Are you ready to greet 2019? Before we welcome the new year, however, I am going to list my top 5 favorite movies of 2018. I watched a lot of movies this year, more than the previous year anyway, but my cinematic experience has been a roller coaster ride; some movies came out of nowhere and took me by surprise, while some movies were disappointments (yep, The Predator, I am looking at you!).
Many good movies came out this year and I struggled to pick and rank my top 5 favorite movies. Furthermore, I have two movies fighting for the 5th spot on my list because I liked them almost equally. Therefore, for the first time on the count down to my yearly favorite movies, I am going to include an "honourable mention", just so I can do this movie justice.
As usual, I compiled this list based on my own opinions and tastes. This means, while the movies on my list may not be Oscar contenders, but I chose them because I had the most fun watching them, and more importantly because each of these movies have touched me in one way or another.
I hope you will enjoy reading my list, and if you come across a movie or two here you have yet to see, then you could check them out in the rest of the December holidays.
All right, here comes the list for my top 5 favorite movies of 2018.
I can't believe this, but a Transformers movie made it to my list. That is right ladies and gentlemen, Bumblebee, a Transformers movie spin-off, took the 5th spot on the list.
"Really, Daniel, a Transformers movie?
Ok, I can see raised eyebrows, but on this occasion the movie critics are agreeing with me. On Rotten Tomatoes, currently Bumblebee has a rating of 93%, this is the highest rating of all 2018 movies of the similar genre, even beating Avengers: Infinity War.
Bumblebee is critically acclaimed, and I think its success is mostly due to the new director, Travis Knight, who breathed fresh airs into the dying franchise. Before Mr. Knight helmed the Bumblebee movie, he directed a number of acclaimed Laika movies, such as Caroline, The Box Trolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings (which is one of my favorite animation movies of all time). Travis Knight brought the type of excellent storytelling, found in the Laika movies, into Bumblebee. The result is a Transformers movie that actually understands what the Transformers story is supposed to be. This story has heart, it has good humors, and the friendship between Bumblebee and his human friend is touching. Unlike the previous installments, in the new movie the robot (Bumblebee) is not just for the show, he has character and I rooted for him and his friends. Bumblebee is the sort of Transformers movie they should have made from the start!
Anyway, when I walked into the cinema my expectations for Bumblebee was low, but this movie invoked in me the sense of wonder, and I left the cinema with a big smile on my face and feeling happy. Bumblebee was a pleasant surprise. If you didn't like Michael Bay's Transformers movies, then I think Bumblebee will change your mind.
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Genre: Action thriller
Most movie franchises get worse with sequels, but Mission Impossible defies this norm. There are altogether, six Mission Impossible movies, and this franchise gets better with every sequel. I think over the years Mission Impossible has even surpassed James Bond and Bourne, which are the two other big franchises in the genre. The latest installment, Mission Impossible: Fallout, in particular, pushed the franchise to a new height. The 6th adventure of Ethan Hunt is explosive and full of twists. The action scenes are breathtaking and the story is thrilling and tight. This is nail-biting stuff and it will leave you hanging at the edge of your seat.
Tom Cruise put up one heck of a performance in this movie. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Cruise also performed every dangerous stunt himself. I watched some of the features included in the Blu Ray disc set, where the director and Tom Cruise's colleagues described the injuries the famous actor sustained while executing the dangerous stunts. The man was essentially risking his life to entertain us, the movie audience. I respect Tom Cruise's professionalism, there is a reason why Mr. Cruise is getting the big paycheck, he deserves it as well as the critical acclaims this movie has received. But I also hope Mr. Cruise will look after himself when he films Mission Impossible 7 (Well, I hope he is planning to make another one because this franchise is damn good). Mission Impossible 6 is the living proof, that a well-crafted action thriller still has a place in movies, so, Marvel and DC, watch out, for here comes the Tom Cruise run!
The Shape of Water
Genre: Romance/Dark Fantasy
Strictly speaking The Shape of Water is a 2017 movie, but it came out in Australia in January 2018 so I am counting it as a 2018 release. This movie is directed by Guillermo del Toro, who is my favorite movie director. There is not a film by Mr. del Toro that I don't like. I first heard about The Shape of Water in 2015 and immediately I wanted to see it. When I finally sat down and watched the film in the cinema I was not disappointed. Although Romance is not my cup of tea yet I enjoyed every second of the movie nevertheless.
The Shape of Water went on and won a few Oscars, which is a surprise to everybody because the judges at Oscar don't usually award movies of this genre. From the design, the soundtracks, the pictures/colors, and the story, The Shape of Water captured the "magic" of the cinema which is rarely felt in the waves of superhero movies and cinematic universes. The Shape of Water is a blend of sci-fi, horror, romance, fantasy, and historical drama, where it has a bit of something for everyone. I showed this movie to my parents, they don't usually like this sort of film, but even they liked it. This movie has cinematic magic pulsing in its veins, and it has captured the hearts of audiences young and old, men and women.
A Quiet Place
Genre: Post-apocalyptic horror
I believe the superhero genre is on the fade and Horror will be the next big thing, and A Quiet Place is the proof for it. This movie came out in April and it was met with critical acclaims. I missed the cinematic run so I watched it on Blu Ray. This film has a humble runtime of 90 minutes but it was a very intense and gripping movie experience.
A Quiet Place is almost a silent film but the story was perhaps the most memorable I have seen in a long while. This is a character-driven story where the audience will surely root for one or two (if not all) of the characters. This movie treads on the line between Horror and Thriller, and the action scenes are edgy and suspenseful. Usually I am the sort of person who laughs in horror movies, but when I was watching A Quiet Place I was in the silent mode, I was so immersed in the movie that I felt it would do the characters bad if I made any sound. A Quiet Place is a great movie. If you haven't see it, then make sure to check it out.
Genre: Biographical drama
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".
First Man, starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, is my number 1 favorite movie of 2018. Not only is First Man impressive on the technical level, but its story also pulled me in. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy did stellar jobs in their portrayals as Neil Armstrong and his wife. Furthermore, it was fascinating to know more about the life of this famous astronaut, whose name will be forever remembered as the first human to tread on the soils not from our world.
This movie was gripping from the start to the finish, especially at the pivotal moment when Armstrong was landing the lunar module. Although we know the outcomes of the landing, but those scenes still had me holding my breath and feeling the suspense. On the big silver screen, when the Eagle finally landed, it was a remembrance and a triumph for the movie, and more importantly, for mankind. It is a shame this movie didn't perform as well as it could at the box office, but hopefully with the Blu Ray release the film will find more audiences to appreciate it.
Avengers: Infinity War
In the intro I said there would be an honourable mention, and it is none other than Avengers: Infinity War. Earlier this year when this movie came out it was a big deal, and it occupied the 5th spot on my list of yearly favorites until I saw Bumblebee last week. I liked both Bumblebee and Infinity War almost equally, but in the end only one movie can occupy the 5th spot, so after some thoughts I opted for Bumblebee over Infinity War. The reason is simply because Bumblebee made me laugh and warmed my heart and I had more fun with it. Having said this, I also really liked Infinity War and its "The Empire Strikes Back" type of ending. Personally, I think Infinity War is the 2nd best movie in the Marvel cinematic universe just after Captain America: Winter Soldier.