Unlike some years the best movies of 2008 were all a pleasure to watch. None of them were too abstract for the non film buff to appreciate and many of them had a lot of heart not just gimmicks. On the 08 list we have several political movies, a couple super hero movies, a comedy, and lots of great character pieces. All in all it was a pretty damn good year in movies and for my best of list I chose 13 films that are diverse and have replay value which can’t always be said. So here is the list of 2008’s best movies: (also check out: 2009 Best Movies)
The Dark Knight– Not only one of the best movies of 08 and probably also the best comic book movie ever made but it is an amazing film regardless of genre. You heard all of the hype surrounding Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker and he definitely did not disappoint. See this movie.
Frost/Nixon- A dramatization of interviews with former President Nixon and while it’s not an action packed film it is compelling and very well acted.
Iron Man- Definitely not as serious or dark as the previous listed Batman film but it is a fun summer blockbuster with plenty of action. Robert Downey Jr. is great as Tony Stark.
Milk- Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk in this biopic film. The writing, acting, and character development in this movie is top notch and well worth a viewing.
Revolutionary Road- A literary adaptation that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet but don’t expect a Titanic type romance it’s much darker than that. Not a perfect movie by any means but both leads give great performances.
Slumdog Millionaire– It won multiple awards including eight Academy Awards for the story of a poor young man having a successful run on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the problems that arise due to his success.
W.- Josh Brolin plays President George W. Bush and does a pretty damn good job getting his mannerisms down. It isn’t a brutal attack on the now former president but it does portray him as a rather likeable guy who is just way over his head and trying to prove himself to his father.
Wall-E– A great film for children and a film with lots of depth for older audiences to enjoy. Pixar always makes great animated features and Wall-E is no exception. It is the story of a robot that is the last of his kind on Earth where his job was to clean up the now uninhabitable planet. Another robot, EVE is sent to Earth by the humans, who now live in space, to search for life back on their home planet. With strong themes of love and over consumption it is a very touching movie.
Tropic Thunder– An absolutely hysterical comedy starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Black about a group of actors filming a Vietnam War movie when things get a little more real than they bargained for.
Gran Torino– Clint Eastwood stars as a bigoted old man in a gang infested neighborhood that slowly starts to feel for other people again after befriending his young Asian neighbors. A very entertaining movie all around and Eastwood gives his usual great performance.
In Bruges- I had never heard of this one before I first decided to watch it on a whim on night on HBO. But I was pleasantly surprised because it is a really good movie. Colin Farrell is an assassin that accidentally kills a child and is forced to go into hiding in Bruges where he contemplates suicide. Honestly one of the more underrated movies of 2008.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button- Exploring the life of a man who ages in reverse and stars Brad Pitt as the title character. The supporting cast and direction is great but it seems like it is missing something that is keeping it from being a truly great movie. Still it is grabs a spot on the list of 2008’s best movies.
The Wrestler- A touching and well acted film about a wrestler who is far past his prime and trying to cope with no longer being a star. Mickey Rourke is terrific as Randy “the Ram” and was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal. Easily one of the year’s finest movies.