top10_2018

2018 was a big year for me personally. In many ways it was the most significant of my life so far. In May I got engaged, and recorded the first full-length album with my band. In October, I got married. Went on my honeymoon. Navigated the first holiday season as a member of a new family. It was wonderful. It was also a lot.

With so many major life events demanding my time, energy, and focus, it’s only natural that the hobby of movie watching and reviewing fell by the wayside, at least somewhat. 2018 was the year in which MoviePass ran out of favor (and money) roughly a year after its historic price drop brought an unprecedented number of subscribers to the service. It was the year FilmStruck left us. So not only was my movie viewing down by sheer numbers, but the avenues by which to explore it were narrowing as well.

All this is to say that I didn’t see as many movies as usual in 2018, and as such I don’t feel that my annual top list is as meaningful is it might have been. I know there’s so much that I missed. And I know, therefore, that this list isn’t likely to turn anyone on to any small movies that flew under their radar. So I can’t help but feel my excitement about this annual effort isn’t what it usually is. That said, I can’t break with tradition; and my discussion of movies is always about what they mean to me and not about any supposed social import or insider clout. So it is without pretense or ego that I offer you the 10 movies I liked most from last year.

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lastjedi1

by Daniel Stidham

At the end of The Force Awakens, Rey has finally tracked Luke Skywalker to a secluded island and approached the legendary Jedi to hand him his own lost or forgotten lightsaber. The film ends on a cliffhanger, forcing fans to stew on this charged, enigmatic moment for two years until the next installment came around. Well, ladies and Gungans, the next installment is here; and how you feel about what writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) does with this moment may determine whether or not you’ll be on board with the rest of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

At this point I’m jumping straight into SPOILERS so if you haven’t seen the movie and you’re still reading this, consider this your final warning. READ FULL REVIEW