Kaplan vs Kaplan – 10 Best and Some of the Worst Films of 2018

1652

Award season is upon us. Jean and David Kaplan of Kaplan vs. Kaplan list their 10 best and some of the worst films of 2018.

===

JEANNE’S BEST AND WORST FILMS OF 2018

TOP 10

1. THE FAVOURITE

A naughty — not nice — romp through Queen Anne’s court in 18th century England has won out over all others for me this year. Led by the incomparable Olivia Coleman as Anne, surrounded by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, Yorgos Lanthimos has capitalized on the Year of the Woman with his take on a crafty, daffy ruler and her two “favourite” subjects.

2. LEAN ON PETE

Andrew Haigh’s first American film about a lonely 15-year-old boy named Charley, played exquisitly by Charlie Plummer, and an over-used

racehorse named Lean on Pete, is definitely one of the best of 2018. It’s the kind of film people have a tendency to ovrelook, which is such a shame, as it beautifully depicts the worthiness of hope, friendship and, most importantly, love.

3. ROMA

Director Alfonso Cuaron’s ode to his chuildhood in Mexico City is a moving, compassionate tribute to those who take care of us. Shot in black and white,

Cuaron makes every day in the lives of this fractured family soft and beautiful. It’s memorable filmmaking, the kind this cinephile lives for.

4. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

In terms of documentaries, nothing is better than WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?. Morgan Neville has once again proven his mastery in this genre and provided us with a loving and truthful biopic of this gentle man, Fred Rogers, who devoted his life to making every day a little less frightening for children — of all ages.

5. PADDINGTON 2

The fact that a sequel can actually be as good

as — if not better than — the original is astonishing — something that almost never happens. But PADDINGTON 2 is that anomaly — a marvelous effort by director Paul King, his phenomenal cast, delicious set designs and costumes. A children’s film that isn’t just for children.

6. A STAR IS BORN

Bradley Cooper’s directing debut has mesmerized a whole new generation witht his amazing remake of an oft-told tale, starring the glorious Lady Gaga and Cooper himself. It’s a tour-de-force production featuring stellar performances and fabulous music.

7. COLD WAR

A visually stunning love story directed by Pawel Pawlikowski set during the Cold War in the 1950s. Starring the gorgeous Joanna Kulig and handsome Tomasz Kot as lovers whose story spans manyyears throughout Poland, Germany and Paris, these two actors exemplify the raw emotions of love and desire in such harsh times.

8. GREEN BOOK

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali give two of the best performances as an Italian-American chauffeur and bodyguard for an African-American jazz pianist on a tour through the Deep South in the 1960s. A film that can genuinely make you laugh — and cry — while telling a provocative and worthy story is always a treasure.

9. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT

Tom Cruise has created a series in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE that has never failed to entertain. But MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT has wildly surpassed all of the others which have come before. It’s an action-packed, fast-paced ridiculously entertaining and — at times — downright hilarious blockbuster, worthy of that term. If you haven’t seen it — find it!

10. BLACK PANTHER

2018 served up quite a few comic book heroes, but, by far, the best is BLACK PANTHER. A joy to experience in all of its glory, director Ryan Coogler’s efforts have cemented Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa or Black Panther, along witht he entire cast, in the annals of movie history.

HONORABLE MENTION (ALPHABETICAL)

BLACKkKLANSMAN, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, EIGHTH GRADE, FIRST MAN, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, ISLE OF DOGS, RBG

WORST FILMS of 2018

1. SUSPIRIA

2. THE MULE

3. A WRINKLE IN TIME

4. WELCOME TO MARWEN

——————————–

DAVID’S BEST AND WORST FILMS OF 2018

TOP 10

1. A STAR IS BORN

Beautifully acted and intelligently written, A STAR IS BORN is an ambitious, even monumental achievement in filmmaking. Both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga deliver Oscar-worthy performances.

2. GREEN BOOK

Two extraordinary performances by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, along with an exceptional script, make GREEN BOOK easily one of the best films of the year. An emotionally-charged finale that is perfectly staged by director Peter Farrelly closes out this wonderful story.

3. BLACKkKLANSMAN

This stunningly powerful indictment of racism in America should be remembered as one of the best films of this — or any other year. Spike Lee’s best movie.

4. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT

Featuring what has to be the best chase scene in 47 years of moviemaking since THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971), this film is non-stop excitment from the first scene to its breathtaking finish.

5. RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET

Sheer entertainment, a total delight and an instant contender for the Academy Award for Best Animated feature.

6. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? Fred Rogers passed away in 2003 at age 74, but after seeing the depth of this man’s commitment to children and his passion for spreading good will — let’s just say we could really use him right now.

7. RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s impact on behalf of women’s rights is so vital in American history, it would have been a travesty not to have her amazing life — along with her musings and her humor — as a permanent record on film.

8. THE FAVOURITE

An unusually provocative presentation given the time frame and its place in history. Furthermore, the trio of actresses who anchor the story could not be better.

9. MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

Both Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan as rulers of England and Scotland are sensational in their roles. The expert cinematography, lavish costume design and especially the stirring musical score, along with the fine cast make MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS a brilliant achievement.

10. BEAUTIFUL BOY

Steve Carell is a father desperately trying to save his drug-addicted son, played by Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME). It’s a true story that, while often difficult to watch, is a seamless film about the drastic impact the disease of drug dependency has on family members.

HONORABLE MENTION (ALPHABETICAL)

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, ISLE OF DOGS, LEAN ON PETE, LOVE & BANANAS: AN ELEPHANT STORY, MARY POPPINS RETURNS, ON THE BASIS OF SEX, ROMA, WEED THE PEOPLE

BOTTOM FEEDERS

1. A WRINKLE IN TIME

2. SUSPIRIA

3. FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

4. THE GRINCH

Previous article10 Questions with Vic Featuring Singer Reina Mora
Next articleCity Celebrates New Memoir on Feminist and LGBTQ Activist Ivy Bottini
Jeanne and David Kaplan
In place of the usual ratings, husband and wife, David and Jeanne Kaplan offer opinions on the merits of spending money for a first-run release, with separate his-and-her movie reviews. A movie is either entertaining and worth seeing now, or it's not. Kaplan reviews advise the reader along those lines with the hope to appeal to the frequent moviegoer who can see through the hype of many professional critics around the country. Casual moviegoers who seek their opinion can depend on honest, unbiased viewpoints. If they think a movie is worth the price of first-run admission, they endorse it, with a "SEE IT NOW!" icon.  If they give a film a "STRONG SEE IT NOW!", it is an exceptional movie--a must see on the big screen.  If a film is entertaining but not necessarily worthy of the cash outlay, they advise you to "WAIT FOR DVD", which can also be interpreted as waiting for second run where you can still see it on the big screen.  If a movie is really bad they will flat give it a "DON'T BOTHER!" Pick up a good book for the two hours you will waste.  Jeanne and David Kaplan's reviews also appear on the international film review website www.RottenTomatoes.com. David is founder and president of Movienotes, a Chicago-based media advertising company.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of