I’ve been wanting to do these top ten lists for well over a month now, but the month of December was bananas, so I’m going to spend the first couple of weeks of 2019 looking back on 2018 and sharing my favorite things from the year.
I love going to the movies. It feels like such a treat. I love it even more in the States where a trip to the movies means a soft pretzel with cheese. My Top 10 list includes nearly every new movie I saw in 2018, with some superhero-y exceptions (those movies just aren’t my cup of tea), but I promise I did very much enjoy each of these movies in 2018:
A Star is Born. To see this movie is to love it, right? Who knew Bradley Cooper had all of that in him? Director, star, singer, guitar player, gravelly voiced lover… he can do it all! I loved this movie because it dealt with the hard realities of mental illness and substance abuse. It addressed success and maintaining relationships. It showed two people in all their complexities, strengths, and faults. It didn’t shy away from heartbreak. Oh and it broke my heart. I saw this movie at the theater with a friend and I cried. If I had watched it at my house by myself I would have sobbed.
The Greatest Showman. This one took a second go around for me to love. The third time around I loved it even more. The soundtrack is flawless, the choreography is banging, and Hugh Jackman is a delight. Rewrite the Stars is now of my favorite songs of all time.
The Crimes of Gindelwald. I am beyond thrilled to have another opportunity to hop back into the magical world of Harry Potter. And we’re doing it in the 1920s? And Eddie Redmayne is there? And there are magical creatures and romance? Does it get any better? Oh yes, it does, because the President of Magic in the US in the 1920s was a black woman and because the whole story line is about self and the danger of suppression and rejection, the importance of self esteem and knowing what you believe. Three cheers for anything magical.
Ocean’s 8. I walked out of the theater after seeing this one feeling like a bad ass. I know they are criminals, but those ladies made me feel proud to be a woman.
Ready Player One. Of course I liked the book more than I liked the movie, but I still liked the movie. It’s fun and different and has teen romance so you know I’m in. Video games don’t usually hold my interest, but this game is on a whole other level.
The Darkest Minds. Curveball – I actually liked this movie more than I liked the book! I remember the book being fairly unremarkable, lost in a sea of YA dystopian futures. But I loved seeing the story come to life on the screen. Harris Dickinson as Liam? Nailed it.
The Outcasts. I watched this on Netflix during my Christmas break. It’s a high school “nerds versus popular kids” story (Do these really happen? Was that anybody’s actual life?) and it was delightful. Eden Sher is a treasure and the main story is about two friends figuring it out. There is also some romance, hooray.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure. I am here for all of the Maze Runner movies. I ate up the first book, was left underwhelmed by the subsequent two, but have thoroughly enjoyed all of the cinematic installments. The conclusion was a wild ride – very emotional and exciting.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. I read this book a couple of years ago after picking it off the communal bookshelf in the hostel I was managing at the time. I loved the book and loved the movie just the same. This is just the best group of fictional people I’ve ever met. If you’re unfamiliar, the story is about a group of people who meet together during the German occupation of their town during WWII. A writer inadvertently becomes part this group after the war and we get to hear all of their tales (and watch two of them fall in love).
Life of the Party. Melissa McCarthy is one of my all time favorites and this movie catapulted to the top of my MM list. I honestly would have loved the movie if for nothing more than Maya Rudolph’s wig, but there’s also a diverse cast, no terrible horrible screw up moments*, and a tall hunk casually in love with Melissa McCarthy, which is very important for my self esteem. It’s a great, funny, feel good movie.
*You know those moments when the lead character does something so completely terrible and then the rest of the movie is them trying to make up for it? Or it’s revealed that they’ve been keeping a secret/lying this entire time? Sometimes I just can’t take those moments.
What were your favorite movies of the year? Which ones are you looking forward to in 2019? Stay tuned for more of my 2018 greats!