Now, this is highly unscientific, notice I don't say "best" movies of 2008. These just, for a variety of reasons, happened to be my favorite. A few of them were actually in limited release in 2007, but since I saw them in 2008, that's where I'll list them. Also, there are a ton of 2008 'awards season' movies I haven't seen yet that I am looking forward to - but hey, there's always next year's list, right?
So from 10 to 1, here goes:
10) My Kid Could Paint That - Gets us asking "what is art?" Do yourself a favor and rent this doc about a child art 'prodigy' on DVD, then make sure to watch the 25 minute follow-up. As much a story about the conflict in the filmmaker as it is about the subject.
9) Mamma Mia! - I don't typically like movie musicals, I wasn't a huge ABBA fan, and I'm not crazy about the cast, so that set my expectations pretty low. But, it was a lot of fun, and the beautiful Greek islands backdrop didn't hurt.
8) WALL-E - One of the more profound animated films I've ever seen. Pixar does it again!
7) The King of Kong - absurdly poignant documentary about 80's video games and the men that play them. NOTE: a brilliant (but not official) companion piece to this film called Chasing Ghosts is now playing on Showtime, but not yet on DVD.
6) The Bank Job - Jason Statham is great as the leader of a good old-fashioned bank heist. Based on a true story, it's set in London in 1971, and very cool.
5) Iron Man - For me, more satisfying than the higher profile Dark Knight. Robert Downey Jr. is perfect.
4) Young @ Heart - This doc about an elderly group of singers that covers rock and roll songs is entertaining, uplifting and guaranteed to tug at the heart strings.
3) Slumdog Millionaire - Fresh and full of spirit, action and stirring performances. This love story plays like a thriller.
2) The Diving Bell & The Butterfly - A powerfully moving, but not overly sentimental, look at what remains when it seems all is lost.
1) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Not a typical David Fincher movie (and I love typical David Fincher movies!) And for my money, not a typical movie at all. I thought the storytelling and acting were first-rate, and the CGI aging effects were amazing and seamless.
Others from 2008 I enjoyed a lot: In Bruges, Revolutionary Road, The Dark Knight, The Reader, The Strangers, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, Doubt, Valkyrie, and Rachel Getting Married
So, that's that. Like I said, not a "best of" list, I'll leave that to the pros. But, feel free to post your own favorites, or just question my sanity...