Year-End Top 10s

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Postby Precious Doll » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:36 am

From Film Comment


(Released theatrically in the U.S.)

1. Wendy and Lucy Kelly Reichardt, U.S. 580 points
2. Flight of the Red Balloon Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France 564
3. A Christmas Tale Arnaud Desplechin, France 557
4. Happy-Go-Lucky Mike Leigh, U.K. 538
5. WALL·E Andrew Stanton, U.S. 534
6. Still Life Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong/China 521
7. Paranoid Park Gus Van Sant, France/U.S. 465
8. Waltz with Bashir Ari Folman, Israel/France/Germany 424
9. My Winnipeg Guy Maddin, Canada 406
10. Milk Gus Van Sant, U.S. 356
11. Let the Right One In Tomas Alfredson, Sweden 351
12. The Duchess of Langeais Jacques Rivette, France/Italy 335
13. The Class Laurent Cantet, France 334
14. Synecdoche, New York Charlie Kaufman, U.S. 297
15. Hunger Steve McQueen, U.K. 289
16. Silent Light Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands 286
17. Ballast Lance Hammer, U.S. 283
18. Man on Wire James Marsh, U.K. 282
19. The Exiles Kent Mackenzie, U.S. 257
20. Gomorrah Matteo Garrone, Italy 253
21. The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan, U.S. 252
22. Che Steven Soderbergh, Spain/France/U.S. 237
23. The Wrestler Darren Aronofsky, U.S. 233
24. The Last Mistress Catherine Breillat, France/Italy 229
25. Rachel Getting Married Jonathan Demme, U.S. 215
26. Trouble the Water Carl Deal & Tia Lessin, U.S. 203
27. Momma’s Man Azazel Jacobs, U.S. 202
28. Ashes of Time Redux Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong/China 201
29. In the City of Sylvia José Luis Guerín, Spain/France 200
30. Alexandra Alexander Sokurov, Russia/France 196
31. Encounters at the End of the World Werner Herzog, U.S. 195
32. Gran Torino Clint Eastwood, U.S. 189
33. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon Eric Rohmer, France/Spain/Italy 178
34. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button David Fincher, U.S. 172
35. La France Serge Bozon, France 167
36. Taxi to the Dark Side Alex Gibney, U.S. 163
37. The Edge of Heaven Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey/Italy 161
38. Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle, U.S./U.K. 157
39. Vicky Cristina Barcelona Woody Allen, Spain 154
40. The Silence Before Bach Pere Portabella, Spain 141
41. Frost/Nixon Ron Howard, U.S. 140
42. Woman on the Beach Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 138
43. Before I Forget Jacques Nolot, France 137
44. Frozen River Courtney Hunt, U.S. 126
45. The Order of Myths Margaret Brown, U.S. 123
46. Heartbeat Detector (La Question Humaine) Nicolas Klotz, France 112
47. Tell No One Guillaume Canet, France 110
48. Chop Shop Ramin Bahrani, U.S. 108
49. Profit motive and the whispering wind John Gianvito, U.S. 106
50. Fengming: A Chinese Memoir Bing Wang, China 103


(*Currently without U.S. distribution)

