Even though this is a video game blog site, I still am a bit of a movie snob. Because of that, I wanted to do something new: I want to talk about the best films I watched. So, here is my list for the top ten movies of 2018.
Just like the last list, just know that it is a personal list, so don’t expect to see certain films. Also, I have decided to include documentaries, because I am a sucker for them and I think there were great ones this year. I have played a lot of great games released this year, but when it comes to movies I find it ranges more, so films you see on this list aren’t necessarily all great to me. Finally, I am not a Marvel movie fan, so don’t ask why there aren’t any Marvel films are here. With all of that out of the way, let’s get into the list.
10. Ready Player One
I won’t lie when I say this as well as the next two are more filler than anything else. Despite that, I actually didn’t think this movie was terrible. Sure, it had pretty bad writing and didn’t really follow the book at all, but for the kind of movie this is, I think it could’ve been worse. The action pieces were fun, the callbacks (especially the whole Shining sequence) were neat, and by the end I had a little smile on my face. I don’t think this movie is for everyone, but if you enjoyed the book then I think you could find a good time out of this movie.
9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
This film is a weird one for me to put on mainly because it is a Netflix movie. I still have the thought process that a movie shown is a theater is a movie, but here we are. Again, this film is more filler than anything, but I still think it is a good film. The biggest issue I had with Buster Scruggs is that the movie is split up into six short stories, and none of the stories are fleshed out enough for me to care about the characters or the plots. Still, I think the writing is good and some of the stories were interesting. It certainly isn’t the best western film I have ever seen (it isn’t too hard to find which one that is), but I still think it is an interesting and unique take on a western and can be a fun watch for any Coen Brother fans.
8. Incredibles 2
I wasn’t really planning on watching this film, but here we are now. This is my last filler film; because while I thought it was good, I didn’t think it was as great as it could’ve been. I still can’t quite put my finger onto why I don’t like this film as much, but I don’t think this film is as great as the first one. I felt that this iteration had a weaker villain, and I felt it took to long for the whole family to be back in action. Still, I think the universe that is set up for this movie really shines in this second film, and the crime-fighting family is always fun to be with. I think there are better children movies that released this year (as you will soon see), but for what it’s worth I think Incredibles 2 is decent.
7. A Quiet Place
What is it with comedians finding their darker side? I’m now done with fillers and I am starting to get into the films I really cared about this year, one of them being A Quiet Place. I was surprised to see John Krasinski making a horror film, and I was even more surprised to see that it was actually pretty damn good. The world they created, though flawed at times, was interesting, and the tension and suspense that is built up from the silence was great. What I liked about the film the most though was its emphasis on family. This isn’t the scariest horror film around, and that’s because it’s more about the family and how they shaped their daily lives around the events of the film. While I think it is a bit more forgettable than the other films on this list, I think A Quiet Place is a great film that can be both a screamer and a tear-jerker.
6. Paddington 2
Definitely the biggest surprise for me this year is Paddington 2. I heard great things about this film, but I was still skeptical going in. After watching it though, I can say it is best kids film this year. The movie is heart-warming like few others, the character and world built for this film are charming and lively, Paddington himself is lovable, the prison part of the movie is spectacular, and so much more. This film can make you laugh, and this film can make you cry, and at the end of the film I had a big grin on my face. Paddington 2 is a great film for both kids and adults, and it is something you shouldn’t pass up.
5. Andre the Giant
No, I’m not ranking the wrestler into this list: I am ranking the documentary of the wrestler by HBO into this list. Andre the Giant follows Andre’s life from beginning to end, mainly highlighting his wrestling career. But don’t think this documentary is here just to talk about his career feats. This doc shows the true Andre. It shows his life both inside and outside of the ring, and everything in between. It showed just how great of a man he was, as well as the struggles he had in his life with his fame and his body. It is easy to pass this film off as some silly documentary on some WWE star, but what I love about this doc so much is how it goes much deeper than that. Andre the Giant is something you don’t want to miss, even if you are a non-wrestling fan such as myself.
4. Isle of Dogs
What can I say about this film other than it’s a Wes Anderson film? I am a fan of his work because of how unique and quirky it is, and this film is really just more of that. Wes Anderson has always set up unique worlds, interesting camera angles, quirky dialogue and quirkier characters, and more; and while this film isn’t the best one he has ever made, he still made a great film worth watching.
3. Bad Times at the El Royale
Bad Times at the El Royale was a film that came and went will little fanfare, which is a shame considering it’s actually a great film. Noir films are few-and-far between, so this film feels like a nice refresh on the genre. The characters and writing are clever, the setting both in time and location are great, and the events that unfurl are crazy. It does experience a few hiccups along the way, but overall I loved my time with the film. I don’t think this film is for everyone, but if you are into noir films then I think this is worth a watch.
2. They Shall Not Grow Old
Like I said, I am a sucker for documentaries, and the next two entries show that. Four years ago, the Imperial War Museum tasked Peter Jackson to come up with a documentary for World War 1 on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day (Veterans Day). So, using a mixture of old war footage and old BBC veteran interviews, Peter Jackson whipped up a fantastic documentary considering it is his first time. But what makes this doc so great? He didn’t just put footage in the doc and called it a day. He remastered and colorized the film, as well as added audio to bring WW1 to life. I often hear the term of ‘bringing [blank] to life,’ but this is the first time I feel they succeeded in doing that. There is a moment fifteen minutes in that blew my socks off because it shows just how impactful the remastering is to this doc. Not only that, I found that Jackson took a different approach to the film than other docs. Instead of sitting some random old historian down in a chair and putting a camera into his face, Peter Jackson took the BBC interviews and formed them into a narrative following soldiers from beginning-to-end. For being his first documentary, I think Peter Jackson did an outstanding job at bringing World War 1 to life for the 100th anniversary of the end of it. They Shall Not Grow Old is a documentary you shouldn’t pass up.
1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
I remember going to the theater to see Isle of Dogs and sitting through the trailers before the movie. Out of the four-or-five trailers I saw there, the majority of them were trash. Then, I saw the trailer for this film, and I knew I had to watch this doc. So I did, and it didn’t disappoint. This doc follows the life of Fred Rogers, the creator of Mister Roger’s’ Neighborhood. Just like Andre the Giant, this doc isn’t about documenting the thing they created, but the person themselves. After watching this doc, I wish I was part of the generation that grew up with him. Shining the light on Rogers himself showed just how great of a person he was and just how many people he touched with his life and his work. Even though I am not nostalgic for him, I still left left that doc with a tear in my eye and a question on my mind: Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
That is going to wrap up the year in movies. Thank you all for reading, and have a happy rest of 2018.
Here is the link to my top ten games of 2018.