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Warning: spoilers for various films from 2018’s release schedule are in play. If you’re afraid of spoiling some of the year’s most memorable movie moments, bookmark this list and come back later.
2018 was a pretty spectacular year at the movies, and you only need to look back at the release calendar to remember some of the biggest moments of the year. But another, more surprising, way to see how good the year has been to cinephiles and pop culture is to take a look at the most memorable quotes of the year. In that respect, the moviegoers were indeed spoiled.
Normally, it’s a firm tradition to have 10 solid lines of dialogue, and that’s it. However, 2018 provided 12 moments of wordy wisdom and conversational coziness that demanded the field be expanded. With critics claiming movies aren’t as quotable as they used to be, this is something quite special. So break out your notebooks, or print out this list and fasten it to your fridge, because these are the best lines of dialogue the past year has given to moviegoers.
“All these protocols and procedures to make it seem like you have it under control. But you’re a bunch of boys making models out of balsa wood. You don’t have anything under control!” – Janet Armstrong, First Man
While First Man may have come and gone from the popular conversation at galactic pace, there’s still some aspects of the film that made themselves known. In particular, Claire Foy’s performance as Janet Armstrong, Neil’s beleaguered wife is one that you’ll probably be hearing about as the awards season drums continue to beat.
Most assuredly, the big moment that’ll make her clip reel is when during the Gemini 8 mission’s infamous rough patch, Janet tells off a couple of Neil Armstrong’s NASA peers. Janet is the human core to First Man’s historical story, and her reactions throughout the film ground the audience’s perspective. So this moment of fiery condemnation says what we’d all pretty much be thinking in that scenario, and then some.
“You should have gone for the head.” – Thanos, Avengers: Infinity War
Sometimes, the most chilling moments in movie history happen with very little fanfare. Towards the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the battle of Wakanda suggests that maybe, just maybe, our heroes have defeated Thanos, and prevented the apocalypse. But while Thor buried an ax right into the purple tinted tyrant’s skin, it wasn’t a total killshot; which lead to some famous last words before Thanos executed The Decimation.
Pivotal moments like this live or die on those “famous last words.” If they’re too flowery, you can see the moment coming a mile away. However, if they’re too cold, the significance doesn’t come through as well as it should. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely understand this approach pretty damned well, as they honed in on the right words to clue the audience, and Thor himself, towards the devastation ahead.
“If we’re kind and polite, the world will be right.” – Paddington, Paddington 2
Ever since the smash hit release of Paddington, the brown Peruvian bear mentioned in the title has become a symbol of the kindness the world wishes to see in itself. His kind but firm nature has been a welcome addition to popular culture, and has inspired the world to be a little kinder.
So the fact that Paddington 2 continued the trend, in particularly divisive times, was a welcome respite from the usual zoom and boom seen at the movies. And leave it to Aunt Lucy to give Paddington Brown the best piece of advice that a young bear, as well as a young moviegoer of the human race, could ever hold onto through such trying events.
“Bok bok, bitch” – Peik Lin, Crazy Rich Asians
Awkwafina has had a hell of a 2018, with her roles in both Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians allowing her to steal the spotlight with the right amount of snark and sass. Out of the two though, her role as Peik Lin, best friend to Constance Wu’s Rachel, is the more hard hitting in the comedy world of 2018. With her signature brash attitude, she delivers a pep talk for the ages when it comes to Rachel’s issues with her boyfriend’s mother.
Even better, Peik rounds out her sound words of advise with a metaphor involving a game of chicken, which is totally ad-libbed but fits perfectly into the panoply of colorful attitude and style that Crazy Rich Asians used to make itself a certified hit. Sure, it’s a huge laugh line and it’s extremely quotable, but it also stands out as why this film was such a mega hit with audiences, turning it into a cultural statement for this year’s push towards diversity.
“Welcome to Jurassic World” – Dr. Malcolm, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
It’s the sort of line spoiler-filled trailers dream of being able to run in their ad campaign. In the case of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it’s also a chilling portent that nails the twist ending right on the head. With bookending scenes of testimony courtesy of Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm, there’s no better way to say the genie’s out of the bottle than to give the storied chaotician this heavy line.
With the dinosaurs out in the wild, and humanity poised to clash with their primal ways in a very immediate way, the callback to John Hammond’s triumphant welcome in Jurassic Park ties the legacy of the series firmly to its latest entry. It’s creepy, it’s doom filled, and it’s an uber-effective tease to the next sequel in the series.
“Music is essentially twelve notes between any octave. Twelve notes and the octave repeats. It’s the same story told over and over, forever. All any artist can offer the world is how they see those twelve notes.” – Bobby, A Star Is Born
It’s hard enough to make a film that can stand out in a year as crowded as 2018. But to make a notable remake of a film so oft repeated as A Star Is Born is quite a feat in and of itself. Co-writer / director Bradley Cooper did just that, as he turned the traditional Hollywood story of the fickle nature of fame into a modern masterpiece that captured the hearts and minds of audiences all over.
