Written by Shiggins
2018 was a bloody long year with so much crap for everyone, but at least the films were fantastic! Unlike the Best of 2018 - Anime article, this one will feature several different categories, a few of which you might find surprising. 3 movies to each category, and no movie can be repeated twice! With those arbitrary rules out of the way, let's start 2019 by remembering the best thing 2018 gave us; The cinema pictures!
Best Superhero Movies
Avengers: Infinity War (Read the Review)
Let's start off with my personal favourite movie of 2018, and one of the most hyped-up movies of all time, the third Avengers film! For the past ten years, we have been slowly building up to this climatic showdown, and it was a project that seemed doomed to fail from expectation alone. However, the amazing directing by the Russo brothers, a multitude of brilliant performances led by Josh Brolin, and a story we're all already invested in resulted in something utterly wonderful.
Thanos (Josh Brolin) has finally decided to get off his chair and go collect the Infinity Stones, so he can wipe out half the universe's population, believing it to be the only option for a reality where resources are finite. This causes him to take on the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a few other characters that we've come to know over the past 19 films, to band together and engage in some gorgeous action, great comedy and beautiful drama. Everyone is at the top of their game, and I can't wait until they're at the top of their Endgame.
Black Panther (Read the Review)
It should come as no surprise to see Black Panther also make the list, since the MCU is a money-making monster that devours everything in its path, and I've always personally loved the character, even before his first appearance in Captain America; Civil War. The second-highest grossing movie of the year, right behind Daddy Avengers, BP broke records and caused a thousand YouTubers to think they were clever by pointing out that other black superheroes have existed in the past in a desperate attempt to make this one seem less special.
T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has returned to his home of Wakanda, a super-advanced country in Africa that hides from the world for fear of having its technology misused, but this is exactly what causes Kilmonger (Michael B. Jordan) to seek out Wakanda and take it over. So now T'Challa must face against his own beliefs, learn what it means to be a king, and stop Kilmonger from declaring war on an innocent world, all with the help of an amazing supporting cast and great social commentary.
Deadpool 2 (Read the Review)
And so we come to one of the funniest movies of the year, and one of the best sequels, Deadpool 2! After the first Deadpool movie gave us a surprisingly faithful portrayal of the smart-mouthed mutant, it was a gamble to see if lightning could indeed strike twice. Thankfully, the movie made the wise decision to up the drama and story, clearly not wanting to just repeat themselves. The result is something that is at least on par with the original, if not better.
Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) has suffered a tragic loss, and not even the amazing Celine Dion song "Ashes" can snap him out of it. This is when he meets a young mutant named Russell who is in danger of being killed by the time-traveller Cable (Josh Brolin, now appearing twice on this list), so Deadpool forms the X-Force to save him. Can Deadpool save Russell, learn about family, and make more dick jokes than a season of Archer? Well, there's only one way to find out. Watch it!
Best Animated Movies
14 years! (Arguably) Pixar's most requested sequel finally came out, and it was better than I ever expected it could be. I remember complaining when it was first revealed because none of the characters had aged like in Toy Story or How to Train Your Dragon, but Brad Bird proved me wrong and provided a sequel that actually manages to surpass the original in every area, except the villain. Syndrome is a million times better than the Screenslaver. (What a name though!)
The Parr family are in trouble for the incident involving the Underminer, and think they have to stay hidden forever, but that all changes when an eccentric sibling duo reveal they want Elastigirl's help in convincing the world that superheroes are needed so they can be made legal again, by defeating the new masked Screenslaver and his evil hypnosis plan. This leaves Mr Incredible at home with the kids, dealing with being a single parent to three superpowered children, one of which is a baby that has a constantly expanding list of powers and can't be seemingly stopped.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Read the Review)
The only reason this isn't in the previous category is because I wanted to give Deadpool 2 recognition as well. If you've read my review, you'll know it wasn't so much a review as it was a confession of love. Into the Spider-Verse is not only one of the best animated films of the year, it's one of the best superhero films of the decade. A wonderful origin story, with unique characters, great jokes and splendid animation!
Miles Morales (Shamiek Moore) loves Spider-Man, but is confused when he is bitten by a radioactive spider and given the same powers. It turns out this is related to a plot by the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), that causes several different Spider-Men from other worlds to come to his own dimension, resulting in a great team-up between Miles, Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Noir (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney).
Coco (Read the Review)
America got this in 2017, but screw that! I had to wait to 2018 for it to be released in the UK, and you can't stop me praising it! Pixar gave me two amazing movies and I want to talk about them both! While it might not match the level of some other Pixar movies, it's still in the top half. And anything in Pixar's top half is still better than half the crap you'll get these days. And yes, that was a dig at The Grinch!
