Top 20 of 2018: The Top 10

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So here we are, my personal favourite films of 2018. It has taken a bit of time as I managed to catch one more 2018 film this last week which threw this entire list out of whack. Now I know what you’re thinking, how can I add a new choice into my 2018 list despite seeing it this year. Well, for one thing it was released last year and I just never got around to seeing it in time, but two, this is my list damnit and I’ll do what I like. Sorry that came across a little angry there!! Before we kick off though, it is a sign of how good last year was that after writing Part 1 last week, numerous films came to mind that I forgot to mention previously. Films such as BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (wickedly inventive and constantly surprising) and CRAZY RICH ASIANS (a film that feels glossy on the surface but contains oodles of heart and sharp insights beneath). It’s also encouraging to know that even after only 2 weeks of 2019, I’ve already seen some potentials for this years best of; THE FAVOURITE (masterfully directed with 3 of the best performances I’ve seen ever) and THE FRONT RUNNER (intelligent, witty and shot like a 70s thriller). If this rate continues 2019s list is going to be even tougher to write!!

10. Coco

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The Incredibles 2 may have swept the limelight (and a nice billion $ to boot) but for me Coco represented the stronger Pixar offering of the year. A visually inventive (the land of the dead is pure wonderment) fast paced journey into what Pixar do best, an unseen of universe. Namely the Land of the Dead. Set during Dia De los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico, as families prepare to honour those they’ve lost. Coco follows one particular family, and one little boy (Miguel) as he seeks to follow his dream of playing music, despite his family’s hostility towards it. What’s most remarkable about director Lee Unkrich’s film is its highly detailed sense of place. Coco commits to its evocation of Mexican life and traditions, and whilst there are some spouts of exposition for unfamiliar viewers, it largely lets the story unfold its details naturally. The film throngs with life, whether through its vibrant animation or the heartfelt songs it belts out. Yet like all the best Pixar (and what separates it from the slightly disappointing Incredibles sequel) is its genuine and moving emotionality. Tackling subjects rife with drama, such as grief, memory and forgiveness, but never oversimplifying it for the youngsters in the crowd. Those final moments are up there with the most tear-inducing Pixar sequences, and that is saying a lot.

Defining Moment: Said final moment is a work of outstanding sadness. Miguel desperate for his Grandma (the titular Coco) to remember her long passed father, before he is wiped from all existence through the use of song is eloquently delivered and desperately moving. The nuances in the animation and the simplicity of the moment allow it to reach deep within your soul letting the tears flow.

9. Annihilation

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2014s Ex Machina showed that Alex Garland was not just an extremely talented screenwriter (responsible for a number of great recent genre flicks such as Sunshine) but could direct the hell out of a project too. A film that dealt with troubling ideas, body horror, intellectual yet never dull debate and surreal bouts of humour. His follow up is equally as impressive. Caught up in controversy early last year when it was announced that parent studio Paramount would not give it a theatrical release outside of the US due to its perceived audience distancing intelligence. Not only being incredibly short sighted about the movie going public but robbing us of one of the most visually distinctive films in 2018. Luckily Netflix swooped in allowing the film to reach a larger audience than perhaps a cinema release (with its expensive tickets) would allow. And what a film. Fostering an atmosphere of immense tension throughout, Annihilation takes its central group of women (including a heartbreaking Tessa Thompson) into a mysterious force field. One that yields horrors that enrapture and terrify in equal measure. Garland rising up above the budgetary limitations to conjure a number of trembling set pieces. His tone may be a little off putting for some, closer to the colder outer edges of Ex Machina than the melodramatic operatics of Sunshine but it is never less than engrossing. Natalie Portman anchors the crazy science with a performance of subtlety. She is an enigma throughout yet her eyes show just how close she gets to losing it, whilst remaining strong for those around her. Battling the impulses of discovery that lie within her scientific mind against the fear of just how fucked up the situation is. Numerous set-pieces shake you, from a horrific bear attack (well I say bear-just you wait) to the truly mind shattering final act. An act that has the potential to completely alienate its audience, but one Garland has the confidence in to not give two fucks. Part of the many reasons why this is a film to cherish.

Defining Moment: It is hard to pick one moment from the bountiful shots that lie within but few can top the perfect mix of practical effects, visual effects, performance, direction and sound work that make up the bear sequence. Portman and two of her teammates fight to escape the insane breakdown faced by one of their party. Just as things escalate to near unbearable tension then a monstrous creature attacks, yet on closer inspection this is no mere bear. Its screams alone will truly haunt you.

