Mr. Reed’s Metaphysical Neighborhood Presents the Best Technical and Artistic Film Work of 2018

On December 26, 2018, I published my list of best (and worst) films of the year, and then on January 14, 2019, I published my list of best actors. Now, here is my list of the (often) unsung artists and craftspeople who are essential to the filmmaking process: the writers, cinematographers, editors, production designers, visual-effects artists, and music composers. As with my other lists, the hyperlinked movie title will take you to my review, if one exists (or the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page, if one does not). In addition, I hyperlink the artists’ names to IMDb (if they have previous credits) or,  for the composers, to their own personal websites (or some  such thing), so you can see what other work they have produced over their careers. If they have no previous work credited, then I leave their names unlinked. For the composers list, I link to the movie’s actual soundtrack, as well, on a site where you can hear it.

In each category, I have chosen only five (however hard that may be – and it is hard), in alphabetical order. These are the films where I thought that the work in that particular area truly enhanced the quality of the movie. If a film is not on this list, I may still really like the work within it, but not as much as my top five. Enjoy!

Best Screenplay (adapted and original, combined):


Best Cinematography:


Best Editing:


Best Production Design:


Best Visual Effects:

[Too many people to mention all, so I have simply hyperlinked, next to the title, to the movie’s crew page on IMDb page, where you can look at the multitude of people involved in the many visual-effects teams]


Best Original Score:

[Again, here the movie titles are linked directly to the soundtrack, and here the artists’ names take you to their personal websites or the closest thing]

Mr. Reed’s Metaphysical Neighborhood Presents the Best (and Worst) Films of 2018

[For an explanation of my blog-post title, check out my “best of” list from 2013.]

Below, you will find lists of my favorite films of the year, divided by documentary (nonfiction) and narrative (fiction) formats. Not all the movies mentioned have received a significant release in 2018, though many of them did; the others may still be making the festival rounds, or may have only been released abroad, or only online (something evermore common, so almost not worth mentioning). Where I have previously written reviews of a movie (whether for Film Festival Today or Hammer to Nail), the title of that movie is hyperlinked to my original review. In the case of the one film among my Top 20 choices which I did not review, I include a brief capsule description of it, here (and link to its distributor’s website). Where, in the “honorable mentions” section, I have not reviewed a film, I have hyperlinked the title to the movie’s IMDb page. Continue reading

1/16/15: Midday on “Hollywood and the End of the Cold War”

[NOTE: If you missed the live show, you can still listen to its podcast.]

2015-01-16_Rodricks Collage

On Friday, January 16, Linda DeLibero – Director, Film and Media Studies, Johns Hopkins University – and I, Christopher Llewellyn Reed – Chair of Film/Video at Stevenson University – will appear on Midday with Dan Rodricks, on WYPR 88.1FM, Baltimore’s NPR News Station, during the second hour, 1-2pm, to discuss Hollywood and the End of the Cold War, a new book by Dr. Bryn Upton of McDaniel College, with the author. Here is a partial description of the text from the publisher: “In Hollywood and the End of the Cold War: Signs of Cinematic Change, Bryn Upton compares films from the late Cold War era with movies of similar themes from the post–Cold War era. In this volume, Upton pays particular attention to shifts in narrative that reflect changes in American culture, attitudes, and ideas. In exploring how the absence of the Cold War has changed the way we understand and interpret film, this volume seeks to answer several key questions such as: Has the end of the Cold War altered how we tell our stories? Has it changed how we perceive ourselves? In what ways has our popular culture been affected by the absence of this once dominant presence?”

It should be an interesting and far-ranging show! Perhaps you have your own favorites among Cold War-themed films that you would like to contribute to the conversation. If so, please join us by listening live on the radio and emailing comments at midday@wypr.org, or calling in at 410-662-8780 (locally), or toll-free at 1-866-661-9309. If you can’t listen locally, you can live-stream the podcast. If all else, fails, you can always download the podcast afterwards, either via iTunes or the Midday page.

Enjoy the show!