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The UnPopular Opinion: Top 5 Most Underrated Movies of 2018

As 2018 draws to a close we reflect on a year of ups and downs at the movies, both critically and financially. There were some surprises in regards to which highly anticipated movies lived up to their trailers and marketing as well as some dark horses that came out of nowhere to really steal the show. But, if there is one thing for certain, there are always movies that are highly overrated and underrated by critics and fans alike. As the UnPopular Opinion Guy, I felt it was only fitting to issue my list of the movies I felt that the masses got wrong. Some of these may shock you and some may just piss you off, but these are my honest to goodness perspective of the movies of 2018. If you disagree with any of the choices, please voice your own opinion in the talkback below. After all, the only opinion that really matters is yours, I am just here to share mine.

5 - FIRST REFORMED

Paul Schrader, the acclaimed screenwriter of TAXI DRIVER and RAGING BULL, has had an uneven career as director, with the 2000s being particularly unkind (see DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST and the Lindsay Lohan non-porn porn movie THE CANYONS). Schrader did not let his failures prevent him from delivering one of the most profound movies of 2018 and a movie almost no one went to see. Starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfriend, FIRST REFORMED is a small scale drama about faith that is stunningly acted and will haunt you long after you finish watching it. This is a powerful film that is not going to receive the trophies it deserves.

4 - SKYSCRAPER

Dwayne Johnson and Rawson Marshall Thurber crafted an homage to DIE HARD that many wrote off as derivative of the iconic Bruce Willis action flick. Instead, SKYSCRAPER is a fun PG-13 version of DIE HARD that has some pretty damn impressive stunts and one of the best acted performances of Johnson's career. Sure, this Chinese-funded movie serves up a fair amount of propaganda about the country's economic prowess, but that doesn't take away from the quick and dirty action that will keep you entertained from opening to closing credits.

3 - ANNIHILATION

I found Alex Garland's EX MACHINA to be vastly overrated, but it seems like his follow-up effort barely registered with fans. Critics seemed to take to the movie but audiences were underwhelmed by the thinking person's scifi thriller. A combination of body horror and existential dread, ANNIHILATION changed the source material enough to delivery a wholly original story that challenges expectation in ways that most science fiction doesn't even attempt anymore. The mindfuck of an ending requires you to sit up and analyze everything that came before and it is exactly that type of effort that makes this movie one of the most daring movies of the year.

2 - UPGRADE

While SAW co-creator James Wan has been off making some superhero movie with Jason Momoa, Leigh Whannel crafted this body horror movie that barely made a blip with mainstream audiences. This is a damn shame because UPGRADE is one of the best movies that John Carpenter and David Cronenberg never made. Violent and insane, this movie also features one of the best performances from Logan Marshall-Green since THE INVITATION. Definitely not for those with weak stomachs, this is my favorite low budget action thriller since Adam Wingard's THE GUEST.

1 - SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Maybe it was the poor marketing or the release so soon after AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. Maybe it was the release six months after the divisive STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. Whatever the case, sky-high expectations for Ron Howard's SOLO doomed the movie to failure despite being a really fun popcorn flick. If we had gotten SOLO before ROGUE ONE, expectations may have been very different. As it is, each time I watch SOLO, I enjoy it more and more. It still baffles me that fans have been fine for decades with extensive exploration of these characters via comics and novels, but when a big budget adventure is given to them on the big screen, they turn up their noses. SOLO may not be the best STAR WARS movie but it is far from the worst. In fact, it is probably the most purely fun movie in the franchise since A NEW HOPE.

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