20 Best Movies and Performances at Sundance 2018

From a sexual-abuse survivor's tale to a bone-chilling ghost story, broad social satires to free-form docs, the highlights of this year's fest

Load Previous
'Eighth Grade'
18
3/18

'Eighth Grade'

To paraphrase a smarter writer: We have seen the future of coming-of-age films, and its name is Eighth Grade. Stand-up comic Bo Burnham's directorial debut is so attuned to the life of its 13-year-old heroine Kayla (Elsie Fisher, a major find) and her social-mediafied, status-obsessed middle school world that it feels like a documentary at moments; you don't have to be a preteen or the parent of one to recognize the misfit anxiety, the giddiness behind a mall hangout, the need to connect and the sense of being stuck in the middle of purgatory (or worse, puberty). No other Sundance movie genuinely moved us as much as this painfully authentic Tales of an Eighth-Grade Nothing, or felt more graceful in the way it cracked us up one second and made us tear up the next. And while the underrated Josh Hamilton (see also: his solid supporting work in Blaze) is gifted with a great paternal speech, this is Fisher's show from the second she appears onscreen, recording a self-help YouTube video that brims with desperation. It's great – or to quote Kayla, it's 100-percent "Gucci!"

Back to Top