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Old 01-01-2019, 07:03 PM   #1
thewerepuppygrr thewerepuppygrr is offline
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Exclamation The Blu-ray Community Top 25 Films of 2018 (Please Read 1st Post)


the Deadline for your votes is set for:
Thursday (Feb 28th) at noon eastern time (9 am pacific)
.

Happy New Year, Blu-Ray.com! Let's give 2018 a good send off by rounding up the best films this past year had to offer. You've got two whole months to catch up on anything you've missed.

Guidelines

Like previous years, simply list your top 20 - 25 films in order descending from your favorite, the higher up the film is the more points it'll get, like this:

1. 25 Points
2. 19 Points
3. 18 Points
4. 17 Points
5. 16 Points
................
16. 5 Points
17. 4 Points
18. 3 Points
19. 2 Points
20. 1 Point
................
21. 1 Point
22. 1 Point
23. 1 Point
24. 1 Point
25. 1 Point

Your top film gets 25 points, because it's your favorite so it deserves a little bit extra. This year continues the addition of 21 - 25 as we believe everyone should have a chance to add some runners up, they all get 1 point each, which will hopefully avoid us getting many tie breakers and might allow us to add some little known films that wouldn't of initially gotten many peoples attention last year. If you can't think of extra 5 films worth mentioning, then don't worry, the minimum amount of submission is 20 films, the extra 5 are for people who might want them.

And please, list your films in the order given, no randomly ordered submission will be counted.

The Rules

1) Like mentioned above, Minimum amount of films listed is 20 and Maximum is 25. If you can't list 20 movies you've seen this year, all the films on your list will only receive 1 point each towards the total so be sure to reach that 20 milestone.

2) What counts as a 2018 release? - A film must have been released either limited, wide, on demand, or straight-to-dvd (which ever comes first) in the United States in 2018. This does not include film festivals or released internationally. It may be hard to determine if some films were released in 2018 or not, so that's what the strict rules on this are for. We stick to the US as our guide for no other reason than it is easier that way.

Use the release dates on IMDb if you are unsure if it's eligible. As an example from a previous countdown, Snowpiercer was released in some countries and festivals in 2013, but did not get a limited release in the U.S. until June 27th, 2014. So that film will count as eligible for 2014. Likewise, a movie that doesn't get a wide release until January, but it had a limited release sometime in 2018, would also count.

Classic films that were re-released ARE NOT ELIGIBLE! Please do not include them on your list, you'll be asked to change it and if you haven't changed before the deadline, the films on your list will get 1 point each.

And if you're unsure if a film is eligible, just ask and we will help figure it out for you!

3) Please only make one list - Make only one list on this thread. However, you are free to update and change your original post as often as you'd like until the deadline. It will make tallying very hard if there are multiple lists from one person. Just find your original post and click 'Edit' to make your changes. If you do re-post your list twice or more, I'll message you to remove them.

4) Add a short review of your film choices - In an attempt to personalize the list as a whole, I want members to post a short bit of prose about their choice. This can range from a short sentence consisting of a couple of words to a couple of lines long paragraph, or you can link to a previous review you wrote when the film was released.

This is not compulsory, and you can write these short pieces on however many of your choices you want, even if it's only for your first pick., however the more input the better, the short words of wisdom will be included on the final tallied up list in a well presented manner, and you're list will be linked with you're description so others who see your words will hopefully want to look at your other choices as well.

5) Finally, just to remind you, the Deadline is set for:
Thursday (Feb 28th) at noon eastern time (9 am pacific)
.
Please make sure you get your list in and make any final edits before this deadline, as any changes after that will not count.

Previous Years:






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Old 01-01-2019, 07:04 PM   #2
DjMethod DjMethod is offline
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Default Top 25 of 2018

25.



Isle of Dogs

Creative animation, an engaging story, a great rhythmic score playing almost continuously, amusing (and well-acted) characters... Isle of Dogs is a real treat for the viewer, Anderson fan or not.

___________________________

24.



Assassination Nation

A pulpy, ambitious, yet all-too-accurate catharsis of everything wrong with our hive-minded society—and the frightening realization that the internet is but a vessel for history to repeat itself.

___________________________

23.



Night Is Short, Walk On Girl

This film is a total mind-trip from the people who made the inventive anime series The Tatami Galaxy. It plays out like the vibrant and dream-like quality of Paprika from the late Satoshi Kon, and the animation is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a niche little anime that is simultaneously inspired, hilarious, and bizarre.

___________________________

22.



First Man

Claire Foy. Justin Hurwitz. Chazelle's direction. Being scrubbed of the social and political tensions of the time only makes this film that much more of a pure and sincere depiction of what the moon landing really was: A scientific benchmark (First) and a man behind that small step (Man). A focus is maintained not on the American flag and its symbolism of one nation conquering the moon, but on a single man's humility and his journey toward making one giant leap for all mankind. This is the mark that elevates First Man from a mere status symbol of patriotism to a remarkable, human, and globally accessible film.

