Oscars Schmoscars: Best Films of 2018 According to Penna Powers

Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony was a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. But it was by no means predictable. Spike Lee won, but it wasn’t for directing. Unanimously pre-crowned Glenn Close lost to a charming first timer in a weird, weird film. Netflix’s first best picture nomination Roma won a lot of awards, but not the big one. That honor went to Green Book, a film that went from audience favorite at the Toronto Film Festival to controversial hot potato in the months leading up to the ceremony.

Now that all the great movies of 2018 have been celebrated and honored, we wanted to put our staff’s favorites out there. Some are represented at the Oscars, some wouldn’t even come close.

A Star is Born – Every year there’s a film that just can’t catch a break. Despite seven nominations, Bradley Cooper’s magnum opus was denied yet again, except for Best Song, which Lady Gaga delivered. Maybe the Academy is just sick of seeing one more A Star is Born remake? We don’t know but our staff sure loved it, giving it the most votes of any film.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Mr. Rogers is just the best, right? This heartwarming documentary was the balm we needed for these polarizing, divisive times. If you grew up on Mr. Rogers, you know that once he slipped on those comfortable shoes and traded his jacket for a cardigan, everything was going to be alright. That fact that it was snubbed from the Documentary nominations is a downright dirty shame.

A Quiet Place – Emily Blunt starred in two very different movies with pivotable scenes involving a bathtub. This is the better one.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldĀ – Yeah, this isn’t the best piece of Harry Potter IP out there, but our staff is hopelessly in love with anything J.K. Rowling touches. We did a Harry Potter-themed Christmas card a couple years back, so this stuff runs in our veins.

Annihilation– This film came and went out of the theaters before you can say “Natalie Portman is starring in another movie directed by a man.” But you should give it a chance, it might just freak you out. For fans of wild sci-fi endings like in 2001: A Space Odessey and Interstellar.

Black PantherĀ – Our favorite for Best Picture was not able to bring the hardware home, but it did win for Best Score, Production and Costume Design so that’s something. Director Ryan Coogler continues to impress. Check out his impressive back catalog of Fruitvale Station and Creed if you disagree.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeĀ – Remember when these kinds of movies came out in movie theaters? Now only Netflix makes them. Our teen Rom-Com aficionados absolutely adored this one.

Isle of DogsĀ – Nominated for Best Animated Feature but lost to the very deserving Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. If you love dogs and Wes Anderson movies, this is movie catnip.

Sorry to Bother You– So Green Book won, but in years to come, you’re going to be watching this instead.

Three Identical Strangers – Last year’s Sundance Film Festival debuted some killer documentaries and laid the groundwork for a year in which four of them would gross more than $10 million at the box office. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9Ā was not among them, but this one was. It has to be seen to be believed.


Honorable Mentions: Roma, Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKKKlansman, Hereditary, Green Book, Free Solo, Love Simon, Only the Brave, The Commuter, I Can Only Imagine, The Mule, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Upgrade, Mandy, Solo, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Eighth Grade