I’ve Got 10 On It: Gerard’s Top-10 Films of 2018!

For some reason I thought I would be last out of the Why So Blu? crew in terms of listing our Top-10 films of 2018. Nope! Looks like I’m first, so my selections are on deck. As is customary with my Top-10 list of films – I was not able to watch everything I wanted to before my cut-off date. I’m going to list my Top-10 selections in a streamlined fashion and I will omit any honorable mentions due to time and scheduling. You want a Top-10 list, well, that’s what you’re gonna get! Without further ado, let’s get busy!

Here are my Top-10 films of 2018 – they are listed in numerical order from #10 on down to #1. Enjoy!

10 Bad Times at the El Royale

2018 was the year where we did not have a film written/directed by Quentin Tarantino. That’s totally fine, because we will have one for 2019. What we did have in 2018 was a love letter to Quentin Tarantino called Bad Times at the El Royale. The film had a nice ensemble cast and was produced, written, and directed by Drew Goddard. The structure of the film was reminiscent of The Hateful Eight and Four Rooms. It had plenty of “MacGuffins” and it flashed forward and backward as events payed out concurrently. It literally was a Tarantino film without Tarantino and I loved every frame of it! It made this list didn’t it?





9 You Were Never Really Here

2018 was also the year that we may have had a Taxi Driver style film for the new generation. You Were Never Really Here was a hypnotic piece of filmmaking starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man with a certain set of skills dispensing brutal justice to evildoers out there. Now that’s just the outward façade. The film turns inward and deals with his psychosis and with his family life. Our “hero” is very much the screwed-up type but when the film gets going it gets all the more tragic. The film was adapted by Lynn Ramsey (We Need To Talk About Kevin) and runs less than 90-minutes. It delivers a knockout and surrealistic punch to the gut by the time we get to end. It’s a gut punch that I am still feeling many months later.





8 Mandy

I’ve personally never dropped acid or mushrooms before. I will assume that watching Mandy is sort of like that. I remember in the early part of the year while the film was being promoted – it looked like one of the “best films” ever made. It had Nicolas Cage going crazy, forging mystical weaponry, and a sword and chainsaw fight. Oh, and there was a tiger in there as well. The film was finally released to critical acclaim or semi-critical acclaim and sold out a lot of the shows that it was released in. It became a cult hit and it was also popular on VOD and Digital HD platforms. I thought it was a beautiful and ethereal dream-like film with a few scenes of grotesquery thrown in for good measure. It was definitely bonkers but it was also slow enough that one could digest the information being given. Those that liked the film really liked it and those that hated it REALLY hated it. It made my Top-10, so that means I loved it.


7 Suspiria (2018)

Funny enough that Suspiria 2018 has made it on this list considering that Suspiria 1977 cracked my Top-10 Blu-ray list of the year, as well. I saw the new reimagined film on Halloween night and it was phenomenal. It was like a spell was cast over the screening. From the opening frame shot in exquisite 35mm film to the last credit – I was seduced into a world filled with witches, carnage, surrealism, music, art, and dance. Suspiria was a film that could stand on its own without being compared to the first one. The musical score by Thom Yorke was also amazing. I would not be surprised if it gets an Oscar nomination(s) for music, cinematography, and special make-up effects. It will be released on Digital HD in less than a month. The Blu-ray will follow at the end of January. It will be absorbed into my collection.



6 The Favourite

I remember watching trailer for The Favourite and thinking it looked quite good and hilarious. The comedic timing was spot on in the trailer. Then I saw that it was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and I had to pause. I hated Sacred Deer a lot. I then saw that Yorgos would only be directing The Favorite and it was game on. Sure enough, I saw it at the theater and I was blown away. It was a tale filled with insane backstabbing but with plenty of humor. The production design, cinematography, etc., will most likely get a nomination. I left the theater thinking that The Favourite was the most “accessible” Yorgos Lanthimos film in his filmography. I’ve been recommending it to anyone that will listen. The Blu-ray will be gorgeous.



5 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It’s been years since I’ve watched an animated film on the big screen but I had to make an exception to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Man, did I ever choose wisely on that. I left the theater with a crap-eating grin on my face and quickly ordered the The Art of book from Amazon. I could not get enough of it. The story, animation style, etc., made the film a complete package of sorts. It made me want to start drawing and sketching again. It was literally like watching a 2-D animated film that was wrapped up with digital flourishes. Yet, the animation retained that “lag” that you normally see in 2-D line art. It was great. It’s one of the best Spider-Man films ever made one of the best “superhero” films of the year. It’s a bit telling when this crack my Top-5 and Infinity War does not. I loved IW but not enough to rank it on this list. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a gorgeous accomplishment in animation and cinema.




4 BlackKklansman

I saw BlackKklansman in theaters in a nearly empty theater during its roll-out but it was deeply moving and affecting. Spike Lee gets a lot of crap sometimes depending on the subject matter he chooses to focus on. He rarely ever goes mainstream but something like this and with a cast like this makes it almost seem like he’s adjusting it a bit for the times. BlackKklansman has many scenes that are hilarious mixed in with some scenes that are downright brutal in depicting violence and history. Watch the scene featuring Harry Belafonte and see if you’re not affected. The adaptation of the source material can be argued for accuracy but the final film stands triumphantly on its own merits. Spike Lee has made one of the best films of 2018.



