2018 Young Critic Awards
Top 10 Films of 2018
As the year comes to an end, so comes the end of year lists. Here I’ve compiled our top 10 picks of movies for the year. It should be noted that it was not humanly possible for me to see every movie that came out this year and thus am sad that they might be excluded from here.
The gimmick of telling a story on a computer screen had been done before with the bland horror movies Unfriended. However, it was Searching that was able to tap into its full potential not only having a refreshing way of telling a story, but using the medium to its advantage for a tense thriller that will have you hooked to John Cho’s electric lead performance.
9. Game Night
It’s rare to see a comedy that will make you laugh out loud and be biting your nails the next moment. Game Night not only brought laughs with it, but an incredibly twisty story with characters that are enlivened with depth by performers the likes of Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, and a stellar Jesse Plemons.
There are one or two movies every year that have such a distinct tone and style that as you watch them you can tell they’re going to be “classics.” Hereditary was such a film that abandoned the over-used jump-scares of horror films today for a slow burn and subtlety that makes this story all the more terrifying. Toni Colette delivers her best performances in years.
7. A Quiet Place
John Krasinski had directed films before, but it was with this horror/thriller that he finally broke out. The gimmick of having the entire film be sans dialogue was revolutionary, having the action of watching this film be a collective participating event. The film is further enhanced by a touching family story anchored by two great child-actors and real-life couple Krasinski and Emily Blunt.
6. A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper remade this film for the umpteenth time, and yet he was able to tap into the magic that made some of the first iterations of this story so engaging. The characters and their chemistry sweep you off your feet as this love story embroils all viewers. Cooper pulls off all the risks he took with his song-writing (and singing), directing, writing, and even acting proving to be more than up to par. Lady Gaga meanwhile is an acting revelation. Multiple stars were born here.
Adam McKay gives us a Dick Cheney biopic that pulls us in with its electric pace and fun visual comparisons. McKay arrays a wonderful cast with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Steve Carell delivering some of the best performances of the year. The recounting of this long story is adept and doesn’t lose the humanity that such a story twisted.
4. First Man
Damien Chazelle’s follow up to his magnificent La La Land is a quiet and methodical look at how man got onto the moon. The very emotional look at the story, along with the repression of emotions seen in Chazelle’s characters (something very common in his films) is enough to tug at viewers’ intrigue and feelings. The likes of Claire Foy and Ryan Gosling give multi-layered and commanding performances. Justin Hurwitz’s music is, again, enchanting.
Alfonso Cuaron’s semi-autobiographical film set in 1970s Mexico is a true work of art. His cinematography along with his pause and control of his story’s elements make this film have a feeling of needing to be played at a renowned. The poetic directing along with a revelatory performance from Yalitzia Aparicio as the nanny of a wealthy Mexican family, make this film a true magnum opus.
2. Green Book
Peter Farelley’s foray into dramatic films proves to be incredibly successful. Green Book manages to hold a balance with every single element of its creation, from the wonderful acting from the likes of Mahershala Ali and Vigo Mortensen, to the accurate set design, enchanting music, and curated directing. The story enraptures viewers, and the message of two very different people finding common ground and become inseparable friends is one that echoes profoundly today.
1. The Favorite
Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest follows his very distinct style and yet manages to balance out his “weird” with his mainstream appeal. Setting this film in history helps ground the director and thus the result is an explosion of perfect cynicism and social commentary. The trifecta of fabulous actresses (Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone) anchor a film that truly transports viewers away from their seats and into a cut-throat 18th century England.
Winner: The Favourite
A Star is Born
A Quiet Place
You Were Never Really Here
Best Family Film
Winner: Paddington 2
Mary Poppins Returns
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
Winner: Olivia Coleman (The Favourite)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Olivia Coleman (The Favourite)
Toni Colette (Hereditary)
Hugh Grant (Paddington 2)
Christian Bale (Vice)
Winner: Game Night
Crazy Rich Asians
The Death of Stalin
Best Action Film
Winner: Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Winner: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Damien Chazelle (First Man)
Ari Aster (Hereditary)
Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Winner: Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)
Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)
Letitia Wright (Black Panther)
Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade)
Thomas McKenzie (Leave No Trace)
Ed Oxenbould (Wildlife)