Barry Jenkins cements himself as an essential voice with "If Beale Street Could Talk"                "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is the best animated film of the year                Snubs and surprises mark the Screen Actors Guild nominations as "A Star Is Born" leads the way                2018 Critics Choice nominations led by Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite"                Nicole Kidman: Boy Erased and Destroyer - Hollywood Film Tribute                “Beautiful Boy” – Timothée Chalamet: Hollywood Film Tribute                “First Man” by Damien Chazelle: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy - Hollywood Film Tribute                Natalie Portman shines in the otherwise confounding "Vox Lux"                Golden Globe nominations announced! "Vice" leads the charge!                “Green Book” - Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali: Hollywood Film Tribute                "Mary Queen of Scots" can't live up to its royal lineage                "Ben Is Back" sees father and filmmaker Peter Hedges direct his son Lucas Hedges to a brilliant performance                Hollywood Film Tribute: GLENN CLOSE for her excellent performances                A final crack at Golden Globe nominations before Thursday's announcement                “Mary Poppins Returns” and “Once Upon a Deadpool”: Films to see in December        

The Best of the First Half of 2018


Here’s something fun. Folks, as you see me write each and every single year around this point (either the final days of June or first days of July), time really flies, doesn’t it? We’re just about to hit July and officially enter into the second half of the year. That of course means one thing…well, it means a lot of things, but here it means one thing specifically: it’s time for my mid year look at the best of the first half! As of the writing of this piece, I’ve seen just shy of 150 movies so far in 2018, which is more or less the normal amount for me, or even slightly above average. It’s fairly thorough and doesn’t really omit any huge early year releases, so that’s good. There are some upcoming July releases I’ve been unable to see so far, like Ant-Man and the Wasp or Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, for example, but by and large, I’ve hit everything that needed to be hit in order to put together a decent list like the one you’re about to see.

Below you’ll be able to see my rankings for everything that I’ve seen since the year began (plus what I saw early or saw last year but had pushed back into 2018). Take special note, as like last year I’ve thrown out my rules governing what to include and what not to. If I’ve seen it so far, it’s included, plain and simple. Mainly, like last year, I did that due to enthusiasm for a still unreleased title from the Tribeca Film Festival, as well as recently having just seen Sorry to Bother You, as well as a few other things I wanted in consideration. Some might call it cheating, but it’s my list, so I did as I pleased. Honestly, I think it helps round out things a bit more, but that’s just me. You’ll see what I mean momentarily…

Starting right now, you’ll find my top ten of the year so far, along with a handful of my picks for the best in certain individual categories, as well as my awards for the first six months of 2018. Here you go, and as always, enjoy these handful of lists:


Alright. Here we go. Below you’ll find my top ten of the year so far, along with my awards for the first quarter of 2018. Here you go, and enjoy:

10. Ready Player One
9. Disobedience
8. Deadpool 2
7. You Were Never Really Here
6. Wildlife
5. Hearts Beat Loud
4. All About Nina
3. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
2. Annihilation
1. Sorry to Bother You

Honorable Mentions: American Animals, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Flower, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Leave No Trace, A Quiet Place, Searching, and Tully

Special Citation: The Tale (technically a television movie, though had it gone theatrical, it would have cracked my top ten, as well as Laura Dern taking my Best Actress prize)


Here also are my top ten performances of the year so far:

10. Kiersey Clemons in Hearts Beat Loud
9. Rachel McAdams in Disobedience
8. Ben Foster in Leave No Trace
7. Nadia Alexander in Blame
6. Lola Kirke in Gemini
5. Carey Mulligan in Wildlife
4. Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther
3. Zoey Deutch in Flower
2. Joaquin Phoenix in You Were Never Really Here
1. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in All About Nina

Honorable Mentions: Common in All About Nina, Armie Hammer in Sorry to Bother You, Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow, Alessandro Nivola in Disobedience, Nick Offerman in Hearts Beat Loud, Natalie Portman in Annihilation, Quinn Shepherd in Blame, Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You, Rachel Weisz in Disobedience, and Letitia Wright in Black Panther

(Again, special mention to Laura Dern in The Tale)

Most Underrated: Hearts Beat Loud (runner up: Flower and Ready Player One)
Most Overrated: First Reformed (runner up: Hereditary and The Rider)


As you might have guessed, my number one pick above would be my choice for Best Picture so far (with number two the runner up, and so on, but here are the other awards I would give out…

Best Director: Alex Garland for Annihilation (runner up: Lynne Ramsay for You Were Never Really Here and Boots Riley for Sorry to Bother You)

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix for You Were Never Really Here (runner up: Ben Foster for Leave No Trace and Nick Offerman for Hearts Beat Loud)

Best Actress: Mary Elizabeth Winstead for All About Nina (runner up: Zoey Deutch for Flower and Carey Mulligan for Wildlife)

Best Supporting Actor: Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther (runner up: Armie Hammer for Sorry to Bother You and Alessandro Nivola for Disobedience)

Best Supporting Actress: Nadia Alexander for Blame (runner up: Rachel McAdams for Disobedience and Letitia Wright for Black Panther)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Wildlife (runner up: Annihilation and Disobedience)

Best Original Screenplay: Sorry to Bother You (runner up: All About Nina and Hearts Beat Loud)

Best Ensemble: Avengers: Infinity War (runner up: Annihilation and Hearts Beat Loud)

Best Animated Feature: Incredibles 2 (runner up: Isle of Dogs)

Best Documentary Feature: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (runner up: The Final Year and The King)

Best Foreign Language Feature: Ismael’s Ghosts (runner up: Under the Tree)

Best Production Design: Black Panther (runner up: Annihilation and Ready Player One)

Best Cinematography: Annihilation (runner up: Disobedience and Hearts Beat Loud)

Best Costume Design: Black Panther (runner up: Avengers: Infinity War and Sorry to Bother You)

Best Film Editing: You Were Never Really Here (runner up: Ready Player One and Searching)

Best Makeup: Black Panther (runner up: Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2)

Best Sound: A Quiet Place (runner up: Deadpool 2 and Hearts Beat Loud)

Best Original Score: Annihilation (runner up: Isle of Dogs and Ready Player One)

Best Original Song: Hearts Beat Loud from Hearts Beat Loud (runner up: Blink (A Million Miles) from Hearts Beat Loud and Let You Go from Tully)

Best Visual Effects: Avengers: Infinity War (runner up: Annihilation and Ready Player One)


Quickly, in case you’re wondering, these are my least favorite films of the year so far, in order from worst to, well, slightly less terrible:

Gotti
Fifty Shades Freed
The Clapper
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Escape Plan 2: Hades
Kings
Mapplethorpe
Terminal
Jonathan
The Cloverfield Paradox

Let us never speak of those flicks again…


Here’s to a great second half of the year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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