We stand at the halfway mark of 2018; so, this is as good a time as any to talk about the best movies the year has given us so far. Year 2018 has delivered greatness and garbage in almost equal amounts.
Some of the most ambitious films we have seen to date hit the cinemas this year and exceeded all possible expectations, this while so many supposedly guaranteed blockbuster successes crashed and burned.
So, what does that mean? Audiences are difficult, if not impossible to predict. They do not always flock to the films you think they will. That being said, 2018 has shown that moviegoers have grown. They will gladly reward superior filmmaking whilst throwing the cold shoulder at those titles that only exist to exploit them.
What blew our socks off in the first six months of 2018? Well, Avengers 3 deserves a place on every list you generate. Even if you hate the Marvel movie-making machine and even if superhero movies make you cringe, you cannot possibly deny the technical and storytelling genius of Avengers: Infinity War.
The same can be said for Black Panther. Even with their shortcomings, both movies deserve a place in the top five purely for their entertainment value.
Though, if quality filmmaking is all you care about, then A Quiet Place probably stole your heart this year. Taking viewers to a world where humankind has been driven to the point of extinction by a horde of monsters, A Quiet Place could have disappeared under the weight of the myriad horror movies that saturated the first few months of 2018.
But the John Krasinski-directed flick beat out the competition by delivering a heart-stopping, nerve-wrecking experience the likes of which moviegoers haven’t encountered in decades.
The movie relies heavily on the fact that the monster horde plaguing Krasinski’s fictional world reacts to sound. At the center of the story is a family that survives daily by living lives devoid of sound.
Just think about that theater experience: a room full of 700 to 1,000 moviegoers, sitting in dead silence for an hour and a half as a man, his wife, and their young children go about their daily lives, finding joy in the smallest aspects of life, certain that the squeak of a toy, the groan of restless sleep, or the creak of a worn door could bring death.
Avengers 3 is without a doubt the most entertaining movie of the year so far, but as far as quality filmmaking goes, as far as great storytelling is concerned, I would place ‘A Quiet Place’ firmly in the third spot, just ahead of Avengers and far ahead of Black Panther.
It would be easy to gush over A Quiet Place for the next couple of paragraphs. Except that, for all the acting and the tension it brings to the table, I do not actually believe that A Quiet Place is the best movie of the year.
Hell, believe it or not, I have no problem giving the second spot to Paddington 2. I know, I know, that sounds like blasphemy to some of you. But I honestly believe that even with the brilliance of A Quiet Place, Paddington 2 deserves to edge it out of the second spot primarily because of the charm of its main character.
This is more like personal preference rather than objective consideration; so, I wouldn’t fight anyone who disagreed with that assessment. But I insist that adorable CGI bears beat funky alien monsters any day of the week.
That being said, who takes the crown? What is the best movie of the year so far? Well, if you take A Quiet Place and Avengers 3 out of the picture, only one contender remains, and that is Annihilation.
I cannot remember the last time a movie engaged me so thoroughly, and I cannot understand the logic of releasing this film through Netflix because the cinematic experience would have been far more breathtaking.
Annihilation is a masterpiece, a science fiction film that pushes all the right buttons. The visuals are as stunning as they are creative. The world is immersive and the concept begs for additional exploration.
If you can only watch one movie in 2018, you need to watch Annihilation because I cannot imagine any other movie exceeding it.