/Film's Overall Top 15 Movies Of 2018

Every January, the writers at /Film look back at the previous year and compile a best-of list, a ranking of the greatest movies they saw over the past 12 months. And every year, I then take those lists and create a group ranking that represents the entire site, a top 15 list that stands for all of our voices and tastes. The result is always a refreshing reminder that, hey, movies are diverse and they are good.

These are the 15 best movies of 2018 according to /Film.

First, a quick note on how this ranking was created. Each writer submitted a list of 15 movies. Their favorite movie on the list received 15 points. Their second favorite movie on the list received 14 points. And so on, with the fifteenth entry on the list receiving a single point. The numbers were tallied and the handful of ties were broken by a group discussion.

The Honorable Mentions

Once we had tallied up the final scores across every ballot, there were 31 movies that received points but not enough to qualify for Top 15. So before you ask "Where is such-and-such on the list?", here are the other 2018 films we absolutely loved that couldn't quite crack the list. As you can see, some of them never stood a chance while others barely missed out on making the list.

  • Free Solo: 1 point
  • Never Goin' Back: 1 point
  • mid90s: 1 point
  • The Director and the Jedi: 2 points
  • Halloween: 3 points
  • The Night Comes For Us: 3 points
  • Happy as Lazzaro: 3 points
  • A Star is Born: 3 points
  • Mirai: 4 points
  • Lizzie: 4 points
  • The House That Jack Built: 4 points
  • The Death of Stalin: 4 points
  • The Hate U Give: 4 points
  • Leave No Trace: 5 points
  • Bodied: 5 points
  • Black Panther: 6 points
  • A Quiet Place: 6 points
  • Bumblebee: 6 points
  • Love Simon: 7 points
  • Sorry to Bother You: 9 points
  • Widows: 9 points
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?: 10 points
  • Destroyer: 11 points
  • First Man: 11 points
  • Game Night: 12 points
  • BlacKkKlansman: 12 points
  • Burning: 13 points
  • Vice: 13 points
  • Paddington 2: 14 points
  • Suspiria: 14 points
  • Shoplifters: 15 points
  • And now, without further ado, here are the 15 best movies 2018, as selected by the /Film staff.

    /Film's Best Movies of 2018

    15. Minding the Gap

    16 points

    "What at first seems a meandering, slice-of-life feature turns into a delicate commentary on the cycles of abuse and economic angst that control these young men's lives, including Liu himself. Liu depicts with a deft and lyrical hand how he and his two friends turn to skateboarding as therapy, but are forced to contend with the stormy realities of adult life." (Hoai-Tran Bui)

    14. Avengers: Infinity War

    17 points

    "The meeting of superheroes who have never crossed each other's paths before, the extraordinary action, the surprising emotion of it all, the seasoned actors who have all become comfortable in their respective roles, and the gutpunch of an ending all combine to create what is one of the most thrilling blockbusters of the past 20 years." (Ethan Anderton)

    13. Eighth Grade

    24 points

    "Elsie Fisher gives an earnest, radiant performance as the tenacious Kayla, who optimistically posts motivational videos that get no views, braves a pool party where she knows no one, or attempts to chat up the popular girls who won't give her the time of day. She's such a sympathetic character that it makes her stumbles all the more painful to watch — because despite this film's solidly Gen-Z setting, it's a wholly universal coming of age story." (Hoai-Tran Bui)

    12. First Reformed

    24 points

    "Paul Schrader keeps us entirely within Toller's mind, via narration in a notebook he's writing. It traps us within his deteriorating mindset, leading to circumstances we can't even be sure are real, leaving it up to us, the audience, to decipher the meaning – and truth – behind a haunting, jaw-dropping ending." (Chris Evangelista)

    "It's a movie about belief and action, about careful consideration and the consequences of despair. Ethan Hawke has never been better, and he's been undervalued for so long that his performance alone should convince you to seek this one out if you haven't seen it yet." (Ben Pearson)

    11. Searching

    25 points

    "I've been singing this movie's praises at every opportunity since I saw it at last year's Sundance Film Festival, and my love for Searching has only increased since that first viewing. This is one of 2018's most innovative films, and aside from being a technical marvel, it's buoyed by a phenomenal script which gave John Cho the chance to prove that he's leading man material." (Ben Pearson)

