Hollywood 2008: Top Ten Films

Dear Reader,


Was 2008 an excellent, good, or mediocre year for movies?


Below please find my list of Top Ten Films (rank-ordered).  There are two ties (a way of squeezing a larger number of movies into the list).  What the best films of 2008 share in common are high artistic quality and, perhaps more importantly, they each served as expressions of their director’s personal vision.  


In terms of genre, if my list is any indication of a trend, 2008 was a good year for documentaries.  Of the 12 films on the list, 3 are non-fiction works: Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World, James Marsh’s Man on Wire, and the Israeli animated feature Waltz With Bashir.  The most powerful film I saw all year was Hunger, U.K. visual artist Steve McQueen’s stunning feature debut. 


It’s been a banner year for foreign-language films, two of which are on my list: Gomorra (Italy’s entry for the foreign-language Oscar), a scary chronicle of the Italian Mafia, and the Swedish vampire-horror film, Let the Right One In. I could have easily enlisted all foreign-language films on my Top Ten.


For detailed description of each film, see Comment.  In tomorrow’s blog, I’ll enlist the 10 runners-up for 2008.


Which are your favorite films of the year?


Ten Best List (rank-ordered)


  1. Hunger
  2. Dark Knight
  3. Slumdog Millionaire
  4. Encounters at the End of the World
  5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  6. Rachel Getting Married
  7. Wall-E
  8. Tie: Gomorra/Let the Right One In
  9. Tie: Man on Wire/Waltz With Bashir
  10. Milk