2018 was a year full of popular films that killed at the box office and received critical acclaim, but there were many that didn’t receive the attention they deserved. These five films are worth checking out. If you didn’t give them a chance when they first came out, there’s no better time than now to give them a shot.

5. “Bird Box”


Netflix made a splash towards the end of 2018 with their star-studded, post-apocalyptic thriller “Bird Box.” Despite attracting loads of viewers, with reports of 45 million accounts tuning in and the emergence of a dangerous social media challenge inspired by the movie, the film received generally mixed to negative reactions from critics, with many complaining about the lack of any established rules and a deflated sense of suspense due to the plot’s structure.

While the movie isn’t perfect, there’s plenty to still admire in this entertaining thrill ride. The performances are excellent, the cinematography is loaded with atmosphere and the vagueness of the threat allows for a plenty of interpretation. The fact that the rules aren’t clearly established adds an interesting twist on things, as the film decides to focus on its characters and the rules being played out through their point of view. Don’t blindfold yourself to this one. Give it another chance.

4. “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle”


“Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” was originally intended to be a theatrical release, but was likely dropped from theaters due to comparisons to Disney’s “Jungle Book” remake from 2016 — which is quite a shame. Even though the film contains some issues in its pacing, editing and design choices, the majority of the film works exceptionally well.

This version of the classic “Jungle Book” tales goes deeper into the lore of the jungle and the animal society within it, while also telling a tale of self-discovery with the character of Mowgli — who is played magnificently by Rohan Chand. The performances of the animal characters done via motion capture were also outstanding, as was the level of detail put into their looks. A solid version of a well-known tale with some higher stakes and world building, “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” is one of the best retellings of this story yet.

3. “The Hate U Give”

Fox 2000 Pictures

Despite receiving critical acclaim, “The Hate U Give” only made a moderate box office gross by the end of its run and was soon forgotten. Though the subject matters of racial inequality and police brutality have been seen countless times in movies, this was still a well done effort all across the board.

The film’s PG-13 rating seemed like an iffy decision, given such heavy subject matter. However, the performances — particularly by Amandla Stenberg and Russell Hornsby — sold the emotional aspect intensely enough to make the film work. By the end, the rush of complex emotions hit home and made you want to get up and make a difference. Simplistic yet effective, “The Hate U Give” deserves anything but hate.

2. “Mid90s”


“Mid90s” was Jonah Hill’s directorial debut. This coming-of-age drama received moderate box office and critical success, but not enough to be considered a big hit. Despite presentation issues that proved a bit distracting and elements that could have been fleshed out further, this is one of the year’s most notable directorial debuts.

Hill makes a series of stylistic choices that imbue the film with a high level of personality. The choice to shoot the entire film on 16mm film was unique, and added to the retro feel. Add in the solid performances and you have what is easily one of the most heartfelt, raw and human stories of the year.


Summit Entertainment

Without a doubt one of the best films of the year, “Blindspotting” is a movie that critics ate up, but audiences ignored during its theatrical run. This is a film quite like no other seen all year.

With distinct direction, fast-paced editing and colorful cinematography, the film stands out in its presentation alone. The screenplay is written superbly, the acting is phenomenal and the ending is the possibly the best scene of the year. Those who haven’t seen this gem must give it a watch.