Mark Saldana’s Best Films of 2018

By Mark Saldana

2018 was another fantastic year for cinema, but it was a particularly exciting year for me.  In addition to reviewing hundreds of films this year, and attending my four usual film festivals, I was accepted into the Austin Film Critics Association.  With this honor comes even more access to films before their releases.  And for the first time in my ten years as a film critic, I am able to complete my year end report before the New Year arrives.

Regarding the films, 2018 was an amazing year for movies dealing with African-American issues.  Titles like The Hate U Give, BlindspottingSorry to Bother You and Blackkklansman express the anger, pain, and intelligence of Black Americans through the eyes, voices and minds of talented filmmakers.  In other films, the life of a 1970s indigenous Mexican housekeeper is spotlighted (Roma), Spider-Men and a Spider-Woman discover they’re not alone in the multiverse (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), and a real wonderful human being is honored and celebrated (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?).  So without any further ado, here are my top ten films of 2018, plus my choices for honors in more specific categories.

1. The Hate U Give

2. If Beale Street Could Talk 

3. Roma

4. Sorry to Bother You

5. Blindspotting

6. You Were Never Really Here

7. Eighth Grade

8. The Favourite 

9. Annihilation

10. 1985

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron – Roma

Best Original Screenplay: Sorry To Bother You 

Best Adapted Screenplay: If Beale Street Could Talk 

Best Cinematography: Roma

Best Score: First Man

Best Foreign Language Film: Roma

Best Documentary Feature Film: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Animated Film: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Best Actress: Olivia Colman – The Favourite 

Best Actor: Ethan Hawke – First Reformed 

Best Supporting Actress: Claire Foy – First Man

Best Supporting Actor: Russell Hornsby – The Hate U Give

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