Best Films of 2018

2018 has been a wild year for film, from wildly entertaining sequels (see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and Paddington 2) to Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest in dry, yet tragic, humor to a horror film featuring tongue clicking, a nut allergy, and dead pigeons. It has been year for powerful women, both in front of and behind the camera, from the women of Annihilation to Crystal Moselle and her look into the world of women skateboarders. It has been a year to interrogate representations of masculinity, from Joe in You Were Never Really Here to Reverend Toller in First Reformed. It has been a year of terror, love, laughter, and exhaustion, both literally and cinematically. The films of 2018 truly captured the strange and turbulent atmosphere that has thrown us all into a state of near-constant anxiety.

The Much Ado team has relished in this anxiety, seeing many of 2018’s best, and worst films with the help of film festivals such as Cannes, NYFF, and BFI, MoviePass (RIP), and AMC Stubs A-List. After much deliberation, Letterboxd rankings, and last-minute trips to the cinema, we present Much Ado’s top 25 films of the year.

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Podcast #2: Holiday Films, Specials and Emotions

Second episode of the podcast is here!

On our Patreon page we set a goal of $75 to start working on our podcast and last month we hit that goal, thanks to your help! Every time we gain a new Patron, we come one step closer to saving enough money to pay to our writers. You can help us with as little as $1.

In our second episode podcast host Charlie Dykstal talks with our editor-in-chief Dilara Elbir, editors Mary Beth McAndrews, Cassidy Olsen and staff writer Sydney Bembry about holiday films and specials. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.

Happy holidays everyone!


Now Accepting Guest Pieces

Much Ado About Cinema is currently accepting pitches from guest writers. If you’d like to write for us, now is your chance.

Before you email your pitch to Much Ado’s editors, make sure you read and confirm that it adheres to the following guidelines.

  1. Introduce yourself! You do not have to share any personal information that you’re uncomfortable with, but please tell us your name, age, preferred pronouns, and country/area you’re writing from. What writing experience do you have? Are you a student or a professional? Keep in mind that we don’t publish anyone under the age of 18. We publish writers from all around the world and don’t have any restrictions regarding where you reside.
  2. Tell us your pitch. In one to two paragraphs, please explain what it is you want to write and what your angle is. This should not be as simple as a single subject, e.g. “I want to write about Lady Bird.” Be as specific as you can in terms of scope, length, and themes/ideas explored and we’ll be more likely to vibe with your pitch. Your final article/essay can be anywhere from 500 to about 5000 words.
  3. Please be familiar with the writing that Much Ado publishes. We aren’t very narrow in the type of work we like to publish, but we do have a general brand. If you propose an essay or review about something totally outside our wheelhouse, we likely won’t publish it. We also won’t publish something that is almost identical to something we’ve already done (e.g. don’t ask to review a movie we already reviewed at a festival). Search through our site if you’re not sure whether your pitch is new. If you think you have a new take on something we’ve already covered extensively, let us know!
  4. Show us some writing you’ve already done. This can be work published elsewhere online, or personal writing samples you have. They can be academic, professional, or purely creative in nature, whatever you think shows us you can write well and know and film and TV! Include as a link or attachment. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be published before, we just want to see your writing style.
  5. Understand that, at the moment, Much Ado is not capable of paying writers for their work.We do not turn a profit. We currently have a Patreon and Redbubble shop, and all money raised from those locations goes towards site maintenance, helping our regular writers get to festivals, and charity. We’re just over one year old and mostly run by students and young, working class professionals. We’d like to monetize the site eventually, at which point we’d find a way to pay editors and writers!
  6. Email all of this to Make sure to title your e-mail “Guest Pitch”. We’ll then contact you within 5-7 business days. Thank you!

Send your pitches by January 1st. We will not respond to any inquiries sent after that date.


Dilara Elbir, Editor-In-Chief.

Podcast #1: Halloween, Horror, and Childhood Scares

Dear Much Ado readers, get ready to be listeners!

We’re so proud to share the first episode of our podcast with you. It’s been a year (and a month) since we opened Much Ado and we could never imagine how far we’d come in such a short time.

On our Patreon page we set a goal of $75 to start working on our podcast and this month we hit that goal, thanks to your help! Every time we gain a new Patron, we come one step closer to saving enough money to pay to our writers. You can help us with as little as $1.

Our first episode is about, as it should be on October 31st, Halloween! Podcast host Charlie Dykstal talks with our writers Mia Vicino, Mary Beth McAndrews and Tyler Llewyn Taing about horror films that scared them in childhood, jump scares and how cathartic horror films can be.

Listen to the first episode on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play. Don’t forget to subscribe for upcoming episodes and share your feedback with us on twitter or via e-mail at

NYFF ‘18 Review: ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’

Chinese director-writer Bi Gan’s second feature, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, is set in Kaili like his first feature Kaili Blues. The film has nothing in common with Eugene O’Neill’s play by the same name or with the film’s Chinese title Last Evenings on Earth, a short story collection by Roberto Bolaño. They’re both just amongst many literary and artistic references that are scattered throughout the film.

Protagonist Luo Hongwa (Huang Jue) gives to us one of the central mysteries of the film by questioning the reality of fragmented memories in the first scene, as he reminisces about a love affair he had many years ago. Throughout the film, we’re never sure if what we’re seeing is a memory or a dream, reality or plays of Hongwa’s subconscious. The first 70 minutes of the film delve into that love affair between Luo and Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei), a woman straight out of a femme fatale section of a character trope book. There are ambiguous plotlines about their mutual friend Wildcat’s murder, Luo’s father’s restaurant, a green book, but none of them reach somewhere. They’re more like part of the flow than devices that advance or enrich the story.

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NYFF ‘18 Review: ‘The Wild Pear Tree’

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s long awaited new film The Wild Pear Tree premiered at Cannes this year. Its near 190-minute runtime might be scary for audiences that are not familiar with Ceylan’s work, but it is merely a surprise to cognizant audiences. However, the film has such a captivating flow that the viewers might not even perceive the passing of three hours – it is definitely more entertaining than his last film Winter Sleep which was also over three hours. Unlike his previous films which were decorated with elegant images of nature, The Wild Pear Tree is visually more raw; less pastoral beauty and more crooked landscapes that people live in. The shots are still representative of the director’s distinctive poeticism, and the brutal landscapes are the perfect reflections of the subject matter that is the deeply rooted in the suffocating anxiety spread across the young people of Turkey.

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NYFF ‘18 Review: ‘Wildlife’ is a Family Portrait Without Judgement

Children see themselves and their parents as parts of a single whole we call family. Some children realise later in life, as adults, the individuality of the parts that make up the family. In other cases, they’re forced to realise this when the whole collapses. A child is in one of the most helpless states they can be when they have to watch that collapse, witnessing everything that’ll contribute to the outcome that they somehow know is about to happen. A child cannot choose sides between two people who they once thought were a whole, and as we watch Wildlife through the eyes of a child in the middle of a collapsing marriage, director Paul Dano asks us, very delicately, not to choose sides either.

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