Monday, January 28, 2019

DrogeMiester's Top 10 BEST Movies of 2018

It's time for my favorite time of year on this blog. The big reveal of my personal favorite movies of 2018! Compiling this list was pretty fun this year because I spent very little time in 2018 thinking about what my top 10 list would look like. That means if you've been curious as to what my list would look like, so have I. Sure, I had a general idea of what movies might be on there, but I had no idea how it was going to end up. As it turns out, the final results here make for quite the killer list. I saw my final results and I was quite proud, so I'm excited to finally share this with you. I did mean to get this out a bit earlier in the month, but life got busy. Better late than never, though, right? And that gave me a bit of extra time to think about things, so all is well? A few quick items of business. No, I did not see every movie this year. In fact, I saw a lot less this year than in the past. But that will effect the worst of list more than this one. And when it comes to grades I give to movies, I completely ignore them when making this list. So if you're one who pays attention to what grade I give to each movie, don't be too confused. Could this list be different in the future? Sure. But I like to view these lists as a snapshot in time. So as of this moment, here's my favorite movies of 2018.

10- Paddington 2

If you haven't jumped on board with the "Paddington" movies yet, then my question to you is what are you waiting for? I absolutely adored the first "Paddington" movie, even without having a deep knowledge of the original British source material. Paddington himself has such a lovable innocence to him, which will make your heart explode with how charming he is as well as make you roll around with laughter with all the good-natured humor that comes with an anthropomorphic bear who has no idea how everything works in the human world of London. Despite how much I loved the original movie, "Paddington 2" somehow managed to be even better. All Paddington wanted to do in this movie was get a gift for his aunt's 100th birthday. Yet this ends up leading him to prison as he's convicted of a crime he didn't commit. So what does he do? He makes the best out of whatever situation he's put in, leading to some absolutely hilarious prison sequences, some shockingly incredible action scenes, all topped off with the charm Paddington brings to the table. It's the perfect family film. And if you don't believe me, it got a 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes with 220 reviews counted, making it arguably the best reviewed film EVER on Rotten Tomatoes.

9- Crazy Rich Asians

Surprised that a romance film made my top 10 list? Don't be. "Crazy Rich Asians" is the new gold standard when it comes to romance films. These sappy love stories are the type of movie that I'm often the most harsh on. They're usually just so stupid and formulaic. Yet "Crazy Rich Asians" proves to me that I'm justified in doing so because you CAN do it right. And whenever a movie does it wrong, I will now point directly to this movie to show why they failed. Not only is this a gorgeous film in every sense of that word, but I fell head over heels for our main couple. Constance Wu and Henry Goulding give phenomenal performances. The look they gave each other when Kina Grannis' version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" was playing at the cousin's wedding melted my heart and nearly made me bawl my eyes out. BOTH times I watched. The second time being within the last month. I just loved them and I felt their pain when cultural differences threatened to keep them apart. The comedy in the movie was good icing on the cake, especially with Awkwafina cracking me up constantly, but it was the love story here that I fell madly in love with. Praise does have to be given for this being a progressive film, but even more praise has to be given for this being a great film.

8- A Star is Born

It was a wildly emotional journey for me as I dove into the world of "A Star is Born." I made sure to catch up on all three previous versions before diving into this new one. I'm glad I did because, even though the 70's version was pure trash, both the 1937 and the 1954 versions were absolute masterpieces in my eyes. If you haven't seen those movies and you loved this year's version of "A Star is Born," I'm begging you to check those two out. While on a technical scale, this 2018 version is the most complete and well-made film, it doesn't quite hit the emotional heights of those two predecessors, especially Judy Garland's sadly biographical take in the 1954 movie. That's why this movie isn't slightly higher on this list. But even so, it still belongs here. It's almost unfair how talented Bradly Cooper is as he directed, co-wrote, starred in, and even sang in the movie. And he doesn't just regurgitate a story we've seen three previous times. He manages to craft a film that takes the story and implements a lot of modern themes, especially in regards to today's music industry. Lady Gaga also shines in this movie, proving that she has an acting career ahead of her if she wants it. But make no mistake, this is Bradley Cooper's film and I give him a resounding applause.

