Moviefloss’ writer Eddie Lopez has scoured hundreds of movies released in 2018 to find, what we consider to be, the best movie shots of 2018. Please note that this list is alphabetized, not ranked, and may contain some spoilers. With that being said, we hope you enjoy this list and feel free to let us know if you agree or disagree with any of these shots!
A QUIET PLACE – Cinematography by Charlotte Bruus Christensen
John Krasinski directed a horror masterpiece in A Quiet Place, and with the help of Danish cinematographer, Charlotte Bruus Christensen, provided some great imagery. While this shot is not as flashy or colorful as some of the others on this list, I love the tenderness and intimacy that it brings to such a terrifying film. Part of what makes A Quiet Place such a great film is the fact that it transcends the horror genre. This shot perfectly encapsulates how much Lee (Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) love one another, while also highlighting the exhaustion and worry in their faces.
A STAR IS BORN – Cinematography by Matthew Libatique
For his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper gave us the fourth different iteration of A Star Is Born. In this particular shot, Jack (Cooper) and Ally (Lady Gaga) are performing live together for the first time. While the magnitude of this moment is huge, since it is when Ally becomes an overnight star, I love that this shot is able to erase the audience and put the spotlight on our two protagonists. This makes it feel as if the rest of the world wasn’t there, making the whole moment feel so much more personal.
ANNIHILATION – Cinematography by Rob Hardy
In 2014, Alex Garland announced himself as one of the best sci-fi directors with his directorial debut, Ex-Machina, and in 2018 he proved that he was here to stay with the freakishly beautiful film, Annihilation. In this shot, cinematographer Rob Hardy perfectly captures the apparent destruction of this new world simply known as “The Shimmer”. Aside from being an immensely interesting film, Annihilation is full of vibrant imagery that is sure to please anyone who sees it.
BLACK PANTHER – Cinematography by Rachel Morrison
Erik Killmonger’s story in Black Panther is one of the most tragic of any character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This notion is most apparent at the end of the film when T’Challa fulfills the promise that Erik’s father once made to Erik and shows him the beautiful Wakandan sunset. It’s a beautiful moment that quickly turns into a heartbreaking one when Erik chooses to die while watching the sunset instead of becoming a prisoner. It is a beautifully shot moment that continues to prove that Rachel Morrison is one of the very best cinematographers today.
BLINDSPOTTING – Cinematography by Robby Baumgartner
Gentrification. Racial profiling. Police brutality. These are some of the issues that lifelong friends, Collin and Miles (Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, respectively), face in Blindspotting. This particular shot comes from a nightmare sequence that reveals how affected Collin is by the fatal shooting he witnessed. In his nightmare, Collin finds himself back in front of a judge, only this time the judge is the cop he witnessed shoot and kill an African-American man. Collin’s volatile best friend, Miles, speaks on his behalf. Miles says all the wrong things and essentially gives Collin a death sentence while a jury composed of incarcerated African-American men watch on.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS – Cinematography by Vanja Cernjul
Crazy Rich Asians was a historic film for many reasons, one being that it was the first big Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club. In one single frame, cinematographer Vanja Cernjul perfectly captured the beauty and importance of accurately portraying other cultures outside of America. The color and design that is on display in this shot is one of the most beautiful moments in film this year.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK – Cinematography by James Laxton
How far would a mother go to save her family? That is the question that is being answered in this shot from If Beale Street Could Talk, taken by cinematographer James Laxton. In trying to prove her son-in-law’s innocence, Sharon (Regina King) travels to Puerto Rico to try and bring back the key witness in their case. This shot is taken from the moment she arrives, and makes her arrival look both glorious and empowering.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS – Cinematography by Dion Beebe
Director Rob Marshall returned for the first time since his 2014 film, Into the Woods, to direct the wonderful musical Mary Poppins Returns. While the film itself is filled with gorgeous sets made up of vibrant colors, I felt this shot from cinematographer Dion Beebe perfectly captured the sense of sheer joy and adventure that the film itself provides.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET – Cinematography by Nathan Detroit Warner & Brian Leach
Ralph Breaks the Internet is the rare sequel that can legitimately claim to be better than the original. The film is full of incredibly fun moments, and none was bigger than this one where Vanellope hangs out with all of the other Disney princesses. It is a genuinely iconic moment that will live on for many years to come.
ROMA – Cinematography by Alfonso Cuaron
Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white masterpiece is an emotional rollercoaster that culminates in this moment, where Yalitza Aparicio’s Cleo finally breaks down after all of the turmoil she endured. The beauty of this shot comes from more than just Cuaron’s cinematography. Its real beauty lies within the characters. Cleo, who has looked after this family as if it were her own, is for once the one being cared for. In this shot, Cuaron masterfully captures all of the love that these characters have for one another.