Friday, December 28, 2018


Top Ten Films in 2018

It's time for the annual top-ten list again. Here are the ten best films among the 307 feature-length narrative and documentary films I watched during the calendar year of 2018, no matter when and if a film was released in the US during 2018.

  1. "Happy as Lazzaro" (Lazzaro felice | Italy/Switzerland/France/Germany 2018 | in Italian | 125 min.)

    "Happy as Lazzaro" superbly mixes a mysterious fable with social reality and creates a timeless character.

    Happy as Lazzaro Official Site

  2. 1945 (Hungary 2017 | in Hungarian | 91 min.)

    Gorgeously shot in black and white, "1945" grippingly unfolds when two mysterious men arrive at a village in Hungary after World War II has just ended.

    1945 Official Site

  3. Blindspotting (USA 2018 | 95 min.)

    Shot in the Bay Area, "Blindspotting" unflinchingly yet eloquently tackles racial issues without cliché.

    Blindspotting Official Site

  4. People's Republic of Desire ((China/USA 2018 | in Mandarin | 94 min. | Documentary | My capsule review)

    Hao Wu's "People's Republic of Desire" captures the phenomenon represented by a group of fame seekers in the digital age.

    People's Republic of Desire Official Site

  5. Leave No Trace (USA 2018 | 109 min.)

    "Leave No Trace" intimately tells an arresting story about a pair of father and daughter who choose to live off the grid in a forest in Oregon.

    Leave No Trace Official Site

  6. Three Identical Strangers (UK 2018 | 96 min. | Documentary)

    A jaw-dropping, entertaining, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and fascinating story is incredibly unfolded in "Three Identical Strangers."

    Three Identical Strangers Official Site

  7. Us and Them (后来的我们 | China 2018 | in Mandarin | 120 min.)

    Chinese singer-actress Rene Liu (劉若英)'s directorial debut "Us and Them" is a profoundly moving and irresistibly nostalgic portrait of a young couple's relationship impacted by China's economic boom.

    Us and Them on Netflix

  8. Phantom Thread (USA 2017 | 129 min. | My review)

    Paul Thomas Anderson impeccably composes a compelling story in "Phantom Thread" with a triumphant performance from the cast.

    Phantom Thread Official Site

  9. The Summer Is Gone (八月 | China 2016| in Mandarin | 106 min. )

    With an eloquent storytelling style quite similar to Edward Yang, the new Chinese director Zhang Dalei's (张大磊) "The Summer Is Gone" beautifully captures a 12-year-old boy's idle summer against the backdrop of China's social and economic transformation in the '90s.

    The Summer Is Gone

  10. Shoplifters ((万引き家族 | Japan 2018 | in Japanese | 121 min. | My review)

    The family in Koreeda's "Shoplifters" might be short on money, but they never lack love and affection.

    Shoplifters Official Site

Until next year...

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