Best films of 2008

the 20 best films of 2008. The 21st is a special mention for originality.
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1.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (120 mins.)
“ It is the best movie of 2008. It is very difficult to watch, specially because it shows the misery that is lived in India, but thanks to the way it is told, it becomes really enjoyable. Despite it is quite predictable, the film absorbs you so much, that by the ending it's impossible to imagine a different ending. ” - jo-erg
 
2.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences. (166 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Vissually awesome, "Benjamis Button" is a wonderful film that counts with stong performances from every single member of its cast. It has great special effects and make up. The impossible love story is quite known, but it is told in a way that it becomes impossible in a very original way. It might be overlong for some, and melodramatic for others, but for those who love movies like "Titanic", this is deffinetly a movie you must watch. ” - jo-erg
 
3.
Revolutionary Road (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. (119 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ An underrated film, Sam Mendes' "Revolutionary Road" counts with the strongest performance from Kate Winslet( even better than "The Reader"). The film is really faithfull to the book, and (thanks to Winslet) it is more centered in the couple than only in the husband, who was a little more important in the book than the wife. Its main flaw is being so faithful to its source material, only those who love the books crude vision will love the film. I loved both, so I had no problem. ” - jo-erg
 
4.
WALL·E (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. (98 mins.)
Director: Andrew Stanton
“ The best animated movie from the decade, WALL-E, makes something that seemed impossible: it says a lot of things using only a few words. We really become connected with WALL-E, even when "how" he developped emotions is never explained, and we understand him very well, even when he never says more than 3 words. We know how the movie is going to end, I mean its a children' movie, but this movie is so special, that when everything appears to go wrong with the main characters, we can't avoid feeling sad and moved, we can't avoid wanting to go inside the film and help them. ” - jo-erg
 
5.
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
“ It is the best superhero film ever made. It is not only an action film, but a really deep study of the human behavior. Heath Ledger gives a magnificent performance, and I liked they chose Magie Gyllenhaal instead of Katie Holmes. A totally unpredictable film, its only flaw is that it is overlong, but by the time the movie ends, you are so inside it that you want to see more. ” - jo-erg
 
6.
Frost/Nixon (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. (122 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ A movie that is as good as "The Queen", also written by Peter Morgan. Frank Langella gives the best male performance of the year. ” - jo-erg
 
7.
Doubt (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A Catholic school principal questions a priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student. (104 mins.)
“ A movie that depends entirely on its cast in order to work. Every sigle actor in "Doubt" gives a wonderful performance, specially Mryl Streep and Viola Davis. This movie allows the viewer to take his own conclutions, it never provides easy answers. Actually, the film's greatness is that it never provides a satisfactory answer at all. ” - jo-erg
 
8.
Frozen River (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec... (97 mins.)
Director: Courtney Hunt
“ This is one of those movies that , despite it is wonderfull and deep, many people won't see. Like "Winter's Bone", it explores a lot of human themes, and it is well directed, well written and beautifully acted. An underrated masterpiece, "Frozen River" is a movie difficult to forget. ” - jo-erg
 
9.
Gran Torino (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino. (116 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Cleant Eastwood's films ussually count with strong performances from its leadings. This movie is not the exeption. I don't understand why it was overlooked by the Oscars, probably because they were more focused on Eastwood's other film, "Changeling". It will not please for those who are looking for violence. This is one of those movies that leaves you thinking, even after the credits are over. ” - jo-erg
 
10.
The Wrestler (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle. (109 mins.)
“ Darren Aronofsky is my favorite director, I like the way he explores the human nature in each one of his films. Despite that, I didn't enjoy "The Wrestler" as I enjoyed his other films. This doesn't mean that this movie is not good, actually it is exelent, but it is more difficult to feel connected with it. Yes, it counts with superb performances from Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. Actually both of them give the best performance of their respective career.

