Nearly everyone and their grandma saw the year’s biggest blockbusters: BLACK PANTHER, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, INCREDIBLES 2 to name a few. But you may have missed hidden indie gems that are captivating in their own right. From emotional to comedic, here are our favorite indie films of 2018.
Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy star in THOROUGHBREDS, a suspenseful dark comedy about two privileged teenagers growing up in suburban Connecticut. Amanda (Cooke) is a social outcast with a sharp wit, while Lily (Taylor-Joy) is a polished debutante with a bright future. After years apart, the unlikely pair rekindle their friendship, and as they learn that neither is what she seems to be, they begin to bring out one another’s most destructive tendencies.
The film, released March 9, is directed by Cory Finley and co-stars Paul Sparks as Lily’s oppressive stepfather and the late Anton Yelchin as a local hustler and drug dealer.
Based on an unbelievable true story, AMERICAN ANIMALS follows four young men who, bored with the monotony of everyday life, attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. The drama keeps you guessing as to what’s real and what’s imagined, and none of the characters seem to be reliable narrators. They mistake their lives for a movie, unable or unwilling to accept the severity of their crime.
The film, released June 1, is written and directed by Bart Layton and stars Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner and Jared Abrahamson.
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
Though we said goodbye to Mr. Fred Rogers in 2003, his legacy and kindness have lived on through his family, friends and community, as captured in WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? The documentary is not a biography, but rather an intimate and moving journey beyond Rogers’ iconic sweaters and sneakers. Through one-on-one interviews and old videos of Rogers, we are able to see the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations.
The film, released June 8, was created by Academy Award®-winning director Morgan Neville (TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM).
LEAVE NO TRACE
LEAVE NO TRACE is a beautiful, sensitive drama about a father (Ben Foster) and his 13-year-old daughter (newcomer Thomasin McKenzie), who have been living off the grid in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When a small mistake shatters their peaceful life, they are both put into social services and pushed into the modern world. After clashing with their new surroundings, they set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland.
The film, released June 29, is written and directed by Academy Award nominee Debra Granik (WINTER’S BONE).
The introspective directorial debut from stand-up comedian Bo Burnham takes us back to middle school and the awkwardness, acne and angst that come with being a teenager. Introvert Kayla is attempting to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth-grade year before leaving to start high school.
The film, released July 13, stars Elsie Fisher, who is nominated for the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe award.
BLACKKKLANSMAN is the crazy, outrageous, incredible true story of how the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan and became the head of the local chapter. John David Washington stars as Ron Stallworth, with Adam Driver as his more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman, who poses as Stallworth to attend in-person KKK meetings. Together, they work to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.
The film, released August 10, is directed by Spike Lee and nominated for four Golden Globe awards, including Best Picture, Drama.
Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet are devastating and raw as father and son in BEAUTIFUL BOY. The drama, based on the acclaimed memoirs from David and Nic Sheff, is an honest depiction of a family trying to reconnect and recover from the consequences of drug addiction over many years. The story is heart wrenching, but there is also an inspiring message of hope and the strength of the human spirit.
The film, released October 12, is directed by Felix van Groeningen and is nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe award (Chalamet).
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, BOY ERASED is one of the most emotionally impactful films of the year. In a small town in Arkansas, Jared (Lucas Hedges) is struggling with his sexuality. He’s been taught how he feels is unnatural, a sin. So, he hides his identity — until he’s outed to his god-fearing mother (Nicole Kidman) and Baptist preacher father (Russell Crowe) at 19 and faced with an ultimatum: attend a gay conversion therapy program or be permanently exiled by his family, friends and faith.
The film, released November 2, is written and directed by Joel Egerton who also co-stars. BOY ERASED is nominated for two Golden Globe awards: Best Actor in a Drama (Hedges) and Best Original Song.
In early 18th-century England, a frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), governs the country in her stead, while tending to her ill health and unpredictable temper. When a charming new servant, Abigail (Emma Stone), arrives, an intense rivalry develops between her and Sarah as they fight to be the Queen’s court favorite.
The film, released November 23, is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and nominated for five Golden Globe awards, including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. Get your tickets to THE FAVOURITE at an AMC near you today.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
The follow-up to Barry Jenkins’ Academy Award-winning MOONLIGHT is an understated drama about black love, set in the racially divided 1970s. Tish (KiKi Layne), a newly engaged Harlem woman, races against the clock to prove her fiancé’s (Stephen James) innocence while carrying their firstborn child to term. The story, and even some of the dialogue, is based on James Baldwin’s novel of the same name.
The film, released November 30, is nominated for three Golden Globe awards: Best Picture, Drama; Best Screenplay (Jenkins); and Best Supporting Actress (Regina King). Get your tickets to IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK at an AMC near you today.
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