According to Box Office Mojo 776 movies were released this year. I didn’t come close to seeing that many but did manage to see a high percentage of them through number 200.
These are the top grossing movies of the year with an asterisk. Films like “Aquaman” and a few others released around Christmas will impact this year’s final tally but the top-10 is likely to remain as is:
1. “Black Panther” — $700 million
2. “Avengers: Infinity War” — $679 million
3. “Incredibles 2” — $609 million
4. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” — $417 million
5. “Deadpool 2” — $318 million
6. “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” — $254 million
7. “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” — $220 million
8. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” — $217 million
9. “Solo: A Star Wars Story” — $214 million
10. “Venom” — $213 million
By the way, five of the top-10 grossing films are super hero movies. That’s not surprising. Last year the number was five as well. In 2016, that figure was four. Also, note all 10 are packed with CGI effects.
This is not a list of the year’s best. Other critics and movie websites will have opinions on what is and isn’t. This is just a list of my favorite films of 2018.
My favorite of 2018 is the quiet horror of “A Quiet Place.” I have always loved a very good horror movie. I don’t like the chop and slash crap that passes for horror. It’s not horror in the classic sense. What I love is the blood-curdling, bone-chilling stuff that keeps you awake and looking under the bed and into closets all night.
A lot of us complain that the sound in most theaters these days are too loud. “A Quiet Place” is so quiet that the loudest sound you heard in the theater was the popcorn you were chewing.
Plus, it is the most intense horror film in decades.
Speaking of horror, the most frightening film of the year is “Eating Animals.” It’s a documentary about the dangers to humans from animal farming, and horror done to animals in the name of animal farming.
As long as we’re on the subject of documentaries, my second two favorite films — for the first time ever — are documentaries.
As a society we seem to have lost our ability to be polite to each other and to tolerate thinking that isn’t ours. The documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” made me — and a lot of others — think that we desperately need a Mr. Rogers today.
The second documentary also has the year’s best cinematography. It’s “Free Solo” and is a stunning film that chronicles Alex Honnold’s nearly two-year, edge-of-your-seat journey to prepare for, and climb, the 3,000 foot wall of Yosemite’s El Capitan free hand and without ropes.
It is an incredible athletic feat.
Another is “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” The most original super hero movie in eons is also one of the most original movies ever. The comic book look and a plot packed with laugh-out-loud sequences makes this the best animated movie of the year.
Or last year. Or the year before.
Others on my favorite list
“A Simple Favor” — Hitchcock would have loved this one.
“Can You Ever Forgive Me” — Finally, someone gave Melissa McCarthy a role that shows off her incredible acting talent.
“Green Book” — A film based on a true story that didn’t need doctoring for dramatic effect.
The best male acting this year is in the supporting category. Richard E. Grant from the Melissa McCarthy flick “Can You Ever Forgive Me” is my favorite. Another great piece of work is Adam Driver in “BlacKkKlansman.” In the leading role category, the main standout for me is Rami Malek who became Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
And then there’s the sentimental favorite. It’s Robert Redford’s stated last acting performance ever in “The Old Man and the Gun.” If you’re going to go out, go out on top.
Roles for men this year were blah and so average. The best acting of the year was done by women. Melissa McCarthy has never been better than she is in “Can You Ever Forgive Me.” Glenn Close said almost nothing in “The Wife” and stole the movie, and a shot at taking home an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Carrie Mulligan did the best mom meltdown ever in the little-seen “Wildlife.”
When it comes to ensembles, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman are mind-boggling in “The Favorite” and it’s hard to pick a favorite among them.
Speaking of favorites …favorites that didn’t make it to Tri-Cities screens:
“Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot”
Awful on An Epic Scale — The Year’s Worst
“A Wrinkle in Time” — Too much time. Not enough wrinkles.
“The Life of the Party” — Melissa McCarthy needs to stop making dumb comedies.
“The Spy Who Dumped Me”— Speaking of dumb comedies…
“The First Purge” — Please, make “The First Purge” the last.
“The House with a Clock in the Walls” — Unless you’re 8-years old, excruciatingly boring.
“Skyscraper” — Reaches for the sky and missed badly.
“Mile 22” — Ran out of gas at mile 1.
“Mortal Engines” — Speaking of running out of gas…
“Life Itself” — Life Itself is lifeless itself.
“The Front Runner” — A spectacular failure about how Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential campaign failed spectacularly.
The most disappointing film of 2018 is “First Man.” The first Moon landing was a grand adventure. Running two-hours and 20-minutes, and packed with pouting and sulking, “First Man” is not.
Steve Carell stars in the Robert Zemeckis directed and written “Welcome to Marwen.” It is the not-so-amazing story about the really amazing miniature photographer Mark Hogancamp.
“The Mule” — Clint Eastwood’s film about an old man driving drugs about the country for a cartel has nowhere to go.
“Hotel Artemis” — Check-in is pretty smooth. The services in the middle aren’t so hot and checkout is a drag.
“Mary Queen of Scots” — This movie is being ignored by movie award groups for a reason.
“A Star is Born” — This is the fourth version of the film, so a better title might be, A Star is Reborn. To me? It’s A Star is Boring. Most of you loved it. I did not. I did love Lady Gaga’s singing and her terrific acting but not much else.
“Instant Family” — Syrupy sweet.
“Red Sparrow” — Jennifer Lawrence. What’s not to love?
“Super Troopers 2” — Irreverent to the core and has the year’s biggest laughs.
“Bumblebee” — How about that? I loved a Transformers movie!
“Sorry to Bother You” — Very strange. Very disturbing.
“Eighth Grade” — Took me back to 8th grade.
“The Old Man and the Gun” — Robert Redford still has it.
“Bad Samaritan” — Weird flick, and I got to interview Dean Devlin so it made the list.
I’m Sooooo Tired of Sequels
“Ocean’s 8” — A spinoff of a remake and a series of sequels, but ultimately, who cares?
“Mama Mia! Here We Go Again” — Why did we go again?
“Creed II” — “too” much.
“Equalizer 2” — Unequal sequel to Equalizer I. However, it wasn’t that good either.
“Fifty Shades Freed” — Finally freed of Fifty Shades of anything.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” — The real crime is letting J.K. Rowling write a screenplay.
And why do a sequel of “Halloween?”
Loved It But the Ending was So Heavy-Handed
“BlacKkKlansman” — Spike Lee’s film is the true story of a black man who became a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It is as outrageously frightening as it is outrageously funny. We totally got the message and then at the end, Lee tacks on a news reel of some of the racist acts in the nation that have happened since Donald Trump began his presidential run and then ascended to the presidency.
Hey, Spike. We got the message and didn’t need the heavy-handed news reel.
Last. The Movie that Made Me Want to Go Home and Take a Shower
“Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” is an expose of Hollywood’s who’s who in the 1960s and their secret heterosexual and homosexual sex trysts arranged by Scotty in a Texaco station in Hollywood and later at this home or that.
In some circles I suppose that sounds interesting but Scott turned out to be a total perv and his tell-all led me to ask to the question, why tell all?