Movies of the Year 2008

I’ve just glanced at my ‘movies of the year 2007’ email which reads like a jeremiad lamenting the lack of decent flicks over the qualifying twelve months. Jeez, viewed with hindsight ’07 looks like a golden age compared with the junk coming to a screen near you in the year of our lord 2008. One or two real gems and perhaps two films (Man on Wire & Cargo 200) that could make Giles’ all time list but I’m stretching myself to make the full ten. So here goes –

persepolis
Persepolis
Childhood and teen angst during the Iranian revolution that quite rightly blew up into the mainstream this year. More or less faultless from beginning to end.

cargo200
Cargo 200
This remains one of the most disturbing films I can remember seeing. A spectre of dread permeantes every frame and one scene in particular is spectacularly, yet fascinatingly disgusting. Despite the horror this is film making at its very best.

nocountry
No Country for Old Men
Taut script from the Coens, a number of mesmerising performances, a nice character twist and as if that’s not enough a dog gets shot. What’s not to like?

juno
Juno
A script that starts super hip and graduates into quite a touching platonic love story.

gonebabygone
Gone Baby Gone
Another great adaptation of a Lehane book. Lots of enjoyable twists and turns tho’ I’m not 100% convinced Casey Affleck can lead a movie.

rec
[Rec]

waltzwithbashir
Waltz with Bashir
Another Middle Eastern animated film that was gripping from beginning to end. Also another movie that featured dogs being shot.

kingofkong
King of Kong
The world record score for Donkey Kong has stood for 20 years…until now. Sounds like a pretty lame idea for a film, right? Wrong – this is probably the best flick of 2008.


manonwire
Man on Wire
Rivalled only by Man on Wire, though this film does have scale on its side. The World Trade Center never looked so beautiful.

deanspanley
Dean Spanley
This broke late in the year – in December so I very mearly missed it – but it’s a worthy addition to the list.


Just Missed the Cut
Iron Man
The Dark Knight
Redbelt
Taken

most unintentially hilarious picture – Rambo – which, incidentally, is the third film on the list to feature a dog being taken out. Am I the only one to see a theme emerging?

biggest disappointment – Quantum of Solace

best cameo (ever?) – Cruise in Tropic Thunder


Recently Discovered on DVD

Harlan County USA
Blast of Silence
The Two of Us
Picture Snatcher
Crime Wave