Top 5 Favorite Movies of the Year (So Far)
Every year, so many great movies are released. Come December, when I usually wrap up the full year and draft my best/worst lists, so many good movies are reluctantly bumped off due to the sheer number of great movies that come out. At the same time, there are also a lot of shitty movies that come out in the early months of the year and, by December, I've blocked them all out of my memory! So, around this time each year, I always like to put out a list of my favorite/least favorite movies of the year thus far. It isn't exactly half way through the year, but we are transitioning into the start of the summer movie season, and I do think this is a good assessment point. It's always interesting to see how much of my midyear list ends up on my final list by the end of the year. These past few months have been pretty packed. We've already had some blockbusters, such as Black Panther, Ready Player One, and Avengers: Infinity War. At the same time, we have also had some smaller films, like Annihilation, Thoroughbreds, and Love, Simon. 2018 has been great for movies so far, and as I look ahead at what is to come, it seems like it will only continue to get better! So, without further ado, let's take a look at my favorite movies of the year so far.
You can check out our list for our least favorite movies of 2018 so far here.
#5 Isle of Dogs
Coming in at number five is Isle of Dogs. I hadn't really watched many Wes Anderson films prior to Isle of Dogs, so I wasn't expecting too much from this movie. But I was struck by just how wonderful of a film it is. As a dog person, I really bought into this relationship between a boy and his dog. That connection is vital to tapping into the film's emotional undertone, and I really relate to it. The animation style is beautiful, and tops what Anderson accomplished with Fantastic Mr. Fox. And this movie benefits from being told through stop motion animation. Personally, I don't think regular 3D animation would have had the same effect. The voice cast is phenomenal, especially Bryan Cranston. They all do an excellent job in bringing their characters to life and making them stand out. There isn't as much comedy in this as there is in Fantastic Mr. Fox but, when used, it hits perfectly. The story is a little silly, but it is a metaphor, with the dogs representing oppressed social minorities. This helps in digesting the story, and elevates the narrative. It isn't just a cute little movie, but it has deeper meaning and a more profound message. Isle of Dogs just barely edged out Black Panther on this list. I am sure Isle of Dogs won't remain in my top ten by the end of the year, but I found it to be a wonderful film, and one that I greatly enjoyed watching.
You can read our full review for Isle of Dogs here.
#4 Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War takes the number four spot. I had to see it for a second time to be sure of its placement on this list, but I now feel confident in where I put it. First and foremost, Infinity War is an excellent movie theater experience. I had the time of my life watching this movie, and it goes down as one of the best theater experiences I have ever had. As for its quality as a film, it's very good. It doesn't quite reach the heights of say Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Captain America: Civil War, but it is a really good movie nonetheless. I have my issues with the movie's ending, which I go in depth on in our spoiler discussion, which will go up later in the week. This is a movie that I won't ever fully be able to define my thinking on until I see Avengers 4. What they do in that movie will dictate how I feel about a lot of things they do in this film. I don't know if Infinity War will be in my top ten come the end of the year. It's a really good movie, but I do think it will be edged out by a lot of the Oscar movies that will come out in the Fall. As a summer event movie, it's unparalleled. But as an actual film, it doesn't quite have the lasting power to keep it in my top ten for the rest of the year.
You can read our full review for Avengers: Infinity War here.
#3 Love, Simon
Love, Simon comes in at number three, and this is a film I wasn't expecting much from. I didn't even really intend on seeing it. But I ended up going anyways, and I loved it. This movie has so much heart and warmth to it, and I just loved watching it. Teen movies like this can sometimes have bad acting, but Love, Simon is peppered with uber talented up-and-coming actors. Nick Robinson is fantastic in the leading role, and I really bought into his character. Katherine Langford is great as Simon's best friend, and they had excellent chemistry together. Tony Hale plays the vice principal, and he is fantastic as the movie's comedic relief. I was afraid at first that he would be too over the top, but he actually fits with the tone of the film really well. This is a story we don't get to see too often on screen. We don't get many gay love stories like this, and it's refreshing to see this story told. I was very impressed with director Greg Berlanti, a big-time television showrunner who hasn't done much with film. I wasn't sure how he was going to do with directing this movie, but he does a phenomenal job. Overall, Love, Simon came out of nowhere and it really hit me in the right way.
You can read our full review for Love, Simon here.
#2 A Quiet Place
Number two on the list is A Quiet Place. This was on my list for my most anticipated films of the year, and it did not disappoint. What John Krasinski accomplishes with this movie is just staggering. For a comedy guy to come over and do a family drama horror film like this, and for it to be as good as it is, is incredible. Krasinski brilliantly makes sound the enemy, having you fear every little noise you hear. While the monsters are cool, they aren't the focus. Krasinski hooks you on rooting for this family. They are simply trying to survive in this world, and you can get behind them. The performances Krasinski and Emily Blunt give are fantastic, though Blunt does outshine her husband. Krasinski makes up for the difference with his direction. These two are a powerhouse team, and I hope they do more movies together. A Quiet Place is the best horror movie I've seen since 2013's The Babadook. This is a movie I think filmmakers will look to as a model for how to tell a really simple yet incredibly effective story, because Krasinski teaches his masterclass here with A Quiet Place.
You can read our full review for A Quiet Place here.
#1 Ready Player One
And my favorite movie of the year (so far) is Ready Player One. I did not have high expectations for this movie going in. The trailers threw so much at you that I had a hard time seeing how it could come together to be a coherent film. The only reason I didn't completely dismiss it outright was because it is directed by Steven Spielberg. And upon seeing the movie multiple times, I am in absolute awe of how he is able to pull it off. The movie throws so much 70's and 80's pop culture at you, but it's not done simply for referencing's sake. Rather, it's actually woven into the narrative, making it imperative to the story. It also has a really good story, with compelling characters. Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke have great chemistry, and Ben Mendelsohn is excellent as the villain. The action sequences-- specifically the opening race and the final battle-- are some of the best action scenes of the year (yes, including Avengers: Infinity War). It also has some really powerful messages about how we use technology and our inability to connect with other people. Ready Player One is truly the total package, and it will absolutely be a tough one to beat.
You can read our full review for Ready Player One here.
What do you think? Do you agree with my picks for my favorite films of the year so far? What would be on your list? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Written by: Nathanael Molnár
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