8. Hereditary

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Every year there is that one horror film that becomes more than just a film. The internet talk and critical appraisals reaching such a fever pitch that even the most discerning of viewers are intrigued. Hereditary was this years offering, and oh boy does it disturb. Sadly, as with most of these word of mouth horror outings, the scares are not what some will be expecting. Despite a few traditional ‘jump’ scares, Hereditary is more concerned with leaving you in such a state of unease you begin to feel queasy. Directed with confidence by Ari Aster, its story of familial strife and matriarchal insanity intermeshed with demon possessions and monstrous hauntings is like nothing you’ve seen. Through it all though is a bevy of brilliant performances. Notably the exemplary Toni Colette. Long been one of our most underrated performers, here she gives it everything. Her mother role covering the range from controlled grief, abject horror and moments of very loud cathartic outbursts. In many hands it could come across as Nicolas Cage-type excess, but Colette finds the truth in the histrionics. One dinner table scene with her son (Alex Wolff-captivatingly troubled) is an exercise in awkward tragedy, as words are said that can never be undone. It is not an easy film to experience, using score, visuals and editing to wrong foot you at every turn, before reaching a finale that shakes you. Hereditary is not one for clear cut answers, rather a general feeling of malaise. Once seen it is very hard to unsee.

Defining Moment: In perhaps one of the films most shocking moments, Wolff’s rebellious teenager drives his slightly odd sister home after a party mishap. What happens on that drive is up there with the great horror shocks, but more disturbing is the way Aster frames the aftermath. Wolff’s reaction and the films ability to maximise that for primero terror means you cannot look away, despite your desire to.

7. Widows

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In one of 2018s biggest disappointments Steve McQueen’s thriller opened in November to a somewhat mild thud. It wasn’t for a lack of great advertising or ecstatic reviews, both it had in numbers, but something about it just didn’t connect with audiences. Word of mouth among general audiences was muted, most likely due to the fact that it is not quite the explosive heist thriller its incendiary trailers paint it as. Yet for me that is entirely why it works so well. When McQueen announced his next project would be a film adaptation of a Lynda LaPlante 80s TV drama, most of us knew not to expect anything even remotely ordinary. Widows is above all else a portrait of grief and marriage. There is a reason we open on a happily married Viola Davis snuggled up in bed with her husband (a liberally used and formidable Liam Neeson), interspersed as it is with him in mid-heist, before it goes spectacularly wrong. It is one of many stunningly directed scenes by McQueen, him juxtaposing the calm of the twosome in marital bliss with the fireworks of action and death that follow. Davis gives one of the years best performances as the widow (this is no spoiler after all the film is called Widows), capable of barely contained rage and sudden tragic lows. She anchors everything. But Widows is above all else a great ensemble flick, from the nuanced performances of the rest of the grieving widows (standout is Elizabeth Debecki’s abused wife finding her voice) to a terrifyingly unpredictable Daniel Kaluuya. McQueen does more than focus on the women though, he frames their world within the economical and political background of Chicago. It gives the film a remarkable sense of place, particularly in its framing of societal divide between rich and poor. This is centred in the story of Colin Farrell’s corrupt Governor, whose place within the larger context of the film comes into sharp focus in a brazenly intense final act. McQueen never lets the pace slacken, lacing in melodramatic twists that would make EastEnders blush whilst never losing his focus on the characters at its core. A film that deserves to be celebrated more.

Defining Moment: In a shot that shows off McQueen’s gift for quiet showboating, we follow Farrell’s dirty candidate as he leaves the scene of a political speech for the economically deprived towards his opulent upper class mansion. The camera stays focused on his limo as we watch the environment gradually change from the poor slums to the clean environs of the elite, all the while he rants at those he sees below him (the very people whose vote he’s just been trying to win). A brilliant visual encapsulation of McQueen’s pertinent point.

