Top 10 Most Diverse Films of 2018

And how they fared at the box office

Written by Li Lai

A s the founder and editor-in-chief of Mediaversity Reviews, onscreen representation is my bread and butter. There are plenty of wonderful critics who review by traditional metrics, but I started our unique scoring system to find a way to consistently take into account the social and historical context of individual films. For example, did we really need a fourth remake of A Star is Born—a strong directorial debut, to be sure, but one that perpetuates toxic masculinity? And why are we on our ninth adaptation of The Jungle Book, a colonialist relic rehashed through this year’s Mowgli?

In this painfully nostalgic time for cinema, our mission at Mediaversity is all the clearer: We champion fresh stories with new things to say. That’s why we score our reviews not only on technical merit, but on the representation of voices who have been shut out of Hollywood for too long. Specifically, our scores factor in gender parity and racial diversity—and through bonus points or deductions, we also take into account the representation of LGBTQ, seniors, disability, minority religions, or diverse body shapes.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. We reviewed just 29 of the 812 films that came out in theaters this year and if I was judging on cultural impact, this list might look a bit different. Movies that master one category like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with its Afro-Latino lead, A Quiet Place with its inclusion of Deaf talent, or queer-friendly period drama The Favourite may not have made this Top 10 which prioritizes intersectionality, but their successes are profound and pave the way for more diverse storytelling.

So without further ado, here are Mediaversity’s picks of the year!


10. Love, Simon

Love, Simon gave us a feel-good gay romance, complete with a synth-pop soundtrack any John Hughes fan would happily throw into their tape deck.

Mediaversity Score: 4.08/5
Production Budget: $17.0M
Worldwide Gross: $66.3M

Read the review

9. Blockers

Blockers championed sex positivity and female empowerment while being hilarious to boot.

Mediaversity Score: 4.25/5
Production Budget: $21.0M
Worldwide Gross: $93.7M

Read the review

8. Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians staked its claim as the summer’s most surprising blockbuster and proved that an all-Asian cast can appeal to anyone who simply wants to see a glittery rom-com.

Mediaversity Score: 4.33/5
Production Budget: $30.0M
Worldwide Gross: $238.0M

Read the review

7. BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman may very well be Spike Lee’s most accessible film to date and served as a good primer on race in America.

Mediaversity Score: 4.42/5
Production Budget: $15.0M
Worldwide Gross: $88.8M

Read the review

6. Searching

Searching challenged the stereotype of the stoic East Asian father and gave us a riveting thriller anchored by positive masculinity.

Mediaversity Score: 4.50/5
Production Budget: $1.0M
Worldwide Gross: $75.1M

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5. The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give took the conversation of racial inequality and police brutality to the next level, layering introspection and hope to a harsh reality.

Mediaversity Score: 4.58/5
Production Budget: $23.0M
Worldwide Gross as of December 28, 2018: $32.2M

Read the review

4. If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk presented one of cinema’s rare expressions of Black love.

Mediaversity Score: 4.67/5
Production Budget: $12.0M
Worldwide Gross as of December 28, 2018: $1.4M

3. A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time celebrated a young biracial woman passionate about science and showed us that we could each be the heroes of our own stories.

Mediaversity Score: 4.75/5
Production Budget: $100.0M
Worldwide Gross: $132.7M

Read the review

2. Roma

Set in Mexico City, Roma centered a Oaxacan domestic worker and shone a light on the complexities of Mexican identity.

Mediaversity Score: 4.83/5
Production Budget: $15.0M
Worldwide Gross as of December 28, 2018: ~$1.9M

Read the review

1. Black Panther

Black Panther upended everything we knew about comic book movies and proved that audiences are hungry for fresh, new, and authentic storytelling.

Mediaversity Score: 4.92/5
Production Budget: $200.0M
Worldwide Gross: $1.3B

Read the review



Mediaversity Reviews is a project that grades TV & films on gender, race, and LGBTQ diversity. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or email us at li@mediaversityreviews.com to join the conversation!