You think I’m a bit late writing my Best and Worst Films of 2018 list? Well, guess what: You’re a bit late reading my Best and Worst Films of 2018 list. That means we’re both filthy, stinky procrastinators! Both of us—not just me and only me. So there!
Worst Films of 2018
5) Mission: Impossible – Fallout
For some reason, this completely run-of-the-mill action movie is being hailed as the best blockbuster in years. Critics, you don’t have to say anything, just blink twice if Scientology is blackmailing you into egregiously overpraising Fallout to the point that it’s irritating.
4) Avengers: Infinity War
Certainly not the worst film of 2018, but still one of the most disappointing of the past several years. It’s a stunning lack of imagination that put a huge damper on my love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I used to get stoked for these movies years before they’re released. Except next month’s Captain Marvel, it’s hard to care much about Marvel flicks on the horizon.
3) Ready Player One
This was one of those rare, beautiful moments where the internet spent months rooting against a movie before it’s released and it actually did turn out to be a steaming pile that deserved nothing but failure. I know you’re not usually supposed to beat a dead horse, but it’s okay if the horse was a douchebag.
2) Fahrenheit 451
The best case ever for banning books is they’re the reason this film adaptation exists. The reason I didn’t rank Fahrenheit 451 as the worst film of 2018 is because it was only the most poorly acted, written, and produced movie last year. It wasn’t nearly as offensive as…
1) Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado
Based on a conspiracy theory popularized by Alex Jones, which was then repeated by Donald Trump, then repeated by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, then repeated by Fox News, and eventually overheard by a screenwriter who didn’t bother with an easily Google-able fact check before he tried to write a “realistic” thriller about the drug war, Sicario 2 was the biggest poop of 2018. I don’t mean the impressive type of “biggest poop” that you post on Instagram. I mean the type of biggest poop that takes a little bit of your soul with it on the way out.
Best Films of 2018
I’m as surprised as you are that my number #5 pick isn’t Black Panther or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. What the hell happened?! Mothereffing Aquaman happened. Sporting a 300-hour runtime, more visual effects in each shot than the Avatar sequels James Cameron has been pretending to film for 10 years, and more Nicole Kidman whoop-ass than Big Little Lies, Aquaman is the most movie ever made. Too much movie. So much movie that you actually physically overdose on movie and die. It’s a blast!
This freaking movie. Toni Collette’s performance and Ann Dowd’s creepiness need to seriously consider running together in 2020. I’m tempted to write Hereditary fan-fiction about their characters going on wacky misadventures where they experience nothing but tragedy and grief. It’ll be hilarious! Equal parts occultist horror, dark comedy, family drama, and commercial for EpiPens, this tonal hodgepodge works so well because it’s grounded by the two best performances of last year.
3) The Night Comes For Us
Stunts in The Night Comes For Us are the reason Mission: Impossible – Fallout can go screw itself. It also gets bonus points for having a title that’s a complete sentence, instead of a gross looking colon-dash monstrosity that feels dumb to type. The highly praised bathroom fight scene in Fallout doesn’t come close to anything in this gleefully sadistic martial arts masterpiece about kung-fu killers who parkour with machetes over piles of the dead bodies they leave behind. If you have Netflix, or your friend’s password, check it out anytime.
The first not-terrible Halloween movie since before I was born is actually pretty amazing. As many times as some soulless producer probably said, “Okay, this next Halloween sequel is going back to what made the original so great,” before pooping out more garbage, this Halloween sequel actually does go back to what made the original so great. It’s a real movie with a real story and real characters. I know it would sort of undo the point of this movie but it kills me that we probably won’t get to see a spin-off franchise about Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) hunting down classic movie slashers.
“When I die, bury me deep. Lay a big screen at my feet. Pop Mandy into a Blu-Ray player and then push play, so I can Cage Rage while I decay.” That’s a poem I wrote that remixes a much more epic poem in Mandy, a heavy metal concept album presented in cinematic form that stars the furious screams of Nicholas Cage as he slaughters the hippie cult and dirt bike demons who killed his girlfriend. Mandy is a film from deep within my heart of hearts. As much as I love the other films on this list, Mandy looks down on them from its ivory tower of awesome. It’s one of my favorite movies.
Since my Best Of list isn’t quite as long as usual, I’ll take a moment to give a shout out to film’s audiovisual cousins and share some of my favorite short films and television series of 2018.
Manila Death Squad
Check out this intense short about a daring journalist playing the coolest drinking game ever for life or death on Vimeo.
One of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen is also a deeply unsettling portrait of a mass-murderer.
It’s one of those shows that was pretty great in its first season, but becomes damn near a masterpiece in the second.
Look, folks, I get it. If you’ve never seen it before, Brooklyn 99 probably looks like just another disposable network comedy. It’s not. Brooklyn 99 is one of those shows that feels like a friend. When it was briefly cancelled for several hours last May, I was crushed. Just give it a chance. If you really hate it, just come back and berate me in the comments section. That’s what it’s there for.