My Favorite Films & Performances of the Year, Pre-Christmas Rush

I’ve yet to see The Favourite.

Or Cold War.

Or If Beale Street Could Talk.

Or Vice.

Or Mary Poppins Returns.

Or, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this but the reviews have been so damn good I’m suddenly excited, Bumblebee.

But I will see each one of those and several others, including Mary Queen of Scots, in the coming days and weeks as Hollywood’s annual Christmas rush of blockbusters and late entry awards contenders get underway. As such, I can’t really do a full “top films of 2018” list yet because it would be entirely incomplete. However, as I’m writing this I’m literally listening to a Variety podcast in which two critics debate their films of the year and which they think are the leading Oscar contenders. Everyone’s doing it, and I’ve got the itch to join in.

So, here’s a snapshot of my favorite films and performances of the year as of right now. Here they are, listed and ranked in an “If I could pick the Oscar nominees” kind of way, and just like the real Oscars I gave into a little bit of category fraud. Dangit, I had to find some way to recognize both Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace) and Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade).

Favorite Lead Performance-Actress

  1. Toni Collette, Hereditary
  2. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
  3. Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give
  4. Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
  5. Jessie Buckley, Beast

Favorite Lead Performance-Actor

  1. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
  2. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace
  3. Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
  4. John Cho, Searching
  5. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Favorite Supporting Performance-Actress

  1. Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place
  2. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace
  3. Blake Lively, A Simple Favor
  4. Zoe Kazan, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  5. Elizabeth Debicki, Widows

Favorite Supporting Performance-Actor

  1. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
  2. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give
  3. Hugh Grant, Paddington 2
  4. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  5. Jake Johnson, Voice of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Favorite Director

  1. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  2. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
  3. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther
  4. Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
  5. Ari Aster, Hereditary

Favorite First Feature

  1. Eighth Grade
  2. A Star is Born
  3. Hereditary
  4. Sorry to Bother You
  5. Cargo

Favorite Horror Film

  1. Veronica
  2. Hereditary
  3. Suspiria
  4. A Quiet Place
  5. The Ritual

Favorite Comic Book Movie

  1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  2. Black Panther
  3. Avengers: Infinity War
  4. Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
  5. Ant-Man and the Wasp

Favorite Animated Movie

  1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  2. Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  4. The Grinch
  5. The Incredibles 2

Favorite Documentary

  1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor
  2. Shirkers
  3. A Thousand Girls Like Me
  4. Letter from Masanjia
  5. They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead

Favorite Film Overall

  1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  2. Black Panther
  3. A Star is Born
  4. First Reformed
  5. The Hate U Give
  6. Eighth Grade
  7. Roma
  8. A Simple Favor
  9. Leave No Trace
  10. Veronica

What about you? What’s your “best of 2018” list looking like right now? Let me know in the comments.


    1. I think the movie works equally well either way. Gay or not, the effect is clear that Veronica being forced into raising her younger siblings has left her socially isolated and totally vulnerable to possession. But, yeah, the “Is Veronica a lesbian? Or are we reading too much into it?” debate was one of my favorite movie review comments section conversations of 2018.

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