Wick's 2018 Great Movies (19)

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Created Jan 26, 2018 11:05PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST

The Great, Really Great & Perfect new movies I’ve seen in `18: new movies I graded 4.0, 4.5 or 5 beams out of 5. Includes movies officially designated 2017, but not out wide till 2018.


  • Really Great
  • 75 Points
Title Released Trust Weighted Summary Viewable
1st 12 Strong
2018 Great 83 Points

12 Strong is no run-of-the-mill war movie, to be valued on its moral complexity and clever comebacks. No, 12 Strong is morally simple and often wooden, making it rather unfashionable in our morally confused era. Of course, we also live in the Islamist Era, sharing God's Earth with a medieval minority of the world's largest religion, many of whom want to die while dramatically slaughtering innocent women and children.

September 11th seared that reality into our American consciousness, stunning us and bringing us together, briefly. 12 Strong starts then and continues for the followin…

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Added Jan 26, 2018 11:05PM PST • Updated Jan 26, 2018 11:05PM PST
2nd Hostiles
2017 Great 83 Points

The American Indian Wars were mostly over by 1892. Bad blood ran deep, with bands of crazed killers roaming the land, as other combatants tried to move on with life after wartime. Writer-director Scott Cooper adroitly uses this brutal and beautiful milieu for a piercing story about a cavalry captain, an Indian chief and a frontierswoman, plus those in their orbits. The result – Hostiles – is the best revisionist Western in years.

Cooper's movie operates in "Unforgiven":https://www.viewguide.com/movie_reviews/205-unforgiven territory, with a clear echo of "The Searchers":https://www.vie…

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Added Feb 07, 2018 12:23AM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
3rd Black Panther
2018 Great 83 Points

Black Panther joins Wonder Woman as the second cultural-phenomena superhero blockbuster in half a year, each a terrific specimen of the superhero genre, yet transcending it in social impact. Females saw themselves anew in Gal Gadot; The African diaspora gains a new and fantastic folklore in Black Panther.

Oh yeah, Black Panther is also a really great movie, instantly enshrined in the pantheon of the vaunted Marvel canon. Frequently funny, pleasantly witty, often quite moving, occasionally thought-provoking, not to mention genuinely thrilling, it deserves its hosannas from across …

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Added Mar 04, 2018 01:05AM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
4th Game Night
2018 Really Great 83 Points

If the Seinfeld crew returned in 2018 and were into game night with friends, Game Night would be their movie. It's that funny, that deadpan, that banal yet brilliant. How so? One terrifically executed comedic setpiece after another, from the meet-cute opening montage all the way to the comically creepy conclusion.

Pitch perfect drollery, dead-on satire and more than a bit of star power make a terrific night at the movies. It's also intriguing: more substantial than it appears, biting but not divisive, naughty but not really nasty.

Now, a hitman does get sucked through a jet engine…

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Added Mar 11, 2018 12:27AM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
5th Chappaquiddick
2018 Really Great 83 Points

Being a Kennedy came with compulsions, including sailing, drinking, womanizing and the presidency, those last with fatal effect. Ted Kennedy's date with death didn't lead to another dead Kennedy, but to the manslaughter of a loyal supporter: Mary Jo Kopechne, a name familiar to baby boomers across America.

Now, this very well done docudrama lays bare what happened before, during and after that infamous night.

Chappaquiddick is a quintessential tale of 1-percenters lording over common Americans. The Kennedys were/are the ultimate 1-percenter family. Fourth son Teddy was the final sci…

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Added Apr 12, 2018 10:24PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
6th Ready Player One
2018 Great 83 Points

Ready Player One is plenty of fun, yet is leavened by SciFi seriousness. It's also kind of a cult movie, yet worked for a newbie like me. The more pop culture you know, especially 80s pop culture, the more fun it is.

Steven Spielberg's best SciFi in 25 years is often an extended visual tickle, albeit too extended at 2½ hours. Long and adolescently rambunctious, it brings out the kid in Spielberg, which is where he made his bones.

