Awards – My Top 15 Films of 2018

Top 15 Films of 2018.

So far in our awards, we have looked at Action, Animation, Best of Australia, Cinematography, Costumes, Emotion, Fun, Music, Tension, and Worldbuilding.

As well as this, we have taken a walk down the lane of our most disappointing films of 2018. However, in this last entry into in our Best of 2018 awards, we crown our winner of the best film of 2018.

Now all films are subjective, so our list might look completely different than yours, also we didn’t get to see every film this year which means we will be only drawing our Top 15 from the 90 films we did get to see, which you can see a list of HERE.

Also we had to draw the line somewhere So I am going to take a moment and list some highly commended entries: Annihilation, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War, BlacKkKlansman, Ladies in Black, Love, Simon, Mirai, Searching, The Breaker Upperers, The Favourite, and The Shape of Water.  

Also, I should point out right from the start that Paddington 2 is not on our Best of 2018 list, that is because it was on our Best of 2017 list.  

Okay with that out of the way let dive into the first entry in our list of Best Films of 2018.

15: Lady Bird

Lady Bird

Lady Bird is the story of the somewhat fractious relationship between a mother and her daughter. As Lady Bird goes through the last year in high school she is faced with many challenges, some of her own making, as she examines the world she lives in and the struggles of everyone around her. It is also a love letter to Sacramento, which is neat. It is anchored by two spectacular performances from Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, and it is a delight to watch them bounce off each other during their verbal fights.

See Full Review

14: Creed II

Creed II. Image Credit: MGM.

Was Creed II going to ever match up to Creed, no, there is no way it could ever do that. However, what it was is a fascinating insight into the world of fame, what it does to your life and what the aftermath can be. It is looking at the strain of relationships, the pressure of obligation, and the price that we pay when it all falls apart. Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson are electric together and it is a great début performance from Florian ‘Big Nasty’ Munteanu. Finally, it would be on this list just for the final walk out scene alone.    

See Full Review

13: Sweet Country

Sweet Country. Image Credit: Transmission Films.

Sweet Country is one of those film that nothing can quite prepare you for what you are going to see. It is a visual beauty, whose beauty is then juxtaposed with the brutality of the story. It is exploring the inherent institutional racism that Australia was created on, and it is just as important issue for the time the film is set in, the 1920s, as it is today.

Nominated For: Best Tension, Best Emotional Kick, and Best Australian Film
See Full Review

12: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Hunt jumps out of a plane, he jumps out of a lot of things. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is one of those films that very easily could have turned into a mess. There are flashbacks, fake-outs, exposition dumps and more. However, even if it was with just with Tom Cruise’s sheer will alone, it all comes together. The action scenes are electric, Henry Cavill reloads his fists at one point, they HALO jump out of a plane. It is funny, full of action, and for a change, the bad guy’s plan probably would have worked, so that’s new.

Nominated for: Best Action
See Full Review  

11: Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 is just as meta, silly, and in many ways as juvenile as the first film. However, what it also has this time around is a real heart. It is about finding a family, one of your own making because the one that you were born into sucks ass. It is about finding common ground, going on when there is nothing to go on for, never giving up on someone, and about making Colossus say a curse word before you die.    

Nominated for: Most Fun
See Full Review

10: Cargo

Cargo

Cargo is a film that takes the time to look at one aspect of the Zombie genre that often gets ignored, what happens in-between getting bitten and turning into a flesh-eating monster. But more than that, it is a story of a father desperately searching for safety for his child, when soon even he will be their greatest threat. Heart-breaking, warm, and an interesting incite to society in collapse.     

Nominated for: Best Tension, Best Emotional Kick, and Best Australian Film
See Full Review

9: Bao

Bao. Image Credit: Pixar/Disney

Bao is our first animated film on this list, it is also our only short film on the list, but it does more in its short runtime than most films do with 2+ hours. It is also a wonderful example as to why we should be fostering diversity in the creative arts, because we need to see different stories like this. It is touching, heart-warming, and beautifully animated.

Nominated for: Best Animation
See Full Review

8: First Man

First Man. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Neil Armstrong is one of the most famous people in recent history, his walk on the Moon stopped the world in its tracks, and it is almost surprising that we have not had a film based on his life so far. With this, First Man is less a look at the first man on the Moon, and more what drove him there, what pressures it placed on his life, the demands on his family, and the dangers that lurk beyond every rocket launch. All of this is brilliantly captured on film, with every bolt rattle causing you to tense up and sit on the edge of your seat, even though you know how it ends up and with a musical score that entrances you the whole way.  

