Eric’s 2018 Midyear Movie Report Card

Another Labor Day come and gone means that we’re halfway through the 2018 movie season, and therefore due for a report card.

Just skip past this to the report card if you’re a normal person, or read on if you’re thinking “But wait! July 1st is halfway through the year you Gregorian illiterate!”

Yes, but studio release schedules don’t really work that way.

January and February are “dead zones” of sorts, used by studios to re-release Oscar films to the wider public, along with the movies they have little to no faith in succeeding (usually).

The studios are effectively operating on a 10-month year, focusing on summer tent poles March through August and awards contenders September through December. Thus, we’re halfway through the effective year, and now you have an overly long explanation as to why this is happening.

Report Card

Regular readers know that I focus more on the value of the film than its objective quality; who should see it, and should you be paying to watch it in theaters? The report card allows for deeper comparison. Films are not ranked within their grade, only between them.

Reviews are linked in gold with the rest coming soon!

Grade A+

These are my favorites of the year (so far). They challenged me intellectually and emotionally. They were shockingly creative in their use of theme, setting, and/or visuals. You should do anything to see them up to and including buying them.

Eighth Grade

Sorry to Bother You


Black Panther


Grade A

I really liked these. Some subverted expectations, using tropes to great effect. Others they were deeply sincere in their presentation, forcing you to contend with their earnestness. You should absolutely see these, including catching them in theaters if they’re still there, or renting them on iTunes/Amazon/etc.

A Quiet Place


American Animals

Won’t You Be My Neighbor


Avengers: Infinity War

Grade B

I had a good time with these. They’re not perfect, but some were unique or noteworthy, and all of them were fun in different ways. They’re worth renting from iTunes, but you’re not wrong to wait for Redbox or streaming.

Christopher Robin

Deadpool 2

Game Night

Isle of Dogs

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ocean’s 8


Teen Titans! Go

Hotel Artemis

Crazy Rich Asians

Grade C

These could have been better, but were generally fine. Some of these performed below expectations, while others were exactly what they meant to be. They certainly aren’t duds though, and each one has something for somebody. You could Redbox these. Better yet, just wait for streaming.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Incredibles 2

Mission Impossible: Fallout

A Wrinkle in Time



Three Identical Strangers

Ready Player One

Grade D/F

They weren’t necessarily truly terrible, but I can’t recommend them in good faith. This could be due to failure of concept or execution, laziness in the story, or an inattentiveness to theme. Or it could just be that it was “meh.” Do not spend money on these or waste your time streaming, unless you’re really into them.

Tomb Raider

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Happytime Murders

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Originally from the bear-infested schools of Wyoming, but now lives in Chicago. More importantly, he achieved minor Twitter fame once and hasn’t stopped bringing it up since. He has a healthy obsession with Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Bulbasaur. Please validate him by following him on Twitter, @ericsmorals

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