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2018's RISING STARS

THE TOP-RATING FILMS OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS

YEAR IN REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
30th December 2018

With the wide and varied year we've had in cinemas, we thought we'd take a look back at the films which really resonated with SWITCH's contributors. We've put all the reviews that scored 4.5 and 5 stars in one handy article, to make sure you didn't miss any gems in 2018!

The Square - A dazzling piece of cinematic invention
THE SQUARE
'The Square’ is a masterful piece of cinema, preposterously funny and endlessly strange, culminating in moments of genuine awe.
Faces Places - The empathy engine
FACES PLACES
Reinforcing the ability of art and artists to form connections and provide windows into the lives of people who are just like us, and also not at all, this is a moving tribute to the act of creation.
The Post - Streep and Spielberg strike gold in portrait of a complex woman
THE POST
There’s a brazen sort of electricity pulsing through the film that is hard to disregard; a boldness that is so intrinsic to its very nature that it becomes impossible to disentangle it from the film.
Sweet Country - A thunderous Australian masterpiece
SWEET COUNTRY
Warwick Thornton has created a devastating, overwhelming masterpiece, the first truly great film of 2018. Moreso, ‘Sweet Country’ is easily one of the most important Australian films ever made.
The Shape Of Water - A modern fairytale for the adults
THE SHAPE OF WATER
This may not be the kind of fairytale you should read to kids in bed at night, but it’ll still leave you with those long-lost childhood feelings of astonishment and reverence.
The Party - One decadent evening
THE PARTY
A wickedly dark, funny and thought-provoking ride. Not a moment out of place or not needed - it’s a masterpiece, and a party you'll gladly want to attend again.
BPM - Queer history, honoured and invigorated
BPM
This is a new queer classic which offers a hard-won opportunity to honour those who fought for change before us, and celebrate their humanity, their temerity, and their victories.
Phantom Thread - An exquisite and delicious delight for the senses
PHANTOM THREAD
Exquisite, meticulous, delicious, passionate and wickedly funny, it sweeps you up on its romanticism while moving with the precision of an animal of prey. ‘Phantom Thread’ is a classic.
Lady Bird - This <i>is</i> the best version of herself
LADY BIRD
Filled with the kind of charm and empathy, writer/director Greta Gerwig thrives in telling that all-too-powerful, painful and empowering transition from adolescence to adulthood.
That's Not My Dog! - A great laugh-a-minute Aussie night out
THAT'S NOT MY DOG!
With almost 100 jokes told in just under 90 minutes, this is a non-stop laugh-fest. Featuring 30 comedians, it's sure to leave you in stitches and feeling a million bucks.
Love, Simon - A joyous and important milestone in mainstream cinema
LOVE, SIMON
This is a celebration of the beauty of being young and queer and in love for the first time, a film that is wholly good and made for no other reason than to make the world that little bit better.
A Quiet Place - A smart, silent take on the horror genre
A QUIET PLACE
The story of ‘A Quiet Place’ at its core is family, and is the film’s biggest strength. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski are wonderful, but young Millicent Simmonds is the breakaway star.
Tully - It's a hat-trick of Cody and Reitman
TULLY
With little to no dialogue, Reitman reveals the monotony of this thankless life of a mother of three. No great tragedy has befallen our protagonist, she’s just like all of us - overwhelmed by life.
The Shape of Water - An Oscar-winning fairytale for the ages
THE SHAPE OF WATER
The film is just so incredibly beautiful and deeply romantic. Few films are made with such love and passion as this one, and every frame sings as a consequence.
My Friend Dahmer - A haunting portrait of a serial killer as a young man
MY FRIEND DAHMER
It’s a portrait of the abyss of loneliness, and how that abyss can swallow you whole. It offers not shock and horror, but something all the more human, affecting and haunting.
Incredibles 2 - The spectacular sequel we've all been waiting for
INCREDIBLES 2
It's is a rip-roaring action film, full of heart and electricity, boisterous and bombastic in all the right ways, and delivering in spades after many years of anticipation.
Hereditary - Nothing stays buried
