Scott’s Top Ten Favorite Films of 2018
With the 91st Academy Awards coming our way in two days it’s about time to reveal my favorite films of last year. Thank you all for waiting so patiently, I know it’s been a rough journey. To some, February 22nd may seem a very late date to finally talk about which movies tickled my fancy in 2018, but believe it or not I’m actually ahead of my Ides of March deadline. Honestly I don’t understand how people put out lists January 1 when a ton of the best movies are just making it to the screen. It takes me this long to watch all of those stragglers and check out all the other recommendations. I could spend another 2 months seeing everything on my list. But no! You deserve more from me. I’ve seen a lot of movies in 2018 (plus 2 months) so I’m calling it! I really enjoyed a lot of them. A few I hated. Many I have already forgotten. My initial list of favorites from the year were about 30 long, KonMari-ed down to a respectable 10 and 2 honorable mentions. If my list were longer you’d probably see Blindspotting and Shoplifters and Death of Stalin, but instead these ones’ll have to settle for a minor shout out in my intro. I hope this is acceptable for them. Please message me if not. Keep in mind these are not my choices for the best films of the year; these are my favorites. I think Roma is fantastic cinema, beautiful in every way but it didn’t spark joy in me like these other films. It’s just going to have to settle for a Best Picture Oscar (possibly) and a Best Foreign Language Oscar (definitely). Sorry, Roma! Also I don’t care about WORST movies of the year. I don’t like bad movies. I try not to see them. Plus I don’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone that really loved Pacific Rim Uprising. So let’s get started! Which film will take the Scott’s Favorite Film of 2018 Award and join the hall-of-fame lineup above? Let’s find out! But first…
HM) A FUTILE AND STUPID GESTURE
I like to use my honorable mentions to mention honorably some films I really enjoyed that didn’t make my list. This is not my #12 film of the year. I’m actually shocked I didn’t hear more chatter about this film. It’s basically a scripted version of the National Lampoon documentary that came out a few years ago (Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead) which normally would bug me but David Wain directs an amazing cast led by Will Forte, who has never failed to crack me up. The film is as funny as anything that came out in 2018 and the casting should win an award, not only for giving us Jon Daly as Bill Murray, Joel McHale as Chevy Chase and John Gemberling as Belushi but for throwing in Brian Huskey as John Landis and Armen Weitzman as Lorne Michaels. I guess that’s why Allison Jones is THE Allison Jones. Oh also Rich Sommer plays Harry Crane from Mad Men in one scene. Not one of the Best Picture nominees can claim that!
HM) THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
This film gets the Scott’s Favorite Documentary of 2018 Award. The beginning of this film made me wish I had some long lost twins out there that I’d randomly run into and they’d be my best friends and we’d go on talk shows and move in together. By the end, I still wanted this but now I was sad for my fictional twin brothers whose lives fell apart along with our friendship. Actually, I did randomly meet my sister at a bar a couple years ago. We’d never met but talked on Facebook and then there she was sitting next to me. We didn’t go on any talk shows but we did cheers each other and take a picture, so it’s like the same thing as this movie with less mad-scientist doctors.
10) IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
If it could talk it would say “Damn, Barry Jenkins makes some beautiful films!” It would also say “Damn, there is no Beale Street in this movie, I’m confused. Oh, it’s a reference to a song named after a street in Memphis that I didn’t know about until I, Beale Street, read the Wikipedia page. Got it.” The above inner monologue from the titular Beale Street was created because I don’t really have anything funny to say about this film, nor do I have anything profound to say that hasn’t already been written. It’s gorgeous and wonderful and the performances are so incredible that I found myself appreciating the otherwise slow pace. Beautiful.
This is the last film I saw that made this list. I mostly applaud the filmmaker for turning such a gimmick of an idea into a compelling and suspenseful mystery. If you don’t know anything about it, the whole movie unfolds from the desktop of a computer (or a few different computers), so everything we see is from Facetime chat or archived videos or emails. None of this should be good, but the story is great and John Cho is fantastic as a father trying to search for clues to find his missing daughter. There were only a few moments where I had to let my logic meter take a break, but I probably also had to do that with Schindler’s List or Godfather, so I can let it pass. It’s the perfect Friday Night couch watch when you’ve run out of episodes of Tidying Up.
I have a theory that anyone that didn’t like this movie is probably mostly happy in their lives. For everyone else, anyone that sometimes cries on a Thursday afternoon for no reason, buckle up! What’s the ending of this movie? I don’t know. It’s real weird. I loved it to death and I know what it means to me, and I think that’s all I need. I don’t need to hear the director talk about it. It might ruin it like when I heard the dumb director of Donnie Darko say “yeah, I don’t really know what the idea was here, I just thought it would be cool and make people confused.” Good job, it did, Southland Tales Guy. Really, fuck that guy. Alex Garland, however, might be the best sci-fi screenwriter working right now. Don’t blow this Alex! Don’t embarrass me!
