Many great directors, including Lynne Ramsay, Lars Von Trier, Alfonso Cuarón, Josephine Decker and Yorgos Lanthimos, all released movies in 2018, making it a big year in film. Alongside the established directors, the past year also introduced the film world to some brilliant up-and-coming directors with films such as Jim Cummings’ “Thunder Road,” Augustine Frizzell’s “Never Goin’ Back,” Paul Dano’s “Wildlife” and Jennifer Fox’s narrative debut, “The Tale.” Choosing my favorite films out of this group of incredibly talented filmmakers was a difficult task. Each contributed to the progression of the medium, and made 2018 such an enjoyable year for audiences around the world.
This year was full of great horror films such as “Mandy” and “Suspiria.” It also gave us the newest addition to Lars Von Trier’s long and difficult history with the Motion Picture Association of America, courtesy of his latest film, “The House That Jack Built.” “Revenge” was a powerful addition to the horror subgenre of rape and revenge films, as Fargeat brought a female voice to the male-dominated genre. Her work upheaved nearly all of the tropes of the genre, and her film’s impact will certainly shape future film criticism.
This past year was also full of gut-wrenching, emotionally impactful movies. “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” portrayed the nauseating account of a right-wing gay conversion therapy camp, and “The Tale” depicted Jennifer Fox’s personal, heartbreaking account of sexual abuse as a child. Each of these films recounted a few of the horrible aspects of our culture, but also gave hope to all of those affected by either of these atrocities.
From the deconstruction of the art of acting in “Madeline’s Madeline” to the slow-burn, psychological mystery in “Burning,” this past year had a variety of films for all tastes. Hopefully 2019 can live up to the high standard this past year set.
Of the 120-plus new releases that I viewed in theatres last year, I have selected my top 15 favorite films of 2018:
20. “Thunder Road” Written and Directed By: Jim Cummings
19. “The Other Side of the Wind” Directed By: Orson Welles
18. “Mom and Dad” Written and Directed By: Brian Taylor
17. “Never Goin Back” Written and Directed By: Augustine Frizzell
16. “The Favourite” Directed By: Yorgos Lanthimos
15. “First Reformed” Written and Directed By: Paul Schrader
14. “You Were Never Really Here” Directed By: Lynne Ramsay
13. “Shoplifters” Written and Directed By: Hirokazu Kore-eda
12. “Suspiria” Directed By: Luca Guadagnino
11. “Under The Silver Lake” Written and Directed By: David Robert Mitchell
10. “Mandy” Directed By: Panos Cosmatos
9. “Vox Lux” Written and Directed By: Brady Corbet
8. “Roma” Written and Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón
7. “Burning” Directed By: Lee Chang-Dong
6. “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” Directed By: Desiree Akhavan
5. “Revenge” Written and Directed By: Coralie Fargeat
4. “Madeline’s Madeline” Written and Directed By: Josephine Decker
3. “Let the Corpses Tan” Written and Directed By: Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani
2. “The Tale” Written and Directed By: Jennifer Fox
1. “The House the Jack Built” Written and Directed By: Lars Von Trier