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Roger Ebert's The Best 20 Films of 2008

Old 12-06-08, 11:55 PM
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Roger Ebert's The Best 20 Films of 2008

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/...812059997/1023

Long article including 5 additional documentaries, clicky link.

For the impatient, here is the list in alphabetical order:

"Ballast"
"The Band's Visit"
"Che"
"Chop Shop"
"The Dark Knight"
"Doubt"
"The Fall"
"Frost/Nixon"
"Frozen River"
"Happy-Go-Lucky"
"Iron Man"
"Milk"
"Rachel Getting Married"
"The Reader"
"Revolutionary Road"
"Shotgun Stories"
"Slumdog Millionaire"
"Synecdoche, New York"
"W."
"WALL-E"
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Old 12-07-08, 12:09 AM
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Iron Man and W. are a couple of shockers. I figured Iron Man would be forgotten by critics at the end of the year, and W. wasn't anything that special.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:11 AM
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The Wrestler is conspicuously absent.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:15 AM
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One thing that caught my eye was that Che was a four hour movie. That's nuts.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
The Wrestler is conspicuously absent.
I don't think he's seen it yet, as I've yet to see a review. The same could be said for Gran Torino, since it's pretty much a given Ebert will give it 4-Stars and call it a masterpiece.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
I don't think he's seen it yet, as I've yet to see a review. The same could be said for Gran Torino, since it's pretty much a given Ebert will give it 4-Stars and call it a masterpiece.
So why couldn't Ebert hold off on this list for another week or 2 then?
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Old 12-07-08, 03:04 AM
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I've heard of 7 of those.
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Old 12-07-08, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dean Kousoulas View Post
So why couldn't Ebert hold off on this list for another week or 2 then?
He just can't see everything unfortunately, and more and more he's depending on screeners. Perhaps he figured it was highly unlikely that he would get to seeing any more films.
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Old 12-07-08, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by outcastja View Post
One thing that caught my eye was that Che was a four hour movie. That's nuts.
Well, it's actually a bit longer than that... but it will be split into two films once we probably get to actually see it. I believe that is how it is being released.
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Old 12-07-08, 04:04 AM
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Interested in -

"Che"
"The Fall"
"Frost/Nixon"
"Milk"
"Rachel Getting Married"
"Slumdog Millionaire"
"Synecdoche, New York"
"W."

Only these I have been lucky enough to have seen.

"Iron Man"
"The Dark Knight"
"WALL-E"

The others . . . well maybe I will be interested when I read more about them . . .
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Old 12-07-08, 04:30 AM
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Ebert saw The Wrestler at the Toronto Film Festival. He wrote about the Mickey Rourke comeback in September. He should have seen both Gran Torino and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by now since they have been screened for critics and they have won awards from the National Board of Review. I think it says a lot that nether were on this top 20 list along with The Wrestler. I've been hearing mixed about Button and Torino, but I've heard nothing but great things about The Wrestler.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
Iron Man and W. are a couple of shockers. I figured Iron Man would be forgotten by critics at the end of the year, and W. wasn't anything that special.
On the note of Iron Man, Ben Mankiewicz commented on yesterday's At the Movies that he did not feel that The Dark Knight was the best comic book movie from last year, but that Iron Man was.

In retrospect, I am inclined to agree with him, but I would like to see TDK one more time.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:29 AM
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Looks like Ebert is trying to shake up the world of film criticism again? Choosing 10 over 20 doesn't make the list about "chopping." Someone could say the same thing about picking the top 20, or even 30, films of the year. Top 10 not only sounds good, but it is intensely exclusive. Top 20 also shows how 4-star-happy Eager is.

And not ordering the movies? Please. Ebert's entitled to list movies however he wants, but don't say that "nobody" can quantify a list, and that "we all pretend to." Most critics will look at a bunch of movies that they give 4-stars to, and ask themselves "which one has the edge?" You know, kind of like the Academy Awards.