1. The Headless Woman* Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain/France/Italy 201
2. 24 City* Jia Zhang-ke, China/Hong Kong/Japan 171
3. Summer Hours Olivier Assayas, France 154
4. Still Walking Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan 102
5. Tulpan Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Switzerland/Kazakhstan/Russia/Poland 84
6. RR James Benning, U.S. 83
7. 35 Shots of Rum* Claire Denis, France/Germany 78
8. Of Time and the City Terence Davies, U.K. 76
9. Tony Manero* Pablo Larrain, Chile/Brazil 74
10. Liverpool* Lisandro Alonso, Argentina 70
11. Sugar Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, U.S. 55
12. Tokyo Sonata Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands/H.K. 51
13. Birdsong* Albert Serra, Spain 48
14. The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, U.S. 47
15. United Red Army* Koji Wakamatsu, Japan 40
16. Night and Day* Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 36
17. Four Nights with Anna* Jerzy Skolimowski, France/Poland 33
18. Me and Orson Welles* Richard Linklater, U.K. 31
19. Il Divo Paolo Sorrentino, Italy/France 29
20. Chouga* Darezhan Omirbaev, Kazakhstan/France 28
21. Lorna’s Silence Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy/Germany 26
22. Treeless Mountain So Yong Kim, U.S./South Korea 24
23. A Time to Stir* Paul Cronin, U.S. 23
(tie) Goodbye Solo Ramin Bahrani, U.S. 23
24. Captain Ahab* Philippe Ramos, France/Sweden 22
(tie) Revanche Götz Spielmann, Austria 22
25. Everlasting Moments Jan Troell, Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Finland/Germany 21
(tie) I’m Gonna Explode* Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico 21
26. Afterschool* Antonio Campos, U.S. 20
27. Flame & Citron* Ole Christian Madsen, Denmark/Germany 19
28. Three Monkeys Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/France/Italy 18
29. Itinéraire de Jean Bricard* Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, France 16
30. Sparrow Johnnie To, Hong Kong 15

Participants: Sam Adams, Thom Andersen, John Anderson, Melissa Anderson, David Ansen, Michael Atkinson, Saul Austerlitz, Miriam Bale, Margaret Barton-Fumo, Marjorie Baumgarten, Bruce Bennett, Nick Bradshaw, Richard Brody, John Caps, Michael Chaiken, Andrew Chan, Chris Chang, Tom Charity, Godfrey Cheshire, Travis Crawford, Gary Crowdus, Mike D’Angelo, Evan Davis, Sam Di Iorio, Lisa Dombrowski, Bilge Ebiri, Cheryl Eddy, David Edelstein, David Ehrenstein, David Fear, Paul Fileri, Scott Foundas, Patrick Friel, Graham Fuller, Susan Gerhard, Gary Giddins, Jason Gross, Larry Gross, Dennis Harvey, Molly Haskell, Logan Hill, J. Hoberman, Robert Horton, Johnny Ray Huston, Harlan Jacobson, J.R. Jones, Kent Jones, Kristin M. Jones, Dave Kehr, Glenn Kenny, Laura Kern, Stuart Klawans, Robert Koehler, Michael Koresky, Nathan Lee, Dennis Lim, Phillip Lopate, Cynthia Lucia, Scott Macaulay, Todd McCarthy, Maitland McDonagh, Don McMahon, Joe Milutis, Wesley Morris, Rob Nelson, Chris Norris, Geoffrey O’Brien, Mark Olsen, Mark Peranson, Jake Perlin, Tony Pipolo, Richard Porton, John Powers, James Quandt, Jed Rapfogel, Nicolas Rapold, Megan Ratner, Bérénice Reynaud, Jim Ridley, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Joshua Rothkopf, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Gene Seymour, Gavin Smith, Vivian Sobchack, Chuck Stephens, Bob Strauss, Jim Supanick, Amy Taubin, José Teodoro, Kenneth Turan, Brynn White, Donald Wilson, Genevieve Yue, David Zuckerman
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Postby Eric » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:57 pm

As I always do, here are the diads I've hand-picked as being either ones I agree with or ones I suspect are true (in the event I have only seen one of the two) ...

The Witnesses BETTER THAN Milk
Rachel Getting Married BETTER THAN Frozen River
Transporter 3 BETTER THAN The Dark Knight
Shotgun Stories BETTER THAN The Wrestler
My Blueberry Nights BETTER THAN The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull BETTER THAN Iron Man
Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot BETTER THAN Man on Wire
My Winnipeg BETTER THAN Paranoid Park ... close enough
Battle for Haditha BETTER THAN Frost/Nixon

Hmm, looks like Armond wasn't so completely off his rocker this year, as far as I'm concerned.