6. A Star is Born

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Few would have guessed that come the end of 2018 we’d all be championing a film directed by Bradley (The Hangover) Cooper, and not only that but one that remakes a tale told in 4 previous filmic adaptations. To say that A Star is Born has become a sensation is an understatement, its soundtrack at the end of many a headphone this Christmas. Yes the songs are good, a mixture of stadium shaking beasts, soppy ballads and Country & Western tunes. But the film is greater than them. However it certainly isn’t for its originality, sadly the downside of remaking a film made several times before is that standing out narratively speaking is hard to do. Therefore we get some familiar beats, a once gigantic star (Cooper’s Jackson Maine) who is facing a downward spiral of drink and misery, but whose life is elevated from the arrival of a young ingenue (Lady Gaga’s Ally). Together they increase each others profile before the young buck takes over and the elder struggles to feel second best. A Star is Born hits all these well on the way to its dramatically soapy finale, however Cooper does a number of things to increase its impact beyond the cliché. First he creates an environment for completely naturalistic performances. Gaga is a revelation as the naïve Ally, starting off shrewish but still very sure of her self, then we watch as fame threatens to take her away from herself. Throughout she is believable, gentle and immensely watchable. Then you have the delightful Sam Elliott as Jackson’s elder brother and manager. Always a gruff presence, here he is at maximum gruff, that growly trembling voice and expressive face devastating us with very little. (This film has the most upsetting scene of a man reversing a car that you’ll ever see). Above them all though is Cooper himself. His Jackson Maine is just utterly engrossing to watch, from the almost imperceptible drawl he adopts (a result of his years of heavy drinking) to the traumatic moments he realises how bad his addiction has got. It is not an easy performance to watch, so realistic as it is at depicting the debilitating nature of addiction, yet you cannot look away. Outside of all the performances though, Cooper impresses even more with his ability to direct. A first timer and yet it doesn’t show. He never opts for the traditional shot or the glossy moment. It has the feel of a rough around the edges indie road movie, with its camerawork carrying an in-the-moment immediacy. The emotions may be broad and big but it feels intimate throughout. A Star is Born may be an old tale but Cooper finds life within it.

Defining Moment: Gaga’s Ally is thrust upon the stage by an ambush from Jackson, who has written her new song into his latest concert. The camera holds steady on her face, never once showing the crowd, as she gradually goes from introverted to full on soprano across the length of the standout song Shallow. It is a statement of intent from Cooper, this is not at all what you’re expecting. 

5. A Quiet Place

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It is taken almost a year but I think most of us now have gotten over the fact that Jim from The US Office not only directed one of the biggest films of the year, but also one of its most original and best. John Krasinski wrote and directed A Quiet Place, and you can feel just how deeply he is invested in his story. The film beautifully thought out, building the invasion at its centre with economy and intelligence. Owing to the fact that its very premise involves being absolutely silent, otherwise horrific (and well designed) creatures will hack you to death, there is never any of the usual fallbacks directors have in creating a concept. No bouts of dialogue delivered exposition, just pure visceral momentum. The opening is a stunning way of setting up character, stakes and location with efficiency, before culminating in a moment of such shock that the characters and us feel its weight across the rest of its 90min run time. In some ways A Quiet Place is just a series of well orchestrated set-pieces, touching on aspects of horror, thriller and action film. Yet Krasinski holds it together through strong empathetic performances and an emotional catharsis that is utterly convincing. Casting his real life wife Emily Blunt as his screen wife isn’t just a flagrant piece of nepotism, rather a genius way of conveying a relationship built on time, warmth and unspoken connection. Krasinski himself, as in Cooper above, directs himself admirably, finding the heart within a man desperately struggling to hold it altogether. Shoutout also to the young Millicent Simmons as his young deaf daughter (Simmons is also hearing impaired in real life) who conveys guilt and pain with a grace far beyond her years. A Quiet Place can also be remarked for its ability to challenge cinemagoers across the land with something a lot of them find hard to do. Keep bloody quiet. Eschewing dialogue and sound in large parts meant you could hear a pin drop in auditoriums across the land, adding up to something all too missing in cinema today, an experience.

Defining Moment: That opening prologue is a remarkable achievement, absorbing you into its concept with efficiency, immediacy and power. You immediately feel a kinship with the family at its centre, and are rocked by the tragedy that befalls them. One of the best openings of all of 2018.

