2018 in Film
I will of course give a quick shoutout as per usual to the movies I didn't get a chance to see yet but think that I would enjoy:
A Quiet Place, Ocean's 8, Christopher Robin, A Simple Favor, Assassination Nation, The Old Man & the Gun, Bad Times at the El Royale, Widows, Creed II, Bumblebee, and Anna and the Apocalypse
Anyway with that done, let's get on with the show.
#1: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
God, this was a tough one. I went back and forth between the top two for awhile, and I was hesitant just because I saw this one so recently - but at the end of the day, I had to do it. This movie's score - by Daniel Pemberton - is amazing. The soundtrack curated for the movie is amazing. The animation is revolutionary (literally - I'd be willing to read a book on everything that went into developing the visual design for this film and how they implemented all of it). The story is heartwarming. The jokes are funny.
This movie gets Spider-Man. It gets Peter Parker, and better yet, Miles Morales.
The Spider-Verse is a fascinating concept, and I can't wait to see it explored further in future films. Getting to see two sides of Peter Parker and how they both impacted Miles was great. Seeing Miles' journey into becoming the new Spider-Man - a Spider-man that is unique to him - was even better. I really liked Spider-Gwen and can't wait to see more of her.
Please, go see this movie. See it in 3D if you can.
#2: Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Back in 2015 when I first saw Rogue Nation, I thought it was a good film, but not a great one. I was just off the heels of Mad Max: Fury Road and Kingsman: The Secret Service, both of which had blown me away. This year, I was coming off of Avengers: Infinity War (more on that in a bit), and found myself almost reluctantly excited for this film.
Then the reviews started coming in, and I knew this was a movie I had to see.
Like all Mission Impossible films, the story is a little convoluted and a bit of a mess - but it works. And god, everything else. The fight scenes are frenetic. Every hit has an impact. Characters stumble, fall, wheeze, get the wind knocked out of them. The stunts are relentless, and with Tom Cruise himself performing them, you get to see many unique shots that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
I could go on about the HALO sequence, or the bathroom fight, or the climax at the end. I could talk about Henry Cavill's character, who rivals Tom Cruise every step of the way. I could talk about the way the film plays with your expectations and it works, or how I felt like Imax was finally worth it. But I don't have that much time.
Christopher McQuarrie has directed an action masterpiece with Fallout, and it's clear that the longer he and Tom Cruise work together, the better they're getting. Here's hoping the two will reunite at least once more for a Mission Impossible 7.
#3: Avengers: Infinity War
You had to know this would be here. Ten years of buildup. Iron Man and Thor teaming up with Doctor Strange, Rocket Raccoon, and Spider-Man to fight Thanos. An Avengers film where the main villain is arguably the main character.
And the ending. We all know how it'll end with Avengers 4, but I'm excited to see just how they'll make it happen.
#4: Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors. The Grand Budapest Hotel will always rank among my favorites. Isle of Dogs is no exception. The stop-motion, the framing, and Wes Anderson's brand of slightly off-kilter humor. It's a pleasant package, and you should watch it if you have the opportunity.
#5: Black Panther
A cultural phenomenon, one that I hope Captain Marvel will echo in some form next year (because money talks, and it'd be nice to move on from all white males with five o'clock shadow).
I know it's still kind of a low bar, but Kilmonger is my favorite MCU villain to date, and I hope he'll get to come back in Black Panther 2 for a quick ancestral plane cameo.
I'd say more, but so many others have already said it before me, and they've said it better; so I'll leave it at that.