The best 10 movies of 2018

The best 10 movies of 2018

In terms of horror, science fiction and action movies, 2018 has been a pretty good year. One of the best ones of the last decade, I would say. But, as happens with almost everything in life, there has also been a few disappointments. Some big expected titles announced to be big ones in the genre like Halloween (2018) and Hereditary (2018) ended being mere anecdotes not reaching the expectations. At least in my humble opinion. But, on the other side, some other expectations were accomplished, and a good bunch of little surprises made the season that ends today an exceptional one.

In this article, I make a ranking of what for me are the best 10 movies of the year. Other titles like A Quiet Place (2018), Apostle (2018) and Incident in a Ghostland (2018) which didn’t make the list are also worth to mention. And even some big-budget Hollywood movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Black Panther (2018), Tomb Raider (2018) and Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) are a fun watch.

The order of the 3 top movies in this list was the hardest part to compose since they were the best cinematographical experiences the underwriter has experienced in a long time. Seriously. They should be the top movies of any year, and in 2018 we got them all at once. What a blast. Agree with the list or not, but surely the following titles are recommended to any moviegoer. There I go.


1. Suspiria (2018)

Maybe the most awaited movie in the list. One of the most difficult remakes to even propose. How to remake the immortal classic by Dario Argento Suspiria (1977)? Well, Luca Guadagnino had the key. Same story, similar characters, but a totally different approach. Suspiria (2018) is the other side of the coin of Suspiria (1977). In fact, somehow, one movie complements the other. There are two different ways to tell the same story, two very different personal ways, each one focusing on their own terms. But Suspiria (2018) stands by itself. It doesn’t matter that it is a remake because it is a fantastic movie as a standalone. The narrative is sublime, with a script that carries the audience to a very dark terrain and gets us all ready for the final climax. A big surprise, a true bloodbath. A pure horror movie that deserves to be praised and watched uncountable times.

My rate: 8/10
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2. Mandy (2018)

An absolute dream. At moments becoming a nightmare. One of the most romantic and sexiest movies of the year is also one of the dirties displays of violence this 2018 has brought to us. Panos Cosmatos brings us a Nicolas Cage as we’ve never seen before. Andrea Riseborough delivers a performance that surely will mark her career as one of the most astonishing and intense characters a human being can play. Altogether wrapped up with the amazing soundtrack created by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson and decorated with a hypnotic set of images coming from Panos Cosmatos’ weirdest dreams. Mandy (2018) is a love movie. But it’s also a hate movie. It’s pure vengeance. A man who has lost everything and will descend to the deeps of hell to get his little taste of revenge. As simple as that. But man, what a trip it is! A superb audiovisual display where the story doesn’t matter that much because the key here is the power of the images and sound. The power of the characters.

My rate: 8/10
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3. The House That Jack Built (2018)

If three of the latest titles of radical filmmaker Lars von Trier Nymphomaniac (2013), Antichrist (2009) and Dogville (2003) were tales where the final message was a complete loss of faith in humankind, with The House That Jack Built (2018) the line is crossed. Lars von Trier interviews Lars von Trier using the character Jack and his imaginary friend Verge. The two spend over 2 hours evaluating our recent history as species to arrive at a conclusion: the world will be a better place if we all get exterminated. Lars von Trier hates the world. Well, I correct this sentence, he hates human species. Because, on the other side, he loves and praises nature, art, the equilibrium of the universe. The House That Jack Built (2018) is onanism. The infinite ego of the Danish filmmaker meets his incredible talent for creating absorbing cinematographical masterpieces.  But beware, this movie is not for everyone. It is sad, depressing and aggressive. It’s an insult to our species, disregarding our history, embodying several of those attitudes and faces of our personality as a society and murdering them without mercy. No mercy at all. Because in the mind of Lars von Trier, this is what must be done. And the fictitious Jack is the tool he’s used to getting rid of his anger. Well, better making film masterpieces than being in jail for multiple slaughtering, isn’t it Lars, dude?

My rate: 8/10
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4. One Cut of the Dead (aka Kamera o tomeru na!) (2017)

The only movie in this list that was actually finished the last year 2017, although it didn’t see the light until this year. One of the craziest movies I’ve seen in my life. Pure cinema. Or cinema deconstruction, as you want to call it. An experiment with delicious results. An almost amateur film with more originality, quality and best execution than many of the high budget titles that invade our theaters every week. First, it called the attention with the headline of being the longest one cut sequence ever done in a horror movie. Okay, that is true, it has it. But there’s much much more behind One Cut of the Dead (2017). A group of Japanese filmmakers doing what the love best: movies. Both in real life and in fiction. A new twist in what meta-cinema is about. One Cut of the Dead (2017) is the only one of its own kind. I had the immense honor to attend to a screening of the movie at the Sitges Film Festival this year, with the presence of most of the movie’s cast and crew, and that was one of the best memories in my life in a movies theater. Both while watching this unbelievable movie and what happened next, with an ovation of like… how the fuck long was it? Like 10 minutes? All the theatre standing and clapping hands, facing the newby filmmakers who are just living their dream of presenting their little film in festivals around the world. For me, in its own way, One Cut of the Dead (2017) is the best movie ever done. Ever. In the whole history of film. Fun, smart, simple, perfect. Everything fits together, like finishing a puzzle. Like I said on the film review, only Twin Peaks (TV Series 2017) can have a 10-rating, but this 9,5 feels like a 10. I mean it. I saw the movie already like 4 months ago and I still feel the same while writing these lines.

