10.) A Quiet Place
Rarely has an audience sat so still whilst watching a film. But that was the effect of A Quiet Place, where it felt like everyone in the screening was holding their breath so as not to make a sound themselves. This horror film’s clever use of both sound and a lack of sound felt fresh and unique, but the strong family element meant that A Quiet Place also felt familiar and relatable. With a great cast and strong direction - A Quiet Place was definitely one of the best horror films of the year.
9.) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
I think that this superhero film took a lot of people by surprise and I was no different. With there already having been a number of Spider-Man films and an abundance of 2018 superhero films, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was in danger of feeling superfluous. And yet it turned out to be one of the best superhero films of the year. Funny, meta, engaging and visually striking, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was brilliant fun and really enjoyable.
8.) Isle of Dogs
As I watch hundreds of films a year, I don’t mind admitting that sometimes the films can blur into one another. So any film that stands out amongst hundreds of other films is always going to catch my eye. That’s exactly what Isle of Dogs did. This film was quirky, colourful and really unique. And the stop animation was stunning. Although many in the screening struggled to get on board with the film’s kookiness, I loved it.
This film may be set in the 70s but unfortunately it still felt very current and relatable. Whilst at times it was comedic and fun to watch, it’s overall impact was hard hitting and thought provoking and I left the cinema affected by what I’d seen. A great cast elevates the film further and BlackkKlansman feels like a film that should be mandatory viewing.
6.) The Shape Of Water
A worthy winner of the Best Picture Academy Award, The Shape Of Water combined excellent filmmaking aspects with a uniquely dark fantasy story. I loved its unconventionality and its originality, and how it felt like an adult fairytale. Guillermo Del Toro is at his best when combining fantasy elements with the complex darkness of humanity, and The Shape Of Water May be his best yet.
I was a latecomer to this film, only watching it towards the latter half of December. And I am so gutted that I didn't get to see it at the cinema because I loved it. This action sci-fi film may not have the same credentials as other films on this list - it is low budget and has a lesser known cast. But is was so engaging and watchable, and there was just something about it that was so appealing to a sci-fi fan. Most of all though, the action scenes were phenomenal. The camera work and editing was brilliant, even causing me to exclaim "awesome!" Any film that gets that kind of reaction from me is a film worthy of a place on this list.
4.) Mission Impossible: Fallout
Without a doubt the best action film of the year. I went to see Mission Impossible: Fallout with reasonably low expectations and ended up being blown away. It is action packed, thrilling and just non stop entertainment. The set pieces are amazing and the long running time feels halved because the pacing is great and there are no lulls or drags. The cast is great and Tom Cruise should be highly commended for throwing himself into every stunt and action sequence fully. Overall, Mission Impossible: Fallout was definitely one of my favourite film experiences from 2018.
Another film that stood out for being different, turned out to be another one of my favourite films of the year. Searching takes place entirely from the perspective of a computer screen and although it is not the first film to use this technique, it still felt fresh and unique. Regardless of that though, Searching is a brilliant thriller. I was on tenterhooks the entire time and I didn't guess any of the twists and turns, which made it a really exciting film to watch. Searching was a brilliant cinema experience and certainly kept me thrilled throughout.
2.) Avengers: Infinity War
I loved this film so much that I saw it three times in the cinema. A culmination of its eighteen predecessors, Infinity War felt like a huge film and it more than lived up to the hype. It was action packed, fun and visually awesome. It felt like a real treat for Marvel fans and looked incredible on the big screen. I cannot wait for the next instalment.
1.) A Star is Born
Even now I find it hard to describe how deeply this film affected me. I had read a bit about this film, I knew it was going to be the directorial debut of Bradley Cooper and that Lady Gaga would be starring in it and I knew that I would probably go and see it - but I wasn't overly excited for it. It was just another film to watch and another film that I may or may not end up liking. And sure enough, although I was enjoying the first act of the film, I wasn't particularly blown away.
But then there was a subtle shift and all of a sudden I was completely and wholly invested in the story and the characters. I was rooting for Ally and Jackson with every fibre of my being, I was holding my breath, my palms were sweating. And at some point, I actually felt a great wrench in my chest - like my heart had broken. And I could not stop the tears from falling.
I cried my eyes out. And even after I left the cinema, I thought about the characters. I cried in the foyer, I cried in the car on the way home, I cried to my other half when I got home and even now when I hear songs from the film on the radio, I feel like I might cry. This film evoked an incredible reaction in me, which is something that I can never forget. Perhaps I will watch A Star is Born again and not be as deeply affected. But in that moment, in the quiet stillness of the screening - A Star is Born floored me and reminded of a belief that I always carry in my heart - the absolute power of film.