Best films by decade watched in 2018

 In Everything, Fun Lists, Lists

Top movies watched in 2018 from individual decades

I like some structure to my movie watching. But only some.

I’ve got a scratch-off movie poster* that had me chasing some old classics in 2018, plus some catch up viewing for Filmspotting Madness, 2000s edition. That meant that I watched some things from decades other than the current one.

Oh, and there was a movie that was scheduled to be released that had three previous versions. I couldn’t let that opportunity go by.

Here are my favorite old favorite discoveries in 2018


2 movies watched from the 1930s

A Star is Born (1937)

A Star is Born

Four stars.

Janet Gaynor is Esther Blodgett, an aspiring actress and Frederic March is the aging alcoholic actor who wants Ms. Blodgett to be the film star she’s always dreamed of being.

While there was a lot of subject matter that usually would sink the film for me (May-December romances, falling in love with an alcoholic) I adored this film.


6 movies watched from the 1940s

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Five stars.

John Huston’s classic is a classic for a reason. You may be intrigued because it’s a Humphry Bogard film, but John Huston cast his own father as Howard, the old gold prospector delighted to be out in the gold fields again. Howard steals the show.


6 movies watched from the 1950s
I really hit the jackpot with this decade

High Noon

High Noon
Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly Directed by Fred Zinnemann

Five stars.

Gary Cooper doesn’t have much time to raise up a posse to greet Frank Miller, the criminal Cooper sent to prison several years before. But it shouldn’t be too hard. After all, everyone remembers how bad things had been when Frank Miller was around.

It turns out it’s hard.

All About Eve

All About Eve
A publicity still from the 1950 Academy Award®-winning drama “All about Eve” features (left to right): Gary Merrill, Bette Davis, George Sanders, Anne Baxter, Hugh Marlowe and Celeste Holm. “All about Eve” received a record 14 Academy Award nominations and won six Oscars®, including Best Picture. Restored by Nick & jane for Dr. Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans Website: Enjoy!

Five stars.

If you’re like me and your only exposure to this movie is a few quotes, well then “fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Bette Davis is amazing, as is the rest of the cast.

Witness for the Prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution

Five stars.

Billy Wilder, Marlenia Dietrich, Tyorne Power, Charles Laughton. Big names! And a big story of a lawyer defending his client from a murder charge. Best enjoyed if you know nothing about the film. Do you like courtroom dramas? Queue this one up!

A Star is Born (1954)

Five stars.

Okay so 2018 was the year I spent a goodly amount of time gushing over three of the four versions of this movie. But there is a good reason for that! This time, Judy Garland plays the aspiring actress and James Mason plays the alcoholic has-been. And Judy Garland was a force. Watch the below scene and see if you don’t want to invest another another 150 minutes in this movie.

1960s, 1970s, 1980s

For these decades I have no movies to recommend. I didn’t watch any movies from the 60s, only one from the 70s (that was the terrible version of A Star is Born) and only two in the 80s.


I watched two movies from the 90s in 2018

Beau Travail

Four stars.
This film isn’t going to be for everyone. You’ve got to be a fan of stories incrementally told while not a lot of action happens. In fact, the action that mostly happens is young men in the French Foreign Legion doing training exercises in the sun. But watching young, fit men work out isn’t the worst way to spend your time. And if you are like me, the ending scene with Denis Lavant will captivate you.


I watched 18 movies from the ‘aughts in 2018. Only one of them was a five-star movie.

Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean's Eleven

Five stars.
Eleven actors, all at their sparkly best. A heist plotted against a guy who deserves to lose his money. Julia Roberts. This film is the filmiest of films and so much fun. Get the team together, get the plan together, execute the plan, deal with the fallout. It’s hard to stop smiling while watching this.

Further sentences:

*It appears that my version of Pop Chart’s 100 Essential Films Scratch-off Movie Poster has been substituted for this one. Most of the movies look the same, though. Oh, but they added Lady Bird (my #1 movie of 2017) Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley for the win!) and Black Panther (If you’re only going to see one Marvel film, this is it). Good choices.

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  • Sara K.

    I really love this by-the-decades listing of movies. Also I die for Marlene Dietrich. She is truly amazing.

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