4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has had a very good year. Eliciting the biggest tears in the tragic Infinity War, before landing on PS4s everywhere with a stunningly well realised video game and finally ending the year with possibly one of the best comic-book flicks yet made is not bad for a character decades old (and iterated on screen dozens of times). Into the Spider-Verse really should not work. Its animated style looked a tad chaotic from early trailers, the use of multiple universes can often be confusing (hence why film adaptations have largely avoided the comic book fave plotline) and audiences could be forgiven for feeling a little Spidey’d out. Yet you should never underestimate the duo of Chris Miller and Phillip Lord. They’ve routinely smashed expectations, from the TV adaptation 21 Jump Street to The Lego Movie, Lord & Miller never seem to discount a potentially terrible idea. Although they didn’t direct Spider-Verse (that falls to Rodney Rothman, Peter Ramsey and Robert Persichetti Jr) their fingerprints are all over it. Its creativity, inventiveness, energy, sense of self and ability to poke fun at itself is all present and correct. Not to mention filled to the brim with killer jokes. There is so much going on within Into the Spider-Verse but you never feel overwhelmed, primarily because things are anchored through Miles Morales. Never before seen on screen, the young Miles is a relatively recent addition to the Spidey lore but is well loved. You can see why here. Miles is a low-key kid, smart but not cocky with it, confident yet gawky and most importantly winningly unsure of himself. After the usual bitten-by-a-spider moment, Miles does not leap into superheroics. He just wants to be a kid, but if he can help he will try. It makes him lovingly endearing, helped immeasurably by a warm vocal performance from Shameik Moore. The film is careful to build its tale of multiple Spider-Mans and manages to avoid the potential pitfalls of multiple universes by making each one and their respective Spideys feel distinctive. Wonderfully sketched by terrific voice performers and each given an arc, no matter how small. In fact what’s most remarkable is the perfectly judged storytelling, interweaving its disparate elements into such a satisfying whole, and one with a potent emotional kick. Add into that some truly awe-inspiring visuals, mixing 2D, 3D and all manner of influences to utterly leap from the screen. It never feels overkill, focusing you within the frame whilst your eyes flit about picking up on the outstanding detail behind. Some shots are up there with its live action brethren as best of the year moments (i.e the moment shown above). The film ends with a touching tribute to the great Stan Lee, and I don’t think there has been a better encapsulation of all he stood for than this witty, creative and joyful piece of art.

Defining Moment: For all its multiverses, swinging action and comedy nous, it is a quiet moment that rings hardest. Miles’s father trying to comfort his son after a tragic loss, Miles listening intently but too pained to open the door to him. Effectively emotional and remarkably grown up, it is a sign that the creators here know all too well that it is the person under the hood that always matters.

3. First Man

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First Man has been unfairly forgotten in this awards season. Damien Chazelle was riding a high after the extroverted delights of La La Land, but rather than continue that momentum with something even more mainstream he opted to go inward. First Man is a staggering achievement in direction. Chazelle confidently takes his time with the story of Neil Armstrong and the race to reach the Moon. Some were left cold by the film, mainly because Armstrong is such an aloof man, rarely emotional and committed to his work. Yet this is wrong. The film opens with perhaps him at his most vulnerable, losing his toddler daughter. Ryan Gosling delivering an anguish outburst that pains. However as the film progresses we see him get ever more within himself, grief marrying him to work as a way to cope. It is emotionally distancing as a viewer, with only Claire Foy’s shaken wife offering some respite from the stoic men, but that is the point. Only when Armstrong reaches the moon, with the film widening to a breath-snatching IMAX ratio (the best way to see this film) can he finally let her go. Only at the end point of the world, looking down on all its majesty, can he feel peace. It is pure catharsis. Around all that First Man is also a tribute to the tragedy and sacrifices scientific breakthroughs represent. These men dedicate themselves to pushing the fabric of humanity at the risk of their own lives. Chazelle routinely showing us the scarily fragile instruments these individuals strap themselves into. One moment when the equipment tragically turns on its masters is shot with such clarity, immediacy and horror that it elicits a visceral reaction. First Man using all manner of cinematic tools, sound especially, to envelope you in its power. Numerous scenes of Neil on space tests use the deafening sound, whiplash visuals and fast paced editing to chill the blood. Kudos too to Justin Hurwitz’s score, one that frames the film as almost a musical, from eloquent waltzes, intimate unusual themes (the Theremin is used a lot) to soaring goosebump inducing operatics. It is one of the years best. Gosling tackles his usual charismatic persona to deliver a performance of rigid stoicism, too subtle to trouble Oscar but one that feels vitally real. First Man will certainly not be for everyone, but I can think of no film this year that so uses the medium this well. Damien Chazelle is one of the great American directors.

