At a Time of Oscar Nominations: The MovieBabble Staff’s Best Movies of 2018

by Olaf Lesniak
Best Movies of 2018

The 91st Academy Awards nominations are here! This marks the commencement of the most exciting time of the year for movie fans around the globe. Prepare yourself for the season full of speculations, predictions, arguments, and tension. But before any of that, the MovieBabble Staff decided to compile its top 10 best movies of 2018.

No, you are not seeing in doubles. We already have a top ten list for the year of 2018 made by our own editor, Nick Kush. If you’re looking for an insightful list composed by a man who saw over 160 movies last year then look no place else. This list, on the other hand, serves as a complimentary post that’ll give you a broad idea of what we thought about the year as a collective.

I’ve asked my fellow staff members to name me their ten favorites and with the help of a point system, I compiled it all into one massive top 10. To earn a point a movie has to find its way onto someone’s list. The higher its placement, the more points it received (each person’s first place film earned 10 points).

Before we get into the lucky ten, here are some of the honorable mentions that were close to finding their way to the big leagues.

Honorable Mentions

Roma (22 points) — gained 3 votes and 2 first places

First Reformed (20 points) — gained 5 votes and 1 first place

Mandy (17 points) — gained 2 votes and 1 first place

BlackKklansman (16 points) — gained 4 votes and 1 first place

Widows (15 points) — gained 2 votes and 1 first place

Unsane (10 points) — gained 1 first place

Others that gained at least 2 votes: Isle of Dogs (13), Cold War (8), Searching (12), The Guilty (5), Aquaman (9), Ready Player One (8), Thoroughbreds (13), Eighth Grade (9), Ralph Breaks the Internet (13), Ant-Man and the Wasp (10), Incredibles 2 (9), Sorry To Bother You (5), Blindspotting (8), If Beale Street Could Talk (14), Thunder Road (7)

Best of 2018

image via Vulture

And now onto our choices!

#10: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (23 points)

3 votes + 1 first place

The world can be a dark and dangerous place. It’s easy losing yourself in its iniquity, terrors, and tragedies. And then you watch Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a movie about one man who took it upon himself to suddenly make all right with the world. Fred Rogers teaches us what it truly means to become the better us without worrying about the hate in the world.

Many documentary films don’t get this amount of attention. We have Morgan Neville to thank for that as he proves the power they can wield. It somehow put many to tears without resorting to deceitful emotional manipulation.

Best of 2018

image via Variety

#9: You Were Never Really Here (27 points)

5 votes

You Were Never Really Here is the hidden gem that thankfully came out earlier in 2018, giving people more time to discover it. Lynne Ramsay is back with another hit after We Need To Talk About Kevin, this time focusing on a scarred man contemplating suicide. The movie tackles serious topics such as PTSD led by Joaquin Phoenix’s amazing performance which helped to bring the vision to life.

Coming out of this one you’ll awe over its score, atmospheric scenes and an ending that will stay with you for a long time. Now we anticipate what the director has in store for us in the future. Let’s hope the Academy is fairer to Ramsay in the years to come.

Best of 2018

image via Indrapramit Das

#8: Black Panther (27 points)

4 votes + 1 first place

A cultural phenomenon unlike before, Black Panther is more than your regular superhero flick. Filled to the brim with passion in the hearts of the director and actors, the end product represents those aspects through its direction, world-building, ensemble cast, and performances.

The film delivers on all fronts whether it be action, drama, sibling relationships, and comedy. This is a movie one can experience alone, with a family, a group of friends — every time different but just as impactful. Wakanda Forever!

Best of 2018

image via TripZilla

#7: Annihilation (27 points)

5 votes + 1 first place

Many of us over at MovieBabble are reflecting over the ending in Annihilation until this day which, as a result, could easily help define it as the greatest final act of 2018. The internet took it upon themselves to do the theorizing only making it that much more exciting to think about the film. Hopefully Alex Garland will continue on creating some of the more engaging sci-fi films of our modern age.

Annihilation is proof of his conceptual genius as the film uses the means of the soundtrack and special effects to take his vision to the next level. Not to mention every single one of these larger than life ideas feel natural. Furthermore, the movie does so much more for women in film than the likes of Ghostbusters and Ocean’s 8 where the main characters aren’t a result of corporate marketing, but the essence of the story.

Best of 2018

image via

#6: A Star Is Born (32 points)

6 votes

After so many previous iterations, who knew the fourth take on an old classic would still find a way to innovate into the modern day. Bradley Cooper surprised us all in his directing debut with his vocal aptitude on top of his acting display. As for Lady Gaga, what’s there to say that already hasn’t been said? She hit it out of the park on every level as the film’s emotional pith.

Together they give birth to a vulnerable power couple that’s signified in a soundtrack we still can’t get enough of. The competition will shake in its boots this awards season as A Star Is Born captures the hearts of celebrities and everyday folk alike.

Best of 2018

image via Variety

#5: The Favourite (36 points)

5 votes + 1 first place

Kicking off our top five is sure to be another award darling that’s wonderfully unconventional, odd, and bizarre. Yorgos Lanthimos’ charm never fails to rub off on The Favourite as he guides the acting trinity of Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and locks them in as sure awards bets.

