Best movies of 2008 so far
May 23, 2008 4:56 AM   Subscribe

Amazing movies of 2008? Has there been any? What have I missed?

Most years I am a fairly big movie fan, seeing 3-4 a month in theaters, but this year, haven't been able to do that. Here it is, five months into the year, and I haven't seen ANYTHING.

What did I miss? Have you seen anything this year that really blew you away? I'm dying to see a great new movie (Doesn't have to be in movie theaters right now, I will rent DVD's, but I am only interested in 2008 releases).

As a guide to my taste, flicks i really enjoyed in 2007 included:
Inland Empire / Grindhouse / Into The Wild / No Country For Old Men / Juno / The Diving Bell and The Butterfly
I like documentaries too. Not into the big blockbusters.

If something is coming out this summer that's getting high raves already or generating tons of interest, let me know about that too! I have no idea what's generating the critical excitement in movies this year.
posted by extrabox to Media & Arts (38 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
There Will Be Blood..

posted by TheOtherGuy at 5:03 AM on May 23, 2008

Not sure if this counts, but: "Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days" and "The Counterfeiters." Two excellent foreign films released in Europe in 2007, but only made it here in 2008.

And yes, The Will Be Blood. Technically 2007, but only released at the very very end of the year. Netflix Citizen Kane before or after.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:14 AM on May 23, 2008

posted by chuckdarwin at 5:18 AM on May 23, 2008

I go to the movies probably twice a week, but this year I've really cut back due to crappy releases. Here are the following movies I really liked:

Starting Out in the Evening
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Visitor
Run, Fatboy, Run
Spiderwick Chronicles

I think that's about it. I think I've seen, total, about 25 movies this year? Worst movie so far? Baby Mama. HORRIBLE.
posted by banannafish at 5:23 AM on May 23, 2008

The Orphanage
Persepolis (technically last year, but I think it's only been generally released recently)
Doomsday (YMMV - but I've got a soft spot for 80s sf action flicks which this is a love letter to)

And There Will Be Blood of course
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:40 AM on May 23, 2008

I'd like to echo There Will Be Blood and Persepolis.

I also quite liked In Bruges.

Also, you might want to listen to BBC movie critic Mark Kermode whose weekly reviews are podcast. He covers most of everything and is very good about not spoiling anything. Also, Kermode and Simon Mayo (his foil) are very entertaining radio people so the podcast is fun.
posted by Kattullus at 5:43 AM on May 23, 2008

posted by mkultra at 5:47 AM on May 23, 2008

IMDB's 2008 movies with a rating of more than 7.7. Tweaking the parameters is quite easy, for example if you want movies since 2007 with a rating of more than 7.8 and more than 800 votes. Tv=off disables tv series, ep=off disables tv episodes.

See also the Magic decoder ring for IMDB movie ratings.
posted by stereo at 6:11 AM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]

Forbidden Kingdom

yeah, yeah, the story was all cheezypuff - but it was Jackie & Jet, dammit! not only that, it was Jackie as a crazy drunken immortal & Jet as the Monkey King! choreography by Yuen Woo-ping!
posted by jammy at 6:11 AM on May 23, 2008

More IMDB statistics porn (scroll down)
posted by stereo at 6:14 AM on May 23, 2008

There Will Be Blood and Persepolis were both released in 2007, technically. If that's allowed I'd go with "4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days", myself...

More or less 2008 bests so far:

Taxi to the Dark Side
The Wackness
Assassination of a High School President

That last one isn't in wide release yet (not sure when) but I saw it and was pretty damn impressed.
posted by rokusan at 6:17 AM on May 23, 2008

Not sure if this counts, but: "Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days" and "The Counterfeiters." Two excellent foreign films released in Europe in 2007, but only made it here in 2008.

Agreed and, similarly, You the Living and The Flight of the Red Balloon are two of the most extraordinary films I have seen for a long time.
posted by cincinnatus c at 6:20 AM on May 23, 2008

Starting Out in the Evening and The Counterfitters were both excellent. Super heavy but excellent.
posted by sully75 at 6:21 AM on May 23, 2008

I really enjoyed In Bruges, it was unexpectedly funny and the characters are beautifully, beautifully done. Great if you're looking for something gritty but entertaining.
posted by ukdanae at 7:04 AM on May 23, 2008

Up The Yangtze is the best documentary I've seen this year.
posted by minimal at 7:08 AM on May 23, 2008

Son of Rambow is now one of my favorite movies of all time. But it's probably not for everybody.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 7:40 AM on May 23, 2008

nthing In Bruges. It got promoted as a sort of wacky gangster comedy, but the movie itself is much more than that.
posted by ManInSuit at 7:51 AM on May 23, 2008

Son of Rambow is now one of my favorite movies of all time. But it's probably not for everybody.