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Postby Okri » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:09 pm

Ah, dammit - I was hoping he would declare The Happening as better than WALL.E.

His dismissal of 4 months, though. Wow, that's terrible on so many levels.

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Postby Sabin » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:03 am

Armond White weighs in...I think honestly that I am officially done with him. I've been saying this for a while but this is just irredeemable in my mind.

His worst film of the year is a tie between The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, and WALL-E in that they celebrate the reign of pessimism and the destruction of culture. WALL-E celebrates the rebirth of culture from whatever ruins humanity might find itself. That is the fundamental difference between Armond White and other critics. He finds it insulting to suggest that we will hit hard times and the notion that we will unearth ourselves from the ruins to thrive again is opposed to the culture of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. It's as simple as that. To suggest we will not be fine but in the long run we will thrive is still an affront.

His best three are Happy-Go-Lucky, The Witnesses, and Rachel Getting Married. No real argument there.

His better-than list:

IT ALWAYS COMES down to this: Movies you must experience versus movies that threaten to diminish you. That’s the point of making a Better-Than List rather than pretending that the typical over-hyped product constitutes a consensus of worthwhile movies. Most of these high-profile films insult one’s intelligence, while the year’s best movies vanish from the marketplace for lack of critical support. This tragedy is exemplified by the scary acclaim for the year’s worst: The atrocious Slumdog Millionaire and Pixar’s hideous Wall-E, the buzz-kill movie of all time. Trust no critic who endorses them.

Happy Go Lucky BETTER THAN 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days Mike Leigh devises a thoroughly humane heroine (Sally Hawkins) whose anti-capitalist faith (deeper than bourgeois “feminism”) upbraids the pity-party of two abortionhorny Romanian co-eds.

The Witnesses, Jump the Broom BETTER THAN Milk Andre Téchiné’s AIDS history joined Ian-Patrik Polk’s gay-marriage rom-com to show how sexual politics enhance our lives. These films rendered silly the hindsight celebration of an ambitious pol—and the Prop. 8 protests that misread Gus Van Sant’s opportunism.

Rachel Getting Married BETTER THAN Frozen River Jonathan Demme rehearses multi-culti heaven rather than condescend to hard-luck working-class women.

Transporter 3 BETTER THAN The Dark Knight Olivier Megaton, Jason Statham and Luc Besson reinvent the action movie as kinetic art, but impressionable teenagers mistook Chris Nolan’s nihilistic graphic novel for kool fun.

CJ7 BETTER THAN Wall-E Stephen Chow endowed a poor kid’s action figure with numinous potential (a tribute to the still-extraordinary E.T.), while Pixar twisted its standard formula into ugly, end-ofhistory cynicism.

Shotgun Stories BETTER THAN The Wrestler Jeff Nichols’ moving Red State family feud tragedy was ignored by Blue State critics who prefer white-trash WWF stereotypes to encourage their sense of class superiority.

My Blueberry Nights BETTER THAN The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Wong Kar Wai’s visionary romanticism explores existential loneliness, but David Fincher merely remade Titanic as Forrest Gump—an endless, two-hankie Kubrick movie for fanboys.

RocknRolla BETTER THAN Slumdog Millionaire Guy Ritchie comes into his manhood with this rich, Dickensian gangster comedy, while Danny Boyle gives colonialist Britain the last laugh in his epic Indian game-show travesty—a defilement of what Dickens revealed about character and society, humor and pathos.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull BETTER THAN Iron Man Steven Spielberg’s par excellence genre expertise wrung fresh amazement out of the Indy Jones franchise; it exposed Iron Man’s dung-like banality.

Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot BETTER THAN Man on Wire Adam Yauch brings fresh imagination to this Rucker Park bball documentary, extolling youth, class and American splendor; the other commemorates an egotistical stunt.