7- Isle of Dogs

This is the point in the list where things get tricky. Each end of year list has a unique challenge in putting it together. This year's list was very challenging with the middle section. The top two spots were locked in months ago, but each of the five movies that wound up from No. 3 to No. 7 are films that I seriously considered for the No. 3 spot. Half of the reason why I took so long to get this out is because I couldn't decide what the proper order should be. With no real fault of its own, "Isle of Dogs" ended up in the caboose of all that. The reasoning there has more to do with the strength of the movies ahead of it rather than "Isle of Dogs" falling short. This is Wes Anderson at his greatest with my personal favorite movie of his that I've seen thus far. Not only am I astounded with the amount of work that went into constructing this stop motion film, but Wes Anderson managed to take advantage of his cooky style to give us one of the more thought-provoking films of the year. This is not just a cute movie about cats vs. dogs. This is a deeply metaphorical film that has a lot to say about the current state of our society, especially in regards to the political travesty that is the United States at this current moment. It also gets kudos for being my favorite title of the year.

6- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

From the studio that brought us "The Emoji Movie," comes one of the best Spider-Man movies ever made? Yeah, that surprises me, too. Especially because I've been a huge Spider-Man fan since I was a kid and am also one of the few that will adamantly defend both "Amazing Spider-Man" films. Yet if it wasn't for "Spider-Man 2," this would completely take the cake. Even though I know a lot about Spider-Man, I'm most knowledgeable when it comes to Peter Parker. I didn't know much about Miles Morales. Like with "Crazy Rich Asians," I didn't love this solely because it's progressive, but because it was a progressive idea done well. I was completely captivated with this Miles Morales origin story. It was so packed with emotion that made for such a beautiful arc for a lot of characters, but especially Miles. Combine that with a brilliant plot that implements the multiverse, a comic book idea that I think is genius, and this is one heck of a movie that's quite the ride. Topping it all off is some of the best animation that I've seen as it seamlessly combines several different animation styles with each of the various Spider-Characters that are introduced. It's truly a marvel to behold that opens up so many different doors for Sony that I'm genuinely excited to explore.

5- Hereditary

Out of all of the movies on this list, "Hereditary" was the most difficult one to place. On repeat viewings, this is not a horror film that holds up quite as well as movies like "The Witch" and "The Babadook," two movies that I have watched almost countless times now as they get better with time. Once the shock value has worn off, there's legitimate things to nit-pick here. However, I still have to give this movie massive amounts of praise for being a horror film that completely messed me up. I've become pretty thick-skinned when it comes to horror. A monster jumping out of the corner or a sudden loud sound out of nowhere doesn't effect me at all. But the shock value of "Hereditary" is so strong that it made me cower in my seat for the whole run time, making for quite the theatrical experience. It's one of those movies that's tricky to talk about because I don't want to ruin the experience for those who haven't seen it, but the chemistry between all the members of this family is incredible, making this a devastating ride as their past comes back to haunt them, slowly tearing them apart. Toni Collette as the mother gives one of my favorite performances of the year, especially for an actress. Because of that, I'm legitimately upset that she got robbed of an Oscar nomination.

4- BlacKkKlansman

This movie is here because it is perhaps the most important movie of the year. It's the "Spotlight" of 2018, so to speak. It's not what you would call entertaining necessarily. But it's extremely informative. There were a lot of movies that addressed racism in 2018, but none of them did things as effectively as "BlacKkKlansman." Despite all the various political opinions around right now, I think we can all agree that the KKK is an evil organization. It was horrific to see a first person glance at just how despicable they were in the 70's, even though under their cowardly masks they were regular people like me and you. And it was fun seeing John David Washington and Adam Driver play this duo who pretended to be one man, resulting in a black police officer infiltrating the KKK and exposing them. But the kicker was the very end wherein Spike Lee held back no punches in showcasing that today's political atmosphere is no different than what it was back then. And that's when my jaw dropped so hard that it got close to hitting the floor. In fact, this movie is so brutally honest that I walked out of the theater thinking that Trump supporters are probably going to hate this movie. As an unashamedly loud Trump hater myself, that made me super happy. I hope the country paid attention.

