Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Favorite Movies of 2008 (Part 4)

Dice's Favorite 25 Movies of 2008
(These are, in order, the movies I enjoy, respect, desire, and love the most that I saw for the first time in the calender year 2008.)

* possible objectionable content warning

10. Ocean's 13 - The third movie in the series somehow managed to recapture all the feelings of the first that Ocean's 12 had left scattered on the floor in a dozen pieces.  13 found footing in going back to the humor and intricacy that made the first heist so memorable, and though it doesn't fully match 11, it's at least a step in the right direction, and a lot of fun to watch.

9. I am Legend* - I was not prepared for how much I loved this movie.  I've never really enjoyed "zombie" movies (the hilarious, but offensive, "Shaun of the Dead" excepting), so I was expecting more of the same.  Let's just say I was wrong.  The depth, emotion, and resonance of this movie was incredible and Will Smith continues to solidify himself as a true screen legend. Seeing this movie at number 9 makes me think that this top 10 may be one of the strongest I've seen.
8. Gone Baby Gone* - A powerful look at the cost and peril of making correct moral choices and an exploration into whether or not the ends really do justify the means.  If you can stand the profanity in this one, I can't recommend it highly enough.  It floors me that Ben Affleck directed this, and his brother Casey's performance is nuanced and brilliant.  This movie deserved every award it won and probably many that it didn't.

7. Sunshine* - A low budget Sci-Fi masterpiece?  This look at madness and purpose is incredible both for it's sheer audacity and it's character and story development.  I don't want to give too much of this one away, but it is one of the most compelling ensemble cast performances I've seen in a long while.

6.  Bolt (3D) - Even though this is a Disney brand film, you can see John Lasseter and Pixar's fingerprints all over it.  The story is engaging, the characters are fun and given time to develop, and the drama and action are exuberant and gorgeous.  Add to all this that it used 3D technology perfectly (to add depth not gimmick) and this may have been the most flat out fun I had sitting in a theater all year.

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