February 2018 was a very solid month for film, pumping out singular movies that should create discussion well past their opening weekends. From massive blockbusters to tiny animation films, variety won out, allowing for everyone to find a film to love. Here’s the best movies of February 2018 as chosen by yours truly:
#3: Game Night
Game Night might go down as the surprise of the month. From the directors of the Vacation reboot starring Ed Helms, no one really expected much from the game-centered comedy. However, Game Night is shockingly well-written, adding much reflexive comedy that continues to find news ways to get a laugh.
While the clear winners of the movie are definitely directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein for proving that they can create a finely crafted motion picture, every member of the cast comes to play. Jason Bateman adds his signature brand of snark to the film, keeping everything light (even when elements get quite dark and gross).
Unlike many studio comedies today, Game Night has a clear style which is accented by a synth score that makes the atmosphere feel quite dingy.
Not to mention that Game Night’s premise works extremely well. Having characters feel over-confident as they take on real criminals is always good for laughs as it puts a completely different spin on the situation. The movie might get lost as it goes deep into its premise, but the experience remains a fun one through and through.
*To read my full review of Game Night, please click here.
#2: Black Panther
We loved Black Panther after his appearance in Civil War, and we love him even more after his solo outing.
There’s been many expansive worlds over the course of 18 MCU films, but none of them feel as real and as lived-in as Wakanda. In what has become a trend around the world, people are taking time out of their lives to shout “WAKANDA FOREVER,” signaling the type of effect this movie culture has caused in real culture. Although we’ve only spent two hours and fifteen minutes with Wakanda and its people, it feels like we’ve known it for generations (or at least a few films within the cinematic universe).
Chadwick Boseman grounds this film with a tempered and calm exterior (and interior), creating a much different superhero than what what has become standard in the genre. Rather than punching everything in sight, Boseman’s Black Panther stays in tune with his morals, honoring those that came before him.
But, when punching comes into play, it’s very satisfying. Built on a discussion of protectionism vs. globalization, Black Panther and Killmonger’s fights are very emotional, dredging up past sins and instances of pain.
It might be a little too early to declare Black Panther as the best MCU film, but it’s definitely in the discussion.
*To read my full review of Black Panther, please click here.
Annihilation simply won’t work for a lot moviegoers. Rather than work in tangible, literal plot elements, this sci-fi flick becomes highly metaphorical and allegorical by the time the third act comes around. Annihilation has a mainstream-level budget, but it’s the furthest thing away from a mainstream movie.
Anchoring the trippy science fiction madness is the chaotic beauty that is The Shimmer. As the film explains, nothing is necessarily evil in this enclosure, it just is. Not only does this idea make for an interesting twist on horror that takes place in science fiction films, but it adds an interesting layer to the concept of creation and evolution.
While it’s difficult to discuss this movie without getting into spoiler territory, that’s precisely the fun in seeing a movie like Annihilation. Art is subjective, and the dialogue around it (especially in film) has been somewhat lost in recent years. Annihilation creates multiple theories for discussion that can lead to completely different interpretations — all of which are correct in some manner.
*To read my full review of Annihilation, please click here.
In Case You (Or I) Missed It
Not every film released this past month can make the list of the best movies of February 2018. But, others are still worth mentioning:
The Ritual is one of the few Netflix films in 2018 to really work. What starts as a rip-off of The Blair Witch Project becomes something completely different — and terrifying. This horror flick works even better once the mystery is taken away, revealing something that ups the ante immediately.
Aardman animation has certainly created better work in the past, but this stop-motion animation film about a Stone Age tribe that plays soccer against a team from the Bronze Age is stupidly fun. Filled with dumb humor that is incredibly well-written, Early Man will have you constantly chuckling throughout its runtime.
Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on the best movies of February 2018? Comment down below!
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