AWARDS

AFI's Top 10 Movies of 2008 - Honoring a Year of Excellence

by
December 14, 2008

AFI Awards 2008

The American Film Institute has announced its "official selections" as part of the AFI Awards 2008, an "almanac that records the year's most outstanding achievements in film and television, as well as significant moments in the world of the moving image." The reason why these may seem to be just a bit off, or sometimes a bit pretentious, are because the selections are made by AFI's 13-person jury that is made up of scholars, film artists, critics and AFI trustees. The good news - at least two superhero movies made it onto the list this year, as did a number of other great films. Read on to see AFI's top 10 movies of 2008.

(in alphabetical order)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Frozen River
Gran Torino
Iron Man
Milk
Wall-E
Wendy and Lucy
The Wrestler

Is this a sign of things to come? Does it look like we finally have the short list of Best Picture nominees? Obviously only five of these will make it into the Oscars, but I've got a good feeling all of them will come from this list. Except for Slumdog Millionaire, which will unquestionably get a nomination, but oddly the AFI didn't honor it because, I believe, it wasn't an American film. Either way, it's obvious that the Oscar season is finally starting to take shape. And the one film that continues to be on nearly everyone's list - The Dark Knight. Stay tuned for more year end awards and top 10 lists as they are announced!

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  • Secret-Asian-Man!!
    Woohoo!! Ironman makin' the list!!
  • tzarinna
    Hmm, so no "Revolutionary Road" or "The Reader"? I'll still check them out. I wonder if the fact that Wolverine is hosting is telling as to what's to come on Oscar night.
  • James
    In what way is this list pretentious?
  • Matty
    Lame. This is why I just watch the trailers.
  • Itri
    I'm not gonna lie, that's an amazing list. I can't wait to see Wendy and Lucy!
  • #3 - This list isn't pretentious specifically... but the AFI is kind of always like "oh look, we're the AFI, we have the top list in everything, we are the ultimate group that ranks the greatest movies of all time..." Whether or not you agree with that, that is a bit pretentious...
  • Darunia
    I am really impressed at Iron Man's inclusion. Talk about a true summer blockbuster FINALLY getting some cred. And yeah, i mean, all great films on that list, can't disagree much with it.
  • Zach
    ... Um, isn't that basically how year-end lists work in the first place?
  • Jess
    Re: pretentious AFI. I think they became more accepting in 2005 when The 40-Year-Old Virgin made their top ten list.
  • lo
    thank god theres dark knight, no fanboy gonna whine this time
  • Betterchill
    I am glad that they included Frozen River. I don't think that movie is getting enough credit. It was pretty great. Anyways, I am pretty excited to see the rest of the movies on this list that haven't come out yet. I am surprised that Synecdoche, New York is not getting alot of attention. I really liked that film.
  • BahHumbug
    I prefer the BCA over the AFI. Even the NBR.
  • Will S.
    @3 Alex is a friend of mine, and I have to say that you're crossing lines. First of all, someone's top 10 list containing mostly movies made in the last 10 years doesn't make them a film 'n00b'. My two best friends, with whom I host a podcast, don't have a single classic in their top 10 but they love movies more than anyone I know, save for Alex. Get off your high horse, and if you feel that you love movies more, then perhaps you make a website where you review movies. Until then, Alex has you beat. QQ moar, and quit thinking you're a true cinephile because you watch obscure movies that nobody knows about. In short, suck less dude.
  • Skamps
    indeed! Will S. for the win! i will always contend iron man being in the top 10 of this year, mainly because i feel it was a strong year for movies and it got washed away with other movies in its genre,The Dark Knight, and also overall. but yeah, let the poop rain over you numbah tres
  • Tyler
    Slumdog Millionaire? Wtf? @ 13, who are you talking to? The only thing number 3 said was "In what way is this list pretentious?" I'm glad Alex is your friend cool guy, but chill.
  • Bob
    Iron Man? Gran Torino? SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE!!!?
  • robert
    I like the inclusion of Iron Man in particular because it suggests the AFI is factoring in the sheer exhiliration one sometimes feels in the theater. The other movies may be deeper and sport better pedigrees, but Iron Man was a solid, fun motion picture, grounded by a winning performance by Downey Jr, and anchored in the long-since-abandoned concept that having fun at a movie shouldn't necessarily mean settling for the lowest common denominator (a.k.a. nearly every other summer blockbuster besides the 2 on this list). Before it became cinematic history, Jaws was just a fun summer movie based on sketchy source material. The performances within it, the director's inventiveness, and the respect for the audience's intelligence, were the reasons why arbiters hail it still today. Just like Iron Man.
  • Wow, this is the best list I have seen all year. I really do hope that FROZEN RIVER gets a least ONE nomination, it looks like it's best bet would be for Melissa Leo for Best Actress. I am shocked by IRON MAN, not that I didn't like it, but I didn't think it was out of this world.

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