It’s that time of year again, when we look back at the film offerings over the past 12 months.
There were quite a few musical offerings this year as well as true story movies.
We’ve gone well beyond our top 10 taking in a few of our family favourites, hard hitters and big box office hits.
The year started strong with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and continued with A Star is Born – seeing Lady Gaga give a performance edging her into place for an award win.
There was also Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which dropped on Netflix. Netflix has given us quite a few strong contenders this year.
The much-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War packed a punch too, in fact Marvel and Disney continued to storm the box office. Disney also won big with Incredibles 2 and Wreck it Ralph.
Horror also had a good year, with Halloween, Hereditary and A Quiet Place, starring Emily Blunt – who also starred in Mary Poppins Returns.
We’ve put together our rankings for the best movies of 2018. Note this is based on UK release dates.
1. Avengers: Infinity War
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson.
Avengers was always going to be a sure-fire box office hit, but it also delivered beyond all expectations. Thanos’ snap left us all stunned and shaken ready for part two. This was a gut punching addition to the franchise, emotional as well as action packed. What more could you want?
2. Black Panther
Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis.
Black Panther almost made the top spot. The movie broke records and led the way for a culturally diverse Hollywood. Not only was it well received, but it was highly praised for its cultural statement. Add to all that action, comedy and touching scenes and you have another Marvel (and Disney) winner. It went on to win awards left, right and centre.
3. Incredibles 2
Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk
Incredibles’ first super outing came in 2004, so the sequel has been a long time coming. All the cast returned for another strong Disney outing. Bob Odenkirk’s Mr Incredible played the stay at home dad, while Mrs Incredible headed out to save the day. While it seems an old trope to flip the roles, as in who even thinks woman are chained to the sink anymore?, it did deliver on the fun action-packed family adventure that we were all waiting for. Jack Jack was the stand out hero in this animation with some of the best scenes involving the baby – that raccoon scene is brilliant.
4. A Star is Born
Director: Bradley Cooper | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott, Bonnie Somerville.
Music, romance, heartbreak. A Star is Born has it all. Bradley Cooper proved his directing chops with this outstanding debut and remake of a film that has already been done three times! Casting Lady Gaga as the heroine Ally was an extremely wise decision, as she rises to prove herself a Hollywood star as well as a musical superstar. Charting the highs and lows of a romance between a rock star and his talented discovery, the relationship faces addiction issues and differing levels of success, all with some emotional tunes. The scene where the pair play on stage together for the first time and sing Shallow is a film moment for the ages. Utterly gutting.
5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Director: Christopher McQuarrie | Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Kirby, Alec Baldwin.
The Tom Cruise stunt-fests have always been firm favourites, but the latest instalment of the franchise was both the best yet and one of the best action-thrillers in recent years. Alongside the charismatic Cruise as Ethan Hunt, we saw Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg return as his loyal sidekicks, while Rebecca Ferguson remained suitably enigmatic as Rogue Nation returnee Ilsa Faust. New additions Henry Cavill, Vanessa Kirby and Angela Bassett more than make their marks. With high-speed chases, daring action set-pieces, and brute force, Fallout is the adrenaline rush we need in a trip to the movies.
6. Lady Bird
Director: Greta Gerwig | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet.
Earlier this year saw the release of one of the best coming-of-age storylines of recent decades. Actress-writer Greta Gerwig made her directorial debut in this semi-autobiographical tale of the opinionated and dramatic teen who self-identifies as Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan). With an excellent turn by Ronan and a heartbreaking relationship on show between Lady Bird and her mother (a stellar Laurie Metcalf), the film feels authentic and emotionally resonant. Also, look out for rising stars Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet as her very different love interests.
7. A Quiet Place
Director: John Krasinski | Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe.
One of the most accessible horrors in years, A Quiet Place tapped into the audience’s senses and made cinema screenings fall deadly silent. Wracked with tension and a brilliant performance from his wife Emily Blunt, John Krasinski not only starred in but directed this simple but highly effective horror, which follows a small family attempt to survive in a post-apocalyptic future where making a sound can get you killed by a seemingly unstoppable evil.
8. Phantom Thread
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville.
The seminal director returned with this exquisite gothic period romance, laced with humour and sadomasochism. Focused on an obsessive and cold 1950s fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis in his apparently final performance), the tale takes a turn when he meets an independent-minded waitress named Alma (newcomer Vicky Krieps), turning the rhythm of his life upside down. Exquisite filmmaking, aided by a scene-stealing turn from British thespian Lesley Manville as Cyril’s icy sister, Cyril.