___________________________

21.



Transit

A mix of Antonioni, Buñuel, and Resnais, Transit complements and thematically aligns with Petzold’s last effort, Phoenix, as an exploration of identity enriched with a human depth that is best absorbed from multiple viewings; which is what I love most about this director—his films grow on you with time.

___________________________

20.



Madeline’s Madeline

Who knew Eighth Grade had some competition for best coming-of-age of the year? This gem of a film’s magic, ambition, and loose hold on reality bring you back to Beasts of the Southern Wild, and it has a lot to say. It’s one of those movies that has a wavelength you are either on and you love it, or you’re not and it’s not for you.

___________________________

19.



If Beale Street Could Talk

Beale Street effectively tells and interweaves two parallel stories—one of social commentary and one of love. And damn can Barry Jenkins bring out and capture human essence and intimacy. The romantic scenes move as if you’re watching choreographed ballet theater. It’s quite a beautiful thing.

___________________________

18.



The Rider

Like The Wrestler, but a true story documentary-drama starring the actual Rider and his family. The style, setting, and editing all come together like visual poetry. Sophomore director Chloé Zhao has made a beautiful film. Don’t miss it.

___________________________

17.



Mirai

Such an adorable, true-to-life, and beautifully animated movie about a little boy coming to terms with the birth of his sister. Mirai explores identity, family structure, and feelings of abandonment from a child’s eye in It’s a Wonderful Life prose. Hosoda at his best.

___________________________

16.



Blindspotting

A film by Oakland about Oakland, that feels even closer to the city’s culture and people than Fruitvale Station. It’s one of the year’s best and more transcendent social justice films, with exceptional performances and chemistry from the two leads.

___________________________

15.



Eighth Grade

Among the many great things that makes Eighth Grade stand out is how effortlessly it delivers this period of our lives back to us in such a universal and immediately relevant way.

___________________________

14.



The Guilty

Hitchcock meets Searching meets The Lives of Others. First-time director Gustav Möller pairs his smart script with a fine performance, confident direction, tight editing, and a thought-provoking theme and character arc. The Guilty is the rare well-executed thriller that will stand the test of time.

___________________________

13.



Free Solo

"Nobody achieves anything great by being happy and cozy."

This Alex Honnold documentary from Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin is a gripping meditation on mortality, personal passion, and mental discipline. I lost 5 liters of sweat just watching it. Not a dry palm in the theater.


___________________________

12.



Suspiria

A brilliant reimagining from Luca Guadagnino. So dense in composition, cinematography, choreography, lighting, color palette, even down to the sociopolitical setting, which grounds and enriches the atmosphere. The parallels between Susie, 1977 Berlin, and the central story are well done. Thom Yorke's score fits right in with the abstract dance and creepy aesthetic of the film. The first dance routine is exceptional cinema. And Lutz Ebersdorf—just wow! Did not see that coming.

___________________________

11.



The House That Jack Built

Another top-Trier addition to the director’s infamous body of work. As with the other films, the challenges pay off if you can stomach them. Matt Dillon also kills it in this role. From his mannerisms to the look in his eyes, it's just so damn believable that he's a psychopath. This is one of the movies I see climbing up my list over the years.

___________________________

10.



Happy As Lazzaro

A magical tale of Italian neorealism shot on beautiful 16mm film with crisp audio that brings to life its intimate settings. It’s an observational, challenging, and rewarding reflection on the human condition, rich with biblical allegory, like a less scathing Viridiana.

___________________________

9.



Hereditary

Hereditary's titled theme on fate was inspired by a three-year period in the director's own life when his family experienced bad luck. The film is both haunting in its build-up and truly horrific as it becomes unchained, from the nuanced terror on the faces of each actor to Toni Collette's outstanding dramatic performance. The score alone sounds like it is made of insects, blackboards, and screams. The cinematography adds its own layer of suspense, with tracking that brings us into the house and lighting that forces us to make sense out of its moving figures. It's well written, well directed, and genuinely frightening. An outstanding directorial debut and the best horror in recent memory.

___________________________

8.



Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The perspective we all need, and one we’ve all had once. More of us need to take another stroll around Mr. Roger’s neighborhood.

___________________________

7.



Capernaum

Quote:
At the end, I would ask these kids, "Are you happy to be alive? Are you happy to be here?" And most of the time, unfortunately, the answer was no. "I don't belong here. I don't belong in your world. I didn't ask to be here. Why am I punished?" - Writer/Director Nadine Labaki on her inspiration for Capernaum
Inspired by stories from real Lebanese children and refugee women, Capernaum takes a gut-wrenching, unapologetic look into impoverished hardship through the eyes of one boy within a culture less familiar to most of the world, offering a thought-provoking message on parenting. Zain Al Rafeea is extraordinary.

___________________________

6.



