Opinion: The top ten movies of 2018
I managed to keep the number of superhero movies way down from last year, just one instead of five, and that's only because there was a late entrant.
So, I don't have a pick for worst movie of 2018. I just avoided the bad stuff that I didn't want to see, and only saw bad stuff I wanted to. Since this is a furry site— well, admittedly the list isn't super furry, again, but at least a furry movie is in my number one position for this year!
For the second year in a row, my Honorable Mention for the previous year (2017) goes to a furry movie, with Paddington 2 taking the crown. Looking in the other direction into the immediate future, I'm going to go with the live-action Lion King remake as my Most Anticipated film for 2019, though mostly because nothing else has really caught my interest right now, and even then I've certainly got reservations about The Lion King.
Also, I regret to say there'll be no award for Cutest Vixen this year. Oh well, let the bodies hit the floor as we get the list started:
10. A Star Is Born
Directed by Bradley Cooper
Release date – 10/5/2018
What it's about: A remake of old Hollywood classic, this is the story of the romance between an fading rock star and the new talent he has helped find fame.
I've got a kind of unusual take on this one, but one of the things I like about it is that, for all intents and purposes, this movie is a better Christian movie than most that get marketed and released as Christian. I mean - there's a sentiment held by some Christians that considers Jesus to be a taboo subject in Hollywood films, but this is literally as Hollywood as you can get, and the main characters' religion is obvious.
But it certainly isn't preaching at you, don't worry about that. It's not about Christianity, it's about the characters, and their religion is just one facet of their performance. However, this movie is rated R, and they made me show my I.D. at the theater before I could watch it, so maybe it isn't that Christian, after all.
9. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Directed by J.A. Bayona
Release date – 6/22/2018
What it's about: In the fifth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, the dinosaur's home island being a volcano suddenly becomes a problem, so a rescue mission, of sorts, is sent to the island.
It's another one of my "okay, this is actually kind of a bad movie but I really like it and also I am going to Make A Point with it" number 9 slot picks, so bear with me. Let's talk about how the mark of a true Star Wars fan is to only like approximately two of the currently ten movies in that franchise to a lot of ostensible "Star Wars fans". I'm a fan of the Jurassic Park movies, however, and to me that means I like all of them. Even the one with editing and script problems like this one.
But it's not all bad, either. Disregarding how badly they're edited together, there are some really interesting shots in this movie. That scene in the sinking gyrosphere that's all one take, for instance. Or the Indoraptor roaring on top of a Gothic manse while backlit by a giant full moon. Glorious.
Directed by Julius Avery
Release date – 11/9/2018
What is it: A mixture of horror and war, a group of paratroopers on D-Day are tasked with taking out a radio tower, only to find ghastly Nazi experiments going on underneath it.
Sometimes, I just like a little schlocky horror in my cinema as you could probably tell from my previous entrant's geeking out about dinosaurs and Gothic manses and full moons. Of course, it helps when it's as well done as this movie was. To be clear here, I don't use the word "schlock" pejoratively, only descriptively. Movies about American soldiers fighting Nazi zombies are "schlocky". They are also movies that need to be made.
This movie is also rated R, and for whatever reason, they did not check my I.D. before I went to see it. Maybe it is actually a Christian movie, too? Probably not.
Directed by David Gordon Green
Release date – 10/19/2018
What it is: The eleventh movie in the Halloween slasher series, this movie ignores all but the first movie, and features a final showdown between original slasher Michael Myers and original final girl Laurie Strode.
Hey, speaking of schlocky horror, here comes, not only a slasher movie, but a sequel to a slasher movie. And not just the sequel to a slasher movie, but the sequel to the slasher movie. It doesn't get much more schlock horror than that, does it? But that doesn't mean it doesn't have something to say. The original Halloween influenced our culture. This movie is about that influence.
Okay, don't worry, that's the last of the schlocky horror movies. You can tell me in the comments if you preferred this to the run of five superhero movies in a row last year or not.
Directed by Steve McQueen
Release date – 11/16/2018
What it is: When a gang of thieves is killed in the middle of a robbery, the gang leader's wife must put together a new team in order to pull off another heist to pay off debt her husband had accrued.
Now for a change of pace. We have a crime caper, featuring a cast of characters who are the least expected to pull off a big heist. There's the detail where the ringleader of the gang is always bringing her small dog along with her to the planning meetings of the heist. She's acting tough, but she also loves her dog.
That little detail works because this movie is about desperation. What kind of world do these characters live in that this woman would become a criminal at this level? She's a teacher when she's not a burglar. But she has to do what she has to do, and someone has to walk the dog.
Directed by Adam McKay
Release date – 12/25/2018
What it is: A biopic showing the life and times of Dick Cheney, vice president under George W. Bush.
This is weird movie. There were stories about how a scene featuring a musical number had to be cut, and I wondered how a musical number fit into a biopic about Dick Cheney. Then you watch the movie and that musical number would not have been out of place at all.