Director: Craig Gillespie | Stars: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale.
I,Tonya created a biopic with heart and comedic value with Margot Robbie proving yet again she’s one of the best. Telling the story of figure skater Tonya Harding and her downfall, I,Tonya manages to deliver a winning black comedy. Sharp-witted and tough it has its emotionally hard-hitting moments. Alison Janney is brilliant as the acerbic mother while Margot straddles the line between touch cookie and victim. This could have been a simple biopic bit it captivates you.
10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Director: Martin McDonagh | Stars: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage.
Despite some justifiable concerns about the film’s treatment of race, there is no denying that this comedy drama from McDonagh is littered with brilliant performances and also tapped into a zeitgeist feeling of resentment and social upheaval. Frances McDormand is on fire in her Oscar-winning role as Mildred Hayes, a woman determined to find justice for her raped and murdered daughter, using nay means necessary – including taking on local law enforcement. Funny, heartbreaking, and philosophical – it’s a real hoot.
Director: Lee Unkrich | Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Edward James Olmos.
Coco flew under the radar a bit when it came to Disney releases this year, but the more adult animation gave us a heart-wrenching take on death. Visually rich and colourful as well as thoughtful and emotional, Coco tackles all the big questions about family, death, culture and dreams. It’s main tune, Remember Me, never fails to bring tears to our eyes. The moment Miguel tries to get his grandmother to remember had us in floods. For a movie about death, Coco leaves you feeling elated.
12. The Shape of Water
Director: Guillermo Del Toro | Stars: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg.
This year’s charming and quirky Oscar winner will go down as one of cinema’s most unique romances. The mute and lonely cleaner Elisa (a stellar Sally Hawkins) finds herself falling for the mysterious underwater creature that is housed within the 1962 laboratory that she works in. Their love story challenges everything the creature’s keepers stand for, meaning they will have to fight for this love. Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro delivers a swoon-worthy and peculiar tale, that is a love letter to the cinema of yesteryear and also to outsiders of all kinds. This is much more than the film where a woman has sex with a fish!
13. First Man
Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll.
Somehow, this epic but tragically intimate portrait of one of history’s most important men is underrated. La La Land director Damien Chazelle avoided biopic cliché and obvious themes of overt patriotism, instead offering an earth-shattering examination of grief, with Neil Armstrong (a subtle Ryan Gosling) struggling with a personal loss amidst some of the most dangerous scientific experiments of the time. Claire Foy is on top-form (as per usual) as Neil’s resilient wife, Janet.
14. Crazy Rich Asians
Director: John M. Chu | Stars: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh.
An endearing story told in a brilliant way, Crazy Rich Asians opens up a new audience for Hollywood, while shining a light on a culture that often doesn’t get a front row seat at the box office. This is rom-com territory, but with charms and a sardonic view at life. It may not be ‘new’ but it gives us likeable characters and great laughs. A solid romantic offering.
15. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Director: Ol Parker | Stars: Lily James, Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Cher.
No one is here pretending Mamma Mia! is a Oscar-winning movie, but you’d be hard pushed to find another film on this list that raises you up and leaves you skipping out the cinema afterwards. Here We Go Again gives us everything we loved about the original; charm, emotion, ABBA music and romance. Plus Cher. Never taking itself too seriously, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again manages to draw you in again and leave you upbeat despite it’s ending. We also finally found out what happened to Donna after months of speculation.
16. Mary Poppins Returns
Directors: Rob Marshall | Stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Dick Van Dyke.
Mary Poppins Returns may have opened to mixed reviews, but it manages to pay homage to the 1964 movie while leaving its own mark. Emily Blunt brings her own take on the nanny with a smart no-nonsense approach. Everything from the chalk paintings, Easter eggs dotted throughout and music is a love letter to a style of filmmaking we seem to have forgotten. The big theatrical set pieces like Trip a Little Light Fantastic echo Step in Time. The storyline may be a mere echo too of the original but you can’t help but get caught up in the Disney magic with Mary. Angela Lansbury’s cameo is a lovely touch too.
17. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Director: Susan Johnson | Stars: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Anna Cathcart, Andrew Bachelor, Trezzo Mahoro.
