Nexus’ Best Movies and Music of 2018


Graphic by Elena Hubert

Avengers: Infinity War, Roma, and Black Panther were a few of Nexus’ favorite movies of the year. Black Panther: The Album, Golden Hour, and Kids See Ghosts were some of the year’s notable albums.

2018 was a monumental year for films and music. The first Marvel movie with a mostly black cast, Black Panther, was released. Cardi B became the first female rapper with three chart-topping songs on the Billboard rankings. Avengers: Infinity War became the fastest film to gross $1 billion worldwide, beating Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s safe to say that 2018 was a high point for the arts.
The best and most popular film of the year was Black Panther. Released with the highest expectations, the movie did not disappoint with high-quality images and actors, which gave it a Best Picture nomination at the 2019 Academy Awards. Along with notable actors such as Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, and Lupita Nyong’o, Black Panther brought some fresh faces such as Chadwick Boseman and Letitia Wright.
Both Avengers: Infinity War, with its action-packed plot that included fan-favorite Marvel superheroes, and Crazy Rich Asians, with its romantic plotline and entertaining characters, did not fall much short of the best films of the year. A Star is Born was also a smash hit in 2018, even being nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards. Showing a new side to global popstar Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born was an emotional flick that delivered some of the most impressive cinematography, and acting of the year.
Indie flicks such as Eighth Grade and Roma also showed a different side to the high-budget, action-packed movies that continually dominate the theaters. Eighth Grade, a coming-of-age nostalgic story that was met with rave reviews, received a 99% rating on film review website Rotten Tomatoes. Roma, which was based on director Alfonso Cuaron’s upbringing in Mexico, is a favorite to win Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards.
These movies were accompanied by some of the great music that came out of the year. 2018 represented a shift from pop to rap, in terms of the public’s perception of music. Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther: the Album delivered hit after hit that maintained Lamar’s signature activism. Travis Scott’s Astroworld established its spot at the top of the Billboard charts with Scott’s catchy lyrics and entrancing beats. Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s Kids See Ghosts collaboration perfectly combined the high-quality production West is known for and Cudi’s melancholic vocals.
Other standout albums included Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour and Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer. Musgraves managed to pull off a whimsical blend of pop and country into her latest album. Notable songs on the album included “Slow Burn”, an acoustic ballad and “High Horse”, a pop-funk bop. After taking a musical hiatus from 2014 to 2017, Monae made a killer comeback with her latest rhythmic, emotion-filled album. Dirty Computer’s standouts included “Make Me Feel”, a track reminiscent of the 1980s, and “I Like That”, with an entrancing beat and thought-provoking lyrics.
Rappers Post Malone and Cardi B were arguably the biggest artists of the year. Malone dominated the charts with “Rockstar”, “Psycho”, and “Better Now”. His album, Beerbongs & Bentleys, contained a song for every mood, from heartfelt ballads to thrilling raps. Cardi B became the artist everyone knows in no time. After first garnering praise for “Bodak Yellow”, Cardi quickly shot up the charts with hit after hit: “Bartier Cardi”, “Motorsport”, and “No Limit”, to name a few. Her album, Invasion of Privacy, delivered the high energy Cardi always delivers and definitively proved that female rappers can dominate.