Shoplifters

Shoplifters truly feels like the natural culmination of Koreeda's finest work (and a live-action Tokyo Godfathers). An almost tangible magic is created between this family of characters. And after this, Burning, and The Favourite, 2018 is officially the year for exceptional endings as far as I’m concerned.

RIP Kirin Kiki ❤️


___________________________

5.



You Were Never Really Here

Brilliant film and one of the biggest surprises of the year. I love how the violence takes a backseat as John Wick Oldboy's his way through child abusers. The focus instead remains on the duality of regression & maturity—a man who is still a boy and a girl forced to be an adult.

___________________________

4.



The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimos’ past cynical exercises have each been a bit too bleak for the general audience. The Favourite, however, takes on the same grim outlook but with less violence, more stunning visual and sound composition, and a polite, gentle exchange of madness exquisitely dressed in royal clothing. It’s a dark comedy full of wit, absurdity, fish eye lens, and the best ending since Burning.

___________________________

3.



Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Amazing animation, razor-sharp wit, culturally relevant, impeccably self-aware... Into the Spider-Verse is a genre-resurrecting dimensional paradox: it's from the future yet makes you feel like a 10-year-old kid again.

RIP Stan Lee ❤️


___________________________

2.



Burning
(Perfect Score)

Steven Yeun gives the best performance of the year and the three leads build a tension that keeps layering the pressure on. Memorable characters, excellent cinematography, and a slow burn neo-noir pace all come together for a masterful South Korean thriller. Adapted from Murakami’s/Faulkner’s short story, Burning will leave you thinking long after the credits roll.

___________________________

1.



Roma
(Perfect Score)

Ignore the hype. Ignore the awards. Hell, ignore this review. Just sit back and experience this film for yourself.

Simply put,
Roma is among the richest examples of what cinema can offer.

Over the brief 134-minute runtime, we grow into a family in a patient and natural way as we live and breathe their day-to-day lives in 1970s Mexico City. The film is essentially a sequence of episodes, big or small in its impact on a family, affecting characters in different ways, and told primarily through the perspective of the housemaid, Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio). We experience hardships, love, anger, tragedy, bliss, and even the smallest of human emotions, such as childhood naïveté. And like children, we once again embrace the details of life, from collecting hail from the ground by hand as it falls from the sky to sharing a hug as last night's rain can be heard still trickling down the gutters.

Written, directed, produced, filmed, and edited by Alfonso Cuarón, this is as much a personal work as it is a testament to an artist's vision and talent. It is a historically-grounded film that comes alive with Tati-esque significance reaching every corner of the frame, with camerawork so intentional that it fills our hearts with a mother's pain, an Ozu-like story that ranges from lighthearted to cathartic, and a brilliant pattern of recurring, cyclic, familiarizing setting elements that recognizes, appreciates, and brings into light the reality of everyday life.

Perhaps one of
Roma’s strongest thematic undercurrents is the perseverance of women within the societal stronghold of men. With its unapologetic display of evil deeds at the expense of women going criminally unnoticed every day, Roma is, in a way, a love letter to say that Cuarón did not forget the multifaceted strength of the women in his life.

The film's end felt like awaking from a dream. As the lights turned on, I looked around the theater, as if we have all just transported back to our own lives. Cuarón has accomplished something extraordinary here. While much of
Roma comes from the memories of childhood, it is also a film that will bring each one of us back to what movies are about. And that is the greatest mark of an exceptional film.

___________________________


Honorable Mentions (26-50)







Lists from past years:
2017
2016
2015

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:05 PM   #3
blu blood blu blood is offline
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1.Blackkklansman
2.Roma
3.Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse
4.A Quiet Place
5.Sorry to Bother You
6.The Favourite
7.American Animals
8.Eighth Grade
9.Game Night
10.Can You Ever Forgive Me
11.The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
12.A Star is Born
13.Green Book
14.The Wife
15.Searching
16.First Man
17.Mission Impossible: Fall Out
18.Vice
19.Bad Times at the El Royale
20.Free Solo
21.Black Panther
22.Leave No Trace
23.The Death of Stalin
24.Of Fathers and Sons
25.Avengers Infinity War

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:08 PM   #4
jacobsever jacobsever is offline
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YAY! I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS.



1. Blindspotting
2. Mid90s
3. Lean on Pete
4. Burning
5. If Beale Street Could Talk
6. Cold War
7. Let the Corpses Tan
8. Tyrel
9. Eighth Grade
10. The Favourite
11. Ben is Back
12. Wildlife
13. Skate Kitchen
14. Roma
15. The Endless
16. Game Night
17. The Rider
18. Bad Times at the El Royale
19. Boy Erased
20. Apostle
21. The House that Jack Built
22. A Prayer Before Dawn
23. First Reformed
24. Revenge
25. Leave No Trace

Will update with photos and formatting when I have more time.

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:13 PM   #5
JWFORD JWFORD is offline
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1. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)




T'Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country's past.


2. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)




A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.


3. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee)




Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.


