Film Pulse’s Top Movies of 2018 So Far

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While there is some overlap in our 2018 mid-year top 10s this year, by and large a wide array of differing films made the cut. This tells us two things- one there are a slew of great films released in the first half of 2018 and two, we all adore Black Panther.

Blake Crane

1. Annihilation (Alex Garland) – Equal parts horrifying and beautiful, Alex Garland’s mesmerizing followup to Ex Machina induced strong emotional and physical responses every time I’ve watched it. It’s one of those films where there’s always something new to discover.

2. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
3. Hereditary (Ari Aster)
4. Revenge (Coralie Fargeat)
5. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)
6. Blue My Mind (Lisa Brühlmann)
7. A Quiet Place (John Krasinski)
8. Lowlife (Ryan Prows)
9. Thoroughbreds (Cory Finley)
10. The Endless (Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead)


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Mynt Marsellus

1. Disobedience (Sebastian Leilo) – While I saw this at TIFF last September, in terms of official 2018 releases it stuck with me like no other film. The performances from McAdams and Weisz are incredibly rich and passionate and career highs for the both of them. Sebastian Leilo, who also directed last year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar winner A Fantastic Woman, also proves that he has the skills to offer down to earth realism as opposed to the magical realism of his earlier film. This probably won’t make any buzz around Oscar time due to the April release date but hopefully it will get a Netflix release and a wider audience anyways.

2. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)
3. My Days of Mercy (Tali Shalom Ezer)
4. Love, Simon (Greg Berlanti)
5. A Quiet Place (John Krasinski)
6. Hereditary (Ari Aster)
7. Chappaquiddick (John Curran)
8. Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird)
9. Oceans 8 (Gary Ross)
10. Blockers (Kay Cannon)


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Ken Bakely

1. Paddington 2 (Paul King) – The question about whether American critics should consider Paddington 2 a 2017 movie or a 2018 movie is pretty irrelevant when you consider that it’s one of the best movies to come out of either year. Here is an exceedingly sweet, funny, and wise antidote to the vicious rhythms of the world, filled with gorgeously intricate comic setpieces alongside a rich pastiche of characters and endlessly creative story beats.

2. Black Panther (Ryan Cooler)
3. Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev)
4. Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu)
5. Love After Love (Russell Harbaugh)
6. The Rider (Chloé Zhao)
7. On Body And Soul (Ildikó Enyedi)
8. Hearts Beat Loud (Brett Haley)
9. Love, Simon (Greg Berlanti)
10. Game Night (John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein)


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Adam Patterson

1. The Endless (Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead) – A stylish and thought-provoking genre mashup that hooks you in early and never lets go. This is one I’ve revisited multiple times since first seeing it, and it never gets old. Here’s my full review.

2. Annihilation (Alex Garland)
3. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)
4. Damsel (David Zellner & Nathan Zellner)
5. Revenge (Coralie Fargeat)
6. Paddington 2 (Paul King)
7. The Captain (Robert Schwentke)
8. Hereditary (Ari Aster)
9. The Death of Stalin (Armando Ianucci)
10. Thoroughbreds (Cory Finley)


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Kevin Rakestraw

1. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler) – Perhaps the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater in some time (definitely this year). Nearly every aspect worked for me, from the performances (Gurira, Nyong’o, Wright, Jordan, & Duke)  to the action to the incredible work done in the production, costume, and set design.

2. Drift (Helena Wittmann)
3. The Endless (Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson)
4. Dim the Fluorescents (Daniel Warth)
5. Ouroboros (Basma Alsharif)
6. Fail to Appear (Antoine Bourges)
7. Kuro (Tujiko Noriko & Joji Koyama)
8. Unsane (Steven Soderbergh)
9. Game Night (John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein)
10. La Chute (Boris Labbé)


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Chris Luciantonio

1. Hereditary (Ari Aster) – Seldom do I feel compelled to rewatch a film so soon after first experiencing it, but Ari Aster’s arcane family crisis left me so provoked and unsettled that I was all but forced to crawl back to my local multiplex and subject myself to it once more. There was this need to understand my tormenter, how the A24 masterpiece horror film of one family threatened by forces out of their comprehension and control so easily slipped under my skin, arrested my senses, and had my mind racing to make sense of all the signs I missed the first time through. Aster’s pensive yet paralyzing directing, coupled with a blistering, uncomfortable tour de force performance from Toni Collette makes this film a sinister slow burn that can shift to spectacular hellfire without warning. A comprehensive vision of undealt-with family trauma, past and present, which finds terrifying ways to literally and figuratively haunt these afluent yet utterly powerless people, Hereditary is must-experience horror.

2. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay)
3. River’s Edge
(Isao Yukisada)
4. Annihilation
(Alex Garland)
5. First Reformed
(Paul Schrader)
6. The Death of Stalin
(Armando Ianucci)
7. Psychokinesis
(Yeon Sang-ho)
8. Black Panther
(Ryan Coogler)
9. Tiempo Compartido 
(Sebastian Hofmann)
10. Thoroughbreds
(Cory Finley)

 

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