3- Annihilation

Director Alex Garland is now two for two with his movies. His directorial debut, "Ex Machina," completely floored me. Even though the premise of man vs. technology had been done a thousand times, the way Garland constructed that film made it feel mesmerizing and fresh. And now with "Annihilation," he's given us a thinking man's sci-fi film that grabbed my attention from the very first scene and never let go. The movie leans very heavily on the visual effects and the score to keep you reeled in, which is an extremely effective tactic. The visual effects are some of the best of the year and the score is something that I've listened to so many times this year that it might be impossible to keep track. But those aren't the only things going in this movie's favor. This is a very layered film with so many themes to it that make this the type of film you can discuss with your friends for hours. In my extremely vague review that I wrote for the film back in February, I had a hard time giving it a score because I felt like I needed to give it time to marinate. Well, it's been nearly a year now and the movie still hasn't left my mind. So I feel like I can now comfortably call this movie a masterpiece. I own the movie and its going to be one that I will watch repeatedly for years to come.

2- Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Now that we've made it through the crazy web that was No. 3 through No. 7, all of which are very much interchangeable, it's time for the big two. The one-two punch that has been my runaway favorites to top this list since July. Obviously I kept my mind open for potential spoilers, but this year none came. "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" is a movie that gave me such a powerful kick of adrenaline. In my mind, it's a perfectly constructed action film that can be watched over and over and never get old. Like "Mad Max: Fury Road," this is an action film that I'm going to be turning to many times over the years and I have a feeling that I'm going to be thoroughly entertained every single time. But the success of this individual film isn't the only reason why I loved this movie so much. I walked out of the theater with the feeling that I had witnessed something truly special as the "Mission: Impossible" franchise has achieved the pinnacle of cinematic success. The first movie debuted in 1996 and since then the franchise has only gotten better. And now 22 years later, the sixth movie in the franchise is the best one yet. And they didn't even have to reboot or recast since Tom Cruise found the fountain of youth. Thus this has to be considered one of the all-time great franchises.

1- Avengers: Infinity War

This might be the easiest No. 1 I've come up with on this blog as this has been practically pre-determined since April. And no, I'm not one of those comic book fans that still drools all over himself when he sees a superhero on the big screen. The novelty has worn off and I consistently am searching for an increase in quality. But "Infinity War" is the exact moment that the MCU has been building towards ever since they began. Thanos first appeared in the end credits scene of the original "Avengers" movie in 2012. Because of that, I went into this movie feeling that Marvel needed to do something different here. This movie needed stakes. It needed to be dark. It needed to be the "Empire Strikes Back" of the MCU. And Thanos needed to be the Darth Vader of this franchise. I wanted him to mop the floor with the Avengers because I knew this was only part one of this story. Quite frankly, I didn't think they could do it. I went in expecting to be disappointed. But instead I was beyond stunned by this film. Because they did it. And all I can do is sit back and marvel at this grand achievement. With all the build-up leading to a fantastic pre-finale, Marvel has made one of the best superhero films ever made. One that's probably only topped by "The Dark Knight."

1 comment:

  1. Honorable mentions:

    11- Mary Poppins Returns
    12- Won't You Be My Neighbor?
    13- I Can Only Imagine
    14- Green Book
    15- A Quiet Place
    16- Creed II
    17- Searching
    18- Widows
    19- Ralph Breaks the Internet
    20- Incredibles 2
    21- Deadpool 2
    22- Eighth Grade
    23- If Beale Street Could Talk
    24- The Favourite
    25- Game Night