4. Burning (Chang-dong Lee)




Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood as him, who asks him to look after her cat while on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.


5. Shoplifters (Hirokazu Koreeda)




A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find outside in the cold.


6. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller)




When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.


7. Widows (Steve McQueen)




Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.


8. Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley)




In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.


9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Bob Persichetti et al.)




Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.


10. Minding the Gap (Bing Liu)




Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust-Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.


11. Private Life (Tamara Jenkins)




An author is undergoing multiple fertility therapies to get pregnant, putting her relationship with her husband on edge.


12. Mandy (Panos Cosmatos)




The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance.


13. The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.)




Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.


14. Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh)




A teenager gets a summer job working for a horse trainer and befriends the fading racehorse, Lean on Pete.


15. The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan)




In 1993, a teenage girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center by her conservative guardians.


16. Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton)




Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense and goes on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.


17. Wildlife (Paul Dano)




A teenage boy must deal with his mother's complicated response after his father temporarily abandons them to take a menial and dangerous job.


18. I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni)




Following a banal incident in her local village, 8-year old girl Shula is accused of witchcraft. After a short trial she is found guilty, taken into state custody and exiled to a witch camp.


19. We the Animals (Jeremiah Zagar)




Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah embraces an imagined world all on his own.


20. The Guilty (Gustav Möller)




A police officer assigned alarm dispatch duty enters a race against time when he answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman.


21. Custody (Xavier Legrand)




A broken marriage leads to a bitter custody battle with an embattled son at the centre.


22. Revenge (Coralie Fargeat)




Never take your mistress on an annual guys' getaway, especially one devoted to hunting - a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.


23. The Wife (Björn Runge)




A wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, where he is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.


24. A Prayer Before Dawn (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire)




The true story of an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand's most notorious prisons as he fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom.


25. The Kindergarten Teacher (Sara Colangelo)




A kindergarten teacher in New York becomes obsessed with one of her students whom she believes is a child prodigy.


Runners-Up


On the Seventh Day, The Sisters Brothers, Angels Wear White, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, Border, Good Manners, Saturday Church

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:16 PM   #6
Leonidas_King Leonidas_King is offline
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Don't think I've done a list here before but here goes (sorry for not being fancier):

1. Roma
2. Eighth Grade
3. Hereditary
4. Isle of Dogs
5. A Quiet Place
6. Blindspotting
7. Avengers: Infinity War
8. A Star is Born
9. The Hate U Give
10. First Man
11. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
12. Annihilation
13. First Reformed
14. Bad Times at the El Royale
15. Game Night
16. Love, Simon
18. Ready Player One
19. Lean on Pete
20. Ralph Breaks the Internet
21. Widows
22. Wildlife
23. The Night Comes For Us
24. Searching
25. BlacKkKlansman
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:18 PM   #7
Armchair NZ Armchair NZ is online now
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alright that'll have to do. Personal favourites obviously, chosen for how much I enjoyed and/or respected 'em. Stopped at #24 because everything past that I didn't like quite enough to put on a best-of-the-year list.

1. The Bookshop............................. (Isabel Coixet) (2017 in Spain. Everywhere else got it in 2018.)
2. The Land of Steady Habits.......... (Nicole Holofcener)
3. Private Life..................................... (Tamara Jenkins)
4. Breath.............................................. (Simon Baker) (2017 at festivals. Released in New York in 2018.)
5. Disobedience.................................. (Sebastián Lelio) (2017 at one festival. Everywhere else got it in 2018.)
6. Eighth Grade.................................. (Bo Burnham)
7. The Old Man & the Gun................ (David Lowery)
8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs..... (Joel & Ethan Coen)
9. The Children Act............................ (Richard Eyre) (2017 at one festival. Everywhere else got it in 2018.)
10. Adrift.............................................. (Baltasar Kormákur)
11. Can You Ever Forgive Me?......... (Marielle Heller) (Limited US release in 2018.)
12. Leave No Trace............................ (Debra Granik) (Limited US release in 2018.)
13. Hold the Dark............................... (Jeremy Saulnier)
14. Annihilation.................................. (Alex Garland)
15. The Mercy...................................... (James Marsh)
16. The Tale......................................... (Jennifer Fox)
17. Outside In..................................... (Lynn Shelton) (2017 at one festival. Limited and internet release in 2018.)
18. Tully................................................ (Jason Reitman)
19. Where Is Kyra?............................ (Andrew Dosunmu) (2017 at festivals. Wide release for US in 2018.)
20. Dark River..................................... (Clio Barnard) (2017 at festivals. Wide release for US in 2018.)
21. The Death of Stalin..................... (Armando Iannucci) (2017 internationally. US release in 2018.)
22. Widows.......................................... (Steve McQueen)
23. First Reformed............................. (Paul Schrader) (2017 at festivals. Wide release for US in 2018.)
24. BlacKkKlansman.......................... (Spike Lee)
... if anyone has an objection to the eligibility of any of the above, speak now or forever holster yer piece



final count of eligible movies seen ended up being 46 titles. Covering the majority of the year's movies that I was most looking forward to. (Not too bad, considering I don't go to the cinema. And my only online viewing was spread over two separate months of Netflix and a dozen or so PSN and iTunes rentals.)