Twilight BETTER THAN Let the Right One In Catherine Hardwicke finds her métier in an outsiders’ romance disguised as a vampire movie; she turns Stephenie Meyer’s book series into a Brontë-esque vision, especially compared to the dismal Scandinavian J-horror rip-off.

Cadillac Records BETTER THAN Synecdoche, New York Darnell Martin treats Black American history as R&B and her sizzling cast (Jeffrey Wright, Beyoncé, Eamonn Walker, Columbus Short, Mos Def, Cedric the Entertainer) salutes pop music legends. Charlie Kaufman’s Actors Studio cast merely imitated Fellini’s 8 1/2 like amateurs.

Chaos Theory BETTER THAN Flight of the Red Balloon Marcos Siega, screenwriter Daniel Taplitz and Ryan Reynolds found beauty in American sex farce, but Hou Hsiao Hsien shortchanged Gallic romanticism into high-brow desolation.

My Winnipeg BETTER THAN Paranoid Park Guy Maddin reinvented his sexual autobiography as a funny, touching sociological history, outclassing Gus Van Sant’s morbid celebration of Northwestern pedophilia.

The Romance of Astrea and Celadon BETTER THAN A Christmas Tale Eric Rohmer, a forgotten master, revives classical lit for an exquisite satire of modern sexual mores (where did he find such beautiful human icons?). But it was Desplechin’s sac c har i ne French-family sob story that got the national release.

Battle for Haditha BETTER THAN Frost/Nixon Nick Broomfield’s inspired treatment of the Iraq War shamed Ron Howard’s revenge-drama, the latest yawn of liberal self selfrighteousness.
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Postby OscarGuy » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:14 am

Glad to see someone else appreciated the starkness of Blindness.
Wesley Lovell
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Postby kaytodd » Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:57 pm

The Times-Picayune weighs in with its opinions about the 2008 releases. Some of the same films mentioned on all the other lists but some films that are not:
Movie critic Mike Scott cites the best and worst of 2008 Friday, January 02, 2009 By Mike Scott

But first, a quick word about the methodology: I've included only films that played in New Orleans at some point in 2008, so local movie-goers could have actually seen them.

That necessarily excludes the annual spate of awards-season contenders that opened in New York and Los Angeles in late December for Oscar-qualifying runs but that have yet to open here. They've been relegated to the " '08 Reasons Why I Love January" list.

Likewise, you won't find films that opened here last January for the same reason. The reasoning there is even simpler: Nobody is served by my informing you that "No Country For Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" are worth seeing. Their Oscar bling from last year makes that abundantly clear.

Now, with all that out of the way, let's roll 'em . . .

10. "Blindness" -- Heavy and haunting, director Fernando Meirelles' adaptation of Jose Saramago's novel is difficult to watch at times, for its bleak images of the fragility of humankind's very humanity. Still, it's a moving and thought-provoking bit of cinema.

9. "The Band's Visit" -- Snubbed for the Oscars last year due to a technicality, this anti-"Blindness" opened here in February, offering an uplifting and hopeful vision of the commonality of people.

8. "Encounters at the End of the World" -- Werner Herzog's beautifully shot essay, an homage to the South Pole and the characters that choose to inhabit it, is as thought-provoking as it is gorgeous.

7. "Milk" -- Sean Penn's performance is nothing short of stunning. Aided by a superb supporting cast, he helps elevate Gus Van Sant's civil-rights biopic into don't-miss cinema.

6. "Trouble the Water" -- Directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessen do a wonderful job with their post-Katrina documentary, but it's local resident Kimberly Rivers Roberts' charisma that makes it resonate the way it does.

5. "The Dark Knight" -- The brilliance of Christopher Nolan's superhero sequel is in the way he makes it entertaining and meaningful all at once. The big question now: How the heck is he going to top this? (Especially without Heath Ledger's help.)
4. "Rachel Getting Married" -- Jonathan Demme decided to do things differently this time out, and it pays dividends, with a film that is off-center and unpredictable -- and that much more exciting for it.

