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cinemaspeak59

2018 Noteworthy Films

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This is a listing of 15 noteworthy 2018 films that I’ve seen:

Annihilation An unsettling sci-fi about an alien force that can alter living DNA.

Black Panther Arguably Marvel's masterpiece.  The movie explores social issues with commendable deftness with no shortage of thrills.

A Quiet Place It's a creature feature, sure, but Emily Blunt's performance as a mother walking a tightrope of silence to protect her family elevates the story.

Avengers: Infinity War The least joyous film in the series, which finds our beloved protectors being wiped out, literally, by Thanos, the villain to top all villains.

The Death of Stalin A black comedy about the absurdity and wickedness of authoritarian governments.

Hereditary Not the most original horror film, but the genre touchstones are executed with such mastery that it looks like nothing we've seen before. A triumph of set design and acting.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout This is now the premier action adventure franchise, as Tom Cruise and company get better with each installment.

The Wife Notable for Glenn Close's performance as the wife of a prestigious author, a performance which should land the actress her first Academy Award.

Burning This hypnotic thriller from South Korea touches on class, gender power struggles, and is simply devastating.

Searching for Ingmar Bergman Bergman is presented as a true artist. Interviews with his children show him as not an exemplary father. This doc reinforces the view that directing for Bergman was a vocation, and an all-consuming one at that.

The Favourite  A costume drama set in the court of Queen Anne, with plenty of scheming, backstabbing and bedroom politics. This is not a Masterpiece Theatre version of English royalty.

Mary Queen of Scots It's not just Catholics vs Protestants. It's a feminist take on the bond between two great women, Mary and Elizabeth, who if left to themselves could have coexisted rather peacefully.

Vice Adam McKay has become our foremost maestro for satirizing political history. His target is now Vice President Dick Cheney, and how he turned a constitutionally weak office into the most powerful position in the free world, with consequences still being felt.

Stan & Ollie A nostalgic look at Stan & Ollie, as they perform live shows in England, circa 1953, as a run up to what they hope will convince a studio to bankroll their comeback film. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Stan and Ollie respectively, are unrecognizable, in a good way.

Cold War Shot in silky black & white, two lovers in 1950s Poland struggle to find happiness together, but are undone by other commitments – politics, art - and by their own foibles. This is Pawel Pawlikowski's follow up to his equally mesmerizing Ida.

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