Biggest surprise: probably Breath.
Biggest disappointments: The Party, and to a much lesser extent A Private War.

Highly-anticipated movies I didn't manage to see before the poll deadline: The Favourite, Destroyer, Prospect, Isle of Dogs, Black '47, The Mule, You Were Never Really Here, First Man, Hereditary, Alpha, The Sisters Brothers.

Last edited by Armchair NZ; 02-27-2019 at 08:49 PM. Reason: updateriness
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:22 PM   #8
DanTheMan DanTheMan is offline
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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
A Star is Born
Incredibles 2
Blindspotting
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
If Beale Street Could Talk
Suspiria
A Quiet Place
Bohemian Rhapsody
Green Book
Avengers: Infinity War
The Favourite
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Ready Player One
Mid90s
The Rider
Creed II
Roma
Destroyer
You Were Never Really Here
Annihilation
Isle of Dogs
Burning
First Man
Revenge


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Old 01-01-2019, 07:24 PM   #9
dunnbluray dunnbluray is offline
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2018 - Top 25 (WIP)

1.) Upgrade
2.) Avengers: Infinity War
3.) Ready Player One
4.) Sicario: Day Of The Soldado
5.) Halloween (2018)
6.) The Night Comes For Us
7.) The Equalizer 2
8.) Mile 22
9.) Papillon (2018)
10.) Mandy
11.) Game Night
12.) Maze Runner: The Death Cure
13.) Pacific Rim: Uprising
14.) The Predator (2018)
15.) Den Of Thieves
16.) Let The Corpses Tan
17.) Incredibles 2
18.) Mission: Impossible - Fallout
19.) Ant-Man And The Wasp
20.) The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
21.) Death Wish (2018)
22.) The Commuter
23.) A Quiet Place
24.) Bohemian Rhapsody
25.) Venom

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:32 PM   #10
AKORIS AKORIS is offline
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I know there are several films that would alter this list if I had seen them in time but oh well.. this is all I got!

01]Hereditary
02]Mission Impossible: Fallout
03]Avengers: Infinity War
04]Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
05]Annihilation
06]Ghost Stories
07]Halloween (2018)
08]A Quiet Place
09]Bird Box
10] The Meg
11] The Nun

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:42 PM   #11
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Previous years lists
| 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 |



#1 Burning

Directed by Chang-dong Lee
Written by Jung-mi Oh & Chang-dong Lee
Based on the book by Haruki Murakami
Starring Ah-in Yoo, Jong-seo Jin, Steven Yeun

Synopsis: Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood as him, who asks him to look after her cat while on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.



Verdict: Dizzying and boardline hypnotic psychological thriller that seems to play like an anti-mystery. It has you scanning for clues and piecing together a narrative before the questions begin and once you’ve reach the climax, a very clear solution is convoluted by an unsatisfying conflict, one that makes you second, third and forth guess yourself over and over. A lyrical meditation on loneliness, the parable around the need for connection and a metatextual lesson on curiosity that not only kills the cat, but has it vanquished into oblivion.

#2 You Were Never Really Here

Directed by Lynne Ramsey
Written by Lynne Ramsey Based on the book by Jonathan Ames
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, Ekaterina Samsonov

Synopsis: A traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, Joe's nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.



Verdict: The most visually stimulating and beautifully constructed film of the year, Lynne Ramsey transforms a lurid pulp novel into a devestating personal odyssey into psychological detachment and the search for redemption through violence, constantly undermining expectations and wasting little time. It’s a hypnotic vision accompanied by Johnny Greenwood’s spine-tingling jazz score into a film that uses precious few words but speaks volumes.

#3 If Beale Street Could Talk

Directed by Barry Jenkins
Written by Barry Jenkins Based on the book by James Baldwin
Starring KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King

Synopsis: A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime.



Verdict: Telling a story of a tragic injustice that is far too many people’s reality. Barry Jenkins is one of the few filmmakers who has a complete grasp on the texture of cinema. He even manages to control the way smoke rolls of a cigarette, If Beale Street Could Talk is sensory overload, capturing intimate moments with the most uncompromising and unflinching ways to reach right into your being and bring you into his films.

#4 First Reformed

Directed by Paul Schrader
Written by Paul Schrader
Starring Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer

Synopsis: A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.



Verdict: Dense faith-based drama that brings the broad spectrum of personal and global damnation together into a truly chilling and challenging vision. Ethan Hawke’s discordant priest finds himself swaying towards extremism when he’s faith seems to fail him, however Paul Schrader’s film, despite how somber and pessimistic it appears, is in fact a transcendent experience that offers more undefined, even hopeful, answers to times in crisis.

