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Added by Nonfictionguy

on 4 Jan 2009 01:36

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Review of the Year 2008

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People who added this item 290  Average listal rating (161 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.4 
1. The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)
Riveting examination of the notorious German terrorists. Brilliant performances, plus hot girls with machine guns.

Defining Moment
Martina Gedeck's Oscar-worthy turn as Ulrike Meinhof.

People who added this item 668  Average listal rating (346 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 7.9 
2. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
Gripping, airtight, 1987-set drama about a college girl trying to get an illegal abortion in Romania.

Defining Moment
Sleazy abortionist Mr. Bebe raises his fee, knowing full well that the girl has no other choice.

People who added this item 2362  Average listal rating (1545 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating
3. Burn After Reading (2008)
Second Coens of the year, lesser to No Country but still solid Joel 'n' Ethan: a zany crime caper, this time with an espionage flavour.

Defining Moment
Brad as fitness doofus Chad, ineptly attempting to intimidate John Malkovich.

People who added this item 1870  Average listal rating (1102 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.8 
4. Changeling (2008)
Clint compels with this weird true-life tale of child abduction and substitution, while Angelina Jolie defiantly weeps her way to an Oscar shoo-in.

Defining Moment
The film's 15th Oscar clip: "Did you kill my son?!"

People who added this item 2197  Average listal rating (1484 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 7.1 
5. Cloverfield (2008)
J. J. Abrams-produced monsterpiece, remaking Godzilla via The Blair Witch Project and a Doritos ad.

Defining Moment
Big squiddy Pumpkinhead thing is slapping the bridge about! Panic!
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 6566  Average listal rating (4386 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating
6. The Dark Knight (2008)
The box-office smash of 2008 it's okay - nay, compulsory - to like. Proof that comic-book blockbusters can be, like, proper movies. And a great swansong for Heath Ledger.

Defining Moment
The Joker's magic trick with the pencil. Wincey.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 1073  Average listal rating (593 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 8.1 
7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
The world through the eyes of totally paralysed writer Jean-Dominique Bauby. Lyrical, thoughtful, moving.

Defining Moment
Bauby's wife communicating his thoughts to his lover.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 530  Average listal rating (335 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 6.9 
8. Eden Lake (2008)
Evidently too harsh to please crowds at the multiplex, this none-more-dark hoodie horror slaps hard, and there's nothing happy about it.

Defining Moment
That final look in the mirror. Gut-churning.

People who added this item 19  Average listal rating (11 ratings) 4.6  IMDB Rating 6.2 
9. The Escapist (2002)
File under 'Tragically Overlooked'. Brit helmer Rupert Wyatt's prison-breakout debut features one of Brian Cox's finest performances.

Defining Moment
The escapees discovering a Stygian underworld stretching out before them.

People who added this item 635  Average listal rating (347 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating
10. Gomorrah (2008)

People who added this item 1075  Average listal rating (670 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.7 
11. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
That Ben Affleck is really a rather good director. His adaptation of the Dennis Lehane kidnap thriller is restrained, complex and intriguing.

Defining Moment
Casey Affleck's Patrick badmouths an entire bar of hardcases. Kid's got balls.

People who added this item 2629  Average listal rating (1711 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 6.5 
12. Hancock (2008)
Will Smith wasn't the best casting (too slick) and it's a bit confused (duff twist), but director Peter Berg did offer an intriguing super-movie take.

Defining Moment
The clip of a drunk Hancock 'saving' a beached whale by literally throwing it back to sea.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 1685  Average listal rating (1122 ratings) 5  IMDB Rating 5.1 
13. The Happening (2008)
M. Night Shyamalan set out to shock. So why did he make his eerie threat… foliage? Still, it's better than The Ruins. Oh. It isn't.

Defining Moment
Mark Wahlberg negotiating with (and outacted by) a plastic pot plant.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 523  Average listal rating (325 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating
14. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
Mike Leigh makes something genuinely feelgood, showcasing the raw talent of Sally Hawkins as the super-cheerful teacher, Poppy.

Defining Moment
Poppy's weird driving lesson with the paranoid Scott (Eddie Marsan): "En-ra-HA!".

People who added this item 1653  Average listal rating (1076 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 7.1 
15. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Guillermo del Toro feeds his Pan's Labyrinth twisted-fairy-tale aesthetic into the smashmouth antics of Mike Mignola's Hellboy. Bodes well for The Hobbit.

Defining Moment
The Barry Manilow sing-along.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 667  Average listal rating (412 ratings) 5.7  IMDB Rating 6.5 
16. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)
Toby Young's memoir of disaster is tastefully softened into… The Devil Wears Prada for men!

Defining Moment
Sidney (Pegg) tells PR Eleanor (Gillian Anderson) why he won't write her a puff-piece.

People who added this item 1671  Average listal rating (1146 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating
17. In Bruges (2008)
Colin Farrell convinces us he should really do more comedy. And Belgium actually does look very attractive.

