2018 MBAs: Sam’s Favourites

With 2018 well and truly behind us, now comes the time to reflect on the year that was and decide in a loose, wishy-washy fashion what my favourite films of the year were.

Sadly, there were many movies I never got around to seeing in 2018 – and these include several in the running for Oscar glory. I blame life for getting in the way and other projects on the go that took priority. Suffice to say, I certainly have some catching up to do. Here’s to hoping I won’t be as slack in 2019 and keep the content coming.

Without rambling, I now present my top five films of 2018:

5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie is the best Spider-Man movie since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 in 2004. Yes, I liked it more than Spider-Man: Homecoming. It tells a story with a protagonist who isn’t Peter Parker, which makes it fresh and exciting. It’s also a gorgeous animation with a unique comic book inspired look that makes it stand out from the crowd.

The action, humour and characters are all on point, but what I liked most was the message: that anybody can be a hero.

4. Aquaman

What. A. Blast.

Aquaman is loads of fun. Don’t get me wrong, it has its flaws. It’s a bit long and unwieldy, filled with crescendo after crescendo after crescendo which might be a bit much for some – but it’s also that go for broke attitude that I loved about the movie. Part Indiana Jones, part Avatar, watching Aquaman is like watching a modern Ray Harryhausen picture. That’s to say it’s an exciting adventure that left me grinning ear to ear, while showing me a superhero and fantastical world that hadn’t previously received a proper silver screen treatment.

3. Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg translates Ernest Cline’s breakout novel to the big screen with resounding success. Think Willy Wonka but the chocolate factory is a virtual world called the Oasis. The creator of the Oasis has passed away and left behind a final challenge: a hidden Easter Egg that will give control of the digital wonderland to whoever finds it.

Ready Player One is absolutely brimming with 80s and pop culture references and practically invites you to get your nerd on and chew up the scenery. I could watch it a dozen times and still find some new detail or reference I’d previously been oblivious to. That it is action-packed and directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of any era is the icing on the cake.

2. Avengers: Infinity War

It was the biggest box office success of 2018 and needs no fanfare, so I’ll keep my reasons succinct. Avengers: Infinity War was a huge cinematic achievement that is exactly what it needed to be and delivered everything I wanted from the first part of this climactic Marvel Cinematic Universe story. On another day it might have been #1 on my list, but it’s still only half a story. It remains unfinished – here’s to hoping that Avengers: Endgame sticks the landing.

1. Mission: Impossible РFallout 

Six movies in and I can’t quite believe I’m saying it, but Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the best of the thrilling espionage series. Not only that, it makes a claim for being one of the greatest action movies of all time. The stunt work, set pieces and cinematography are jaw dropping. In particular, the fact that almost all if not all of the stunts were done for real just boggles the mind.

Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but few actors put themselves on the line as much as he does and nowhere is it more evident than in this movie. Fallout’s callbacks and resolutions to past plot lines also help to elevate the material and give it extra significance, rather than it simply being a case of ‘another mission’. This was an outstanding time at the movies, and an experience I’m looking forward to revisiting again and again.

What do you think – agree or disagree with my list? What were your favourite movies of 2018?

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