The Dope-Ass Guide to Power Pop Vol. 1

The Best Films of 2018

We laughed. We cried. We finished our popcorn before the previews ended. We should've ordered a large.

Hey. Remember Movie Pass? Those few fleeting months we shared in ciné paradis? #neverforget. And it was a good year to spend Silicon Valley venture capital at the multiplex, too. I felt all of the feels and I ate so much popcorn.

We didn't see everything, but that’s not to say we didn't try. And when all was said and done, well... just keep reading. It’s not authoritative, but it’s also not not authoritative.

In our opinion, anyhow.

I. Eighth Grade

Bo Burnham proves that real life need not be embellished to be compelling in one of the most cringingly realistic but endearing coming-of-age films in recent years.

2. Mandy

In his best performance since Adaptation, enigmatic Nic Cage stars in this surreal revenge thriller, a technicolor prog rock nightmare come to life.

3. Roma

This romantically paced and gorgeously shot period flick captures the life of a housemaid during the politically tumultuous 1970s Mexico in stunning black and white.

4. Thunder Road

Jim Cummings deserves every award for writing, directing, and starring in this gutsy dark comedy about a small town police officer struggling to maintain a connection with his daughter during a breakdown triggered by his mother's passing.

5. Hereditary

A grandmother’s curiously intense relationship with her granddaughter belies a dark secret that will tear a family apart in one of the year’s best horror flicks.

6. First Reformed

Ethan Hawk is haunting in his performance as a pastor who executes his calling with the devotion of a Buddhist monk.

7. Under the Silver Lake

David Robert Mitchell’s winding, surrealist noir finds Andrew Garfield looking for hidden messages on cereal boxes and in song lyrics as he tracks his missing neighbor in concentric circles around Los Angeles.

8. The Kindergarten Teacher

Maggie Gyllenhaal thrills as a passionate teacher who develops an increasingly destructive obsession with a prodigious 5-year-old poet.

9. Thoroughbreds

Gorgeous visuals and suburb sound design drive this teen thriller, an exploration of sociopathy set in posh New England.

10. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

This Coen brothers anthology of whimsical western shorts explores death with a dark sense of humor. Impeccably shot and performed.

11. Blindspotting

A convicted felon explores the limits of his own agency in his final three days on probation in Oakland, California.

12. Private Life

An artsy New York couple turns to their niece while exploring alternative routes to conceiving a child. An uncomfortably incisive commentary on sacrifice, autonomy, and family.

13. Skate Kitchen

Crystal Moselle again proves herself masterfully adept at capturing intimate portraits of New York youth culture on its own terms, presenting self-directed characters compelling for their shortcomings as much as for their strengths.

14. Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis is terrific as the tormented survivor, eager to extract revenge on the Shape after four decades of doomsday preparation.

15. Won't You Be My Neighbor

It turns out that Fred Rogers was everything you hoped he would be. This intimate portrait of his life and his work will pull tears from the driest eyes.

Honorable mention

Isle of Dogs, Sorry To Bother You, Land of Steady Habits, Oh Lucy, Mid90s, The BlacKKKlansman, Annihilation, Three Identical Strangers, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, American Animals.

About the author
Jon Cole is the proprietor of My Dope-Ass Apartment. He likes fried chicken and socialism.