The best and worst movies of the year, according to critics

UniversalWe got some great movies this year and others that weren’t so great.
  • Rotten Tomatoes provided INSIDER with critic score data for movies reviewed in 2018.
  • “Padding 2” was the highest-rated movie, earning a score of 100%.
  • With a 0% score, “Gotti” was deemed the worst.

From “Black Panther” to “Hannah Gadsby: Nanette,” 2018 brought a diverse range of stories to life in theatres and on streaming services. But with hundreds of releases, not every movie can be a winner.

Using critic score data provided by Rotten Tomatoes, INSIDER rounded up this year’s best and worst films. While reviewers raved about movies like “Eighth Grade” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbour?,” they weren’t so kind about titles such as “The Happytime Murders” and “Life Itself.”

Here are the top 25 and bottom 25 movies of 2018, according to critics.


BEST: “The Rider”

Sony‘The Rider’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Average rating: 8.4/10

“Set against the stunning vistas of the American heartland, ‘The Rider’ explores the physical and psychological impact on a modern cowboy who feels useless if he can’t do what he was born to do. Should he risk his life for his idea of what gives him value? Zhao explores these questions with an artist’s eye and a deep respect for the dignity of what makes us human. Her film is as indelible as it is unmissable.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


“The Hate U Give”: 97%

20th Century Fox‘The Hate U Give.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Average rating: 8.2/10

“While the film simplifies the story somewhat, it never loses its heart, the brilliant emerging of Starr into her own voice and pride in the community that lifts her up.” -Ann-Derrick Gaillot, Thrillist


“Mission: Impossible Fallout”: 97%

Paramount Pictures‘Mission Impossible Fallout.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Average rating: 8.4/10

“The most thrilling, entertaining, stand-on-your-feet-this-is-bananas blockbuster in recent memory.” – Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail


“Black Panther”: 97%

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures‘Black Panther.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Average rating: 8.2/10

“Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ film means so much to so many people. The film is a lightning rod of representation, in a time where black people feel so belittled and not paid attention to.” -Mikey Mason, Geeks of Colour


“The Cakemaker”: 98%

Films Boutique‘The Cakemaker.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Average rating: 7.6/10

“A tender, tactile and just-sweet-enough story of hidden love, challenged faith and unwittingly shared grief.” – Guy Lodge, Variety


“They Shall Not Grow Old”: 98%

Warner Bros. Pictures‘They Shall Not Grow Old.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Average rating: 8.7/10

“Once again, [Jackson] has translated something that’s growing ancient into a series of images and ideas a modern audience will be able to grasp. And if we can make sense of the image, we can hopefully make sense of the horror it portends.” – Scout Tafoya, RogerEbert.com


“In Between”: 98%

Alma Cinema‘In Between.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Average rating: 7.6/10

“Although ‘In Between’ depicts a nation in crisis, it’s a crisis that’s viewed through the intimate lens of family dinners, where generations struggle over conflicting values.” – Pat Padua, Washington Post


“Science Fair”: 98%

Munk Media‘Science Fair.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Average rating: 7.6/10

“The milieu is intense, the stakes are high, and the science prodigies themselves are fascinating.” – Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader


“Free Solo”: 98%

National Geography Documentary Films‘Free Solo.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Average rating: 8.4/10

“Free Solo is about getting dangerously close to the edge, where some people feel most alive. We get to experience that thrill secondhand, and that’s enough.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out


“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”: 98%

Fox Searchlight Picture‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Average rating: 8.1/10

“It’s not a rebirth for McCarthy, but it’s an awakening and a reminder of what she can do when she dives into a project worthy of her talents.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News


“The Tale”: 99%

HBO Films‘The Tale.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Average rating: 9/10

“‘The Tale’ is lit up by clarifying anger, but it has a stirring, inspiring streak – it’s about mastering a story by finding the right way to tell it.” -Emily Nussbaum, New Yorker


“Tea with the Dames”: 99%

IFC Films‘Tea with the Dames.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Average rating: 7.8/10

“A conversational feast with four acting Dames – Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright – who are not above profane fun and confessions that make them human. Don’t miss the chance to bask in the pleasure of their company.” -Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


“The Guilty”: 99%

Nordisk Film‘The Guilty.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Average rating: 7.9/10

“Set in an enclosed room with essentially one actor, and made up entirely of phone conversations, the film employs a full toolbox of cinematic techniques to fashion a complex character study.” -James Greenberg, TheWrap


“McQueen”: 99%

Bleeker Street‘McQueen.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Average rating: 7.8/10

“A savagely beautiful tribute that the late, irreverent fashion designer Alexander McQueen would surely have appreciated.” -David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle


“Shoplifters”: 99%

GAGA Pictures‘Shoplifters.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Average rating: 8.9/10

“Kore-eda has the sensitive, calibrated touch of a master safecracker, and he’s a virtuoso of emotional and narrative buildup.” -Manohla Dargis,New York Times


