Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Best of the Rest '08!

In advance of my no doubt eagerly anticipated "Best Films of 2008" Countdown, here is an inevitably incomplete list of some other very good movies I saw this year. Each movie listed, though not 'great' in my eyes, is nonetheless more-than-recommendable. If you're trying desperately to catch up on the cream of last year, or simply desire some fresh flicks for your Netflix queue (or your Scarecrow account, if you're so fortunate), this might be a good place to start.

I'll stop well short of claiming that you'll like every movie on this roster of B-teamers (but then, not all good movies are 'likable', nor should they be). I will say that all are worth a look for one reason or another.

For your consideration, a mere smattering of the cinematic treats 2008 brought us:
  • The Band's Visit (...nearly made the Countdown)
  • Boy A (...also nearly made the Countdown)
  • Choke (If not for one specific line in this movie, I wouldn't dream of mentioning it here. But man, that line..... Megaen knows what I'm talking about.)
  • The Class
  • The Counterfeiters
  • The Dark Knight
  • Defiance (...still in theatres nationwide. Give it a chance, it's not your average Holocaust movie.)
  • The Edge of Heaven
  • The Fall
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Frownland (Viewer beware: this movie is very odd. Jason, Dad: I think you'll really appreciate it. But first you'll have to find it.)
  • Frozen River
  • Gran Torino
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • In Bruges
  • Kung Fu Panda (WALL-E, it ain't. Cute, clever, and funny, it is.)
  • Let the Right One In
  • Man on Wire (Probably the best doc I saw all year. But I have yet to see Trouble the Water.)
  • Mr. Lonely
  • Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant's second-best movie of 2008. That really says something about Mr. Van Sant's filmmaking chops. Bravo, Gus.)
  • Pineapple Express
  • Ploy (Great Thai movie I saw at SIFF. I really hope it makes its way to the US in one format or another, but I'm not holding my breath.)
  • The Reader
  • Religulous (How could I not love this movie?)
  • Stranded: I've Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains (Already seen Alive? Think you don't need to see another movie about the same story? Think again. This doc is very touching and gives Man on Wire a serious run for its money in the unofficial "Favorite Documentary" category.)
  • Teeth (As a man, I had a naturally defensive reaction when I saw this film a year ago. But I can't deny this movie's merits; it's definitely worth checking out if you can handle it.)
  • Waltz with Bashir (This movie shouldn't be missed by anyone. So good for so many reasons. I can't wait to watch it again.)
  • Wendy and Lucy (Definitely among the most heartbreaking films of the year. If you're a dog person, you can't miss this one.)


  1. It's funny to me that 3 of these are in my top 5 of the year. Makes me even more curious as to what your top 9 is.

  2. My guesses at which three made your Top Five:
    WENDY AND LUCY (f'sho)
    MR. LONELY (f'sho)

    How close am I?