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Sunday 20 October 2019

The top 10 movies of 2018 - with reviews

Adam Driver and John David Washington as detectives Flip Zimmerman and Ron Stallworth in BlacKkKlansman
Adam Driver and John David Washington as detectives Flip Zimmerman and Ron Stallworth in BlacKkKlansman

Chris Wasser

It's that time of year again when we reflect on which films made a lasting impression over the course of 12 months. Here's Chris Wasser's top 10. Each and every one is worth a first, or even second, or third-time viewing over the festive season.

1. A Star is Born

First-time director, Bradley Cooper, knocks it out of the park, with this muscular, note-perfect remake of the 1937 classic. Lady Gaga is a shoo-in for the Best Actress Oscar. A sensation.

A Star is Born review: Lady Gaga proves she was Born to act in Bradley Cooper's terrific remake

A Star is Born review: 'Beautifully written, directed, shot, performed, edited, and scored - sensational' 


2. The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro picked up the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director back in March for this stellar, sci-fi fairy tale. Think Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Beauty and the Beast, and you’re almost there. Sally Hawkins has never been better.

Five star film review: The Shape of Water - 'an unexpected and irresistible delight'

The Shape of Water 5* review: 'It’s freaky in all the right places, and sweet in all the appropriate ones, too'


3. Lady Bird

Writer/director Greta Gerwig’s beautiful coming-of-age story is everything you could possibly hope for from a film about growing up. Saoirse Ronan is a delight.

Lady Bird 5 star movie review: Saoirse Ronan shines in Greta Gerwig's wise and delightful film

Lady Bird 5 star movie review: 'Believe the hype - a beautiful film'


4. American Animals

Our own Barry Keoghan shines in Bart Layton’s bold and inventive docu-drama, based on a bizarre, real-life heist. It’ll turn your stomach to shreds. Unmissable.

American Animals 5 star movie review: 'Barry Keoghan mesmerises in thrilling heist flick'


5. A Quiet Place

John Krasinski directs, co-writes and stars in the horror of the year, which imagines a harsh, post-apocalyptic landscape, where the only way that humans can survive an unseen threat is by staying silent. Emily Blunt steals the show.

A Quiet Place 5-star movie review: 'A note-perfect horror film that sticks to its own fantasy logic'


6. Leave No Trace

Newcomer Thomasin McKenzie and the always reliable Ben Foster are outstanding in Debra Granik’s beguiling drama about a father and daughter living off the grid in Portland, Oregon. A gorgeous piece of cinema.

Movie reviews: Leave No Trace, Adrift, and Patrick


7. First Man

Damien Chazelle’s eloquent reconstruction of the Apollo 11 moon landing is, in fact, more of a sombre character study. Ryan Gosling is perfectly cast as Neil Armstrong; Claire Foy is superb as his wife, Janet. It’s a bit of a masterpiece.

First Man review: 'Damien Chazelle's film brilliantly charts the triumphs and tragedies of going to the moon'


8. BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee delivers his finest joint in years, with this bonkers, real-life story of an African-American detective who goes undercover in the 1970s to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. John David Washington (left) is a star in the making. 

Blackkklansman 5 star movie review: Spike Lee's searing satire hits the target

Blackkklansman movie review: 'It is outrageous. It is bonkers. It might also be one of the best films of the year'

'I don’t mind the questions - I’m used to the questions' - John David Washington talks being the son of Denzel and forging his own path in Spike Lee's Blackkklansman 


9. Michael Inside

Young Dafhyd Flynn leaves one hell of a mark in Frank Berry’s fraught and frightening, Irish prison drama. Essential viewing.

Michael Inside 5 star movie review: 'Stellar Irish film-making'


10. You Were Never Really Here

Scottish film-maker, Lynne Ramsay, delivers the best thriller of the year. It’s Joaquin Phoenix’s Taxi Driver and it’ll stay with you for days.

Cinema: You Were Never Really Here - Joaquin Phoenix is reliably mesmeric


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