2008 FILMS

So three films that I have very high hopes for have yet to be released (Doubt, The Reader, Revolutionary Road) so my list I'm sure will change as the weeks dwindle on. Much like my 2008 music list I am listing these in no order, just 10 films that I felt were extraordinary in their own way and for their own reasons.  

1.) Ne le dis à personne  (Tell No One) - This taunt french thriller is one of the best suspense films of the decade. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed this film, except I can't say anything at all about it. 

2.) Milk- Gus Van Sant reigns in his experimental leanings for this biopic about slain civil rights leader Harvey Milk and makes one of the year's most arresting  and poignantly timely dramas. 

3.) WALL-E - Somehow the love-story between a well meaning lonely robot and his EVE was one of the most gripping sci-fi films in years as Pixar continues to raise the bar of not only animated films but cinema itself.

4.) The Dark Knight- despite (or in spite of)  the press coverage of this Batman blockbuster and the tragic death of Heath Ledger Christopher Nolan still managed to forge this cape crusader 's battle with the Joker and Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart's performance is criminally overlooked) into a riveting violent slice of crime drama.

5.) Låt Den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In)- the most shockingly moving film I saw all year was this little Swedish masterpiece based on the equally brilliant novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist . A severely bullied and lonely 12 boy falls for his first love, a young girl who only comes out at night, is impervious to the cold, and has a centuries old thirst for blood. By turns horrific and suspenseful and achingly tender and romantic the film is stunning in every way.

6.) Australia- by no means a popular choice with critics I found Baz Luhrman's overstuffed  epic romance to be... exactly what it promised to be, an overstuffed epic romance. Artful and gorgeous in both location (the Outback, 1940's Darwin) and star ( Nicole Kidman is statuesque and Hugh Jackman has never been more painfully hot). It's an old-fashioned epic but sometimes that's what we need. 

7.) Cloverfield- Somehow this giant monster attacks New York film was so unexpectedly engaging and interesting I couldn't breathe for about half of it. the great "gimmick" of having the entire film shot hand held from a character's P.O.V. will be often imitated but seldom bested. A warning to those who get motion sickness however.

8.)Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who- Thankfully CGI  (and not more ill-conceived live action) animation , Horton is an engaging fun and unnecessarily insane adaptation of the beloved classic that manages to actually LOOK like a Seuss book for once.

9.) The Ruins-  based on Scott Smith's taunt thriller , The ruins is a graphically gruesome unapologetically humorless horror film, as it should be. Once you accept the premise of carnivorous vines you're in for a bloody disgusting  utterly compelling treat that is a marvel of Make-up effects.

10.) Hellboy 2-The Golden Army- zipping along at a breakneck pace The Golden Army is a  lighter, leaner, and even more hauntingly beautiful film than the first Hellboy. Visually one of the most interesting "popcorn" films of 2008 the film is also one of the great fantasy films of the decade.

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