As 2018 is coming to a close, it's time to look back at what a crazy roller coaster ride it has been. There were so many ups and downs, but honestly, we're going to be focusing on the positives for the year! We love pop culture and keep up with the trends, so let's explore a random smattering of categories from entertainment to a little news, and other 2018 shenanigans that made us smile. We'll be citing our sources along the way, but as with all ranked lists, there will always be a little bit of opinion. We hope you remember the good times with us as we recount the highlights of 2018!
The Best in Entertainment 2018
The Best Movie of 2018: ROMA
[Source: Netflix/Carlos Somonte/IMDb]
While it is tough to pick the best movie of the year before the Oscars have their say, according to USA Today, Netflix's Roma is shaping up to be a top contender. It's gripping, gritty, and a personal masterpiece assembled from childhood memories by writer and director Alfonso Cuarón. It departs from the flashy blockbuster norms as it was filmed in its entirety in black and white and it's a Spanish language film with English subtitles. It also boasts an impressive 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes with a current audience score of 93%! If you haven't seen this movie yet you should totally check it out when it arrives on Netflix on December 14th.
The Best Superhero Movie of 2018: Black Panther
[Source: Ryan Meinerding]
We're not going to lie, we're a bunch of superhero geeks and we have a deep love for comic book movies. This year, Marvel's Black Panther movie delivered a truly sensational movie experience! The film was jam-packed with impressive scenery and visuals, costumes we all wish we could have, makeup that everyone was copying on Instagram and Pinterest and so much more! The cosplay community definitely took notice, and groups of Black Panther cosplayers were always a hit at local Comic-Cons. According to IMDb, Black Panther was nominated for 52 awards so far, and it has taken home 29 of them!
Best Horror Movie of 2018: A Quiet Place
[Source: Paramount Pictures/Jonny Cournoyer/IMDb]
2018 was an outstanding year for horror movies, remakes and originals alike. However, none of them were quite like A Quiet Place. The movie was a spectacle to see in theaters, not only for its impressive soundtrack but also for the fact that the premise of the film made watching it in theaters an experience in and of itself. According to Forbes, it was so quiet that theater-goers felt guilty for snacking and drinking soda. The movie has also been nominated for and won a handful of awards. Pretty good for a horror movie!
Best Animated Movie of 2018: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
[Source: Sony Pictures Animation/CTMG/IMDb]
2018 has been absolutely crazy in the world of film, animated movies included. While it looked like The Incredibles sequel was the favorite for the Oscar, USA Today is now calling Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse the best animated movie of the year! Not only does this movie boast an all-star voice cast, but it includes perspectives from several alternate universe Spider-Men and Women. This allows a wider audience to find a connection to the characters! The animation style is also unique, with references to pop art, thought balloons and even Ben-Day dots sneaking into the highlights and shading for an artfully crafted film. (It makes it feel like a comic book actually came to life in movie form!)
The Best New TV Series of 2018: Homecoming
[Source: Amazon Studios/Jessica Brooks/IMDb]
Television is a tricky category because there are so many genres, and old series are still included in the running as long as a new season premiered this year. Because we're not in with the Golden Globe TV nominations, we narrowed the category to television series that were new this year. According to Variety, there were some good new TV shows that did go to the Globes, one of which was Homecoming. IndieWire puts the show at the #1 spot for new shows for the year, and it certainly had turned heads by going where TV has not gone before by trimming the thriller down to half-hour episodes and toying with a vertical format. If you haven't checked this series out yet, you should!
The Most Influential Video Game of 2018: Fortnite
[Source: Epic Games/Wired]
There are so many video games and platforms that it makes the video game category difficult to narrow down to a single game. We pretty much tossed aside normal game-ranking conventions and we're going with the game that made the most waves this year: Fortnite. Due to the game's accessibility and free-to-play nature, people from casual to hardcore gamers and Twitch streamers took to the game like fish to water. Also, not only was it one of the most popular games this year but it also topped the charts as one of the most popular Halloween costumes, which is no small feat. (That's kind of important to us.) People scrambled to assemble their own Fortnite cosplays and DIY Fortnite costumes, and have also taken to other mediums (including baking) to show their love for the game!