Even though the story revolves at a time of war between Britain and France, our attention closes in onto the chambers and yards of Queen Anne where the real and more intimate battle ensues. The movie flourishes with whit, comedy, and drama that glue you to your seat for a great anti-Shakespearean tragedy.

Best of 2018

image via Time Magazine

#4: Avengers: Infinity War (37 points)

5 votes

Let’s just say being the culmination of 18 previous films comes with a lot of expectations, yet the Russo Brothers and Kevin Feige were somehow victorious in uniting around 25 different superheroes into one cohesive narrative. They make this look like a walk in the park. But to call this just a culmination of a decade-long build-up would be an understatement. Infinity War accomplishes more than that.

It serves as a dramatic shift in the universe that leaves the characters and the viewers in a dark place. Going into it many didn’t expect the high-stake ending the movie followed through on. In all its scale the bold narrative choices are always clear — and rewarding. Along with a villain as the untraditional main character, this is a worthy film on the list.

Best of 2018

image via Hollywood Reporter

#3: A Quiet Place (37 points)

6 votes + 1 first place

Thinking back on it, 2018 was a good year for actors turning into acclaimed directors with the likes of Bradley Cooper, Jonah Hill and now John Krasinski. A Quiet Place for many of us at MovieBabble was a film that defined its genre through its world where the key to staying alive is the thing that hits close to home in horror: silence.

Both experimental and proficient in its ways, the chilling imagery and profound sound design will guarantee its place among other iconic horror films. When people yearn for original films full of ideas, this is what they mean. Too long have we heard that audiences do not respond to untested and fresh IPs in Hollywood…and then this one came out of the left field and through everyone for a loop. Bravo!

Best of 2018

image via Hollywood News

#2: Mission: Impossible – Fallout (38 votes)

5 votes + 2 first places

For the second time, Christopher McQuarrie took a stab at the Mission: Impossible franchise and somehow managed to outdo Rogue Nation. McQuarrie never rejected the franchise’s pure fun and action-oriented roots, and instead embraced them.

Fallout leaves its audience satisfied by utilizing the true potential of the spy genre. McQuarrie designs clever, quick and ambitious sequences that take everyone by surprise, twisting everyone’s expectations without disrupting the course of events in the film. It’s why they play out as well as they do. And of course the second key component is unquestionably Tom Cruise, for he does not know the damage that man can take.

Best of 2018

image via Esquire

#1: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (56 points)

7 votes + 2 first places

As coined by our writer, Collin Willis, the “Babbley” goes to none other than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It’s crazy to think we’ve had 7 Spider-Man solo movies in a span of one generation and it is the latest one that many hail as the best.

Into the Spider-Verse is one of the greatest tributes to the character. It has the humor, comic book references, movie references, self-awareness, relationships and the themes to back all that up. Not for a second does it cease from celebrating everything Spider-Man, yet it still finds a way to tie it all back to what’s at the center of this character: being a kid in a costume with a sense of responsibility and a choice of whether to help or not.

We can’t not talk about this movie without mentioning its beautiful art style that marks the next step in animation. Regardless of anything anyone will say, this movie will go down in history as a technical marvel and deserves to sit among the nominees for Best Picture. And if another Disney or Pixar film wins Best Animated film? The Academy will for sure have its next controversy waiting at its door.

Best of 2018

image via The Verge

Closing Thoughts

I want to thank the fellow staff members who participated. The amazing thing when creating this list was seeing all of us cast votes for movies we each enjoyed personally and not for which films were positioned for the most acclaim in the industry. There were over 80 films submitted for this piece. Some voters saw most of their movies make the list while others saw none or only one. That’s subjectivity for you! It’s fascinating to see this process play out.

We thank you for reading and hope to continue our path in 2019.

Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on our picks for the best movies of 2018? Comment down below!

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Annlyel James March 21, 2019 - 11:32 pm

Love, love, love this list! I’m so happy to see MI: Fallout in the #2 spot because it was clearly my favorite film of 2018 (I haven’t seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse yet.) I LOVE action movies and this one completely knocked my socks off from beginning to end.

I was also relieved to see ‘Infinity War’ in the top 5. I’ve never been so thrilled with a superhero movie.

Once again, great list. 👍

Karl January 23, 2019 - 6:13 pm

I’m not trying to be snarky but It seems most here really love comic book movies. Roma is my #1 film of the year. I’m surprised it didn’t make it here. As for similar taste, I also have A Quiet Place, Annihilation A Star is Born and Black Panther in my top ten.

As for Spider-Man – Into the Universe, I loved it the first time, but it didn’t hold up the second time. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood.

Often Off Topic January 22, 2019 - 10:33 am

It’s always fun to see Top 10 lists! This is yet another post that rubs salt into my wound that is the fact that I still haven’t seen Spider-Verse…

Olaf Lesniak January 22, 2019 - 1:40 pm

Get to it while it’s in theatres! I wanted to see it for the animation alone.

Nick Kush January 22, 2019 - 9:19 am

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