UPDATED 2018 Catch-Up: One Sentence Reviews and Star Ratings of Every 2018 Release I've Reviewed This Year


The title is straight-forward so there is your article description. I am not ranking these movies but will order them by their release date.

Insidious: The Last Key **½: It is awesome seeing 74 year old Lin Shaye as the kick-ass lead, but the story suffers from feeling a little well-worn.

Open House ½*: If misplacing your cereal bowl is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you then this is the horror you've been waiting to see.

Paddington 2 ***½: A joyful, kind-hearted and energetic family movie about acceptance and friendship that has one of the most adorable and likable leads in years.

The Commuter **½: A ridiculous but fun thriller that wears out its welcome by hitting some absurd but predictable beats in the finale.

The Polka King **: Jack Black and Jenny Slate craft unique performance in a very generic and dull biopic masquerading as a comedy.

12 Strong ***: A well-made standard brothers in arms picture elevated by well-choreographed action sequences and a commanding lead performance by Chris Hemsworth.

Step Sisters **½: Great dance sequences with some charming moments stuffed into a formulaic comedy about relationships.

Blockbuster **: Much like myself in high school, movie mistakes "complete idiots" for "charming."

Maze Runner: The Death Cure **½: No mazes were run through during this movie.

Den of Thieves **½: The Heat but way more Gerard Butler and far less people using showers.

A Futile and Stupid Gesture **: Good job movie, you made Will Forte unlikable.

On Body and Soul ***: A sweet and touching romance about broken people who connect through their dreams.

Seeing Allred **½: Gloria Allred is a fascinating figure, but the documentary suffers from a lack of focus, but the subject is enough to keep it interesting.

Winchester *½: Helen Mirren is in a horror movie as an eccentric woman in a creepy house then does nothing interesting and is given a role any older actress could play.

The Cloverfield Paradox *: The insane plot twists like the magically appearing women in the wall and the sentient hand are not enough to overcome the horribly predictable and generic sci-fi thriller.

The 15:17 to Paris *: The guys who stopped the terrorist attack on the train to Paris are definite heroes but they also are definitely not actors.

When We First Met **: This movie bravely ignores the rule that your leads in a romantic comedy should be the least bit likable. 

Irreplaceable You *: It is Love Story except the entire story is designed to make you hate the lead who has terminal cancer rather than feeling sympathy for a witty and kind woman with terminal cancer.

Love Per Square Foot **½: The movie is colourful and full of energy but is undone by a meandering plot and eye-rolling plot turns. 

Black Panther ***½: Ryan Coogler proves to be one of the most exciting directors around and does a big movie event that has one of the best Marvel villains, has incredible emotional moments, thrilling big action sequences, and war rhinos!

Early Man ***: The most cheerful and delightful cavemen playing soccer movie ever.

The Ritual **: This is the movie for the person who always wished The Blair Witch Project had mid-life crisis men as the lead characters and a duller story.

Annihilation ***: Alex Garland proves again that he is a master of thoughtful and chilling sci-fi that questions things like what makes us human and our role in nature and this time we also get a captivating performance from Natalie Portman; I need to re-watch this as I think it will get an uptick in the star rating.

Game Night ***½: It is wondrous to see Rachel McAdams back in a comedy and she has a terrific chemistry with Jason Bateman in a really fun, action comedy that earns its heart and has several memorable gags, plus a stand-out supporting roles from Jesse Plemons.

Mute *½: The terrific Duncan Jones has unfortunately delivered his second straight great looking jumbled mess.

Fullmetal Alchemist **: This movie was made for someone who was not me.

Forgotten **½: A decent, atmospheric, moody thriller that unravels with a way too convoluted twist ending.

Steel Rain ***: An old school race against time to stop the nuclear threat movie that would have been considered a big event movie in the 1970s and 1980s, another proof that Korea has some fine filmmakers.

Red Sparrow ***½: Jennifer Lawrence nails it in her most challenging and gruelling performance as a former ballet star turned Russian spy in a movie that is tough to watch and very dark, but delivers adult storytelling that is rare in modern mainstream movies.

