On My Watchlist: My 2018 in Film and TV

Best films of 2018 // Dutch Girl in London

For many, December is the month of reflection. For journalists and bloggers it’s a great month as we can write endless articles with our ‘Best of’ or ‘Top Picks’ for the year. I too am taking advantage of these ‘lazy list writing’ features today as I’m sharing my must-watch tips from all the films and series I’ve watched so far this year. As you scroll down, you can see the entire list and it’s quite something!

I haven’t listed the films in any specific order of preference, I just put them in alphabetical order. The list contains both old and new films and series that I either (re)watched in the cinema, at home, on the plane or train. Without any further ado, here’s my complete list of films and series watched in 2018, starting with my Top 10.

My Top 10 List of Films & series watched in 2018

1. 1922 (2017)

This dark film is based on a Stephen King novel and feels very much like a Shakespearean tragedy. It’s not a horror film, but it does hint towards the supernatural. Most of all, 1922 is tense and portrays how one wrong decision in life can ruin everything.

2. A Quiet Place (2018)

Most apocalyptic films about mankind battling evil entities that intend to overtake the world are accentuated with bombastic dubstep music, all adding to the suspense. Not A Quiet Place though, as you might have gathered from the title already. The silence in the film adds to the tension and creates an eerie atmosphere. One of the better sci-fi, apocalyptic films I’ve seen in recent years and definitely a must-see if you’re interested in the genre.

3. Arizona (2018)

This dark comedy thriller has the Coen brothers written all over it, although it has absolutely nothing to do with them. But just like the Coen brothers films, Arizona shows how a single wrong action can spiral out of control.

4. Blackkklansman (2018)

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is based on the incredible true story of an African American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, with the assistance of his Jewish surrogate. At times, the film gets really tense, but the amount of humour actually surprised me. I wish that the film could have showed us something about the ignorance of bigoted people in the past, but today’s politics and atmosphere all over Europe (and the world) prove that racism unfortunately is still very much prevalent. This is perfectly (and sadly) illustrated in the film’s powerful finale.

5. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Pretty much everybody I know and went to see this film, were completely overwhelmed by emotions by it. Having grown up with the music of Queen and being married to a big fan of theirs, I know most of their songs. But watching this biopic on a big screen made me realise how talented this band actually was. Unlike many other big bands or stars, they dared to constantly reinvent themselves. Not always with the same level of success, but at least they tried.

Especially the footage of their epic performance at Live Aid ’85 gave me goosebumps. I know I saw flashes of the festival on TV at the time, but considering I was only 6 years old then, it didn’t really mean so much to me back then. I’m glad I got to experience the full impact of this magnificent concert in the cinema. I found it remarkable (and admirable) that the director decided to include the full 20-minute concert, but to me this was the highlight (and most emotional scene) of Bohemian Rhapsody. The dark side of charismatic frontman Freddie Mercury has been omitted from the film, but I still found it gave some insight in his loneliness and personal struggles.

6. Brigsby Bear (2017)

In my opinion, Brigsby Bear has every potential to become a cult classic. The bear in the film title refers to the protagonist of a children’s programme that has exactly one viewer as its audience. This programme has been developed to entertain a boy, now grown into a young man, who’s been kept in a bunker all his life to protect him from the dangers of the outside world. When this particular young man discovers his whole life has pretty much been one big lie, he decides to make a film out of the only TV show he has ever seen.

7. Brimstone (2016)

I first saw Brimstone in 2017, but wanted to rewatch it with hubby this year again. I’m not often keen to rewatch 2.5hr-long films, but was very happy to make an exception for Brimstone. I’ve grown up with the idea that Dutch film productions are usually quite poor, but luckily much has changed over the years. Although set in America and with English as its main language, Brimstone is indeed made by a Dutch film director and (to my great delight) includes some Dutch dialogue. It was during the making of this film that Dutch actress Carice van Houten and Guy Pearce met and fell in love with each other. Their real-life romance doesn’t reflect their onscreen relationship at all though. Brimstone is harsh, dark and has a great sense of tragic fatalism to it.

8. Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest) (2016)

I chose this Spanish film totally at random one night perusing through the overwhelming selection on Netflix. I had never heard of this film, but was really drawn into it. I found it was like a modern film noir, one of my favourite film genres. I can often predict the clou of a film well before the end, so whenever I come across a film that manages to surprise me, it usually sticks. And this film with its many twists and turns definitely stuck with me. I’m even tempted to watch it again next year!

9. Norsemen SE01+SE02 (Netflix)

Think you know everything there is to know about the seafaring warriors from Scandinavia? Well you might be surprised to learn a new thing or two about the Vikings from watching this series! Norsemen is very clever and extremely funny. Yes, of course there’s a fair bit of raiding and raping, but it’s not explicit at all, unlike Game of Thrones which this series seems to be inspired at times (including its opening credits). So, looking for a new funny series to watch? Don’t mind a bit of nudity and violence? Then I’d definitely go for Norsemen! Season 3 has been confirmed so there’s more fun to look forward to. And as a final tip: some of the actors also appear in the other (but not as funny) series Lilyhammer (featuring Steven van Zandt, member of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band).

10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018)

The last film of my Top 10 list is yet another film that has a Coen brothers quality to it. The fact that the fantastic Frances McDormand stars in it must have something to do with that. She is as brilliant as ever, as are her co-stars Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson. Although the premise of Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri is rather grim – McDormand urges the local police force to find the person who raped and murdered her teenage daughter seven months ago – it’s surprisingly affectionate and even contains plenty of humor. Perhaps not a family-friendly Christmas movie, but definitely one to watch!

Documentaries

Anton Corbijn Inside Out (2012)
Generation Wealth (2018)
Harry Potter: A History of Magic (2017)
McQueen (2018)
Three Identical Strangers (2018)

Series

Alias Grace (Netflix)
B**** in Apartment 23, The SE01+02 (Netflix)
Benvinguts a la família (Welcome to the Family) SE01+SE02 (Netflix)
Better Call Saul SE04 (Netflix)
Black Mirror SE04
Dark (Netflix)
Dark Tourist SE01 (Netflix)
Evil Genius (Netflix)
Girlboss SE01 (Netflix)
Glitch SE01+SE02 (Netflix)
GLOW SE02 (Netflix)
Good Girls SE01+SE02
Good Place, The SE01+SE02 (Netflix)
Great News SE01+SE02 (Netflix)
Happy SE01 (Netflix)
Harlan Coben’s Safe (Netflix)
House of Cards SE06 (Netflix)
IT Crowd, The SE01-05 (Netflix)
Kath & Kim SE01-04 (Netflix)
Lilyhammer SE01-SE03 (Netflix)
Lost in Space SE01 (Netflix)
Maron SE01-SE03 (Netflix)
Miniaturist, The (BBC mini series)
Mist, The SE01 (Netflix)
Ozark SE02 (Netflix)
Philip K Dicks’s Electric Dreams SE01
Rain, The SE01 (Netflix)
Red Oaks SE01+SE02 (Amazon)
Santa Clarita Diet SE02 (Netflix)
Sinner, The SE02 (Netflix)

