Welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. It’s that time of the year once again, ladies and gentlemen. As 2018 comes to a close, many movie lovers are counting down their favorite and not-so-favorite moments of the year. Yes, even the ones that are not related to film, but that’s not what we’re focusing on. For this episode of Movie Talk, I’ll be the latest film reviewer to count down the top 10 best films of 2018. This year has been pretty solid when it comes to film, with some good and bad surprises thrown in there for good measure, but it’s also filled with movies that offer great storytelling, astounding performances, emotional themes, and huge amounts of entertainment value, but only ten of them will make it on my list. Keep in mind that this is my own top 10 list, so there may or may not be some films you loved that’ll make it on my list. With that said, let’s count down the winners.
The young adult genre has been known for delivering the romance in a science-fiction setting or a fantasy setting. “The Hate U Give” is a superb change of pace for this type of genre. It’s a film that deals with the complexity of the community as well as certain topics like racism, and they were wonderfully portrayed by director George Tillman Jr. and screenwriter Audrey Wells. Amandla Sternberg and the rest of the cast were terrific in their roles and the story was immersive and pretty emotional from beginning to end. A film that’s worth watching multiple times either at home or at school.
2018 marked another successful year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it had released three action-packed blockbusters that signal the beginning of the end, including the one that clawed its way to the big awards league. “Black Panther” is not only the best one out of the three MCU films that came out this year, but it is also another crowd-pleasing experience that relies on its cultural influence and a character-driven story thanks to the awe-inspiring and talented mind of Ryan Coogler. The cast was great in their roles, especially Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, the action and visuals were well-executed, and the story had enough substance to satisfy both comic book fans and general audiences alike. Most people will pick “Avengers: Infinity War” as their favorite MCU film of 2018, but to be honest with you, I will gladly take T’Challa’s personal journey to become king over Thanos destroying half of the universe’s population any day.
There were some long-awaited sequels that failed to meet the standards of their predecessors, and there were some that were able to come close to being as great as the originals. “Incredibles 2” is a worthy example of the latter. This is another animated sequel from Pixar that still retains the fun and charm that made the first film so special for kids and adults. Filled with lovable characters, astounding animation, and a story that smartly blends family drama with the superhero aspect, the film proves that Pixar is now capable of making follow-ups that are as endearing and passionate as the studio’s original projects. Aside from its villain, “Incredibles 2” is simply incredible.
Like “Incredibles 2”, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is another Disney sequel that came close to being as great as its predecessor. Despite a couple of scenes that slowed down its connection, the film was able to level up with ease by displaying a fresh story that further develops the characters and expands the universe they’re living in. The film also succeeds in portraying its well-developed themes, its relatable and amusing humor, and its immersive animation. Here’s hoping “Frozen 2” will copy this type of success when it hits theaters in 2019.
The live-action Transformers franchise hit a bit of a slump with the release of “Transformers: The Last Knight” last year, and by that, I mean a big slump. Luckily, Travis Knight was here to save the day. “Bumblebee” is not only the best installment in the action-packed film series, but it is also a heartwarming and passionate sci-fi blockbuster that relied on both story and action. Thanks to its lovable cast, its top-notch visuals, its heartfelt plot, and its irresistible charm, this is the “Transformers” film that many G1 fans and newcomers will adore for years to come. It also sets the stage for potential sequels that could lead up to the 2007 live-action film. Now let’s get ourselves an Optimus Prime solo film and a Cybertron film!
The 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born” not only showcased a remake that shines the brightest, but it also expressed Bradley Cooper as an incredible actor and as a confident director. The performances were astounding, the chemistry between Cooper and Lady Gaga was undeniable, the story was well-executed, and the soundtrack was enticing. I honestly didn’t expect myself to love it that much since it’s a romance film, but I did. It would be interesting to see what Bradley Cooper can do next as a director.
“Blindspotting” is another film that deals with these touchy topics, and it’s something that should’ve gotten recognized more. First-time director Carlos Lopez Estrada delivered a hard-hitting and thought-provoking piece of cinema that displayed its themes with sheer honesty. Filled with strong performances from the cast (most notably Daveed Diggs), a smart screenplay, and the best ending I’ve seen this year, this is another voice that deserves to be heard.
Romance movies aren’t usually my cup of tea, but there are a few of them that I wouldn’t mind watching again in the near future. “Love, Simon” is no exception. Ranging from a superb cast to a story that’s deeply thoughtful and charming, this film not only serves as another suitable addition to the teen romance genre, but also as an important source of inspiration to those who are in this type of situation themselves. Funny, happy, sad, simple, and endearing. “Love, Simon” has it all.
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is not only a great documentary, it’s also a gift. A gift to all of those who have forgotten what it was like to be generous to one another. Director Morgan Neville delivered an insightful and heartwarming look at the man who showed us kindness and love through his popular children’s show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”.
It was expected to be a solid take on the Spider-Man legend, but after watching it for myself, it turned out to be amazing. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a fresh and witty superhero film that balances unique storytelling with its flashy action sequences. Not only that, but it also has one of the most unique animation styles I’ve seen in my life. This is a huge win for Sony Pictures Animation, and I’m hoping it continues down that road to success with the film’s sequels and spin-offs.
If you want to read my full thoughts on my picks as well as those who didn't make it on my list, feel free to visit my "2018 Reviews" page. Stay tuned for my "Least Favorite Films of 2018" list. It's going to be a doozy. Thank you so much for taking the time to view my list, and have a safe and happy New Year.