HEREDITARY
‘Hereditary’ is not for the faint of heart. It’s a stressful, intense ride through an escalating family tragedy with a supernatural horror twist. You have been warned.
Leave No Trace - Overflowing with hope and compassion
LEAVE NO TRACE
Simultaneously haunting and yet overflowing with hope, this is a beautiful film, telling a story of a daughter and her father that speaks truths.
The Insult - A brilliant examination of the nature of conflict
THE INSULT
Using masculine aggression as an allegory for escalating conflict, ‘The Insult’ raises interesting (and timely) questions that resonate well beyond the Middle East.
Love, Simon - A gay coming-of-age story we so sorely needed
LOVE, SIMON
‘Love, Simon’ has thrown down the gauntlet to mainstream cinema. Put us on your screens. Tell our stories. Not just white gay men, but every queer person of every sexuality, gender, culture and creed.
Three Identical Strangers - Triple the twists and turns
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
The story of these three men is remarkable and the film matches it, right until the last frame. It will have you hooked - it's simply unmissable.
McQueen - A stunning, meticulous vision of a conflicted artist
McQUEEN
Like McQueen, this documentary isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of filmmaking, from its gripping storytelling to its lush visuals. This is one of the most impressive cinematic achievements of 2018.
Hereditary - An infernal masterclass in the art of trauma
HEREDITARY
A dark and thunderous vision of the one of the greatest fears we have - that our own minds may in the end not only betray and destroy us, but destroy those we love most.
First Man - An incredible and deeply moving journey into the impossible
FIRST MAN
A powerful and moving experience, it will leave you marvelling at the ability of our species to dream, to invent, to strive and to survive.
Suspiria - An ecstatic dance to the edge of sanity
SUSPIRIA
This is a film that will divide, and is certainly not for everyone. Luca Gadagnino has created a dark symphony in honour of the classic, in the process creating a work just as powerful and unsettling.
Widows - A captivating thriller beyond measure
WIDOWS
It's a film permeating with lofty themes with substance sharing equal billing with its thrills. ‘Widows’ is a gut-punch of a film but for all the best reasons, and one of the best films of the year.
Sorry to Bother You - Boots Riley's spectacular satire on race in America
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
A shockingly intelligent, insanely imaginative, totally unforgiving, endlessly entertaining, consistently surprising piece of satire. Boots Riley has created a film for the ages.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? - Melissa McCarthy's finest performance to date
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
It's the perfect kind of biographical film - wholly entertaining, truly enlightening, and entirely fascinating. It’s a glimpse of the life of an unconventional woman, wonderfully told and portrayed.
Incredibles 2 - A thrilling sequel that defies expectations
INCREDIBLES 2
‘Incredibles 2’ is just such a joy of a film. It not only lives up to expectations but exceeds them, refusing to play by the tired and safe sequel rule of just giving audiences the same again.
Roma - A transcendent work of memory and cinema
ROMA
Alfonso Cuarón has not just delivered a personal ode to a city he loves, to a time and a place that haunts him, to a figure who defined him, but given us the chance to see the same within ourselves.
Climax - An all-dancing, drug-fuelled nightmare
CLIMAX
Director Gaspar Noé captures the group’s feverous plunge into brutality and psychotic inhumanity with an intimate, glazed immediacy, as the film unfolds in a series of long, gliding shots.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - An amazing love letter to our friendly neighbourhood wall-crawler
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Its crowning achievement is just how beautifully it is a testament to the strange and enchanting lore of the Spider-Man lore. It’s the film Spidey fans will fall in love with.
The Favourite - A delicious work of magnificent insanity
THE FAVOURITE
There really is no way to prepare yourself for this film. It’s insane and sincere, vicious and heartfelt, thunderous and mournful. No one, including the audience, comes out of this without bruises.
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