Eclectic has been the flavour of 2018. The flicks of the year have been varied not just in themes but treatment, techniques, and approach. Here we bring you the top ten movies you will be poorer to miss. Their genres are as varied as their themes and include blockbusters to low-budget Indies that stand out for their handling of the topic with professional ease and technical excellence. On the list are THE ‘Avengers’ franchise flick that cost a whopping $316 million to make and ‘Searching,’ on which just $1 million were spent. There were marked differences in their production processes too ranging from the full IMAX technology of ‘Avengers’ to an iPhone 7 in the case of ‘Unsane’.
1. Avengers: Infinity War
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Elizabeth Olsen
Length: 149 minutes
Premiere: April 23
Budget: $316 million
Gross: $2.05 billion
This American superhero film based on Marvel Comics team of world beaters is about the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy trying to stop Thanos from getting Infinity Stones. It is a sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and The Avengers (2012). As would be expected, the movie is noted for the breathtaking action sequences and use of technology.
2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Actors: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Alec Baldwin
Length: 147 minutes
Premiere: July 12
Budget: $178 million
Gross: $791 million
In this sixth edition of the Mission Impossible series, Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt with his IMF team in a raceagainst time. Hunt and his team are assigned a mission to track down missingplutonium stolen to poison the main water supply of China and India. The flick becameCruise’s highest-grossing film, and the franchise’s highest-grossing film, leavingbehind Ghost Protocol.
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director: Leigh Whannell
Actors: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen, and Abby Craden
Length: 100 minutes
Premiere: March 10
Budget: $5 million
Gross: $16 million
Set in the future when technology controls human life, the cyberpunk action movie is the story of Grey Trace, a self-proclaimed technophobe. His only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem. Famous for its dark humor and breath-taking action, the movie is described as ‘onepart The Six Million Dollar Man, one part Death Wish revenge fantasy’.
4. American Animals
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director: Bart Layton
Actors: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, and Ann Dowd
Length: 116 minutes
Premiere: January 19
Budget: $3 million
Gross: $3.9 million
The movie flavour on the true story of humour heist at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in 2004. The film received critical acclaim for the acting prowess of the cast. The story spins around the need for the thrill of the adventure of a bored art student, Spencer Reinhard and a rebellious student on a sports scholarship, Warren Lipka. The caper-filled journey of the art thieves to an auction house where they are caught alternates between interviews, court scenes, and reconstructed action.
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Actors: John Cho, Debra Messing, Vick Michelle, Sara Sohn, Joseph Lee, Steven Michael Eich
Length: 102 minutes
Premiere: January 21
Budget: $1 million
Gross: $70.8 million
A thriller, Searching is set almost fully on smartphones and computer screens. The film follows a father (John Cho) on a mission to find his missing 16-year-old daughter (Michelle La) with the help of a police detective (Debra Messing). The desperate widower breaks into his daughter’s laptop to find the missing teenager. The agonizing search and the developments form the thread of the movie.
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Director: Spike Lee
Actors: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace
Length: 135 minutes
Premiere: May 14
Budget: $15 million
Gross: $80.2 million
This movie is a biographical comedy based on the much dourer true-life story of an African American police officer from Colorado Springs who successfully infiltrates the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate, who eventually becomes its leader. It’s based on the 2014 memoir Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth. Set in 1970s Colorado Springs, the plot is thick with historical references and intrigue.
7. The Hate U Give
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Actors: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Anthony Mackie
Length: 133 minutes
Premiere: September 7
Budget: $23 million
Gross: $31.6 million
Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl, living in the poor black neighbourhood of Garden Heights attends an affluent, predominantly white private school, Williamson Prep. Starr and her childhood best friend Khalil, who is also black, are stopped by a white police officer on their way home. The officer shoots Khalil thrice, killing him. His death becomes a major national news story. Starr’s identity as the witness is initially kept secret from everyone outside Starr’s family. The movie is about the pressures on Starr as she keeps the secret and her Williamson and Garden Heights personas separate.
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Actors: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving
Length: 98 minutes
Premiere: February 21
Budget: $1.5 million
Gross: $14.2 million
A psychological horror thriller, Unsane follows a woman confined to a mental institution after she is pursued by a stalker. Shot entirely on iPhone 7 Plus, Unsane is about Sawyer Valentini – a troubled woman who moves away from home to escape a stalker. Sawyer finds she is still triggered by interactions with men as a result of her experiences. She makes an appointment with a counsellor at Highland Creek Behavioral Center. She is confined to the centre, which is running a scheme to milk health insurance claims. But Sawyer sees her stalker working as an orderly under an assumed name. Her outbursts result in the repeated use of restraints and sedation. The movie is about her travails there and escape.
9. Incredibles 2
Genre: Animation, Drama
Director: Brad Bird
Actors: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Huckleberry Milner and Jonathan Banks.
Length: 118 minutes
Premiere: June 5
Budget: $200 million
Gross: $1.2 billion
A computer-animated superhero film, Incredibles 2, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, is the sequel to The Incredibles (2004). The story revolves around the Parr family as they try to restore trust in superheroes while balancing their family life, and combating a new foe who seeks to turn the populace against all superheroes. Of course, the superheroes must win, or the genre will suffer.
10. Bohemian Rhapsody
Genre: Biography, Musical
Director: Bryan Singer
Actors: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, and Allen Leech
Length: 134 minutes
Premiere: October 23
Budget: $55 million
Gross: $553 million
A biographical film on British rock band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody follows singer Freddie Mercury’s life and Queen’s Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985. Rami Malek essays the role of Mercury whose original name was Farrokh Bulsara, an Indian-British of Parsi origins. From his days as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport, the thread stretches into the Live Aid program after his announcement of HIV infection. The movie is an exploration of human relations, sexuality, and stress of talent, and fear of death.
How many of these have you watched already? Do let us know!