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BEST OF 2018

2018 was certainly a big year in cinema for big-budget franchises as Avengers took up nearly everyone’s mindspace coming into the year, but it was also a fantastic year for the horror genre and comedies. This list represents a little of all of that, and what we at the Explosion Network decided were the Top 10 movies of 2018.

The following Top 10 list was compiled by Dylan Blight, Cherie Henriques, Ashley Hobley, Ciaran Marchant and Nicholas Prior.

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10.) The Death of Stalin

A phenomenal film with razor-sharp writing and amazing acting. It captures the absurdity of Stalin’s Russia and the events surrounding his death in 1953.

Allowing the cast to talk in their natural accents is a stroke of genius, emulating the distinct dialects of people from all over the USSR. Remarkably, it is also very accurate to the actual historical events, so it’s also in a way educational.

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9.) a star is born

One of the most impressive things this film does is get you invested in Ally and Jackson Maine so quickly. By the end of their first night together, you just want them to live happily ever after together.

A Star is Born contains one of the best moments of the year, when Ally joins Jackson on stage to perform “Shallow” for the first time. If the film had ended at that point, we would have all felt we had gotten our money’s worth. But the film continues to tell a captivating story that will take you on an emotional journey from small town to packed arenas.

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8.) love, simon

Love, Simon is your typical teen romance with a fresh viewpoint. Instead of a straight-male falling in love with a girl, it’s the story of Simon, who’s gay and keeping it a secret, falling in love with a pen-pal he has. When someone at his school discovers his messages though, he begins blackmailing him as Simon tries to work out how to keep his secret from the school and try and find out who his online pen-pal is.

In a world where many LGBTQ movies are targeted as high-brow cinema, Love, Simon serves as a really important movie for any kids in school watching. It’ll give strength to those wanting to come out, fill those with fear with hope and serve as a fun, heart-warming coming of age story from an under-represented perspective.

In our review for Love, Simon, Dylan Blight said:

Love, Simon sets a new standard for what teen comedies in this genre should look like. It’s inspirational, a joy, heart-warming and is a must watch for anyone who can relate to Simon Spier’s story.



Hereditary is haunting and one of the most intense cinema experiences you could have had in 2018.

With an amazing cast including Toni Collette in an Oscar-worthy performance sucking you into a family drama you feel you’ve accidentally walked into and must ask to be excused from, Hereditary is not only haunting as a horror film with some weird supernatural elements, it’s also haunting as a look into what grief can do to a family.

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6.) A QUIET place

Who’d a thought John Krasinski would end up directing and co-writing one of 2018’s best horror films? Not us, but we couldn’t be happier for Krasinski to have entered the genre.

A Quiet Place is one of the year’s most interesting cinema experiences. A film all about characters having to be silent in a world taken over by aliens that hunt by sound makes for a very quiet film that at times is simply silent. It’s a big and hard project to pull off but it’s kept together by the direction of Krasinski and the small but fantastic cast including Emily Blunt and two fantastic child actors, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe.

In our review for A Quiet Place, Dylan Blight said:

A Quiet Place is a brave cinematic experience that works wonderfully as long as no one beside you is shovelling popcorn in their mouth the entire film. With strong performances all around and an especially physically strong performance from Blunt amid pure terror, that will go down as one of the year’s tensest scenes, it’s not a movie you will forget fast

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5.) mission impossible: fallout

Mission: Impossible has now become the benchmark against which all other action franchises must measure up to if they don’t want to be considered just popcorn VFX fluff.

Tom Cruise has moulded with his collaborators the MI franchise into his ridiculous stunt machine as he continues to do incredibly stupid stunts and we still love him for it, of course. Whether it was motorcycling through traffic in Paris (with no helmet on), running over rooftops in London (breaking his ankle) or getting into fisticuffs with Henry Cavill’s August Walker (who reloads his arms), Ethan Hunt continues to be the premier action role.

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4.) paddington 2

As proof that we can have nice things still in the world, we got a sequel to the fantastic and charming Paddington. This sequel improves on the original in many ways, thanks particularly by the introduction of Hugh Grant’s Phoenix Buchanan as the antagonist of the film.

Where the first film was about Paddington coming into England and making that character feel real and getting his acquainted with the Brown family, the sequel takes that family dynamic in really heartfelt and new directions that is a pure heart-warmer.

Paddington 2 is pure joy captured on film and presented to you at 24 fps.


3.) spider-man: Into the spider-verse

This film is a love letter to Spider-man and to comics as a whole. It is easily the most faithful depiction of comics in another medium and is a beautiful celebration of the superhero genre.

Animated in an incredible style that we have never seen before, Into The Spider-Verse tells an origin story we have seen parts of previously but in a fresh way that will interest even the most jaded superhero film viewer.

Filled with important messages, touching moments, laugh out loud gags and impressive action sequences, we can only hope that we get more like this in the future.

In our review for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Ashley Hobley said:

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a perfect blend of action, humour and heartfelt moments. This is truly a film that could not be told any other way, justifying itself to those who questioned why we need an animated Spider-man while we have the MCU live-action films

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2.) Avengers: infinity war

The culmination of 18 MCU films and the end of Thanos’ 6-year wait to bring his plans to fruition miraculously managed to juggle so many moving parts to be one of the most memorable movie experiences of the year.

Seeing the Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy would have been enough but we were also treated to an enjoyable story that excited and moved us. For the first time in his four appearances, Thanos was a complete character, got up off his chair and had motivations and an emotional drive. He surprisingly lived up to the hype of being a worthy villain for the assembled Marvel heroes.

This film will always be remembered for how it ended. To end on such a somber note was ballsy as hell, given that most fans know that the characters that were dusted are set to appear in future films. We now wait till April to see how this all plays out.

In our review for Avengers: Infinity War, Dylan Blight said:

Joe and Anthony Russo have done what I honestly thought was the impossible with Avengers: Infinity War. Although it’s far from perfect and is so stuffed to the brim you may sometimes find it hard to breathe, it’s the perfect ten-year party for the MCU. 

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1.) black panther

Ryan Coogler took the Black Panther project on for Marvel and turned it into something truly special. Not only standing apart from the rest of the films in MCU but Coogler also used the platform to deliver a cultural film of importance.

With a fantastic cast of characters and a villain in Michael B. Jordan‘s Erik Killmonger surrounded in a very vivid world that is a celebration of many different African cultures, Black Panther shines on the screen.

As one of the most fun, unique and important films of the year, especially given the genre, Black Panther is easily the best film of 2018 for us at the Explosion Network.

In our review for Black Panther, Dylan Blight said:

Ryan Coogler was handed the keys to Black Panther and delivered not only one of the best MCU movies, but my favourite MCU film. With an amazing cast, a story with direction, a villain with purpose and well-directed action scenes in a world of wonder and beauty, drenched in African culture, Black Panther is nothing short of a mystical wonder and a new standard of quality within Marvel’s films. 


Join Dylan and Ashley as they go over in more detail the Top 5 movies from the Explosion Network’s Top 10 Movies of 2018 article in this special podcast.