7) ISLE OF DOGS
I love dogs, guys. Wes Anderson made a movie for me. I love Isle of Dogs. Dogs on a journey and big Japanese drums. I’m a simple man and I don’t need much more. What kind of dog do you think Wes Anderson has? Was one of these dogs designed after his dog? Did his dog get lost as a child and he went looking for it? These questions could be very easy to answer if I were to watch a behind the scenes featurette or maybe just search Google. But I’m choosing not to do these things. Please do all the work for me and comment below.
6) EIGHTH GRADE
Question: did anyone else think for most of the movie that Bo Burnham was playing the father? Am I the only one that was like “Oh wow, Bo Burnham is a really good actor. Also, he looks older than the last time I saw him.” It’s not him. But like, he does look like him, right? Kinda? Like it could be his older brother? I guess that guy has been in a bunch of stuff that I haven’t seen. He also has a name. Josh Hamilton. That isn’t Bo Burnham at all. Spelled very different. Did you guys know there was a Necessary Roughness TV show??? He was on an episode of that. Anyway, this movie is really good and I cried.
5) BLACK PANTHER
I’m probably the reason MoviePass busted because I would buy a ticket for Black Panther about every other day, whether I was going to watch it or not. Sorry, world. I needed to support the best Marvel movie in a sea of great Marvel movies. It’s the Phish Food of the MCU. (That analogy relies on your agreement that most Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors are pretty great AND that Phish Food is by far the best Ben & Jerry’s flavor.) Black Panther was so good that I’m omitting Avengers Infinity War from my list, even though I loved it, because it wouldn’t be fair to this movie. (Do you guys think Thor: Dark World would be Non-Dairy Chunky Monkey?)
4) YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Do we classify this as a revenge film? A hitman film? A brooding, bearded Joaquin Phoenix film? It reminded me a lot of Blue Ruin which, had I seen that film right when it came out, would have easily made my end-of-year list. Does that mean I’m putting this on my list now as a consolation for that? Like when Leo won for The Revenant, a movie no one is ever going to watch again? The answer is no. You Were Never Really Here is brutal and haunting and fits nicely on my list in between two superhero movies (spoiler alert). I also love that most people I’ve talked to think this movie is a sequel to Joaquin Phoenix’s 2010 beardy movie I’m Still Here. I’m not 100% sure it’s not.
3) SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
There were literally 10+ screaming children running up and down the theater steps while I watched this at 9:30pm. I was this close (you can guess the gesture I’m making) to complaining or trying to jump to a different screening but never wanted to take my eyes off the fun moving pictures. Everything about this film is a blast, from seeing Miles Morales on screen for the first time to the introduction of the multiverse (in a way we can easily understand) to John Mulaney as Spider-Ham. JOHN MULANEY. SPIDER-HAM. Before 2018 did you ever think those two names would be next to each other? It’s not exactly Patrick Stewart/Professor X. But now that I mention it I would watch John Mulaney as Professor X. Can I make that happen? Can you? Serious inquiries only.
2) THE FAVOURITE
My top two films are so close in my mind but I ultimately had to make this my #2 so I didn’t have to say The Favourite is my favorite. It sounds lame. My whole write up would be about that; trying to make some stupid Abbott and Costello bit out of it. Much like this:
“What’s the movie?”
“It’s your favorite movie?”
“Not my favorite. The Favourite”
“Well, what is it?”
“Your favorite movie!”
“Oh, my favorite movie is…”
1) SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
“You’re not bothering me, just tell me what the movie is!”
In all sincerity I am very sorry to bother you with all that nonsense. The movie Sorry To Bother You is my favorite movie of the year, though. Boots Riley has created the most original and compelling film of the year; a must watch for anyone that enjoys horses. This movie is really hard to describe to someone that’s never heard of it. Saying it’s about telemarketing is like saying Caligula is about Italy, incorrect on many levels. I could watch it over and over again and always find something new to love. LaKeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson are two of my favorite new actors and I could watch them together in everything. I hope they become the new Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan or Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore. This is the future we want and deserve. STBY also has the best soundtrack of the year. Pick it up and listen to it on repeat. Also, I hear it syncs perfectly with Caligula.
And there it is. My favorites of the year. Comment, argue, fight with me. But above all, please help me decide which Ben & Jerry’s flavors represent which MCU films.
See you next year!