This year was is a little strange. Not bad, just strange...
While there were certainly lots of good/solid/entertaining films (Black Panther, Upgrade, The Green Fog, etc), there were only a handful of exceptional releases that truly stood out to me (Zama, Shoplifters, The Rider, etc) along with a few pleasant surprises (Game Night, Lowlife, etc). The rest of my Top 10 is made up of slightly flawed works with head-scratching endings (First Reformed) or movies from the early 1980’s that didn’t get a theatrical run until this year (Personal Problems).
I admit that my excitement for 2018 died a little when I discovered films like High Life, Our Time & American Dharma wouldn’t be released until 2019 (who knows when American Dharma will get a proper release). But I guess the positive is that 2019 is already shaping up to be a good year (all the aforementioned films are already in my top 10 for next year).
I still had fun documenting, podcasting & writing about the 2018 movie year (make sure to go back and explore both PINNLAND EMPIRE & Zebras In America as I’ve given my thoughts on every film on this list in either written form or podcast form).
1-4: ALL AROUND GREAT (films that I felt were just all around great. Essentially the 1st tier of great 2018 films)
Zama/ Shoplifters The Rider / You Were Never Really Here
5-6: SOLID (the 2nd tier of all-around great films from 2018)
Burning / The Favourite
7-8: UNDER THE RADAR (films I loved from 2018 that may not have had the same exposure or platform as the larger releases, but are still great)
Lowlife / Monrovia, Indiana
9: FRUSTRATING BUT REWARDING (all around great but one major flaw or weird aspect that really bugged me)
10: BEST NEW OLD MOVIE (an old film that didn't get a proper release until this year which, in my opinion, makes it a 2018 movie)
These are movies that I genuinely loved but I also have some kind of personal connection to either the film or the filmmaker. In this year's case, I happen to know Kurt Vincent & Irene Chin (Friends Of Wonder) and I have a very biased love towards Bruno Dumont and his work as he's slowly becoming one of my all-time personal favorite filmmakers (Jeanette...)
Jeanette: The Childhood Of Joan Of Arc / Friends Of Wonder / 24 Frames
It wouldn't be right to define an entire year with just a handful of movies. Below are some more solid releases from 2018 worth your time...
The Taste Of Cement / Blue / Cold War
THESE MOVIES HAD NO BUSINESS BEING THIS GOOD:
Game Night / Upgrade / Equalizer 2
Black Panther / Marlina: The Murderer In Four Parts
FRUSTRATING BUT REWARDING:
Vox Lux / The Green Fog / Widows
HONORABLE HONORABLE MENTION
A few more movies from 2018 worth your time...
Suspiria / Three Identical Strangers Claire's Camera / Mandy Hereditary / The Night Comes For Us Avengers: Infinity Wars / Roma
OTHER MOVIES POSSIBLY WORTH YOUR TIME
These aren't exactly the best films from 2018 but they all had something that earned them a mention on this year's list...
Deadpool / Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs / If Beale Street Could Talk Death To Stalin / Ant & Wasp Sorry To Bother You / 8th Grade
On this latest entry, we take a look at a particular scene from one of Akerman's most well known films and the (possible) influence it may have had on LGBTQ cinema (along with a few other bonus comparisons).