You haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody!? That’s fine. The Lifehacker staff gathered our collective 2018 movie-watching experience, and named the Oscar-nominated movies that you can safely skip — including ones we ourselves did not even watch. You can actually safely skip any movie, ever, that’s how entertainment works. But you can especially skip these!
A Star Is Born
I am pleased to relieve you of any compulsion you felt to see A Star Is Born. The people who tell you it’s amazing are being manipulated by gauzy lighting and melodramatic music. The characters and story are thin. Bradley Cooper has about three lines and they are all inaudible. Lady Gaga can sing but you already knew that.
It’s a humdrum love story that feels dated, of another time, out of touch with the complex, layered storytelling and rich characterizations of, say, Black KkKlansman or Can You Ever Forgive Me? More like A Star Is Bored and that star is me, and not you, because you’re not going to see this schmaltzy flick.
- Melissa Kirsch, Editor-in-Chief
After watching BlacKkKlansman, I figured a lot of flaws — the mundane dialogue, the awkward arc, the weird motivations that drove the main characters to rookie mistakes, the bad guys who are suddenly good guys and then suddenly bad guys again — must have come out of sticking close to the real-life source material. And then I read director Boots Riley’s essay on how much this story was whitewashed to make racist cops look better.
The real cops had been just as hostile toward black civil rights groups as they had toward the KKK. There wasn’t really a story here worth telling. Know what’s worth telling? Riley’s Sorry to Bother You, probably the most culturally important movie of 2018, which has zero Oscar nominations.
- Nick Douglas, Staff Writer
Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs is not bad. It’s just not as good as hipster god/fashion icon Wes Anderson’s other animal-based claymation wonderland, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Whereas Mr. Fox had all the right stars (Streep! Clooney!), Isle of Dogs is so overstuffed with Anderson’s go-to players that you’ll be googling who’s who on your phone most of the time (oh, that’s F. Murray Abraham’s voice?).
Now this isn’t to say that I dislike Wes Anderson movies — in fact I love them! — this just isn’t his best one, and it’s not even his best animated one. When all is said and done, this will be a footnote in Anderson’s canon, taking a backseat to Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, and Royal Tenenbaums.
- Joel Kahn, Senior Video Producer
Green Book is a movie ostensibly about race relations that resulted in the white actor being nominated for Best Actor and the black actor being nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars. That tells you a lot about the substance of this movie, and if you watched the Golden Globes, then you know that the white director thinks racism can be “solved” if people would just talk and get to know one another a little better (he also apparently thinks it’s funny to surprise people by taking his dick out on set).
That mentality has no basis in reality, but it is one Hollywood loves. In fact, it loves it so much that I’m sure we’ll be treated to a similar movie in a few months — so if you miss this one, you won’t really be missing anything (except a movie about race relations where the white lead thinks it’s OK to say the N word in real life). Mahershala deserves more.
- Alicia Adamczyk, Personal Finance Writer
I would say skip VICE because it was very annoying to watch. The pacing and the tone were both all over the place. Sometimes I felt like I was watching an overly clever powerpoint presentation. If you’re watching because you like seeing Christian Bale act, see any other Christian Bale movie. If you like seeing him and Amy Adams interact, watch American Hustle or something. I don’t know. I’m not good at writing about movies.
- Claire Lower, Food & Beverage Editor
I have not seen Bohemian Rhapsody, but am comfortable saying that unless you absolutely adore Queen and are hankering for as much Queen content as possible, you don’t need to see it. Our brilliant editor-in-chief Melissa pointed out recently that actual concert footage or a documentary is always more satisfying than a biopic, and this is a rule I plan to live by moving forward.
- Virginia K. Smith, Managing Editor
And now it’s your turn: tell us, are we legally required to watch First Man, The Favourite, and Ralph Breaks the Internet?