By just throwing 20 movies into a list, I really don't get a huge sense of which were the best. But to each his own, I just didn't care for this format at all.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:51 AM
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Great to see Frozen River and Shotgun Stories on his list. Definitely among the best "small" films this year. In a perfect world, Melissa Leo would be up on stage in February for her role in Frozen River, but she probably won't even be nominated since it's such an unseen movie.
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Old 12-07-08, 10:10 AM
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"Let The Right One In", "Recount", "Waltzing with Bashir". Three great movies unlisted.
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Old 12-07-08, 10:12 AM
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where's SNOW ANGELS? that's great news that SHOTGUN STORIES ended up on there.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BullGooseLoony View Post
Looks like Ebert is trying to shake up the world of film criticism again? Choosing 10 over 20 doesn't make the list about "chopping." Someone could say the same thing about picking the top 20, or even 30, films of the year. Top 10 not only sounds good, but it is intensely exclusive. Top 20 also shows how 4-star-happy Eager is.

And not ordering the movies? Please. Ebert's entitled to list movies however he wants, but don't say that "nobody" can quantify a list, and that "we all pretend to." Most critics will look at a bunch of movies that they give 4-stars to, and ask themselves "which one has the edge?" You know, kind of like the Academy Awards.

By just throwing 20 movies into a list, I really don't get a huge sense of which were the best. But to each his own, I just didn't care for this format at all.
Make your own top 10 list, and call it a day.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:40 PM
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All I have to say, is that 2008 was a terrible year for movies.
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Old 12-07-08, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
All I have to say, is that 2008 was a terrible year for movies.
How so? The Wrestler, Che, Milk, Revolutionary Road and Doubt have barely been released yet, not to mention all of the other quality films like Slumdog, Let the Right One In, Frozen River and Frost/Nixon. This is shaping up to be one of the best years in recent memory.
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Old 12-07-08, 01:30 PM
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I'm kinda shocked neither Wrestler or Torino is on there; both of which I would consider infinitely superior to Iron Man. To each their own of course.
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Old 12-07-08, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JustinS View Post
"Ballast"
"The Band's Visit"
"Che"
"Chop Shop"
"The Dark Knight"
"Doubt"
"The Fall"
"Frost/Nixon"
"Frozen River"
"Happy-Go-Lucky"
"Iron Man"
"Milk"
"Rachel Getting Married"
"The Reader"
"Revolutionary Road"
"Shotgun Stories"
"Slumdog Millionaire"
"Synecdoche, New York"
"W."
"WALL-E"
With the exception of W., which I saw and didn't like (at all), all of the bolded movies where movies I have seen and also placed in my Top 20.

Chop Shop and Frozen River sound amazing.

Ballast, so far, is my pick for movie of the year. Che is right after it.
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Old 12-07-08, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
All I have to say, is that 2008 was a terrible year for movies.
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Old 12-07-08, 02:07 PM
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Loved

"Slumdog Millionaire"
"The Dark Knight"
"Iron Man"

Want to see

"The Fall"
"Frost/Nixon"
"Milk"
"The Band's Visit"
"Synecdoche, New York"
"W."

Hated

"WALL-E"

Never or barely heard of, but want to see now

"Ballast"
"Che"
"Chop Shop"
"Doubt"
"Frozen River"
"Happy-Go-Lucky"
"Rachel Getting Married"
"The Reader"
"Revolutionary Road"
"Shotgun Stories"
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Old 12-07-08, 02:37 PM
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I've only seen eight from his list, but as it is I think it's a pretty great list, with nothing that immediately stands out to me as being completely undeserving of being ranked so highly (even if I myself would not rank them as highly.) "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Wall-E" are probably my two favorites, but I enjoyed them all to some extent. All of the rest were already on my "Must See" list, and now I'm even more excited to see them.

Last edited by Sondheim; 12-07-08 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 12-07-08, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
How so? The Wrestler, Che, Milk, Revolutionary Road and Doubt have barely been released yet, not to mention all of the other quality films like Slumdog, Let the Right One In, Frozen River and Frost/Nixon. This is shaping up to be one of the best years in recent memory.
I'll agree that a lot of potentially great movies have not been released yet. But none of those films are getting the accolades last year's movies got. I think my expectations may be too high because 2007 was such a great year. One of the best years? I'll say it was one of the best year for summer movies but as an overall... it's just meh.
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