If anything, it reminded me of weird YouTube documentaries that you watched one time because some weird acquaintance was convinced it explained everything about the way the world is right now and that ended up not doing that but was entertaining enough in its own right you finished it anyway. Except Vice actually does explain some things.
4. Bad Times at the El Royale
Directed by Drew Goddard
Release date – 10/12/2018
What it is: A group of guests and employees at a hotel on the border of Nevada and California are all hiding secrets which are slowly revealed over the course of an eventful night.
This is one of those movies that you kind of have to like to really like, if you know what I mean. If I'm being honest, this whole top ten list has been like that, but that's the way it should be when you're picking movies that are your top ten favorites of the year, and no one else's.
This has been a weird year where I can pick out the shot in a movie where I realized this movie was one that I really like. Where Jurassic World had the moon shot, and it was the night-vision shot of a hyena that awed me in Vice, for this film it was the shot of a lonely little hotel clerk gazing straight into the camera while confessing something that did it for this movie.
3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Directed by Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsay and Rodney Rothman
Release date – 12/14/2018
This may be one of the best animated films of all time. It's definitely one of the most uniquely animated via the medium of CGI. I mean, on the animation alone, this earns a primo spot on this top ten list. It really is that cool to just look at.
But it's not just the animation. It actually does have an interesting take on the superhero genre. And in a world that has so many options to choose from in that particular genre, it takes a lot to stand out.
Directed by Alex Garland
Release date – 2/25/2018
What it is: A meteor has landed in a national park, causing an ever expanding zone known as the Shimmer where things are— weird, so a team is sent inside to investigate.
I watched this movie way back when it came out, and let me tell you, this is a movie that sticks around in your head and won't let go. It's not just the images, either, though there are some striking ones. It's all the sounds that I can't forget. There is a bear with no face that screams in a woman's voice that will get to you.
This is one of those science fiction movies that doesn't have much in the way of answers for anything that happens. It's just the retelling of something that happened to the characters. That's all. And it's more than enough.
1. Isle of Dogs
Directed by Wes Anderson
Release date – 4/13/2018
So I like Wes Anderson movies. They are almost their own genre, at this point. Like all of his movies, Isle of Dogs is bittersweet, but it manages to hide the bitterness very well. So much so that you almost don't notice it's there until you think back on it later.
And it's not that the bitterness doesn't make the sweetness any less sweet, it does. But there's nothing wrong with a little bitterness in your movies about talking dogs going on adventures. In the end, that's what's it all about. Going to the movies is going on an adventure.
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a red fox
New teeth. That's weird.
Always enjoy reading your movie lists. We have some overlap, but most of the movies on your list I didn't get around to seeing yet (your #4 through #9 actually).
My faves of 2018:
10. Isle Of Dogs
8. Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
7. Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse
6. I, Tonya
5. First Reformed
4. The Endless
1. Paddington 2
Ready Player One
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
So some that made my list might have been late 2017 releases in certain areas (I, Tonya and Paddington), but I am going by wide release dates.
Other misc/fun stuff...
Favorite Actor performances
Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting)
Nicholas Cage (Mandy)
Favorite Actress performances
Give all three lead women (Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman) in The Favourite a shared Oscar already
Favorite Movie Poster
Isle of Dogs
Best F(r)iends (although I think this movie was probably intentionally made to be awful)
Guilty pleasure (a movie most critics/audiences hated, but I loved):
The Strangers: Prey At Night
And I also really enjoy your responses Seriously, they're about the best way to respond to a year end best list; polite alternative! I think I'm 3-8 of not having seen on yours, so it also works for filling in gaps from an non-professional who literally can't see all of the movies.
I'm also curious for anyone reading this article what they thought of Solo: A Star Wars Story. It didn't make my list above, but I actually thought quite highly of it. I rolled my eyes when the film was announced, but I took a chance on it and found it was a fun diversion from the main Star Wars storyline. While I enjoy these films very much, I'm not such a devotee as to get riled when diversions are taken with characters unexpectedly. From reading some fan reactions of the latest episodes you'd think they completely destroyed the franchise.
I skipped it, myself. I think the world (or at least me) needed a Star Wars cool down period.
Star Wars fatigue was theorized by some Box Office analysts for the possible reason for its poor performance. That, and probably many people simply weren't interested in a Solo story to begin with.
I think I was also a bit put out by the treatment of Lord and Miller, personally. It just really feels like a movie I'll watch sometime down the road and probably be like "oh, that wasn't so bad", but at the time burn-out plus being a bit rankled by it just kept me away.
My understanding is that there are some remnants of Lord & Miller's work in the final cut, and there are certain moments on-screen that reveal their brand of humor. For a film with such a troubled production the end product felt cohesive, blending whichever how much of L&M's work remained with Ron Howard's.
What isn't in dispute in my mind in Solo is the inventiveness of the creatures, costuming, sets, and effects that audiences expect from Star Wars. Those are elements that I admire even in the Lucas prequel trilogy. For those reasons I heartily recommend this film.
