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Friday, December 21, 2018

FILM
The Next Ten (Or So) Best Films Of 2018


Stephan James and Kiki Layne in "If Beale Street Could Talk", directed by Barry Jenkins. Annapurna Pictures

       

by
Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com        Follow popcornreel on Twitter FOLLOW                                           
Friday, December 21, 2018


(The Ten Best Films Of 2018 list: https://bit.ly/2PD9xLf)

It was a stronger film year in 2018, and there at least five films in this list of films outside the ten best that were in strong consideration to make it into the ten best films list of 2018.  That they didn't indicated how competitive and tough it was to choose the best ten.  In another film year the following ten films could have been a ten best list all its own.


11.    MARIA BY CALLAS  (Sony Pictures Classics)

Tom Volf's phenomenal documentary on the legendary Maria Callas includes spellbinding footage and tells her story in her own words.  Marvelous.


12.    FAHRENHEIT 11/9  (State Run Films)

Michael Moore's latest documentary takes full aim not only at Donald, but also the Establishment wing of the Democratic Party, the U.S. corporate media and -- wait for it -- President Obama.


13.    BLINDSPOTTING  (Lionsgate)

Intense, funny and riveting viewing, "Blindspotting" is a powerful look at community, cohesion, the criminal justice system and gentrification in Oakland, California.  Carlos Lopez Estrada directs.  Actors Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs (both of whom wrote the screenplay) are unforgettable.


14.    IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK  (Annapurna Pictures)

Colorful, rich, emblematic, Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins cultivates a loving, fateful atmosphere and stunning passages of dialogue and acting as adapted from James Baldwin's book.  Set in the 1970s, the story of incarceration, dedication, commitment and love are still ever relevant.


15.    WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?  (Focus Features)

This documentary by Morgan Neville (he directed the documentary "They'll Love Me When I'm Dead" which was also released in 2018) offers a deeper look at Fred Rogers, he of Mister Rogers fame.  A moving portrait that impacts especially in these insensitive and callous times.


16.    VICE  (Annapurna Pictures)

An absolutely cracking bit of political satire, cautionary tale and derision by Adam McKay, who hurls righteous anger at the screen in a playful way with his look at how Dick Cheney became the most powerful man on the planet -- by staying in the shadows.  Christian Bale is brilliant in the title role.


17.    EIGHTH GRADE  (A24)

A mature look at coming-of-age for a girl transitioning to high school.  Bo Burnham's comedy-drama is sensible, earnest and right on target.  Elsie Fisher is great as the adolescent navigating the society around her.


18.    THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ANDRE  (Magnolia Pictures)

This documentary on fashion critic and Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley is endlessly fascinating.  All about vision, about seeing through the eyes of a gay Black man in the hyper-sexist and racist fashion industry.  A uniquely rendered effort and fantastic interviews and video on Mr. Talley.  Kate Novack directs.


19.    SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE  (Marvel)

A vibrant, hilarious and refreshing look at Spider-Man in the persona of an Afro-Latino male youth named Miles, who studies the ways of the Spider and excels from there, but not without some trials and tribulations.  The best and most inclusive animated feature of 2018.  Directed by Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman and Robert Persichetti, Jr.


20.    SORRY TO BOTHER YOU  (Annapurna Pictures)

Colorful and flagrantly subversive, Boots Riley's feature film directing debut about the perils of a telemarketing agent is a vivid, eye-catching stream-of-consciousness spectacle.  The comedy-drama ruminates about capitalism, labor and the power of the people in Oakland, California.  With Lakeith Stanfield, Danny Glover, Omari Hardwick, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun and Armie Hammer.


Honorable mentions: "Disobedience", "Crazy Rich Asians", "Three Identical Strangers", "The Equalizer II", "Cold War", "Avengers: Infinity War", "Creed II", "Mary Queen Of Scots", "The Old Man And The Gun", "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", "The Land Of Steady Habits", "Tyrel", "RGB", "The Front Runner", "Oceans 8", "The Spy Who Dumped Me", "A Wrinkle In Time".


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