The surprise Netflix hit is a necessary addition to the list simply for giving us a teen romance that we could all get behind. Endearing, honest and unsentimental To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before got added points for casting Asian-American Lana Candor. That’s before we even get to Noah Centineo – who didn’t swoon over his Peter? Jenny Han’s book is perfectly adapted in this sweet love letter (or is that letters) that caused a social media storm. The film is getting a sequel, so lets hope it can recreate the magic.
Director: Ari Aster | Stars: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, Gabriel Byrne.
It may not have been the scariest horror film of all time, but this debut film from Ari Aster is a masterclass in creating an unsettling atmosphere. Following a family following a huge loss, events quickly spiral even further into tragedy and nightmare – all anchored by an incredible lead performance from Toni Collette. This is one indie horror film where you do not know what will happen next, right up until the utterly bizarre climax. Aster is certainly a director to keep an eye on.
19. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Directors: Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman | Stars: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry.
Marvel fans have already said they hold this Spider-Man offering as one of the best web-slinger outings. Brooklyn teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man in the movie, but he soon meets Peter Parker and others who share the same abilities. It gives us a fresh take on a tale we’ve heard many times by now as well as giving some stunning animation sequences (Miles falling is absolutely awe-inspiring). There’s even a Stan Lee cameo in there. Conceptually daring, funny and moralistically hard-hitting Spider-Man: Into the Spider- Verse has created a movie for adults and kids alike.
20. Isle of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton
Isle of Dogs is an odd one. Wes Anderson brings his usual take on events giving us an ode to dogs and loyalty. There’s an unforgettable sequence as they make sushi too. The stop-motion film creates something unlike what we’ve seen before but proved divisive. This is classic Anderson, but that’s not for everyone. There’s a message here with bite, but with the subtitles and weirdly paced story some found it too much. At its heart, Isle of Dogs is touching and a gift to meme creators everywhere.
Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell.
Taking on a British ITV crime drama by Lynda La Plante may not have been an obvious choice for 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, but he excelled by transforming this tale of widowed women of criminals taking on their dead husbands’ next crime job into a powerful social commentary on modern life in Chicago. Led by the exceptional Viola Davis, and featuring standout performances in a pitch-perfect ensemble including Elizabeth Debicki and Daniel Kaluuya, Widows is the tensest heist thriller of the year and outstanding and empathetic cinema.
Director: Alfonso Cuaron | Stars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Fernando Grediaga, Jorge Antonio Guerro
This festival darling and beautifully-realised foreign language epic from Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron has managed to be one the most accessible films of its type – thanks to being released on streaming giant Netflix. This semi-autobiographical tale, set in 1970s Mexico, is a beautifully-photographed look at the life of a live-in housekeeper for a middle-class family as she faces a personal crisis of her own. Taking on social realism, but with a sweeping visual style, Roma is the best foreign language film of the year and a staggering example of film as a craft.
23. Bohemian Rhapsody
Directors: Bryan Singer, Dexter Fletcher | Stars: Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Lucy Boynton
Bohemian Rhapsody opened to mixed reviews, but has gone on to become the highest grossing musical biopic ever. Rami Malek has been praised for his performance as Freddie Mercury, and rightly so. Malek captures his every mannerism as well as bringing to life an absolutely stunning Live Aid sequence, that has to be one of the best film moments this year. The movie brings Queen’s music to a new audience too. People have accessed it of straight washing and overly focusing on his early life with Mary Austin, but whatever your feelings no one can deny that Bohemian Rhapsody is pure entertainment, bringing those who hadn’t been to the cinema in ages back to the big screen.
24. Ready Player One
Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Hannah John-Kamen, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg.
Steven Spielberg recaptures that old Blockbuster magic with Ready Player One. The story changes were hard to stomach for the purists, but this Easter egg packed gaming adventure sent viewers of an 80s nostalgia trip. A little lacking in emotional punch, Ready Player One still managed to create impressive set pieces. Visually stunning and good old summer Blockbuster fun.
25. Love Simon
Director: Gregg Berlanti | Stars: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp.
This heartwarming hot chocolate of a film is the wish-fulfilling gay rom-com of the year, but also a landmark in that it is the first studio film of its type. Nick Robinson is the sweet and likeable Simon, who is your average teenager struggling to be open with his homosexuality, but also engaged in a romantic pen-pal relationship with one of his fellow students – the issue is that neither knows who the other is. Tear-jerking, sweet, and crowd-pleasing, this is one that can be watched again and again.
