Our 20 Must See Films of 2018

Here is the first working list of the 20 most important films (excluding documentaries) of 2018, selected for their innovation, quality, & depth. Not all are considered to be “best films” per se, but instead carry the day with their cultural impact & utility for understanding the human material.

Some selections are subjectively driven, although I never ignore my objective grid to better hone the quality of my palate.

Some pack the indelible swords of emotion that leaves leaves unfurled and the test of maturity to be discovered by posterity.

Some are simply technical masterpieces of pace & direction: unbending in its resolve to piece together the prerequisite elements for artistry.

Discussion & disagreement welcome.

And so, without further ado . . .

Roma

Peterloo

First Reformed

The Other Side of the Wind

Cold War

Tully 

Annihilation 

Mandy

November

Eighth Grade

The Endless

We The Animals

Scarred Hearts

Blaze

First Man

Burning

Madeline’s Madeline

Wind Traces

Hereditary 

Thunder Road

*list subject to change


HONORABLE MENTIONS: Vazante, You Were Never Really Here, Wildlife, The House That Jack Built, Nancy, At Eternity’s Gate, Galveston, & Happy as Lazzaro.

November

Here is what we’re excited to see this month

BOY ERASED – Nov. 2

boy erased

The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Trailer.

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB – Nov. 9

spider web

Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials. So far, poor reviews, but Claire Foy may be worth the price of admission.

Trailer.

BURNING – Nov. 9

Burning

South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. Jong-soo runs into Hae-mi, a girl who once lived in his neighborhood, and she asks him to watch her cat while she’s out of town. When she returns, she introduces him to Ben, a man she met on the trip. Ben proceeds to tell Jong-soo about his hobby. Strange as it is, anyone who knows the work of Haruki Murakami knows that this could very well be one of the best foreign films of 2018.

Trailer.

A PRIVATE WAR – Nov. 16

private war

One of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontline of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless.

Trailer.

WIDOWS – Nov. 16

widows

Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. Huge fan of Steve McQueen, although this film has all the makings of one of those “one for you” moments.

Trailer.

AT ETERNITY’S GATE – Nov. 16

eternity

A look at the life of painter Vincent van Gogh during the time he lived in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise, France. Julian Schnabel hasn’t directed anything since 2010 according to 2010 and since he himself is a painter this new film will definitely be worth seeing. Although, I doubt it will rival Mike Leigh’s  Mr. Turner, it certainly has the makings of being another fine Van Gogh installment after last years, Loving Vincent.

Trailer.

GREEN BOOK – Nov. 21

green book

A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South. WINNER of the Grosch People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

Trailer.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK – Nov. 30

beale street

A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child. From director Barry Jenkins who did Moonlight and based on a novel by the great civil rights intellectual, James Baldwin.

Trailer.

HAPPY AS LAZZARO – Nov. 30

lazzaro

This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Winner at Cannes for Best Screenplay.

Trailer.