The best films of 2018

From American Animals to Roma.

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Loveless (15)  
dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev

As a couple separate, their son vanishes. Haunting study of despair and complacency in modern Russia.

Zama (15)  
dir: Lucrecia Martel

Bizarre Beckettian black comedy about an 18th-century magistrate stuck in a South American colony.

Leave No Trace (PG)  
dir: Debra Granik

An ex-soldier’s efforts to live off-
grid with his daughter are stymied
in this thoughtful drama.

Roma (15)
dir: Alfonso Cuarón

The woes of a young nanny in Mexico City during the turbulent 1970s. Breathtaking cinematography.

Apostasy (PG)  
dir: Daniel Kokotajlo

Directed by a former Jehovah’s Witness, Apostasy explores the horror of expulsion from that faith.

Western (12A)  
dir: Valeska Grisebach

Masculinity is at stake when tensions mount between German construction workers and
Bulgarian villagers.

The Rider (15)  
dir: Chloé Zhao

A rodeo rider and his family play versions of themselves in a drama with documentary foundations.

Private Life (15)   
dir: Tamara Jenkins

Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti are funny and touching as a couple pursuing every path to parenthood.

Cold War (15)  
dir: Paweł Pawlikowski

Amour fou in the Eastern Bloc. Joanna Kulig is bewitching as a troubled chanteuse.

American Animals (15)  
dir: Bart Layton

Fact blurs with fiction in this audacious thriller about a plot to steal priceless books.


Ryan Gilbey is the New Statesman's film critic. He is also the author of It Don't Worry Me (Faber), about 1970s US cinema, and a study of Groundhog Day in the "Modern Classics" series (BFI Publishing). He was named reviewer of the year in the 2007 Press Gazette awards and is Film Critic in Residence at Falmouth University.

This article appears in the 05 December 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special

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