Looking Back At An Overstuffed 2018 Film Landscape

It’s a new year. Happy 2023! That means I get back to my retrospective looks at film, TV, and music in five-year increments. That means starting here with the films of 2018. You know, it’s only five years, but the movie industry has changed a ton since them. That’s what happens when right in the middle of that stretch you are hit by a global pandemic. So let’s reflect upon what the movie world looked like in 2018.

Well, five years ago we were already in the thick of comic-book movies and IP dominating the box office. Avengers: Infinity War was the number-one film, making over $2 billion worldwide. Of course, the next year it would be one-upped by Endgame. Second we have Black Panther, another MCU movie. We have the second Incredibles, the second Fantastic Beasts, and the second Deadpool in the top 10. While Aquaman and Venom were starting new franchises, obviously those are established characters. The closest thing to an original idea in the top 10? Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic of one of the most-famous musicians of to ever live.

This was also a pretty-disastrous year for the Oscars. Rami Malek won Best Actor for playing Freddie Mercury in the aforementioned Bohemian Rhapsody, wherein he didn’t do his own singing, the only thing that would have been impressive about his performance. Also, infamously, Green Book won Best Picture. That being said, this was an iffy Oscars year in terms of nominations. Maybe the expectation was A Star is Born would have taken some more Academy Awards home? People probably would have accepted that, or perhaps Roma, which did win Alfonso Cuaron another Best Director.

I actually enjoyed Ant-Man and the Wasp more than any other superhero movie in 2018, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout justified Henry Cavill’s mustache. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is uneven, as anthology films often are. I liked the Tomb Raider reboot that went nowhere. Thoroughbreds is a nasty little thriller if you haven’t seen it. My personal top film of the year would either be Isle of Dogs or First Man. Both are flawed, but ultimately quite compelling.

All that said, quality wise, I do miss when the film landscape was this rich in incident. We will likely never see a year this packed again.

Chris Morgan
Author: Chris Morgan

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