Justin Chang

Justin Chang is a film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Fresh Air, and a regular contributor to KPCC's FilmWeek. He previously served as chief film critic and editor of film reviews for Variety.

Chang is the author of FilmCraft: Editing, a book of interviews with seventeen top film editors. He serves as chair of the National Society of Film Critics and secretary of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

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Eight years ago, the British comedian Joe Cornish wrote and directed Attack the Block, a sci-fi horror-comedy about a bunch of rowdy South London teenagers warding off aliens from outer space. It was funny, scary and also touchingly sincere in its belief that children are the future, that the fate of the world really does rest on our young people's shoulders.

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So many of my favorite films this year seemed to be in close conversation with each other that it didn't make sense, in the end, for me to separate them. So I didn't. Here are my 12 favorite movies of 2018, listed as a series of themed pairings. You can read my full write-ups of these pairings here, or find a simple list below:

I can't imagine a harder act for a filmmaker to follow than Moonlight. That movie, a quietly shattering portrait of a young black man wrestling with his sexuality, held you rapt with its intimacy; it left you feeling as if you'd stared deep into that young man's soul.

Nearly every review I've read of Alfonso Cuarón's Roma has insisted that you must see it on the big screen, and it's hard not to agree. You can certainly watch and appreciate this immaculately photographed movie when it hits your Netflix queue, but it's hard to imagine its immersive storytelling and virtuoso camerawork having quite the same effect.

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Joel and Ethan Coen have an erratic body of work but a remarkably consistent worldview. So it's no surprise that their six-part Western anthology, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, feels like both an entirely coherent vision and something of a mixed bag.

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