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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Best Films of 2018

Metacritic makes an annual list of the top films of the previous years based on top-10 lists produced by various film critics. This is an aggregation based on lists produced by 334 critics:
Movie and Metascore# 1st Place# 2nd Place# OtherPoints
196 Roma653377.5341.5
285 First Reformed2215101199.5
390 The Favourite131589.5161
490 Burning131069.5130.5
590 Eighth Grade13870129
687 If Beale Street Could Talk81076.5123.5
788 Black Panther6673107.5
887 Hereditary7768103.5
983 BlacKkKlansman3482.5100.5
1093 Shoplifters8855.596.5
1188 Leave No Trace4106195
79 Annihilation71345.595
1384 You Were Never Really Here5664.592.5
1487 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse5105492
1592 The Rider7657.591.5
1688 A Star Is Born7949.589
1780 Sorry to Bother You4454.576.5
1890 Cold War5348.571
1984 Widows325470
2088 Paddington 2643865
2179 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs3345.561.5
2287 Can You Ever Forgive Me?174160
2389 Zama7429.559
2486 Mission: Impossible – Fallout2148.558
2581 Mandy5235.556
2677 Blindspotting6330.555
2785 Support the Girls1439.552
2893 Minding the Gap183151
84 First Man124251
3078 The Other Side of the Wind632650.5
I've now seen 20 of the 30 listed films. My rankings would be (roughly):

Tier I Outstanding: top award choices

First Reformed

Tier 2 Very good: strong consideration for awards

The Favourite
If Beale Street Could Talk
The Rider
Eighth Grade
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Cold War
First Man

Tier 3 Well above average, but flawed in some way

Leave No Trace
You Were Never Really Here
A Star is Born
Sorry to Bother You
Support the Girls
Black Panther
Paddington 2
Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Minding the Gap
MI Fallout
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This list is not very precise as most of these films are truly very good and worth viewing. Everything through First Man reflects top-notch film-making. Those listed afterwards are also good, but most have one or more flaws that made them less interesting to me.

Despite saying I probably would not see it, my wife and I watched Paddington 2 in 2022 after seeing The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent in 2021. The latter film references the former and we heard good things from our oldest daughter. It was fine. 

Tier 4 Skip it

The Other Side of the Wind 

Orson Welles's final film was not very good and perhaps should not have been released after all. A lot of the acting was terrible and I wanted it to end long before it finally did. There were some beautiful shots from the film-within-a-film, but mostly I kept thinking about how much I liked Chinatown. John Huston's presence brought that to mind. 

I'll update this list with highlighted additions after this post first appears.

Of the 10 films I've missed as of the original post, it's unlikely I'll see Paddington 2.

These are the others in alphabetical order. I'll move them up as I see them:


Regular readers will note that I've dropped First Man a bit since my end-of-year ratings. On any given day, I might feel slightly differently about film rankings within the different tiers. A lot of the films my spouse and I have seen in early 2019 have superior acting performances with great storytelling. 2018 was a good year for film.

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