2018 in Movies

My reviews of movies released in 2018.

1. Free Solo, directed by Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (9/10)

Unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Read the review of Free Solo.

2. El Reino (aka The Realm), directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen (8/10)

This thriller, about white collar corruption in Spain, is nearly a great film, but goes off the rails in its third act. It’s still a pretty incredible film, with one really incredible moment which should be in a different film, but it’s still incredible. Read the review of El Reino.

3. McQueen, directed by Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui (8/10)

This documentary made me interested in a fashion designer, which is really hard. Read the review of McQueen.

4. Museo, directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios (8/10)

This is a fantastical re-imagining of an archaeology heist in Mexico city in the 1980s. The film is a barrage of different styles and filmmaking techniques, and usually I find this extremely off putting in a film. But given the skill that is used to tell this story in those different styles, and given that the film itself is so damn entertaining, I really did enjoy the different styles and the strange and fantastical retelling of this story, which makes no pretense to being true. Read the review of Museo.

5. The Standoff at Sparrow Creek, directed by Henry Dunham (8/10)

This is a pretty great debut film, which suffers only from its script, which is stagey in the extreme and a little unrealistic. Ignore the reviews which tell you it’s too similar to Reservoir Dogs. This movie is well shot, well edited and really well lit. Read the review of The Standoff at Sparrow Creek.

6. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, directed by David Slade (8/10)

A landmark in entertainment even if I don’t love the story. Read the review of Bandersnatch.

7. Support the Girls, directed by Andrew Bujalski (8/10)

A pretty great “day in the life” dramedy. Read the review of Support the Girls.

8. Game Night, directed by John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein (8/10)

A sharp, fun and occasionally inventive mainstream Hollywood action comedy that is so much better than most of those it’s kind of amazing. Read the review of Game Night.

9. Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu (8/10)

An affecting documentary that isn’t just about a couple of skateboarders. Read my review of Minding the Gap.

10. American Animals, directed by Bart Layton (7/10)

An entertaining, ambitious blend of documentary and heist movie that is a little too over-stylized for my liking. Read the review of American Animals.

11. Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler (7/10)

A major landmark if nothing else. Read the review of Black Panther.

12. Screwball, directed by Billy Corben (7/10)

This is a pretty damn amusing, albeit overly glib, documentary about the Biogenesis baseball scandal. It’s not journalism, so don’t go into it expecting it is, but it’s really entertaining. Read the review of Screwball.

13. Deadpool 2, directed by David Leitch (7/10)

A worthy sequel. (I think.) Read the review of Deadpool 2.

14. The Spy Who Dumped Me, directed by Susanna Fogel (7/10)

Sort of the buddy comedy version of Spy. Not quite as good as that one. Read the review of The Spy Who Dumped Me.

15. Invisible Essence: The Little Prince, directed by Charles Officer (7/10)

A pretty good documentary about the most popular children’s book in the world. Read the review of Invisible Essence.

1. A Simple Favor, directed by Paul Feig (6/10)

A mostly fun (and funny) “mommy noir” with a ridiculous ending. Read the review of A Simple Favor.

17. Avengers: Infinity War, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (6/10)

For me, probably the best of the Avengers films if only because for once, the stakes are real. Read the review of Infinity War.

18. The Panama Papers, directed by Alex Winter (6/10)

Workmanlike documentary almost as much about the leak as the subject of the leak. Read the review of Panama Papers.

19. They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, directed by Morgan Neville (6/10)

An extremely artsy film about an artsy film. Read the review of They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.

20. Ant-Man and the Wasp, directed by Peyton Reed (6/10)

Kind of ridiculously ambitious but at least it’s funny. Read the review of Ant-Man and the Wasp.

21. Hold the Dark, directed by Jeremy Saulnier (6/10)

My most anticipated film was also the TIFF film I liked least. I don’t know if it’s the bigger budget, or it’s the first time adapting source material, but things do not work as well as in Saulnier’s earlier films, which are all worth watching. Read the review of Hold the Dark.

22. Blockers, directed by Kay Cannon (6/10)

Reasonably funny. Read the review of Blockers.

23. Bad Times at the El Royale, directed by Drew Goddard (6/10)

I watched this either on a plane or in a hotel on vacation. (I’m pretty sure it was on a plane.) I thought I had written down some notes. Usually, that’s what I do. And then, when I get home, I write the review on this website. But it isn’t here. So I don’t know what happened.

The 6/10 is an estimate. Part of me remembers thinking it was worse than that but I can’t be sure. The high-ish rating on IMDB makes me wonder if I was being hard because I was on a plane and uncomfortable. No idea. Anyway, if I ever find my notes, I’ll try to write them here.

24. Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard* (6/10)

This movie makes no sense but it’s more entertaining than most of these messes. Read the review of Solo.

25. Apostle, directed by Gareth Evans (5/10)

I liked lots of things about this film but not the actual film. Read the review of Apostle.

26. Climax, directed by Gaspar Noe (5/10)

A unique film, certainly. Read the review of Climax.

27. Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer (5/10)

I laughed a few times. Read the review of Venom.

28. The Predator, directed by Shane Black (5/10)

Pretty entertaining for what it is. Read the review of The Predator.

29. Mandy, directed by Panos Cosmatos (5/10)

I don’t know why everyone liked this so much. Well, I have some idea. Read the review of Mandy.

30. Hotel Artemis, directed by Drew Pearce (5/10)

A weird one. Read the review of Hotel Artemis.

31. Mission: Impossible – Fallout, directed by Christopher McQuarie (4*/10)

Yeah, this rating is a little mean. But I’m tired of these plots. Read the review of Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

32. Vice, directed by Adam McKay (4/0)

Take the worst elements of The Big Short and apply them to an entire film, but without a book to provide good source material. Read the review of Vice.

33. Winchester, directed by Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig (4/10)

A mess. In retrospect 4/10 feels kind. Read the review of Winchester.

34. Rampage, directed by Brad Peyton (3/10)

CRISPZILLA. Read the review of Rampage.

35. I Still See You, directed by Scott Speer (3/10)

A PG-13 “thriller” with bad dialogue and no thrills. Read the review of I Still See You.

36. Extinction, directed by Ben Young (3/10)

High concept, no budget, bad execution. Read the review of Extinction.

37. Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg (3/10)

I hated this movie. Read the review of Ready Player One.

38. Slay Belles, directed by Dan Walker (2/10)

A no-budget Christmas “horror comedy” with no scares and a couple of laughs, tops. Read the review of Slay Belles.