What were your favourite films in 2018?
You may have noticed that I didn’t post a Sunday Rundown yesterday. That was mostly because, after a bad night’s sleep, I fell asleep before writing it. But it was also a tactical choice. After all, it’s that time of year when I need to start posting my Top 10 lists of the year. So, instead of wasting your time with a rundown of the week, I’m going to waste your time with a rundown of the year. Yep, what a 12 months it’s been. I’ve turned 30… not sure I mentioned it. I’ve also managed to review 54 films. It’s not the greatest number, I know, but it at least goes some way towards explaining why I didn’t make it through more books. I’ve always loved films and it was film criticism that made me start blogging. So, I guess that’s always been my focus. And it’s something I way more passionate about than most of my friends. I tend to be a little hyperbolic about films whilst most of them are just happy to watch anything. It makes me seem kind of psychotic. So, here are the 10 films that changed my life this year. Feel free to comment with your own.
I wasn’t convinced by the need for this film but I was intrigued. Mostly because of Donald Glover as Lando. If that isn’t perfect casting then I really don’t know what is. So, I went in with lowered expectations. Something that meant I was able to really enjoy it when it turned out to be quite good. Nothing too spectacular but not a complete mess. My review is here.
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This year I was asked to be a part of the Instagram cover reveal Alexis Marie Chute’s debut novel. In doing so I’d had to read the synopsis for the novel more times than I can remember and I was really excited to read it. So, when I was offered a review copy I jumped at the chance. I sailed through this novel and really enjoyed it. The writing is fantastic and the world-building is just astounding. I have already lent this to as many people as possible and will continue to do so. If I haven’t already convinced you, then check out my review here.
8. Isle of Dogs
I love Wes Anderson. There, I’ve said it. I love Wes Anderson and I love animation. I love Wes Anderson, I love animation, and I love dogs. I’m setting this out early because it kind of meant there was no way I wouldn’t love this film. It has everything. It’s quirky, a bit dark, funny, and dramatic. The voice actors are all perfect and it doesn’t try to do the Disney thing. I really loved it. Something you’ll be able to tell if you read my review here.
7. The Shape of Water
Dismissed by loads of people as a weird love story between a woman and a fish, The Shape of Water is still one of the most beautiful films I’ve watched this year. It more than deserved all of the Oscar nominations that it got and I have nothing but positive memories of the film. Yes, there are some weird moments and some unnecessary things but it’s a joy to watch. I couldn’t not put it in the top 10. My full review can be found here.
5. Lady Bird
Ladybird was another film I watched in order to get my full set of Best Picture nominees at the start of the year. I had heard nothing but great things about it. I was still kind of sceptical though. So many films with a great critical response actually turned out to be a bit meh. However, this film was perfect. Greta Gerwig is sensational and really tapped into that feeling of being a young girl trying to figure herself out. My review can be found here.
5. Get Out
So, officially, this was released in 2017 but I didn’t get round to it until this year. If I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t have watched it had I not promised myself that I would watch all of the Oscar nominated Best Pictures. I’d thought this was going to be a generic horror and I’m not really into that kind of thing. Anything that relies on gore and jump scares to get an audience isn’t my bag. Yet, Get Out is something much more and I loved it. It’s a terrifying and resonating portrayal of a real-life issue that uses horror movie tropes to get its point across. My short film review can be found here.
4. Black Panther
I didn’t see this film in the cinema as I intended to. I didn’t even see it before I saw Infinity War. It took me so long to get round to it but it was everything. It was exciting and entertaining. It was politically and socially aware. It did more than any other Marvel film had ever tried and it, mostly, succeeded. This film would have been one position higher up my list had I not watched it after Infinity War. No matter how good it was, it could never compare to that. Something I discuss in my review here.
3. Avengers Infinity War
Not big surprise that this was in my Top 10. I’ve been waiting for this moment for 10 years. I’ve invested in the MCU and went into this as a massive fan. It was everything that I could have hoped for. I realise, for non-Marvel fans, this won’t be as big a deal but this was definitely the most important film for me this year. It didn’t disappoint. It was the best the MCU have ever made and I’m beyond excited for the next instalment. My review, as unbiased as it might be, can be found here.
2. They Shall Not Grow Old
I’m not sure I can call watching this film an enjoyable experience because I was an emotional wreck for the majority of it. However, it is a technical triumph and really changed me. Peter Jackson and co. maybe made some mistakes with how they approached it but they way they brought the horrors of the war to life and gave the soldiers a voice and a real identity was astounding. My emotionally wrought review can be found here.
1.Into the Spider-Verse
When I first made my list of top 5 films for my Instagram stories I stupidly forgot that this film counted as one of my 2018 films. So, I had to do a last-minute change and add it in. It made it straight to the top because it was a triumph in terms of movie-making and sheer enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong, I think They Shall Not Grow Old was a much worthier film but Into the Spider-Verse was such an enjoyable experience. It took me back to childhood so I couldn’t ignore that. It will be the first film I review in 2019 so check back tomorrow for more.
Who is Murdocal? A casual critic who is a little bit too obsessed with pop culture. A young woman who swears and rants much more than she knows she should whilst trying to make her way in an adult world she isn't prepared for. A not as recent as she'd like literature graduate who, between job applications and subsequent rejections, has turned to the internet to fight the boredom and review the shit out of everything.
"Maybe, just maybe, I'm the faller. Every family has someone who falls, who doesn't make the grade, who stumbles, who life trips up. Maybe I'm our faller."