Josh Kupecki’s Top 10 Films of 2018

1) Roma

A filmmaker known for his unrelenting bravado behind the camera dials it back a few f-stops for a sweeping yet intimate epic.

2) Shoplifters

Who says you can't choose your family? A happenstance gang circumvents that with poignancy and hilarity.

3) First Reformed

Ethan Hawke floored me, and while Paul Schrader wanders a well-trod path, this convergence is one of 2018's best things.

4) Thunder Road

That rare film where I seldom had any idea where the narrative was going, and I did not care one single bit.

5) The Favourite

There're the performances, to be sure, but what makes it is the beautifully cruel sandbox Lanthimos created for them.

6) Mandy

Did you ever desire to deconstruct every cultural artifact from your pubescent years? Boom! You have Mandy.

7) Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

You can have your Fred Rogers doc, I'll take this story of an immigrant refugee-turned-international pop star.

8) You Were Never Really Here

As much as you want to burn away the world, it has a nasty penchant for sneaking up on you.

9) Sorry to Bother You

It's amazing that this cinematic Molotov cocktail even exists. There's so much to look at in any given frame.

10) Lean on Pete

A boy and a horse: an odyssey fraught with trauma that sticks into your soul.

Free Solo

Near Misses

Minding the Gap, BlacKkKlansman, Free Solo

Most Overrated

A Star Is Born, Suspiria

Most Underrated

Annihilation, Summer 1993, Under the Tree

Wild Card

TV outshines film as Maniac, Homecoming, and My Brilliant Friend mine incredibly complicated narratives that speak volumes.

Acting Kudos (Male)

Ethan Hawke (First Reformed), Charlie Plummer (Lean on Pete)

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Acting Kudos (Female)

Kathryn Hahn (Private Life); Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?); Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Best Director

Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Andrew Haigh (Lean on Pete), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here)

Best Original Screenplay

Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade), Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Macon Blair (Hold the Dark); Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

TV Series/Event

Killing Eve

Worst Film

Mile 22: Perhaps director Peter Berg needs some calming herbs in his life, because this mess of a movie, in which the editing whiplash pummels the viewer for 90 minutes of incoherence, coupled with Marky Mark's attempt at being some badass, renders the whole affair as a schizophrenic trainwreck (trainwreck not included).

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More by Josh Kupecki
A Bread Factory, Part One
Part one of Patrick Wang's epic satire of small-town art life

Dec. 28, 2018

A Bread Factory, Part Two
Part two of Patrick Wang's esoteric examination of art in Upstate New York

Dec. 28, 2018

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