26. Creed II
Director: Steven Caple Jr. | Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thomspon, Dolph Lundgren, Wood Harris.
Following up the excellent Creed would always be a hard ask, but this latest Rocky franchise spin-off may not have topped its predecessor but it’s exactly the sort of sequel we needed. It’s bigger, with higher stakes, and is a tribute to Rocky films past. Jordan is strong and human as Creed, while Stallone carries the weight of history on his own shoulder, in what may be a touching send-off for the character. Tessa Thompson also brings her all to ensure that Creed’s love interest Bianca is more than just a love interest. A superior blockbuster.
Director: Luca Guadagnino | Stars: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Angela Winkler, Chloe Grace Moretz.
Remaking a 1970s horror classic from Dario Argento was always going to be a controversial affair, but Luca Guadagnino delivered a truly divisive work of art with his version of Suspiria. Dakota Johnson is the apparently timid new dancer at a Berlin dance company, where a sinister evil lurks in the bowels of the school. Featuring stand-out turns from Tilda Swinton as multiple characters, and a terrifying but melancholy score from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, this nightmarish film is one that will be scarred into your memory for a long time.
28. Deadpool 2
Director: David Leitch | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz.
Witty and full of fourth-wall meta moments, Deadpool 2 gave more of what made Deadpool’s first outing so memorable. The foul-mouthed anti-hero delivered yet again in what, simply put, was a fun adventure superhero movie. Some felt it was a little too aware of itself this time, but really with Ryan Reynolds hitting on that winning formula you knew what you were getting.
29. Ocean’s 8
Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson.
The female-led spin-off to the original Ocean’s trilogy was bright, breezy and stylish affair, brimming with charismatic turns from an ensemble including Oscar-winners Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett. Featuring surprise twists, elegant high fashion, celebrity cameos, and a scene-stealing turn from Anne Hathaway as a vapid Hollywood star, Ocean’s 8 is the sort of light-hearted entertainment that Hollywood does so well.
Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner.
It was a bold move for this franchise sequel to wipe out decades worth of sequels to act as a new follow-up to the original John Carpenter classic, but it more than paid off. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as a world-weary and traumatised Laurie Strode, who has prepared herself for 40 years for the potential return of the terrifying masked killer Michael Myers – to the point of alienating her own daughter. The sinister slasher returned to its roots, with old-school scares and an examination of female trauma and the power of fighting back.
31. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Director: David Yates | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterson, Ezra Miller, Jude Law, Johnny Depp.
Fantastic Beasts gets an entry despite its mixed reviews and backlash over Johnny Depp’s involvement. JK Rowling still delivered an enjoyable adventure, though there were a few plot holes and odd moments. Most is forgiven, mainly because of that bit old Credence/Dumbledore twist. Some may say changing canon is unforgivable, but the second installment of Fantastic Beasts teases enough to keep us hanging in there. Plus Jude Law as Dumbledore…
32. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Directors: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore | Stars: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer.
The true star of the sequel is Vanellope with her sweet brand of humour. The princess scene was always going to be a stand out moment, but it more than impressed and gave fans what they wanted. It may lack a few of the surprises of the first movie, but Ralph Breaks the Internet still has that Disney magic and charm. All told it’s a sweet animated adventure that pleases parents and kids.
Directors: Spike Lee | Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace.
Iconic director Spike Lee returns with this furious and entertaining true story of a black detective who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in an attempt to bring the racist villains to justice. Featuring terrific performances from the likes of John David Washington, Laura Harrier and Adam Driver, this film is hilarious, tense, and frighteningly accurate. The message of the film is as subtle as a sledgehammer but that is as it should be – the final scenes are an emotional gut-punch that should leave you angry and ready for action. A rallying cry and also bombastic cinema.
34. A Simple Favour
Directors: Paul Feig | Stars: Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Jean Smart.
Hilarious, macabre and stylish, Bridesmaids director Paul Feig utilised his talented leads to carve a dark comedy-mystery about a missing mother Emily and those left behind after her disappearance. Anna Kendick is on top-form as the mommy vlogger who befriended Emily before she was gone, while Blake Lively delivers a career-best turn as the mysterious and snarky Emily. Full of twists and turns, uncomfortable scenes, and laugh-out-loud dialogue, do make sure you see this treat.
