Paul Steward’s Top Ten films of 2018

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Credit: Archant

Film reviewer PAUL STEWARD reveals his top films of 2018

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place - Credit: Archant

10. Searching

John Cho stars as a desperate father searching for clues to the disappearance of his 16 year old daughter. Aneesh Chaganty’s innovative debut feature is viewed entirely through laptop screens and iPhone footage, but never at the expense of the story telling.

A hugely entertaining rollercoaster ride full of twists and turns.

Toni Collette in Hereditary

Toni Collette in Hereditary - Credit: Archant

9. A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut sees him play jaded rock star Jackson Maine in a remake of the 1976 Barbara Streisand film.

Lady Gaga Stars alongside him as upcoming singer Ally, and the pair’s turbulent romance provides a captivating spectacle. Beautifully acted with a wonderful soundtrack. The year’s most heartbreaking film.

Searching a film shown through screen grabs

Searching a film shown through screen grabs - Credit: Archant

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8. Widows

British director Steve McQueen follows up his Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave with this adaptation of a 1980s Lynda La Plante TV series.

A stellar cast including Daniel Kaluuya and Colin Farrell is anchored by a superb central performance from Viola Davis.

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water - Credit: Archant

An engrossing heist movie full of violent twists and betrayal.

7. A Quiet Place

Written and directed by John Krasinksi, who also stars with real life partner Emily Blunt. This film is packed with nerve jangling tension as married couple Lee and Evelyn Abbott are forced to live in silence, in order to protect their young family from alien creatures who hunt by sound.


Beast - Credit: Archant

The film expertly blends sci-fi with horror to produce a thrilling film, not for the faint hearted.

6. Beast

This impressive debut from writer/director Michael Pearce focuses on a troubled young woman living in an isolated Jersey community. Torn between her oppressive family and the allure of a handsome outsider, suspected of being a serial killer. Mixing elements of romance with an engaging murder mystery, Beast is a slow burning psychological drama not to be missed.

Adam Driver and John David Washington in Black KKlansman

Adam Driver and John David Washington in Black KKlansman - Credit: Archant

5. Black Panther

Director Ryan Coogler delivers a thrilling take on the superhero original story, building a fascinating and engaging world around Chadewick Boseman’s Black Panther. Michaels B Jordan’s villain is one of the most interesting antagonists in recent memory.

A groundbreaking film and a fantastic addition to Marvel’s growing cinematic universe.

Black Panther

Black Panther - Credit: Archant

4. Hereditary

Toni Collette stars as a highly strung mother of two, desperately trying to keep her family safe after uncovering sinister family secrets.

This accomplished debut from American director Ari Aster is full of tension and dark foreboding. A nightmarish and legitimately frightening horror film.


Widows - Credit: Archant

3. The Shape Of Water

Winner of the 2018 best picture Oscar, this darker spin on the beauty and the beast story is masterfully directed by Guillermo Del Toro and features a superb turn from Sally Hawkins as lonely mute cleaner Eliza.

An enchanting and melancholy fairytale with a classic Hollywood feel.

2. Blackkklansman

Staring John David (Son of Denzel) Washington, Spike Lee’s politically charged tale of a black police officer who infiltrates the Klu Klux Klan cleverly manages to balance the serious subject matter with a lighter comedic tone, resulting in culturally important, yet thoroughly entertaining film.

1.Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

It is a testament to the quality of this film that it was released way back in January, and yet remained my favourite for the entire year.

Written and directed by Brit Martin McDonagh this darkly comic drama tells the tale of a single mother seeking justice after the local police department fails to catch her daughter’s killer. The film saw both Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell deservedly win Oscars for their performances.

Witty, violent and thoroughly unpredictable. The film of the year.