My list of 2018 films, ranked, along with Best Picture nominees, ranked by likelihood of nomination. Will update as Oscars approach. I'm only ranking what I've seen.
Best Picture: Avengers: Infinity War. I can't remember a movie that everyone was talking about like this one--or one where the entire audience was sitting, stunned, at the end.
Runner up: A Star is Born. A tour-de-force for Lady Gaga as the up-and-comer Ally and a trifecta for first-time director/actor/man-about-town Bradley Cooper. It's a flawed story, just short of being a film for the ages, but it's not the fault of anyone involved in this latest version of the Hollywood classic. Go for the music, stay for the tears.
Black Panther. Just so well done, it's hard to point out any problems other than the rushed CGI fight near the end. Wakanda forever.
Some of my other favorites: - Green Book: Loved the interaction between the two leads, and that ending. No, I DON'T have something in my eye! - A Quite Place: Tense and inventive, far better than the similar Bird Box - First Man: Beautiful and understated, this was surprisingly good. The effects and camera work were so well done, it looked like they just filmed it in space. - Buster Scruggs: Haunting and beautifully shot, I'm not sure how many other people will love this set of short Western tales. I'm still thinking about it weeks later. - A Simple Favor: So much fun, kept me guessing all the way through. Laugh out loud moments mixed with surprises. Paul Feig really pulled this one together and I'll accept it as his formal apology for that horrible Ghostbusters mess. - BlackkKlansman. An excellent film. Surprising, hilarious, sad and well-shot, especially the ending which intertwines two narratives masterfully. - Wreck it Ralph 2: Yup, I'm putting a Pixar movie in my top 10. Deal with it. Great visuals, great storytelling, and a mature, grown-up story about friendships.
Worst Movies of the Year? "Venom" was pretty stupid (that dialogue, though. "Have a nice life"...three times? Who wrote this?) and "The Cloverfield Paradox" was bad--"hey, my arm's trying to tell us something!"--but "Mute" was a horrible, messy disappointment from Duncan Jones, the mastermind behind "Source Code" and "Moon," two of my favorites. Ever see a movie that just makes you angry at missed opportunities? Yup, this was even worse than "The Smell of Water," that nauseating pool of bile/last year's Best Picture. What do I know. Oh, and these were both Netflix originals. Guys, you need to be a little more picky, I think.