2018 in Film

As the old year draws to a close, I reflect on the first New Year’s Resolution I have ever kept all the way from January to December. I did not resolve to lose weight or make a 4.0 in 2018, but I did have one activity I hoped would follow me throughout the year: watching the equivalent of one movie per day, 365 days of the year.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch a movie every day; deep down, I even knew I wouldn’t be able to make up for all of those days. 365 was an unrealistic goal, but I tried. And every movie I did watch, I wrote down. Today, I’m able to look back and see not how I achieved my impossible goal, but how it changed over the period of the year and became something I am nevertheless proud to have finished.

I made it to 205 films, 145 of which I had never before seen.

Some people can’t watch a movie and enjoy it just as much the second time. I can. But for a film studies student, watching films I have already seen isn’t nearly as constructive as watching films I haven’t seen. I’m a little surprised that only 60 of this year’s films were old to me, but for my own education, watching 145 new films should be higher.

Regardless, out of those 145, I was able to mark which ones really stuck out to me so I could better remember what I loved the first time I saw it. Without keeping track of how many I had already marked, I circled movies that were my favorites and boxed movies that I considered the best. Having these personal statistics was invaluable to me, because it’s hard to keep track of what I’ve loved and even harder to keep track of what I’ve seen.

The title “2018 in Film” is a little misleading, because not all of the films I watched (or even the films I marked) were released this year. Many were released in 2017, a few even before that. But the merit stands: I watched them in 2018, so for me that is the year to which they belong.

2019’s resolution won’t be as hard as trying to watch 365 films overall, but I’m hoping it doesn’t morph into another goal partway through. Next year—starting tomorrow—I’m going to try to watch 205 movies I’ve never before seen. Maybe that means watching more films overall, or maybe it means sitting down with something else instead of watching Doctor Strange for the third time in a row. Either way, at least I’m not trying to add 160 to the list.

I’ll still keep track of everything I watch, and I’ll still rewatch some old favorites. And goal achieved or not, by next December I’ll have another list to look back on and remember why I want to do this for the rest of my life.

2018 Stats

New: 145
In theaters: 60
Favorites: 15
Absolute best: 8

Favorites I Watched, chronological

Voyeur (2018)
The Florida Project (2017)
Magic Mike (2012)
On Body and Soul (2017)
Berlin Syndrome (2017)
A Quiet Place (2018)
Wind River (2017)
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Juliet, Naked (2018)
Beirut (2017)
American Animals (2018)
Walking Out (2017)
Beautiful Boy (2018)
What Still Remains (2018)

Best I Watched, chronological

Logan (2017)
Phantom Thread (2018)
You Were Never Really Here (2018)
Molly’s Game (2017)
Patrick Melrose (2018)
Wildlife (2018)
Boy Erased (2018)
Cam (2018)

Best, ranked

1. You Were Never Really Here
2. Patrick Melrose
3. Cam
4. Molly’s Game
5. Logan
6. Boy Erased
7. Phantom Thread
8. Wildlife