2018 was a year full of good movies, sure, but there was something about this year that had loads of individual moments that stood out within the films.
My shortlist of moments was about 30, and that had to be limited down to these 10, which means there were certainly honorable mentions to be had. These include the closing moments of “The Favourite,” the bear scream in “Annihilation,“ a moment of joy in the streets of “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the drowning scene of “You Were Never Really Here” and the landing in “First Man.“
All of these were absolutely terrific moments, but there just happened to be 10 better. These are those scenes.
NOTE: Scenes may be spoilers for the movies mentioned, proceed with caution.
10.) Leap of Faith – “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Starting off the list is the penultimate moment of the best animated film of the year. While there are tons of outstanding bits and pieces within “Into the Spider-Verse,” it is Miles’ jump into the city that holds the most weight, and shows the true beauty of the animation the most. This scene is stunning in every facet, and is a standout amongst a standout film.
9.) Slow Zoom – “Thoroughbreds”
“Thoroughbreds remains one of the most slept on movies of 2018, and a scene in its’ final act remains one of the best moments of the year. Starting with a conversation on if life is worth living without emotions, the camera zooms in on a passed out Amanda, and what ensues next is truly gorgeous filmmaking at work.
Note: I am only copying this link because the title and scene are MAJOR spoilers for the film. Watch at your own risk.
8.) X-Force Jump – “Deadpool 2”
The comedic peak of this terrific sequel came in a simple skydive with an added element of wind. The result is some of the most gut-wrenching minutes in film all year. I won’t ruin the surprise, but the jump might not go as smoothly as one might want for an X-Force.
7.) Coffee Shop – “Beautiful Boy”
We are getting into the emotional portion of the list, and not many scenes tugged on the heartstrings more than Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet’s talk in a coffee shop in “Beautiful Boy.” The conversation, which is based on Chalamet’s drug addiction and needing a few bucks from his father, is brutal to sit through, and gives Chalamet an absolute showcase to display how talented he truly is as an actor.
6.) Fireside Chat – “Eighth Grade”
Another conversation between two characters that made me cry, this one comes from Bo Burnham’s directorial debut masterpiece, and is more of a happy cry than the former. In this moment between Kayla and her dad, she asks if she makes her father sad, and what comes next feels purely from the heart, and shows the incredible dynamic between the two characters on multiple levels.
(Part 2 of the scene should be the “up next” if you go to YouTube)
5.) Buying a Crib – “Roma”
Alfonso Cuaron’s beautiful love letter to his childhood has a few scenes throughout that made my jaw drop to the floor. The moment in the theater is one, as is a scene on a beach, but neither reach a cinematic peak as much as when Cleo goes to order a crib in “Roma.” This scene is visceral, emotional and beautifully crafted, and seemingly comes out of nowhere to sweep you off your feet.
4.) Halo Jump – “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
These “Mission: Impossible” movies just keep getting better, and “Fallout” is by far the best in the franchise to date. In this sixth entry, there are again, many, many scenes deserving of recognition. But, to watch Tom Cruise legitimately jump out of a plane in the Halo jump is a sight to behold. This is just action at its finest, and perfectly shows what this franchise has done for the genre.
3.) Shallow – “A Star Is Born”
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut is a terrific film, but it is this song, and this moment that easily stands out. The song alone is outstanding, but it is seeing Lady Gaga’s Ally finally earn her moment and change her life in one performance that sends chills down my spine. Gaga brings her beautiful vocals and tons of emotion to the performance, and makes it a powerhouse scene of 2018.
2.) The Snap – “Avengers: Infinity War”
It’s a major spoiler yes, but if you haven’t seen or heard about this conclusion yet, where have you been? In case you managed to avoid it, don’t read past here, but for the rest of us, what a moment in cinema this was.
You can argue that this moment is muddled by the future film list, but c’mon, Thanos’ snap that took out half of the population is one of the most insane moments in recent memory. Josh Brolin’s exceptional performance leads up to it, and man, what a pay off. The vision of him and Gamora immediately following it is also terrific, and for the Russo brothers to go for it all like this is something I hope more blockbusters do moving forward.
1.) Telephone Pole – “Hereditary”
The snap was a surprise. But what “Hereditary” did a mere 34 minutes into its runtime is unbelievable. SPOILERS, BIG TIME SPOILERS, but there is just no singular moment in 2018 that matches up to the moment Charlie gets decapitated by a telephone in the first freaking act of Ari Aster’s horror masterpiece.
This is the movie moment of 2018 for a few reasons. Firstly, the sheer surprise and awe of it all is worth nothing, and the marketing strategy to avoid spoiling this is exceptional. But aside from the singular death, there is so much to love about the scenes following, with Peter’s horrified walk through the house to Toni Collete’s scream to the heavens, this is the scene that stands out amongst a whole year of brilliant moments.