My top 11 films of 2018

ok here goes …

11. The Breadwinner. (not reviewed) An animated tale about female empowerment in a patriarchal society. Vivid, honest and brutally beautiful.

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The Breadwinner

10. Paddington 2. (not reviewed) A delight from start to finish.

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Brendan Gleeson and co. in Paddington 2.

9. Hereditary (not reviewed). A powerful examination of grief and anxiety and easily the best horror of the year. Let down slightly by its ending, but I still shat my pants. Collette is superb.

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Toni Collette in Hereditary

8. Phantom Thread. Might be a touch too slow and emotionally cold for some, and I suspect the slightly peculiar and unexpected ending could leave a sour taste for those wanting things more conventional. But for myself, I found the film to be an absorbing battle of wills wrapped up sublimely in a gothic love story.

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Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps Phantom Thread

7. Roma (not reviewed). Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Gravity) heads back to his Mexican roots delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him.

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Roma

6. McQueen. A glorious symphony for the senses that runs the gamut of emotions; occasionally amusing, often macabre … but always fascinating. This is bravura filmmaking of the highest order and begs to be seen on the big screen.

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McQueen

5. Lady Bird. A superb solo directorial debut from Gerwig, who has managed to get the balance just right—it is smart yet doesn’t feel preachy, is tender yet bristles with humour, and above all feels new and fresh.

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Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird

4. The Square. Deserved winner of the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Ruben Östlund appears to be at the peak of his powers and has directed a film that is hilarious, fiercely intelligent, and encourages a healthy amount of self-examination.

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Elizabeth Moss and Claes Bang in The Square

3. American Animals. Have you ever daydreamed how to engineer the perfect heist? Just a harmless fantasy for most, but American Animals considers what happens when such reverie flirts with reality.

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Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan in American Animals

2. Annihilation. A beautifully rendered sci-fi head-scratcher that will have you pensively juggling theories long after leaving the cinema.

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Natalie Portman in Annihilation

1. First Reformed (not reviewed). Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) has delivered a thought-provoking film about minister grappling with despair. Ethan Hawke’s career best to date.

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Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried in First Reformed

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