While this has been a great year for movies, or so I’ve heard, I’ve ended up missing and/or skipping a lot of the most popular movies. However, what movies I did see were all worth seeing. I didn’t see a single movie I hated all year (which is rare). I thought about making a Top 5 only to really make me fight to cut out movies I LOVED, but I saw enough that I think a top 10 is still worthy. Even if some of them may not have made top 10 in a year like last year when I hit my record for movie-going, they’re still really great movies that I think should be recognized.
So, not every movie on this list is THE BEST EVER. However, my blog is called Chelsea Loves Movies, so I’m going to give you my top 10 movies of the year and tell you what about it I loved enough to think it deserved to be celebrated.
10. Mortal Engines
Though not as many people enjoyed this as me, I can’t leave this movie off the list. Mortal Engines is the type of movie that sucks you in from the first minute. The opening sequence before the title pops up is easily the best opening of the year. There wasn’t a dull moment in this movie, and I really loved the sets and graphics and just the whole look of this movie. The characters all were so well developed and well written. I particularly loved the diversity of this film. So often movies like this are all white people, and here we have most of the heroes being not-white. All in all, this movie just filled my yearly quota for an action-packed fantasy adventure. If you like things where the heroes are up against sci-fi or fantasy villains fighting to save the world, this is just the movie for you.
9. Oceans 8
If you’re anything like me, you love a good heist movie and badass women. Having them both together is my jam. There’s very little that I didn’t love about this movie. Anne Hathaway’s performance in this movie was fantastic. She was the best part of this movie, even though I loved so much else about it. Also the heist is just genius. GENIUS!
God, what can I say about Dumplin? This movie is so good. It’s so, so good. It has girls supporting girls, girls fighting and overcoming their issues, fat girls being beautiful, a non-binary actor, drag queens, family drama that ends well, and good Southern humor. I loved this movie so much. It’s moving and beautiful and I cried about six times watching it, and the ACTING is spectacular! This is the best movie to watch if you’re feeling low about yourself. It’s about learning, and growth, and grief, and understanding, and it’s just a great movie. Watch it. It’s on Netflix so I know you have access to it.
7. Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse
Okay, this one I know you’ve seen, we’ve all seen it, but if you haven’t, all you need to know is that it’s the best Spider-Man movie of all. The end. It’s over. And I loooooved Homecoming, so to call this the best Spider-Man movie is big praise from me. Miles Morales is so good, and the entire story is just so touching. The animation style is what really sets it apart though. Seriously, the visual look of this movie is beyond stunning. The comedy and emotions are so good and the characters are all so well written. This is just a fantastic movie and may be the best Marvel movie all year.
I’m hit or miss with Spike Lee movies, but this? God, this is amazing. This movie was beyond well written. The script for this movie was just perfect. The performances were also really amazing. I kept thinking it reminded me a lot of Imperium (a movie I loved but most people ‘meh’ed about) but with a far better script. Adam Driver in particular stands out in this movie. His performance is so subtle but so precise. He’s the absolute best actor they could have picked for this role and I am so happy with this performance. Also, the end of this movie is a very brave move. I was stunned speechless as I walked out of the theater.
5. Black Panther
Honestly, I feel really bad about putting this in 5th. When it came out, I was certain it would be the #1 movie of the year for me. And it’s still so, so good. Don’t get me wrong by it’s middle of the pack placement, because this was just a really strong film. I loved the colors, I love the sets, I loved the writing and the acting and the humor. Shuri is my favorite character all year, for instance. And above all, Killmonger is by far the best villain since Loki when it comes to Marvel. The actors in this movie are all top notch and you couldn’t have asked for a better score/soundtrack for this movie.
4. Love, Simon
This is the movie I’ve wanted since I was a teenager. Everything gay for the longest time was tragic. There are some positive queer stuff in the media these days, but until very recently, every movie with queer people ended in death or suicide or AIDS or other depressing shit like that. This is the first major, wide-released film I can think of that is just a typical teen rom-com with a character who happens to be gay. There’s so little homophobia. The drama is mostly personal, about not wanting things to change. It’s the same as any teen movie where the main character is undergoing some sort of angst about a love interest or friendships or social status. And that’s FANTASTIC! Normalizing the queer experience is wonderful for queer kids. Everything being like “Oh yeah you’re going to die of a gaybashing because you gave someone closeted AIDS” is fucking crushing. You only see yourself suffering on the screen. We NEED more films where queer kids and queer adults are just kids and just adults and being queer is a personal drama, not a death-sentence. This movie deals with the fear of coming out and the fear of those you love reacting badly, and most importantly, it shows that he’s ultimately accepted and still loved AND gets the guy. And that’s revolutionary.
3. Crazy Rich Asians
I love love stories. There’s nothing better to me than a romance done right. Yes, I rarely watch straight-up romances and don’t see many romantic comedies, but I love romance in other genres. This is about the only straight up rom-com I saw all year, and it’s SPECTACULAR. You have a gorgeous man who is sweet and smart and kind, you have a strong woman who is beautiful and loving, and you have a unique story for their romance. But here’s what’s really amazing about this movie: women. This movie is full of women who are strong in their own ways. Love them or hate them, they are all brave and strong and have experiences that challenge them throughout the movie. Gemma Chan deserves an Oscar for her role. I know she’ll never get it, but I firmly believe the best supporting actress Oscar should be hers, gift wrapped with a thank you note tied to it. This movie is so good, and the pacing is perfect, and that wedding scene alone deserves SOME sort of award for the beauty and the emotional depth alone.
