2018 was filled with incredible movies that left us feeling stunned. It was the year of instant classics such as Black Panther and A Star Is Born. You couldn't go anywhere without people singing Queen in dedication to Freddie Mercury's biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Young children and full-grown adults alike were giddy to see their favorite superhero family return in Incredibles 2. 2018 left us with a hub of cinematic gold, yet some of these films hadn't received the sizable viewership that they truly deserved.
What were some of the best films in 2018 that you probably don't even remember seeing a trailer for? Here are some of the hidden gems from last year that are worth taking a look at.
10 EIGHTH GRADE
While most of us want to keep our thoughts and memories from middle school stashed away in our worn-out Lisa Frank diaries, nothing will cause that era of our lives to creep back into our thoughts quite like Bo Burnham's directorial debut for Eighth Grade. And perhaps that is not such a terrible thing, after all. Eighth Grade is a film that will break your heart and warm it at the same time.
Seriously though, this movie is the whole package and it deserves to be seen by everyone on the planet who has ever been in Junior High before. Burnham somehow manages to accurately depict (to a scary extent) what it's like to be a young and socially anxious girl in public school. Everything from the camera work to the excruciatingly accurate dialogue and mannerisms of a junior high student adds up to this film being remembered as an artistic triumph.
9 9. DISOBEDIENCE
Disobedience is a film that was released to the US in 2018, about two women (Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz) who have been in love with each other since childhood. The only problem is, they are both from Orthodox Jewish families who would never allow two women to be together. Oh, and McAdams' character, Esti, is married to a man. So there's that. This film is sure to cause your heart to burst from all the feelings and if you don't cry at the end of the film, you might want to check to see if you're a verified robot. It's a love story, plain and simple, and it is gosh darn beautiful.
Mid90s is an excellent coming of age film directed by Jonah Hill that could best be described as Freaks and Geeks meets RocketPower. It centers around a group of kids with defining nicknames such as "Fourth grade" and "Sunburn", who spend their days skateboarding under the sun and finding creative ways to make each other laugh. As expected from the title, this movie takes place in the mid-'90s and it perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the time period without excessively rubbing it in your face. It's a film that is packed with good spirits and community that it is definitely worth watching if you want to take a nostalgic dip into the era that was all about friendship.
7 BEAUTIFUL BOY
Remember when Little Miss Sunshine came out and we were all shocked to see Michael Scott from The Office take on a serious role while doing an excellent job at it? Well, Steve Carell's dramatic abilities shine through yet again in Beautiful Boy and we are swept off of our feet once more by his versatility as an actor. The film is based on the biography by David Sheff which centers around a father who is trying his best to clear his son of his addiction to crystal meth. While Carell plays the sympathetic father, his drug addict son is played by Timothee Chalamet. Saying that Chalamet is a "beautiful boy" is perhaps the biggest understatement of the year, and his acting isn't so bad either. Seriously, the kid is good. These two deserve all the awards they could possibly get from Beautiful Boy, and we hope to see Carell and Chalamet star in more films together in the near future.
6 ISLE OF DOGS
Wes Anderson amazes us again by creating a film that is so offbeat and quirky it could only be the works of a true artist. Isle of Dogs is a piece of art in every sense of the word, from the mesmerizing visuals to the unique concept of which we have never seen the likes of before.
Plus, who the heck wouldn't want to see Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Murray as dog friends? It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and can only be found in this Anderson masterpiece. Isle of Dogs is a refreshing change of pace from the films we are used to hitting the theaters (and is a real treat for dog lovers).
5 ASSASSINATION NATION
What happens when your most private files on the internet get leaked to everyone you know and love? Assassination Nation has the answers! Sam Levinson's film seems to be the perfect mixture of camp and gore, thus creating a unique black comedy unlike any other. If you want to see a film that manages to be a hybrid of Mean Girls and The Purge, you've got it right here. Everything about Assassination Nation is exciting, from the awesome camerawork to the colorful visuals and the booming soundtrack. Although there's a whole lot going on in Levinson's film, it truly works and leaves you feeling energized. This is perhaps the most fun film in a long time and definitely one of the most exciting of 2018.
4 ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
What do you get when you combine Christmas cheer with Scottish high schoolers, peppy music numbers, and zombie attacks throughout? Anna and the Apocalypse, of course! With all of these oddball gimmicks, this movie could have gone in one of two directions. One might expect Anna and the Apocalypse to either be a flashy over-the-top headache of a film or a quirky yet thrilling musical adventure of whimsey. Fortunately, it is the latter.
As expected by the title of the film, a town is under the attack of a zombie apocalypse, and simply enough, a group of teens needs to slay the zombies in an effort to survive. It successfully manages to be a fun and creative film throughout, always finding original ways to add spice and flair to the simplest scenes, like when they slay zombies on the lanes of a bowling alley. This is a great film if you're looking for something adventurous.
3 SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
Sorry To Bother You is a satirical film about a black man named Cassius Green who finds success in his telemarketing job when he uses a "caucasian voice" over the phone. The film manages to be a whole mix of genres from political satire, to comedy, to sci-fi thriller.
It is filled with plot twists and surprises that are as epic as the likes of Gone Girl and Get Out. It is one of those films that is impossible to find boring because of its originality and energetic spunk that will leave you at the edge of your seat.
Plus, it has a stellar cast including Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, and Lakeith Stanfield. What's not to like?
2 LEAVE NO TRACE
Leave No Trace is a film from 2018 that stars Ben Foster and Thomasin Mckenzie as a father and daughter who live in the woods. Foster's character suffers from major PTSD and his goal is to get as far off the grid as possible, keeping his daughter by his side as they navigate through life outside of regular society. Mckenzie's character eventually wants to branch out into civilization and experience all that she has been missing out on, while Foster's isn't quite interested in interacting with the real world. Leave No Trace thought-provoking and totally underrated.
Thoroughbreds tells the story of two childhood friends who reunite after years apart. Lily and Amanda are seemingly complete opposites until they dig deeper into their friendship and realize how similar they really are. Lily, furious with her ill-tempered stepdad for forcing her to go off to boarding school, needs to find a way to get rid of him once and for all. Amanda is happy to assist. How will they go about this? Will they end up getting their hands dirty?
The acting in this film is incredible, especially by the leading ladies Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy. It's a unique black comedy that deserves a much bigger audience.
What are your favorite underrated films from 2018?