What a year it’s been! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed (more than) my fair share of great movies, so, as 2018 comes to an end, here are my selection for the best films in terms of storytelling and performances:
1. Green Book. 2018’s best film depicts the true story about two men dealing with racial tensions back in 1962. Using well-timed comedy relief throughout to offset its deeply rooted racial tensions, “Green Book” emotionally navigates the heartfelt rapport which develops between two completely opposite individuals. My prediction? Viggo Mortensen earns the Best Actor award while Mahershala Ali gives the Best Supporting Actor performance for 2018.
2. Bohemian Rhapsody. This spectacular biographical film on the legendary British rock band “Queen” and its lead singer Freddie Mercury quickly escalates from a historic, powerful music story to an enduring human narrative that touches your soul. The year’s best film ending.
3. A Star Is Born. A powerful and emotional film delivering a back-stage pass to romance, discovery and heartbreak. Lady Gaga shines effortlessly, whether she’s singing into the microphone or facing down Bradley Cooper’s drug and alcohol character Jackson Maine. Cooper’s stunning directorial debut should net him Best Director for 2018, while Gage takes home the Best Actress award.
4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout. One of the best action thrillers ever produced, Tom Cruise reprises his Impossible Missions Force spy character Ethan Hunt once again, giving moviegoers the surprise film of 2018. A sensational action thriller that lives up to high expectations, this is Cruise’s best performance in decades.
5. American Animals. This crime story chronicles the true story of four college-aged boys and their attempt to steal rare artwork from campus. Easily 2018’s best suspense thriller, ‘American Animals’ begins with teases on how far this young crowd will go to have a significant, life-changing event in their lives.
6. If Beale Street Could Talk. The year’s most gritty film presents us with a period drama focused on the wrongful imprisonment of a young African-American from Harlem. Caught up in this legal entrapment is a deeply supportive family led by a mother-in-law and a pregnant wife left behind. A social time bomb, this movie reveals the black experience as few movies can. Regina King should earn 2018’s Best Supporting Actress award in this unforgettable film.
7. Crazy Rich Asians. The perfect Chinese-American love story amidst gossiping family circles and a plush Singaporean skyline. One of the best romantic comedy films since 1990’s “Pretty Woman,” this wildly entertaining movie also flaunts wealth, intrigue and a rags-to-riches love pursuit. The year’s best chick flick.
8. I Can Only Imagine. A wonderful true story about one man’s journey to find love, forgiveness and music. This phenomenal film underscores the need for perseverance and getting back on one’s feet after tough times. It will leave you wanting to stand up and cheer.
9. Life Itself. This riveting movie intersects a series stories that triangulates on love and loss in relationships. “Life Itself” takes the slim mathematical probabilities and illustrates the real-world possibilities. The result is fascinating to watch unfold.
10. Free Solo. This nail-biter offers a front-row seat to Alex Honnold’s daring, rope-free trek up Yosemite National Park’s trademark El Capitan 3,200-foot cliff using only his Herculean fingertips, steady feet and laser-focused mindset.