Leigh’s Top Ten Films Of 2018

Compiling my top ten movie list for any given year is something I take very seriously. In fact, I probably take it a bit too seriously. Historically, I become something of a recluse and an obsessive this time of year, plowing through films I need to catch up on, following awards from critic associations and other top ten lists to let me know what I’m missing out on, and hitting the theater as soon as Oscar contenders start playing. The problem has only gotten worse this year with the addition of awards screeners to my life, which has made the past month and some change a difficult situation for my loved ones. (Sorry, loved ones.) But here’s the really weird thing: this year, almost none of that frenzied catch-up mattered. In fact, every single one of the films listed below is one I either saw of my own casual volition or as part of my usual duties as a reviewer, and only one of them was seen during the rush of awards season. This says to me a couple of things: First, I really need to chill the hell out. Seriously. Second, this year’s crop of supposed awards contenders has been, at least in my opinion, pretty weak. Not free of gems, but I am just devoid of investment in most Oscar contenders this year, which is an anomaly. Third, regardless of that weakness, this year has had some amazing films, so many that I feel guilty about a lot of the ones I’m leaving off this list. So believe me when I say this was a very difficult list to compile. The top five or so were assuredly getting in, but after that, my conviction wavers. Who knows if this is how I’ll feel in three, six, or twenty-seven months from now? But what I do know is that these are all films worthy of recognition this year, and if there’s a film you know for a fact I really enjoyed or seems like something I would love, it’s probably in that nebulous next few spots of my hypothetical Top Twenty or Thirty. This list just about broke me, so without further self-indulgence, here are my Top Ten Films of 2018. This was such a hard slot to decide on, for many of the reasons I described above, but I still can’t shake the intense emotions that Ari Aster’s directorial debut left me with after seeing this for the first time. There are so few films that feel so completely like an anxiety attack from beginning to end, mounting pressure that breaks the boundaries between insanity and the supernatural in one of the most terrifying climaxes I’ve experienced in a theater. This film shook me hard, in no small part due to excellent performances from Alex Wolff and, of course, Toni Colette. Perhaps the only thing more terrifying is that Hereditary isn’t even the only horror film on my list this year. To change gears completely, Won’t You […]