Coco tells the story of Miguel, a musician who isn't allowed to play music because his family banned it. When a cursed guitar sends him to the Land of the Dead during Mexico's holiday about it, Miguel has a time limit to find his ancestor and get back home or he'll be trapped forever. He joins up with a skeleton named Hector, who agrees to help Miguel get back in exchange for a favour, and fun times are had.
Best Action and Thriller Movies
Mission Impossible: Fallout
I don't know how, but we're on the sixth instalment in the series and yet they somehow manage to keep going strong and impressing audiences. In fact, this is considered the best of the Mission Impossible franchise, made a butt-ton of money, and surpassed several of the trending superhero movies out right now. And considering how big superhero movies are these days, that's impressive.
Ethan Hawke (Tom Cruise) returns yet again, hunting down a rogue terrorist group known as the Apostles after he captured former villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) two years ago. Thanks to him protecting his comrades, Ethan has caused the Apostles to get plutonium that could result in the group having their own personal nuclear weapons for destruction! So Ethan must do his best to make up for his mistake, while being forced to work alongside cold-hearted August Walker (Henry Cavill's moustache).
This is one of those films you have to know as little as possible about to fully appreciate, so I implore you to go watch it. Much like those crappy horror Unfriended movies, Searching is shot almost entirely on screens, but the writing and choice of genre keep it from being a generic scream-filled nightmare of death.
A father (John Cho) is searching for his missing 16 year-old daughter, and has called upon the help of detective (Debra Messing) to find her. Of course, technology plays a major part in every teenager's life, and so it only makes sense that phones and laptops have a role to play... and I won't give away any more than that.
Finally! A movie by J.J Abrams that isn't about that bloody Cloverfield franchise! And yes, I like Star Wars and Star Trek, but it feels like forever since he did his own work that wasn't related to the overrated (I hate that word, but it's true) franchise involving a giant bug monster and/or aliens attacking the world. And while some might consider this more horror than action/thriller, which is a fair belief, I learned towards the latter. Barely.
Overlord does not tells the story of an anime skeleton trying to take over the video game world, but rather a group of American soldiers (because Hollywood seems to think that only America fought in World War II) who are dropped into enemy territory a day before D-Day occurs. And of course, they discover a dark Nazi secret that resembles a feral version of the Winter Soldier.
Best Fantasy and Sci-Fi Movies
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Read the Review)
Every year, one movie gets crapped on for a few flaws and the good stuff is ignored. Last year, it was The Last Jedi. This year, though thankfully the disliking was not as over-the-top, was the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them: The Crimes of Grindelwald. All the main cast returned, magic was abound and I found myself having a fun time... for the most part, anyway.
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) returns, and is requested by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to travel to Paris so he can find the location of Credence (Ezra Miller) before he's tracked down by Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and used as a weapon to kill Muggles. Grindelwald's manipulation targets those in pain and fear however, causing sides to be swapped, spells to be cast and controversy to be had.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
I regret not seeing Solo in the cinema, since I was just too busy and didn't feel interested. Last month, I finally sat down to watch it however and I can honestly say that it's far better than I expected. It's smaller than the other Star Wars films, but it's harmless, fun and only has a few annoying callbacks to the original, rather than a whole movie's worth.
Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) is a young rogue and adventurer who leaves his home planet so he can make it rich, planning to return one day so he can find his girlfriend Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) and they can be happy together. Along the way, he meets the brilliant Chewbacca, the smuggler Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and the best part of the movie, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).
Mary Poppins Returns
I have a lot of problems with this movie, since it is completely unnecessary and nowhere near the level of the original. Nothing is as memorable or deep as "Feed the Birds", and a lot of the story feels on repeat. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a perfect example, giving a great performance with lots of charm, but is too obviously just playing as Bert 2.0. Why is this film here then? Well, that's because the screen I was in was filled with kids watching this too, and they were absolutely in love with this movie. More than any other this year, Mary Poppins Returns is the movie that I saw kids love. So this spot isn't for me personally. It's for them.
The Banks family are in trouble, about to lose their home after Michael Banks' wife passed away recently. Michael (Ben Whishaw) is struggling to take care of his three kids, but his life might be about to change again when Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) flies down from her umbrella and makes herself the nanny. With magical spells, charming songs and the help of Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Mary Poppins will do her best to be practically perfect in every way, and help the kids save their home.
Best Horror Movies
A Quiet Place
Every year, we get crap horror movies. Ones that feel the need to scream in your face every five frickin' seconds, going "BLEH BLAH BLAEHABAH" over and over, since it has no idea how to shut the hell up. A Quiet Place however is the exact opposite, and actually builds fearful tension through pure silence. A movie where you have to shut the hell up or die! That's genius!
