Looking back on the year in cinema, film critic and Pop Life host Richard Crouse reveals his five favourite movies that came out in 2018. In alphabetical order, they are:

A Star is Born

Crouse says this year's remake of the 1937 film "A Star is Born" simply has no business being as good as it is, considering it's helmed by first-time director Bradley Cooper and its leading actor Lady Gaga appears in her first big-screen starring role. Not to mention, it's actually been made for the silver screen three times already.

"It has no reason to be as effective as it is, and yet... for my money, it hits all the right notes."

A Quiet Place

The silence in this post-apocalyptic horror film directed by "The Office" star John Krasinski, forces the audience to pay attention, Crouse says. Blockbuster directors such as Michael Bay often use bombastic sound effects to focus viewers' minds on the pictures on screen.

In "A Quiet Place," Crouse says Krasinski, "does just the opposite. The absence of sound makes you focus on what's hapening in front of you. It draws you in."


Even though it's a period piece set in the '70s, Crouse says director Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman" is a really timely story.

In its portrayal of an African American infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan, Crouse says, "It really reminds us, that there is, still, so many problems with race in the world... you realize that we haven't made quite as much progress as we might like to believe that we have."

Black Panther

Crouse says "Black Panther" was a giant hit movie that "lived right at the centre of popular culture" when it hit theatres. After all, it has all the action that audiences have come to expect of blockbuster Marvel movies. But it also delves into areas those movies typically avoid.

"It does a really great job of showcasing the diversity of its actors, of giving the female characters strong, interesting roles, there is social commentary that is woven into this story," Crouse says.

When it came out earlier this year, in the midst of the MeToo movement, Crouse says "this movie stepped up and proved that it could all happen."

Eighth Grade

Crouse loves this small movie that flew under the radar in 2018, even though he didn't expect to.

"When I first heard of this movie, I didn't really care about it," Crouse says, recalling his doubt he could relate with the story of a teenage girl going from Grade 8 to 9.

But Crouse says that opinion changed when he saw it.

"The universality of it is what makes this movie so great," Crouse says, explaining that “Eighth Grade" captures the troubles and trauma that will be familiar to anyone who has ever had to transition to a new job or new town, for instance.

"That's what this movie, with a great deal of humour and some great performances, really manages to nail."