#5 The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Directed by Desiree Akhavan
Written by Desiree Akhavan & Cecilla Frugiuele
Based on the book by Emily M. Danforth
Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck

Synopsis: In 1993, a teenage girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center by her conservative guardians.



Verdict: An exceptionally well-realised coming of age film revolving around a gay conversion camp. Desiree Akhavan realises the humanity that lies within humour and the resilience within spirit. That’s not to say the film doesn’t approach it’s subject matter with seriousness, but instead of moments of horror, it captures more the psychological implications and downright manipulation of identity amongst impressionable youth, making for enraging drama.

#6 Sorry To Bother You

Directed by Boots Riley
Written by Boots Riley
Starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun

Synopsis: In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.



Verdict: Audacious and biting capitalist satire that’s one part Terry Gilliam and a hint of the early Spike Lee. Sorry To Bother You soars beyond expectations bringing wildly expansive themes into an absurdist setting to concoct a wild hybrid of social comedy and science-fiction horror that’s feels refreshing, despite its horrific reality.

#7 The Favourite

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Written by Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara
Starring Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone

Synopsis: In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.



Verdict: Fearlessly subversive costume farce that mixes it’s frilly dresses and frolicking with the vile dirt, vomit and semen that has been swept aside from so many prestige productions. The Favourite is hysterically crass, but also a truly gripping power play between three women who’s loyalty and alliances cannot be trusted, armed with a wonderfully sharp script, Yorgos Lanthimos reinvigorates a stale genre with his signature dry and uncomfortable sensibilities.

#8 BlacKkKlansman

Directed by Spike Lee
Written by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Based on the book by Ron Stallworth
Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier

Synopsis: Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader.



Verdict: Spike Lee stamping his flag firmly in the current social-political landscape with a true-life procedural drama that’s stranger than fiction. Bold and confrontational as only Lee can achieve, his film bounces between ridicule and distress, bringing alarming implications to the present in a way that left the theatre I was in completely shook.

#9 Wildlife

Directed by Paul Dano
Written by Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan Based on the book by Richard Ford
Starring Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould

Synopsis: A teenage boy must deal with his mother's complicated response after his father temporarily abandons them to take a menial and dangerous job.



Verdict: A melcholic study on the collapse of a mid-Western nuclear family in idyllic 50’s America. Downplayed, both often poetically captured, Dano illustrates a changing time in regards to marital roles and the pressure it places on traditional vows, framing the events through the eyes of the son, who is left split between two people who can’t help but hurt one another.

#10 The Rider

Directed by Chloé Zhao
Written by Chloé Zhao
Starring Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lily Jandreau

Synopsis: After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.



Verdict: Fiction and reality blur in Chloé Zhao’s Western drama, casting a real life family into the drama, she manages to capture something that feels beyond authentic. A heartbreaking portrait of a quickly evaporating world that feels on the brink of oblivion, using genre iconography in lyrical ways to create something that feels like a epilogue on a great American novel. It’s a little miracle of filmmaking.

#11 Roma

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón
Starring Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Jorge Antonio Guerrero

Synopsis: A year in the life of a middle-class family's maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.



Verdict: Cuaron deeply empathetic and wistful auto-biographical drama has a scale and a sweep to it that would usually be seen as detrimental to it’s more intimate lense. But in creating moments of mass spectacle and turmoil he weaves the two aspects of his film, the nation and the people, into a entwining and lyrical reflection on compassion and consideration that lies at the core of everyone.

#12 Capernaum

Directed by Nadine Labaki
Written by Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily & Michelle Keserwany
Starring Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole

Synopsis: While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.



Verdict: A truly distressing experience about impoverished life and survival in a third world country. Labaki’s social-realist drama pits the life of a street-smart kid into a desperate situation in an exceptionally stressful and heartwrenching sequence of events that digs into the true worth and price of a human being in the world.

#13 Annihilation

Directed by Alex Garland
Written by Alex Garland Based on the book by Jeff VanderMeer
Starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson

Synopsis: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don't apply.



Verdict: Stunning and hypnotising, Alex Garland’s science fiction take on the Heart of Darkness narrative delivers high concept ideas and themes, realised through a strangely empathetic landscape that illustrates a beautiful experience into the human psyche. Combining Tarkovsky’s visual poetry, with Lovecraftian horror to create a film that’s almost indescribable.

#14 Widows

Directed by Steve McQueen
Written by Gillian Flynn & Steve McQueen Based on “Widows” by Lynda La Plante
Starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki

Synopsis: Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.



Verdict: Mainstream cinema has been begging for a new crime epic for years now, and finally Steve McQueen manage to deliver. Widows is sprawling with characters across social class and upbringing to deliever a story that continuously streamrolls complex talking points into a thrilling twisting and mature narrative.

#15 Assassination Nation

Directed by Sam Levinson
Written by Sam Levinson
Starring Odessa Young, Abra, Hari Nef

Synopsis: After a malicious data hack exposes the secrets of the perpetually American town of Salem, chaos decends and four girls must fight to survive, while coping with the hack themselves.