“Won’t You Be My Neighbour?”: 99%

Focus Feature‘Won’t You Be My Neighbour?’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Average rating: 8.8/10

“A poignant tribute to the mild-mannered father – a figure who served as a moral compass to generations.” -Rafer Guzman, Newsday


“Eighth Grade”: 99%

A24‘Eighth Grade.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Average rating: 8.9/10

“In addition to its queasy verisimilitude, ‘Eighth Grade’ offers acute observations on how social media and the language of self-care have warped teen life.” -Naomi Fry, New Yorker


“Night Comes On”: 100%

Samuel Goldwyn Films‘Night Comes On.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 7.6/10

“Like its determined heroine, ‘Night Comes On’ burns with a smouldering fire, a heat that is no less intense, no less effective, for remaining largely beneath the surface” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times


“Pick of the Litter”: 100%

IFC Films‘Pick of the Litter.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 7.4/10

“‘Pick’ often feels like a project that has been overly groomed. Will you still be moved to tears? Most likely.” -Ty Burr, Boston Globe


“Oh Lucy!”: 100%

Matchgirl Pictures, Gloria Sanchez Productions, Film Movement‘Oh Lucy!’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 7/10

“‘Oh Lucy!’ is quirky and offbeat and strange and sometimes quite dark – and yet oddly loveable.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times


“Shirkers”: 100%

Netflix‘Shirkers.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 8.5/10

“A knotty detective yarn, a funny valentine to Singapore and one of the year’s most ardent expressions of movie love, it tells a story of cinematic theft, and in the process, becomes an entrancing feat of cinematic reclamation.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times


“Minding the Gap”: 100%

ITVS‘Minding the Gap.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 8.8/10

“‘Minding the Gap’ feels deceptively loose, even rambling, but as the seasons pass (the film takes place over four years), you begin to feel Liu’s drive toward catharsis for all three of his main characters.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture


“Summer 1993”: 100%

Avalon‘Summer 1993.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 8.1/10

“It’s a film entirely lacking in pomp, but there’s a certain bravado in its delicate reservation. A tender and spare meditation on family unfurls in the stillness of a sleepy, sun-soaked Spanish summer.” -Barbara VandenBurgh, Arizona Republic


“Leave No Trace”: 100%

IMDB‘Leave No Trace.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 8.5/10

“Occasionally uplifting and sometimes heartbreaking, it is nothing less than sublime.” -James Berardinelli, ReelViews


“Paddington 2”: 100%

StudioCanal‘Paddington 2.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Average rating: 8.7/10

“A movie that promotes the importance of family and good manners might seem like it could become the squarest of snoozes, but ‘Paddington 2’ is so transcendentally cheerful that it carries the day – and then some.” -Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor


WORST: “Breaking In”: 26%

Universal Pictures‘Breaking In.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 26%

Average rating: 4.2/10

“‘Breaking In’ mirrors the incompetence of its crooks, in the sense that it doesn’t feel like much thought went into plotting it out.” -Scott Tobias, NPR


“Forever My Girl”: 26%

Roadside Attraction‘Forever My Girl.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 26%

Average rating: 4.5/10

“It all feels a little bit off as if every third scene was cut out randomly, and every camera angle came down to a fourth choice.” -Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle


“Overboard”: 25%

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)‘Overboard.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 25%

Average rating: 4.2/10

“‘Overboard’ demonstrates that not every idea deserves an encore. If the gender switch fostered some curiosity, the result is a comedy that – even without amnesia – would better be forgotten.” -Brian Lowry,CNN.com


“The 15:17 to Paris”: 24%

Warner Bros. Pictures‘The 15:17 to Paris.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 24%

Average rating: 4.3/10

“The action sequence on the train is truly remarkable, and Eastwood shoots with a documentary-style immediacy, but the surrounding film – especially the script and performances – doesn’t serve this thrilling true-life story, or the audience.” -Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service


“7 Days in Entebbe”: 24%

Focus Features‘7 Days in Entebbe.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 24%

Average rating: 5/10

“It doesn’t quite hit its target in providing an emotional resonance or political relevance for today.” -Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com


“The Happytime Murders”: 23%

STX Entertainment‘The Happytime Murders.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 23%

Average rating: 3.8/10

“This premise holds some promise, but ‘The Happytime Murders’ is a joyless, soulless slog, wasting the efforts of co-stars Melissa McCarthy and Elizabeth Banks.” -Inkoo Kang, Slate


“Mile 22”: 22%

STX Entertainment‘Mile 22.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 22%

Average rating: 4.2/10

“For a movie so excited to tell a story about the CIA’s most highly-prized and least understood unit, it sure doesn’t do much to ensure you leave any more informed than you were when you sat down.” -Lindsey Bahr,Associated Press


“Midnight Sun”: 21%

Open Road Films‘Midnight Sun.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%