35. Bird Box
Directors: Susanna Bier | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Tom Hollander, Sarah Paulson.
It was a latecomer but in the last week of December, Netflix users went wild for this post-apocalyptic chiller starring Sandra Bullock. Set in a world where an unseen force prompts mass hysteria and suicides, Bullock’s Malorie attempts to survive and find a safe haven – but she must do so blindfolded. Unnerving, tense, and controversial – this was event streaming.
Some films just didn’t make our list (which was getting quite long) see below for those that we thought were worth a mention, either, because they made it big at the box office, were quite fun or were an easy watch.
Films that were a bit of fun
Director: Corin Hardy | Stars: Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons, Demián Bichir, Charlotte Hope
Plenty of jump scares in the Nun will keep you engaged, but this Conjuring addition lacks the story of the other franchise movies. A great mate night in movie if you want to be scared.
Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein | Stars: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Jesse Plemons, Kyle Chandler.
Game Night was the surprise comedy of the year. Black comedy was the flavour of 2018 and Game Night delivers on every score. The scene where Jason Bateman is taping up the bloody injury with his wife is hilarious but also sick. There’s plenty of that – sick humour – in this that will have you laughing out loud.
Director: James Wan | Stars: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman.
A late addition to the list, Aquaman has been winning at the box office, giving DC a nice boost. If you’re looking for a superhero adventure, no questions asked, then take a dip under the sea and Aquaman is on hand. Momoa is definitely one of the stronger DC contenders.
Ant-Man and the Wasp 2
Director: Peyton Reed | Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas.
Marvel had quite a few wins this year and Ant-Man, while not getting the showing the other big movies got, managed to provide a humorous enjoyable superhero movie. Evangeline Lily takes second billing, but is essential to the sequel. A predictable plot makes it more fun that stand out though.
Director: Jon Teurteltaub | Stars: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson.
Jason Statham gives a good old fashioned B-movie shark feature bite, though it lacks big thrills. Worth diving into if you want a simple action set piece driven film.
Director: Anne Fletcher | Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald and Odeya Rush.
Netflix’s Dolly Parton inspired heartfelt movie is surprisingly sweet while driving its message home. Jennifer Aniston’s dubious accent is a little distracting, but Dumplin’ is a feel good feature worth watching.
Highest-grossing films, but underwhelming
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, Joonas Suotamo.
The latest Star Wars spin-off film wasn’t a complete disappointment, but it could have been so much more. The cast was terrific (Ehrenreich and Glover, in particular, made a great Han Solo and Lando, respectively), but the plot was rather predictable and the comedy not the best that the franchise has seen. It didn’t help that the film was poorly marketed and despite raking in money at the box office, is a financial failure considering its enormous budget and the performance of other Star Wars films. We’d welcome a Lando spin-off though!
Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom
Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, BD Wong.
Jurassic World was an enormous hit when it hit cinemas and renewed interest in the dinosaur franchise and appealed to the nostalgia of the series’ fans. Despite a great director and the charisma of leads Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, this sequel film was predictable, wasted the return of Jeff Goldblum, and introduced bizarre and unnecessary subplots (do we need genetic human clones in this dinosaur franchise?). Here’s hoping the third film offers something else entirely (a return for Sam Neil and Laura Dern is a must).
Director: Ruben Fleischer | Stars: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Woody Harrelson.
It’s a testament to Marvel comics and Tom Hardy’s star power that Venom was such a financial success because otherwise, it was rather awful. Tonally unsure, poorly written, and boasting some rather clunky action sequences, Venom is not the sort of superhero film that will be held up as a classic of the genre in years to come. The best to take away from the film is the interaction between Hardy’s Brock and Venom personalities, but even then Hardy can only pull over so much with what he has to work with. Get Spidey in a sequel and decide what works and we could get a great follow-up.
Director: Brad Peyton | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jake Lacey.
Rampage isn’t quite on par with its source material (a game) but the monster smashing brainless blockbuster does give us an adventure packed movie. The Rock is his usual funny and action hero self, but the plot leaves a lot to be desired and the villain feels more TV movie fare than big screen. Silliness and popcorn distraction is the name of the game here. If you’re willing to wait out the downtime the actual giant fight scenes are The Rock at his best.
What were your favourite films of 2018? Let us know in the comments below.
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