The Best of 2018 - The First Half

Our world in 2018 may be tumbling blindly into a black hole of despair, but luckily 2018 movie-world has been pretty dang cool. MJ crew and contribs gave us their top film picks (so far) and we ranked 'em up all pretty for you. Check out the list below!

#1-Black Panther


One of the most visually stunning superjawns put out to date. Coogler & co. told an engaging narrative, crafted an amazing villain, built up a whole new civilization and brought focus to issues without just talking about them. Read the full review here.

#2-Won’t You Be My Neighbor


A reminder of the lasting impact that goodness can have. Read the full review here.

#3-You Were Never Really Here


This is what filmmaking is all about kids. A lean mean 90 minute flick that doesn't ever stop. It comes right in there like a punch in the stomach and by end of it you have to check for your pulse. Are you even breathing?! Read the full review here.



A24's magnum opus and truly of the most emotionally scarring horror films of the past 30 years. Read the full review here.



An amazing audio/visual experience that makes for a truly haunting sci-fi work about confronting change that is filled with fascinating ideas and carried by a tremendous (almost entirely female) cast. This, sadly, went under the radar due to poor promotion. Read the full review here.

#6-Game Night


This made many people’s list because it was the most surprising release; We didn't expect to enjoy it nearly as much as we did. Read the full review here.

#7-The Death of Stalin


When the death of your nearest and dearest becomes a three-ring circus. A flick for those fond of the Marx brothers. A political black comedic farce that sadly rings true. When it’s time to go, one can only hope Nucky Thompson is around to put the FUN in our funeral. Hey, look on the bright the end, it’s all about who is gonna walk over your body first to pin the tail on the donkey.



Great first effort from writer/director Cory Finley featuring a talented young cast. Read the full review here.

#9-The Ritual


Unique, frightening and gorgeously shot, with some of the best creature design in years, hands down!

#10-First Reformed


A small town priest in upstate New York tries to cope with the religious/moral implications of living in a world that is tearing itself apart.

Unsung Heroes of 2018 (so far)

In addition to our top ten, here are five titles that only one individual from our crew picked as the best movie of the year that no one else even ranked in their top five.

A Fantastic Woman (Benjamin Leonard)


This is a moving and visually impressive depiction of one transgender woman’s experiences in the world while trying to cope with the sudden passing of her older boyfriend. Read the full review here.

Journey’s End (Fiona Underhill)


An adaptation of the play by R.C. Sherriff based on his first-hand experience of the WWI trenches. Featuring Stephen Graham, Toby Jones, Asa Butterfield and career-best turns from both Paul Bettany and Sam Claflin. Journey’s End is a gut-wrenchingly beautiful film that far exceeds expectations.

Last Men in Aleppo (Stacey Osbeck)


Last Men in Aleppo follows a group of local heroes in war-torn Syria, who rush toward bombings to rescue survivors from the rubble. Many documentaries have a lull, a dragging middle, however, Writer/Director Feras Fayyad pulls all strings taught throughout and instills enough empathy that you don't feel like a viewer in the audience, but one among them.

Lean on Pete (Ryan Smillie)


Andrew Haigh subverts the classic American Western trope that a horse is synonymous with freedom in this unexpected and probing look at people (well, a boy and his horse, most notably) living on the margins, both financially and emotionally.

They Remain (Sandy DeVito)


Rich with small details and a deeply unnerving miasma of encroaching doom, with its heady, cosmic weight borne virtually entirely in two incredible performances from William Jackson Harper and Rebecca Henderson, They Remain is one of the best eldritch horrors yet put to the screen. It has cult status written all over it. Read the full review here.

List of MJ cast and crew who provided rankings:

Deborah Krieger, Liz Locke, Ben Leonard, Rosalie Kicks, Fiona Underhill, Tresa Rentler, Jessie Landivar, Jaime Davis, Francis X Friel, Hunter Bush, Wilson Holzhaeuser, Melissa Strong, Emmi Kurowski, Ryan Smillie, Billy Russell, Stacey Osbeck, Sandy DeVito