Nominated for: Best Cinematography, Best Tension, Best Musical Score, and Best Emotional Kick
Won: Best Tension
See Full Review

7: Upgrade

Image Credit: Madman/Blumhouse

Upgrade is this small Aussie action film that outclassed multi-hundred-million-dollar properties on multiple fronts. It tells the story of a man who has lost the use of all his limbs after being shot by thugs that also killed his wife. He is given a choice, he could sit in his chair and do nothing, or he could have an AI plugged into his back via a chip. It is here where things go from 0 to 100 real fast when he lets the chip take over his body to fight off an attacker, and thus herald the best action sequence of 2018. The fights happen on two totally different levels, which must have taken extensive preparation to pull off, and in many ways watching Upgrade is like watching the action genre shift under your feet, forever changed.  

Nominated for: Best Action, and Best Australian Film
Won: Best Action, and Best Australian Film
See Full Review

6: A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is a film very much in the ‘show don’t tell’ mentality, which is important because it is a world where a single sound like stepping on a twig, or setting off a children’s rocket ship could herald your death. But well you have this post-apocalyptic world, and the aliens hunting you, it is more a story about a family. The guilt that you live with for letting one of your children die due to you not paying attention to them for one moment. The drive to see your children succeed in a world hell-bent on tearing them down and the sacrifices you would make to see that happen.

Nominated for: Best Cinematography, and Best Tension
See Full Review   

5: Black Panther

This year’s tent-poll action film comic book adaption extravaganza was also a powerful cultural turning point for many people. Black Panther has a lot riding on it and could have just been a safe action film, but instead, it takes risks. It explored the effects of racism and colonialism, and it had a protagonist, which while deplorable with his actions, you could still understand his motivations. It was an action film, a dynasty struggle film, a spy film, and more. Every frame is dripping with references to Afrofuturism and Pan-Africanism, and the worldbuilding with Wakanda is spectacular, and this is before we get to the actions scenes.

Nominated for: Best Action, Best Musical Score, and Best Worldbuilding
Won: Best Musical Score
See Full Review    

4: Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Another film with a lot of expectations placed on it, that thankfully still lived up to them, was Crazy Rich Asians, the first film with a majority Asian cast in America since the 1990s, which might be the craziest thing about this film. It explores the experiences of children born across the world and the difficulties they face when they return home. It sheds light on the multi-faceted world of Asia and the role family plays. It also has one of the best casting lineups of 2018 with Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, and Ken Jeong just to name a few. It is fun, moving, bonkers, brutal, and absolutely fantastic.   

Nominated for: Best Cinematography, and Best Costumes
See Full Review

3: Roma

Roma. Image Credit: Netflix

Roma is like a tide coming in, it builds slowly, you can watch it creep over the sand, it feels inconsequential, but before you know it, it has enveloped you. Primarily it follows the life of Cleo a maid for an upper-middle class family living in Mexico City in the 1970s. It explores the intersection of class, colonialism, gender, family, and politics in a society that is shifting under people’s feet. It is also filled with the most beautiful cinematography, it makes even a tile getting washed engaging. Joyous at times, heartbreaking at others, and amazingly constructed at all times. Even better is that it is on Netflix so anyone can watch it!

Nominated for: Best Cinematography
Won: Best Cinematography
See Full Review  

2: Gurrumul

Gurrumul

Nothing this year has hit me in the emotional gut like seeing Gurrumul in cinemas and weeping at the end along with everyone else. It is hard to put into words the emotional experience it was, made even more so because this is a documentary, so we are exploring a real life, not a fictional character. It is a life of contrast between rural and urban life, traditional requirements and global fame. This is a film that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Nominated for: Best Emotional Kick, and Best Australian Film
Won: Best Emotional Kick
See Full Review    

1: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Image Credit: Sony/Marvel.

Now to be honest pickling the number one film of the year was probably the hardest part of this awards process, and there were so many good films this year that it made it a real struggle. However, when I think back throughout the year one film still stands out. It is a film that not only is a character study in what it means to be a teen who has abilities thrust upon them, but it is a film that understands the source material on a fundamental level. Which can make a story about multiple universes work in a film where nearly every universe has a different animation style. The level of detail in the animation is ridiculous, for example, there is no motion blurring in the film and how they get around this is golden. They seamlessly blend comics and animation, as if it always is a thing that worked like that. The story is funny and moving, the action is intense, the soundtrack will worm its way into your brain, and no film worldbuilds as well as this. This film is a testament to the work of hundreds of talented artists, and it shows, and at the time of writing it is still showing in theatres, so can I can really recommend that you check it out.  

Nominated for: Best Action, Best Musical Score, Best Animation, and Best Worldbuilding
Won: Best Animation, and Best Worldbuilding
See Full Review

With that our awards for 2018 come to a close, it was a great year for cinema, and we look forward to continuing our coverage into 2019.   

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

What are your favourite cinematic moments from 2018?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us 
Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day. 

Credits – All images used were created by the respective studio and artist of each film

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