The best films of 2018 so far

Don't miss 'em

2018 has already been a huge year for movies – and there’s so much more yet to come. Here’s the best of the year so far.

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1
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (January 12)

Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell both picked up Oscars for their performances in this bleak comedy about a town reeling from various personal tragedies. You’ll laugh and cry in equal measure.

2
Black Panther (February 12)

The first major superhero film with a predominantly black cast was also the best Marvel film yet, mixing idiosyncratic humour and phenomenal action sequences with spiky social commentary. A blast.

3
The Shape of Water (February 14)

Somewhere between Beauty And The Beast and The Creature From The Black Lagoon lies Guillermo Del Toro’s enchanting Cold War-set fantasy. It tells the story of Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute caretaker in a government facility who develops a relationship with a mysterious humanoid being held in captivity. It took home four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

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4
Lady Bird (February 16)

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a coming-of-age tale set in Sacramento, California, where her pretentious titular protagonist (Saiorse Ronan) rails against the mediocrity of her hometown and its inhabitants – not least of whom is her mum (Laurie Metcalf). Its tale of teenage aspiration is clever, but affecting, too, and the film received five Oscar nominations.

5
I, Tonya (February 16)

The tale of ice-skater Tonya Harding is told in this biopic starring a sensational Margot Robbie. Taking inspiration from the mad true story it’s based on, it’s a quirky, muddy film that mixes comedy and drama to fascinating effect; Robbie was Oscar-nominated for her leading role, while her in-film mother Alison Janney took home the Best Supporting Actress gong.

6
Isle of Dogs (March 30)

Following 2009’s ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’, Wes Anderson returns to stop-motion animation with this original story set in a near-future dystopian Japan, where dogs – believed to be the cause of a mysterious illness – are outlawed and sent to an island dump. In true Wes Anderson style, it’s a caper full of quickfire dialogue and perfect symmetry.

7
Annihilation (March 12)

Fresh from his superlative 2014 sci-fi horror Ex Machina, director Alex Garland stuck with the genre for another brilliant journey into darkness. Here Natalie Portman leads an all-female team of scientists investigating a strange phenomenon in a Florida swamp known as ‘Area X’ – caused by a mysterious falling meteor that kills most people who go near. A wonderfully tense watch.

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8
A Quiet Place (April 5)

Hot on the heels of Annihilation came another tense horror: this one starred real-life husband and wife team John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as a couple living in a world inhabited by noise-sensitive monsters who attack at the slightest sound. The premise is genius – and the silence is captivating.

9
Love, Simon (April 6)

A landmark LGBTQ film, Love, Simon details the titular high-schooler’s bumpy coming-out. Part Clueless, part Beautiful Thing, it’s a hugely warm film that pushes the envelope for diversity in major films and is likely to become as culty as the aforementioned teen classics.

10
Avengers: Infinity War (April 26)

The most expensive film of all time is the culmination of 10 years of Marvel universe-building – and it doesn’t disappoint. Its huge action sequences make comparable Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter climaxes look tiny by comparison – and it’s also the darkest episode in the series by far. But, in the best-of-both-worlds Marvel tradition, it’s also very funny.

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