Ethan Anderton’s Top 10 Movies of 2018 So Far

The Tale - Laura Dern

5. The Tale

After premiering at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, HBO picked up this traumatic tale of repressed abuse and released it on television without much pomp and circumstance. But if this film was given a proper theatrical release, it would be deserving of an endless array of awards. As it stands, the film will receive plenty of accolades as a TV movie, but The Tale has a story that is so much bigger than that. While this story from documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox is autobiographical, this is a movie that is about anyone who has ever been abused.

The Tale is a harrowing experience as it follows a filmmaker (Laura Dern playing a screen version of Jennifer Fox) flashing back to a time in her life at 13 years old when she struck up a special friendship with her equestrian instructor Mrs. G (Elizabeth Debicki) and her neighbor and helper Mr. G (Jason Ritter), a former Olympic athlete. What unfolds is a sexually abusive relationship that the adult Fox only comes to terms with as she starts to dig into the repressed traumatic memories that she has made more acceptable in her mind. The result is one of the most unsettling and heartbreaking stories of abuse the big screen has ever seen. It’s hard to watch, but it’s an unfortunately timely and relevant story that must be seen. Read my review from Sundance for more and catch the film on HBO Now right now.

4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor

The rave reviews about this movie have been all over the place, and they’re all right on the money. This profile of PBS television personality Fred Rogers is one of the most touching, necessary documentaries of the decade, and it’s one of those movies that will make everyone cry both tears of happiness and sadness. Fred Rogers gave us the PBS children’s television program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and through the small screen he gave generations of kids so much more than entertainment. He gave them love, hope, compassion and so much more. All of that is in this movie as we chronicle the life of Fred Rogers and the genuine love he had for making children feel less confused about the big, real world around them. Won’t You Be My Neighbor is a phenomenal tribute to a man the likes of which may never be seen again, and it will give you all the feels. Read my full review from Sundance over here. The movie is playing in theaters right now.

annihilation interview

3. Annihilation

As unsettling and terrifying Hereditary was, it didn’t resonate nearly as much as Alex Garland‘s Annihilation. This is a movie that made my skin crawl and my mind spin. While the movie about five female soldiers and scientists sent into a mysterious phenomenon called The Shimmer was sold and sometimes feels like a monster movie along the lines of The Thing or Predator, this movie has so much more than that lying under the surface.

Annihilation is a movie about depression and anxiety that is haunting and mesmerizing in its execution. Suspense and hypnotic cinematography keep your eyes glued to the screen. But it’s what’s bubbling beneath that surface that keeps the mind engaged and throws it for a loop that I couldn’t shake for days. For some, the ending may be weird and anticlimactic, but for those who are able to dig into the story and find the thematic core, they will be truly shaken by the film’s third act. This is sci-fi done on a level that we haven’t seen so perfectly crafted in quite some time. We’ll be looking back on this movie as a classic in the years to come.

Avengers Infinity War Trailer Breakdown - Captain America

2. Avengers: Infinity War

What can I say? The Marvel Studios sequel delivers on a promise that has been building for years, and the result is one of the most bold and satisfying superhero films ever made. Here’s a sequel that brings together nearly two dozen franchise characters to face a villain the likes of which this entire cinematic universe has never seen before. The movie uses the history of these characters to make their struggle that much more powerful as they deal with a threat that not only promises to challenge their skills, but kill billions around the universe. It’s a thrilling, exciting, fulfilling and unprecedented blockbuster event, and I loved every minute of it.

The film’s 2.5 hour-plus runtime goes by like a breeze, even on multiple viewings. The meeting of Marvel superheroes brings unbelievable action sequences as characters team up to use their abilities in clever ways, and even more smart are the quips shared between them. But what really makes this movies impressive is how each and every character on the large roster of heroes isn’t lost in the shuffle. They each have their own defining moment in a crowded movie, which isn’t easy to accomplish, and it’s something that stays true to their core character rather than being something that conveniently works for the plot of this movie. Avengers: Infinity War is one of the sharpest films of its kind, and thanks to an ending that was expected but still no less surprising, it’s more than just fun with superheroes.

Game Night Trailer

1. Game Night

If you told me that a studio comedy about a group of friends caught up in a murder mystery party gone wrong was going to be one of my most favorite entertainment experiences of the year so far, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are.

Game Night is surprisingly and legitimately my favorite movie of the year so far. I can’t stop introducing it to friends and family who missed it in theaters earlier this year. The film, written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, is sharp, witty, tight and thrilling. It’s stylish without being overly flashy, and it’s suspenseful without losing big laughs. The balance between intrigue and comedy is astounding as the movie weaves back and forth between exciting, well-executed chases without losing any steam or ever feeling forced. Helping the movie stand out is a fantastic ensemble cast led by Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, who really should be paired up together more often. But it’s Jesse Plemons who steals the movie. It’s the best studio comedy I’ve seen in years, and it has twists and turns that put some of the best thrillers to shame. This movie is better than it had any right to be, and it deserves to be seen by anyone and everyone.

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: