Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far

The nightmare that is 2018 is almost over! Current events may be terrifying, but movies have been pretty damn good this year. Each day this week, a different member of the /Film team will be counting down his or her favorite films of the year so far, and now it’s my turn. My favorite films this year run the gamut from indie curiosities to films of absolute horror. And just to keep things from being a complete dour-fest, there’s a very nice movie about a very nice bear as well. These are the top 10 movies of 2018 so far, according to Chris Evangelista.

the endless

10. The Endless

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the minds behind the brilliant horror-romance Spring, released perhaps their most ambitious film to date in 2018. The Endless is a strange, oddly sweet saga of two brothers (played by Benson and Moorhead). Years ago, the duo escaped from a death cult. Since then, life hasn’t been exactly great, and after the pair receive a mysterious message from the cult, they decide to return – hoping, perhaps, for some sort of closure. What they find instead is something far more cryptic, and far more revelatory. Benson and Moorhead blend humor and horror deftly, crafting something wholly unique. The Endless gets progressively bizarre as it unfolds, and yet the filmmakers never lose sight of the driving force in the film – the bond between the two brothers at the heart of the story. The Endless isn’t quite as good as Spring, but it’s yet another prime example of Benson and Moorhead’s talent.

 

a quiet place

9. A Quiet Place

Who knew Jim from The Office had this in him? John Krasinski‘s A Quiet Place is a meticulously constructed horror film that benefits from an almost air-tight script from Krasinski, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. In the first few wordless minutes of A Quiet Place, Krasinski expertly establishes the world of the film – a world of silence; a world where something very bad has happened. “IT’S SOUND!” screams the headline of a loose newspaper. And before the title card has even come up, some sort of horrible monster has sprung from off frame and snatched up a child in its claws. The message is clear: this movie isn’t playing around. Krasinski and real life wife Emily Blunt are both good as parents trying to protect their family from a world of monsters, but the heart and soul of A Quiet Place is Millicent Simmonds, playing their deaf daughter who is fully convinced her father doesn’t really love her. The way Krasinski revolves this plotline is perhaps a tad predictable, and yet undeniably heartbreaking.

The Death of Stalin trailer

8. The Death of Stalin

With The Death of StalinVeep creator Armando Iannucci reminds us once again that he’s the very best at what he does. Iannucci somehow finds a way to turn the Soviet Great Terror into something hilarious, focusing on the bumbling and scrambling that followed the demise of Joseph Stalin. This is a pitch-black comedy; one of the darkest I’ve ever seen. And yet it’s hysterical, to the point where you might laugh so hard it hurts. Slowly, though, Iannucci’s film builds towards a climax that forgoes the laughs and descends into chaos and madness. It’s all balanced meticulously, with the cast – particularly Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev – riffing endlessly, finding the humor in all the horror at play.

7. Paddington 2

“If we’re kind and polite the world will be right.” This is a simple message. And a naive message. And yet…what a wonderful message it is. Paul King‘s Paddington 2 is a warm hug of a movie. A film that wants so badly to remind you that there’s some sort of good left in the world, even if everything seems very, very bad. Paddington the bear may find himself in a dire situation, but we know he’ll get out of it. And we know his friends and his family will help him, because they believe in him as he believes in them. Paddington 2 radiates goodness; it is a movie that will make you feel joy, if you’re willing to give yourself over to it. On top of the warm and fuzzy message, the movie is also fantastically crafted. King draws on silent movie influences to pull-off hilarious physical comedy the likes of which most modern filmmakers don’t even bother to attempt. And Hugh Grant practically steals the show as the film’s villain who may be up to no good, but still gets a song and dance number at the end regardless.

Revenge Review

6. Revenge

Director Coralie Fargeat flips the concept of the “male gaze” upside-down, then pulverizes it. Revenge is a relentlessly nasty trip through hell; a film overflowing with geysers of blood and bursting with brutality. And yet, Faregeat finds some sort of slick, pop-art beauty in all this horror. This is like a Roy Lichtenstein painting with a body count. Jen (Matilda Lutz) is away for a tryst with her married lover (Kevin Janssens). All goes well until the lover’s two leering, sneering friends show up. Their presence spells very bad news for Jen, and soon she’s left for dead, impaled at the bottom of a cliff. But Jen isn’t dead. Instead, she rises up like a phoenix, ready to burn down the violent men who’ve wronged her. Revenge never lets up, and it will no doubt be too extreme for some viewers. But Fargeat balances all of her horror admirably, and Lutz’s performance is fierce as hell, burning with intense rage. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and so is this film.

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