Monday, December 29, 2008

The 10 Best, No, the 100 Best Films of 2008

by Kam Williams

Headline: Kam’s Annual Accolades for the Cream of the Cinematic Crop

In a year when four of the best films were big screen versions of comic book adventures (including Wanted, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk), it should come as no surprise that one would emerge as this critic’s pick as the top picture of 2008. And not only did the late Heath Ledger turn in an Oscar-worthy performance in The Dark Knight as The Joker, but director Christopher Nolan (Memento) might have made the best superhero adaptation ever.
As usual, rather than limit my annual list to just 10 entries, I’ve expanded it to 100, and covered documentaries, independents and foreign flicks, along with the Hollywood blockbusters. So, don’t shy away from such lesser-known gems as Slumdog Millionaire, Sex Drive and Man on Wire, and the risk will be richly rewarded.

10 Best List of 2008

1. The Dark Knight
2. Milk
3. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
4. The Secret Life of Bees
5. Burn after Reading
6. Cloverfield
7. Happy-Go-Lucky
8. Cadillac Records
9. Iron Man
10. Twilight

Honorable Mention

11. Pineapple Express
12. Wanted
13. The Family That Preys
14. The Incredible Hulk
15. Stop-Loss
16. The Express
17. Doubt
18. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
19. Miracle at St. Anna
20. Last Chance Harvey
21. Traitor
22. Run Fatboy Run
23. Smart People
24. Tropic Thunder
25. Frost/Nixon

Best Foreign Language Films

1. Slumdog Millionaire (India)
2. Water Lilies (France)
3. Jellyfish (Israel)
4. The Edge of Heaven (Turkey)
5. Woman on the Beach (Korea)
6. Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Liberia)
7. Let the Right One In (Sweden)
8. Rape in the Congo (Congo)
9. Days and Clouds (Italy)
10. Lost in Beijing (China)

Foreign Language Film Honorable Mention

11. Beauty in Trouble (Czech Republic)
12. The Betrayal (Laos)
13. We Are Together (South Africa)
14. Mister Foe (Scotland)
15. Stranded (Uruguay)
16. A Christmas Tale (France)
17. Without the King (Swaziland)
18. To the Limit (Germany)
19. Youssou N’Dour: Return to Goree (Senegal)
20. Priceless (France)
21. Maria Bethania (Brazil)
22. Reprise (Norway)
23. The Matador (Spain)
24. Che (Cuba)
25. Canary (Japan)

10 Best Independent Films

1. Sex Drive
2. Kabluey
3. I’m Through with White Girls
4. Gardens of the Night
5. The Visitor
6. The Tracey Fragments
7. Poultrygeist
8. In Search of a Midnight Kiss
9. Brick Lane
10. How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer

Independent Film Honorable Mention

11. Stuck
12. How She Move
13. I Can’t Think Straight
14. Sex & Death 101
15. Chop Shop
16. American Zombie
17. Wendy and Lucy
18. Nights and Weekends
19. Ping Pong Playa
20. Garden Party
21. What Just Happened
22. Disfigured
23. Ripple Effect
24. All about Us
25. Ballast

10 Best Documentaries

1. Man on Wire
2. Hollywood Chinese
3. A Man Named Pearl
4. Standing Operating Procedure
5. I.O.U.S.A.
6. The End of America
7. The Souls of Black Girls
8. Chicago 10
9. America the Beautiful
10. Passing Poston

Documentary Honorable Mention

11. Meeting David Wilson
12. The Order of Myths
13. All of Us
14. Glass
15. Trouble the Water
16. Boogie Man
17. One Bad Cat
18. Full Battle Rattle
19. The Dhamma Brothers
20. Moving Midway
21. Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
22. Very Young Girls
23. Kicking It
24. Bigger, Stronger, Faster
25. Faubourg Treme

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