Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

December 3, 2018

The Sun’s Top 10 Movies of 2018

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1. Black Panther
Groundbreaking. That word alone could be used to describe the phenomenon that is Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. The film broke record numbers across box offices around the world. Primarily notable for its exemplary, mostly black, cast, the film was praised for its set designs, costumes, special effects and soundtrack while its cultural significance knows no limit and has drawn praises from the likes of President Barack Obama. A film that advances African and African-American representation in Hollywood along with political issues very relevant in our world today, Black Panther is revolutionary and will remain so for years to come.

– Isabelle Philippe


2. Annihilation
The mind-bending acid trip that director Alex Garland vomited into our eyeholes is truly a fantastic movie to experience. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, the film provides haunting scenes containing mutated animals and disturbing, graphic imagery, as well as the self-discovery of its characters. Even if you don’t appreciate the delivery, Annihilation deals with topics of insecurity and mortality to which all audience members can relate.

– Jeremy Markus


3. Incredibles 2
Incredibles 2… geez, where to start? How on earth could Pixar try and follow up one of the most beloved animated movies of all time 14 years after its release? Make a truly great film that’s grown up with its audience while at the same time offering fairly cutting commentary on the very genre the first movie helped usher to the forefront of American cinema, that’s how! I’m not sure Incredibles 2 entirely lives up to the original after several repeat viewings, but the fact I even consider it close certainly warrants giving it a spot in our best of the year.

– Nick Smith


4. Avengers: Infinity War
I rewatched Infinity War on a plane this summer, planning only to skim through a few key moments. I ended up absorbing the whole 2 hours and 40 minutes again. Besides the scenes in which Wanda calls Vision “Viz” in an accent completely different from the one she had in the previous movie, the entire movie is golden: every single time that Thor calls Rocket “Rabbit,” all the other fun pairings of characters we’d never thought would share the screen together and, of course, that ending, which was the first time that a superhero movie has genuinely surprised me in quite some time.

– Lev Akabas

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5. Mission: Impossible — Fallout
Fallout, and the Mission Impossible franchise as a whole, is so, so much more than a guilty pleasure, despite what I believe to be the common perception. I think the series’ sixth installment wasn’t just the year’s best action film, but among the genre’s greatest of all time. Fallout serves as an antithesis to the increasingly cluttered and homogeneous action category, combining breathtaking practical stunt work with a compelling and somewhat surprisingly sturdy plot. Its 148-minute run-time absolutely flies by, and it kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish even on repeat viewing.

– Nick Smith


6. Deadpool 2
Deadpool 2 holds nothing back; it is raunchy, powerful and everything in between. For the entirety of the movie, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) fights to regain love and family, leaving a murderous and hilarious wreck in his wake. During the end credits, Deadpool corrects all of those mistakes and renders the entire plot pointless. Could this be considered a mocking of the next Avengers movie? Absolutely. Regardless, for Marvel fans and moviegoers alike, Reynolds’s antics as Deadpool are sure to entertain.

– Peter Buonanno


7. BlacKkKlansman
In a passionate return to form, director Spike Lee ends BlacKkKlansman with footage from 2017 to pose a question about how far we’ve really come since the true events of the film, in which Ron Stallworth, an African-American cop in Colorado, attempts to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Lee’s synthesis of different eras in United States history brilliantly shows that there is nothing particularly “timely” about the themes of his movie, which is an inspired reminder of our country’s enduring and persistent racism. BlacKkKlansman isn’t subtle, but it is also suitable for a 2018 political climate that doesn’t exactly call for subtlety.

– Lev Akabas


8. First Reformed
First Reformed is one of those films that is bigger than oneself — this haunting drama lingers in the unchartered territory of subconsciousness and raises hard questions about our very own existence. Paul Schrader certainly owes a number of debts to French director Robert Bresson, but his protagonist (a struggling pastor, whom Ethan Hawke impeccably portrays) deals with a fear that’s deeply rooted in the contemporary, when the world in which we live is falling apart in multiple senses.

– Ruby Que
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9. Sorry to Bother You
Sorry to Bother You chronicles the tale of Cassius Green as he takes advantage of a telemarketing industry, using his “white voice” to get ahead, propelling his rise to the top but threatening to lose himself in the process. While most science fiction and fantasy stories are absent of the dual institutions of privilege and oppression existing in our society, this film uses those real world elements to create a striking piece of social commentary.

– Jonvi Rollins


10. A Quiet Place
Clocking in at an hour and 31 minutes, A Quiet Place is a non-stop thrill ride with no excess fat. The movie drops us right into the action with one of the most intense opening sequences of the year, signaling the danger in store for our characters, and it essentially ends right at the climax, with one of the year’s most memorable closing shots. A horror movie in which the characters die if they make too much noise, A Quiet Place transcends its gimmick with flawless acting, detailed sound design and an emotional story.

– Lev Akabas

 

Honorable Mention

Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians is the modern rom-com that we needed. It defines new cultural expectations, while being hilarious and having a surprising amount of heart. While it still sometimes suffers from cheesy rom-com syndrome, it is an optimistic entry into popular culture that can be enjoyed by anyone.

– James Robertson


Christopher Robin
I suppose you should take this with a grain of salt because I am exactly this movie’s target audience, but Christopher Robin hit me in all the right places. I grew up in the lap of my mom’s Winnie the Pooh pajamas and the new “live-action” film was just enough of a fresh, albeit certainly nostalgic take on the IP (aided by surprising realistic CGI and a splendid performance by Ewan McGregor) for my mom and I to leave the theater on the verge of tears. I can’t help but think that’s exactly what they were going for.

– Nick Smith


Beautiful Boy

Based on real life story of father and son David and Nicolas Sheff respectively, Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy depicts a heartbreaking tale of drug addiction and its effects on both the individual and those closest to them. Brutality realistic but artistically cultivated, Beautiful Boy brings to light a topic that many tend to shy away from. Timotheé Chalamet and Steve Carell’s performances are nothing short of praiseworthy, evoking emotion from a growing nationwide epidemic in a film that should have lasting significance.

– Isabelle Philippe


Hereditary

Throughout my horror enthusiast years, I’ve never been scared to an extent that I’ve wanted to run out of the theater. Hereditary did that. Its terror is not exactly the gory, jump-scare type; rather, the story is built up with excruciating patience — until the last act, when the haunting puzzle falls apart and turns, quite disappointingly, into a clichéd bloodbath.

– Ruby Que