At least we have this going for us in this fallen age: 2018 has been an ace year for movies, no matter what kind of screen you’re seeing them on. I saw almost 300 new releases in 2018 — big and small, foreign and domestic, streaming and theatrical. The art houses and Drafthouses again pull more than their fair share of the burden of quality, but my No. 2 below (and many people’s No. 1) is a straight-up Netflix production, already available to watch on your phone. And I found more reasons to applaud in the multiplexes than in most years of the recent decade. As theatrical experiences, I treasured being part of large crowds that cheered and laughed and cried through honorable mentions A Star Is Born, Sorry to Bother You, Black Panther, Game Night, Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKkKlansman, Aquaman, Eighth Grade and that dazzling latest Mission: Impossible for which Tom Cruise learned to fly a helicopter but outsourced the depiction of recognizable human feeling to the rest of the cast.
But the movies below are the ones that most stirred or cheered me — or revealed something new. As always, a list like this is a list of favorites (and a Favourite) rather than bests. My failure to include your favorites is no swipe at you or your preferences. (Except, ick, Green Book. As Craig D. Lindsey reminds us in his review for this publication, Jim Crow wasn’t cute.)