The Best Films and Performances of 2018


Wow. We’ve gotten here, arguably against all odds. Just over 350 movies later (a record breaking number for yours truly), my year is complete. It’s now time to put a nice little bow on the cinematic gift that was 2018, ladies and gentlemen! As just mentioned, it was the year where I saw more films than ever before. If I’m being honest, a lot of that had to due with the deluge of content on Netflix, original film wise, but that’s another story. I also just always try to see more than the year before, so a stupidly large number like this was probably unavoidable. Interestingly, while this was the year where I gave the least amount of four star perfect reviews (only three in total), I’d still consider it an overall fairly solid year for cinema. It’s just a quirk of the rating system, as opposed to a clique of the year’s quality in cinema.

Let’s get started with the end of the year rundown folks!


Below you will be able to see both my picks for the very best movies of 2018 as well as the best performances of 2018. In terms of the movies, I’ll be doing a top 30 list again, with a dozen honorable mentions, just because (I like including as much as possible…we know this by now). The same will go for the performances I’m keenest on, where I’ll do a top ten and honorable mentions. Finally, I’ll conclude with awards in a whole bunch of categories. After this, there will be no question what I favored this year. Astute readers probably know my top ten, or at least most of it, but even if you’re in the dark, that won’t last much longer. Anyway, on to the really good stuff…

Here goes nothing. Behold the best of 2018!


Starting off, here’s my top 30 films for 2018:

30. Leave No Trace
29. The Death of Stalin
28. Black Panther
27. A Quiet Place
26. Private Life
25. You Were Never Really Here
24. Deadpool 2
23. The Front Runner
22. Green Book
21. Ready Player One
20. If Beale Street Could Talk
19. Searching
18. Disobedience
17. Fahrenheit 11/9
16. Halloween
15. Vice
14. The Favourite
13. Ben Is Back
12. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
11. Three Identical Strangers
10. Creed II
9. Wildlife
8. Annihilation
7. Hearts Beat Loud
6. BlacKkKlansman
5. All About Nina
4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
3. First Man
2. Sorry to Bother You
1. A Star Is Born

Honorable Mentions: American Animals, Avengers: Infinity War, Cold War, Eighth Grade, Flower, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Roma, Support The Girls, Tully, and Widows

Special Citation: The Tale (it played at the Sundance Film Festival as a theatrical release, but HBO acquired it and played it as a TV movie)


Here also are my top ten performances for the year:

10. Julia Roberts for Ben Is Back
9. Carey Mulligan for Wildlife
8. Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther
7. Zoey Deutch for Flower
6. Sam Elliott for A Star Is Born
5. Ryan Gosling for First Man
4. Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born
3. Christian Bale for Vice
2. Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born
1. Mary Elizabeth Winstead for All About Nina

Honorable Mentions: Nadia Alexander for Blame, Kiersey Clemons for Hearts Beat Loud, Olivia Colman from The Favourite, Ben Foster for Leave No Trace, Lucas Hedges for Ben Is Back, Zoe Kazan for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Rachel McAdams for Disobedience, Joaquin Phoenix for You Were Never Really Here, Lakeith Stanfield for Sorry to Bother You, and John David Washington for BlacKkKlansman

(Again, special mention to The Tale, specifically Laura Dern’s performance)


Most Underrated: All About Nina (runner up: First Man and Hearts Beat Loud)
Most Overrated: First Reformed (runner up: Hereditary and The Rider)

And now, my personal awards for the year that was 2018:


Best Picture: A Star Is Born (runner up: First Man and Sorry to Bother You)

Best Director: Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born (runner up: Damien Chazelle for First Man and Boots Riley for Sorry to Bother You)

Best Actor: Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born (runner up: Christian Bale for Vice and Ryan Gosling for First Man)

Best Actress: Mary Elizabeth Winstead for All About Nina (runner up: Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born and Zoey Deutch for Flower)

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott for A Star Is Born (runner up: Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther)

Best Supporting Actress: Rachel McAdams for Disobedience (runner up: Zoe Kazan for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Haley Lu Richardson for Support the Girls)

Best Adapted Screenplay: BlacKkKlansman (runner up: First Man and Wildlife)

Best Original Screenplay: Sorry to Bother You (runner up: All About Nina and Ben Is Back)

Best Animated Feature: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (runner up: Incredibles 2 and Isle of Dogs)

Best Documentary Feature: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (runner up: Fahrenheit 11/9 and Three Identical Strangers)

Best Foreign Language Feature: Cold War (runner up: Capernaum and Roma)

Best Production Design: First Man (runner up: Annihilation and The Favourite)

Best Cinematography: A Star Is Born (runner up: First Man and Roma)

Best Costume Design: The Favourite (runner up: First Man and Mary Queen of Scots)

Best Film Editing: A Star Is Born (runner up: First Man and Searching)

Best Makeup: Vice (runner up: Black Panther and Suspiria)

Best Sound: First Man (runner up: A Quiet Place and A Star Is Born)

Best Original Score: First Man (runner up: BlacKkKlansman and Halloween)

Best Original Song: Is That Alright from A Star Is Born (runner up: Hearts Beat Loud from Hearts Beat Loud and Maybe It’s Time from A Star Is Born)

Best Visual Effects: First Man (runner up: Annihilation and Avengers: Infinity War)

*Special Bonus Category*

Best Cast Ensemble: First Man (runner up: The Favourite and A Star Is Born)


Quickly now, just because, these would be my ten worst films of the year, in alphabetical order:

The Clapper
Fifty Shades Freed
The First Purge
Gotti
Life Itself
London Fields
Night School
The Nun
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Speed Kills

Let us never speak of those again, as they contributed nothing of quality to the cinematic discussion. Agreed? Agreed…


Here’s to a really phenomenal 2019, both for movies and just life in general!

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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