As I have gotten older I am not afraid
of having a good old-fashioned ugly cry in the cinemas when the time calls for it,
and hell I probably got emotional just writing this list (Spoiler: I did). Sometimes
they are tears of grief, sometimes they are tears of joy, and even still
sometimes they are tears of anger.
Emotion is a core part of the cinema experience, and if you can’t get us to
emotional respond to your characters and/or
the situation, well then I am sorry you have failed in making a good film.
So without further ado, these are the films of 2018 that emotionally wrecked us.
Be warned that there will be some big spoilers ahead for the films in
Also, there were so many films that
emotionally moved me this year, these are only the top five, you can see them
Tension is one of the most difficult
facets of filmmaking to pull off because
it requires the script, direction, acting, and editing to all work in tandem to
evoke the perfect pace. If just one part of that group misses then the most
important part of the film falls apart.
In 2018 we continued to see some excellent use of tension used to build mystery, or to be the harbinger of the coming
dread, or even the ticking clock of inevitability.
So without further ado, these are the moments of tension that kept us on the
edge of our seats in 2018. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers
ahead for the films in question.
TL;DR – There are times when you will be biting your nails due to the tension, times when you will be in awe, and times when you will be watching the film with tears rolling down your face.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
There are these moments in life that define a generation, they bring everyone together, bonding them in such a way that nothing else can. For my generation, it was September 11, but for my parents, it was the landing on the Moon, and well I know which one I would prefer. They tell the stories of everyone in the street crowding into the house of the one person with a TV and as a community, they watched man’s first steps outside of our planet. While over the years we have got films that have explored around the Apollo Program such as The Dish and Hidden Figures (see review), it is surprising that no one has really tried to take on this particular narrative before. Well after seeing the film I can see why, as it is far from a simple narrative. With this in mind let’s dive into a world where the impossible is made possible.
TL;DR – La La Land has its issues, but it was such a joy to watch and I walked out of the cinema with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, and I can’t remember the last movie to do that to me.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
La La Land is a rare movie for these days, not only is it a live-action musical in an age where musicals are mostly restricted to animated children’s movies (with the odd Les Misérables to change things up), but it is also is an unapologetic homage to the films of the classical era, your Singin’ in the Rain and such like. However on top of all this, La La Land is also a very modern movie set in modern times, so at its core is this juxtaposition of old and new. Now this is a very difficult tightrope to manage, if you go too old the film will feel dated rather than the homage it is, and indeed if you go too new, then all those call-backs start to feel gimmicky and forced. Luckily for La La Land, it turns out to be the goldilocks of filmmaking, and a case study in getting that balance right, look there is a reason it is an Oscar favourite for many.
TL;DR – Wow, just wow, this film has just 3 actors, is basically filmed in the one set, and yet it is one of the most tense films I have ever seen.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Tension in films is a very difficult thing to pull off, if you keep things tense for too long the audience gets exhausted, but if you try to apply the brakes you can shatter the suspension of disbelief and you can’t get that back. I bring this up because 10 Cloverfield Lane is a masterpiece in managing tension, and is a testament to what you can do with such a small budget.