Best of 2018: Film Critic Top Ten Lists

  • Publish Date: December 5, 2018
  • Comments: ↓ 10 user comments

Below, we collect every year-end Top Ten list published by major film critics and publications. This page will be updated throughout December and January whenever new lists are published; be sure to check back frequently.

Critics pick the best movies of 2018

Recent updates:
Added 12/10: The Guardian (Bradshaw), The Irish Times, Mashable, Misc-Tobias, NPR, The Playlist, Uproxx, Vox
Added 12/7: Detroit News, People, The Ringer, Rolling Stone, ScreenCrush, Us Weekly
Added 12/6: Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair (Collins), Washington Post
Added 12/5: Scorecard launched with 17 lists.

Best of 2018Below is our updated running tally of the films most frequently mentioned by individual critics on the year-end Top Ten lists. Note that if a critic ranks more than the standard 10 films, we will not include films ranked 11th or worse. (We do include unranked lists of 11-20 titles, though each film gets just one-half of a point.) In case of a tie for first or second, each film will receive the full points for that position. Our points system works as follows:

  • 3 points for each 1st place ranking
  • 2 points for each 2nd place ranking
  • 1 point for being ranked 3rd - 10th, or for being included on an unranked list of 10 or fewer titles
  • 0.5 points for being included on an unranked list of 11-20 titles
Films Mentioned on Most Critic Top 10 Lists - 2018
Movie and Metascore # 1st Place # 2nd Place # Other Points
1 Roma949.545
2 The Favourite517.525
3 First Reformed231022
4 Eighth Grade2111.520
5 Burning119.515
6 A Star Is Born126.514
7 If Beale Street Could Talk019.512
8 Sorry to Bother You10811
Can You Ever Forgive Me?026.511
10 Paddington 211510
11 Minding the Gap1229
Black Panther008.59
13 Mission: Impossible – Fallout0168
Annihilation0168
First Man0088
16 Green Book0157
BlacKkKlansman0077
Leave No Trace014.57
Zama1047
The Rider006.57

Individual critic top ten lists

Below are the 35 individual top ten lists published by the film critics regularly included in Metacritic's score calculations, as well as a few extra lists from additional prominent film sources. Some critics merely list films without ranking them in order; such lists are displayed below, without numbers, in alphabetical order.

Melissa Anderson View full list
  1. Zama
  2. Eight Hours Don't Make a Day [theatrical release of 1973-73 TV miniseries]
  3. The Misandrists
  4. Personal Problems [1980]
  5. (tie) Let the Sunshine In
  6. (tie) High Life
  7. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  8. Nico, 1988
  9. Support the Girls
  10. From the Collection of Pearl Bowser [exhibit]
  11. Diamantino
J Hoberman View full list
  1. Wormwood
  2. The Image Book
  3. Transit
  4. BlacKkKlansman
  5. The Kavanaugh hearing [breaking news event]
  6. The Americans [Season 6]
  7. The Death of Stalin
  8. The Waldheim Waltz
  9. Org
  10. Dialogue With Che
James Quandt View full list
  1. Dead Souls
  2. The Image Book
  3. Un homme marche dans la ville [rerelease of 1950 film]
  4. Thomas Bayrle [retrospective]
  5. La Flor [specifically: Manet and Ravel sequences]
  6. Elegant Beast [1962]
  7. Burning
  8. The Load
  9. Ayka
  10. The Black Book
Amy Taubin View full list
  1. Adrian Piper [exhibit]
  2. The Image Book
  3. Roma
  4. Sorry to Bother You
  5. Life & Nothing More
  6. Ash Is Purest White
  7. Burning
  8. Happy as Lazzaro
  9. At Eternity's Gate
  10. American Dharma
Artforum *
John Waters View full list
  1. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
  2. American Animals
  3. Nico, 1988
  4. Mom and Dad
  5. Blindspotting
  6. The Green Fog
  7. Custody
  8. Sollers Point
  9. Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992
  10. Permanent Green Light

* Note: Artforum critics include museum exhibits, retrospectives, and film-like releases in other media; only new 2018 movies listed here are included in our composite standings