3. "Slumdog Millionaire" -- Hooray for Bollywood. One of the year's nicest surprises, from British director Danny Boyle, and a sentimental favorite going into Oscar season.

2. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- David Fincher and company do New Orleans proud, weaving a lyrical and fantastical fairy tale that has real potential to dominate this month's Oscar nominations.

1. "WALL*E" -- Yes, it's a cartoon. But it's also a visual and storytelling masterpiece, one that promises to endure for decades.

--- '08 great performances from 2008 ---

8. Sam Rockwell in "Snow Angels" -- Rockwell is drawn to outside-the-box characters, and he inhabits nearly all of them brilliantly. Exhibit A: His job in this weighty David Gordon Green drama.

7. Brad Pitt in "Benjamin Button" -- Few people could have done so much with a character that does so little. (Pitt also shined in 2008 in the far goofier "Burn After Reading.")

6. Taraji P. Henson in "Benjamin Button" -- It's almost impossible not to love Henson, and she brings that trait to many of her roles. Her Queenie is no exception.

5. Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor" -- A quiet role in a quiet film that flew under many people's radar this year. Here's hoping it doesn't fly under Oscar's come nomination time.

4. Penelope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" -- This is a Woody Allen film that I wanted to love, but just couldn't -- until Cruz entered the picture. (With "Elegy," it's one of two fine performances from Cruz this year.)
3. Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married" -- Daring, out of character and fantastic.

2. Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight" -- A vote for the late Ledger this Oscar season isn't a sentimental vote. It's a just vote.

1. Sean Penn in "Milk" -- Along with Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler," Penn has to be seen as an odds-on favorite for the Oscar. His immersing performance is just that convincing.

--- '08 great documentaries from 2008 ---

8. "American Teen" -- A funny and heartbreaking peek inside the heads of today's teens.

7. "Shine a Light" -- Scorsese does "The Rolling Stones." Satisfaction in spades.

6. "Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer" -- A fascinating and swinging film that transcends the uninspired title.

5. "Young @ Heart" -- A heart-warming and tear-jerking bit of surprise cinema.

4. "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" -- Engaging, even if less than revelatory.

3. "Man on Wire" -- Slight? Perhaps. But delightful nonetheless, and that counts for something.

2. "Encounters at the End of the World" -- Werner Herzog's poetic piece is as visually stunning as it is thought-provoking.

1. "Trouble the Water" -- Powerful and meaningful post-K doc has real Oscar potential.

---'08 films from 2008 you didn't see but should have ---

8. "Definitely, Maybe" -- Not your average romantic-comedy.

7. "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show" -- Unjustifiably dismal box office.

6. "The Lucky Ones" -- The Iraq War theme chased many movie-goers away. Their loss.

5. "The Visitor" -- Quiet and sneakily resonant film.

4. "Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer" -- Shall we swing?

3. "Spine Tingler!: The William Castle Story" -- New Orleans Film Festival '08 selection is great fun.

2. "JCVD" -- Jean Claude Van Damme like you've never seen him.

1. "Encounters at the End of the World" -- Played for one show only in New Orleans. On DVD

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Postby rolotomasi99 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:24 am

i still have not seen enough of the year-end to even have a top ten list, but i thought the top ten of top ten lists was interesting. it is compiled by the movie city news and ranks the films according to how they place on the "important" critics' top ten. surprised FROST/NIXON is missing, but other than that pretty much as i expected.

1. Wall-E
2. Milk
3. The Dark Knight
4. Slumdog Millionaire
5. The Wrestler
6. Rachel Getting Married
7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
8. Happy-Go-Lucky
9. Let the Right One In
10. A Christmas Tale
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Postby rudeboy » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:41 am

Time Out London's critics best and worst.

