1. 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is the year’s biggest (and best) surprise. Ostensibly, it’s the introduction of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), the half-black/half-Latino “Ultimate” version of the character from the comics. But it’s also so much more than that. Weaving in at least a half-dozen Spider-characters from every corner of the Marvel comics continuum, it is, instead, a grand kind of Spider-story, one that you feel could only be told in animation. Quick-witted and extremely self-aware, it’s also one of the most beautiful-looking movies of the year, using brand new technologies and processes to make it feel like a living comic book. But that makes it seem like it exists purely as a technical accomplishment and really, that’s not the case. The action sequences are dynamic and alive, the vocal performances pitch-perfect, and the core emotionality of the story, about an awkward kid trying to find his place in a world far crazier than he ever imagined, is resonant and profound.