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Year in review: the best films of 2018

Andy Zabinski, Arts Writer

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The 10 Best Movies of 2018 (in no particular order)

Eighth Grade

“Eighth Grade” follows introverted thirteen-year-old Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she tries to get through her last week of middle school. The film depicts something that lots of kids today have to deal with: fitting in. Many find this difficult, especially in a time where people are mostly viewed through social media. “It shows how people try to fit in with what’s ‘popular’ and how significant social media is in this day and age,” senior May Kyaw said.  

Mid90s

The coming of age story has been done countless times, and movies and TV shows that attempt to cash in on people’s nostalgia of yesteryear are at an all-time high. Mid90s combines the two, but outstanding performances and writing prevent the movie from coming off as stale. “Sunny Suljic was really good at having a lead role at just 11. He’s a very skilled skater, and he was very good at getting into that role and showing how he tried to fit in with other people,” Kyaw said. In addition, Jonah Hill’s writing and passion for the 1990s brings the characters down to earth, makes them seem relatable, and reminds audiences of one of the weirdest decades. 

Black Panther

Being the 18th film in the seemingly never-ending Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Black Panther” is surprisingly non-formulaic, with an original aesthetic and outstanding characters. T’Challa, the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), returns to Wakanda to take his place as king of the nation. However, things go awry when Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) challenges T’Challa for the throne and vows to use Wakanda’s resources to better the world in his eyes, which involves exploiting its vast resources. Almost every actor, especially Boseman and Jordan, put all of their effort into their respective roles. In addition, the film does a great job of exploring themes of international relations and what a country should be doing to help the world. The Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack for the movie adds to the traditional African yet futuristic aesthetic of the movie.  

Creed II

“Creed II” is the outstanding follow up to the first “Creed” which was a breath of fresh air from the dying genre of boxing films. “It exceeded expectations and gave an emotional story while delivering impactful boxing scenes as well,” senior Rajan Agarwal said. The movie may center around the fight between Adonis Creed and Viktor Drago, but it is truly about the relationships between the characters, as the best films in the franchise are.  

Beautiful Boy

Drug addiction can happen to anyone, and “Beautiful Boy” perfectly shows this reality. Timothée Chalamet plays Nic Sheff, a high-schooler who seems to be the most unlikely person to develop a meth addiction: he has outstanding grades, a loving family and he keeps himself busy with plenty of activities. Through an outstanding performance from up-and-coming actor Chalamet, “he was able to go into the role of being a drug addict and captivate the audience,” Kyaw. said In addition, Steve Carell and Amy Ryan bring their chemistry from “The Office” to add two more stellar performances to the movie.  

(Left to right) Zazie Beetz, Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin star in 2018 film “Deadpool 2.”

Photo courtesy of Flickr under Creative Commons.

Deadpool 2

The first “Deadpool” set up the insane world and characters of the franchise, delivering many over the top action scenes and outlandish humor. “Deadpool 2” expands on this by adding a few new characters and improving the action scenes. “Deadpool 2 had cool action, good characters, and great special effects,” junior Alex Concaugh said. The film follows Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) when he meets a young, dangerous, mutant named Russell who is being hunted down by a hitman from the future, Cable (Josh Brolin). Hijinks ensue, and what follows can only be described as a hilarious, entertaining time.

Mission Impossible: Fallout

One could argue that the “Mission Impossible” series is starting to run out of ideas in storytelling and will grow old in a few years. “Fallout,” however, keeps the franchise alive with over-the-top action scenes and fantastic chemistry from the lead actors. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) team up once again to prevent a nuclear attack orchestrated by a terrorist organization known as The Apostles. Cruise, Pegg, and Rhames are naturals in their respective roles, which is displayed when the dialogue flows well between the three. Newcomers Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett play their parts well as CIA operatives. But what makes the film truly special is the action. Tom Cruise is still performing outrageous tasks such as climbing helicopters mid-flight and jumping off of buildings. While not as insane as climbing the Burj Khalifa or hanging onto an airplane, he still does his best to keep the movie interesting.  

Adam Driver and John David Washington deliver outstanding performances in “BlackKKlansman.”

Photo courtesy of Flickr under Creative Commons.

BlackkKlansman

Despite taking place almost 50 years ago, “BlackkKlansman” proved to still be relevant in 2018. Police officer Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) makes calls to the Colorado Springs chapter of the Ku Klux Klan pretending to be a white man interested in joining the organization. At the same time, his white colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) plays the physical role of the character that Stallworth created. The film is laced with outstanding performances from Washington and Driver, and also Topher Grace, who plays David Duke, the Grand Wizard of the KKK. The way director Spike Lee portrays race relations and racism are eerily similar to today.

Infinity War

10 years of well-told stories, captivating heroes and threatening villains culminated with “Infinity War.” With a hefty fun time of two hours and 40 minutes and nearly 60m individual characters, the film borders on being too long and overcrowded. However, colorful and creative action scenes, witty dialogue, outstanding writing, and a shocking ending create quite possibly the most epic superhero movie of all time. “It might be the best movie of all time, they did the impossible with many actors and characters and still told a compelling story,” Agarwal said.

A Quiet Place

With formulaic horror movies such as the “Paranormal Activity” films and “The Bye Bye Man” dominating the box office, original horror is getting less and less common. “A Quiet Place” is one of those rare gems. John Krasinski, acting as well as directing, stars along with Emily Blunt, Cade Adwood, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds as one of the last remaining families in a post-apocalyptic world that is crawling with monsters who have a heightened sense of hearing. This forces everyone to be completely silent, resulting in a movie that is almost entirely without sound. Due to this, tension builds continuously throughout the movie.

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Year in review: the best films of 2018