10 Best Movies You Didn’t See in 2018
The Kindergarten Teacher
(dir. Sara Colangelo)
Just the trailer for The Kindergarten Teacher put my heart in my throat. Adapted from an Israeli film of the same name, it follows a woman who believes she’s discovered a child prodigy. Somewhat akin to Madame Bovary, it paints an interesting portrait of a woman at odds with her life. It’s officially on my list of favorite movies. Best of all it’s available on Netflix.
2. Miseducation of Cameron Post
(dir. Desiree Akhavan)
This film about coming of age and conversion therapy won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize but didn’t get the release it deserved in the United States. The movie is a thoughtful examination of a slice of the evangelical Christian world. Poignant is a word that’s overused when it comes to young adult stories, but Miseducation is genuinely worthy of the praise. Chloe Grace Moretz has even gotten Oscar buzz for her portrayal of the title character.
3. American Animals
(dir. Bart Layton)
From the director of The Imposter is a movie that’s one part true-crime doc and two parts heist movie. American Animals is about young adulthood and the desire for a life with significance, following four college students who make a disastrous decision as a result of this aspiration.
(dir. Aaron Katz)
Starring Zoe Kravitz and set in LA, the film manages to make a statement about the unreliable nature of personal connections while serving up enticing visuals and a few hilarious exchanges. This neo-noir thriller that will sate any cravings stirred up by seeing A Simple Favor.
5. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
(dir. Marielle Heller)
Melissa McCarthy takes a turn playing a darker kind of funny in her portrayal of Lee Israel, a biographer who turns to selling stolen letters and forgeries after a disastrous book release causes her to fall on hard times. The film is an incredibly trenchant look at loneliness and self-sabotage as the main character pushes away the connections she desperately wishes would stay.
6. Finding Your Feet
(dir. Richard Loncraine)
When Sandra realizes that the rock she’s built her life on, her marriage of 35 years, has been compromised, she moves in with her free spirit older sister, Bif. Funny, insightful, and remarkably unique, it’s refreshing to see an unrepentant movie about older women that’s not about “aging.”
7. Happy as Lazzaro
(dir. Alice Rohrwacher)
Brilliant social commentary from Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher, Happy as Lazzaro’s magical realism capitalizes on the power of the medium to make a statement about economics, politics, and the everyday people who are affected by big power plays.
(dir. Sandi Tan)
Standing apart from the glut of Netflix repertoire, Shirkers is a documentary on the nature of dreams and the process of making art. This movie will especially resonate with anyone who's ever had an artistic ambition crushed.
9. Social Animals
(dir. Theresa Bennett)
Noël Wells makes her mark as a slightly desperate post-grad named Zoe, after a turn as the best friend in The Incredible Jessica James. Social Animals is a millennial coming-of-age film that that's perfectly snarky and astute.
10. You Were Never Really Here
(dir. Lynne Ramsay)
An adaptation of a novel by Bored to Death’s writer Jonathan Ames, Lynne Ramsay serves up a brutal and dark feature with her unique touch. This movie goes where thrillers don’t often think to go and has garnered Ramsay Best Director Oscar buzz for her challenging take on the action genre. Joaquin Phoenix has received Oscar buzz as well for his acting performance.