My Own Damn Movie Awards for 2018

Another year, another plethora of flicks watched. Here’s my own damn list of favorites for 2018…

Best Pictures of 2018

  1. Leave No Trace (Best Picture)
  2. First Reformed (Best Screenplay)
  3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  4. Black Panther (Best Director)
  5. Thoroughbreds
  6. The Rider
  7. Blindspotting
  8. You Were Never Really Here
  9. First Man (Best Visuals, Best Sound)
  10. Wildlife

Honorable Mentions: Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Quiet Place, Avengers: Infinity War, Mandy, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, BlacKkKlansman, Annihilation, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Actresses of 2018

  1. Thomasin McKenzie – Leave No Trace
  2. Carey Mulligan – Wildlife
  3. Claire Foy – First Man
  4. Anya Taylor-Joy – Thoroughbreds
  5. Olivia Cooke – Thoroughbreds
  6. Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place
  7. Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade

Best Actors of 2018

  1. Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
  2. Ben Foster – Leave No Trace, Galveston
  3. Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther
  4. Shameik Moore – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  5. Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
  6. Ryan Gosling – First Man
  7. Daveed Diggs – Blindspotting
  8. Jake Gyllenhaal – Wildlife

So yeah, there were a large amount of movies I missed this year. Life gets in the way and it happens. I wish I would have had time to see Outlaw King or The Sisters Brothers or Green Book or Boy Erased or Paddington or Roma or countless others, but it just didn’t happen. So with that, let’s go through the top five I did see.

Drain all of the remorse, all the empathy, and any of the warmth that the human spirit is capable of and you’re left with Thoroughbreds. It’s an odd mix of quirkiness and psychological thriller that you somehow smile through. Well, most of the time.

What can you say about Black Panther that hasn’t already been said? Ryan Coogler was able to build such a rich and vibrant world with just a single movie that no other Marvel flick has been able to rival. The guy has always had a serious vision with the serious chops to implement that vision, which he did to near perfection, yet again.

The best time I had at a theater this last year was, hands down, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. They somehow managed to be so utterly precise with what it’s like in your own head when you read a comic book. And, seriously, can we just shelve Peter Parker for a couple decades and go with Miles Morales anytime we need to see Spider-Man on the big screen?

First Reformed is just layers upon layers of bleak and dreadful uncomfortableness. Purposefully ambiguous in nature, I love how many ways it can be watched and interpreted. Check it out on a good day could make it the most hopeful movie ever, but a bad day could bring the most dreadful of dire experiences. Whatever you get out of it, Ethan Hawke has never been more brilliant playing this person of faith in the middle of a spiritual breakdown. First Reformed is one that needs to be seen by all.

All great movies, but there can only be one best.

What happens when your struggles stop you from living a conventional life? How do you deal with those struggles or do you even deal with them at all? Moreover, how do you take care of the ones you love when you can’t care for yourself? Leave No Trace tries to answer some of this. Ben Foster is effortless as the wounded warrior who can’t seem to adapt to a modern society. His silence through most of the movie is down right deafening. His daughter can see the conflict, but struggles to identify how or if she should reach him. Played by Thomasin McKenzie, she’s so extraordinary confident in her role and is, without a doubt, a star in the making. This story is one of very slow burn, but never without purpose. It’s powerful and moving from start to finish with heartbreak at nearly every turn. Hellbent on burying the hurt and leaving no trace, this movie has definitely left a mark.