    10. Mandy

    25 points

    "Mandy is a film fluent in all manner of pop culture, capable of speaking to those looking for a surreal acid trip and those looking for wacky action romp and those seeking a deconstruction of the revenge movie and those looking for an unsettling examination of profound grief. The fact that Mandy does all of this while remaining a cohesive whole, a movie with a singular voice, is nothing short of a miracle." (Jacob Hall)

    "Nicolas Cage faces off against "bikers and gnarly psychos and crazy evil" in Mandy, Panos Cosmatos' acid-trip joyride that rips your eyeballs out of your skull and leaves them dangling by the sockets. Awash in garish-yet-beautiful colors, this slice of cinematic black magic is, on the page, a simple tale of revenge." (Chris Evangelista)

    9. Hereditary

    28 points

    "Ari Aster's Hereditary grafts a family drama narrative onto an absolute nightmare, with remarkable results. What at first seems like a meditation on grief slowly reveals itself to be a story that's really about the cruelty of fate. The characters in Hereditary are little more than helpless puppets, unable to break free of their strings." (Chris Evangelista)

    "There are some staggering reveals to be found here, and the way Ari Aster builds to those moments with increasingly upsetting imagery is a perfect example of how to create tension. Some people will scoff at this movie or write it off entirely simply because it's a horror film or because it traffics in the supernatural. Do not make the mistake of being one of those people." (Ben Pearson)

    "In the performance of a lifetime, and easily the performance of 2018, Toni Collette plays a woman with an inferno just blow her skin, a lifetime of rage and regret fueling it. This is mature, brilliant horror from a filmmaker who just earned himself a lifetime pass to dabble in the genre as he sees fit...and a reminder that Toni Collette is one of the finest actors alive today." (Jacob Hall)

    8. You Were Never Really Here

    29 points

    "You Were Never Really Here acts like a disillusioned breakdown of the lone-wolf mythos — Phoenix's dense, hulking mass of a hitman may enact vengeance on the evil, but he remains a stunted child, unable to function in the real world. Fantastically subversive and quietly feminist, You Were Never Really Here is a brilliant takedown of the illusion of masculine vengeance." (Hoai-Tran Bui)

    "The more Hollywood version of this story would involve Joe engaged in violent, bloody battles with his enemies, You Were Never Really Here uses precise, surprising edits to keep everything just out of view, to the point where we can't even be sure what we're seeing. In fact, we can't even be sure we're really here." (Chris Evangelista)

    7. Blindspotting

    30 points

    "Blindspotting is such a fun, warm movie that when it pauses in the face of horror, like when Collin witnesses the execution of an unarmed black man at the hands of white police officer, we feel the punch in the gut. We feel the fear, the anger, the rage, the helplessness, the sense that our world is spiraling out of control and there's nothing we can do about it." (Jacob Hall)

    "The movie tackles serious topics like racial injustice and gentrification, and while some of those moments can get pretty heavy (Daveed Diggs' face as he grapples with the memory of seeing an unarmed black man shot in front of him seems to carry the weight of the whole damn world), the film is also unexpectedly laugh-out-loud funny." (Ben Pearson)

    "Blindspotting feels as much a love letter to Oakland as it is a thought-provoking character study of a man grappling with racial injustice and his changing relationship with his hot-tempered white friend unaware of his own privilege. Daveed Diggs gives an explosive performance in a role that straddles the line between fanciful and realistic, while gamely shouldering the heavy tension that permeates the film." (Hoai-Tran Bui)

    "Blindspotting is telling an important story with social commentary, but it never leans heavily on that – it instead lets the story unfold almost casually, sweeping us up along with it, until things come to an explosive head. It's raw, powerful and unforgettable." (Chris Evangelista)

    6. The Favourite

    32 points

    "A blend of history, pitch-black comedy, aching tragedy, and enough cattiness to fuel twenty remakes of Mean GirlsThe Favourite is a period costume drama unlike any other. For starters, it's delightfully gay, easily the gayest film to receive a wide release in 2018, a welcome reminder that history wasn't nearly as stodgy as so many dusty movies lead us to believe." (Jacob Hall)

    "Lanthimos brings his brand of grotesque savagery to the period drama with The Favourite, which bucks all expectations for a historical drama, as if both the distorted visuals and values were reflected through a funhouse mirror." (Hoai-Tran Bui)

