Every January, journalists of all stripes look back to assess what the biggest stories of the previous year were. Nowhere is this annual reflection more noticeable than on the entertainment beat, where book reviewers and movie critics roll out their year-end Top 10 lists.
Last year, It’s All Journalism Producer Michael O’Connell sat down with Jason Fraley (pictured), the entertainment editor at WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C., to discuss his Top 10 movie list for 2017 and top grossing movies of that year. Fraley is back on the podcast this week with his latest year-end review.
“I enjoyed that there was a lot of range in the year,” Fraley said, of the 2018 crop of movies. “I think that the top, top movies were, I’d say, a cut below some previous years. One year you had Boyhood, Birdman, there were several big juggernauts released the same year, so I’d say a slight down tick on the top ones. But in terms of the general range, I’m super thrilled with it.”
It was in 2018 that for the fist time a genre film — The Shape of Water — took home the best picture Oscar at the Academy Awards Ceremony.
Genre movies continue to be among the top grossing movies of the year as well as the most critically acclaimed.
“Even the blockbuster superhero [film] was Black Panther, which we’re definitely going to get to near the top of the list. That was fantastic,” Fraley said. “That was a well made movie that was also the box office champ. A Quiet Place, just like Get Out last year, horror flicks were really well done and seen by a lot of people. That was, I think, in the top 15 of the box office, but also super well done, really acclaimed.”
But, Fraley assures us that serious movie lovers need not fret, musicals like A Star Is Born and festival darlings such as Roma, If Beale Street Could Talk, Green Book and BlacKkKlansman drew a great deal of attention from critics and moviegoers alike.
“In terms of overall macro-level, I think there was a lot of range this year, which I really appreciated,” Fraley said. “Because not every year you great great movies in every genre like that.”