2. Keys To The Heart
If a single one of you has seen this movie already, please comment and tell me, because I hadn’t even heard of it until I specifically wanted to see a Korean film. The thought that nobody was talking about this movie when tons of people I follow see non-English films is a travesty. Keys To The Heart is a story about a man who has had no family since he was a child running into the mother he hasn’t seen for decades, and when she offers to let him come live with her and her autistic son he never knew about, he accepts because he’s broke and jobless. The entire movie is about family and growing and learning to understand, and most of all, love someone so different. The way that Joha goes from hating his brother that got their mother when he didn’t to wanting to use him to make money in a piano contest because he’s a savant to loving his little brother is one of the most wonderful emotional journeys I’ve seen in any film ever. This movie is just so well written. I don’t know what it is about Korean film, but even the ones with bad acting or a story I don’t love, I’ve never seen a poorly written Korean film. I honestly thought this would be my #1 film of the year, but upon reflection, only sentimentality kept it from that #1 spot.
1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Mr. Rogers was easily the most important and influential figure of my childhood (outside of family). This documentary taught me even more about someone who made such a difference in my life. I’ve always told people, I think I am a better person for having watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood as a child. I feel sad for all the people who never saw the show or the children today who missed out on something so monumentally important to childhood development. Fred Rogers was the closest thing to an angel or saint that we’ll ever have on earth. Learning about his history and his life and his endeavors before my time only made me love him more. Also, on a less sentimental level, I love how this was organized as a documentary. The animations of his puppets as transitions is just beautiful. The way it’s organized is just really a great documentary format. If you don’t watch any other documentary from 2018, you should watch this one. If you never got to experience Mr. Rogers as a figure in your life as a child, watch this and learn about this wonderful human. There are so many children who I am positive are better human beings because of this amazing man, and learning about his life and his legacy is honestly the best use of two hours you could ever choose to do. This is just such a wonderful tribute to an incredible human being, and it wouldn’t be honest of me to put it lower down on this list just because I know I’m being sentimental. It’s called Chelsea Loves Movies, and Chelsea Loved This Movie.
So there we have it, my top 10 films of 2018! However, as always, we can’t forget my special categories list!
This year, Best Beard goes to Jack Black in House With The Clock In Its Walls! This iconic beard is just too good to not reward!
This one was tough, because I saw some sad shit this year. Though I cried more times with Dumplin, the MOST tears award goes to Keys To The Heart! Essentially, I spent the last 20 minutes of that movie sobbing. It’s beautiful and tragic and so, so moving. I fell in love with those characters and everything that happened either tore my heart in two or filled it with love.
This award goes to Destination Wedding! I love Keanu Reeves and I love Winona Ryder, but god that movie was so pretentious. I was sure the most pretentious would be an Oscar film, but nope. That movie was so, so fucking up its own ass. I am glad I watched it, but Jesus. La La Land was less self-important than this movie.
Laughed Until I Almost Peed
There are a LOT of options here. I saw tons of great comedies this year. However, I think the award has to go to Life of the Party. Melissa McCarthy is just too funny. The scene where they are at the restaurant and learn that the woman her ex was cheating on her with is the mother of the college kid she’s currently fucking? Oh my God, I nearly fell out of my seat. It’s just too, too good.
Listen, there were a lot of hot guys in movies this year. LOTS of them. But here, we’re going for CUTE. We’re going for ADORABLE. And the most adorable was definitely Tom from Mortal Engines. Look at those Disney prince eyes!!!
Most Gorgeous Girl
Unlike Cutest Boy, here we’re going for HOTTEST, most BEAUTIFUL woman/girl in anything, and this one goes to Astrid from Crazy Rich Asians. I may have invented this category just to celebrate Gemma Chan’s face. Don’t judge me. She’s so beautiful it hurts my soul and does things to my vagina. She’s possibly the most beautiful woman to ever exist. Don’t question me on this.
Don’t mistake this category as a ‘bad’ movie, because this award goes to Super Troopers 2, which is easily the best ‘we made a sequel 10 years later’ movies I’ve seen so far. I fucking LOVED this movie. It honestly almost made the top 10 list, but I held myself back because the rest of the field was more impressive. But this would be #11 for sure. However, the story is so fucking stupid. It’s hilariously ridiculous. I love it and it is super dumb. Those things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand sometimes. And this is one of those times.
Best Fuck You Moment
There were TONS of great FU moments this year, but the award has to go to the phone call to David Dukes at the end of BlacKkKlansman. That was just so beautiful. The moment of reveal was just fantastic. There’s little more I hate worse than a bigot, so that was just beautiful.
Biggest Dick Energy
Ironically, the biggest dick energy goes to a woman this year. And I had like 5 scenes with women having serious big dick energy to choose from, but this award goes to the scene in Crazy Rich Asians when Rachel tells Nick’s mother she’s not going to force Nick to choose between the woman he loves and his mother, but tells her he will resent her forever if she makes him do that instead. Rachel has basically accepted she’s lost the love of her life and she just wants to make sure the mother she lost him to knows how bad she just fucked her son up. To vagina-kick an elder is a big fucking thing, therefore, that’s definitely the biggest dick energy of 2018.
I mean, there were a LOT of options for this one, A LOT, but I think the award has to go to Jenifer Aniston in Dumplin. The replacement that she gets from the drag queens for the final of the pageant? What’s more perfect than that dress, honestly? It’s so tacky that it’s perfect! I love it. Absolutely love it.
So 2018 was a great year for movies and silly categories, and let’s hope 2019 is just as great for film as we enter the year!
If you liked this post, share it, tell your friends, because I’m going into my new year hoping to post way more movie reviews than 2018 and more viewers motivates me!