Verdict: With a marketing campaign leaving many alienated before the film had even been released, Assassination Nation might be the most misunderstood film of the year. With targets scattershot all across political leaning, age and gender, Assassination Nation feels like the work of Brent Easton Ellis and Chuck Philanuck for the social media age, sharply cutting through privacy invasion and generational discourse that attacks all equally, climaxing in a sequence that would make Brian DePalma envious.

#16 Mandy

Directed by Panos Cosmatos
Written by Panos Cosmatos & Aaron Stewart-Ann
Starring Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache

Synopsis: The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiraling, surreal rampage of vengeance.



Verdict: Idyllic dreamscape turns into apocalyptic nightmare, as an unleashed Nicolas Cage becomes hellbent on revenge. Hallucinogenic in scope, vile in content but poetic and methodical in tone, Mandy is a film that beats to it’s own unique tune, crafting a entrancing spell before delivering on a trailblazing final act that is a balance between being tragic and hardcore as ****.

#17 Thoroughbreds

Directed by Cory Finley
Written by Cory Finley
Starring Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin

Synopsis: Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost.



Verdict: Bleak and pitch black comedy involving a murderous mixture of privilege and angst, with Cory Finley’s script working hard to continually second guess and twist sympathies with it’s two lead performances, leading to a very acidic and cold-blooded tale that’ll leave you reeling well after the credits have rolled.

#18 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
Written by Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman
Starring Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld

Synopsis: Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from another dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.



Verdict: Five Spider-Men for the price of one, Spider-Verse boasting not only the most imaginative visual style in cinema this year, but also the most fluid storytelling ever dedicated to a comic book film. Beginning in a place of rule breaking and continually adding fun turns from there, Spider-Verse succeeds on almost all levels even when the wheels threaten to fall of the track.

#19 Hereditary

Directed by Ari Aster
Written by Ari Aster
Starring Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Alex Wolff

Synopsis: After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.



Verdict: Immediately disquieting and alarming, Ari Aster’s debut film creates an inescapable descent into despair and anxiety amongst a dysfunction family unit. Featuring one of the most head-spinning first act twists, the film begins to slowly unravel, before whole-heartedly committing to the most extreme version of events imaginable, pushing it’s subtext to the absolute limit of horror.

#20 Destroyer

Directed by Karyn Kusama
Written by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi
Starring Nicole Kidman, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan

Synopsis: A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.



Verdict: Scorched-earth pulpy revenge take starring a disheveled but trail blazing Nicole Kidman on the path for redemption. Destroyer is simply damn good filmmaking, featuring a showstopping multi-block mid-film shoot-out to a fluent twisting, looping narrative, Karyn Kusama’s film is often nasty and pessimistic like the best detective dramas, but closes on a wonderfully bittersweet note that strikes through it’s pitch black heart.

#21 The Death of Stalin

Directed by Armando Iannucci
Written by Armando Iannucci, David Schneider & Ian Martin
Based on the comic book by Fabien Nury & Thierry Robin
Starring Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Simon Russell Beale

Synopsis: Moscow, 1953. After being in power for nearly 30 years, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin takes ill and quickly dies. Now the members of the Council of Ministers scramble for power.



Verdict: Ingenious farce from The Thick of It’s Armando Iannucci that manages to paint self-obsessed leadership and petty vain power plays into something both relevant and timeless. Armed with a razor sharp script and a host of character performers charged with broard archetypes to clash with one another, The Death of Stalin is the most razor sharp comedy in recent memory.

#22 Shoplifters

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Written by Hirokazu Koreeda
Starring Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Mayu Matsuoka

Synopsis: A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find outside in the cold.



Verdict: Cementing Koreeda as the true successor to Yasujirō Ozu, Shoplifters is an observational drama of a dysfunctional family unit that balances the true nuance of family bonds with a challenging darkness that lies true to many. Offering just enough background information to work out the backstory and dynamic of the family throughout, Shoplifters is a rewarding, yet completely heartbreaking film.

#23 Suspiria

Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Written by David Kajganich Based on the characters by Dario Argento & Daria Nicolodi
Starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth

Synopsis: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.



Verdict: More a cover version of the Argento classic than a simple retelling, Guadagnino’s film oozes period autmosphere with pure expressive excess, combined with a Thom Yorke score to die for, to create a supernatural epic that’s as singular and sublime as it’s ancestor.

#24 Leave No Trace

Directed by Debra Granik
Written by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Based on the book “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock
Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Dana Millican

Synopsis: A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.



Verdict: Proving mature drama doesn’t need excessive content, Debra Granik’s film is a stripped down, minimalist examination of a father and daughter relationship that has been affected by trauma passed down through the years. Moving towards a conclusion that finds difficult truths in the search for real happiness, Granik entrusts the two leads to enhabit the true beating heart of the film, making for a very understated, but richly moving experience.

