How do I ask a question like "is it really so that you're just 18?" or "is it really so that the movie was good?", i.e. a surprised question?
My guess is something along the lines of "这是真的，你只有十八岁呢?", but it sounds weird.
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It sounds weird because there is no formal subject (A.K.A. anticipatory subject) in Chinese.
It is [X] that [Y] should be transformed into
[Y][verb as appropriate][X] during translation。For example:
It is a pleasure to meet you. => Meeting you is a pleasure. => 见到你很高兴。
So for the original sentence,
Is it really so that you're just 18? => Are you really just 18? => 你真的只有18岁？
The way I've had Chinese people express surprise to me is to use 这么. For example:
I realize that this is different than the sentence structure that you gave (and that NS.X. helped clarify) but I find that in my interactions with Chinese, they're more apt to follow their question of disbelief with an exclamation describing their reaction in order to express their surprise.