Cahiers du cinéma
Staff consensus
  1. The Wild Boys
  2. Coincoin and the Extra-Humans
  3. Phantom Thread
  4. Burning
  5. Paul Sanchez est revenu!
  6. The Post
  7. On the Beach at Night Alone
  8. The House That Jack Built
  9. Leto
  10. Treasure Island
Detroit News
Adam Graham View full list
  1. Paddington 2
  2. First Reformed
  3. Eighth Grade
  4. Roma
  5. Lean on Pete
  6. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  7. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  8. Blindspotting
  9. If Beale Street Could Talk
  10. Vice
Empire
Staff consensus View full list
  1. Avengers: Infinity War
  2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  3. A Quiet Place
  4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  5. Black Panther
  6. First Man
  7. Lady Bird
  8. A Star Is Born
  9. Phantom Thread
  10. BlacKkKlansman
Leah Greenblatt View full list
  1. The Favourite
  2. Roma
  3. Black Panther
  4. Annihilation
  5. Lean on Pete
  6. Green Book
  7. Burning
  8. Hereditary
  9. Free Solo
  10. The Guilty
Entertainment Weekly
Chris Nashawaty View full list
  1. The Favourite
  2. Roma
  3. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  4. Eighth Grade
  5. Paddington 2
  6. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  7. Sorry to Bother You
  8. First Man
  9. Green Book
  10. Mandy
GameSpot
Staff consensus View full list
  1. Avengers: Infinity War
  • all others listed alphabetically:
  • Annihilation
  • Black Panther
  • Creed II
  • Hereditary
  • Paddington 2
  • A Quiet Place
  • Sorry to Bother You
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • Suspiria
Staff consensus View full list
  • (coming week of December 17)
The Guardian
Peter Bradshaw View full list
  1. Roma
  2. A Star Is Born
  3. Cold War
  4. Leave No Trace
  5. Western
  6. Zama
  7. Hereditary
  8. Coco
  9. Widows
  10. Phantom Thread
HuffPost
Matthew Jacobs View full list
  1. The Favourite
  2. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  3. Widows
  4. Sorry to Bother You
  5. Suspiria
  6. A Star Is Born
  7. Eighth Grade
  8. Annihilation
  9. Roma
  10. The Old Man and the Gun
David Ehrlich View video countdown
  1. First Reformed
  2. Paddington 2
  3. Madeline's Madeline
  4. Shoplifters
  5. The Tale
  6. Burning
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  8. If Beale Street Could Talk
  9. Wildlife
  10. Mandy
IndieWire
Eric Kohn View full list
  1. The Favourite
  2. Roma
  3. The Death of Stalin
  4. First Reformed
  5. Sorry to Bother You
  6. Private Life
  7. Burning
  8. Madeline's Madeline
  9. If Beale Street Could Talk
  10. Free Solo
Donald Clarke, Tara Brady View full list
  1. Loveless
  2. Cold War
  3. Mandy
  4. Hereditary
  5. Lady Bird
  6. Climax
  7. Sorry to Bother You
  8. The Rider
  9. Custody
  10. The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid
The Irish Times
Angie Han View full list
  1. Eighth Grade
  2. The Favourite
  3. First Man
  4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  5. If Beale Street Could Talk
  6. Roma
  7. Black Panther
  8. Hereditary
  9. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  10. To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Mashable
Scott Tobias View full list
  1. Roma
  2. Annihilation
  3. First Reformed
  4. If Beale Street Could Talk
  5. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
  6. Support the Girls
  7. Burning
  8. The Rider
  9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  10. You Were Never Really Here
Miscellaneous critics
Manohla Dargis View full list
  1. Roma
  2. Burning
  3. Shoplifters
  4. Zama
  5. Happy as Lazzaro
  6. BlacKkKlansman
  7. First Reformed
  8. The Death of Stalin
  9. Monrovia, Indiana
  10. Colophon (for the Arboretum Cycle)
The New York Times
A.O. Scott View full list
  1. (tie) Bisbee '17
  2. (tie) Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  3. (tie) Minding the Gap
  4. (tie) Monrovia, Indiana
  5. Happy as Lazzaro
  6. First Reformed
  7. Private Life
  8. Roma
  9. Let the Sunshine In
  10. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  11. BlacKkKlansman
  12. Capernaum
  13. The Favourite
NPR
Staff consensus View full list
  • Black Panther
  • Burning
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Capernaum
  • Eighth Grade
  • The Favourite
  • Game Night
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Leave No Trace
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • The Rider
  • Roma
  • A Star Is Born
  • Widows
  • Wildlife
People
Tom Gliatto View full list
  1. A Star Is Born
  2. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  3. Crazy Rich Asians
  4. Green Book
  5. Three Identical Strangers
  6. The Favourite
  7. Black Panther
  8. Paddington 2
  9. BlacKkKlansman
  10. A Quiet Place
The Playlist
Staff consensus View full list
  1. You Were Never Really Here
  2. First Reformed
  3. Hereditary
  4. Annihilation
  5. Burning
  6. Roma
  7. Eighth Grade
  8. The Favourite
  9. Leave No Trace
  10. Suspiria
The Ringer
Sean Fennessey and Adam Nayman View full list
  1. Burning
  2. Minding the Gap
  3. Roma
  4. Zama
  5. Black Panther
  6. First Reformed
  7. Let the Sunshine In
  8. Annihilation
  9. Support the Girls
  10. If Beale Street Could Talk
Rolling Stone
Peter Travers View full list
  1. Roma
  2. A Star Is Born
  3. Black Panther
  4. The Favourite
  5. BlacKkKlansman
  6. If Beale Street Could Talk
  7. First Man
  8. First Reformed
  9. Eighth Grade
  10. Green Book
ScreenCrush
Matt Singer View full list
  1. The Favourite
  2. Private Life
  3. Annihilation
  4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  5. The Rider
  6. Roma
  7. First Man
  8. Eighth Grade
  9. Minding the Gap
  10. Widows
Time
Stephanie Zacharek View full list
  1. Roma
  2. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  3. First Reformed
  4. Eighth Grade
  5. The Favourite
  6. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  7. A Star Is Born
  8. If Beale Street Could Talk
  9. Bohemian Rhapsody
  10. Paddington 2
Uproxx
Staff consensus View full list
  1. Sorry to Bother You
  2. Roma
  3. Eighth Grade
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. Private Life
  6. Black Panther
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  9. Paddington 2
  10. First Man
Us Weekly
Mara Reinstein View full list
  1. Eighth Grade
  2. Green Book
  3. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  4. The Favourite
  5. Roma
  6. First Man
  7. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  8. Widows
  9. Bohemian Rhapsody
  10. A Quiet Place
K. Austin Collins View full list
  1. First Reformed
  2. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
  3. You Were Never Really Here
  4. If Beale Street Could Talk
  5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  6. The Other Side of the Wind
  7. Minding the Gap
  8. Zama
  9. First Man
  10. Sollers Point
Vanity Fair
Richard Lawson View full list
  1. Roma
  2. Leave No Trace
  3. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  4. Free Solo
  5. Shoplifters
  6. The Favourite
  7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  8. A Star Is Born
  9. Happy as Lazzaro
  10. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Alissa Wilkinson View full list
  1. Cold War
  2. Minding the Gap
  3. Bisbee '17
  4. First Reformed
  5. Amazing Grace
  6. Leave No Trace
  7. Support the Girls
  8. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  9. Eighth Grade
  10. Burning
Vox
David Edelstein View full list
  1. Roma
  2. Eighth Grade
  3. First Reformed
  4. The Rider
  5. Sorry to Bother You
  6. Won't You Be My Neighbor?
  7. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  8. Private Life
  9. Fahrenheit 11/9
  10. Leave No Trace
Vulture
Emily Yoshida View full list
  1. Roma
  2. First Reformed
  3. Shirkers
  4. Suspiria
  5. The Rider
  6. Eighth Grade
  7. Shoplifters
  8. Sorry to Bother You
  9. Have a Nice Day
  10. A Star Is Born
Ann Hornaday View full list
  1. Roma
  2. If Beale Street Could Talk
  3. The Rider
  4. First Reformed
  5. BlacKkKlansman
  6. Green Book
  7. Eighth Grade
  8. Tully
  9. Blindspotting
  10. A Quiet Place
Washington Post