When I heard they were making a Solo-solo movie, I was pretty optimistic, but by the time the first trailer came out I expected I wouldn't much care for it as a Star Wars film, but still have a good time watching it. I ended up disappointed because I had considerably less fun than I expected. It was just so boring. It doesn't destroy the franchise or anything - it was carefully crafted to have no particular effects on the rest of the franchise, and it shows. Most of the questions they answered were questions nobody had ever asked or cared to know the answer to. They tried and failed to make me care about those dice, man. The closest to a ruinous moment for me was (and I'm getting into spoilers here for those who care) when L3's memory module was installed in the Falcon. Also the implication(??) that Chewbacca has had to eat humans for survival.
But it had some good sequences. They leaned hard into the space-western thing and we got a freaking awesome sci fi train robbery. I loved Donald Glover as Lando and can't wait to see more of that. Alden Ehrenreich did his damndest to emulate a young Harrison Ford, and you know what, it was kinda charming.
Well it's no fun telling you this isn't really furry if you already say so yourself...
I think the only 2018 movies I saw last year were Solo: A Star Wars Story (in cinema) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (on a plane). There was very little that caught my attention and even less that motivated me to bother seeing it.
Solo was okay. I enjoyed it but it didn't feel like a Star Wars story. I wasn't a huge fan of trying to make everything tie in to the original trilogy.
Fallen Kingdom was a lot of fun but so, so, incredibly stupid. The original movie (and even more so, the book) had a cool concept and tried to ground it in science and had asked all sorts of interesting questions. This last one... just stupid. The characters are stupid, the situations are stupid and the only thing it seems to care about are the visuals. It looks great though. There are some messages in there (and some not-so-subtle digs at Trump) but, as Nostalgia Critic points out, the messages sometimes contradict each other.
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~
Tranquilized Chris Pratt rolling away from CGI lava was really bad; like, that's a scene I cannot defend and will totally cop was just was a badly written, badly edited into the movie scene.
Also, somehow, (IT WAS NOT ME!) I see Jurassic World has managed to make it's way onto the Anthropomorphic Recommended List. So, uh, like, up to three movies out of ten?
hm...yep. i'm done with the ursas now
Neat list, still need to catch up on these titles.
While 2018 may have been an unpleasant year overall, I think it's safe to say that it wasn't too bad for movies.
Infinity War was impressive. Not impressive with regards to quality, mind you, but ambition. I have to admire the Russos for being able to bring together so many characters in a single film, without having any one feel superfluous and/or drowned out. Don't get me wrong, the execution remains far from perfect, but I think I still enjoy the cinematic voice of this new duo more than I did that of Whedon.
Also, Thanos is best superhero of 2018. Hands down.
As for the other four movies I saw released this year (having been pretty busy), they weren't quite as notable.
The best had to be Into the Spiderverse, which is no surprise, seeing as it came from the same minds behind The Lego Movie. Like the later, it knows exactly what it is, but wastes no time winking at the audience. Outside of a few questionable soundtrack choices, I dare say it was almost perfect.
Speaking of Lord and Miller, Solo was alright. Although, I honestly don't know what I was expecting from a Han Solo movie without Harrison Ford. Don't get me wrong, both Ehrenreich and Glover were rock solid in their performances. I just think the material (along with its sub-par execution) ultimately did them a disservice. Han himself feels like too much of a good guy. I did not particularly care for the new characters, especially the obvious feminist-parody robot. I may have been glad when she died, but that still didn't make up for her being there in the first place. Sure, it is decidedly less of a mess than The Last Jedi. But at least TLJ had more of a personality.
Halloween 2018 was another movie I'd file under "OK". Don't get me wrong, there were aspects I liked. This film chose to play psychological over supernatural aspects, and I think that gave it a unique angle. Not only that, but I felt Laurie had a great arc, without giving too much away. Otherwise, no real complaints, just felt like it was another slasher movie at the end of the day.
Then we have my least favorite film of 2018, which I'm sorry to say, was Fallen Kingdom. It not only failed to feel like the original Jurassic Park film, but it also failed to have any personality of its own. Funny that its director also did The Orphanage, seeing as the last portion is essentially a haunted house film. This one comes in the lowest not even because of quality, mind you, but because it failed to strike a chord with me. The original had much lower stakes (seeing as it was isolated to an island) and that felt so much more intense. Why? Because I cared about the characters on screen. I did not care about any one character in Fallen Kingdom. They came across as cartoons, so naturally, the dinosaurs did as well.
Overall, if I had to rate these:
Into the Spiderverse - 8/10
Infinity War - 7.5/10
Halloween 2018 - 7/10
Solo - 6/10
Obviously, I'm not a film critic. Everything said was my useless opinion, lol.
I don't have a top-list of movies at the moment, but I really enjoyed the Hilda series on Netflix.
It has a pet deerfox (non-anthro), anthro plants, hairy house spirits, a talking bird, Wood Man (anthro wood-creature), Jellybean, etc.
Anyone else here seen Lars Von Trier's The House that Jack Built? Its the most hilarious movie I've seen in a very long time.
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