By the Numbers: The best movies of 2018

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By the Numbers: The best movies of 2018

2018 was a good year for movies. Many did amazing at the box office as well as were loved by audiences.

2018 was a good year for movies. Many did amazing at the box office as well as were loved by audiences. "I loved Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," said Challis Garey (11). "I enjoyed seeing the dinosaur action, as well as all my favorite characters returning."

Jackson Carlstrom

2018 was a good year for movies. Many did amazing at the box office as well as were loved by audiences. "I loved Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," said Challis Garey (11). "I enjoyed seeing the dinosaur action, as well as all my favorite characters returning."

Jackson Carlstrom

Jackson Carlstrom

2018 was a good year for movies. Many did amazing at the box office as well as were loved by audiences. "I loved Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," said Challis Garey (11). "I enjoyed seeing the dinosaur action, as well as all my favorite characters returning."

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Now that January has rolled around, the 2018 movie season is over. 2018 saw lots of financial successes as audiences went down to the theaters several times for different major blockbusters that year. However, instead of looking at the numbers, we are going to dive into my personal opinion today.

Several great films were released, and now that we can look back on the year as a whole, I am going to present my top 5 films of 2018. This list is my personal opinion listing the films that I enjoyed the most this year, so it is okay if there is a movie on this list that you disagree with, or if I leave a movie out that you love. We all have our own opinions, and that is okay. This is not completely factual.

I saw 9 different films this year, and it was a tough challenge to rank them all. To start off this list, here is an honorable mention.


Honorable Mention: Ant-Man and the Wasp

This movie is really the reason I’m including an honorable mention, because I really enjoyed it, and it just barely missed the top five. This movie, a sequel to Marvel’s Ant-Man back in 2015, is one of those rare sequels that happens to be just as good as the first one. I am not going to focus on it too much, but it is just a fun enjoyable film.


  1. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch

I was kind of surprised when the Grinch made it into my top five. I’d never have pictured it as “top 5” material before I saw it. But after going through and ranking all these movies, it made the cut.

Illumination Entertainment, the company behind the film, is well known for the Despicable Me franchise, as well as other hit animated films like The Secret Life of Pets and Sing. In this latest film, the story of the Grinch from Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book is brought to life once again. This film could have easily been a disaster. I personally didn’t care for The Lorax, another Illumination Dr. Seuss film released back in 2012. And adapting a half hour cartoon into an hour and a half movie could have easily gone wrong. But despite all the odds going against the film, it was still a fun movie.

The movie was full of bright colors and great animation, and Benedict Cumberbatch did great voicing the Grinch.

The Grinch is not exactly a masterpiece. The older cartoon will always be better. But what we got in theaters was a fun and enjoyable Christmas movie with a few laughs. It is certainly one of Illumination’s better movies.


  1. Black Panther

Released back in February, Black Panther gained the attention of the entire nation. The film made a massive $202, 003, 951 in its opening weekend, and ended its run in theaters with a domestic gross of 700, 059, 566, the third best of all time. And it grossed over 1 billion worldwide, performing as the 9th best of all time worldwide. It is certainly a massive feat for a non-avengers or sequel Marvel film to gross this high, and Black Panther deserves all the money it has made.

The film follows T’challa after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. After the death of his father, T’challa is forced to take the title of the Black Panther and the King of Wakanda, a fictional superpower nation in Africa secluded from the rest of the world. T’challa must then deal with the emergence of Killmonger, an American with Wakandan ancestry who is seeking to take T’challa’s title. With Killmonger’s appearance, T’challa must also prevent a civil war in the nation over the issue of Wakandas seclusion from the rest of the world.

Chadwick Boseman is charming as the Black Panther. He gives the character a likable personality without being as “jokey” and “quipy” as different characters like Iron Man or Star-Lord. Yet, he is also not too serious. He finds the perfect balance for his character.

The action scenes in the film are all really great. But what really stands out is the score. The score perfectly combines traditional orchestra and concert band music with tradition African music, and the result is incredibly unique.

