It’s never easy to narrow the best home entertainment releases down to 10, and this last year was no exception. 2018 gave us a remarkably diverse mix of genres, and filmmakers delivering some of their best work to date.
- THE SHAPE OF WATER
The Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Amelie in Guillermo del Toro’s whimsical fable about two lonely souls that make a connection. That one of them happens to be a fish man is almost irrelevant. Last year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture and Director is a love letter to Hollywood’s Golden Age that restores a sense of magic and wonder to the movies.
Spike Lee’s most mainstream ‘joint’ brilliantly balances humour and gravitas in the telling of the bizarre-but-true tale of African-American undercover detective Ron Stallworth, who infiltrated a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan during the early 1970s.
- THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
A meditation on guilt, atonement and sacrifice, this disturbing and often blackly comic revenge tale from writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) will restore your faith in filmmaking as an art form.
- THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Writer-director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) delivers an unpredictable and morally complex pressure cooker drama that’s like waiting for a stick of dynamite to explode. Stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell duly received Oscars for their outstanding performances.
- CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
It would be easy to pigeonhole director Luca Guadagnino’s heady tale of summer love as this year’s Brokeback Mountain. However, its universal themes and the intense emotional bond that develops between the protagonists transcends queer cinema, resulting in a magnetic and remarkably affecting romantic drama.
- PADDINGTON 2
This truly delightful sequel takes a leaf out of the book marked “classic adventure movies” and delivers a genuinely sweet and funny experience for kids and adults alike, while never crossing the line into saccharine – or cynical.
- BLADE RUNNER 2049
Director Dennis Villeneuve brings an eerie and artistic quality to every frame of this measured, mesmerising, and visually magnificent sequel to the 1982 sci-fi masterpiece. An instant classic of the genre that will dazzle the eyes, engage the brain, and continue to reward on repeat viewings.
- THOR: RAGNAROK
A Kiwi-centric comedy disguised as a Thor movie, with a cast that’s in on the joke. One of the wildest and most entertaining films of this genre – the Marvel Cinematic Universe and director Taika Waititi are a match made in Valhalla!
Writer-director Ari Aster’s intense and disturbing debut feature puts the viewer through the emotional wringer by building supernatural horrors on the foundations of very real ones – grief, anguish, guilt and mental illness. It also features a tour de force performance from Toni Collette.
- THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
Blending the magic of the circus with musical theatre, this biopic on P.T. Barnum is ebullient, feel-good entertainment, with natural showman Hugh Jackman clearly in his element. A refreshingly modern take on the classic musical format.