But even better is the fact that the script to Cooper’s modern remake contains such a gem that not only speaks to the nature of music; it also calls its own shot. A Star Is Born has been told so many times, it was a valid concern to bring up the fact that it had been done so many times before. Yet just like those musical notes Sam Elliot tells Lady Gaga about, his viewpoint on the story made it fresh and heartbreaking all over again.
“Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. ‘Cause they knew death was better than bondage.” – Killmonger, Black Panther
Black Panther is, without question, one of 2018’s largest cultural touchstones. Director Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole landed a 1,2 punch of a hit superhero film, coated with social relevance and biting commentary. Perhaps the most poignant moment of such commentary is in the final words of Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger.
As he sits, dying in the light of the Wakandan sun, he issues this last request to Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. Knowing he’d never be free again after the actions he’d done through the film’s chain of events, Killmonger’s bold statement only draws further dimensions into his character’s motivations. It makes him one of the best villains of the year, as well as one of the biggest conversation points to the film’s narrative meaning.
“Why do you have to make everything so fucking complicated?” – August Walker, Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Oh, the mighty F-Bomb. In a PG-13 movie, you’re only ever allowed one, two tops; so you have to make them count. Sure enough, there were two pretty big movies that used that limited usage in the best way, Mission: Impossible — Fallout being one of them. Naturally, that moment came out of one of the film’s villains.
Henry Cavill’s August Walker basically said what every villain wants to say when creating a layered and nuanced plan for revenge against their own Ethan Hunt-like foil. Sometimes, the simplest plan is the one that works best; and seeing as major movie villains haven’t learned that lesson over the past few decades or so, August’s frustration calls this out in perfectly comedic fashion.
“3 for 1? How can that be profitable for Frito Lay?” – Gary, Game Night
Game Night is the perfect example of taking a stock comedy concept, and injecting some new life into the mix. Nowhere does the film show this more promisingly than in the inclusion of character Gary, played for maximum laughs by Jessie Plemmons. What begins as a simple lie, told to him by Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, turns into one hell of a punchline.
With Gary’s overly inquisitive nature not allowing him to let go of the matter, he ponders just how a “3 for 1” deal on chips is not an indication of a party that he’s not invited to, but rather a deal too good to pass up. It’s the sort of quick a film like Game Night needs to stay fresh, and it’s a joke that hasn’t lost its crunch since being opened in the early months of 2018.
“We’re four misfits who don’t belong together, we’re playing for other misfits. They’re the outcasts right at the back of the room. We’re pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.” – Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody
The legacy of Queen has always been one that strived to include everyone in the room in on their unique brand of fun and showmanship. If there was any point that Bohemian Rhapsody had to make in its narrative, this is quite possibly the most important. So leave it to Freddie Mercury to be the one to tell the world just what made the band so special to the world.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic that, while not pleasing to critics, knew how to get some significant touchstones absolutely correct. Writer Anthony McCarten’s inclusion of such a line boils down the appeal of Queen to one simple statement. It’s something that fans have always cherished, and the band has always embodied. In times where music fans may feel left out in their own everyday lives, it’s nice to be reminded that somewhere, there’s a group of misfits out there waiting for you to join in on the fun.
“It’s fucking Chucky!” – Sixer #6, Ready Player One
Behold, the second, and probably more effective F-bomb of 2018. Who would have thought that a nostalgia soaked PG-13 thrill ride like Ready Player One would have brought such “harsh language” to the party? It’s Spielberg. No one ever expects him to really play that card. However, knowing his own playbook rather well, it’s nice to see that Steven Spielberg can play around with expectations and reality in his own special way.
Thanks to Zak Penn and Ernest Cline’s decision to deploy the holiest of holy movie profanities was a pretty big step. The extra cherry on the top is the fact that it pertains to a moment involving Chucky from Child’s Play, a well known proponent of such language. It’s a moment where pop culture, and the expectations of the material in front of the audience, collide and produce a perfect moment of surprise comedy.
“Anyone can wear the mask. YOU could wear the mask. If you didn’t know that before, I hope you do now.” – Miles Morales, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
If 2018 had a quote to live by, it would most certainly be Miles Morales’ closing lines from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. In a year where personal identity and representation have been two big hallmarks of discourse, having a movie directly address those concerns was a sure fire way to enter the popular conversation. But, as with any message, the right words can turn a simple statement into a bold one.
After having been exposed to many different spider-people in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, the audience learns the same lesson that Miles does while stumbling his way into the heroic mold he now occupies: anyone can be a hero. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do, so long as your intention is pure, and you can stand by your convictions. While it arrived late in the year, this very statement is the sort that perfectly sums up the year we’ve had in 2018, with a message of hope to carry us all into 2019.
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