Guebert: Top 10 films from 2018 that you don’t want to miss


By Kyler Guebert, Staff Reporter

From box office records being shattered across the board, to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon turning out great films, there truly was something for everyone this year’s selection of films.

Choosing my top films from this year was very difficult but after lots of consideration, here are my personal choices for the top ten films of the year – plus a few honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut.

10. The Miseducation of Cameron Post: A human story told about an incredibly inhuman experience. Chloe Grace Moretz gives a career best performance as Post, a young girl sent to a religious conversion therapy camp in the 1990’s in order to “cure” her of her homosexuality. The film displays the horrors of these camps while never losing the humanity of the characters involved and is able to show truly human moments in an environment which feels anything but.

9. Black Panther: This is the biggest game changer in cinema within the last 10 years. Ryan Coogler’s comic book opus not only continues the story of King T’Challa from previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it builds a mythology around him and the world of Wakanda in a beautiful way. I also can not forget to mention Michael B. Jordan’s phenomenal performance as Erik Killmonger, the best villain in a comic book movie since Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. From the performances to the filmmaking, this comic book adaptation is truly a work of art that transcends the genre in an incredibly exciting way.

8. Hereditary: Easily one of the best horror films of the 21st century, Ari Aster’s directorial and screenwriting feature debut follows a family dealing with the grief of losing a loved one and the secrets we discover once someone we love dies. Hereditary is an absolutely horrifying ride that never lets up once. The acting, especially Toni Collette’s performance, is top notch and it is an absolute shame its being overlooked by so many awards bodies. This film deserves to be seen, but with a group of people you will not be afraid to be scared around.

7. Can You Ever Forgive Me?:  Based on real life events, the film follows author Lee Israel, a down on her luck author discovers she has a talent for forging letters after realizing what real letters written by famous people are worth. She teams up with another disgraced writer and they attempt to keep their scheme under wraps despite growing suspicion. Melissa McCarthy turns in a career best performance and Richard E. Grant cements himself as the Best Supporting Actor frontrunner at this year’s Oscars. Marielle Heller’s direction perfectly balances the humor and dramatics of the screenplay and tells another true story you have to see to believe.

6. Roma: Netflix brings us Alfonso Cuaron’s return to filmmaking in the streaming service’s first major foray into awards season. This black and white Spanish film centers on Cleo, a young maid for a family on the brink of collapse who discovers she is pregnant. Newcomer Yalitza Aparicio gives a subtle, yet emotionally charged performance could earn her some awards love. Through masterful storytelling and beautiful cinematography, Cuaron tells a story filled with love, loss and the emotions we go through when dealing with those two powerful forces.

5. Eighth Grade: Comedian Bo Burnham’s debut, centered around a young girl in her last week of eighth grade, delivers a relatable and perfect portrayal of growing up and overcoming the anxieties that come with it. Elsie Fischer perfectly captures the awkwardness of adolescence and showcases so much emotion throughout the film. Burnham’s screenplay, while comedic at heart, also has a lot of dramatic moments that unfold perfectly. This film should be required viewing for all middle schoolers, solely to let them know that they aren’t alone in their struggles and that there’s always a silver lining to our pain.

4. The Favourite: Set in the 18th Century during the rule of  Great Britain’s Queen Anne, there truly aren’t words to describe this film without spoiling some of the surprises that lie beneath the surface. I will say that I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard in the theatre. Olivia Colman is amazing as Queen Anne, both in the comedic and dramatic elements. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, however, steal the show as two women fighting to become the favorite right hand lady for Queen Anne. This one should easily win quite a few Academy Awards come February.

3. Mid90’s: Jonah Hill writes and directs this coming of age story set in California in, yes, the mid-1990s. It follows a young boy who makes friends with a group of skate rats while also dealing with an abusive home life. Sunny Suljic, who was discovered by Hill, is an absolute tour de force in every aspect of this film, pulling off the comedic and dramatic work incredibly well, as does the rest of the young amateur cast. Hill’s ability to show so much humanity and love while also showcasing the pain and suffering of growing up in 90 minutes is powerful and cements Hill as a filmmaker to watch.

2. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse: Nothing could have prepared me for this film. The filmmakers have created an animation style unlike anything audiences have ever seen before. The film immediately transports you into what feels like watching a comic book play out. The world of Miles Morales is one that I want to visit time and time again and the appearances from the other “Spider-people” who end up in Mile’s world all work incredibly well. The film has so many secrets throughout that both fans and non-fans of Spiderman will love and the film has so much heart and emotion. I am not sure we will see another comic book film or another animated film like this for a very long time.

1. If Beale Street Could Talk: Barry Jenkins’ follow up to his Best Picture winner Moonlight is nothing short of perfect. Based on James Baldwin’s novel, the film follows a young black couple falling in love in 1970’s Harlem and how the world threatens to tear them apart. For starters, there isn’t a single performance that isn’t award-worthy. Regina King has long been the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress this year and there’s no doubt that she will win. However, newcomers KiKi Layne and Stephan James hold the entire movie on their shoulders and they never once falter. Jenkins proves that he is a master director with scenes that never drag, but also don’t feel rushed. The screenplay is filled with raw, human emotion unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and allows each character a moment to shine. The cinematography has to be seen to believe. Every shot is flawless and the beautiful score is the cherry on top of this perfectly made sundae. This film demands to be seen, and it would be an absolute shame if it goes unnoticed by both awards guilds and the general public. If Beale Street Could Talk is not just the best film of 2018, but it’s quite possibly the best film of the century.

Honorable mentions that were close, but quite didn’t make the top ten cut: Shirkers, A Star is Born, Hearts Beat Loud, Game Night and Paddington 2

Staff reporter Kyler Guebert can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @kguebert88.

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