With only a little over a week left in 2018, it’s time to round up the best of the best in a year that was anything but ordinary for movies. Multiple genres saw history made over the last year, including superhero movies with the game-changer Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Animation had major hits with The Incredibles 2 and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. Horror movies have performed unusually well with the original Paramount feature A Quiet Place and Blumhouse’s Halloween doing seriously well at the box office.
But while the box office is often a strong indicator of whether or not a movie will get a sequel, it’s not the biggest indicator of how the critics are receiving a movie. Rotten Tomatoes aggregates all critical reviews, both positive and negative, and formulates those reviews into a score. Here’s a look at Rotten Tomatoes‘ take on the best movies of the year, many of which didn’t make a huge splash at the box office.
5. Oh Lucy
Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi and starring Josh Hartnett, this film made a huge impression at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival but wasn’t released to American audiences until March 2018. Out of 46 reviews, it has zero negative reviews with an average score of 7 out of 10.
4. Minding the Gap
With a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average score of 8.8 out of 10, this documentary is resonating with every critic who sees it, and the audience isn’t far behind, giving it an audience score of 97 percent. Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus speaks volumes about this Hulu exclusive title.
Minding the Gap draws on more than a decade of documentary footage to assemble a poignant picture of young American lives that resonates far beyond its on-screen subjects.
3. Summer 1993
This autobiography from Carla Simón tells the story of childhood moving quickly into the adult world and is being heavily praised by critics. With 80 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and not a single negative one to be counted, Summer 1993 touts strong performances from the cast and cinematography that is being lauded across a number of media outlets.
2. Leave No Trace
James Berardinelli of ReelViews said LeaveNno Trace was “occasionally uplifting and sometimes heartbreaking, [and] nothing less than sublime,” and he wasn’t alone. In all Debra Granik’s hard-hitting drama Leave No Trace has more than 200 reviews and won the award for best director at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
1. Paddington 2
The only box office hit in the top five is Paddington 2. Having already won awards at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards and the Heartland Film Festival, Paddington 2 is the single best-reviewed movie of the year with 210 positive reviews and an average score of 8.7, Paddington 2 could be a front-runner for an Oscar nod in 2019 for Best Animated Feature.