The complete film list

24 Hours to Live (2017)
7 Days in Entebbe (2018)
About Schmidt (2002)
Abyss, The (1989)
Accident Man (2018)
All I See Is You (2016)
All the Money in the World (2017)
American Assassin (2017)
Annihilation (2018)
Anon (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Apostle (2018)
Aus Dem Nichts (In the Fade) (2017)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Bad Moms (2016)
Bad Moms Christmas, A (2017)
Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The (2018)
Best in Show (2000)
Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
Birthmarked (2018)
Brain on Fire (2016)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Brand New Bible, The (2018)
Breathe (2017)
Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)
Broken City (2013)
Bus 657 (Heist) (2015)
Calibre (2018)
Cell, The (2000)
Clock, The (2010)
Cloverfield Paradox, The (2018)
Coco (2017)
Commuter, The (2018)
Crooked House (2017)
Da Kath & Kim Code (2005)
Darkest Hour (2017)
Deadpool 2 (2018)
Death of Stalin, The (2017)
Death Wish (2018)
Den of Thieves (2018)
Distorted (2018)
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)
Do-Over, The (2016)
Downsizing (2018)
Dumplin’ (2018)
Early Man (2018)
El Autor (The Motive) (2017)
El Hombre de las Mil Caras (The Man with Thousand Faces) (2016)
Equalizer 2, The (2018)
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An (2018)
Extinction (2018)
Far and away (1992)
Father Figures (2017)
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2017)
Finding Fatimah (2017)
Finding Your Feet (2017)
First Man (2018)
First Snow (2006)
Flashdance (1983)
Flight of the Conchords Live in London (2018)
Foreigner, The (2017)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Frailty (2001)
Futile and Stupid Gesture, A (2018)
Game Night (2018)
Geostorm (2017)
Ghost (1990)
Ghost Stories (2017)
Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, The (Swedish version) (2009)
Girl Who Played with Fire, The (Swedish version) (2009)
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The (Swedish version) (2009)
Glass Castle, The (2017)
Good Neighbor, The (2016)
Greatest Showman, The (2017)
Gringo (2018)
Happytime Murders, The (2018)
Hereditary (2018)
Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2018)
How It Ends (2018)
How to Be Single (2018)
Humanity Bureau, The (2017)
Humor Me (2017)
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
I, Tonya (2017)
In Darkness (2018)
In Search of Fellini (2017)
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Incredibles, The (2004)
Intervention, The (2016)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Je ne suis pas un homme facile (I Am Not an Easy Man) (2017)
Juliet, Naked (2018)
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (10 June)
Just Getting Started (8 June)
King of Thieves (2018)
Kodachrome (2017)
L’Ascension (2017)
Lady Bird (2017)
Last Flag Flying (2017)
Le Jeu (Nothing to Hide) (2018)
Leave no Trace (2018)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Lost in London (2017)
Madame (2017)
Man on a Ledge (2012)
Man Who Invented Christmas, The (2017)
Manual, The (2017)
Mascots (2016)
Meg, The (2018)
Mile 22 (2018)
Misery (1990)
Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
Molly’s Game (11 Jan)
Mom and Dad (2017)
Night School (2018)
Nightcrawler (2014)
Ocean’s 8 (2018)
One I Love, The (2014)
Only the Brave (2017)
Our Brand is Crisis (2015)
Overboard (2018)
Party, The (2017)
Permanent (2017)
Polka King, The (2017)
Predator, The (2018)
Pride (2014)
Rampage (2018)
Rebirth (2016)
Roads (2019)
Safe House (2012)
Searching (2018)
Self/less (2015)
Set It Up (2018)
Shape of Water, The (2017)
Shimmer Lake (2017)
Sicario (2015)
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
Sideways (2004)
Simple Favour, A (2018)
Skyscraper (2018)
Smallfoot (2018)
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
Spinning Man (2018)
Spy Who Dumped Me, The (2018)
Square, The (2017)
Star is Born, A (2018)
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
SuperBob (2015)
Swinging Safari (2018)
T2 Trainspotting (2017)
Tag (2018)
Tallulah (2016)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Ticket, The (2016)
To the Bone (2017)
Toast (2010)
Tomb Raider (2018)
Toni Erdman (2016)
Un 32 août sur terre (1998)
Under the Tree (2017)
Unknown (2011)
Wakefield (2016)
Week Of, The (2018)
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
Widows (2018)
Wonder (9 Jan)
Worlds Apart (2015)
Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph Breaks VR 2 (2018)
You Were Never Really Here (2017)

2 thoughts on “On My Watchlist: My 2018 in Film and TV

  1. Pingback: Reflections #4: Inside David Lynch’s House, Kinetic Art and Film Tips – Dutch Girl in London

  2. Esther van den Bergh

    Oh my God, so many films you have seen this year! I wondered where you would find the time to see all these but then again, you travel a lot and then there is enough time to see a movie or maybe even more than one.
    I think I will go for “A Quiet Place”, I am a SF/Fantasyfan after all. Norsemen seems something I might like but I do not have Netflix. Three Billboards… and Brimstone are already on my list. Again thanks! xx

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