Lee Abott (John Krasinki, who also directed) is the father of a small family in 2020, where an invasion of random monsters has caused the population to significantly decrease. The monsters seek victims out through noise, not sight, and are basically indestructible. So Lee, his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and the kids must try to find a place they can be safe, while making as little noise as possible, which isn't easy since Evelyn is pregnant and they have their kids with them.
The biggest horror movie of the year, although I personally think A Quiet Place deserves the attention more, is arguably Hereditary. It was one of those movies that nobody took an interest in, but it absolutely exploded upon release and word-of-mouth got people in the seats. There's at least one film every year that is lucky enough to attract people despite minimum attention, and this year it was Hereditary.
After the passing of her mother, artist Annie Graham (Toni Collette) finds herself in a spooky situation! It turns out her mother had been hiding more secrets than she let on, and some supernatural occurrences start to take place in her life, all of which are connected to her family's dark past.
Horror movie franchises are probably the worst when it comes to sequels, choosing to give us far too many and ruin any good will we might have for them. Did we really need 11 movies about a hockey mask-wearing psycho, and then a reboot? Did we demand 8 Nightmare on Elm Street movies, before a ridiculous reboot? No! And so I was done with Halloween when this came out, but I did eventually see it and the result was... better than I expected. In fact, it'd make a great ending to the series if I believed for a second that the greedy bastards had any integrity in story-telling when it came to this poor deformed series.
Ignoring literally every movie in the franchise, except the original, Halloween (2018) tells the story of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), currently suffering from PTSD, and convinced the holiday is still not safe, despite her brother Michael Myers (sadly, not played by Mike Myers) being gone for 40 years. Of course, she is proven right and Laurie decides tonight is the night this drama ends!
Best "True Story" Movies
Like Coco, this was released in America in 2017 but I didn't receive it until 2018, so it counts for me. Seems weird that America got a movie about Winston Churchill first, but whatever. Led by Gary Oldman's Oscar-winning performance, who is almost unrecognisable in the make-up, Darkest Hour didn't wow everyone over, for obvious reasons honestly, but it certainly was notable enough to warrant a spot on this list.
Darkest Hour tells the true story of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) in May 1940, during his early days as the Prime Minister and the problems he had taking over during such a traumatic and eventful year. The politicians are wanting to make a peace treaty with Adolf Hitler, and Churchill finds himself alone and alienated against his own cabinet.
I feel a bit dirty having a movie directed by Bryan Singer here, but it was either this or First Man. And personally, I wasn't interested in the latter, so here we are! The movie all about one of the greatest musicians of all time, Freddie Mercury, and how he lived his life. It's rife with historical inaccuracies (which is why I usually avoid movies that claim to tell the "true story") and isn't up to Freddie's level, but audiences had a fun time with it, and what a performance by Rami Malek.
The movie goes from 1970 to 1985 (not counting the ending's flash-forward), and tells the tale of how a young student named Farrokh Bulsara eventually moved on to form a band, call it Queen, embrace his sexuality before the entire world, and created some of the strangest yet most wonderful songs out there, such as We Will Rock You, Radio Ga Ga, and of course the titular Bohemian Rhapsody
Spike Lee is one of those directors I really don't like, but I have to give him credit where credit is due. This film has balls, is not afraid to speak the truth, but isn't preachy about it. Timely themes, great performances, strong directing... I might actually pay attention if this is the strength Spike Lee brings out in the future.
In the 1970s, Colorado Springs' first African-American police detective, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) sets out to expose the dark goings-on in the Ku Klax Klan, alongside his partner Philip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). The events that unfold are dark, twisted, almost satirical, and always interesting to watch, at least from the seats of the cinema.
I'm not saying these movies are necessarily bad, but they are really really dumb. You have to at least accept that, even if you did greatly enjoy them. Any movie that has Dwayne Johnson fight alongside a giant ape to protect humanity (I'm worried there's quite a few of those actually) has to be acknowledged as dumb. Still though, at least video game movies are getting a little better with this one.
After a failed science experiment goes wrong IN SPAAAACE, three animals on Earth are affected and start to grow larger and stronger. Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) is a primatologist, who finds himself in the middle of all this when his friend George, an albino gorilla, is one of the animals changing. The baddies of the film are making things worse because that's what villains do, and Davis must prepare for the worst as a huge wolf named Ralph and a colossal crocodile named Lizzie are going to meet in the middle of Chicago for a dramatic monster-mash!
Jason Statham is an actor I'd love to see in more movies, since I usually have fun watching him, but please don't cast him as a badass scientist who fights extinct sharks one-on-one. I'm only going to laugh. And honestly, this film is mostly laughs, if you aren't taking it as seriously as the characters are.
Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) has come down with Drinking Guilt after he lost people during an underwater rescue, but is called back into action to explore a new area of the sea where thought-to-be extinct creatures reside! And one of them is a Megaladon, the biggest shark ever, which is now going to break out and go full Jaws. You never go full Jaws.
Venom (Read the Review)
HOW DID THIS MOVIE MAKE SO MUCH MONEY!? It's no wonder we're going to get a million bloody Michael Bay-Transformers-Shit movies when nonsense like Venom can make so many dollars! I mean, Jesus Christ! Couldn't you have supported Sony's OTHER Spider-Man film instead? Into the Spider-Verse is amazing! This is not! I don't care if you like it, this is not a great film!
Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is an investigative journalist who causes his life to crumble apart, but blames it on a rich jackass instead. Eventually, he is infected with an alien symbiote calling itself "Venom", and the two start to form a romance together while stopping another symbiote from taking over the planet. And yes, you will care more about the romance than anything else in the story.
Most Disappointing Movies
The Happytime Murders (Read the Review)
I genuinely thought The Happytime Murders could do well. Not financially, but critically. What could have been a cult classic, applauded for being so subtle and clever, was instead a boring, humourless ride through some generic adult jokes and amazing puppetry. Why can't Melissa McCarthy do more good work, instead of this and Paul Feig's movies?
Puppets are basically normal citizens in this world, but are hated on by everyone. A police detective named Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta) is the first ever puppet on the force, and has been asked to solve a case where puppets from a retired sitcom are being killed for unknown reasons. Phillips has to join forces with his former partner Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) and the two find themselves in situations involving drugs, sex, more drugs, porn and more drugs. All of which is supposed to be funny purely because it's all done by puppets.
A Wrinkle in Time
Disney's second attempt to make this book for children into a huge whimsical fantasy epic brought up one of 2018's biggest bombs. Both fans of the book and newcomers to the story were confused, annoyed, disappointed and laughing unintentionally to this messy monster, and not even Oprah's over-designed face or Chris Pine's new beard could redeem it.
Young girl Meg Murry (Storm Reid) had a father (Chris Pine) who disappeared years ago, and is now setting off to find him in another world, with the help of three witches (or travellers, or something) that are all helpful and annoying at the same, especially Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling) who can only speak in quotations, as if she was Bumblebee's literature-themed cousin.
The Predator (Read the Review)
I really was too nice to this movie when I first saw it. The Predator, directed by Iron Man 3's Shane Black, is yet another film that didn't need to exist and only further drags an iconic franchise through the mud in a desperate attempt to make as many movies as possible. Thankfully, this one didn't pay off as well as others, and so maybe this franchise can finally be put to sleep.
A Predator has arrived on Earth, with a thing that could be either really good or really bad. Another Predator, which is very tall, is chasing the first Predator, and this eventually results in the Army Captain Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) to get involved with a group of ragtag lunatics, as well as his autistic child Rory (Jacob Tremblay).
Worst Movies of 2018
I'm convinced I used to like Jennifer Lawrence once upon a time, but I honestly couldn't tell you when that was. I never liked the Hunger Games, her performance as Mystique, or that pretentious mother. shit. And here I am again, hating a movie of hers. I doubt it will be on a lot of peoples' lists, but the amount of ripping off of other movies, horrendous acting, and pathetic writing is enough to get under my skin personally.
Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is a Russian spy who contacts the CIA so she can find a mole that will do bad things to people. So she'll rip off Marvel's Black Widow character as much as possible by being Russian, doing ballerina, having a traumatic past, and even having a title with a colour and an animal together, to catch her target. Oh and there will be several graphic rape scenes, because the only way to sympathise with a female character is through sexual abuse. Repeatedly.
Every year, there is a movie like The Nun. A movie that perfectly captures what I hate about a specific genre, and does everything in its power to make me physically annoyed by it. I don't know about The Conjuring series, so I can't tell you if this is a good or bad instalment, but I can tell you that it has made me never want to watch this seemingly-irritating franchise.
Fifty Shades Freed
DIE! DIE, YOU STUPID FRANCHISE! DIE FOREVER AND THEN DIE AGAIN!
Not-Edward (Jamie Dornan) and Not-Bella (Dakota Fanning) pretend to hump for 110 minutes, fire their agents to make sure they never get a job like this again, and the world is a happier place in general when these two stupid characters disappear into obscurity to never darken our doorstep again! May it rot in hell, alongside the homophobes and the Twitter trolls!
What were your favourites of 2018? Any other categories you would like to have seen? Comment below!
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/