturbing, and brooding.  The twists and turns involved in it are superior to most well-plotted thrillers out there, and the reflections it will elicit are extensive and rich.  As a result, it’s an utterly absorbing film.”
Click here for the full review.

13.) Annihilation
“It’s not the kind of movie you would want to watch to have an ‘easy good time.’  However, if you are in the condition to chore through it, it could prove to be a very stimulating experience.”
Click here for the full review.

12.) The Night Comes for Us
“…Indonesia has finally succeeded in creating a spiritual successor to The Raid in The Night Comes for Us.”
Click here for the full review.

11.) Deadpool 2
“It basically uses the same formula that made the first movie work.  The only difference is that it applies it at a bigger scale than before.”
Click here for the full review.

10.) Paddington 2
“It’s essentially flawless!  Every second is thoroughly fun, highly endearing, and oozing with good vibes, thanks to a very winning narrative and matching lovely visuals.   It’s cute without getting superficial; it’s sweet without getting sappy – the perfect amount and quality to please, like Paddington’s marmalade.”
Click here for the full review.

9.) Aquaman
“…kind of genius.  It’s rough around the edges, true, but all in all, it’s a refreshing change of pace for the comic book movie genre.”
Click here for the full review.

8.) Isle of Dogs
“…I quite enjoyed Isle of Dogs – maybe even more than I enjoyed Fantastic Mr. Fox… I believe this movie is a delightful masterpiece.”
Click here for the full review.

7.) Green Book
“It’s a wonderful story of friendship… Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are magnetic in their performances here, and their chemistry with one another is splendid.  Either one is deserving of the Best Actor award… Heck, considering it’s an Oscar-bait film, I wouldn’t mind if it actually succeeds in getting all the awards it had shamelessly set off to pursue for itself.  Actually, I might even gladly cheer for it.”
Click here for the full review.

6.) Incredibles 2
“… a terrific sequel worth the wait.  It’s every bit as epic as the original in being a family-oriented superhero-with-a-mix-of-classic-spy-thriller animated feature.”
Click here for the full review.

5.) Searching
“…intelligently makes use of this unconventional filmmaking technique to truly create an incredible cinematic experience.”
Click here for the full review.

4.) Mission: Impossible – Fallout
“…Tom Cruise is like fine wine; he only seems to get better with age.  As a result, Mission: Impossible – Fallout – the sixth installment of the series – is arguably the best one to date.”
Click here for the full review.

3.) Avengers: Infinity War
“…there’s validity on why some dare call this movie the Empire Strikes Back of the MCU… a tremendously compelling, delightful, and poignant watch.”
Click here for the full review.

2.) A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place is basically this year’s Get Out – a critically and financially successful horror movie directed and written by a comedian.  However, though I like Get Out, I also think it’s overrated.  On the other hand, A Quiet Place is a masterpiece.  Thus, I hope it also gets the same awards love that Get Out had.”
Click here for the full review.

1.) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
“…it isn’t just an impeccable Miles Morales movie.  It also manages to set up a shared cinematic universe of future films without making itself feel bloated.   I was blown away that it manages to pull this off considering all the intentions, characters, and details it needs to juggle.”
Click here for the full review.

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