He hasn't lost his youthful fastball. Just consider the performance he gets from Tye Sheridan. Still young, but no longer a kid, the great Sheridan enters …

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Added Apr 21, 2018 12:04AM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
7th Avengers: Infini...
2018 Great 83 Points

Nearly two dozen major characters populate Avengers: Infinity War, a massive cast if not an infinite one. Many are major moviestars — Downey, Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Cumberbatch, Pratt, Boseman, Brolin. They can be very proud of Infinity War. It's formulaic, but so were the great symphonies. There's no way to tell this many stories – super-powered or not – this well without the structure, at this scale or otherwise.

Massive starpower is essential but not sufficient. The Russo Brothers' Infinity War deftly weaves half a dozen strands of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into one reasonab…

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Added May 11, 2018 11:57PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
8th A Quiet Place
2018 Really Great 83 Points

A Quiet Place is a primo horror movie for non-horror fans, such as John Krasinski & Emily Blunt. He wrote, directed and starred in this 90-minute masterpiece. She "only" stars in it, meaning he directed his real-life wife in the movie's cruel crucible of silence. Interesting choice for a couple of non-horror fans!

Their movie is brilliantly economical and outstandingly conceived. Its cast mostly consists of Blunt, Krasinski and three kids. Yet Krasinski employs 18 stuntmen, or three per cast member. Impressive.

The now-famous premise is that predatory aliens hunt humans based on sou…

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Added May 18, 2018 06:19PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
9th Deadpool 2
2018 Great 83 Points

The sacrilege of the progressive vanguard is on superpowered display in Deadpool 2, and man, is it ever entertaining. We're talking LOLs out the wazoo. Never mind that Ryan Reynolds' third turn as Marvel's pottymouth superhero leaves you needing a morality shower after the lights come up. The ride is worth it.

Burn, baby, burn. Deadpool 2 has burns to spare. Burned hero, well kind of an antihero superhero, who delivers a nonstop patter of burns to friends and foes alike, most off-color, many profane, some nasty in a subtly suggestive pornographic way. Burns to spare, with laughs to g…

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Added May 26, 2018 11:15PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
10th Incredibles 2
2018 Really Great 66 Points

Incredibles 2 is tremendously entertaining for young and old alike, albeit not incredibly entertaining. Coming after a decade in which superhero movies have ruled the multiplexes, it so gets Supers, as those id-like people are called in the movie, just as it so gets real people: moms, dads, kids. In short, it's primo Pixar.

Hmm, Pixar does action figures? No wonder it comes across as the "Toy Story":https://www.viewguide.com/searches?query=Toy+Story&x=0&y=0 of superhero movies, using figments of a childish zeitgeist to explore the human condition as we experience it now, with more tha…

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Added Jun 30, 2018 03:32PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
11th Uncle Drew
2018 Great 66 Points

Uncle Drew has great timing, both when it hit theaters and how it rolls its comedy. It premiered on-time and on-target: three weeks after the NBA playoffs concluded, just as my basketball jones started to kick in. Plus, it's populated with proven NBA superstars, including Shaquille O'Neal, America's lovably gruff giant. Best of all, it's got great comedic timing, without which it wouldn't be such a high scoring LOLfest.

Sure it began as a Pepsi commercial. Hell, Johnny Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean":https://www.viewguide.com/movies/266929-pirates-of-the-caribbean-dead-mans-chest sta…

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Added Jul 06, 2018 11:42PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
12th Sicario: Day of ...
2018 Really Great 66 Points

Sicario 2 couldn't be more timely, even if its extreme surrealism is an only-in-the-movies depiction of what's happening today on the TexMex border. That unfenced divide, with traffickers running rampant, makes an ideal milieu for a heavily militarized action thriller. And Sicario: Day of the Soldado is all that.

It's distinctly better than the sickly great "Sicario 1":https://www.viewguide.com/movie_reviews/4272-sicario, in part because Emily Blunt is out of the picture, leaving the estimable Josh Brolin & Benicio Del Toro to rule the roost. As to being of-the-moment, some scenes ar…

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Added Jul 07, 2018 07:01PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
13th Ant-Man and the ...
2018 Great 66 Points

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the first superhero movie to equally feature men and women, with the Wasp being Marvel's first featured female superhero. As pop culture iconification goes, that's pretty marvelous.

Equality's great and all, but fortunately it's not the only reason to recommend Ant-Man and the Wasp.

