- Fox Searchlight
- 2018 has been a great year for movies, with major critical and box office hits like “Black Panther” and “A Star Is Born.”
- But there are a handful of excellent movies that flew under the radar that you probably didn’t see, so we made a list of them all, from “Paddington 2” to “First Man.”
2018 has been a great year for movies, big and small.
At the beginning of the year, “Black Panther” set a great tone for the year, being both a critical and box office smash hit. Other big hits throughout the year include “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “A Star Is Born,” and “Venom,” all of which were major hits at the box office.
But what about the smaller movies you didn’t see? We gathered a list of our favorite movies of 2018 that flew under the radar and weren’t talked about enough and didn’t pick up much traction at the box office, from “Paddington 2” to “The Favourite.”
Here are the 10 greatest films of 2018 that you probably didn’t see.
“Paddington 2” — released January 12
Imaginative and inspiring, “Paddington 2” is not only the cutest movie of the year, but one of the most original. It has one of the best performances of the year in Hugh Grant’s role as the villain and disgraced actor Phoenix Buchanan. We hope Grant gets nominated for best supporting actor at the 2019 Oscars, because he deserves it more than anyone.
“Annihilation” — released February 23
“Annihilation” came out amid the awards season, so a lot of people missed it. It’s one of Natalie Portman’s best movies and tells a a visually-stunning, imaginative story that will leave you thinking for hours or even days after you see it. Its strong female cast, which includes Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson, is inspiring. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can rent it on digital now to catch up.
“The Death of Stalin” — released March 9
- IFC Films
From Arnando Iannucci , the creator of HBO’s hit comedy and satire “Veep,” “The Death of Stalin” is an astonishing comedy rooted in political reality that is filled with memorable one-liners and clever visuals but never makes fun of the devastating reality that inspired it. It’s also filled with underrated performances from Jason Isaacs, Rupert Friend, and Steve Buscemi.
“First Reformed” — released May 18
Ethan Hawke delivers the performance of his career in “First Reformed,” as an Upstate New York Reverend who’s confronted with his troubling past. Hawke’s performance in this strange-but-in-a-good-way drama establishes that his talent as a performer was underestimated for the first few decades of his career.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” — released May 25
A lot of people saw “Solo,” but it was still a box office failure compared to other “Star Wars” movies. The behind-the-scenes drama with the firing of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller in favor of Ron Howard gave the movie an undeserved bad reputation. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s packed with interesting characters including L3-37 and Young Lando Calrissian.
“Sorry to Bother You” — released July 6
- Annapurna Pictures
“Sorry to Bother You” is subtle but sharp sci-fi that immerses you into a new, vaguely familiar world and has important and timely things to say about race and relationships. It’s a fresh story that introduces rapper Boots Riley as a skilled writer and director.
“Searching” — released August 24
- Sony Pictures Releasing
Set almost entirely on phone computer screens, this a truly modern crime thriller tells the story of David Kim (John Cho), who searches for his missing 16-year old daughter on her laptop. The format works unexpectedly well. “Searching” is also significant for being the first mainstream Hollywood thriller to star an Asian actor.
“First Man” — released October 12
- Universal Pictures
“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle proves that he can play around with many genres in “First Man,” which tells the story of Neil Armstrong’s long journey to landing on the Moon. It captures the thrill and anxiety of space travel, while also giving some insight into Armstrong’s personal life, and how his job affected his family. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy’s low-key but powerful performances alone are a reason to watch it.
“The Favourite” — released November 23
- Fox Searchlight
“The Favourite” is a deliciously funny and dramatic film that has fun with itself and its characters, which makes it stand out among all historical royal movies. It’s one of the best movies of the year, with incredible performances from its entire cast, especially Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Nicholas Hoult. It will hopefully get nominated for many Oscars, and win more than a few as well.
“Mary Queen of Scots” — released December 7
- Focus Features
This is more Saoirse Ronan’s movie than Margot Robbie’s, despite what the marketing has implied. But that’s in the film’s favor. “Mary Queen of Scots” directed by Josie Rourke, eloquently tells the story of two women surrounded by toxic men trying to take away their power. Mary Stuart has always been portrayed in film, television, and media as a villain reduced to sexist stereotypes. But in this movie, she’s thoughtfully written as a smart, empathetic character. The screenplay, written by “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon takes time to build, but the film’s intense final hour is worth the slow burn.
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