The main problem of the film is that it lacks of the unfogettable imagery and emotional charge of Aronofsky's previous films ("Pi", "Requiem for a dream"). Many people consider this one his best film. Personally, I prefer its complement, "Black Swan", wich (with more or less the same plot) explores the human decadence in a more profound and artistic way. ” - jo-erg
 
11.
The Visitor (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment. (104 mins.)
Director: Tom McCarthy
“ There isn't much to say about this film, exept that it is exeptional. It counts, more or less, with the same great elements of "Frozen River" (Strong performances, a difficult topic, a well written screenplay). This is not the kind of film for people who expects always happy endings. ” - jo-erg
 
12.
Changeling (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day. (141 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Angelina Jolie's beauty ussually distracts us from the fact that she is a good actress. In "Girl Interrupted" she proved that she could deal with powerful emotions, with the darkest side of the humanity. In "A Mighty Heart" she proved that she could express deep emotions, she could work with a difficult topic without making her character a cliché. "Changeling" is a mix of both, a character that deals with a difficult situation, and that, in order to find the truth, must explore the most horrible side of humanity. In hands of other actress, Christine Collins could have been a melodramatic caricature of a mother in pain, but Jolie gives her the humanity she needs. Christine is not perfect, and it is that what allows us to feel connected with her, to understand her. This movie depends entirely in Jolie, and that's exactly its greatest strenght and flaw. ” - jo-erg
 
13.
Iron Man (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil. (126 mins.)
Director: Jon Favreau
“ I won't say much about this film, exept that it is pure entertainement. The best superhero movie till the date (with the exception of "The Dark Knight"), it will be enjoyed by everyone, even if you hate comics. ” - jo-erg
 
14.
The Reader (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial. (124 mins.)
Director: Stephen Daldry
“ This is one of the most underrated films I have ever seen. I know that it is not perfect, and that it is emotionally distant, but it is so well acted that one can forget about those faults inmediatly. The actors give to the film the emoyion it does not have, we can understand their characters, even when they are not innocent at all. This is a film that let you explore the human nature in a very disturbing way. ” - jo-erg
 
15.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences. (94 mins.)
Director: Mark Herman
“ Another movie about the holocaust, "The boy in the striped Pyjamas" is a surprisingly lovely film with a shocking ending. The important is not the story itself, it is the way in which it is told. This movie can be enjoyed by the entire family, including children, without being boring. This is quite surprising considering the story it tells. I recomend this movie to those who are looking for an entertaining and profound expierence. ” - jo-erg
 
16.
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her. (118 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
“ Mike Leigh is a director who ussually works with risky characters. In "Happy-Go-Lucky" he tells the story of a really happy woman. She is not pretending to be happy, she IS happy. One would think that a character like this is impossible to make, but Sally Hawkins proves us that her character is not perfect, she is a human being, but a happy one. A movie that explores the british society, as every single film from Mike Leigh does. ” - jo-erg
 
17.
Rachel Getting Married (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young woman who has been in and out of rehab for the past 10 years returns home for the weekend for her sister's wedding. (113 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
“ Anne Hathaway proved with this film that she was actually a great actress. She had already proved that she had talent, but her movies were ussually silly romantic comedies . In "Rachel Getting Married" she is wonderfull, making us care for a character who is actually a mess. In other hands, this character could have been too irresponsable and arrogant for audiences, but Hathaway and director Jonathan Demme gives us a different perspective of her. The way in which the movie is filmed allows us to feel that we are in a real wedding. It is a very original movie. ” - jo-erg
 
18.
Hunger (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike. (96 mins.)
Director: Steve McQueen
 
19.
Last Chance Harvey (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In London for his daughter's wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic spirits lifted by a new woman in his life. (93 mins.)
Director: Joel Hopkins
“ This movie is far from being perfect, but it works thanks to the powerfull performances from Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. ” - jo-erg
 
20.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The Dragon Warrior has to clash against the savage Tai Lung as China's fate hangs in the balance: However, the Dragon Warrior mantle is supposedly mistaken to be bestowed upon an obese panda who is a tyro in martial arts. (92 mins.)
“ It is not as complex or as impressive as WALL-E, but it is still funny enough to keep viewers interested in its hillarious, if sometimes silly, story. ” - jo-erg
 
21.
The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures. (96 mins.)
Director: Mark Waters
“ The 21st place on my list belongs to a film for its originality. The movie that is chosen ussually is more apreciated by me in personal terms than in technical ones. This year was difficult, I was debating between this one, "The Duchess" and "Il y a longtemps que je t'aime".I choose this one because it is entertaining for both, adults and children. It is an wonderfull fairy tale and, at the same time, an effective thriller. ” - jo-erg