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The Best Movies of 2018: A Preview (or Maybe Just a Rant)

I absolutely love lists. Maybe that’s because, as a teenager, I was fascinated with The Book of Lists (1977) by David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace. I loved reading those lists and making my own of favorite movies, books, songs, you name it. That love of lists has continued to the present.


The first problem with making Best of the Year movie lists is availability. Years ago I’d read (or watch) Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel’s choices for the best movies of the year, regretting that many of them had only played in arthouse theaters or larger cities, making them unavailable to a young person living in central Mississippi in the 1970s and 80s. You’d think, in this age of streaming and physical media, this wouldn’t be a problem, but it is.

Based on his 2013 film Ida, I am convinced I will probably like Paweł Pawlikowski’s new film Cold War, maybe even enough to place it in my Best of 2018 list, but it’s not playing anywhere in Maryland, DC, or Virginia. I can order the Blu-ray from the UK and probably get it here before the film comes to my area.

Cold War isn’t the only problematic film. Several other films I’d like to see are nowhere to be found in my neck of the woods. Yet I’m also faced with the other big problem: too many films to squeeze into the next few weeks of January. Right now I have five library DVDs of movies released theatrically in 2018, eight others streaming across various platforms, and at least four more currently in local theaters. If I plan on getting all of these watched and posted before Noir City 17 on January 25, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I’ll see as many as I can, but no matter how many of these films I cover, something will no doubt get left out.

And I haven’t even mentioned the movies from late 2017 that I saw in 2018…

I love lists. I hate lists. Stay tuned.

Photos: The Droid You’re Looking For, NPR, Vulture

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