Top 10 Films We Saw in 2008

On new year's day, every year for more than two decades, I make a "top ten" list of the films I've seen during the previous year. These may or may not correspond to films eligible for Oscars and other awards for the year in question since--alas--not all films open here in the same year they're up for awards. Here's the latest crop of masterpieces...

Top 10
(in order, with #1 best of the year)

1. Frozen River
2. Favela Rising
3. Hairspray (by far the most fun I had in a theatre all year. This was followed closely in the "just-plain-fun" category by Mamma Mia, but I'd never claim that was a good much less great film.)
4. There Will be Blood
5. Wall-E
6. Persepolis
7. The Counterfeiters
8. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
9. Milk
10. The Visitor

(in no particular order, and including older films)
  • Starting Out in the Evening
  • Elegy
  • The Band's Visit
  • Iron Man
  • Burn After Reading
  • The Fall (as the wise Boston Globe critic put it, "a narrative train wreck, but ooooooh, such pretty pictures")
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • A Passage to India
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Man Push Cart
  • MASH
  • Wallace and Gromit: The Case of the Were-Rabbit

And the "Avoid at all costs" stinkers of the year list:

  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona (No more Woody Allen! Ever! No matter what!)
  • Happy Go Lucky (I left after 20 minutes of this treacle)
  • Beowulf (read the damn book!)

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