For the first time in a long time I've done a better job of keeping track of what I'm watching during the year, so I've compiled this report breaking out lists of the best films I've seen from January 1 through June 30, 2018. The exceptions: LEAN ON PETE and ON BODY AND SOUL, which I saw at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. LEAN ON PETE wasn't commercially released in theaters until this year. ON BODY AND SOUL debuted in the U.S. on Netflix this year. So, both go on the Best of 2018 list.
1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
3. Lean On Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2017)
4. Paddington 2 (Paul King, 2017)
5. On Body and Soul (Teströl és lélekröl) (Ildikó Enyedi, 2017)
6. Set It Up (Claire Scanlon, 2018)
7. Thoroughbreds (Cory Finley, 2017)
8. The Rider (Chloé Zhao, 2017)
9. Tully (Jason Reitman, 2018)
10. A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018)
Because I find it annoying when critics post these sorts of lists and include a bunch of films not yet commercially available, I've split out films in consideration for my 2018 Top 10 and Honorable Mentions lists, assuming they are released this year.
Unreleased 2018 Films
1. Bisbee '17 (Robert Greene, 2018)
2. América (Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside, 2018)
3. Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez bronzer les cadavres) (Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, 2017)
4. I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni, 2017)
5. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross, 2018)
6. Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018)
As the Sam Green and Kronos Quartet collaboration defies categorization and isn't something that will ever have a normal release, it gets a spot all to its own.
Uncategorizable 2018 Film Event
-A Thousand Thoughts (Sam Green, 2018)
Things get a little more idiosyncratic when it comes to films I saw this year for the first time. While these choices are guided to a degree by what I can see in theatrical repertory programs, some are just where curiosity took me. The inclusions of PHANTOM THREAD and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME are somewhat antithetical to the idea of this list--they're "new" films that squeezed on by virtue of awards release patterns--but this is where they fit best.
Films New to Me
1. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
2. La belle noiseuse (Jacques Rivette, 1991)
3. Monkey Business (Howard Hawks, 1952)
4. Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)
5. Rambling Rose (Martha Coolidge, 1991)
6. Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963)
7. Memories of Murder (Salinui chueok) (Bong Joon-ho, 2003)
8. Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968)
9. Remember My Name (Alan Rudolph, 1978)