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Terry’s Top 10 - 2008


Go to 2008 Top 10 Lists

Last Updated - 2/3/09

Honorable Mention: Doubt, Iron Man, Burn After Reading, Seven Pounds

10.  The Reader – An amazing, emotional film with a completely different take on the Holocaust.  Kate Winslet gives yet another career-defining performance as a former Nazi prison guard having an affair with a teenage boy.  Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, memorable story.

9.  Valkyrie – Part 2 of the Nazi section of my top 10.  This action-packed film about a forgotten failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler is another masterpiece from director Bryan Singer.  Tom Cruise proves again that he is a very underrated actor as he stars as the leader of the revolt.

8.  Gran Torino – It’s Clint … being Clint.  Need I say more?  And he sings!!!  Not to mention, it’s a brilliant movie.

7.  The Visitor – The small film to last from the first half of the year, Richard Jenkins’s simple yet complicated character carries this film about a man finally finding something to be passionate about as he stumbles upon a couple of illegal immigrants.

6.  Slumdog Millionaire – This film is one of those treasured finds that those who see it love, much like Once was last year.  However, the difference is everyone has seen it, everyone loves it, and now it’s winning every award possible.

5.  Milk – Sean Penn owns this movie in the best performance of the year as Harvey Milk, the first openly homosexual man elected to a major office in America.  Gus Van Sant once again shows his directorial genius in making a simplistic masterpiece.

4.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – This film by David Fincher features Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett on the top of their game.  This epic in the style of Forrest Gump follows Benjamin Button as he ages backwards with the help of brilliant make-up and special effects.  The scope and scale of the film alone warrants a spot on this list, but the incredible story, acting, and direction make it one of the year’s best.

3.  The Dark Knight – The film that redefined the genre of superhero films.  This was by far the most anticipated film of the year and did not disappoint on any level.  The late Heath Ledger created one of the most unforgettable villains ever in his portrayal of the Joker.  Christopher Nolan’s storyline and direction created a Gotham City that is realistic and believable with a dark plot that makes this superhero movie a brilliant crime drama.

2.  Frost/Nixon – Two of my favorite types of films are very simple storylines and those based on historical figures.  This film fits both of these characteristics.  This film about David Frost’s interviews with former President Richard Nixon is carried by the performances by Michael Sheen and Frank Langella in the title roles that they first portrayed on the stage and perfected on the silver screen.  This film is also made great by Ron Howard’s great eye and ability to tell historic stories in a realistic and believable way that makes you feel like you are there.  What a brilliant film all around.

1.  WALL-E – For the second year in a row, my favorite film of the year also happens to be the simplest.  This animated story about a little trash compactor that saves the world by pursuing his beloved EVE not only brings fun and entertainment for all ages, but also makes a political statement about commercialism and pollution.  This film is beautiful in its scope, scale, and heart.  This is the greatest animated film of all time and the best film of the year.


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Terry Plucknett
Est. 2008