3 First Reformed

First Reformed is one of the films from this Top-10 list that completely caught me off guard. I thought the subject was fine and that it featured Ethan Hawke in the starring role while Paul Schrader would be writing and directing the film without studio interference. Ethan Hawke plays a priest that after meeting and trying to console several members of his parish begins to question his faith and place in the world. That’s all I will say because when we get to the end of the film it turns into an amazing HOLY S**T of a moment that you need to watch for yourself. It’s a powerhouse performance and a powerhouse of a script and film.





2 Roma

I was not able to catch Roma in theaters, so Netflix was the next and most obvious choice. After finishing the film, it was safe to say that Alfonso Cuaron had cemented himself as an “auteur.” Roma has many themes running through the film including themes that have already been addressed in Cuaron’s previous films. The simple story of a Mexican housekeeper/nanny, etc., set in the early 1970’s hit close to home in that I have seen things that resemble what was depicted in the film. I remember talking to one of my co-workers last week about the film and she was telling me that the film was so accurate in the depiction of home-life and the environment of 1970’s Mexico City – (my co-worker is older than I am and was born in Mexico City, as well). As we were talking about the film – I started to wonder why both of our voices started to crack. It was the emotion that was coming through while remembering some of the heartbreaking scenes in the film that almost turned us into blubbering messes while we were on the clock. It was that affecting and what makes the film a modern masterpiece.


1 Sorry To Bother You

Sorry To Bother You was one of those films that totally caught me off guard in 2018. I’d been wanting to catch it in theaters and couldn’t make my schedule work with the available showings in my area until it was getting ready to leave theaters. I managed to get over to my local “$2 theater” and I was so glad I did. It had been clawing at my brain and then it was released on Blu-ray two weeks later and all was well. It’s definitely a scathing piece of urban satire and subversiveness on a grand and implicit/explicit scale. It hits the fan towards the end and that seems to be the part where folks missed the point or just couldn’t handle the sledgehammer to their sensibilities. I think the final act is straight up Black Mirror insanity. Boots Riley is a cinematic force to be reckoned with and I look forward to his next film project. Sorry To Bother You is my favorite film of 2018!





Whew! Another year of film in the books! Most of the films on my Top-10 list have already been released on Blu-ray. Click on any of the thumbnails and you will be directed to the product link on Amazon.


Keep it here on Why So Blu?, as my colleagues will be releasing their Top-10 lists for your viewing and reading pleasure!


Happy New Year!


9 Responses to “I’ve Got 10 On It: Gerard’s Top-10 Films of 2018!”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth


    When you mentioned Taxi Driver for YWNRH, I was like, “First Reformed is TD with religion!” and then you went and had that at number 3.

    Mandy – perfect way to describe it, especially since I’m very much like you as far as experience.

    Spider-Verse rules! The Favourite is great! I’ll have more to say about some of these other ones soon enough.

    Sorry to Bother You – a great number one for you. Now go see Blindspotting!

  2. Brian White

    Just got the email that Bad Times at the El Royale is coming for a 4K review. I am curious about this. Everyone comments on how boring and dull it gets, but you pronounce your love for it. Will it be a “Brian Film” or no? The jury is out!

    Regarding Mandy I don’t need to drop acid or lose anybody to scream like a maniac in tight white underwear. Appreciated you giving me first dibs to review, but you and I could have wrote that screenplay in kindergarten in the sandbox (picture that will ya). Hated every minute of it. First film I ever reviewed since 2006 I would have given a 0 to.

    Suspiria never played here (DAMN 3rd country of Austin) and I have not seen Spideyverse, but do have one of your titles on my Top 10 and it’s not Sorry to Bother You, which I was really looking forward to seeing. As soon as he did the white guy voice I checked out. I watched it to the end, but it felt like a poor man’s Get Out ultimately.

    You still need to see The Mule or is that like a Solo thing you can’t see in the theater 🙂

    That’s my two cents on your list. Thanks for going first 🙂

  3. Brandon Peters

    G we have 6 potential crossovers. I might as well just do a “4 films worth a mention” and then link to your list for my Tops. LOL

    Brian – You’re too hung up on the Mandy “script”. No one is denying the simplicity of it. It isn’t the reason why people love it.

    Still haven’t seen Bad Times. I’ll look forward to seeing that on 4K UHD at this point. Terrific list. And your constant high praise of First Reformed got me to bump that up to more of a priority to see and yeah, thank you! This year may be the one where we crossover the most.

  4. Gerard Iribe

    Brian – Yeah, in terms of the “script” for Mandy – I wasn’t looking to map the human genome or anything. Hell, the trailer explicitly told me what kind of a film it would most likely be. As far as The Mule goes – Clint really hasn’t done anything I’d care to see on the big screen or small screen. I don’t think Suspiria played to more than 700 theaters in America altogether, so you would not have been the only one to miss it in theaters.

    Aaron – YES! It took me a while top figure out the Taxi Driver/First Reformed angle. Duh, it’s as plain as day!

    Brandon – I humbly await your streams!

  5. Gregg

    Eek! I’ve only seen one film on this list and that was BlackkKlansman. Definitely a good film!

  6. Brian White

    Brandon collects film! Oh crossing of streams. LOL.

  7. Brian White

    @Gregg. You so need to see Mandy yet!!!

  8. Gregg

    I thought you hated Mandy.

  9. Brian White

    You’re damn right I do! More than words can ever express. However, that doesn’t mean you will hate it yourself.