Best Male Music Artist of 2018: Drake
[Source: Getty Images/Vibe]
There are so many different types of music that it's really difficult to lump everything together and pick just one. According to Billboard's charts, Drake is the top male music artist for this year. The Canadian-born rapper also topped their top 100 song chart. His music video, "Nice for What", was also ranked as one of the best music videos for this year on Pitchfork.
Best Female Music Artist of 2018: Taylor Swift
[Source: Taylor Swift/YouTube/E!]
In the same vein as the top male music artists, it gets really hard to pick the top female artist as there are so many genres. We're again taking our cues here from Billboard because they know music charts. Taylor Swift is the top female music artist pick for 2018, and it's certainly hard to argue given her list of chart-topping songs and album sales. If you feel the need to revisit some of her best songs, the folks at E! did a great job compiling a list of Taylor Swift's 13 best songs.
The Best News From 2018
The Best World-Wide Celebration: 100th Anniversary of the End of WWI
[Source: Henry Nicholls/Reuters/CNN]
WWI absolutely tore the world apart and was a horrifying event that destroyed millions of lives, so it came as a big relief when it finally ended in 1918. Fast-forward to a century later and countries the world over celebrated the end to the brutal and bitter war in a variety of ways. This list of beautiful photos by CNN is a wonderful way to get a peek at how countries from New Zealand to Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ultimately put an end to WWI.
Best Rescue of 2018: Tham Luang Cave Rescue
[Source: Ye Aung Thu/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/The New York Times]
The world held its breath for 18 days while rescue workers saved a soccer team of 12 boys and their coach from a cave after it flooded in Thailand. If you haven't read the story or watched any of the news videos, you should, as it is a testament to what people can do through hard work and perseverance. (Some of us were literally in tears when we heard the news that they managed to rescue all of the boys and their coach.) They were even featured on the Ellen show! Take our advice and keep a box of tissues handy, you're gonna need it.
Best Space News of 2018: InSight Lander Lands on Mars
Space exploration is still ongoing and while this is technically the eighth time that anything has landed on Mars, the InSight is the first space probe to bore into the planet's surface in order to study the terrain, temperature and seismic activity. The fact that we're able to send robots to do the potentially dangerous space exploration bit for us now is seriously cool! The rest of us normal folks will simply be watching in awe and dressing in astronaut costumes for Halloween because that's as close to NASA as we can get.
Best In Business 2018: Apple Reaches a Market Capitalization of $1 Trillion
[Source: Lucas Jackson/Reuters/The Guardian]
Fan of the iPhone or not, Apple certainly knows how to do business. Apple became the first public company to hit a market capitalization of $1 trillion, which is no small feat. It certainly looks like there won't be a shortage of iProducts anytime soon, so we can keep asking Siri silly things like what her favorite color is or if she follows the three laws of robotics. (If you don't get that last joke, please do us a favor and read or watch I, Robot.)
The Best/Our Favorite Miscellaneous from 2018
Best New Mascot of 2018: Gritty
We bet you weren't expecting to see a mascot costume in a 2018 round-up, but we're all about costumes so we have to give this big, furry orange mascot our love. He's hairy and weird, but he's still loveable! And frankly, he's not the only undefinable Philly mascot out there. (The jury is still out on the Phillie Phanatic!) While the hype about Gritty appears mixed to mostly positive, we're still curious about how they managed to make his googly eyeballs and how the person inside manages to navigate the ice!
Best Celebrity Costume of 2018: Heidi Klum as Fiona and Tom Kaulitz as Shrek
[Source: Getty Images/Mashable]
Seriously, how good is this costume? It looks like they just stepped out of the movie! Heidi Klum is the reigning queen of Halloween, and she blows us away every year. Even with all the teasers about her prosthetics, we weren't entirely sure about what she was going to be for Halloween until the final reveal. (Let's just say that none of us managed to guess correctly!) We're still wondering how she's going to up the ante next year.
Do you have a favorite moment from 2018? (We're trying to keep things 100% positive here, so please don't mention any of that downer news. We don't need that kind of negativity here.) This year was a great one for pop culture because there were so many good new movies and games, etc. that we're definitely still going to be enjoying 2018 into 2019 and beyond. Here's to next year and hoping that 2019 keeps the hits coming!