Top 10 Films of 2018

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Garrett Stiger

Garrett is an entertainment professional living in the Los Angeles area. In his free time, he's a shark hunter, Jedi Knight, Kaiju wrangler and dog owner. He also edits and contributes to movie discussions at 3byThree.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Pinky says:

    The only one of these I’ve seen is Annihilation. It didn’t click for me as much as it did for you, although I have to acknowledge the bear scene. After watching the movie, I did spend some time trying to figure out why Lovecraft can pull this stuff off. I think it’s the medium. Lovecraft’s writing is hypnotic in a way that I’m not sure that movies can be, at least not without feeling slow. Or maybe it’s my fault – I get impatient faster with movies.Report

    • Avatar Garrett Stiger in reply to Pinky says:

      You’ve hit on why I responded to “Annihilation” so positively. I feel like cosmic horror, Lovecraftian horror is so rarely achieved effectively in movies, but it sure as hell worked for me here. But you’re right, it’s not the most fast-paced film. It just kinda simmers or festers even.

      Thanks for reading!Report

  2. Avatar George Turner says:

    In “First Man” I had trouble with the scene with the multi-axis trainer because I’ve strapped probably a thousand children into one that has been ridden by, as a guess, ten thousand children and adults. Spinning at high speed in a three axis tumble doesn’t make anyone black out, and the only two who’ve gotten sick were sick before they got in. No one even gets dizzy because you don’t spin along a single axis long enough for that to happen. Some kids will hum a Star Wars theme while they’re thrown in all directions, whereas I’ve also seen an eight year old emit a stream of very adult quotes from Rick and Morty. I thought “What are his parents letting him watch?!”

    But in First Man, Neil Armstrong blacks out from the G’s. That never happens to anyone, even small children. Then he tries again and ends up running to the bathroom to vomit, and as he’s leaving the bathroom another astronaut runs in to vomit. That would put them in the bottom 0.001% of the population as far as having what it takes to fly, because even kids love riding three-axis trainers. I’ve had them lined up fifty deep just to get strapped in.

    So while shooting the scene, Ryan Gosling and the other actors had to immediately realize that contrary to they may have thought, they didn’t feel stressed, didn’t get dizzy, and didn’t feel sick. The director had to realize that too. But it was in the script, so they faked it for the movie, without apparently stopping to say “If we’re not getting sick, and we’re shooting take after take, there’s no way the Apollo astronauts got sick.”

    And the inner struggles portrayed in the movie didn’t seem evident in all the photos the astronauts posted on Facebook. As an aside, it’s pretty much impossible to top an Apollo astronaut’s Facebook photo. No matter how cool you think you are, you’ll never be that cool.

    So my take was that Hollywood could’ve made an accurate movie, but decided to make something else instead, because art.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I couldn’t make it through Annhilation. I thought it was pretty boring.

    The best movie of 2018 was Kore’eda Hirokazu’s Shoplifters. I think Hirokazu is possibly the greatest living filmmaker. He has some duds but when he is good (which is a lot more often than not), he is sublime. His films often deal with frayed family dynamics and the families we make and find but in a much more quiet way than Americans are possibly able to process. We prefer a screaming punk rock fuck you a la something like Love and Rockets or Ghost World. Kore’eda Hirokazu is much more restrained than that.

    Shoplifters is about a make-shift family who work jobs on the margins of the economy. One mother figure works in a laundry. The father figure works as a menial laborer in construction. There is a grandmother figure with a pension and some guilt tripping schemes and an elder daughter figure involved in low-grade sex work. The family supplements their meager earnings through Shoplifting. Early on, they rescue an abused girl and decide to keep her with the family. There is also a young boy in the family around 11 or so.

    When I saw it in the theatre, I was probably among the youngest people there by 25-30 years and I am 38 years old. I’ve mentioned this before but I think under 40s are largely abandoning the arthouse and difficult movies. Everyone says “But what about Prestige TV and streaming” and I don’t think it is the same. Roma is an exception, not the rule. Most of the original content on Netflix seems to be more inlines with “OMG I loved this cartoon when I was 8 and now it is rebooted.”Report

    • “Shoplifters” was one of my regrets insofar as not being able to see it in time for this post. Though I will definitely catch up with it (and now you’ve made me wanna revisit “Ghost World”)!

      And I’m with you, the art house is getting squeezed. I’ll always prefer a theatrical experience to sitting at home and watching something on streaming, but hopefully, with the success of “Roma,” outlets like Netflix and Hulu will continue to provide a platform for smaller films. (I really liked “Mudbound” from 2017, that was a Netflix release.)

      Thanks for reading!Report

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    I assume the omission of Sorry to Bother You was copy-and-paste error.Report

  5. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I loved the Paddington books as a child and waited until this year to watch the films back to back. I thought they were really both fantastic. I can see giving a slight edge to the second one, but they’re both very well made films. I think the image that most stuck with me was the shot in the first one where the father comes home feeling defeated without Paddington in the home and they convey this by showing him from behind with the leaves falling off the tree that’s painted on the wall. Hugh Grant’s performance was hilarious though.Report

  6. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    These are really good movies. I think the two I most often recommended to people, and was thanked emphatically for the recommendations were Sorry to Bother You and Hereditary.Report

  7. Avatar Zac Black says:

    The three big ones for me this year were You Were Never Really Here, BlackKklansman and Into the Spider-Verse. The last one in particular was a pleasant surprise for me, because I knew very little about it going in.Report

  8. Avatar atomickristin says:

    The best thing about Annihilation is that it doesn’t tell you what it’s about.

    You watch the whole thing and you’re really not terribly sure what the message(s) are.

    I had a take that was totally different than anything I read on line and yet I didn’t think the other takes were wrong, I just felt like that was sort of the point of the movie – like the people entering the Shimmer, what you bring into the movie is melded into the story to create whatever-it-is that you take away from it.Report

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