Average rating: 4.2/10

“The authentic Sparks movies at least tend to be howlers, with shamelessly overcomplicated narratives and risible twists. Midnight Sun, on the other hand, is straightforward and trite.” -Ignatiy Vishnevetsky,AV Club


“Submergence”: 21%

Mars Distribution‘Submergence.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%

Average rating: 4.3/10

“The audience is left, then, submerged in two very different movies where the protagonists are going to sink or swim – but unsatisfyingly – not together.” -Gayle MacDonald, Globe and Mail


“The Cloverfield Paradox”: 20%

Scott Garfield / Netflix‘The Cloverfield Paradox.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%

Average rating: 4.5/10

“There are humanist bits and chunks of ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Arrival, though in order to set up another chapter of this loosely assembled saga of woe, ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ eventually, dutifully gets around to a nonhuman adversary in close-up.” -Michael Phillips,Chicago Tribune


“Mute”: 20%

Netflix‘Mute.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%

Average rating: 4.3/10

“Mute is more interesting as a bullet-point list of absurdities than as a two-hour film. Yet, Jones continues to have my attention.” -Amy Nicholson,Uproxx


“Terminal”: 20%

Arrow Film‘Terminal.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%

Average rating: 4.3/10

“Assuming for a second that anyone will ever pay real money to see it, what they will get is a turgid, pretentious, and incomprehensible existential joke.” -Rex Reed, Observer


“Death Wish”: 17%

Sony‘Death Wish.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%

Average rating: 3.9/10

“He’s not remaking ‘Death Wish.’ He’s making what he thinks a person in 1974, sitting in a Forty-Deuce grindhouse theatre, would have seen in their mind while watching it …” -David Fear, Rolling Stone


“The Darkest Minds”: 17%

Daniel McFadden/20th Century Fox‘The Darkest Minds.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%

Average rating: 4.1/10

“‘The Darkest Minds’ is such a formulaic hodgepodge of secondhand plot points that it can’t help but feel like an insult to its target demographic: just another case of adults trying to manipulate kids, this time by bilking them out of their allowance.” – A.A. Dowd, AV Club


“Show Dogs”: 17%

Open Road Films‘Show Dogs.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%

Average rating: 3.2/10

“It’s true that technology has come a long way since Tex Avery first added animated mouths to real-life animals, but what good is scientific know-how without the imagination needed to power it?” -Scott Marks,San Diego Reader


“Robin Hood”: 16%

Lionsgate‘Robin Hood.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 16%

Average rating: 3.7/10

“Several dueling shades of dull, this umpteenth retooling of the outlaw legend is desperate to convince viewers that Christopher Nolan had something to do with it (he didn’t).” -Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out


“Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare”: 15%

Lionsgate‘Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 15%

Average rating: 3.6/10

“Horror fans trust Blumhouse, so why waste the brand on a flick as lame as ‘Truth or Dare’?” -Chuck Wilson, Village Voice


“Winchester”: 14%

CBS Films‘Winchester.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%

Average rating: 4/10

“You watch ‘Winchester’ thinking about the movie that might have been, and wishing that those ghosts would transport Mirren into that movie, immediately.” -Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times


“Action Point”: 14%

Paramount Pictures‘Action Point.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 14%

Average rating: 3.5/10

“A movie that’s about reckless freedom and counterculture communities needs to be less by-the-numbers than ‘Action Point.'” -Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com


“Life Itself”: 13%

Amazon Studios‘Life Itself.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 13%

Average rating: 3.7/10

“It’s a movie made for people who can’t be trusted to understand any storytelling unless it’s not just spoon-fed but ladled on, piled high, and explained via montage and voiceover.” -Kate Erbland, IndieWire


“Fifty Shades Freed”: 11%

Universal‘Fifty Shades Freed.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

Average rating: 3.1/10

“Freed appeals to women’s biological urges – to secure a protective mate, to nest, to procreate-and depends on them leaving their brains at the theatre door.” -Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader


“Peppermint”: 11%

STX Entertainment‘Peppermint.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

Average rating: 3.3/10

“There was a time when a woman being the star of her own bad action franchise could have been considered the apex of progress, but that time is past.” -Emily Yoshida, New York Magazine/Vulture


“Siberia”: 11%

Saban Films‘Siberia.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%

Average rating: 4/10

“A fatalistic romance framed by a pointedly obscure heist plot that struggles to gain momentum before finally sputtering out.” -Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter


“Slender Man”: 7%

Sony Pictures‘Slender Man.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 7%

Average rating: 3.2/10

“It turns its boogeyman into a generic figure of menace who doesn’t feel ready for his moment in the horror movie spotlight.” -Jesse Hassenger, AV Club


“Gotti”: 0%

YouTube‘Gotti.’

Rotten Tomatoes score: 0%

Average rating: 2.2/10

“Gotti is a connect-the-dots disaster – the don’s greatest hits, so to speak – without discernible theme or cohesive narrative.” -Frank Lovece,Newsday

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