The following post is an updated version of an earlier post (Twenty-six movies of 2018…) and its purpose is to provide you with some great movie picks from this past year. 2018 has served up some right corkers, from big budget action blockbusters to small, character focused tales and below are my top choices from the past (almost) 365 days.
Take a look, see what you’ve missed and feel free to discuss in the comments section. Not all of these movies are perfect, but all offer great entertainment value.
Released in January 2018 (in the UK), Coco is a colourful, imaginative and delightful animated movie from Disney-Pixar. Wrapped around a story inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, Coco offers up a touching look at love, loss and the afterlife.
Coco is not only one of Disney-Pixar’s best movies, but also one of the best films of 2018. But be warned, if you watch this one you will need tissues as it’s a real tear-jerker.
Coco is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
All the Money in the World
Another movie from January 2018, this time a live-action crime thriller starring Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams and Christopher Plummer. Directed by Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World is based on the real-life kidnapping of John Paul Getty III – the grandson of English American industrialist, Jean Paul Getty.
Featuring a standout performance from Plummer (who replaced Kevin Spacey after the movie was shot), All the Money in the World provides an interesting account of life within the Getty family, framed around a gripping thriller. There’s suspense, there’s intrigue and there’s also frustration, resulting in a drama worthy of anyone’s time.
All the Money in the World is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
The Shape of Water
Released in the UK in February 2018, The Shape of Water tells the tale of a woman falling in love with a fish-man. Not a conventional love story, but a love story nonetheless and one which is as imaginative as it is visually stunning.
The movie – directed by Guillermo del Toro – picked up four awards at the 90thAcademy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design and Best Original Score, making it a must-see flick for del Toro fans.
The Shape of Water is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Marvel Studio released three movies in 2018, the first of which was Black Panther which is not only one of the best super hero movies of the year, it is also one of the most financially successful movies of the year too.
The film – directed by Ryan Coogler – tells the story of T’Challa (Black Panther) and his rise from prince to king. Featuring a scene-stealing performance from Michael B. Jordan as Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens, Black Panther is an action-packed affair and also a sheer delight to watch.
Black Panther is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
A Quiet Place
Creepy, very atmospheric and practically silent throughout. A Quiet Place is a MASTERCLASS in making horror.
I don’t want to say too much about the movie. If you’ve not seen it, go into it knowing very little and you’ll get more out of it.
John Krasinski directs and stars.
A Quiet Place is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Game Night stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams and focuses on a group of friends who get caught up in what they initially believe to be a game. As the film progresses, they soon realise all is not what it seems and the game they are playing is all too real.
Released during the first quarter of 2018, Game Night is a black comedy which may have passed you by amongst the sea of big blockbusters – and if it did, now is the time to catch up. Game Night is a fun, Saturday night kind of film, big on laughs and low on expectations.
Game Night is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Released at the arse-end of Summer 2018, so missed by many, Searching is a damn good thriller which highlights the way in which we all use technology in the modern age. The film takes a very simple premise – a father’s search for his daughter – and transforms it into an engaging piece which casts an interesting eye on data use.
If you missed Searching during its theatrical run, now is the time to give it a watch. The movie currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92%.
Searching is available to buy on DVD from January 7th 2019.
Lara Croft gets the reboot treatment via director Roar Uthaug, in this third live-action adventure for the iconic gaming hero. Alicia Vikander takes the lead, with Dominic West, Walton Goggins and Kristin Scott Thomas providing ample support in a movie that offers just enough action to keep the paper-thin plot going.
Not essential viewing, but enjoyable enough for those who are keen to check it out. Vikander deserves another shot, so hopefully Warner Bros. will green light a sequel.
Tomb Raider is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Directed by Greg Berlanti, Love, Simon is a romantic teen comedy based on the novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The film stars Nick Robinson as high school student Simon Spier – a guy with a secret he’s not quite ready to share – in what is ultimately a coming out story for the 21st century.
Praised by critics and adored by audiences, Love, Simon is without doubt one of the most important movies of the year. It is also one of the best. Watch it.
Love, Simon is available to buy on DVD & digital – sadly no Blu-ray release.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh and shot entirely on an iPhone 7 Plus, Unsane is a bizarre, disorientating and quite disturbing psychological horror about a woman who may or may not be mentally ill. I could tell you what’s going on… but then I’d ruin the movie.
If you like unusual horror movies, with claustrophobic sensibilities, Unsane is the movie for you. I wasn’t completely sold on the use of iPhone footage when I saw this on the big screen, but on the small screen the film plays much better.
Unsane is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Summer of ’84
Summer of ’84 is a Canadian horror directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissel – the directing team behind 2015’s Turbo Kid. The movie focuses on the Cape May Slayer – a mysterious figure responsible for the disappearance of 13 teenage boys – and a group of friends looking to unravel the mystery.
The movie is a mix of The Goonies (1985), The ‘Burbs (1989) and Stranger Things, with an eye on dark suburbia. Perfect for those who love creepy thrillers or callbacks to the ’80s.
