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Avitable’s top 10 movies of 2008

A lot of people like to do lists during this time of year, and I am always one to blindly follow the crowd. I don’t really care about my top ten posts or top ten bowel movements or top ten commenters or anything like that. I do, however, care about movies, so….

The top 10 movies that were released on DVD in 2008 (in no particular order):

The Descent – this claustrophobic thriller has some excellent twists and turns and an all-female cast that never feels off-balance, cliched, or estrogeny.

Gone Baby Gone – Casey Affleck stars in his brother’s directorial debut in this very slow-burning, hard-boiled mystery based on the series by Dennis Lehane.

Juno – I’ve seen this movie four or five times and I think it is a flawless movie. The cast, the writing, the story – it’s perfect.

Cloverfield – What if Godzilla attacked New York and the only evidence you had was from a camcorder owned by a hapless resident? This movie is a unique look at a classic concept and it works amazingly well. You get just enough information and visual evidence to barely sate your curiosity without feeling like there is any real narration or omniscient perspective.

The Ruins – Almost as creepy as the original book, which is a task in and of itself.

The Bank Job – This was one of the year’s most criminally overlooked movies. Jason Statham demonstrates why he needs to be in everything.

Iron Man – Robert Downey, Jr. manages to make the role where he dons a flying suit of armor to become a superhero his second-most interesting role of the year!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall – I love Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell and the concept of a Dracula musical is intriguing. This movie feels genuine and has real, genuine laughs and love.

Tropic Thunder – Robert Downey, Jr. in his best role of the year, along with a stellar cast, including a great cameo by Tom Cruise. The satire in sharp and the laughs are continuous. I love this movie!

The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger was the Joker. His transformation into this character felt so complete that I am transfixed every time he’s on screen. There’s no way a third film can top this one.

What are your top 10? Be prepared to defend or face derision and silly name-calling.


Apparently, I’m retarded. “The Descent” came out on DVD on 2006. The site I found that listed all new releases on DVD must have been confused.

I offer an alternative instead:

Justice League – The New Frontier – This movie was a satisfying adaptation of the award-winning Darwyn Cooke series, and if the movie studios paid attention, their next big superhero ensemble movie would take some notes.

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41 Replies to “Avitable’s top 10 movies of 2008”

  1. jared

    ill do this, but mine’s all movies, not just dvds

    1. Synecdoche, New York
    2. The Wrestler
    3. The Dark Knight
    4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    5. Cloverfield – reaally high up, but i loved it
    6. Slumdog Millionaire
    7. Pineapple Express
    8. Milk
    9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
    10. Baghead

    i am the only person that hasnt seen wall-e yet, and also burn after reading, rachel getting married, and man on wire is on everyones top ten list, but i havent seen those either.

  2. Jennifer

    We watched Wanted last night with Angelina Jolie. That was some of the best fighting I’ve seen in a very long time. The beginning had me rolling my eyes. But it was great mindless fun. Kung-fu Panda was a hoot. I love it when they make kid movies with adults in mind too.

  3. bubblewench

    Wow.. the only movie I saw in the theatre this year was Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D.. it sucked and all it did was remind me why I don’t like to go to the movies! I’m behind… but thanks for all the great adds to my Netflix!

  4. Turnbaby

    We watched Gone Baby Gone this past weekend–I loved it.

    Tropic Thunder was a blast.

    Burn After Reading was a treat–I love the Coens.

    Bottle Shock was excellent–there’s no way you could leave the theater without feeling good after.

    Two movies I want to see—-Gran Torino and Slumdog Millionaire

  5. Lisa

    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched Juno.

    Dude bought The Dark Knight but I haven’t watched it yet. I’m not sure it’s my type of movie.

    I liked Ironman and thought Robert Downey Jr. was awesome.

    Now I want to go watch Juno.

  6. Maria

    The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger was impeccable. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve replayed the scene where he interrupts their ‘group therapy session’. But the overall film was excellent, not just him.
    Iron Man – Best comic book hero film to emerge in a very long time.
    Slumdog Millionaire – Probably my favorite film of the year, after The Dark Knight
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Sooo beautiful.
    Gran Torino – Clint’s a maniac. I loved it.
    Milk – Great performance by Sean Penn and great biopic.
    The Wrestler – Daammnnn Mickey. I didn’t think he still had it in him.
    Cloverfield – I’m a JJ fangirl, what can I say.
    The Visitor – An indie that’s been pretty much ignored by everyone but needs soooo much more recognition. It was excellent.
    In Bruges – I giggled like a maniac. Great dark comedy.

