+ WORST FILM and MOST ANTICIPATED OF 2018
By Kryshan Randel
For most of the year, no film came close to the best that television had to offer. Brilliantly conceived shows such as THE HANDMAID’S TALE, LEGION and parts of TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN outdid anything on the big screen, especially in the script department, and it seemed like television was the new cinema. But then fall arrived, along with the majority of this list, and great films made a swift comeback. As usual, my preferred taste for dark comedies and thrillers/horror films is apparent, but my documentary favourites (except for HONDROS) are safe for everyone. Here are my top films of 2017.
1. I, TONYA
A cast at the top of their game, a magnetic true story, and a FARGO-esque tone add up to dark comedy perfection. Margot Robbie’s complex, vanity-free and eventually heartbreaking portrayal of Tonya Harding is the performance of the year.
A brilliantly bold minefield of a movie. Racism, white privilege, “woke” culture and other provocative topics and confronted and/or subverted at every opportunity, via a razor-sharp battle-rap focused script and visual storytelling genius equivalent to Edgar Wright. The opposite of safe, and the ultimate conversation starter.
3. BLADE RUNNER 2049
I admired the original, but prefer this newer model. As much future noir poetry as its predecessor, plus much greater emotional engagement and a more complete story.
4. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
A bleak thriller that operates by its own singular internal logic and creates a pitch-perfect tone of nightmarish deadpan surrealism. A quietly sinister and visionary sneak attack.
5. GERALD’S GAME
The horror movie of the year. A terrifying situation made even more disturbing by the psychological wounds it brings back to the surface for a never-better Carla Gugino.
6. BRIGSBY BEAR
Original, endearing, contagiously creative madness. Hard to describe the bizarre risks this movie takes – ROOM as a comedy? BEING THERE meets Sid and Marty Kroft? A future cult classic.
7. TRAGEDY GIRLS
Uncompromising, intelligent, gleeful anarchy; a modern-day HEATHERS for the social media age. Expertly satirizes how modern day technology can compound sociopathic narcissism to previously unheard of levels.
The world’s best Alphago player faces off against the world’s best artificial intelligence technology, resulting in a riveting documentary with a few big surprises up its sleeve.
9. GOOD TIME
A delirious, suspenseful “one crazy night” movie that brought back something I wasn’t sure I would ever see on screen again – New York as a dangerous, scuzzy wonderland.
10. THE LOST CITY OF Z
Like finding a lost 1970’s classic from a vault. A patient, character-driven, classic adventure tale, the way Hollywood used to make them in their best decade.
The moving documentary artist profiles BRIGHT LIGHTS, HONDROS, LONG TIME RUNNING and SPIELBERG; the twisted coming of age horror stories RAW and MY FRIEND DAHMER; the clever comedy of THE DISASTER ARTIST and LADY BIRD; the vulnerable, heartfelt docs UNARMED VERSES, DINA and THE WORK; the riveting suspense of GET OUT, THE BEGUILED, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI, BAD GENIUS and the Stephen King short film POPSY; the joy-of-discovery world class pioneer docs JANE and THE FARTHEST; the gritty superhero film LOGAN; and the sandblasted outrageous style of LET THE CORPSES TAN.
ALIEN COVENANT – Ridley Scott ruins the franchise he started, making one lazy terrible decision after another, and destroying all of the goodwill he built up from his greatest film.
MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2018:
Ramsay’s revenge drama YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, Saulnier’s latest thriller HOLD THE DARK, Evan’s culty tale THE APOSTLE, Guadagnino’s remake of Argento’s legendary horror film SUSPIRIA, Scorsese’s DeNiro/Pesci/Pacino team up film THE IRISHMEN, and Cuaron’s back-to-basics ROMA.