Dave Calhoun, Film editor


‘There Will Be Blood’
Daniel Day-Lewis led the charge into 2008 with his mesmerising portrayal of Upton Sinclair’s oil man, Daniel Plainview. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson leant poetry and mystery to this birth-of-a-modern-nation epic and kept us guessing on many fronts, not least what the hell passed between the epilogue and the bulk of the movie.

Mike Leigh’s latest was litmus-test cinema to determine whether or not you had a beating heart… And in retrospect Leigh’s story of an upbeat young Londoner (Sally Hawkins) was what we needed in these times: a simple, funny, touching study of what it means to be happy and get along with our fellow man.

‘Of Time and the City’
There were tears at the Cannes screening of Terence Davies’s first foray into the realm of the docu-essay. The form may be new, but the interest was familiar: Davies’s Liverpool childhood, adopted here to project ideas of where we’ve travelled in the past 50 years and what we’ve left behind.

Venice showed Avi Mograbi’s ‘Z32’, an invigorating mess of a doc about a young Israeli soldier reminiscing over his involvement in the planned killing of Palestinian soldiers. Mograbi mixes odd special effects with his own songs about the difficulty of locating truth.

‘The Other Boleyn Girl’
Peter Morgan’s adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s novel hovered limply between solemnity and soap opera.

‘The Bill Douglas Trilogy’/‘The Terence Davies Trilogy’ on DVD
The BFI released these two, superb post-hoc trilogies by two British filmmakers who transformed their childhoods into the highest art.

Wally Hammond, Deputy film editor


‘There Will Be Blood’
Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterful movie saw him apply an epic scope and dark psychological poetry to ‘mythic’ American cinema.

Pixar-Disney’s semi-‘silent’ eco-parable was the greatest of this year’s animations, flawed only by too much space time on the cruise ship.

‘The Romance of Astrea and Celadon’
In a great year for geriatric cinema – including works by nonagenarian Manoel de Oliveira – this romantic (possible) swansong from French master Eric Rohmer was the most ardent, youthful and optimistic.

‘Under the Tree’
Indonesian director Garin Nugroho’s latest, Bali-set ‘musical’ would make a great, if unlikely, candidate for singalong cinema.

‘Cassandra’s Dream’
Woody Allen’s attempt to ape Mike Leigh with this cock-er-nee crime caper was a total embarrassment.

‘The 39 Steps’ in cinemas
‘Wedlock is padlock’ said Dr Johnson. Hitch took him literally, joining Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll at the wrist for this most pleasurable, tightly written and economically directed of his British-era ‘entertainments’.

Derek Adams, Film critic


‘No Country for Old Men’
The Coens' modern Americana thriller proves that straight-up mainstream entertainment can easily co-exist with smart filmmaking. Javier Bardem’s cattle-gun killer is the year’s most malevolent psycho and the widescreen cinematography is sublime.

‘There Will Be Blood’
Paul Thomas Anderson’s oil epic is remarkable, not least for the performances of Day-Lewis and Dano.

‘In Bruges’
The year’s most deliciously un-PC movie is also one of the funniest. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson’s hitmen have a rollicking time bouncing off one another like magnets at opposite poles.

‘Disaster Movie’
An awful film of such vapid inanity it makes my blood boil thinking about it.

‘Max Minsky and Me’
This German teen romance is forthright in its depiction of teen life.

‘The Complete Coen Collection’ on DVD
Blu-ray releases of the original ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘French Connection’ were welcome additions to the HD canon, but my money’s on this full-monty DVD collection of classic Coens.

David Jenkins, Film critic


‘Flight of the Red Balloon’
It got trashed by the UK press, but no film tackled the nature of artistic representation and the struggles of inner-city living with the delicacy, depth and persuasiveness of Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s sublime and simple Paris-set drama with Juliette Binoche in one of her most charismatic roles.

‘My Winnipeg’
That wonderful Canadian fabulist, Guy Maddin, offered up this hilarious ‘docu-fantasia’ about his upbringing in snowbound Manitoba.

