With the 91st Academy Awards under our belts and many films now available on demand, we were introduced us to several memorable and diverse films. However not all great films get the bigger nominations, press, and even screenings here on Long Island. These are eight films you might have missed in 2018 that could arguably measure up to this year’s award season fare:
Mandy (dir. Panos Cosmatos)
From the director of the surrealist film, Beyond the Black Rainbow, comes this mind bending revenge plot. A lumberjack played by Nicholas Cage is hell bent on taking out every member of a dangerous cult that murders his wife. Fueled by drugs and armed with some memorable weapons, our protagonist takes a dark journey that will surely become a cult classic perfect for midnight movie madness. For the Adult Swim fans out there, be sure to look up who made the Goblin Cheddar commercial halfway through the film.
Bad Times at the El Royale (dir. Drew Goddard)
From the director of, The Cabin in the Woods, comes another as equally dimensional film. In the style of Quentin Tarantino, several perfect strangers portrayed by an all star cast find themselves trapped in a stylish motor lodge but nothing is quite as it seems. Each character is layered so well and it takes a lot to peel down to their true intent. The set and costume design truly help keep the story grounded in the 60s. Told brilliantly, this nonlinear masterpiece was sadly snubbed by the Academy. The most notable performance was Chris Hemsworth, who shockingly wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Climax (dir. Gaspar Noé)
A24 strived to produce many dramas this year in hopes of getting Oscar attention. Unfortunately none of their films made the cut this year. The film that stood out the most to me was Climax. From the twisted director of, Enter the Void, comes yet another beautifully shot and stylish look at complete and utter chaos. When a dance troupe unknowingly consumes LSD, all hell breaks loose in this visually stunning work of modern cinema. Noé continues to use his spinning crane shots that work perfectly for the drug induced scenarios. With excellent use of long shots, Noé allows his audience to watch the nightmare unfold with an unflinching eye, never looking away from the train wreck in front of them.
The House That Jack Built (dir. Lars Von Trier)
From the director of, Antichrist, comes another controversial work of modern art. A serial killer confesses some of his most memorable crimes and recounts his victims in their last moments. This film is grisly, disturbing and manages to take a deep look inside the mind of a killer. Masterfully shot with Von Trier’s two signature styles: the close up handheld shots used with jump cuts which create disorder and his visually perfect slow motion wide shots on a fixed tripod that are so aesthetically pleasing they could be oil paintings. Unlike the rest of Von Trier’s works, where the two styles are mixed together, this film saves the slow motion for the final act separating the reality from the afterlife.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor (dir. Morgan Neville)
As for the category of documentary, the Academy passed over this inside look at one of the most beloved personalities in children’s television. This film not only strives to portray Fred Rogers in an unbiased light, but also helps to debunk the myth that surround the legendary spokesman for love and peace. The film lets the audience into his personal life thanks to interviews with his living family members. We also get to see his never ending quest to preserve the morals of children’s education at a time when child programming was mostly for entertainment.
Sicario: Day of the Solado (dir. Stefano Sollima)
Once again Benicio Del Toro brings back one of his greatest characters to date. Also returning are Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Donovan as part of this team. In this film we get a deeper look into the mysterious Alejandro, continuing his fight against the cartel that wrong him in the first one. The intense shoot outs, soundtrack and climactic third act are enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and your heart racing. Despite the lack of attention this film received, we can only hope one more film will be made to complete the trilogy.
Deadpool 2 (dir. David Leitch)
In this continuation of the popular antihero, everyone’s “favorite Merc with the mouth” with some new friends. Expect some shocking cameos and pressuring key characters from X-Men and X-Factor. This film manages to poke fun of itself with and other bombs from the “Super Hero Cinematic Universe” with some memorable one liners and quick gags. Make sure to stay after the credits for some extra antics. Also check out the two other older versions of this film for a few extra laughs.
Thoroughbreds (dir. Cory Finley)
Likely released too early for Academy recognition, this soon to be called cult classic tells the story of two young friends who grew apart reconciling and coming together together to kill one of their stepfathers. They seek the help of a town dead beat, played by the late and great Anton Yelchin in his final screen performance. The two lead actresses have excellent on screen chemistry that works really well.
These were some great films I feel that the Academy failed to notice. Watch them yourself, do you agree? Were there any movies that Academy and I missed? Share your thoughts in the comments!