Summer of ’84 is available to buy on digital (sadly no Blu-ray or DVD release at present).
Fancy a comedy horror? Then check out Office Uprising – a zombie-horror-comedy, set within an office. Titans star, Brenton Thwaites takes the lead in what is a daft, but highly enjoyable romp about surviving a challenging day at work.
Office Uprising received its UK premiere at Grimmfest 2018 earlier this year – it has yet to receive a general release in the UK.
Ready Player One
Based on the book by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One is an action adventure movie from director Steven Spielberg. While I wouldn’t say this is the greatest Spielberg movie ever made, it still offers up enough entertainment to keep things interesting.
The story revolves around a boy, a quest and a heck of a lot of gaming, but the real fun here is being able to spot all the pop culture references that are on display. There are a lot.
Ready Player One is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Blockers is one of those comedies which is much better than you expect. The film makes great efforts to escape the usual sex/coming-of-age trappings of its peers and presents an enjoyable story which is not only funny, but also well thought out.
Grab a drink and some popcorn and stick this on.
Blockers is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Rampage is a big dumb movie about a giant albino ape smashing up Chicago. The film – which stars Dwayne Johnson – is EXACTLY what you expect it to be and nothing else. But what’s wrong with that?
So long as you simply want to watch a monster movie which is high on spectacle and low on brain cells, then this is the movie to opt for. Did I mention the giant albino ape?
Sometimes, Rampage is all that you need from a film. Perfect for watching with a hangover.
Rampage is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Avengers: Infinity War
Movie of the year? Quite possibly. If not, certainly one of the most significant movies of the year, Avengers: Infinity War is Marvel Studios’ HUGE team-up adventure. But then I don’t need to tell you that, you’ve already watched the film (twenty times) and are counting down the days to the next Avengers film.
If you’re one of the few that hasn’t watched it yet, then know this: Avengers: Infinity War is as good as what you’ve heard.
Avengers: Infinity War is available to buy on digital & Blu-ray/DVD.
Ryan Reynolds returns to the role of smart-talking Wade Wilson for Deadpool 2 – the latest entry in the long-running X-Men series. Is it better than 2016’s Deadpool?
You bet it is!
While Deadpool was a great movie (no one is disputing this), Deadpool 2 has a little more meat on the bone, replacing the paper-thin plot of the original with a larger story that can encompass more characters.
Fun, funny and genuinely a hoot from start to finish, Deadpool 2 is must-watch.
Deadpool 2 is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Much better than many would have you believe, Solo: A Star Wars Story is not the colossal dud that some (myself included) feared it to be, instead it’s a fun Star Wars adventure that asks very little in return for a couple of hours of entertainment. Han, Chewie and Lando all appear (as their younger selves) with a number of new characters joining along for the ride.
Many people boycotted this movie due to the backlash over The Last Jedi. Such a shame really, as this is one of the most Star Wars-y Star Wars films there is.
Now is the time to check it out.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and a team of top acting talent lead the way in this sort-of sequel to the George Clooney-starring Ocean’s Trilogy. The movie is a light, frothy heist film that serves up enough laughs to keep things ticking over and is actually better than you might expect.
A perfect Sunday afternoon film? Yeah, I’d say so!
Ocean’s 8 is available to buy on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
The Miseducation of Cameron Post tells the story of a young girl, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, who is sent (by her aunt) to a gay conversion therapy centre. The centre is filled with teens who have all been ceremoniously dumped by their parents/guardians in order to put them back on the ‘right path’ (whatever that is) and be cured of their homosexual tendancies.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post tackles a difficult, real-life issue which is effecting youths within the LGBTQ+ community. This is a subject that doesn’t get as much attention as it should, so it’s great that this film is shining a light on this story.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is released on Blu-ray and DVD in February.
Possibly the biggest Marmite movie of the year (you’ll either love it or hate it), Hereditary is an unsettling horror film from director Ari Aster. I won’t give anything away – you can read my thoughts elsewhere – but I will say that the movie is not quite what you would expect… if you’ve watched the trailer.
But if it’s a Marmite movie, why have I included it in this list?
Well, if you consider yourself a horror fan then you need to watch Hereditary because it’s just the right shade of disturbing to provoke a reaction – be that good or bad. Also, I’m genuinely interested to know your thoughts – so watch it then come back and tell me what you think.
Hereditary is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD and digital.
Would it be too obvious to call Incredibles 2, incredible? Hmm… OK, I’ll simply say that this long awaited follow-up to Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles (2004) is a joy to watch.
If you loved the first film, this sequel offers more of the same and then some. The jokes are all on point, the animation has improved and the characters are just as you remembered.
Incredibles 2 is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD & digital.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
I love the Jurassic Park/World series and while I wasn’t completely sold on this entry I must admit there’s still a heck of a lot to like about this film and it has to appear on this list. If nothing else, it has yet more dinosaurs and drama and who doesn’t want that?