Defining Moment
Brendan Gleeson's wonderful "two manky hookers and a racist dwarf" comment. Still tickles.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 2151  Average listal rating (1384 ratings) 6.3  IMDB Rating 6.9 
18. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Louis Leterrier's daft, punchy Hulk-take isn't as good as Ang Lee's, and made less money at the box office. There's a lesson there...

Defining Moment
Hulk smacks l'il Tim Roth into a tree, breaking every bone in his wee body.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 2943  Average listal rating (1855 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 6.3 
19. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal... (2008)
CG prairie dogs didn't quite rape our childhood, but Indy IV wasn't quite the final bow we'd hoped. Still dig the bright '50s vibe, though.

Defining Moment
The swarm of ravenous giant ants. Nip nip.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 4194  Average listal rating (2839 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.9 
20. Iron Man (2008)
The fun-lovin' yin to The Dark Knight's brooding yang. Also phase one of Robert Downey Jr.'s triumphant return to the A-list.

Defining Moment
Tony Stark perfecting his prototypes: "Yeah. I can fly!"
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 4398  Average listal rating (2895 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.6 
21. Juno (2007)
Sassy, heart-warming indie hit of the year which managed to be entirely uncontroversial about teen pregancy.

Defining Moment
Juno's stepmom Bren (Alison Janney) gives the ultrasound technician a hard time. "Bren! You's a dick!"
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 284  Average listal rating (189 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating 8.2 
22. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007)
An insight into the strange sub-subculture of retro-arcaders - fantastically entertaining.

Defining Moment
Wannabe Kong champ Steve is interrupted mid-game by his distressed kid announcing he's shat himself...

People who added this item 2898  Average listal rating (1850 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.6 
23. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
A terrific mix of chopsocky moves, visual splendour and Jack Black comedy stylings. Easily the best DreamWorks' 'toon since Shrek.

Defining Moment
The slo-mo training montage.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 570  Average listal rating (381 ratings) 3.8  IMDB Rating 3.8 
24. The Love Guru (2008)
Mike Myers returns with a truly abhorrent creation - creepy guru Pitka - and wrings zilcho laughs. Car crash of 2008.

Defining Moment
The film climaxes… with two elephants rutting.

People who added this item 495  Average listal rating (252 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating 7.6 
25. Lust, Caution (2007)
Caused a stir with its explicit steaminess, but Ang Lee's latest is a cracking spy thriller.

Defining Moment
Wong Chia Chi (Wei Tang) explains to her stiff-collared boss precisely what it's like sleeping with the enemy.

People who added this item 1615  Average listal rating (1028 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.4 
26. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Ropey A-list ABBA karaoke or just, y'know, a good laugh? Either way, it's a box-office phenomenon, making more at UK cinemas than The Dark Knight. Eek!

Defining Moment
Brosnan doing SOS. Piercing.

People who added this item 530  Average listal rating (281 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 7.9 
27. Man on Wire (2008)
Fascinating documentary on the famous tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. Also a heist movie in disguise.

Defining Moment
Wire-walker Philippe Petit steps out on the tightrope and realises all will be well.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 1711  Average listal rating (1145 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 7.2 
28. The Mist (2007)
Frank Darabont's third Stephen King feature is debatably the year's best thriller - B-movie chills with A-list craft and intelligence.

Defining Moment
The most powerful ending of the year, bar none.

People who added this item 3511  Average listal rating (2278 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating 8.2 
29. No Country for Old Men (2007)
The Coens dial back the zany, check most of their trademarks at the door and respectfully adapt Cormack McCarthy: gritty, gripping and a rightful Oscar-winner.

Defining Moment
That gas station coin-toss.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 1328  Average listal rating (812 ratings) 7.1  IMDB Rating 7.5 
30. The Orphanage (2007)
J. A. Bayona's debut, produced by Guillermo del Toro. More chilling than a wifebeater full of icecubes, with a killer midpoint twisteroo.

Defining Moment
A medium does a tour of the haunted house. With all the lights turned off!

People who added this item 28  Average listal rating (18 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating 7.3 
31. Out of the Blue (2006)
Astonishing, distressing and tense reconstruction of a spree-killing in a sleepy '90s New Zealand community. No happy ending here.

Defining Moment
The heroic little ol' lady who crawls for help as the bullets fly.

People who added this item 1256  Average listal rating (693 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
32. Persepolis (2007)
Marjane Satrapi's autobiographic novel gets animated, as she wryly views the 1979 revolution in Iran.

Defining Moment
Young Marjane heads down to one of Tehran's dodgy areas to buy illicit contraband: punk albums.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 1545  Average listal rating (998 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating
33. Pineapple Express (2008)
The Apatow Express delivers again, with Seth Rogen and James Franco on top form as stoners on the run. Like, totally funny or whatever.

Defining Moment
Franco imitates the action movies he's seen and tries to kick loose a car window.

People who added this item 1172  Average listal rating (788 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 7.1 
34. Rambo (2008)
Huff. Puff. Oof. Ka-boom! Stallone grows old gorily as John Rambo drags his lumpy ass through another pointless jungle adventure.

