2018 Year in Review

We’re happy to report that, right here in this dimension, your ratings over the past year have landed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as our highest rated film of 2018. It also won highest rated animated film, and its impressively high 4.5 average makes it the top animated feature of all time (displacing Spirited Away for the first time in our history).

Next to Spidey on the podium is Alfonso Cuarón’s “contemplative masterworkRoma in second place, and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “richly transportiveShoplifters in third. Roma was also rated top non-English language film and top drama.

Halala also to the “culturally importantBlack Panther, our most popular film, an honor bestowed on the movie that members interacted with most during the year, regardless of rating. But let’s not spoil any more of the news…

The 2018 Letterboxd Year in Review

Hot tip: on devices with keyboards, we recommend navigating via your up/down arrow keys for the most satisfying experience.

The numbers

The results are based on our community’s combined ratings as at January 1, 2019. We use the same method every year to calculate the results: films must be feature-length, narrative or documentary, and have been watched by at least 1,000 members (up from 500 last year).

If they meet the above criteria, all films that had at least a limited theatrical (or streaming) run in the US during 2018 are eligible for inclusion—we used Mike D’Angelo’s exhaustive NYC release list to help us keep track, with additional help from Jack Moulton. Yes, Paddington 2 (with a US release in January) gets his day in the sun, sitting proud at number four in our highest rated list, after leading the pack at the year’s halfway point.

The only sections for which the release window rule does not apply are “Ones to Watch”, highlighting the highest rated films watched by a smaller number of members, and “Most Obsessively Rewatched”, which can include films released in any year.

As on the site, we differentiate between popular films (a measure of the amount of activity a film receives regardless of rating) and highly rated films. Rankings in the “Highest Rated” categories are based on the same weighted average used on the site (the ‘weighted’ part refers to a mechanism that ensures a more accurate average for films with a low number of ratings).

We’ve compiled longer lists for the main categories and published these under the yir2018 tag, or you can visit them directly: Highest Rated Films, Most Popular Films, Highest Rated Films by Women Directors, Most Popular Films by Women Directors, and highest rated Action, Animation, Horror, Sci-Fi, Documentary and Non-English Language films.

The highlights

One stat we’re particularly happy to see: eleven women directors appear in our list of 50 Highest Rated Films, up from just three in 2017. As we’ve noted in the past, there is room for so much improvement in the industry as far as representation goes, but this sure is an encouraging indicator, as is the higher number of directors of color.

Digging deeper, we found 22 women writers attached to seventeen of the 50 highest rated films. And nineteen of the films had interesting female leads—not including films with diverse ensemble casts. Countries represented in the top 50, aside from the US and UK: Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Poland, India, Italy, Taiwan, France, Brazil, Lebanon, Spain, China, Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Darkest Peru and Wakanda. Enjoy!


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