If you’re a fan of the series, then you should watch this movie.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD & digital.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
The final Marvel Studios movie of the year and while it isn’t quite up there with Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War it’s still an enjoyable romp. This time around, Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man) gets some help from, yeah you guessed it, The Wasp, as they take on the Ghost!
If you loved the first Ant-Man movie then there’s really no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this too.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD & digital.
For fans of Whitney Houston, Whitney is a must-watch account of the late singer’s life. From her ups to her downs, the film covers it all, via some previously unseen footage and various interviews with Houston’s friends and family.
Whitney is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital and is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Dwayne Johnson, a burning building and some death-defying stunts. This is all you really need to know about this movie.
Is it dumb? Hell, yes.
Is it enjoyable? It really, really is.
As with Rampage, Johnson’s other action movie of 2018, Skyscraper offers up enough fun to ensure it doesn’t wear out its welcome.
Skyscraper is available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD/digital.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Mamma Mia! (2008) was a fun frothy musical that didn’t take itself too seriously. The sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is more of the same, but is arguably a much stronger film.
The story is tighter, more involving and far better in every respect. Plus, Cher is in this movie!
In all seriousness, as previously stated on It’s A Stampede! a Mamma Mia! Sequel has no right to be this good. It’s great that it is!
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is available on digital, Blu-ray & DVD.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
One of the best action films of the year. Tom Cruise returns as super spy, Ethan Hunt, only this time he’s joined by Henry Cavill who is PERFECT in this movie as CIA operative, August Walker.
The stunts are amazing, Cruise and Cavill have a great rapport and the film maintains its pace throughout. I genuinely loved this movie and believe it to be the best of the summer blockbusters (after Infinity War of course).
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD & digital.
Teen Titans GO! to the Movies
There’s no denying the fact that Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is aimed at a younger audience than usual comic book fare, but that said it still has enough adult-orientated content to keep mums and dads happy too.
If you’re a fan of the Teen Titans, comics or just genuinely fun movies, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies offers up everything you could want and more. I laughed a lot.
Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is available to buy on DVD & digital. The Blu-ray edition is exclusive to HMV.
Christopher Robin is a charming, gentle and moving picture about childhood, about love and about family. The film – directed by Marc Forster – stars Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell and Jim Cummings and is sure to warm even the hardest hearts.
I adored this film when I watched it at the cinema and I believe you will too. It’s simply delightful.
Christopher Robin is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD & digital.
I really can’t praise this film enough. From the soundtrack and the characterisation to the suspense and scares, this is a Halloween movie worthy of everyone’s time.
There are good Halloween sequels and there are DIRE Halloween sequels. This is one of the best.
Halloween is available on Blu-ray, DVD & digital from February 2019.
The House With A Clock In Its Walls
Directed by Eli Roth and starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, The House With A Clock In Its Walls is based on the book of the same name by John Bellairs and is a great family-friendly Halloween film, similar in tone to Goosebumps (2015), Casper (1995) and The Addams Family (1991). Roth, known for his pretty gruesome horror movies such as The Green Inferno (2013), reduces the gore factor for this one, but his mark is still stamped all over the picture.
The House With A Clock in Its Walls is released on DVD & Blu-ray in January.
Bohemian Rhapsody boasts one of the best on-screen performances of the year. Rami Malek is INCREDIBLE as Freddie Mercury and if you have even a passing interest in Queen, then you MUST give this one a whirl.
The story should have been a little tighter, but there’s no doubting the film is a crowd pleaser.
Bohemian Rhapsody hits Blu-ray, DVD & digital in March.
Await Further Instructions
Another film screened at Grimmfest 2018 and another film worthy of your time. Set around the Christmas period, Await Further Instructions is an intriguing tale about family tensions set against the backdrop of the current political climate.
I’m not going to tell you any more and I suggest YOU DON’T GOOGLE this one. The less you know, the better. Just watch.
Await Further Instructions is currently on release at selected cinemas.
Featuring a scene-stealing turn from Jennifer Aniston, a soundtrack packed with Dolly Parton tunes and a collection of drag queens (including Ginger Minge), Dumplin’ is a story about being true to yourself. It’ll make you smile, while humming along to the likes of 9 to 5 and Here You Come Again.
Dumplin’ is available to stream on Netflix.
Directed by Steven Caple Jr, Creed II stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson and Dolph Lundgren and sees Adonis Creed stepping into the ring to fight Viktor Drago – son of Ivan.
Creed II may not be the strongest entry in the Rocky series but it is a fair addition with enough punch to keep things interesting. If you’re a fan of the Rocky/Creed series you should feel satisfied, especially in the quieter, character-focused moments.
Creed II is currently on general release.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
And finally, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is easily one of the best Spidey films ever produced. The movie boasts a strong, adult story, a colourful set of characters (Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir etc) and is currently a very important piece in Sony’s Spider-Man puzzle.
A must-watch for Spider-Man fans and those ready for a new hero. Plus a good way to round-off 2018.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is currently on general release.