Nothing can lift your spirits like a good movie, and 2018 had a strong run of great films that inspired and entertained. Here’s a quick list of some of our staff’s favorite films!
Andrew Agress – Overlord
For some reason, Overlord seemed to be marketed as “Nazi zombies the movie” and not as the fascinating and horrific war film that it is. Which is a shame, since its premise should intrigue on its own. On the eve of D-Day, paratroopers are tasked with taking down a German radio tower but come across a lab of human experiments. The horror genre works as a great outlet to explore other themes, and Overlord effectively uses it to show both the terrors of war and of the monstrous results of the Nazis’ research. Not only does the film work in both the war and horror genres, but it also includes fantastic action set pieces and genuinely funny moments of witty banter.
Veronica Ciotti – Eighth Grade
Bo Burnham’s impressive directorial debut manages to capture all the uncertainties and discomforts of middle school, in an age made distinct by social media. Eighth-grader Kayla broadcasts her thoughts through YouTube and Instagram, as many others do, but this willingness to be so open online is met with relatable insecurities. Elsie Fisher does an incredible job relating these feelings, and this movie wouldn’t work without kids playing the roles of kids. The film’s performances and direction are impressive from so many first-timers. Regardless of when you grew up, and whether you were raised in the social media age or not, these feelings the movie portrays are universal. Eighth Grade is truly one of the year’s most special movies, and it shouldn’t be missed.
Sara Roncero-Menendez – Black Panther
This was a really tough choice between two movies that really revitalized my love of the cinema. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse was a beautifully-made film that proves an animated superhero film can be epic. But when I think about the movie that shook up the industry, it had to be Black Panther. This movie presented us the best example of Afro-futurism in the 21st century that doesn’t overlook the struggle of Black people worldwide. The story grapples with the serious issues, the cast elevates the story to an epic tale, and frankly, the entire film still energizes me whenever I watch it. And I know it’s going to have an effect on movies for years to come. Wakanda forever!
Keith D. Mitchell – Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
There’s no doubt that 2018 brought us several outstanding films. Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2, I could go on and on. However, none have shined more brightly to me than Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. Here we have what I consider to be the best Spider-Man movie ever created, on a media format that many still consider something that’s meant for children. Adding to this is that the film was released by Sony Pictures. A studio who had previously struggled to put out a definitive Spider-Man experience, despite owning the franchise film rights for decades. Not only did we get to see multiple spider persons on the big screen, but we finally got to see a Spider-Man movie share the screentime with Miles Morales, the young Spider-Man that originated from the Marvel Comics Ultimate universe. It was fun, it was an amazing origin story, both the music and art style fit perfectly, lots of action and comedy. Not only did it do well at the box office, but it also left the door wide open for several follow-ups. Way to go, Webhead!
Todd Black – Ready Player One
A bit of a dark horse here, but Ready Player One was a video game and pop culture lovers dream. The numerous references in The Oasis, mixed with a simple yet sweet story of what it means to be human in a world where everything isn’t better in the future was very moving to me. I’ve watched Ready Player One a lot since it came out on DVD, and if I need a movie to make me smile, it’ll be this one that I watch.