Best-Reviewed Movies 2018: Limited Release

Limited releases are movies that never crossed the 600-theater threshold. They also present some of the most urgent voices of the year, delivering vital and provocative messages. Nearly half of the best-reviewed limiteds were directed by women, while the top movie was a black-and-white intimate epic of a family maid, a story you’d never witness if you didn’t scratch beyond the multiplex (or, in this case, fire up your streaming device if it wasn’t playing near you).

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of December 31, 2018. Scores might change over time.

#1

Roma (2018)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 112.1%
Critics Consensus: Roma finds writer-director Alfonso Cuarón in complete, enthralling command of his visual craft - and telling the most powerfully personal story of his career.
Synopsis: The most personal project to date from Academy Award (R)-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#2

Leave No Trace (2018)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 109.213%
Critics Consensus: Leave No Trace takes an effectively low-key approach to a potentially sensationalistic story -- and further benefits from brilliant work by Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie.
Synopsis: Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the... [More]
Directed By: Debra Granik

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 110.348%
Critics Consensus: Deftly directed and laced with dark wit, Can You Ever Forgive Me? proves a compelling showcase for deeply affecting work from Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy.
Synopsis: In CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who... [More]
Directed By: Marielle Heller

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 106.163%
Critics Consensus: The Death of Stalin finds director/co-writer Arnando Iannucci in riotous form, bringing his scabrous political humor to bear on a chapter in history with painfully timely parallels.
Synopsis: The one-liners fly as fast as political fortunes fall in this uproarious, wickedly irreverent satire from Armando Iannucci (Veep, In... [More]
Directed By: Armando Iannucci

#5
Adjusted Score: 107.643%
Critics Consensus: Understated yet ultimately deeply affecting, Shoplifters adds another powerful chapter to director Hirokazu Koreeda's richly humanistic filmography.
Synopsis: After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At... [More]
Directed By: Hirokazu Koreeda

#6

The Rider (2018)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104.028%
Critics Consensus: The Rider's hard-hitting drama is only made more effective through writer-director Chloé Zhao's use of untrained actors to tell the movie's fact-based tale.
Synopsis: Based on his a true story, THE RIDER stars breakout Brady Jandreau as a once rising star of the rodeo... [More]
Directed By: Chloé Zhao

#7

McQueen (2018)
99%

#7
Adjusted Score: 103.368%
Critics Consensus: McQueen offers an intimate, well-sourced, and overall moving look at a young life and brilliant career that were tragically cut short.
Synopsis: A personal look at the extraordinary life, career and artistry of Alexander McQueen. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Ian Bonhôte

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 103.085%
Critics Consensus: Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) finds writer-director Carla Simón drawing on personal memories to create a thoughtful drama elevated by outstanding work from its young leads.
Synopsis: In Carla Simón's touching autobiographical film, six-year-old Frida looks on in silence as the last objects from her recently deceased... [More]
Directed By: Carla Simón

#9
Adjusted Score: 103.123%
Critics Consensus: Surreal and surprising, Three Identical Strangers effectively questions the nature of reality and identity.
Synopsis: Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Tim Wardle

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 102.225%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, well-acted, and intelligently crafted, The Guilty is a high-concept thriller that wrings maximum impact out of a handful of basic - and effective - ingredients.
Synopsis: When police officer Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) is demoted to desk work, he expects a sleepy beat as an emergency... [More]
Directed By: Gustav Möller

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