This year had a splendid offering of memorable films and TV shows. We are truly living in a golden age of geekdom with so many films and TV shows to choose from. These are the best of 2018; keep in mind this list is purely subjective and if you have your own list, be sure to leave a comment.
10. Incredibles 2:
It took over a decade but it was worth the wait! Like the original film, Incredibles 2 delighted us and had us laughing with its family situations and high-octane superheroics.
The creepiest horror film of the year unsettled us with its haunting imagery and scenes. This tale of demonic forces assaulting a fragile family will keep you up late into the night.
8. Ralph Wrecks the Internet:
This joyful sequel to Wreck-It Ralph takes the oversized and loveable video game titular character to new digital frontiers. His humorous journey into the Internet was fantastic to watch with all the puns and satires about the world wide web.
7. Black Panther:
Marvel Studios delivered another stirring superhero film that was highlighted with its political/royal drama and was a genuine cultural phenomenon when it was released. Michael B. Jordan’s turned in a bravura performance as Killmonger, the bitter challenger to King T’Challa/Black Panther’s (Chadwick Boseman) throne.
6. Solo: A Star Wars Story:
Too bad the backlash over The Last Jedi and other factors doomed this Star Wars spinoff film that explored Han Solo’s early days. It captured the adventurous spirit of Star Wars that was missing lately thanks to its adventurous tone, Ron Howard’s expert direction and inspired performances. This included Alden Ehrenreich who pulled off a near impossible task of emulating a younger version of our favorite space pirate.
The DCEU’s sole superhero film of 2018 was bold, splashy, action-packed, outrageous (cue the octopus playing drums!), but most of all fun. Aquaman singlehandedly resurrected the DCEU with this sprawling epic.
Its bright color palate, sweeping underwater landscapes, and breakneck pace made it stand out from the other DCEU films with imagery that captured the spirit of Avatar and Star Wars. Aquaman proved that DC and Warner Bros. can deliver a popular and crowd-pleasing superhero movie just like their competitor.
4. A Quiet Place:
Director and star John Krasinski kept audiences petrified in their seats with this sci-fi/horror classic about a family living in an Earth overrun by voracious alien creatures that hunt by sound. The premise of the family not being able to make noise underlined the unbearable tension throughout the film.
At the same time, A Quiet Place was memorable because it endeared us to the family in the film as they struggled to survive such a situation.
3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:
The greatest animated film of the year was a true surprise given how little it was regarded when it was first announced. After all, this was not Disney who was behind this film. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse popped out immediately with unique animation that literally brought a comic book story to life.
However, its involving story about Spider-Man’s successor, Miles Morales, learning the ropes and struggling to live up to a legend just crushed it. Hands down, it’s one of the best Spider-Man films to date.
2. Ready Player One:
Director Steven Spielberg shows us that he still is the master of cinema with this adaptation of Ernest Cline’s book about a young man adventures in the virtual world that is bursting with countless pop culture references and Easter eggs. How many viewings will it take to spot them all?
Ready Player One is a loving ode to geek and gaming culture that respects and celebrates it. The film is also a noteworthy addition to Spielberg’s impressive library of genre films as it displayed many of his visual touches and directing techniques that catapulted Spielberg to prominence.
1. Avengers: Infinity War:
The culmination of ten years of the MCU was certainly an unforgettable epic. It captured the mood of those sweeping comic book epic storylines with its all-star cast of actors and characters that was any fanboy and fangirl’s dream come true.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo pulled off a miracle by keeping the pace smooth and intense while giving the heroes their own engaging moments. Any praise for Avengers: Infinity War is not complete without mentioning the chilling, menacing presence of the film’s villain, Thanos. Josh Brolin and the effects masters brought to life one of the greatest comic book film villains with an unforgettable mo-cap performance. More importantly Avengers: Infinity War presented a complex character study with Thanos’ mad quest to kill half the universe.