Defining Moment: This is more an extended sequence than a moment. The final 30 mins, from the soaring Apollo 11 launch right through to the full Moon Landing, Chazelle handles cinema like a seasoned pro. Bringing together score, effects, cinematography and performance to marvellous heights. In IMAX especially you feel like you’re right there with them. God I love cinema.

2. Mission Impossible: Fallout

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The 6th film in a decades spanning franchise is the number 2 film of the year!!? You better believe it. Every few years an action film arrives that so understands rhythm, scale and story that it becomes a real classic, The Dark Knight is one. Mad Max: Fury Road another. And now here comes Christopher McQuarrie with Fallout. Returning after the fun Rogue Nation (and the only returning M:I director in its history) you get a sense that all the stars aligned for this one. Story has been honed to perfection, character is tightly controlled and the action is sheer exhilaration. Tom Cruise has always been central to why this franchise has worked, his natural charisma working hand in hand with an almost suicidal inclination to do crazier and crazier stunts. This time out he seems like a man possessed, even famously breaking his ankle in a shot you can still see in the film. Part of what gives Fallout such energy and excitement is seeing just what he’s going to do next, like we’re at a daredevil show morbidly obsessed to see whether or not he’ll survive. McQuarrie matches him though with terrifically clear cut action cinematography. It is a masterclass in geography, capturing speed, danger and thrills with seeming ease. Now even films with the greatest action will suffer in the memory if married to a film with little of its own grace. Fortunately Fallout also succeeds here. It is particularly impressive when you learn so much of it was written on the fly but Fallout hangs together so well. Its narrative moving forward with almost constant momentum, that its 2hrs and 30min runtime just flies by. The action is never superfluous, it always moves the story forward with intent. McQuarrie even brings in an emotional undercurrent that the series has largely eschewed. We finally see Cruise’s Ethan Hunt as a human being, superhuman no doubt, but one filled with a keen moral centre (one that McQuarrie delightfully tackles with some nicely staged what ifs) and genuine love for his team. And how Ving Rhames manages to elicit tears with a brief but touching monologue about Ethan’s heart is testament to the surprises this film brings. Performances are uniformly excellent, with Henry Cavill being the most fun as an untrustworthy new agent. Fallout is one of those films destined to be studied for future action generations, just a purely designed piece of entertainment. The only question is now, how the hell can they top it?!

Defining Moment: Oh boy what to pick?! So many great moments. But it has to be that early film skyfall. The first big action moment. One filled with in camera wows, unexpected detours (that lightning strike) and a breathless (literally) statement of intent. This was all real folks!!

1. Roma/Avengers: Infinity War

Yes I’ve cheated a bit here, but so taken was I with Roma (I saw it 4 days ago) that I knew I had to include it, and I admit having a tie is a cop out. Yet I believe these two films represent the best 2018 had to offer from both ends of the scale. One overburdened with epic size and as big as they come, the other as small as you can get but no less grand in its ambitions.

Roma:

Alfonso Cuaron has always defied expectation. Moving from miniscule sexual dramas (Y Tu Mama Tambien) to big franchises (Harry Potter 3) via gritty sci-fis (Children of Men) with barely a breath. He is possibly one of the most versatile directors, and Roma might just be his best yet. A semi-autobiographical tale set in his home country of Mexico, filmed in starkly beautiful monochrome and with dialogue in his native language doesn’t scream “watch me now” vibes. Yet Roma reaches greater than its tiny roots to become a story about humanity, blessed with some of the years most bruising moments. However it doesn’t exactly start off encouragingly. Zooming in on a set of floor tiles as water is gently soaped across them, the world above them reflected and the pace deliberate. It may give you the air of pretension. In fact the first 20 mins are a rather inconsequential affair. We watch as one upper class family’s resident housekeeper Cleo goes about her day. Preparing the children for school, cooking dinner and so on and so forth. It has the feel of a documentary, albeit one remarkably shot. Slowly though the film reveals itself and you find yourself thoroughly enthralled. Cleo is a gentle soul, one who deeply cares for the family she looks after. They too see her as part of the group, some of the children even endear her as mum, but she is still not one of them. Her social standing keeping her at an arms length from truly fitting in. She has deep conversations with Sofia (her boss) whom she looks out for and treats as an equal but when it comes time to start the dinner Cleo is soon brought down to her true place. Cuaron never over eggs the point though, like everything it exists just outside the peripheral. He allows the film to unfold gently, slowly building in grander moments. These encompass street riots (a remarkably visceral sequence with outstanding use of sound), forest fires and a trip to a martial arts training facility that has the feel of a DW Griffith film in its use of scale. In fact throughout Cuaron has the wonderful ability to frame these little moments of tragedy (Cleo rejected by her dickhead boyfriend) against such epic environments. He takes over from his usual DoP ‘Chivo’ to shoot the shots himself, and it is just sickening how good he is. This stands as one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen, its release on Netflix makes it a little sad that it could not be more readily seen on the big screen. It is Cleo who anchors us though, and first timer Yalitza Aparicio nails it perfectly. A timid soul, whose expressive eyes and subtle physical movements are devastating at key times. I won’t give anything away but a hospital scene is so traumatically visceral that I wept. Come the low key end I just wanted to continue being a part of this family’s life. Roma reminds you of the importance of life in all its little intricacies. There is no grander adventure than that. A Masterpiece.

