WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
So many movies, so much dialogue, so many great lines.
2018 has seen some of the best writing delivered on screen, from period dramas to musicals to superhero epics. But what are the lines that have stuck in our minds over the last 12 months?
Here are ten of the most memorable ones 2018 had to offer.
“Can I tell you a secret? I think you might be a songwriter.”
The movie: A Star Is Born
The character: Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper)
The set-up: Jackson is a rock star teetering on the edge of the abyss; Ally is the woman who eases him back off the ledge. Their tumultuous, push-and-pull relationship is established in this early scene, where Ally – a talented artist who can’t break into the music industry – sings a few bars of a song about Jackson she makes up on the spot.
“Tell me something, boy / Aren’t you tired tryin’ to fill that void? / Or do you need more? / Ain’t it hard keepin’ it so hardcore?” Maine, who isn’t used to being told the truth is gobsmacked and tells Ally exactly what she’s always wanted to hear.
The movie: Avengers: Infinity War
The character: Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)
The set-up: What else is there to say when half the universe has been wiped out with the snap of a finger? Avenger after Avenger crumbles to dust and after several minutes of muted panic, the reality finally sets in for Cap, who can only plead to the Almighty.
There’s a great piece of intentional symmetry from the Russo brothers with Steve’s final line; think back to Loki’s parting comment to Thanos in the opening scene, as he’s holding him by the neck and throttling the life out of him: “You’ll never be a God.” Turns out he was wrong.
An honourable mention must also go to Peter Parker’s heartbreaking final line which has become a meme in its own right.
“Be still my beating vagina.”
The movie: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
The character: Tanya (Christine Baranski)
The set-up: Back on their perfectly idyllic Greek island, Sophie introduces her two surrogate aunts, Tanya (Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), to the owner of her new hotel, Andy Garcia’s bearded Mediterranean playboy Fernando Cienfuegos. Hubba hubba, as they say.
Tanya can barely conceal her lust, and that’s before she’s even heard the Italian accent. Hot flushes all round.
“Sir, it seems that you’re no better a judge of human beings than you are a specimen of one.”
The movie: The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
The character: Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson)
The set-up: The Coen brothers’ western compilation hit Netflix late this year, but it’s packed full of cracking curios, oddball characters and offbeat short stories. The title character, Buster Scruggs, is played with goofy likeability by Tim Blake Nelson, but he is not a cowboy to be messed with.
Dressed from head to toe in white duds, Scruggs gets a few dirty looks from the cowpokes propping up the saloon, prompting this epic clap-back. Then he shoots everyone, proving the first part of his idiom correct.
“That’s right. P***k.”
The movie: Mission: Impossible – Fallout
The character: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise)
The set-up: Hunt takes to the skies to bring down partner turned criminal August Walker, shimmying up the rope of a helicopter in order to engage in a high octane chopper chase through the treacherous mountains of Kashmir.
It’s not a sequence that’s heavy on particularly witty dialogue, but Cruise’s single kiss-off line is perfect – it comes just as Walker figures out who just tried to fly a ‘copter up his butt, and the line is laced with just the right amount of venom.
“Yesss!… Oh no, he died!”
The movie: Game Night
The character: Annie (Rachel McAdams)
The set-up: The year’s most underrated comedy, Game Night sees married couple Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams get caught up in a criminal enterprise which they think is all part of an ‘extended reality’ murder mystery night. As it happens, they’re real bad guys, brandishing real guns, and it’s all just a horrible coincidence.
McAdams’s character Annie finds herself being threatened by a hired goon, and briefly celebrates with a fist pump when said henchman is sucked through a jet engine… before realising, oh, right, yeah, that guy’s actually dead for realsies. The delivery is perfect: watch it here on YouTube eight thousand times in a row.
“Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, ’cause they knew death was better than bondage.”
The movie: Black Panther
The character: Killmonger (Michael B Jordan)
The set-up: Not the kind of line you might expect to hear in a Disney movie, right? Marvel’s Black Panther has its customary pixel-on-pixel final fight scene featuring hero and villain – so far, so blah. But Killmonger – arguably a way more interesting character than T’Challa himself – gets a worthy exit line once he’s been beaten in combat, refusing to obey like he’s refused his whole life. He meets his end with dignity, watching the beautiful, red sun set on Wakanda for a final time.
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
The movie: Christopher Robin
The character: Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings)
The set-up: There aren’t many characters more cuddly than Winnie the Pooh; out of the mouth of any other teddy bear such a line might come off as patronising and twee, the kind of trite aphorism you might find on a pencil case, but when Pooh drops wisdom bombs, the world sits up and listens.
It’s the kind of line that’s made Pooh a poster child for a new generation of ditherers and proud under-achievers – although if you’re going to brag about your own apathy, we’d recommend you put some trousers on first.
“If you do not go, I will start kicking you and I will not stop.”
The movie: The Favourite
The character: Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz)
The set-up: It’s a bit of a cheat this one because it’s not officially released until 1 January, but we had to include it because barely a scene passes without a fantastic insult or a cutting one-liner.
The rivalry between Weisz and Emma Stone for the affection of Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne turns real nasty real quick, and the veil is swiftly lifted from the threats between the two, even when they’re whispered quietly and calmly. Weisz’s feisty noblewoman is good value for more brutal threats; she later confides to a male counterpart she feels “a surge of desire to see your nose broken.”
“I pity your wife if you think six minutes is forever.”
The movie: Bohemian Rhapsody
The character: Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek)
The set-up: You could always rely on Freddie for a spicy quote or three, and biopic Bohemian Rhapsody delivered on that count, even if it did feel like the edges had been taken off a little bit (Mercury famously once said of himself: “I’m just an old slag who gets up every morning, scratches his head and wonders who he wants to f***”).
In this case, it’s Mike Myers’ fictional record executive who feels Freddie’s wrath, who dares to suggest that the band’s new tune ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was a bit on the long side (“It goes on forever, six bloody minutes!”). Dude: you come at the king, you better not miss.