A Wrinkle in Time ***: Ava DuVernay proves she is capable of doing imaginative, big budget spectacle with this sweet, ambitious, creative movie that may be disjointed and messy at times but is always sincere and audacious.

Gringo **: The biggest noteworthy thing about this movie is Sharlto Copley's performances is almost something you'd call normal and fine.

The Strangers: Prey at Night *: Has everything you remember from a 1980s slasher with an 80s soundtrack, awful dialogue, stupid characters and bloody kills, but doing a decent purposeful recreation of bad movies doesn't make the movie any better.

The Outsider *½: The movie thinks it is about a Yakuza turf war but is actually about how Jared Leto rises in power because he is white.

Tomb Raider **: Alicia Vikander sure is great at running and hanging over CGI pits.

Love, Simon ***½: A coming of age and coming out high school comedy that would make John Hughes proud.

Game Over, Man! *: I can't believe there was a time that I wanted to see Adam DeVine in movies.

Benji **½: The dog is adorable, and who doesn't love dogs?

Roxanne, Roxanne ***: A well-made biopic about an interesting rap pioneer that has a great lead performance and some great musical sequences.

Pacific Rim Uprising **: The good news is the sequel trades for John Boyega as the new lead but unfortunately, we lose director Guillermo del Toro for filmmaking that is far more pedestrian big budget action.

Take Your Pills **: Another documentary with interesting subject matter but suffers from a lack of focus and never really sticking to a decipherable message.

Ready Player One ***½: It is a gorgeous and action-packed homage to 1980s pop culture and proof that Steven Spielberg still has the magic to make enthralling big movie events.

Happy Anniversary **: A fluffy, forgettable sitcom pilot stretched out to be a feature.

First Match ***½: A heartbreaking character-driven story about a teen using wrestling to earn the affection of her estranged father that is a break-out movie for the lead and filmmaker.

The Titan *: A reminder why I never get excited about a Sam Worthington starring movie.

A Quite Place ****: A great horror movie has always been about way more than the scares or the monster, but rather about the bond of family, how we move past grief, and provide window into some of the fears of modern society, and this movie is even so much more than all of those things.

Blockers ***½: A progressive movie because it simply allows female teenager to go on a virginity ending journey like the boys have done in sex comedies for 40 years, but also some great comedic performance from Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz, but also must mention a star in the making performance by Geraldine Viswanathan.

6 Balloons **½: There has been a lot of great dramas about drug addiction, and while Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson are fantastic as siblings, the movie sticks a little too strong with formula and never fully fleshes out motivations.

The 4th Company **½: Another movie that has great atmosphere and interesting ideas, but has a tendency of reminding one of much better movies.

Orbiter 9 **: Watch Moon instead.

Amateur **: The drama about a 14 year basketball prodigy has a fascinating first hour, but then message starts to clunk and the final 30 minutes is a slap in the face for daring to invest time in this movie.

Truth or Dare *: As much as we are in a mainstream horror renaissance, there is always going to be lazy and unscary apparent horrors trying to appeal to the teenage crowd.

Come Sunday **½: Chiwetel Ejiofor is fantastic as a preacher who starts questioning parts of his faith, but unfortunately, the script isn't quite up to his level.

I Feel Party **½: Amy Schumer is hilarious and charming and elevates a movie that has a sledgehammer message and very messy plotting.

Kodachrome **½: Fantastic performances from Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, and Ed Harris help out what is a very predictable and formulaic estranged family members go on a road trip picture.

Avengers: Infinity War ***½: The Russo brothers pulled off the big grand epic adventure we were salivating to see and created one of the most intriguing villains in the Marvel universe in Thanos.

The Week Of *½: Rich, successful Adam Sandler does his take on a working class dad trying to figure out ways to afford his daughter's upcoming wedding while Chris Rock acts like he'd rather be in any other movie including Pootie Tang.

Candy Jar **: The movie about two high school rivals needing to team up for a debate competition is a peppy and energetic reminder of much better past high school movies.

The Rachel Divide **½: A well-crafted documentary with some powerful emotional moments from supporting players, but the subject proves to lack complexity or self-awareness making for a disjointed movie.