‘Be Kind Rewind’
Michel Gondry’s loopy comedy dared to embrace the democratic future of cinema via YouTube, camcorders and dodgy effects.

‘The Hottie and the Nottie’ or ‘The Love Guru’
So bad, I’d like to see them again, which is more than can be said for Harmony Korine’s ‘Mister Lonely’, ‘Cassandra’s Dream’ and ‘Quantum of Solace’: the most disappointing films.

‘The Headless Woman’
Lucrecia Martel’s mesmerising movie puzzle-box mixes Haneke, Buñuel and ‘BlowUp’ to disturbing and thought-provoking effect.

‘Killer of Sheep’ (Charles Burnett, 1977) in cinemas and on DVD
Burnett’s film came dangerously close to perfection, while the DVD release of the year was Jacques Demy’s musical, ‘Les Demoiselles de Rochefort’.

Tom Huddleston, Film critic


‘Memories of Matsuko’
A dizzying explosion of bubblegum pop, bonecrunching violence and swooning melodrama underscored with a heartfelt plea for empathy and understanding in an unforgiving world. All of life is here.

‘Mister Lonely’
Cynics sneered at Korine’s heartfelt, hilarious and devastating portrait of life on the outer fringes. More fool them.

Pixar made their boldest, most significant statement to date with this joyous deep-space romance.

‘The Birthday’
Happily, most of this year’s festival favourites – ‘Anvil’, ‘Wendy and Lucy’, ‘Afterschool’ – have picked up UK deals. But why has no one jumped on hyperactive horror comedy, Corey Feldman vehicle, ‘The Birthday’?

It may seem cruel to kick a first-timer, but Sean Ellis’s ‘Cashback’ was a truly irksome slice of pseudo-arty claptrap.

‘The Walter Hill Collection’/‘The John Carpenter Collection’ on DVD
Welcome box-set retrospectives for a pair of era-defining ’70s/’80s masters, Optimum’s ‘The Walter Hill Collection’ and ‘The John Carpenter Collection’ proved the lasting significance of two filmmakers too often dismissed as generic journeymen. Now, how about ‘The Larry Cohen Collection’?

Geoff Andrew, Contributing editor


‘Of Time and the City’/‘My Winnipeg’
Two very different cinematic poems from Terence Davies and Guy Maddin, each of which take idiosyncratic trips down urban memory lanes.

‘You, the Living’
From Sweden’s Roy Andersson the darkest, funniest comedy of the year? The most eccentric, for sure.

The quiet maestro, Clint Eastwood, just keeps on producing radical/classical gems. Next…!

‘La Forteresse’
Fernard Melgar’s excellent documentary chronicling the experiences of staff and inmates at a Swiss centre for asylum seekers. Topical, compassionate and subtle.

‘North Face’
Ludicrously implausible dross from German director Philipp Stölzl that purportedly tells the true story of a fatal mountaineering feat.

‘Some Came Running’, in cinemas
Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 film sees Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine in a shamefully underrated Hollywood melodrama: stylish, subversive and wondrously moving.

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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:53 am

These worst lists are amusing. I personally don't do them because I like to try and forget bad movies, not recall them even for purposes of ridiculing them. The one exception in recent years was Dogshit, er Dogville.

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Postby Sabin » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:16 am


Lisa Schwarzbaum
2. Milk
3. The Dark Knight
4. Waltz with Bashir
5. Gomorra
6. Wendy and Lucy
7. Trouble the Water
8. Happy-Go-Lucky
9. Man on Wire
10. Tropic Thunder

1. The Women
2. Seven Pounds
3. 88 Minutes
4. Speed Racer
5. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (aka Honey, I Gassed the Kid)

Owen Gleiberman
1. The Wrestler
2. The Dark Knight
3. Rachel Getting Married
5. Momma's Man
6. The Edge of Heaven
7. Burn After Reading
8. The Class
9. Milk
10. Tell No One