Defining Moment: The riot towards the end of the film is pure cinema. Framed from the eyes of Cleo, we look out the window at pure (and stunningly orchestrated) chaos, before it ends up inside shaking us with its immediate and abrupt violence. And of course it is all done within one of Cuaron’s trademark tracking shots. Sound, visuals and writing are all in perfect sync.

Avengers: Infinity War

In some ways the MCU films have been so tightly honed and brilliantly created that we often forget just how remarkable they are in construction. No more is that clear in Infinity War. In terms of filmic mechanics it is a startling achievement. The culmination of 10 years worth of storytelling, one that has utilised dozens of directors, artisans, actors and writers to tell one overarching story. Some have bemoaned it as the death of cinema, narrative done in the style of serial television, and there is merit to some of that argument, but resist the urge to fight it and you’re left with pure entertainment. But entertainment that comes loaded with spot on characterisation, complex storytelling and genuine stakes. We feel things more precisely because we’ve had 10 years with these characters, growing with them and genuinely caring for them. As a film though Infinity War could have gone so so wrong. Faced with dozens of characters, differing tones, and a villain poorly handled previously. Yet The Russo Brothers deliver and then some. Aided by the sterling writing of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley, they tighten Infinity War to peak blockbuster cinema. There is not one element of fat on the thing. Each narrative beat either furthering story or fleshing out a key character trait that is needed later on. They allow each character (and the often highly charismatic actor playing him/her) chances to shine, never outweighing one against the other. In fact it is in the interplay wherein IW works strongest. Seeing characters we love finally meet, and the sparks flying, is a constant joy. A realisation of why comic book fans have so loved the medium, the ability to see one interconnected universe, and the frictions that brings up. After all the best drama is seeing two personalities clash. It is gosh darned funny too. Despite the film tackling genocide, death and sacrifice, there is a lightness of touch that most films would be desperate to have. Yet these never undercut the stakes, The Russos delivering hurt alongside the heart. Infinity War is a wonder of editing too, criss crossing across the universe but never giving you whiplash. Oh and their biggest hurdle, that of the titular baddie Thanos, they nail and then some. How do you convey the fear of basically a big purple titan, one entirely made up of CGI, convincingly? Well for a start you cast Josh Brolin as said bad guy. Brolin has always been capable of finding the humanity in the monstrous, the charisma in the violence and here he is no different. The sterling effects work also helps. But most of all though is the writing. Markus and McFeeley are careful to give him genuine emotional stakes in things, to the point where you actually feel for him when he makes a brutal sacrifice. We cannot end all this though without talking about THAT ending. Possibly one of the most ballsy finales in any blockbuster film. Offing most of your characters in such devastating fashion (oh man Spidey) is dark, very dark. It was something I never thought Marvel capable of, and yes we know it won’t be permanent, but in that moment you are so absorbed in the stakes that you feel the pain of losing them. It is also one of my fave cinema moments this year, hearing the cries of audience members who felt genuine shock. Whether they can equal or top Infinity War with this years Endgame remains to be seen, but nothing can detract from the immensity of this achievement. Infinity War is the true realisation of comic books on screen.

Defining Moment: Thor, side by side with Groot and Rocket, landing in Wakanda, that goosebump inducing theme playing in the background is fist pumping blockbuster entertainment at its finest. An audience pleaser in a film chock full of them.

Roll on 2019……

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