It’s time to take a look back at the movie year. Here is my list of the ten best movies of 2018. (Scroll down to see my list of the WORST films of the year!)
10) HEARTS BEAT LOUD (PG-13)
“Hearts Beat Loud” is a charming, low-key comic father-daughter drama that’s sweet-natured and has an appealing pop score.
9) A QUIET PLACE (PG-13)
Director/star John Krasinski delivers something original with the genuinely scary creepfest, “A Quiet Place.” It’s a skillfully made and truly scary sci-fi opus.
8) BLACKKKLANSMAN (R)
“BlacKkKlansman” tells the remarkable true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. Director Spike Lee’s comic drama is oh-so relevant in contemporary America.
7) SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE (PG)
“Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” is a wildly imaginative, energetic animated Marvel epic that finally captures Spider-Man’s cheeky humor.
6) THE GUILTY (R)
“The Guilty” is a riveting Danish thriller about a police officer at an emergency call center who desperately tries to help a caller who turns out to be a kidnap victim.
5) EIGHTH GRADE (R)
“Eighth Grade” is a poignant, realistic and beautifully acted look at the angst of adolescence that will transport you back to a time when hormones and social pressures had you in an emotional knot.
4) GREEN BOOK (PG-13)
“Green Book” is a feel-good true story about an African-American concert pianist and his Italian-American driver who experience ups and downs on a tour the Deep South in 1960.
3) WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (PG)
The documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is a surprising and loving portrait of famed children’s TV icon, Fred Rogers.
2) ROMA (R)
“Roma” is a shoo-in for a Best Foreign Language Oscar. It’s an artful and heartfelt recollection of Alfonso Cuarón’s childhood memories in Mexico City.
1) WIDOWS (R)
20th Century Fox
“Widows” is a potent and beautifully acted heist movie that features powerhouse performance from Viola Davis.
Check out the podcast of this segment on KKFI.org to also see my list of the worst films of the year. Well, that’s it for this edition of Freeze Frame. Until next time, I’m Russ Simmons with Fox 4 and KKFI-FM.
Russ’ WORST films of 20198, the ones to avoid adding to your streaming list:
10) TOMB RAIDER (PG-13)
One day, someone will make a truly good movie based on a video game. We’re still waiting. It’s not Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander’s fault that the results are loud and mind-numbing.
9) MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE (PG-13)
20th Century Fox
The third and supposedly final chapter in the “Maze Runner” saga is has finally arrived. “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is about a ragtag group of teens fighting for their lives while trying to figure out what’s going on. You’ll have a hard time figuring it out, too, Loud, busy and exhausting.
8) THE LITTLE STRANGER (R)
Domhnall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson star in “The Little Stranger,” a meandering and slow-moving British ghost story filled with characters that are very hard to like. And the final reveal is a real eye-roller. Lovers of the book may be able to fill the movie’s blanks. Others, beware.
7) FIFTY SHADES FREED (R)
Like its predecessors, “Fifty Shades Freed” isn’t bad enough to be campy fun and is about as erotic as a cold shower. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are back in this absurd wish-fulfillment fantasy that’s just a gaudy soap opera dressed up with snappy production values. The best thing to say about “Fifty Shades Freed” is that this is actually the last installment of the franchise.
6) PEPPERMINT (R)
Do you miss the good old “Death Wish” days when Charles Bronson took the law into his own hands? Well, Jennifer Garner essentially has stepped into Bronson’s shoes in the thriller, “Peppermint.” It’s a violent wish-fulfillment fantasy that stretches credibility to the limit. If you can get past the movie’s regressive social elements and borderline racism, then this might be your cup of peppermint tea.
5) SUPER TROOPERS 2 (R)
Fox Searchlight Pictures
The stoner comedy “Super Troopers 2” is a raunchy farce from the comedy group “Broken Lizard.” It’s a little unnerving to see these middle-aged guys displaying such childish behavioral issues. While it has some shamelessly funny moments, much of “Super Troopers 2” just feels like a bad flashback.
4) LIFE ITSELF (R)
Are you in the mood to be hammered with bubblegum philosophizing in an emotionally manipulative multigenerational drama? When then, “Life Itself” is the four-hankie weeper for you. In spite of good intentions and a great cast, “Life Itself” is a head-scratching misfire.
3) THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS (R)
Foul-mouthed puppets behaving in degenerate ways provide the gimmick in the one-joke movie, “The Happytime Murders,” a raunchy and vulgar comedy. The shock value quickly wears thin in what is basically an overextended TV sketch. “The Happytime Murders” is under-stuffed.
2) SUSPIRIA (R)
The remake of the cult classic 1977 Italian horror film “Suspiria” is a pretentious and tedious experience. Director Luca Guadagnino probably thinks his hollow and grisly horror flick is high art. It ain’t.
1) HOLMES AND WATSON (PG-13)
This broad comedy reunites Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly who had success together with “Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights.” This time out, they play the famed detective duo attempting to unravel the mystery of an attempt on the life of Queen Victoria in the early 1900s. Ferrell and Reilly try hard to breathe some life into the juvenile script, but their efforts seem pretty desperate. “Holmes and Watson” is the worst movie of the year.