This movie was just overall really great and very entertaining. It is definitely one of the best MCU origin movies.


  1. The Greatest Showman

Okay, so this one may be a little bit of a cheat, but hear me out. The film was released on December 7, 2017. Therefore, it is technique a 2017 film, not a 2018 film. However, I have included it on this list because since it came out so close to the end of the year, the majority of its time in theaters was in 2018, as it didn’t officially leave theaters in the U.S. until July 2018. And I did not see the movie until I saw it in theaters in March of 2018, so from my experience, I am considering it as a 2018 movie.

With that justification out of the way, the film itself is a delight to watch. The music is spectacular, and the visuals capture the magic of the soundtrack.

The movie is loosely based off the life of P. T. Barnum, the founder of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, rises up from his childhood as an orphan to the manager of a circus showcasing the unique and different talents and features of various performers. As Barnum’s show gains the attention of the public, it becomes divisive, with several critics calling it a “freak show”. Barnum wants to be accepted by the public, and he risks everything in order to achieve this dream.

The casting is also great, with Hugh Jackman lending his Broadway vocals for the film. Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Michelle Williams all also shine in this film.

The film is also able to capture real emotions. There are points in this movie that will make you feel happy, sad, upset, distressed, and they are all genuinely earned. Each character has a solid journey and a satisfying conclusion.

With a stellar soundtrack and great characters, The Greatest Showman is just a joy to watch.


  1. I Can Only Imagine

This year was a really great year for music based movies. Movies like The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star is Born all exploded at the box office. Music movies really found a lot of success this year. I Can Only Imagine shines with the rest of these movies this year, being one of the most successful Indie films of 2018.

I Can Only Imagine tells the story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of the band MercyMe. The film, name after MercyMe’s hit song of the same name, follows Millard as a child, where he suffered from abuse by his father, to where he is now, and captures both Bart’s journey and his father’s journey from an abusive father to a saved Christian.

The movie has an incredible message, and it is able to capture it perfectly. The movie shows that even the most evil of people can be saved through faith. When watching the movie, you feel as if you really are watching Bart’s story unfold before you. Each character feels real and genuine, with real genuine problems. The movie is not all about happiness. It tackles serious issues, and it does so very well. And the lead up to how the song I Can Only Imagine is written is portrayed beautifully.

This movie is really better than most other modern day Christian films in my opinion. The main theme is evident throughout the story. Nothing is ever too “in your face”. Everything flows smoothly in the movie. Everything just comes together to create one of the most amazing and emotional experiences in theaters in 2018.

This movie is amazing. If you have not seen it, this would be the one that I recommend the most. It is fantastic and touching all around.



  1. Avengers: Infinity War


I’m a big fan of the MCU movies, so naturally, I was really anticipating this film since the beginning of 2018. It had a lot to live up to. It was going to be the culmination of every single MCU film leading up to it, where all the characters join forces to take out Thanos, the villain teased since the first Avengers film. Despite all that it had to do, it accomplished everything.

In the movie, the Avengers, as well as other heroes like Black Panther, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, put all join forces in order to take out their most powerful foe yet, Thanos. Thanos’ goal is to collect all six infinity stones, objects that, when joined together, will give him the power to wipe out half of the universe.

This movie is probably the best in the series, as we get to see each different character developed throughout the series interact with each other on a scale never really done before. All the characters play off of each other really well. It feels natural, nothing ever feels fake or forced. The action, the dialogue, the visuals, everything is just perfect. It lives up to the anticipation.

Not only are the heros great, but Thanos is a great villain. Since each hero in the movie has already had character development through their previous films, the movie is able to develop Thanos as a character in a way that none of the other movies were able to with their villains. His personality, motivations, and feelings are all recognized. He has a reason for what he is doing, he is not just your stereotypical bad guy seeking control. He feels that what he is doing is good. Sure, what he is doing is really evil, but you understand what is driving him when watching the movie.

This movie is truly an “event film”. It brings all these superheroes in for an incredible journey with an ending that packs a punch. Maybe it is just the fan in me talking, but this film is my personal favorite of 2018.

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