We are now halfway through 2018, and it's been a pretty good year at the movies. If there were no more releases scheduled for the rest of the year, we would still be able to put together a pretty respectable top ten list. That's what I've done here. I'm doubtful many will be remembered at the end of the year for Oscar season (except maybe "Black Panther") but they'll certainly be on my mind. 

Honorable Mention:
"Deadpool 2"
is the best of the summer superhero sequels - improving on the original and bringing something new to the table.

10. "Revenge" 
A blood-soaked rallying cry for the "Me Too" movement - turning the male revenge fantasy on its head. It's a genre exercise well executed.

 9. "Hereditary" 
Another elevated genre picture - a deeply disturbing and intense horror movie with A lead performance from Toni Collette worthy of an Oscar nomination

8. "Isle of Dogs"
A charming, funny and thoughtful animated movie I need to see again to get my arms firmly around what writer and director Wes Anderson is up to. I can see this growing on me.

7. "Annihilation"
Speaking of repeat viewings, "Annihilation" pretty much demands them with a twisty sci-fi allegory about human nature, and its relation to the environment and a monster to inspire nightmares

6. "A Quiet Place"
Although it's a pretty straightforward monster movie plot-wise, "A Quiet Place" at number six is elevated by a brilliant concept and outstanding performances. 

5. "Hearts Beat Loud"
A delightful indie comedy about a father and daughter and the power of music to bring people together. Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons are both wonderful.

4. "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
Even more heart-warming, "Wont You Be My Neighbor" - the documentary about Mr. Rogers - is a fantastic portrait of a legacy of love and kindness that could not have arrived at a better time.

 3. "Thoroughbreds"
A pitch-dark comedy thriller and a savage satire of white millennial privilege that came out of nowhere, anchored by two dynamite performances. It's a deliciously bitter little bonbon.

2. "Black Panther"
What else is there to say about "Black Panther?" It's landmark stuff, among the best superhero movies of the last twenty years or more, endlessly enjoyable with important implications about identity and representation.
But my favorite movie of the year so far is a different kind of hero story.

1. "You Were Never Really Here"
Featuring a sensational Joaquin Phoenix as a traumatized Marine vet turned hired gun who rescues girls from sex trafficking, this is a movie that plays like a cold fever dream a monster is having. It's sublime storytelling and filmmaking - gripping and surprising until the final frames.