Sometimes **½: At its best, it feels like the waiting room version of 12 Angry Men, but it misses the mark by having too many characters that are not developed and lack motivation, plus a really overt and hamfisted ending.

Forgive Us Our Debts ***: A well-paced and terrifically acted drama that makes the life of a debt collector into an intriguing character study.

Life of the Party **½: Melissa McCarthy is hilarious and heartfelt and proves once again she is one of the most talented comedians in movies, and even though the film avoids some typical clich├ęs, it lacks focus and suffers from several undercooked subplots.

Anon ***: Director Andrew Niccol proves his skills at smart and slow-building sci-fi aimed at adults with the noirish and layered thriller-mystery that also delivers on top notch leading performances by Clive Owens and Amanda Seyfried.

Manhunt **: The action sequences are top notch John Woo but the story lacks focus and the characters lack any interesting motivations.

The Kissing Booth *½: It makes me question why I was excited about Joey King and wonder why I like high school set movies.

Catching Feelings **½: A very funny and witty film that suffers from inauthentic characters that do frustrating things to drive a rather routine plot.

Deadpool 2 ***½: Delivered on the irreverence, bloody action, and fourth wall-breaking humour that made the original stand out but justified the sequel with a meatier plot, exciting new characters (Domino!) and ample amount of sincerity,

Book Club **½: It is great spending time with talented icons like Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen, but unfortunately, they are stuck in a very sitcomy plot, though at least it does respect older women.

Cargo ***: A chilling and dramatic take on the zombie genre that delves into the various human responses to apocalypse that is anchored by a great Martin Freeman performance.

Solo: A Star Wars Story ***: It is not up to the standard and complexity of the previous Disney Star Wars, but it still works as a breezy and fun space adventure along with a stellar Donald Glover take on Lando.

Adrift **½: Shailene Woodley is incredible as she transforms into a women fighting for survival on her damage boat, but the flashbacks drag the movie down and leave some dangling plot points.

Ibiza **: Gillian Jacobs and Vanessa Bayer are great but unfortunately, the meandering and formulaic story is not.

Sara's Notebook ***: A gorgeously shot adult dramatic thriller about a woman going deep into the Congo to find her sister that offers some tense moments along with some thought-provoking drama.

Alex Strangelove **: An important story about a teen trying to figure out his sexual identity that is hampered by clunky broad comedy and too many undercooked subplots.

Ali's Wedding **: The leads are charming enough that you want them together at the end, which is key to a romantic comedy, but the story of a Muslim would-be couple isn't charming enough to make up for the generic sitcomy gags and plot points.

Ocean's Eight **½: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and the rest of the cast are really fun, but it suffers by not being as creative or interesting as past heist movies.

Hereditary ****: A slow-building but incredibly chilling supernatural thriller that has audible "gasp" worthy twists and an award worthy performance from the amazing Toni Collette.

Hotel Artemis **½: An incredibly stacked cast in a fun idea about an exclusive members-only hospital for criminals, except the world reminds one of John Wick but doesn't have the energy or innovation to match that comparison, plus there are several storylines and characters that are inexplicably dropped or left undercooked.

Set It Up ***: A charming romantic comedy that feels like comfort food that you've been craving for a decade that is elevated by the spirited and delightful lead performances by Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell.

Maktub ***: A fun comedy about two toughs that are now trying to do good in the world by answering prayers, but the comedy comes from their awkwardness and habit of reverting to their old life

Lust Stories ***: An Indian anthology drama that is powerful in how it depicts women and their sexuality in a country that rarely explores such things.

Sunday's Illness ***½: A family drama about a daughter spending ten days with the mother that abandoned her 40 years ago that is at times haunting and other times uplifting but always riveting/

Incredibles 2 ***½: A heroic follow-up to a classic that has some of the best action sequences in any big budget movie and some memorable moments including Jack-Jack's hilarious showdown with a raccoon.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom **: The dinosaurs look amazing and there are some well-directed moments, but the characters are silly, the plot is muddled, and the movie feels like a soulless commercial product.

Revised: May 7 after originally posted May 1

Revised the Revision on June 11

Revised a third time on June 20

Revised once again on June 27

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