Salty Popcorn Top 20 Movies of 2018

WOW – I cannot believe another year has passed already. So many movies, so little time and so many movies I did not get to see this year. But the competition was strong. A lot of talent coming out blending in with superhero movies and blockbusters so it was impressive to see the indie/ arthouse content at an equal level of competition. And it was about three weeks too close that an Australian movie nearly came in at #1.

Worst Movies of the Year will come out in a separate list, I was going to add them as a special mention but just went through all the reviews for the year and there is so many bad ones hahaha.

Congratulations to our winners and grinners and here is to another fantastic year of cinema/ streaming coming in the new year.

From all of us at Salty Popcorn a HUGE Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – stay safe, stay on the good list and stay out of fights with relatives while staying completely sloshed.

Just to clarify, my list contains movies that I have viewed in 2018, even if they do not release until early 2019.

Click on film titles below to be taken to the review of said film. 

20) I, TONYA – 4 Pops

I would have liked to have had this in the 2017 list but didn’t actually see it until halfway through January last year. Margot Robbie was awesome but Allison Janney was a revelation.

I, Tonya Movie Poster image
I, Tonya Movie Poster image

19) CLIMAX – 4 Pops

This nearly didn’t make the list – but Gaspar Noe’s insanity is too hard to pass up. Besides, it has the best dance sequence I have seen on film of all time. It needed including in the end.

Climax Movie Poster image
Climax Movie Poster image


Pure magic – this is the musical of the year and comes oh so close to being as good as the original. You have to take the entire family to this one.

Mary Poppins Returns Movie Poster image
Mary Poppins Returns Movie Poster image

17) UPGRADE – 4 Pops

Indie science fiction of the year that is this generation’s Robocop. Some epic violence.

UPGRADE Movie Poster image
UPGRADE Movie Poster image

16) BEAST – 4 Pops

This was the one I had never heard about that came out of nowhere and blew my mind. Such a beautiful take on Beauty and Beast.

BEAST movie poster image


All hail Evan Peters – I love this guy as much as I loved this movie that should have been called AMERICAN IDIOTS.

American Animals Movie Poster image
American Animals Movie Poster image


One of the best black comedies of the year – the phone calls in this movie win it a place in the list alone and stoked to see a new generation of a mini-Denzel owning the screen.

BLACKKKLANSMAN Australian Movie Poster image
BLACKKKLANSMAN Movie Poster image

13) THE FAVOURITE – 4.5 Pops

The blackest, darkest, wickedest movie of the year – so many laughs and so beautifully shot.

The Favourite Movie Poster image
The Favourite Movie Poster image

12) ANNIHILATION – 4.5 Pops

Alex Garland’s follow up to EX MACHINA is a genius science fiction starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac. Had to watch this one twice before I could review it.

Annihilation Movie Poster image
Annihilation Movie Poster image

11) A QUIET PLACE – 4.5 Pops

So clever and so bloody good. This movie went so well and a sequel is already on its way. Blunt is genius.

A Quiet Place Movie Poster image


If he keeps trying to kill himself in movies eventually it will happen. But you know what else will happen, eventually he will make one so bloody good it will make my Top 20 List – epic work Mr Cruise.

Mission: Impossible Fallout Movie Poster image
Mission: Impossible Fallout Movie Poster image


Another movie that would have been in my Top 20 Movies of 2017 if I was able to see it earlier. It would have been a lot higher on last year’s list.

Phantom Thread Movie Poster image
Phantom Thread Movie Poster image

8) FIRST MAN – 5 Pops

Absolutely brilliant in the telling and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Gosling holding a statue early in 2019.

First Man Movie Poster image
First Man Movie Poster

7) LOVE, SIMON – 5 Pops

The love story of the year that owns a little piece of my heart. This was a phenomenon when it released – I really need to see it again.

Love, Simon Movie Poster image


The penultimate Marvel Movie that half the world worships and the other half died for. Bring on the finale!!

Avengers Infinity War Movie Poster image
Avengers Infinity War Movie Poster image

5) HEREDITARY – 5 Pops

Scariest movie of the year – this film terrified me. Toni Collette and Alex Wolff were so bloody good in this movie as was the little creepy kid. The last 30mins is a total mind fuck.

Hereditary Movie Poster image
Hereditary Movie Poster

4) ISLE OF DOGS – 5 Pops

A Top 20 list would not be complete without Wes Anderson – if only Spidey wasn’t so good this would have been the #1 animation of the year but #4 movie of the year is still an epic effort. Brilliant movie!!

Isle of Dogs Movie Poster image
Isle of Dogs Movie Poster


Mind blown – never thought anything would beat Tom Holland in the tights but Into The Spider-Verse did. This makes me very happy – it is so freaking amazing!!

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Movie Poster image
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Movie Poster image

2) BREATH – 5 Pops

Before I saw ROMA BREATH was my #1 movie for most of 2018 – it is cinematic poetry and quintessentially Australian. It may have resonated with me a lot stronger as I grew up on the Coast, while I didn’t surf this lifestyle was my own. And I so want that poster framed and on my wall!

Breath Movie Poster image
Breath Movie Poster

1) ROMA – 5 Pops

Cinematic perfection – the single best movie of the last decade. So much beauty and heart in this personal movie from Alfonso Cuarón. If you can see it at the cinema do so otherwise it is on Netflix but it will lose a lot of its brilliance on the smaller screen. If it doesn’t win Best Picture at The Oscars then The Academy has lost its mine. It is a movie I have thought about regularly since seeing.

ROMA Movie Poster image
ROMA Movie Poster image


Jason King owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.