Correct. Son of Rambow is not for people with no soul, and a black heart. Is it actually in "wide" indie release now? I saw it at the Philadelphia Film Festival.
posted by graymouser at 7:52 AM on May 23, 2008

I liked The Fall.
Seconding Persepolis.
Last night I saw Indiana Jones. You can skip that one.
posted by rmless at 8:39 AM on May 23, 2008

The Signal is supposed to be pretty awesome if you're into horror. It technically was released at Sundance in '07, but didn't get a non-festival release until tis year. Even then it was a pretty limited release, but the DVD is available on June 10th.

Last night I saw Indiana Jones. You can skip that one.

I'm going to disagree and say I thought it was absolutely awesome. Obviously nothing can top Raiders, but in my book Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was easily on part with the other two.
posted by Nelsormensch at 8:49 AM on May 23, 2008

Ironman is a movie that happens to have a comic book character and not a comic book movie...even my father liked it and he used to run an art house theater.

There Will Be Blood was one of those things that you can't understand why you are doing, but will be appreciate when its over.

Indiana Jones is a great popcorn movie...anyone expecting anything more is overthinking the genre.
posted by legotech at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2008

I'm looking forward to Get Smart (June 20). Probably not very smart of me.
posted by lukemeister at 9:46 AM on May 23, 2008

I thought Iron Man was good. Besides the obvious cool factor, what made the movie work for me was R. Downey Jr. and the fact that I'm a sucker for stories about the ne'er-do-well who rises to the moral challenge.
posted by keith0718 at 9:48 AM on May 23, 2008

There Will Be Blood
Iron Man
Forgetting Sarah Marshall

The good docs and dramas don't usually come out until later in the year.
posted by cnc at 9:55 AM on May 23, 2008

Another nod for In Bruges, and a dissenting voice on There Will Be Blood...I reeeeeally wish I'd gone with my gut and walked out halfway through instead of enduring the remainder of it.
posted by kittyprecious at 10:00 AM on May 23, 2008

I honestly don't think you've missed much so far in 2008.

The fact that people are comically giving you a movie that's from 2007 is more entertaining and disturbing than anything I've seen in 2008.
posted by justgary at 10:08 AM on May 23, 2008

I'll second The Orphanage. If you're into horror, obviously.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:36 AM on May 23, 2008

Snow Angels and Paranoid Park were both fantastic.

I love all the films you mentioned, so these will probably be to your fancy.
posted by reductiondesign at 10:51 AM on May 23, 2008

The Israeli movie Beaufort is excellent.
posted by Jahaza at 11:20 AM on May 23, 2008

I'd like to echo In Bruges and Iron Man, which were both excellent films. Prince Caspian was a pretty decent fantasy action movie, but not, like, amazing, and was burdened by in-your-face allegory, though to be fair no more than you'd expect. Over all though, 2008 has been pretty weak as far as movies go.

Oh, I'd recommend Cloverfield, too, as long as you bear in mind that it's nothing more than a monster movie with a semi-novel perspective gimmick. It's a great film if you don't expect too much out of it.
posted by Caduceus at 12:27 PM on May 23, 2008

I was very impressed by The Band's Visit, which got its US release in 2008. Funny, warm, slightly absurd.
posted by Mender at 1:18 PM on May 23, 2008

I just saw the Signal, and while it was better than most mainstream horror these days I was a little meh on it overall; similarly the Orphanage had some great moments but didn't quite gel together for me either. I actually did like Cloverfield a lot for a big dumb spectacle movie. I haven't seen Paranoid Park or Errol Morris's new documentary about Abu Ghraib, but they are the only things that I've really been looking forward to. 2008 seems like kind of a wash so far, but on the other hand 2007 and 2006 were excellent years for movies.
posted by whir at 1:58 PM on May 23, 2008

Technically late-2007 ... but I absolutely adored Angel-A.
posted by mahoganyslide at 5:15 PM on May 23, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, Thank you all, this is totally exactly what I need to get my movie jones going this long holiday weekend. Awesome.
posted by extrabox at 5:28 PM on May 23, 2008

Movie quality is seasonal:

Spring/Summer: Blockbuster "tentpole" films such as Iron Man, Indiana Jones, The Hulk

Fall: Prestige quality films, released late in the year to lodge recently in the heads of Oscar voters.

Winter: The garbage dump: when enfeebled or troubled films are released into the elements to quickly die of exposure. Examples: Matthew McConaughey's films this decade.

To make a short story long (too late!), the first third of the year is often the season of misfit films, except for the odd horror film and foreign or independent films receiving broader distribution--such as the lovely and subdued The Band's Visit.
posted by doncoyote at 9:30 PM on May 23, 2008

Here are some from 2007 and 2008.

No Country for Old Men
There Will be Blood
Run, Fatboy, Run
The Orphanage
posted by Camel of Space at 9:45 PM on May 23, 2008

There Will Be Blood
Into the Wild
La graine et le mulet
California Dreamin'
The Visit of the Fanfare
posted by nonmerci at 9:33 AM on May 24, 2008

The Band's Visit was great. Don't miss The Flight of the Red Balloon, in theaters now, starring a frazzled, blonde Juliette Binoche. The movie is pure feeling and evocation. If you need something a little more plotted, try Roman de Gare.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 5:45 PM on May 24, 2008

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