Which 10 Movies Were PEOPLE's Picks for Best of the Year?
A STAR IS BORN
A story as old as the Hollywood Hills — there may even be fossil evidence — was given new life thanks to director Bradley Cooper and his leading lady, Lady Gaga. He’s a country star with big troubles; she’s a nightingale stuck in dingy nightclubs. They love, they sing, she rises, he falls, we cheer, we sob. That's entertainment!
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Being Melissa McCarthy means never having to say you’re sorry: In a dramatic change of pace, she’s Lee Israel, literary forger and sourpuss (if the milk of human kindness came in cartons, her photo would be on the side as “missing”). McCarthy’s performance makes you realize that desperation demands pity, even for the unlikeable.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS
The year’s best romantic comedy — swanky, swoony — was also a breakthrough for Asian casting. Can love prevail between humble Constance Wu and rich Singapore bachelor Henry Golding? Yes. But you’d better play mah-jongg.
Viggo Mortensen, squawking like Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, chauffeurs a black pianist (Mahershala Ali) on a concert tour of the South in 1962. You might argue that given the understated grace of both stars, Book didn’t need to be such a sentimental ride. To which Viggo might say, “Yeah, so what?”
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
In a great year for documentaries, Strangers was a sensation, a corkscrew narrative chasing dark twists. Male triplets, adopted separately in infancy, reunite by a happy fluke. But their horrific backstory is like
The Boys from Brazil, only these poor kids are from New York City.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and Queen Anne’s head is wobbly to begin with. In this sumptuous but stinging historical satire, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone play enemies fighting to be the Queen’s confidante. Olivia Colman’s Anne — querulous, funny, sad — is both Red Queen and red-hot mess.
The best film yet out of the Marvel Universe, Panther
relies on the usual super-malarkey — an element called vibranium, a country called Wakanda — but it also understands the tragedy of racism and the inspiring power of a tribal past.
The little bear winds up in prison — unjustly! — and teaches a chef named Knuckles how to make marmalade sandwiches. The cutest movie of 2018.
Spike Lee was in terrific form directing this spiky, funny, dramatic and — one last stab at pinning it down — bitterly ironic story about a black cop (John David Washington) infiltrating the KKK with the help of a white colleague (Adam Driver).
A QUIET PLACE
In the year’s biggest horror hit, everyone has to speak sotto voce or risk getting gobbled up by monsters that can hear a pin drop. Nastiest moment: Emily Blunt trying to give birth. You can scream — she can't.