This first sequel of Marvel's insectoid duo is a better movie than the "very good origin movie":https://www.viewguide.com/movie_reviews/4240-ant-man from 2015. Better villains, if still not first rate. Plus, its shtick works better: still goofy, but now often actually funny.

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Added Jul 13, 2018 12:52AM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
14th The Equalizer 2
2018 Really Great 83 Points

The legendary Denzel Washington etches another inimitable role into his peerless oeuvre as the returning Equalizer. Call him the Super Equalizer, able to right wrongs with a single, well-choreographed sequence of avenging ultra violence. It's an intoxicating brew, magnificently well presented, even important in its way.

That last is because of Antoine Fuqua & Richard Wenk's incisive take on contemporary America as seen in the back seat of a Lyft car in Boston, and more because of the bravura role model that Denzel Washington provides for a fatherless black boy in the innercity. To that l…

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Added Jul 28, 2018 11:49PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
15th Alpha
2018 Really Great 83 Points

Behold the best movie of the year. Alpha leads the pack literally and figuratively. Vividly realistic if surreal sequences of life in Europe 20,000 years ago cradle a family love story and one of the best dog stories ever.

What's not to love?

The most intense opening scene of an action-adventure movie ever leads to a tightly edited if stately 96 minutes of 3D IMAX intensity. The action sequences come roughly every ten minutes, each incredible. Hell, the second scene in the nearby trailer is brutal evidence. Damn. It's totally worth it in IMAX 3D.

This is a very well structured …

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Added Aug 24, 2018 10:48PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
16th Operation Finale
2018 Perfect 66 Points

The banality of evil gets a powerful debunking in Operation Finale, an awkwardly if accurately titled docudrama about the Mossad's 1960 capture of Final Solution logistics chief Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. Little Adolf was famously said to embody "the banality of evil" as he dissembled during his 1961 trial in Israel. Yet Operation Finale pivots on Eichmann’s personal supervision of a mass execution, hardly banal.

Fortunately, the movie is mostly about the incredibly intrepid team of Israeli secret agents who found and captured the Nazi kingpin. Led by the great "Peter Malkin":https…

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Added Sep 08, 2018 11:52AM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
17th White Boy Rick
2018 Great 66 Points

White Boy Rick is more than a primo Matthew McConaughey movie, though it is definitely one of those. It is a darkly funny – basically true – tale of a family gone wrong in a city gone hella wrong, 1980s Detroit.

Yann Demange's film is a grim sociological examination, proctological in its penetration of a city in the throes of a decline both precipitous and long term. Indeed, Detroit was already ruined by the mid-eighties.

The Wershe family were about the last white family in that Detroit, their city controlled by crack dealers and crooked politicians, each with bad cops on the take….

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Added Oct 20, 2018 05:42AM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
18th The Old Man & th...
2018 Great 66 Points

Wonderfully droll and resolutely deadpan, The Old Man & the Gun strikes gold portraying a congenital thief through his long misspent life. Charming from the jump, the Old Man is played by Robert Redford, Mr. Maximum Moviestar at his octogenarian best, still charming and virile after six decades of stardom.

Filmmaker David Lowery draws an inside straight that he kicks off with a wink to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid":https://www.viewguide.com/movie_reviews/4006-butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid. This is great, especially since Lowrey's got the Sundance Kid himself as his leading …

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Added Nov 10, 2018 12:42PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST
19th Spider-Man: Into...
2018 Perfect 66 Points

Into the Spider-Verse is the best Spider-Man movie ever, by far, and also the best 2018 movie I've seen. No surprise, it represents the super-pairing of Stan Lee & Marvel's Spider-Man with über-brilliant pop culturalist Phil Lord, he of the super smart and buoyantly funny "Lego Movie":https://www.viewguide.com/movie_reviews/3990-the-lego-movie and "LEGO Batman Movie":https://www.viewguide.com/movie_reviews/4488-the-lego-batman-movie.

Basically, Into the Spider-Verse does to Spider-Man what The LEGO Batman Movie did to the Caped Crusader: make him very meta and very funny, then use th…

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Added Jan 01, 2019 11:02PM PST • Updated Mar 10, 2019 12:03AM PST


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