So… Are these the very best? As always, I probably missed a few serious contenders. Also as always, this is about films released in Sweden during 2018 AD. Which, for example, might mean some Oscar nominees and even winners of last year could show up here. Do they? Let’s find out, shall we?
1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (directed by Christopher McQuarrie)
They run, hide, jump and fight to save the world. Many are called but few are chosen as well as Tom Cruise & Co in this surprisingly persistent and still vital movie franchise.
2. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
Grand and intimate, beautiful and troublesome, in this magnificent ode to life in Mexico City during times of turbulence back in the early 70’s. Though most of all, so impressive in its depiction of daily life and its attention to details.
3. Annihilation (Alex Garland)
What is it really about? What happened in that weird, glowing forest? We could discuss that for hours on end without completely reaching an agreement. Anyway, it’s one of 2018’s most consistently intriguing films. At least I agree on that.
4. Coco (Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina)
Death. It’s really colourful and attractive, right? At least in this Mexicanized musical universe.
5. Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Stefano Sollima)
Death. Sometimes it’s all too unnecessary, don’t you think? Can’t we all just get along? Still, entering this world means being trapped for two hours, wondering where it’s all going, whom you’re to supposed to sympathize with and why.
6. A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper)
One is falling, the other one rising and they love each other. But… It’s complicated. Impressive directing debut for Bradley Cooper, who doesn’t let the actor Bradley Copper retain all that much dignity when the going really gets tough for the protagonist. Also, Lady Gaga is in the movie. You knew that, right? Come to think of it, she’s probably the real protagonist. She can sing! And act, incidentally.
7. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
Light entertainment indeed… Or, no. Ethan Hawke as a preacher with a tortured soul trying to figure out the purpose of his life at a point where he’s lost a family, maybe his faith as he used to know it and possibly hope for the future in general. What kind of catharsis could be in store for him – and us? Well, it is painful. And also somewhat hopeful.
8. The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci)
Death. Again… Oh by the way, watching films on airplanes. What’s your stance on that? I did that in this case. Could it be this one deserves a higher ranking? Entertaining and shrewd satire.
9. The Post (Steven Spielberg)
The Master’s ode to the Free Press. Traditional, highbrow, old-fashioned, maybe. But also entertaining and kind of… is it this little word important I’m really trying to emphasize here?
10. Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz)
Israeli drama, apparently not entirely appreciated by everyone within the country itself. It becomes political in a sense without really trying to be overtly that. It’s human, it’s complicated and deals with tragedy, sorrow and young lives put on the line in a way that you just don’t see every day. It’s got style. And substance. And might mess with your head in a constructive way.
The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lady Bird, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody
I could name a few others, but let’s draw the line here for now. Of course I will discover a few more masterpieces from 2018 eventually, which I’ve missed so far. Hopefully. Also, I am aware that none of my top ten this year were directed by women. ”Lady Bird”, mentioned honourably being the exception all in all. Yes, as I said, probably I have some more revealing discoveries coming up…