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“Annihilation” and “Black Panther”: The Best of the First Quarter of 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, as I seem to find myself saying around this point each and every single year…time really does fly. Believe it or not, we’re now a full three months into the 2018 movie calendar, which means we’re literally a quarter of the way through the film slate for the year. Wow. That got me thinking about what the best of the bunch so far this year has been. Since now is the time when the film slate begins to transition into summer releases and counter programming independent fare ramps up, I thought it was the perfect time to praise the best of 2018 so far. Basically, anything that hit screens between January 1st and March 31st will be up for grabs here for my personal honors. Once again, here goes nothing!

So far, 2018 has actually been on the stronger side of things, at least in my humble opinion. That’s despite a rough first month or so too. There’s been a few legitimately great films, but the quantity isn’t quite on par with the quality. Essentially, it’s a top heavy year so far. Things like Black Panther have received widespread acclaim, while smaller things like Blame and Flower have been somewhat criminally under seen, but the whole slate has managed not to leave too much to be desired. I’m sure things will improve even more soon enough, but for now, this has been an interesting quarter, to say the least. It would be even better if I had included things I’ve already seen but won’t be out until April, like Blockers, Disobedience, Lean on Pete, A Quiet Place, and You Were Never Really Here. They’d all have found prominent spots on this list, but they’re not included below. Next time!

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. The Rider
9. Gemini
8. Mute
7. Blame
6. The Final Year
5. Flower
4. Black Panther
3. Isle of Dogs
2. Ready Player One
1. Annihilation

Honorable Mentions: The Boy Downstairs, Ismael’s Ghosts, and Mom and Dad

Special Exemptions: lockers, Disobedience, Lean on Pete, A Quiet Place, and You Were Never Really Here (seen already this year but not out until later on in the year)

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

10. Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther
9. Nicolas Cage in Mom and Dad
8. Brady Jandreau in The Rider
7. Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow
6. Letitia Wright in Black Panther
5. Natalie Portman in Annihilation
4. Nadia Alexander in Blame
3. Lola Kirke in Gemini
2. Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther
1. Zoey Deutch in Flower

Honorable Mention: Oscar Issac for Annihilation, Zoe Kravitz in Gemini, Zosia Mamet in The Boy Downstairs, Burt Reynolds in The Last Movie Star, Paul Rudd in Mute, Mark Rylance in Ready Player One, Adam Scott in Flower, Quinn Shepherd in Blame, Alexander Skarsgaard for Mute, and Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider

Most Underrated: Flower
Most Overrated: Tomb Raider

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: Ryan Coogler for Black Panther and Steven Spielberg for Ready Player One)

Best Actor: Brady Jandreau for The Rider (runner up: Chadwick Boseman for Black Panther and Burt Reynolds for The Last Movie Star)

Best Actress: Zoey Deutch for Flower (runner up: Lola Kirke for Gemini and Natalie Portman for Annihilation)

Best Supporting Actor: Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther (runner up: Oscar Issac for Annihilation and Mark Rylance for Ready Player One)

Best Supporting Actress: Nadia Alexander for Blame (runner up: Zoe Kravitz for Gemini and Letitia Wright for Black Panther)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Annihilation (runner up: Black Panther and Ready Player One)

Best Original Screenplay: Flower (runner up: Blame and Isle of Dogs)

Best Ensemble: Black Panther (runner up: Annihilation and Blame)

Best Animated Feature: Isle of Dogs (no runner ups)

Best Documentary Feature: The Final Year (no runner ups)

Best Foreign Language Feature: Ismael’s Ghosts (no runner ups)

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

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

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

Best Film Editing: Ready Player One (runner up: Annihilation and Isle of Dogs)

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

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

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

Best Original Song: N/A

Best Visual Effects: Annihilation (runner up: Mute and Ready Player One)

There you go ladies and gentlemen…now to eagerly await the next quarter of cinematic releases!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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