It was another year of movie watching, and surprisingly it was another year of record box-office grosses ($9.63 billion over 2007's $9.62 billion) given the gloomy state of the national economy. Unsurprisingly, however, box office admissions were down 4% from last year.
Like many other people, I used movie watching to escape from current affairs and current events, and luckily for me there was plenty of enjoyably good titles for me to choose from.
There were better films than those on my list, but some were not necessarily appropriate for repeat viewings because they were either too depressing (e.g. Revolutionary Road), too serious (e.g. The Wrestler), or too much requiring one to be in the right mood (e.g. Gran Torino).
5. Definitely, Maybe
One of the more enjoyable romantic comedies in recent years has Ryan Reynolds telling his daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, the stories of his three only loves (Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, and Isla Fisher).
4. Tropic Thunder
The Ben Stiller-directed action comedy was a funny satirical look at Hollywood and the entertainment business that had an outstanding Robert Downey Jr. performance.
3. In Bruges
At least the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) didn't ignore the (sort of dark) indie comedy starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes.
2. Iron Man
Jon Favreau did the impossible by remaining faithful to the original comic book and also making both the main character and story relevant to contemporary times.
1. The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan raised the bar with comic book adaptations by revealing the ambiguities, the choices, the hardships, and the pains of what being a real hero is all about without being colorful, flashy, or preachy. The Christian Bale-starring film helped legitimize the comic book universe and prove that Heath Ledger was one of the best actors of his generation.
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Kung Fu Panda