Looking back this week. The Top 10 Summer Movies of 2018 was a pretty good summer. Trying to come up with my list, I found up to 18 films and probably could have gone even more if I had to. It turned out that the top 9 were set and I had to debate the #10.
I have never done a mid year list of any kind so it will be interesting when the year end list comes around and how it will affect this order.
I started the summer with the new Avengers movie and I ended it before this weekend. If I had not, the new movie Searching would have made this list as I absolutely loved it. However, I saw it officially on September 1st so I eliminated it from the summer films.
I always have SPOILERS on this list, but you should be especially aware this time.
#10. RBG. Okay, I had a really tough time choosing this spot, and who would have guessed that a documentary featuring Ruth Bader Ginsberg would be so freakin’ entertaining. I enjoyed every second of the movie. I do not see that many documentaries in the actual movie theater but I was so glad that I saw RBG on the big screen. She was as awesome of a woman that could possibly be and I had no idea that she was so epic.
#9. Deadpool 2. The sequel wasn’t quite as good for me as the original, but I still enjoyed this completely. I absolutely loved the X-Force section of this movie. I sat with my mouth agape as the X-Force guys each were killed almost immediately. Ryan Reynolds brings the goods again and Josh Brolin was fine as Cable. The biggest issue I had was the death of Vanessa and then the fix of it at the end. Domino, however, who is a character I was never a fan of in the comics, is sensational here. Really funny.
#8. BlacKkKlansman. Spike Lee’s latest movie is exceptional. The true story of a black cop who infiltrates a local branch of the Klu Klux Klan. There was so much connection to today’s world that it was unbelievable and a little bit sad as well. The acting is tremendous, the story is amazingly unbelievable and the final scenes of the movie, which shows the horrors of Trump and the hatred the world has been involved in lately. Spike Lee brought the inspiration.
#7. Sorry to Bother You. Another racial toned story, but one that completely goes crazy. I was totally enjoying this movie and then Lakeith Stanfield’s character is at the party and, in search of a bathroom, stumbles across the half-man/half horse creatures and the film completely goes INSANE. I could not believe what I was watching and I loved it. I know the ending with the sci-fi twist lost some people, but I thought it was something special. It kind of reminded me of The Lobster. This film is a wonderful surprise.
#6. Eighth Grade. I loved this movie because I recognized everything. As a Middle School teacher, I couldn’t believe how accurate these characters were. And the scene in the back of the car where Kayla uncomfortably sits while the high school boy is taking his shirt off and trying to get her to do more had me on the edge of my seat. I sat there with my breath held, hoping beyond all hope that she would escape this dangerous situation. I also loved her father, who seemed to be the perfect father for a teenage girl. Eighth Grade was a magnificent film.
#5. Ant Man and the Wasp. I enjoyed the team up film quite a bit. It felt lighter and more fun after the emotional roller coaster of Avengers: Infinity War. Evangeline Lilly does a fantastic job as Hope and she has a wonderful chemistry with Paul Rudd. The movie is funny, exciting and makes us feel like an Ant Man movie. Paul Rudd’s connection with Scott’s daughter is one of the best scenes of the movie. As a villain, Ghost has potential to be more than just a one off villain (Thunderbolts, anyone?) The film has impressive and creative uses of the shrinking gimmick and is highly entertaining.
#4. Mission Impossible: Fallout. The latest installment of the Mission Impossible franchise is a great action movie and Tom Cruise continues his insanity of doing his own stunts. You can see the actual scene in the movie where he injured himself doing the stunt. The addition of the sufficiently mustached Henry Cavill was great as well. I would have liked more Rebecca Ferguson than what we got, but that it picking at the nitpicks. This is a turbo engine of action and excitement and is once again one of the great films of the franchise.
#3. Incredibles 2. After a decade and a half, there is finally the sequel that we have all been waiting for and they completely knocked it out of the park. With most of the original voice cast returning, Incredibles 2 brings these characters back to the end of the first film and continues their story. Jack Jack and his path of discovery of his own powers is great as is the step to the forefront of Elastigirl. Jack Jack and the raccoon is one of the best scenes of the film, certainly the funniest. The return of Edna and how she takes to jack Jack is also a fun call back. The movie is truly a fantastic sequel and the public completely loved it as it passed the one billion dollar mark world wide. My guess is that we won’t have to wait as long this time for Incredibles 3. Get on that, Brad Bird.
#2. Won’t You Be My Neighbor. I was never that much into Mr. Rogers. I watched it, but I was really more of a Sesame Street/Electric Company guy, but this documentary destroyed me. I have cried in the movie theater before, but I have never cried in the car on the way home before until this movie. And I am not really sure why. I think part of it is how desperately we could use a man like Fred Rogers, honest, caring, straightforward, who cares about the kids of the world above anything else, now a days where we have such divisiveness and hatred. I saw this around the time the story of the immigrant children being separated from their parents was breaking. I can’t imagine what Mr. Rogers would think about that. This documentary catches the humanity of this man who was the best of us.
#1. Avengers: Infinity War. Ten years of Marvel Studio movies were building to this moment and Infinity War did not fail to deliver. A masterpiece of ingenuity, the film handled its tremendously large cast better than most films handle their small ensembles. Then, the film went there. The snap. Some believed that the snap might come, but that it would come early and the movie would be trying to save the lost heroes. In the actual comic, the snap happens very early. Not here. The snap was at the very end and the after effects were heartbreaking. Spider-man’s apparently adlibbed line destroyed people. Sure, you know that most if not all of these characters will return, but that does not cheapen what this was. The theater I was in was dead silent as these heroes started “dusting” and the shock when the movie ended with Thanos victorious was palatable. What a gutsy thing for Marvel Studios to pull off. I loved Infinity War so much and I cannot wait for Avengers 4 to see where the story goes from here.
Honorable mentions: Tag, Teen Titans Go to the Movies, Three Identical Strangers, Upgrade, Tully, Hereditary, Crazy Rich Asians