An irreverent look back at a towering Oprah, a shape-shifting Tilda Swinton, a horny Christine Baranski and other details from the year in cinema.
Illustration: Damon Dahlen/HuffPost; Photos: Paramount/Disney/Warner Bros./Lionsgate/Universal

At long last, the year is over. Mary Poppins returned to the big screen in time for the holidays, and Dick Cheney has arrived to join her. You win some, you lose some, right?

Looking back at 2018, we realized it was an exceptional year for movies. A crazy one, too. From puppets and pet poop to robot sex and duck races, the best cinematic details were, as always, the smallest ones. So, without a hint of reverence for the medium we adore, we racked our memories to think of the scenes, characters, chainsaws and Fabergé eggs that stood out in unexpected ways. Here, briefly, are some superlatives to cap off another thrilling, wonderful, ridiculous year at the multiplex.

Best three-word line delivery

“That’s the job.” ― Angela Bassett, “Mission: Impossible - Fallout”

Best minivan chase sequence

Maura Tierney and Timothée Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”

Best naked martial arts performance


Angriest Coke-can toss

Blake Lively, “A Simple Favor”

Best-laid wig

Dakota Johnson, “Suspiria”

Best unevenly matched chainsaw fight


RLJE Films

Best movie about Debra Messing using FaceTime


Best comparison of semen to “Mountain Dew or Diet Coke or what have you”

Denis O’Hare, “Private Life”

Best poolside murder set to “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

“The Strangers: Prey at Night”

Best line from a movie that’s also the title of the movie

“Boy! It’s a wild life! A wild life!” ― “Wildlife”

Best performance by a terrier (tie, because they are the same dog)

Olivia, “Widows” / Olivia, “Game Night”

Most enviable animal-print ensemble (tie)

Michelle Williams, “I Feel Pretty” / Charlyne Yi, “Second Act”


Eddie Murphy Achievement In Multiple Prosthetic-Heavy Performances

Tilda Swinton, “Suspiria”

Best Tom Waits monologue about hating Christmas

“The Old Man & the Gun”

Best old man and a gun

Tom Waits, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

Best screen duo (tie)

Kayla and the sauce boy, “Eighth Grade” / Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges, “Ben Is Back” / Jack-Jack and Edna Mode, “Incredibles 2” / Natalie Portman and her alien doppelgänger, “Annihilation” / Letitia Wright and “What are those?!,” “Black Panther”

Tallest reminder that Oprah is, in fact, larger than life

“A Wrinkle in Time”

Sexiest implied robot hookup

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Donald Glover, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”


Best pet poop (tie)

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” / “Roma”

Best quest to steal a Fabergé egg before Michael C. Hall finds it, because who hasn’t been there, am I right?

“Game Night”

Best “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie

“Book Club”

Best acknowledgment that Kevin Bacon is one of Earth’s mightiest heroes

“Avengers: Infinity War”

Best singalong set to the ’90s anthem “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes

Chloë Grace Moretz, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

Grooviest dance movies (tie)

Rachel Weisz and Joe Alwyn, “The Favourite” / Juliette Binoche, “Let the Sunshine In” / Leslie Mann trying to “be cool” at prom, “Blockers”

Best delivery of the line “Be still, my beating vagina”

Christine Baranski, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”

Universal Pictures

Best dumpling content (tie)

“Crazy Rich Asians” / “Bao” (runner-up: “Dumplin’”)

Strangest rant about Bánh mì sandwiches


Best hand-held food (tie)

Tilda Swinton’s chicken wings, “Suspiria” / Viggo Mortensen’s folded pizza, “Green Book”

Worst hand-held food, if only because the movie is so bad

Sam Rockwell’s chicken wings, “Vice”

Rudest hand-held food

Bradley Cooper smashing a cream-cheese bagel in Lady Gaga’s face, “A Star Is Born”

Best birds (tie)

“Hereditary” / “Bohemian Rhapsody” / “The Favourite”


Sparkliest diamond-encrusted tortoise


Biggest sensory assault

“Ready Player One”

Most glamorous puke

Anne Hathaway, “Ocean’s 8”

Coolest teenage bedrooms (tie)

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” / “Love, Simon”


Best puppets

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Worst puppets

“The Happytime Murders”

Best rock-star manager

Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”

Worst rock-star manager

Jude Law, “Vox Lux”


Quietest place (tie)

Everywhere not near a waterfall, “A Quiet Place” / Glenn Close’s silent rage, “The Wife”

Best white voice (tie)

Danny Glover and Lakeith Stanfield, “Sorry to Bother You” / John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”

Best use of a chalkboard

Kyle Chandler writing “MOON” so we’d understand the astronauts’ travel plans, “First Man”

Strongest cocktail (tie)

Ethan Hawke’s Pepto-Bismol and whiskey, “First Reformed” / Mary-Louise Parker’s vodka, “Red Sparrow” / Whatever Robert Zemeckis was imbibing when he made “Welcome to Marwen”

“From Justin to Kelly” Award for “Why Does This Movie Exist?” (tie)

“Life Itself” / “Gotti”

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