Once again, as with my Top 25 Best Performances of 2008, I just couldn’t bring myself to only make a top ten, because there were a few movies this year that wouldn’t make my top ten, but in my opinion certainly deserved to be mentioned, so I made a top 15. This was a great year for films even if it didn’t start to shine until the summer. It was a tough year from a critic’s stand point, mainly because it gets very hard to make a list like this at the end of the year. It was fortunately a great year for anyone who’s a fan of films. Well here’s my list, I hope you enjoy it.
It was very nice to see another good western to come out this year. I love this genre and I hope it never ends. This one in particular had a plot that was both simple and developed very well. The acting was great and two of the performances made it onto my top 25 performances of the year. I loved all the the performances, but Viggo’s and Irons’ performances were especially good. If you enjoy the genre you won’t want to miss this one.
14. Burn After Reading
Burn After Reading was a great movie, but it isn’t getting the credit it deserves mostly because its not really being understood. Well I enjoyed every character, every line, and every second of what is now in my mind a classic Coen Brothers movie. Extra props goes out to Brad Pitt for playing a limited role to pure perfection. I laughed out loud every time he came on screen.
Milk was a great movie, but I do believe it is getting way too much credit because there were many movies that came out this year that were much better. Either way, Milk was well made and incredibly acted by all especially Josh Brolin and Sean Penn. Its a tale that needed to be told and it couldn’t have been told mush better or with a better cast then this.
12. In Bruges
In Bruges was rather surprising finding almost a perfect middle ground between comedy and drama. It was able to be very dramatic and even sad at times, while being absolutely hilarious at others, Ralph Fiennes was amazing and I had no complaints with any of the other actors. I just saw this movie for the first time on DVD and I only wish I would’ve been able to catch it in the theater. I probably would’ve liked it even more.
Another great Guy Ritchie movie with great characters, dialogue and writing. There was a bit more story to this one instead of just a fast-paced shoot em’ up, which was a very nice surprise. I can’t wait till Guy Ritchie’s next project. People say that Guy Ritchie just directs the same movie over and over. I don’t agree, I think Ritchie has just established his own movie genre for himself. Others have tried to copy and done great like In Bruges or Layer Cake, while others have failed like Smokin Aces, but nonetheless, this is Ritchie’s territory and he owns it.
10. Quantum of Solace
I enjoyed Quantum of Solace much more than people are saying. Sure it wasn’t as good as the first, but it was still a great movie. There were some small details that should’ve been fixed and a certain line that needed to be said. All that aside, Quantum of Solace was an intelligently crafted and well-acted action thriller that deserves a place in memory. I for one can’t wait for the next.
9. Gran Torino
Gran Torino was a highly entertaining movie due mainly to Clint Eastwood and the wonderful dialogue and transformation he exuberates. Gran Torino is a wonderful drama that teaches us morals of race and the ability to change, while being completely entertaining the whole way through. The suppoting acting wasn’t that great sure, but Clint Eastwood sure makes up for it.
8. Body of Lies
This is very sadly, a highly over looked movie. I was very excited for it and saw it in the first weekend. It was incredible, it told a very good story with a great cast and had some really great action sequences to boot. I didn’t understand why not many people were seeing it and why it wasn’t getting very good grades, but either way, I loved the movie and can’t wait for another viewing. If you get the chance, check out this movie. Its a very entertaining watch.
W. was a fantastic movie from start to finish. Some might disagree with me putting this movie so high (his name may start with an L and end with an ANCE), but I loved this movie. It was not what I was expecting, in a good way though. I was expecting a very well-made comedy with Oliver Stone at the helm, that would just bash on Bush. What I got was a drama with a bit of comedy thrown in. I actually liked Bush better after seeing the movie. The movie tells his story and allows you to draw your own opinions, I felt empathy for the guy. The movie was also great because of the performances of Josh Brolin and Richard Dreyfuss. They made a perfect team. The direction made what could’ve been very boring into very entertaining and what else can be expected of Oliver Stone.
6. The Wrestler
The Wrestler was movie I just recently saw and I’m so glad I did. It was such a good movie and its just really hard to describe why without giving away much other than saying that Mickey Rourke was spectacular in a role that won’t soon be forgot. The Wrestler was also probably the saddest movie I’ve seen, ever. The fact that it made me feel sad tells me that they did exactly what they set out to do. The Wrestler is a must-see this year not only for Rourke’s performance, but also the incredible story of someone whose not so incredible any more.
WALL-E is a fantastic movie. It is visually a spectacle to watch and yes it is an animated movie, but nonetheless it deserves to be this high like any other movie. It is able to have many criticisms on society, while telling a wonderful tale of how love concurs all. Each character and scene is more beautiful and creative than the last. It makes you feel every emotion and is able to keep you enthralled with the story even with the limited dialogue it has.
4. Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire is an incredible movie and it tells a story of love that we’ve all heard or seen before, but it tells it in a way that is so different and original. Slumdog Millionaire is being called by most, the best films of the year and yes it is up there, it is one of the best, but is it the best? No I don’t believe so, obviously, as you can see, I enjoyed three other movies more than this one, but I do not think this is the best. I will be disappointed if it wins the oscar for best picture, but I will not be angry because it still is a great movie.
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an epic in all shapes and forms. It tells one of the most beautiful tales I’ve ever seen of love and life. It is acted and directed to perfection. The movie is so astoundingly beautiful and it shows such original thoughts and morals. There’s a whole strew of well-crafted characters and scenes and through the whole movie, not once did the length bother me. It felt almost short because it was telling a story that took place over an 80 year time span. This is an elegant tale that shows that all people are special and different and everyone deserves to be loved.
FROST/NIXON was an event to be remembered. It was such a surprise of a movie, it was amazing how much better this movie was then I originally thought and I already thought it was going to be a great movie, what I saw was nothing short of perfection. It wasn’t just the incredible action, which was IN-CRED-I-BLE, it was a direction, the way the film just kept building nonstop tension, never let up and gave you everything you wanted to see and more. Frank Langella was of course breath taking, but not just him, but everybody just fit perfectly into every role. FROST/NIXON unfortunately was pretty over-looked because of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire came out around the same time and I actually enjoyed FROST/NIXON more then both of them. It’s a movie with no action, but dialogue so well written and acted that the audience feels so involved to the point where it does feel just like action. FROST/NIXON is the kind of film you could watch over and over because you just fail to release that your watching a movie. A spectacle to be hold that only comes around once in a blue moon.
1. The Dark Knight
Anyone who has read this site before will find this of now surprise because I’ve stated in the past multiple times that not only is this the best movie of the year, but the greatest movie ever made, and I’ve seen a lot of movies. The Dark Knight is an epic masterpiece of good and evil. What more could you ask for? The classic ritual of good vs. evil has been used sense the beginning of film and it will be used until the end of film. This is the greatest depiction of good vs. evil ever created. Each understands that god needs the devil, good needs evil and they need each other. There is no good without evil and there is no evil without good. The Joker is the greatest character in film history by far. He is so evil that he kills innocent people for fun and is willing to be killed knowing that it will instill chaos and anarchy into a world that he thinks desperately needs it. While the hero of the story won’t kill anyone knowing that’s what seperates him from the dark side sort of speak. The Joker won’t kill Batman though either because he knows that evil needs good. He knows that he won’t have nearly as much “fun” without him. That’s the genius of the film and the whole Batman series, the greatest hero ever who never even asks for anything in return will never kill the greatest evil ever and vice-versa. The Dark Knight is a masterpiece, in my opinion, that’s the best way to describe a film, and it most certainly is a masterpiece.