The Best Movies of 2018

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Part One

I’m a filmmaker, not a paid critic, so there are many movies I haven’t seen—notably, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, plus scads of non-English language films (which tend to be widely released in the U.S. after the awards season). More accurately, these are personal favorites, but lists like this are always labelled “Best,” right? So I caved.

Best Comedies

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Possibly my favorite film of 2018, Buster captures that uniquely Cohen Bros blend of quirky humor (“Is this your first hanging?”) and pathos to tell five unique stories of an Old West that exists only in the Cohenverse.
  • Game Night – Game Night, arguably the funniest movie of 2018, features some cringe-inducingly hilarious moments from Rachel McAdams (who knew?) and Jason Bateman (we knew).
  • Isle of Dogs – The work of another wildly original filmmaker, Wes Anderson, Isle is oddly delightful, especially if you’re one of those who can say with me (altogether now), “I love dogs!”
  • Eighth Grade – A nomination-starved gem, 8G focuses painfully, laughably and hopefully on the brilliant performance of teen actress Elsie Fisher.
  • Green Book – Some critics considered Green Book too artificially “feel good” for its subject matter (a gay black man in the 1960s South). So, sue me, but I felt good, particularly after watching Mahershala Ali’s masterful performance.
  • A Small Favor – This (very R-rated) comedy-drama-mystery-action mash-up was one of the most unexpectedly original films of 2018. Blake Lively and the always-inspired Anna Kendrick tease and shock us from start to finish.
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Biopics are hard to pull-off, because real life lacks the tidy plot-structure of fiction. But this movie finds an effective emotional core; and Melissa McCarthy reminds us that she really, really, really can act, as can the terrific supporting cast.

Best Action Movies

  • Black Panther – A true phenomenon, BP may not be the greatest drama ever made, but it’s certainly one of the best action fantasies ever. What’s not to love?
  • Ready Player One – An underrated Spielberg film? Yes, IMHBCO (In My Humble but Correct Opinion). Ready’s pop culture bells and whistles obscured for some the coming-of-age story at its core. I liked and cared about these characters.
  • Mission Impossible: Fallout ­– Like the previous MIs, Fallout starts off predictably, and then manages to take some cool didn’t-see-that-coming turns–something MIs cousins, the Bond movies, could learn from.
  • A Quiet Place – Not a classic, but a fresh twist on the genre. Beautifully acted and directed by the team of practically perfect in every way Emily Blunt (to borrow a line from another movie) and her multi-talented hubbs, John Krasinski.
  • Solo – If they’d checked their expectations at the concession stand, I suspect more people would have enjoyed this well-made backstory. Perfect? No. Fun? Yes.
  • Avengers: Infinity War – A dependable good-time-at-the-movies popcorner. Hey, not every action fantasy can be a Panther. 

To read Part Two: Dramas and Honorable Mentions, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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34 Responses to The Best Movies of 2018

  1. Great list. I saw a movie last year. What was the name? … give me a minute, I’ll remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trE says:

    Yaaasss to the Best Action Films! I totally agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m 4 movies into watching all 20 of the previous Marvel Universe films. My sisters are avid fans and have tried for years to get me in the game. So far so good.

    The Ballad of Buster Scrugs was ok. The first story was fun and then after that I found it difficult to watch. I liked the visual look but the stories for me were just meh. I’m surprised so many people have gushed about it. And it’s nominated for an Oscar I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. revruss1220 says:

    Going to have to keep this post and use it for future DVD rental guidance. A couple of these I hadn’t even heard of. So thanks for the tip. Can’t agree on Buster Scruggs though. We abandoned it halfway through due to excessive weirdness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      One man’s cup of perfectly brewed weirdness is another man’s “excessive weirdness, I guess (I doubt this will become a common idiom ;>) Have fun viewing whatever is your cuppa, Russ.

      Like

  5. LOL! I am a movie critic. Well, not an official one but every time I go to the movies my hubby says I spend all month complaining about it……:)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Quiet place was pretty good, actually filmed in my area here oh! And Bird box was good , have you seen it ?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can You Ever Forgive Me, Green Book, Eighth Grade, and Isle of Dogs would all make my list too—working on catching up on the other films. Loved every one of those on your action movie list though—especially Mission Impossible: Fallout. Particularly, Henry Cavill. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. M.B. Henry says:

    Happy to see Ready Player One get some love here. My husband and I saw it and thought it was incredibly entertaining! Really wanted to see Eighth Grade, still would like to track it down if we can

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hal Barbera says:

    I’ll check them out. But I don’t view many movies as I used too.

    And when I do, I’m not just sitting there and watching. I’m mostly listening, thinking, writing thoughts gleamed from the movie!

    I watched a documentary on the War in the Pacific. By the time it was over I had four pages of notes and drawings associated with the movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. stolzyblog says:

    was wondering about seeing Green Book — it’s a comedy thugh? one wouldn’t know by the previews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Not really. It’s a comedy-drama, or more accurately a dramedy, but when it comes to fixed categories everything has to fit under one heading or another. Most of the comedies on award lists this year are actually comedy-dramas.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: The Best Movies of 2018 | Mitch Teemley

  12. Reminds me of the NFL Pre-Draft. Mitch Teemly, the Mike Mayock of theatre.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. VocareMentor says:

    Do try to see Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse on the biggest viewing device you can. It is possibly the most beautiful animated film I’ve ever seen. Pretty good story too. I saw it twice in the theaters – After the first viewing I HAD to go back and SEE it again on the BIG screen.
    I almost missed it. It wasn’t on my radar. So much animation being produced now, I thought it was just a TV Spider-Man cartoon made into a feature film.
    My daughter saw a preview and said, “Dad, you’ve got to see it!” – so glad I did. One of my favorites of 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ann Coleman says:

    I enjoyed Isle of Dogs too, and plan to see Green Book soon. Nothing wrong with a “feel-good” movie in my opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. CJ Hartwell says:

    Isle of Dogs was the best! (You heard the rumor, right? 😂)
    I loved Black Panther too, a great action film but so much more than that. I hope it wins big.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. nancyehead says:

    I found Buster Scruggs well made but too dark to even finish. I carried images from it with me for days after. Chilling and creepy. On the other hand, the best movie I saw last year was A Quiet Place. I saw it twice in the theater and bought the DVD as soon as I could. I’ve used it already in the high school and college classrooms. And I can’t wait to use it again. Keep watching, Mitch. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. mickeymas says:

    Into the spider verse is aaawwesome A must watch. Great page Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. chirp/seek says:

    I have to catch several of these, especially in the comedy genre…What did you think of Blindpotting? I still have to catch it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Stay Alive says:

    For me it was A star is born 🌟 all the way. Left me in awe

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Chad Harvey says:

    Have you checked out Mile 22 with Mark Wahlberg? Not a huge name movie, but was made in 2018 and was fairly good. Worth the watch.

    Liked by 2 people

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