Here we are again – what a year it’s been for film. As always, regardless of original review scores, here is our official rundown, in ranked order, of the best movies we’ve seen in 2018.
10. THE MEG
Yes – you read correct – a movie where Jason Statham fights a giant prehistoric shark makes it into our top ten. Why? Well, why not – audacious, silly, and well aware of the fact, The Meg is just out-and-out fun – and it proved a lot of naysayers wrong with its incredible box office tally.
9. BLACK PANTHER
Perhaps one of the most important movies of the year – certainly one of the most important comic book movies ever made – and one with panache, style and genuine intrigue. It remains one of the biggest-selling movies of the year, and with good reason.
8. THE SHAPE OF WATER
The Oscar-winner, and with good reason – Guillermo Del Toro’s intense love story between woman and aquatic beast is deftly paced and compelling, offering a bizarre premise with natural vigour.
Who would have thought a DC movie would have made it to the top ten? Not me, for one – but here we are. Aquaman is big, daft, competent and astounding to look at, and ready to rumble with the best that Marvel has to offer.
A little bit of a diversion in that this was a film we didn’t outright review – but it is worth recounting all the same. Expertly directed, compelling viewing – a very difficult theme handled with confidence, and with an amazing cast.
5. GAME NIGHT
Once again – who would have thought that a comedy movie would have scaled the heights of our top ten movies? Game Night does something a little different to other ‘standard’ US comedies in that it runs with an intense, bizarre premise and handles it with genuine competence – all the while delivering well-timed, hilarious performances from its varied cast.
4. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
The big one – this was always going to make a big splash, and while it is the only movie we reviewed this year to roll in with a five-star rating, it comes in at fourth position – is this a bad thing? Not at all. Infinity War is an incredible feat of tying together scores of plots and heroes in one movie – and what’s more, it does something no other comic book movie has dared attempt, at least on such a grand scale – the bad guy wins.
3. MARY POPPINS RETURNS
When it was revealed that a sequel for Mary Poppins was to be released, how many people genuinely assumed it would come out so well? Capturing the childlike wonder of the original, with a great cast, brilliant songs and ever-morphing cinematography, Emily Blunt IS Mary Poppins – and you’ll never think otherwise.
2. BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
This was a tough one. For me, on paper, Bad Times is the perfect movie – it falls right within my favoured genre, and it is so well-structured and well-paced that it’s hard not to fall under its spell. A solid cast, a web of deeper and deeper mysteries (which all get solved, bar one) and genre work you rarely see at the cinema nowadays – and you have an incredible runner-up.
Yes – it was released in the US in 2017 – but having reached other parts of the world in 2018, Pixar’s masterpiece absolutely counts. Thankfully, too, as it outright tops this list. Charming, endearing, careful to handle sensitive topics, boasting an electric cast of wonderful characters and touches, as well as some of the most heart-wrenching scenes a Disney movie has put to film to date, Coco is a movie I can commendably watch again and again without question – and it is undoubtedly amongst Pixar’s very best.
So – what will top 2019’s list? Detective Pikachu? Sonic the Hedgehog? Avengers: Endgame? The Playmobil Movie? Place your bets now!