Steve Davis’ Top 10 Films of 2018


1) Eighth Grade

In this painfully astute dramedy, an insecure 13-year-old struggles to emerge from her miserable cocoon. Been there!

2) Isle of Dogs

An artful American animated feature grounded in a humane, Japanese aesthetic. The year's sweetest movie.

3) Can You Ever Forgive Me?

A compact drama about re-invention starring tag-team performances by Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant.

4) Leave No Trace

An unexpectedly effective drama about familial bonds that will have you reaching for the Kleenex in the end.

5) Roma

One-man-band Alfonso Cuarón's evocative black-and-white Recuerdos de Cosas Pasadas circa 1970. A feast for the eyes.


6) Three Identical Strangers

A stranger-than-fiction documentary about separated-at-birth triplets that takes an unexpectedly wild turn.

7) Sorry to Bother You

Race, class, and assimilation by way of inspired allegory in the year's most daring and subversive movie.

8) Shoplifters

An eye-opening Japanese drama about a makeshift family that plays like a modern version of Oliver Twist.

9) The Rider

This contemporary Western about a young cowboy trying to readjust after a near-fatal head injury is a redemptive experience.

10) Mandy

Finally – a movie as crazed as the Nicolas Cage performance at its center. A visionary horror film, literally.


The Old Man & the Gun

Near Misses

Blindspotting, The Old Man & the Gun, You Were Never Really Here

Most Overrated

Green Book, Hereditary, Vox Lux

Most Underrated

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Little Stranger, Upgrade

Wild Card

Documentary wow! From Three Identical Strangers to Minding the Gap to RBG to Free Solo to Won't You Be My Neighbor? A banner year for nonfiction filmmakers.

Acting Kudos (Male)

Rafael Casal (Blindspotting), Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy) Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)


If Beale Street Could Talk

Acting Kudos (Female)

Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

Best Director

Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)

Best Original Screenplay

Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal (Blindspotting); Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara (The Favourite); Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian (Searching)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty (Can You Ever Forgive Me?); Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, Peter Fellows (The Death of Stalin); Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk)

TV Series/Event

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Worst Film

Show Dogs: A what-were-they-thinking kids' movie reeking of canine cologne.

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More by Steve Davis
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