1. Speed Racer
2. Star War: The Clone Wars
3. Patti Smith: Dream of Life
4. Australia
5. Hounddog

Edited By Sabin on 1229591925
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR

Big Magilla
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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:29 pm

Rex Reed:

The 10 Best Films of 2008

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

2. Revolutionary Road

3. Rachel Getting Married

4. The Reader

5. Slumdog Millionaire

6. Frost/Nixon

7. Milk

8. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

9. The Visitor

10. Good

The 10 Worst Films of 2008

1. Synecdoche, New York

2. Burn After Reading

3. Paranoid Park

4. Funny Games

5. August

6. Mamma Mia!

7. Sex and the City

8. Speed Racer

9. Choke

10. Four Christmases

11. Equal year-end thorns, thistles and boos to My Blueberry Nights, Happy-Go-Lucky, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Wackness, Pineapple Express, Australia, Ghost Town and anything with Adam Sandler.

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Postby Sabin » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 pm

This isn't much of a comment but right now MCN Awards has compiled the already released top ten lists and have ranked the films. So far the top five is as follows. So much for diversity.

2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. The Dark Knight
4. Milk
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Frost/Nixon is at (7).
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR

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Postby Bog » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:47 am

For which reason Eric?

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Postby Eric » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:30 am

There's no way I'm seeing most of what's on Ed's list this year.

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Postby Sabin » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:45 am

SLANT weighs in:

1. Rachel Getting Married (dir. Jonathan Demme)
2. In the City of Sylvia (dir. José Luis Guerín)
3. The Witnesses (dir. André Téchiné)
4. Standard Operation Procedure (dir. Errol Morris)
5. Summer Palace (dir. Ye Lou)
6. Encounters at the End of the World (dir. Werner Herzog)
7. Mukhsin (dir. Yasmin Ahmed)
8. My Father My Lord (dir. David Volach)
9. Let the Right One In (dir. Tomas Alfredson)
10. Happy-Go-Lucky (dir. Mike Leigh)

HONORABLE MENTION - Man on Wire, Chris & Don, Reprise, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, The Strangers, Redbelt, Still Life, Gran Torino, Trouble the Water, and Up the Yangtze

1. Synecdoche, New York (dir. Charlie Kaufman)
2. Flight of the Red Balloon (dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien)
3. Boarding Gate (dir. Olivier Assayas)
4. Reprise (dir. Joachim Trier)
5. The Dark Knight (dir. Christopher Nolan)
6. Dear Zachary (dir. Kurt Kuenne)
7. Chris & Don (dir. Tina Mascara & Guido Santi)
8. Encounters at the End of the World (dir. Werner Herzog)
9. The Strangers (dir. Bryan Bertino)
10. August Evening (dir. Chris Eska)

HONORABLE MENTION - Wendy and Lucy, Happy-Go-Lucky, WALL-E, Man on Wire, The Wrestler, Be Kind Rewind, A Christmas Tale, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Woman on the Beach, and The Last Mistress.

1. Still Life (Jia Zhangke)
2. The Witnesses (André Téchiné)
3. My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin)
4. Standard Operating Procedure (Errol Morris)
5. Milk (Gus Van Sant)
6. Woman on the Beach (Hong Sang-soo)
7. Up the Yangtze (Yung Chang.)
8. In the City of Sylvia (José Luis Guerin)
9. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton)
10. Profit motive and the whispering wind (John Gianvito)

1. The Duchess of Langeais (Jacques Rivette)
2. Still Life (Jia Zhangke)
3. In the City of Sylvia (José Luis Guerin)
4. The Romance of Astree and Celadon (Eric Rohmer)
5. Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt)
6. Profit motive and the whispering wind (John Gianvito)
7. My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin)
8. Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant)
9. Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh)
10. Boarding Gate (Olivier Assayas)
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." ~ FDR

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