Annihilation, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Bumblebee, Deadpool 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Isle of Dogs, Overlord, Rampage, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, Venom, Upgrade
10. Lost in Space:
A surprisingly effective reimagining of the Irwin Allen camp classic. This version of Lost in Space harkens back to the original roots of the TV show by being a survival tale mixed with family drama.
From visiting interesting historical events and wallowing in wild conspiracy plots, Timeless was never dull. Sadly, this energetic time-travel romp was cancelled, but allowed to conclude with a final film.
8. 12 Monkeys:
The other great time-travel TV show of 2018 also came to a satisfying conclusion. More of a somber, thoughtful character study with complex temporal machinations, 12 Monkeys proved to be a worthy adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s classic film.
Part sci-fi, part documentary, this program’s second season thoroughly examined the impact and travails of establishing a colony on Mars two decades from now. The stories were well-thought out and embellished with observations from modern scientists about the challenges of living on the red planet and how they relate to our own eco-problems here.
6. Star Trek: Discovery:
The newest Star Trek TV show has had its share of fans and critics. Some have decried how it strayed away from Gene Roddenberry’s peaceful vision of the future with its season-long story of a Klingon war and its controversial main character. Still, Star Trek: Discovery was a well-made show with promise. Its highlights were the episodes in the Mirror Universe and the callbacks to the original show.
5. Altered Carbon:
With a visual look inspired by Blade Runner, this biopunk story of a clone in the far future solving a bizarre murder mystery stood out in the crowded Netflix offering of genre shows.
Heavily leaning on futuristic noir, Altered Carbon was not just impressive eye candy, but an interesting, if violent, exploration about identity and social justice.
The revolution took off in full, bloody force in the second season of this adaptation of the old Michael Crichton classic film. In the second season, the mistreated artificial beings created for a future theme park turn on humanity and this left us conflicted.
We rooted for them as they fought for freedom, love and revenge, but we were also disturbed by the depravity of some who became villainous in this season. These conflicting feelings were a typical reaction to this complex, non-linear TV show.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale:
This chilling, dystopian series about life in the former United States continued to haunt and enrage viewers. Of course, its premise about women and others being subjugated by a brutal government resonated with many thanks to the current political climate.
Viewers instantly empathized with June Osborne’s (Sarah Paulson) plight and her efforts to break free from her oppressors. Thanks to her actions The Handmaid’s Tale is more than a cautionary story but one about finding hope in the bleakest of situations.
2. The Expanse:
This epic sci-fi tale of humanity’s struggle to live peacefully in our solar system hit all cylinders in its third season. The first half of the season covered a disastrous war between Earth and Mars while the second half completely changed gears.
It was this second story about all the human civilizations in the solar system investigating a mysterious object in space that truly elevated The Expanse. Humanity faced its ultimate test as the object proved to be the key to its future. This story echoed the original Star Trek vision of humanity needing to co-exist peacefully, which is still relevant in these times.
The greatest superhero TV show blew our minds with its triumphant third season that put the title superhero through the emotional and physical wringer. Every episode was riveting and kept us wanting to find out what happened next as Daredevil struggled with his inner self and dastardly threats to his friends and New York City.
Each character had engaging storylines and they were acted so splendidly. The standouts among the actors were Charlie Cox, who had his best performance as Matt Murdock/Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio as the crimelord Wilson Fisk. D’Onofrio turned in a tour de force performance as Fisk, one of the greatest live-action villains of all time. Every time Fisk was on screen, you couldn’t help but be mesmerized and terrified by his presence.
The highs that the show brought us were sadly dampened by the news that Netflix cancelled the show. This cancellation was so stinging since Daredevil was at its creative peak. But rumors persist that Disney may resurrect the show, so there is a sliver of hope that we haven’t seen the last of this superhero.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Colony, Counterpart, Doctor Who, The Flash, The Gifted, Krypton, Legends of Tomorrow, Legion, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, Runaways, Titans