    Burn After Reading and Vicky Cristina Barcelona were excellent as well.

  7. Sheila (Charm School Reject)

    Geesh – I must be more of a loser than I initially suspected. I haven’t heard of most of those movies, let alone seen them. I’ve only seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Juno – both excellent movies.

    I’m surprised that Twilight didn’t make your list though. Not because I think it was any type of cinematic greatness but because you’re such a girl. [I say that with love.]

  8. Hilly

    Iron Man
    The Dark Knight
    Tropic Thunder
    Mamma Mia!
    Slumdog Millionaire
    In Bruges
    Gone Baby Gone
    Charlie Bartlett

    I’ve not seen Twilight yet but I am sure I would add that to my list as well.

  9. PocketCT

    I don’t think I saw 10 movies in 2008. In fact I can only think of two. The Secret Life of Bees which I liked and Ironman which I didn’t much like. There is my top 1 list. I also saw Juno but I think it was before the year rolled over.

  10. Fogspinner

    While I’m not usually into the batman movies or really any movie of that type, we watched The Dark Night last night, and I couldn’t agree more about Heath Ledger. What a performance! In fact the whole movie was rather good and even I liked it.

  11. J...

    Iron Man was definitely worthy. Better than all the other lame ass comic book hero films lately, for sure.

    The Dark Knight was probably Heath’s most impressive performance although I have adored him in just about every movie.

    I would have to add Wall-e to the listsimply for the fact that the message was so intensly pounded into the brain of youngsters everywhere and it’s timing is perfect.

  12. Deb

    I’m not 100% sure on the release date of all of these, but I checked my Netflix account and came up with these awesome films:

    1. City of Men
    2. Michael Clayton
    3. Romance & Cigarettes
    4. I’m Not There
    5. Juno
    6. Darjeeling Limited
    7. No Country for Old Men
    8. Elisabeth
    9. Across the Univers
    10.The Savages

    I’m seeing In Bruges tonight, so I might have to ammend.

    Documentaries–Gonzo is fantastic.

    Out now– go see Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt and Milk.

    Hmm, I want popcorn.

  13. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    Gad. I don’t think I even managed to see 10 movies this year. And even though Descent came out in 2006, I’m glad you fucked up and listed it. Because before kids, I was a caver/spelunker and now? I MUST see this movie!

    OK, my top ten/ten movies I saw in 2008:

    1. Iron Man (Fuck, yeah!)
    2. Wall-E
    3. Cloverfield
    4. Dark Knight
    5. Twilight (STFU!)
    6. Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
    7. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
    8. Quantum of Solace
    9. The Other Boleyn Girl (Not exactly true to the book and not true to history but, hey, it’s a movie featuring the Tudors. And I got away from the kids for two hours. So, it’s on the list.)
    10. And… Justice League: The New Frontier (Totally agree with you here. Saw it and enjoyed it immensely!)

  14. Kevin Spencer

    Cloverfield was amazing, bought the DVD in a second. Juno was so good “shockingly cavalier” is my phrase of 2008. I dunno, without Russell Brand I think Forgetting Sarah Marshall would be, er, forgettable. Other movies I saw in the theater that I think worthy of a mention: Hancock, Burn After Reading, Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.

  15. Honeybell

    I haven’t seen the majority of these, because I’m trapped under this damned rock of 4 kids. I’m wondering though if The Ruins movie has the same ending as the book, ’cause the book kind of pissed me off.

  16. Poppy

    I can actually read this post now. (Reading on the phone is stupid.)

    I totally agree with a lot of these movies, even The Descent. Who cares what year it was made? Still very good!



    But… Knocked Up, eh?

  17. Sarah

    I suck. I haven’t seen nearly enough movies. I blame school, it’s a damn time waster.

    The last movie I saw was Marley and Me with my Grandma. It was good, that’s because of the lab, he was freaking adorable.

  18. Patrick D.

    At your recommendation, I ordered ‘The Ruins’ off PaperbackSwap. Thanks for the tip.

    As for movies this year, I’m a superhero fan, so ‘The Dark Knight’ was just amazing. ‘Iron Man’ was good as well. I did see ‘Descent’, but felt it was just okay, which is fine.

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