"I keep feeling like big moments get stolen away from me." Another year, another Top 10 list. And although we're already well into 2019, it's never too late to share this list. It's time to present my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2018. Admittedly, it's always a challenge for me to put together a Top 10 list, just because there's never enough time to watch (and rewatch) everything. Many of these I really wanted to see again before writing about. So I just have to go with what I feel in my gut. My top three this year are some of the most innovative, ambitious, and awe-inspiring films I've seen in a long time - and I love them all in equal measure. So I ranked them here anyway but could easily switch them around depending on how I feel each day. But I am more than happy to reveal my favorites, all the films I fell madly in love with in 2018.
Over the last 12 months, I've seen more than 110 new releases — that's over nine days of time in total spent watching movies — and I'm happy to report that it's been an exceptional year at the cinema. In fact, I could probably make a Top 50 Best Films of 2018 list and still leave off a few notable titles. Just think about it – we got to see vital new work from visionary filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Alex Garland, Alfonso Cuaron, Spike Lee, Lynne Ramsay, and newcomer Boots Riley, whose Sorry to Bother You is one of the most unique and refreshingly original movies of the year. We witnessed fantastic performances by Lady Gaga, Ethan Hawke, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Mahershala Ali, Richard E. Grant, as well as Christian Bale. We saw breathtakingly beautiful films like Roma, The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk, and First Man – works of flawless craftsmanship by cinematographers and production designers alike.
Great films need an equally great score to back them up. And 2018 has been an incredible year for both! The marriage between sound and image is a special craft that too frequently goes unrecognized or under-appreciated. Depending on your school of thought (what you were taught), original scores should either fold in seamlessly into the fabric of a film or they should stand out as a way to enhance the storytelling. A perfect film, however, knows how to balance both where we can marvel when necessary. The few I've chosen to highlight as my favorites have a shared through-line. Not only are there superficial commonalities (like former members of rock groups making the list), collectively they form a musical time capsule for the year's universally-shared emotions. I've excluded musical creations that are primarily soundtracks (sorry, A Star in Born), but it was still a challenge to narrow down the 10 that deserve to be highlighted (and purchased).
"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Little White Lies has debuted a video made by Luís Azevedo looking back at the last year in film. Azevedo's recap, titled "The Best Films of 2018", is yet another video mash-up of footage from all of his favorites. This isn't a list like David Ehrlich's year end video, it's more of a montage like the retrospectives we post every year. Some of his picks: Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here, Alex Garland's Annihilation, Paul Schrader's First Reformed, Lucrecia Martel's Zama, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, Debra Granik's Leave No Trace, Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, Coens' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's underrated The Wild Pear Tree.
"The brain sees what it wants to see." It's time for another wonderful look back at all the movies of 2018. Our longtime friend the "Sleepy Skunk" has revealed his annual end-of-the-year recap video - the 2018 Movie Trailer Mashup - featuring footage from all the different movie trailers released throughout 2018 edited together to good music. Louis, who makes this specific video every year, always puts a lot of time and effort into making this and it shows, as the editing and music make it an entertaining, deeply moving, and inspiring experience. It's always invigorating to get one last look at all the remarkable films made each year.
"What's done is done when we say it's done." Another retrospective look back at the year in film to enjoy. The Filmography 2018 is the latest "trailer mashup" look back at the year in movies. This one is made by Alexandre Matias, a Brazilian editor and trailer mashup maker who has been doing these videos for a few years and also creates other mash-ups (including one for the X-Men Universe coming out soon). This might just be some of Matias' best work yet. The footage isn't exactly the highest quality in this, but the editing is top notch. And that's the most important with all these videos looking back at every last film from this year.
It's here! Time to start figuring out which films are the best of the year, so get watching. One of the annual must-see best of the year lists is actually a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year in a video edited together with footage and music from each of the films. This is such an entertaining way to count down the best cinema of 2018, and it always makes me want to watch each one of these (even the ones I've seen already). His choices this year are all over the place - from Mission: Impossible to Madeline's Madeline - which makes it all the more interesting to discuss. There are a ton of outstanding films this year, many of the best featured below.
"You used to be one thing, now you're something else…" Now that we're into the final month of 2018, it's time to start looking back at the year in movies. The next year end recap movie trailer mashup has debuted - this one made by Clark Zhu. It's titled "Moving Pictures 2018" and includes clips from over 200 movie trailers that were released in 2018. Clark's focus is on the trailers, featuring footage from some movies that are not out until 2019, but since a trailer was released this year it's included anyway. And I love the way he divides this up by theme/genre, starting with some heavy punches and tons of action. The dramatic middle section in this is one of the most beautiful I've seen in a while. Jump right in for another mesmerizing recap.
"This is a waltz thinking about our bodies…" There's only one more month left until 2018 is over, and that means it's time to start looking back at and celebrating the Year in Film. This retrospective is the very first video montage released, made by Caleb Hamilton (aka "Darth Groudon" - follow him @DarthGroudon), a short look back at many of the best films from throughout 2018. This video really got me right away because he uses Thom Yorke's track "Suspirium" from the Suspiria soundtrack and it's one of my favorite songs of the year, so moody and emotional and beautiful. And it works so well when played over all of this footage from all of these extraordinary films from this year. This 3-minute retrospective is definitely worth a watch.
"If you only knew how little I really know about the things that matter…" It was a year of masterpieces, another outstanding year of films big and small, funny and serious, that I fell madly in love with. It's time to present my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2017. Admittedly, it's always a challenge for me to put together a Top 10 list, just because there's never enough time to watch (and rewatch) everything. So I just have to go with what I feel in my gut. This year, my #1 film is one that could not be topped for the entire year - I first saw it at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and it remained my #1 for the next 11 months. As for the rest of my picks, I've included two documentaries because they both made me unabashedly happy.
Another year, another stellar slate of motion pictures seeing release. Despite what others might say about it (once again) being an off year at the movies, there were definitely some true winners worth seeking out. All you had to do was find them. Films that moved us, resonated with us, and out-and-out blew us away all saw release in 2017, so much of them, in fact, that, as with previous years at the cinema, it was difficult coming up with the 10 best. Here you will find my Top 10 Films of 2017, those motion pictures that spoke to me more than others, but someone else's Top 10 could just as easily be a completely different set of movies. It's a testament to just how strong a year is for movies that the Best Of lists are so diverse (view Adam's here).
It looks like they've saved the best for last. Just a few days before the end of the year, trailer maestro Nick Bosworth has launched his retrospective look back at the year in movies with Final Cut 2017 - A Movie Trailer Mashup. Nick has been making these mashups for years, though he didn't post one last year, but he's finally back with one just in time to look back at 2017. We've featured a number of these retrospective videos already, but one more to honor all the great films from this year is fine by us. Between Logan, Atomic Blonde, Mother!, Split, Get Out, and The Post, all the finest movies are featured in this "Final Cut" mashup.