#25 Blindspotting

Directed by Carlos López Estrada
Written by Daveed Diggs & Rafael Casal
Starring Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar

Synopsis: While on probation, a man begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend.



Verdict: Really honest and charming story of present day Oakland, swirling around a number of hot points in regards to race relations. Blindspotting isn’t an angry film, but in fact a deeply understanding one. Using humour to communicate whilst taking a reality to many very seriously, the film is successful at being often surprising and illustrative of abstract concepts such as communities and heritage. The big sleeper hit of the year that you won’t want to snooze on.


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Old 01-01-2019, 07:45 PM   #12
mwynn mwynn is offline
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1. Avengers: Infinity War
2. Black Panther
3. A Quiet Place
4. The Hate U Give
5. Ant-Man and the Wasp
6. Incredibles 2
7. Mary Poppins Returns
8. Ralph Breaks the Internet
9. Spider-man Into the Spider Verse
10. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
11. Deadpool 2
12. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
13. The Equalizer 2
14. A Wrinkle in Time
15. Halloween
16. Bird Box
17. A Star Is Born
18. Anon
19. Extinction
20. Den of Thieves
21. Widows
22. Creed 2
23. The Night Comes For Us
24. Solo
25. BlacKkKlansman

Last edited by mwynn; 03-03-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunnbluray View Post
1.) Upgrade
One of us, one of us...



Last two years in a row my top pick has finished in 12th place (Nocturnal Animals, The Last Jedi). Better not happen this year...
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:53 PM   #14
Rodney-2187 Rodney-2187 is offline
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1. Solo
2. Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Green Book
4. Susperia
5. A Star Is Born
................
6. Avengers: Infinity War
7. Black Panther
8. Mandy
9. Bumblebee
10. Mid90s
................
11. Bird Box
12. Hereditary
13. Mission Impossible: Fallout
14. Widows
15. Equalizer 2
................
16. Deadpool 2
17. The Ritual
18. The Land of Steady Habits
19. Ocean’s 8
20. Hotel Artemis
................
21. Won’t You Be My Neighbor
22. Anon
23. Ant-Man and the Wasp
24. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
25. Operation Finale

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Old 01-01-2019, 07:54 PM   #15
filmbuffTX filmbuffTX is offline
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01. Ready Player One
02. Eighth Grade
03. Mid90s
04. A Star Is Born
05. Black Panther

06. Avengers: Infinity War
07. They Shall Not Grow Old
08. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
09. Blindspotting
10. First Man

11. The Favourite
12. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
13. If Beale Street Could Talk
14. Vice
15. BlacKkKlansman

16. A Quiet Place
17. Love, Simon
18. Upgrade
19. Incredibles 2
20. Green Book

21. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
22. Assassnation Nation
23. Thoroughbreds
24. Boy Erased
25. Roma

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Old 01-01-2019, 08:29 PM   #16
Hoke Moseley Hoke Moseley is offline
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1. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
2. BlacKkKlansman
3. Bad Times at the El Royale
4. Halloween
5. The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling
6. Annihilation
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
8. First Reformed
9. Chappaquiddick
10. The Mule
11. Upgrade
12. Ready Player One
13. Game Night
14. American Animals
15. Avengers: Infinity War
16. A Star is Born
17. Den of Thieves
18. The Favourite
19. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
20. Minding the Gap
21. Ocean's 8
22. Searching
23. The Old Man & the Gun
24. Unsane
25. Deadpool 2

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Old 01-01-2019, 08:59 PM   #17
Jasonic Jasonic is offline
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1.


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1. Roma
2. First Man
3. Mission: Impossible - Fallout
4. Mirai
5. The Favourite
6. Ready Player One
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
8. Incredibles 2
9. Upgrade
10. Avengers: Infinity War
11. Annihilation
12. Burning
13. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
14. Hereditary
15. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
16. Mary, Queen of Scots
17. Black Panther
18. Love Simon
19. Widows
20. Maze Runner: The Death Cure
21. American Animals
22. Mary Poppins Returns
23. Leave No Trace
24. The Old Man and the Gun
25. A Simple Favor

Last edited by Jasonic; 02-24-2019 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:08 PM   #18
Rodney-2187 Rodney-2187 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwynn View Post
18. Anon
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:13 PM   #19
Peavey Peavey is offline
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Reserved
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:15 PM   #20
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1. The Favourite
2. A Star is Born
3. Eight Grade
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
5. Aquaman
6. BlacKkKlansman
7. A Quite Place
8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
9. 22 July
10. Juliet, Naked
11. First Man
12. Unsane
13. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
14. Avengers: Infinity War
15. Roma
16. Hereditary
17. Green Book
18. Mary Queen of Scots
19. Bad Times at the El Royale
20. Zama
21. Suspiria
22. Widows
23. Creed II
24. Upgrade
25. Vox Lux

Last edited by mr.mister; 02-24-2019 at 08:16 PM.
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