Defining Moment
With the help of bad CG, Rambo outruns a giant explosion. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 617  Average listal rating (416 ratings) 5.6  IMDB Rating
35. Righteous Kill (2008)
Al Pacino. Robert De Niro. Er, John Avnet. Makes Heat seem much longer ago than 12 years. And most obvious 'twist' ever?

Defining Moment
Bobby works out in the gym. Check out those buff stunt limbs!

People who added this item 1156  Average listal rating (732 ratings) 7.1  IMDB Rating 7.3 
36. RocknRolla (2008)
Guy Ritchie's return to form: a cocky, confident, occasionally perplexing but always kinetic crime caper.

Defining Moment
Gerard Butler being chased by unstoppable Russian Mafiosi.

People who added this item 1974  Average listal rating (1302 ratings) 6.3  IMDB Rating 6.7 
37. Quantum of Solace (2008)
The first direct 007 sequel continues the lean, mean Royale reinvention, with Daniel Craig growing into the tux.

Defining Moment
The Aston-smashing pre-credits sequence sets the tone.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 1295  Average listal rating (775 ratings) 5.5  IMDB Rating 5.4 
38. Sex and the City (2008)
The Girls were back in town, and the girls turned out in force at the 'plex to welcome them. Just a feature-length episode, but that didn't seem to bother anyone.

Defining Moment
Carrie being jilted at the altar.

People who added this item 309  Average listal rating (196 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 7.1 
39. Son of Rambow (2007)
Garth Jennings does sweet-not-saccharine as two oddball boys bond over a love of First Blood and DIY film-making.

Defining Moment
Will and Lee experience the heady delights of the Sixth Form Common Room.

People who added this item 712  Average listal rating (458 ratings) 5.7  IMDB Rating 6.1 
40. Speed Racer (2008)
Those elusive Wachowskis adapt a Japanimated TV series about a universe dedicated to car-racing into a "living cartoon".

Defining Moment
Speed trumps teen angst to win final race. Look - the chimp in dungarees is cheering!

People who added this item 509  Average listal rating (293 ratings) 5.4  IMDB Rating 5.7 
41. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
It's Episode II.5! But nobody cared. Still, those who ignored it missed out on stylish CG-animation and some cracking action scenes.

Defining Moment
The vertical race/battle. Either that or Jabba's gay pimp uncle...
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 4193  Average listal rating (2597 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.5 
42. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Stre... (2007)
A triumvirate of geniuses - Burton, Depp, Sondheim - create the most arresting musical of the year.

Defining Moment
Sweeney's victims hitting the floor with a bone-crunching thwack.
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 85  Average listal rating (47 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
43. Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
Alex Gibney directs his way to an Oscar: this exposé of the US government's implicit endorsement of torture is compulsive viewing.

Defining Moment
Gibney's core revelation that torture doesn't even work.

People who added this item 2407  Average listal rating (1447 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating 8.1 
44. There Will Be Blood (2007)
The movie. The performance. Amounts to the same thing, really. Daniel Day-Lewis arguably achieves a career best as misanthropic, vampiric oilman Daniel Plainview.

Defining Moment
"I drink it up!"

People who added this item 2379  Average listal rating (1587 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating
45. Tropic Thunder (2008)
RDJ's storming of the multiplex, phase two: As blacked-up Metod-idiot Kirk Lazarus, he's funnier than the rest of the cast put together. The r-word caused some upset though.

Defining Moment
"Never go full retard."
Nonfictionguy's rating:

People who added this item 3610  Average listal rating (2366 ratings) 5.1  IMDB Rating 5.2 
46. Twilight (2008)
The first adaptation of the cult novels boasts great performances and a stunning aesthetic. Scream!

Defining Moment
When Edward bites into Bella's flesh to extract nasty vampire poison, will he be able to resist feasting on her blood?

People who added this item 441  Average listal rating (253 ratings) 5.7  IMDB Rating 6.4 
47. W. (2008)
Oliver Stone does Dubya, but it's softer than you'd expect, and suffers as a result. Great turns from Josh Brolin and Richard Dreyfuss, though.

Defining Moment
Cheney reveals why the US has to invade Iraq. Something to do with oil, apparently.

People who added this item 642  Average listal rating (387 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating
48. Waltz with Bashir (2008)
Ari Folman's animated doc is astonishing: the most surreal, impactful account of combat since Apocalypse Now.

Defining Moment
A fearful Israeli soldier dreams of a giant nymph carrying him away to safety.

People who added this item 2339  Average listal rating (1548 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.7 
49. Wanted (2008)
Comic-book action from Night Watch director Timur Bekmambetov. James McAvoy turns macho and Ms. Jolie proves she's a true movie star.

Defining Moment
McAvoy curves a bullet around Jolie's self-assured form.

People who added this item 4337  Average listal rating (2862 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating 8.5 
50. WALL·E (2008)
Pixar gets bleak, but turns cutesy (aw, wook at dose adorwable big lenses) and distressing (humanity destroys Earth, Wall-E harvests body parts from his dead brothers).

Defining Moment
Wall-E and Eve's cascading space dance.
Nonfictionguy's rating:


 

Empire Magazine's list of 50 Movies that defined 2008!

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