    "The Favourite is a hoot. The film still has a cruel streak to it, but the cruelty feels somehow different; less malicious, and more comedic – similar to the way the Coen Brothers channel the harshness of life in funny ways." (Chris Evangelista)

    5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout

    39 points

    "Fallout is a miracle. It's one of the best action movies of the decade, with unforgettable stunts and top-tier set-pieces, and it's also the rare sixth installment in a long-running film series that is somehow better than its predecessor. I love the way this franchise continues to evolve and reckon with the events of previous movies without getting bogged down in labyrinthine mythology, how the relationship between Ethan Hunt and Ilsa Faust has taken its time to come to fruition, and how Henry Cavill stepped into this world as if he was born to play a hulking, backstabbing traitor who faces off against Tom Cruise." (Ben Pearson)

    "But somehow, it's impossible to scoff at Mission: Impossible – Fallout, one of the most impressive action movies ever made and one of the most purely entertaining films of the past...decade? Ever? In director Christopher McQuarrie, leading man/daredevil psychopath Tom Cruise has found the perfect collaborator, a brainy and brawny born storyteller who delivers exposition with two fists, often while literally falling out of a plane." (Jacob Hall)

    "Most film franchise start to lose their steam once they reach a sixth installment, but the Mission: Impossible franchise only seems to be getting stronger as Tom Cruise seems to be willing to do almost anything and everything to make the action of this film series more and more rousing." (Ethan Anderton)

    4. Roma

    47 points

    "Truly every single setting in this film is shot in such a captivating fashion that you can't help but marvel at it all. But it never gets in the way of the story and only helps us focus more on these characters and the hardships they endure." (Ethan Anderton)

    "Little by little, Cuarón began to pull the rug out from under me, slowly revealing Roma's subtle power. The result was a masterpiece overflowing with empathy, meticulously crafted to leave you a sobbing mess by the time the credits roll (trust me)." (Chris Evangelista)

    "At once impossibly sprawling and achingly intimate, Roma's narrative is exceedingly spare, moving at a slow and deliberate pace. But Cuarón makes it clear that this is a master at work: every scene is meticulously staged, every frame gorgeously rendered.  Anchored by a tender performance by Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Roma is a painfully human film that carries you through a sea of half-remembered memories, before you're struck by the powerful emotional climax that will leave you sobbing." (Hoai-Tran Bui)

    3. If Beale Street Could Talk

    48 points

    "Moonlight already let Barry Jenkins tell a story with fierce passion, but with If Beale Street Could Talk, he crafts a romance that is both harrowing and hopeful, tragic but full of love. It's the kind of story that is all too common for people who live on the metaphorical Beale Streets of the world, and it tugs relentlessly on your heart strings while also making you feel the pure love that blossoms during these trying times." (Ethan Anderton)

    "Barry Jenkins' Moonlight follow-up If Beale Street Could Talk is often heartbreaking and tragic, but it's ultimately hopeful, as well. "Trust love all the way," is one of the most powerful lines in the movie, and it serves as a mantra as well. Love may not be all you need, but to have it, and embrace it, and trust it, can be a powerful thing." (Chris Evangelista)

    "Directors are presented with thousands of decisions to make every day they're on a film set, and it seems as if Barry Jenkins makes the right one every time. He has a special way of creating empathy for his characters through his camerawork (even Paul Thomas Anderson says he's jealous of Jenkins' close-ups), and he's in a rare group of American filmmakers who aren't shy about depicting sensuality on screen." (Ben Pearson)

    "If movies truly are a machine built to explore empathy, director Barry Jenkins is one of the best engineers in the business. If Beale Street Could Talk is his follow-up to Moonlight and it proves that he's not going anywhere – he's one of the finest, clearest, and most evocative voices in modern American cinema." (Jacob Hall)

    2. Annihilation

    55 points

    "No other movie affected me last year as much as Annihilation, writer/director Alex Garland's mind-bending opus into self-destruction. While this film's narrative is fascinating – a group of women head into The Shimmer, a mysterious bubble that's slowly expanding and threatening to consume the world – Garland is much more concerned with how the movie makes you feel." (Ben Pearson)

    "I will never stop thinking about Natalie Portman's encounter with the dark foe that knows her every movement, that takes her shape and blocks her path. If there has ever been a better metaphor for depression, I have not seen it. Annihilation, the kind of science fiction that is as humane and wise as it is wild and creepy, will sit under your skin. It may never leave." (Jacob Hall)

    "There are no easy answers here, and that's point. This trip into the unknown is about the journey, not the destination. Expect this to the type of film that's rediscovered years from now, and hailed as a misunderstood modern-classic." (Chris Evangelista)

    "There were plenty of great horror movies this year, but none of them made me feel as unsettled and haunted as Annihilation. Here's a movie that takes an otherworldly high concept and turns it into a chilling visceral experience that will stick in your mind long after the credits have rolled." (Ethan Anderton)

    1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    65 points

    "The filmmakers are aware that they're dealing with a vital cornerstone of American pop culture here, treating Spider-Man as a character and a symbol with the respect he deserves and the change he requires. This isn't just another Spider-Man movie – it's a deconstruction of Spidey's iconography, an exploration of what he means to both creators and audiences alike. It's the best superhero movie ever made." (Jacob Hall)

    "By making Spider-Man a half-black, half-Latino kids from Brooklyn, and surrounding him with a hilarious and refreshing variety of fellow Spider-People (and a pig), we get something new and exciting that speaks to anyone and everyone. It's a milestone achievement in animation, superhero movies, storytelling and more. And it's damn funny to boot." (Ethan Anderton)

    "Despite the crowded ensemble of characters (each capable of leading their own film), Into The Spider-Verse never veers away from Miles' vibrant, heartwarming story arc, which gets to the emotional core of what a great Spider-Man movie — nay, a great superhero movie — should be." (Hoai-Tran Bui)

    "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse may have been the biggest film-related surprise of 2018 for me. I was looking forward to seeing what this filmmaking team could do with an animated Spider-Man movie, but I couldn't have anticipated it being this good – not only the best Spider-Man movie ever made, but arguably the best superhero movie thus far." (Ben Pearson)

    The Indvidual Ballots

    Ethan Anderton

    15. The Favourite

    14. You Were Never Really Here

    13. A Star is Born

    12. The Death of Stalin

    11. Widows

    10. Avengers: Infinity War

    9. Game Night

    8. Annihilation

    7. First Man

    6. Mission: Impossible — Fallout

    5. Vice

    4. BlacKkKlansman

    3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    2. Roma

    1. If Beale Street Could Talk

    Hoai-Tran Bui

    15. Black Panther

    14. First Reformed

    13. Happy as Lazzaro

    12. Mirai

    11. Leave No Trace

    10. Minding the Gap

    9. Blindspotting

    8. Burning

    7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    6. Eighth Grade

    5. Roma

    4. Paddington 2

    3. The Favourite

    2. You Were Never Really Here

    1. Shoplifters

    Chris Evangelista

    15. Suspiria14. Vice13. Can You Ever Forgive Me?12. Widows11. Burning10. Blindspotting9. Hereditary8. The Favorite7. Destroyer6. Mandy5. Annihilation4. If Beale Street Could Talk3. You Were Never Really Here2. Roma

    1. First Reformed

    Jacob Hall

    15. Never Goin' Back

    14. First Man

    13. The Night Comes For Us

    12. The House That Jack Built

    11. Bodied

    10. Mission: Impossible — Fallout

    9. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    8. If Beale Street Could Talk

    7. Blindspotting

    6. The Favourite

    5. Hereditary

    4. Annihilation

    3. Suspiria

    2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    1. Mandy

    annihilation tessa thompson

    Ben Pearson

    15. Free Solo

    14. Destroyer

    13. Paddington 2

    12. Lizzie

    11. Black Panther

    10. A Quiet Place

    9. First Reformed

    8. Blindspotting

    7. Sorry to Bother You

    6. Hereditary

    5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout

    4. Searching

    3. If Beale Street Could Talk

    2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    1. Annihilation

    Peter Sciretta

    15. mid90s

    14. The Director and the Jedi

    13. Halloween

    12. The Hate U Give

    11. Game Night

    10. Bumblebee

    9. Love Simon

    8. Roma

    7. Annihilation

    6. Minding the Gap

    5. Avengers: Infinity War

    4. Mission: Impossible — Fallout

    3. Searching

    2. Eighth Grade

    1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse