Top 10 Movies of 2018

It’s that time again. For those who haven’t seen my previous best of the year lists I go by original release date rather than the UK release, this does lead to the list being delayed sometimes due to UK release delays. Fortunately the list was only delayed by one month this year, lets begin…

#10

A Star Is Born

I saw this as part of a movie marathon of all four versions of this movie and this was one of the best versions, certainly the best of the remakes. I think it’s a great film on its own but even better when you can see the ways each of the previous versions influenced it and how it set itself apart from them. I look forward to seeing how this version influences the next one in 20 or 40 years.

#9

Liz and the Blue Bird

This is a last minute addition but one that really deserves to be here. Naoko Yamada is one of the most talented directors working in anime today and I look forward to seeing more from her. Even though I haven’t seen any of Sound! Euphonium I can still appreciate this as a stand alone film, though I expect if I had seen the show this could have been higher.

#8

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes

On that note a big part of why this movie makes this list is because I’m a fan of the show. Getting to see Class 1-A on the big screen was neat and getting to see Deku and All Might team up while You Say Run plays in the background is something that isn’t going to mean much to people who don’t watch or read My Hero Academia but as a fan it was one of the coolest movie fights of the year.

#7

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Yeah there’s a fair amount of anime on this list. Much like Liz and the Blue Bird this was a newer addition to the list but it gains extra points for making me cry multiple times.

#6

Sorry to Bother You

This movie isn’t going to be for everyone, it’s very silly and surreal while still managing to make its points effectively. Out of all the live action films I saw last year this one had the most unique visuals even when you consider the next two entries on this list.

#5

Avengers: Infinity War

Yes I know now that the hype has died down many people are a bit more critical of this movie or at least consider it overrated but when I look back on all the build up to this movie and how well it paid off on that build up I’m still impressed by it. Plus Thanos was one of the best villains of the year and the snap is one of the most shocking scenes in the MCU putting everything on the line for Endgame.

#4

Black Panther

This movie and Infinity War were at the top of my list for a long time often switching places. After a rewatch however I feel Black Panther is the stronger movie even now that the hype has died down. This was the best live action film of the year and it’s great to see that it got nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, Wakanda Forever!

#3

Ralph Breaks the Internet

I said in my review that it’s like this movie was made for me. I’m a big fan of Disney, crossovers, the internet and video games but also because it’s a movie about dealing with the fact friends will move away and not spend as much time hanging out as they used to. Also the Disney and meme jokes are hilarious.

#2

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

This is the reason I delayed this list. If you’re not a Dragon Ball fan you’re not really going to care about this movie outside of saying the animation is really good but as a Dragon Ball fan this was a really exciting experience, and one I got to share with my brother. Broly and Gogeta are so much better as characters now thanks to this movie, maybe next movie they can make Cooler canon too. Speaking of Cooler his brother Freeza is at his best in this movie and it’s making me more excited to see what’s next for him.

#1

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Whenever the question of what Marvel movie people were looking forward to the most while most people would say Infinity War or Black Panther my answer was always Spider-Verse. An animated Spider-Man movie starring Miles Morales with Spider-Verse in the title? Of course I was on board. And it surpassed my expectations when it finally came out. All the animated movies in this have amazing animation but this is the one with the most unique style of animation that allowed it to capture the look of a comic book better than any other Marvel or DC movie. I really hope we see more from this multiverse soon.

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And that’s my list. Honorable mentions include Mirai, BlacKkKlansman, Love, Simon, A Simple Favour, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Crazy Rich Asians and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. This year as well as watching a bunch of new movies for my top 10 movies of 2019 list I’m also going to go back and find a bunch of movies I’ve missed from the last 10 years so that I can make a best of the 2010s list. Until then I’ll continue to review each movie I see for the first time on this blog.

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Liz and the Blue Bird – Review

Just when I think my top 10 list was ready I was informed about another anime film I’d missed. This time while listening to an old video from The Pedantic Romantic about Naoko Yamada’s work I decided to check if she’d released anything since Tamako Love Story and as it turns out she had a 2018 film. She’s also the director of A Silent Voice which is another really popular anime film I need to get around to watching soon.

This is another stunningly animated film and very different in appearance from Yamada’s previous work. Not just the similarly designed K-On! and Tamako Market either, a quick Google image search for A Silent Voice which was done by the same team shows it has its own visual style too as does the show this is based on, Sound! Euphonium.

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Don’t worry if you haven’t seen Sound! Euphonium before though because it still works really well as a stand alone story as I haven’t seen a single episode of the show and could still understand what was going on. However I expect a fan will enjoy the extra details of the movie more the way I do watching the K-On! The Movie and Tamako Love Story as a fan of K-On! and Tamako Market. Unique to this film is the use of a story the leads are performing a song based on that also has its own art style different from the main one but in a way that never feels out of place.

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If you’re an anime fan who has enjoyed Naoko Yamada’s others shows and movies you should give this a watch. As for me I might have to give Sound! Euphonium a watch at some point and definitely need to watch A Silent Voice soon. First though I have a list to finish…

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms – Review

So while figuring out what else I should watch before making my top 10 list CellSpex released her Worst to Best list and I found out about this movie. And it also turns out anime reviewer Mother’s Basement also made a video about it so I decided to look it up.

It’s really good. The animation is beautiful and mixes 2D and 3D animation better than most anime. From what I’ve heard the film’s writer and director Mari Okada is pretty good at making people cry with her previous works and yeah this film did make me cry, several times.

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It’s pretty much a fantasy story from the perspective of an elf (or Iorph in this world), watching everyone else grow up around them while they stay the same. It’s also a story about motherhood and found family and the way those stories mix together is really impressive.

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If you’re a fan of fantasy stories and anime movies you will probably like this, just be prepared to cry. I think my top 10 movies of 2018 list is almost ready now, I’m satisfied with the contents but keep changing the order every time I look at it.

BlacKkKlansman – Review

So even without the Best Picture nomination this movie was one that stood out as a movie to watch before finalizing my top 10. Several critics I follow included it in their own top 10 (and those who haven’t released theirs yet also gave it very positive reviews) and one of my friends who saw it suggested it when I asked for 2018 films to watch.

And even before seeing it I could understand why. This movie has a very powerful message and it is not subtle about it, even the trailer isn’t subtle. Of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t any subtlety in the movie, only that it’s mainly in the acting and the way scenes are shot instead of the message.

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As an adaption of a true story there are some big changes to both the story and the timeline but these changes are ones that benefit the story and message of the movie without weakening the true story it’s built around.

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The tricky thing about recommending this movie is that it’s really something you need to be prepared for. This is a movie about racism with a lot of characters using racial slurs and comparisons to racism happening today and because of this it will be hard to watch, if you go in knowing this you will get a really well made movie with an extremely talented cast and a powerful message.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly – Review

This was the main reason my top 10 movies of 2018 list was delayed. As a Dragon Ball fan I couldn’t do my list without seeing this, especially after all the positive responses I heard from the fandom. Much like the Boruto movie back in 2015 I went on a trip to Plymouth to see this in the cinema subbed, though this time my brother came with me.

This movie is great, the humour is classic Toriyama and the animation is some of the best the franchise has had in general. Super Saiyan God hasn’t looked this good since Battle of Gods and it’s so great to finally see Vegeta use the form in the anime (hopefully it’ll be added to Xenoverse 2 soon). The transitions between forms as characters transform look really cool and of course the fights are some of the best in the franchise.

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But of course this movie is about Broly and he is a much better character here than in any of his previous appearances. The scenes of him and Cheelai interacting are really charming and when you learn how abusive his father was raising him for his revenge you really feel for him, especially in the scene where you see the remote for his shock collar for the first time and the way Broly reacts to it. Rather than being “the legendary Super Saiyan” his powers are tied more to the Ozaru form which is much better explanation for his rage than Goku crying next to him as a baby.

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If you’re a Dragon Ball fan you will enjoy this movie. I will have to watch and rewatch the rest of the Dragon Ball movies to be sure where I’d rank it but it is without a doubt on the same level as Battle of Gods. As for my top 10 list I’ll watch a few more movies first and then post the finalized list by the end of the month.

Set It Up – Review

While I’m still watching 2018 movies I decided to throw in some of the Netflix Originals I missed. This one was on my list for a while but when I went to Netflix other movies took priority or I ended up watching all of Hilda and She-Ra.

It’s an average romantic comedy. There’s plenty of funny jokes and a few that don’t really work and the romance between the two leads is cute but there’s not much else to it than that. It’s fine but honestly last year I saw several cliche romantic comedies I thought were much better so while I enjoyed it I felt like it could have been a lot better.

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The cast are all talented and make each of their characters fun to follow. While they have less screen time Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs’ characters have some entertaining overreactions throughout the movie.

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It’s fine but honestly if you’re looking on Netflix for a cheesy romance movie to watch you should just watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. If you’ve already seen it then maybe check this one out.

The Favourite – Review

I saw the trailer for this movie before pretty much every Screen Unseen last year to the point I was expecting it to be one of them at some point (it wasn’t). I saw some positive responses to this film from friends who had seen it so I made a note to give it a watch.

It’s a fun movie that brings attention to the sillier sides of the 1700s. Like most Oscar bait movies the main strengths come from the cast, in particular the three leads. All three get that balance of silly and serious just right and work really well together. The story itself is still an entertaining one but made better by the performances that move it along.

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In fact on that note most award nominations for this movie seem to have gotten a bit confused. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are clearly the lead actresses as most of the movie is from their characters’ perspectives and focuses on their conflict yet both keep getting nominated for Best Supporting Actress. In fact the only one of the three leads I can understand seeing as a supporting actress is Olivia Coleman (the one who actually does get the Best Actress nominations) as while the movie is still about Queen Anne it rarely focuses on her perspective.

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If you like your period dramas to be serious this isn’t for you but if you liked the more silly elements from the trailer you’ll probably enjoy it.