Want more of 2018's best films?

View our updated 2018 Film Awards Scorecard for the latest awards and nominations from nearly 60 different film critic groups and industry organizations.

 

Comments (10)

  • Shiira  

    I like the contrarians who put "Suspiria" on their top ten lists. The film never made it to Hawaii. Polarizing films are sometimes the most interesting films. Like Gaspar Noe's "Irreversible" or Lars Von Trier's, well, entire ouevre. But in particular, "Dancer in the Dark" because the audience booed the film when it took home the Palm d'or. 152 minutes? Hell, yeah. You should always reward ambition. I hate how ambition is almost categorically looked down as pretentiousness.

  • MovieJay  

    BlacKkKlansman was NOT the best Spike Lee movie of the year; that'd be Blindspotting, which has only made 3 of these first 27 top ten lists so far. That Green Book is on 6 of these lists tells you something. People don't like being truly engaged or challenged on race-related issues. Much better to laugh a bunch w/Green Book and pat ourselves on the backs for "how far we've come" than to immerse ourselves in the world of Blindspotting, which has its finger on the pulse of today's issues. It's a great movie and Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs should be the Damon & Affleck of this awards season with what they created w/their screenplay. I hate that everyone's sleeping on it.

  • xChrRome  

    Casper has some of the worst hot takes I've seen in a while.

  • Casper  

    There was nothing exceptional whatsoever about Black Panther. It is cerainly the best of the MCU films, but that's not saying much. I'd say it's a good movie, but in the same ballpark as the other Coogler films. They're watchable but have next to nothing to say and nothing extraordinary about them. Plus, the last third of Black Panther is literally just a remake of The Phantom Menace with the divided attention across multiple action sequences not working in 1999 or 2018.

    Black Panther will inevitably make lists but be on virtually zero lists of critics who are into film as ART rather than popcorn munching.

    As for Avengers, it topped two "voted for" lists merely because those publications are just fanboy magazines that favor comic book films and other genre stuff. It will continue to fall as it's hard to imagine how any actual film critic can make a case for it being in their Top 10.

  • israeldorneles  

    Am I seeing this with my own eyes? One of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year, the most critically acclaimed superhero movie EVER a.k.a. Black Panther, is nowhere to be found on this list??? Meanwhile, Infinity War is Top 5(ish)??? Speechless.

  • invein  

    Climax should be on there imo...most intense movie of the year.

  • mrm949  

    vv La La Land has a 93, First Man an 84 on Metacritic..."Universal Acclaim." You're in the minority there calling those films mediocrity.

    It's nice to see First Reformed getting so much recognition.

  • Casper  

    You mean yet another Damien Chazelle mediocrity? The guy got lucky with Whiplash, everything else was garbage.

  • DreamScreen  

    Yay!

    Although the complete shunning of "First Man" thus far is utterly baffling.

  • DreamScreen  

    Yay!

    Although the complete shunning of "First Man" thus far is utterly baffling.

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