>> Obligatory 2008 Year-End “Best of” List!

10.  Sauna (8/10–Read review here.)

“This atmospheric, creepy “thinking man’s” horror film is the kind of movie that you really hope develops an audience, even a cult one, because it’s totally deserving of the attention.  The unusual time period and setting, along with gorgeous, stark visuals and fantastic production design are all part of what makes Sauna a must-see.”

9.  Iron Man (8/10–Read review here.)

Iron Man is definitely a Marvel Pop Art Production–timely without being deep; disposable entertainment yet completely unforgettable. In other words, superhero comic books personified.”

8.  JCVD (8/10–Read review here.)

“Here is an actor laying himself bare, in the most “meta” of ways, somehow addressing every audience criticism of his acting and his body of work, while still telling a suprisingly original heist story.”

7.  Frost/Nixon (8.5/10–Currently not reviewed.)

The year’s best boxing movie.  My formal review is still on the way.

6.  Synecdoche, New York (8.5/10–Read review here.)

“The reward comes in watching someone’s imagination at work, full-steam ahead, creating a dense, crazed story that feels shockingly personal.”

5.  Slumdog Millionaire (8.5/10–Read review here.)

“The new Danny Boyle film Slumdog Millionaire opens with torture and ends with dancing, and the journey that takes place between these bookends is one of the best times I’ve had at the movies all year long.”

4.  Estomago (8.5/10–Read review here.)

“A robust celebration of food and the female posterior, Estomago is a movie filled to the brim with passion.”

3.  The Wrestler (9/10–Read review here.)

“This movie just feels lived in, more than any other narrative film released in 2008.”

2.  The Dark Knight (9/10–Read review here.)

“This film will influence the landscape of superhero films to come, and if they can come close to capturing a fraction of this movie’s dense complexity then we are very lucky viewers.  The Dark Knight is a crime thriller in every sense of the word, humming with palpable dread, taut suspense, and richly drawn characters.”

1.  Wall-E (9/10–Read review here.)

“I would go so far as to say that the first half of Wall-E is as good as a movie can get. It transports you wholly to another place and time, and connects you emotionally, almost immediately, to an object–not a person, or a loveable talking animal, but a garbage compacting machine called a Wall-E. What kind of skill does it take as a filmmaker to make me empathize and cheer for a garbage compactor?”


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