My rate: 9,5/10
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5. Annihilation (2018)

In March Netflix released in exclusive Alex Garland’s newest film, Annihilation (2018). Not without some controversy about how the former owners of the distribution rights Paramount Pictures got rid of the film, preventing it from the theatrical release the filmmaker had in mind when he did his piece. Paramount wanted a popcorn movie and Garland brought something denser, with a soul. The collection of awards achieved by his previous film Ex Machina (2014) seemed not to be enough credit. But although it is true that Annihilation (2018) might be more enjoyable in the big screen, it has the honor of being the best title in the Netflix Originals catalog.

Annihilation (2018) is a science-fiction movie with its dosage of mystery and horror, but mainly it’s an introspective look at what our instincts as humans are. Everything we do and we have done along history gets imprinted in our environment. Are we humans destroying our lovely blue planet? Probably. But what might happen if an extraterrestrial force intensifies the effects in a way we have never seen before, basically because this contact was never previously experienced? Alex Garland put together an entertaining and intense movie exploring these thoughts, where every single detail must be analyzed twice and the surprises stay until the very last frame. A very good movie that sadly is not receiving the credit it deserves.

My rate: 8/10
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6. Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Despite his short trajectory in movie making, S. Craig Zahler is already well deserving all kinds of expectations to every project he is involved in. With only 2 previous movies on his back, Bone Tomahawk (2015) and Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017), his collection of masterpieces keeps increasing. Before even seeing the movie I already was suspecting Dragged Across Concrete (2018) was going to be one of the outstanding titles of the year. Because after the brutal Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) Vince Vaughn was working again at the orders of the filmmaker, and this time hand in hand no more and no less with Mel Gibson. Besides, have you read the fucking title?? I expected more brutality and violence in this new film, but that wasn’t delivered. In exchange, we got a calmed but intense thriller, a very meditated one, where the good guys are bad, and the bad boys have their little soul too. Except for the very bad guys, those ones are just evil and they will rot in hell. But S. Craig Zahler dives again in the personalities and motivations of his characters, which is something he masters. Again, another movie where the audience has no idea of what to expect, so just sit and watch it. Enjoy it. A new pearl of cinema for our eyes. Perhaps one of the most unfairly forgotten titles in these sort of ranking lists, but to me it’s presence is mandatory. Watch it and you’ll see why.

My rate: 8/10
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7. The Night Comes for Us (2018)

This is a punch on the face. A pure adrenaline shot. If you don’t like fights and bullet dances, The Night Comes for Us (2018) is not for you. On the other side, if you have fun watching incredible choreographies, lots of broken bones, bloody fists and explosions, go watch this one right now. Enough said. Really, there is not much else to add here. The plot is the typical one in these sort of gangster and revenge flicks. And the drama and characters development is as absent as unnecessary. Because The Night Comes for Us (2018) is conceived only as a pure spectacle of action. And one of the most impressive ones I’ve seen in my life. Timo Tjahjanto is the director of this little jewel in its own genre. Remember this name, he is going to become one of the most important Indonesian filmmakers in the near future, no doubt about that. Oh, and The Night Comes for Us (2018) is a Netflix Original, so now you have no more excuse to give it a watch.

My rate: 7/10
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8. Upgrade (2018)

Another heavy on fights title, this time more on the side of science fiction. Upgrade (2018) is the new film by Leigh Whannell, this time with no involvement at all of his pal James Wan. And it’s a straight to the point film. A man gets mechanically upgraded in order to carry on with his revenge. A not very original start point, although the movie has some surprises. Still, the heavy side in this movie is the spectacularity of its sequences and the adrenaline action. No high pretensions besides the fact of trying to make the audience have a good time. Why does a title a priori not so impacting as the rest of the list appear in this ranking? Well, because it delivers what it promises with full efficiency! Not a minute of boredom in Upgrade (2018), over an hour and half that feels like 10 minutes of cyberpunk rollercoaster. And, after all, that is the reason for movies to exist, right? To entertain. And this is pure entertainment. If you want more from a movie… well, there is a list full of alternatives here.

My rate: 7/10
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9. The Meg (2018)

I am a fan of Jason Statham, and I adore monster movies. That’s why to me The Meg (2018) had so far the ingredients of something of my interest. The funny part is that I ended up finding it one of the best monster movies I’ve seen for a while. Oh, and it’s not so much of a typical Jason Statham flick, this movie stands by its own. Everybody knows the plot, some scientists bring back the prehistoric and thought to be extinct Megalodon back in action and now they must stop the gigantic creature before it has a feast in human flesh. Besides the numerous references to the undisputable pioneer in this sort of films, Jaws (1975), The Meg (2018) is a very competent and entertaining action movie with its good dose of horror and thrill. Perhaps the facts happening in the movie are not that scientifically plausible, it has some reality mistakes, but that doesn’t really matter when the action is that intense. Well done characters, frantic scenes and the perfect dosage of humor populate this movie. It is a mandatory title for the monster movies fans and a little pearl in the Jason Statham filmography. I wouldn’t like to be wrong, but I think this might be the best monster movie of the year. Hence, it must be on this list.

My rate: 7/10
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10. Unsane (2018)

The final title in this list was also the first one to have seen the light this year. Premiering in February at the Berlinale Festival, Unsane (2018) was both the first horror movie in the Steven Soderbergh filmography, and also the first movie shot entirely with an iPhone. So what do we get from those 2 facts? First, Steven Soderbergh is a very competent filmmaker, and although his career has had some ups and downs he has a good sense of storytelling and filming quality. Also, the fact of being shot with such a tiny device as a smartphone gave the filmmakers a chance to achieve some framings and settings that with regular cameras would have been very hard and expensive to get. This is not a bad image quality found-footage-type flick, not at all. The iPhone is a mere anecdote here because Unsane (2018) is a psychological horror thriller by the book. With a female character framed and a psychopath stalker, two good ingredients to create a tense story. A mandatory one for the lovers of the genre.

My rate: 7/10
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