Roger Ebert Reveals His 20 Best Films of 2008

December 7, 2008

Roger Ebert

Fellow critic Roger Ebert has already announced his 20 best films of 2008 well before most of us have even seen all of this year's movies. Ebert has quickly become my own favorite critic and journalist, largely because he believes in so many of the same things that I believe in (like an animosity towards 3D) and still has such a strong voice in this industry. As for his list this year, he says, "I am violating the age-old custom that film critics announce the year's 10 best films, but after years of such lists, I've had it." So instead of 10, he's bringing us 20 of his favorite films. Whether you agree or not, Ebert proclaims: "2008 was a great year for movies, even if many of them didn't receive wide distribution." Read on for the full list!

"These 20 stood out for me, and I treasure them all. If it had been 19 or 21, that would have been OK," Ebert says. Let's get right into it, and don't forget, these aren't in any particular order!

The Band's Visit
Chop Shop
The Dark Knight
The Fall
Frozen River
Iron Man
Rachel Getting Married
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Shotgun Stories
Slumdog Millionaire
Synecdoche, New York

Ebert also named his "Special Jury Prize" winner, which was My Winnipeg, and listed 5 documentaries separately, all of which can be seen on his website. I've only actually seen 10 of those on his list, but plan on catching as many of the remaining 10 as I can, with a few screenings already scheduled in the next few weeks. I think he has one of the best lists we'll see all year, because he covers the big ones (even Iron Man) and the more important, but usually ignored, ones (like The Reader and Rachel Getting Married) and even a few that not too many people know about (like Ballast, Chop Shop, and Shotgun Stories). If you've been looking for a few movies to catch up with from this year, start here. Ebert won't steer you wrong.

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  • Angelo
    You can count The Fall as an 2008 film? Awesome
  • Angelo
    Also, these are in a particular order. Alphabetical that is 😀
  • Davor
    No "In Bruges" that's a shame that all i can say
  • yourmom (I know…but im not going to use my real name)
    No Tropic Thunder????!?!?! Epic Fail
  • NO Gran Torino on his list! Im glad he has W. on his list. That is a really good film. Chuck
  • al
    Gran Torino, and The Wrestler should have easily replaced W. and Iron Man.
  • Kill the Batman
    Cloverfield ? Incredible Hulk ? In Bruges ?
  • Darrin
    step brothers is no.1 in my book
  • Aaron
    Why would Incredible Hulk be on there? I just hate how comedies never get the credit they deserve.
  • Lolly
    I think he hit the nail on the head, but I would have liked to have seen The Vistor on here, that movie was beyond amazing!
  • CSpuppydog
    I'm glad he has the Fall up there... but W? Really?
  • leo
    Curiously enough, no Benjamin Button. I was surprised to see this omission. Seeing as how many have tipped it to be the one to beat at the Kodak theatre.
  • Narf
    Hulk looool rofl
  • jman571
    I'm not sure if he's counting Gran Torino towards a 2008 list because it is only being widely released in January. But aside from that, I would've liked to have seen In Bruges on there as well.
  • ben potter
    number 6 have you seen either? or are you simply making wild asumtions?
  • ben potter
    and p.s. in bruges was a peace of shit.
  • Jaf
    YEAH!!! The first blu-ray movie Ebert's review of it is blunt: "Watch it because you'll never see anything like it again" Seeing this list makes me feel like I'm missing the entire underside of the cinema iceberg
  • dac_fan
    No Hulk, what a crock but then again he's always been kind of a cock.
  • al
    #15, haven't seen either, but they are also not wild assumptions. Arronofski has yet to disappoint, neither has Eastwood ever since Letters From Iwo Jima. Iron Man was pretty overrated shit, a good movie? yeah, but great? absolutely not. W. was an enormous let down. As for me making wild assumptions, not at all. Its called a prediction and plenty of them are made during the award show season.
  • dude
    kill it with fire
  • where the fuck is the wrestler?
  • Scott McHenry
    what a flawed list
  • Betterchill
    No Hulk? Oh my god are you kidding me? Of course the Hulk isn't on his list, that movies a fucking joke!
  • Who Fitzed Edmund?
    #19 Correction: Eastwood hasn't disappointed since Changeling. Which was a disappointment.
  • YOU!!!
    That is a terrible pic of Roger Ebert.
  • Darren
    Dark Knight?????
  • L
    I've like Roger for a long time myself as he has been a huge proponent of good anime for best animated feature for many years; especially Miyazaki films. This year was an excellent year for movies; big and small productions. I have no qualms with his list for the movies I have seen, but it does seem empty without "The Wrestler".
  • anthony
    i agree with ebert because the movie the fall is unlike any movie i have ever seen before great cinematogrophy along with a great story
  • He isn't very photogenic is he? Well neither am I. I like his picks, for 2008.
  • oscar
    The Band's Visit? why is that on a 2008 list?
  • max
    Its nice that he picks movies from different categories. A lot of critics just ignore f.e. action movies like Iron Man and Dark Knight. Even if i wasnt a big fan of either, they were "the best of their genre" this year. Too bad even 1/5th of those movies havent been screened in Finland. Cant wait to see Frost/Nixon, Che, Happy-Go-Lucky, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire and W.
  • Lopretni
    Iron Man? Hahaha, oh, God.
  • Itri
    The lack of The Wrestler saddens me. Everything else though is good by me. Then again there's no Benjamin Button........
  • Whats up with that picture of him? It looks like he had neck surgery or he's recovering from a stroke.
  • I have no problem at all with this list! Ebert, showin' them how it's done once again. Some of these movies I missed (The Fall, W.) and some that haven't come here yet (Che, Frost/Nixon, Slumdog Millionaire). I'm glad I caught some of the smaller ones (Synecdoche, New York, The Band's Visit) and I guess I'll try to catch Rachel Getting Married and Happy-Go-Lucky while they're still out there int he theaters. They didn't really seem like something I'd be interested in, until I remind myself that what I'm interested in are good films. Angelo (#2), best comment of the month. So far.
  • Zinglebert Bemzidak
    I'm not at all surprised that you emulate Roger Ebert, Alex. You both write reviews at a fourth grade level.
  • what ever
  • wm
    Ebert is a tool. I can't believe this guys views are seriously "treasured". Like the holy fucking grail. Please...think and judge for yourselves.
  • leo
    Once again where the hell is curious case of benjamin button?
  • lol
    @38 WORD! i mean, wtf? ebert is just an old man who thinks his opinion has a weight. it doesn't! iron man under 20 best films? he cannot be serious, i mean, it was shit, it short, and it had that shitty smell of hypocritical patriotism.
  • dhthompson
    Guys. Relax. These are HIS favorite films of the year. His opinions are his own. You can't say he's wrong. He's right. Are they your favorites? Maybe. Maybe not. I admit, he named a lot of great movies. Some I still need to see. THE FALL is now on my list of must see.... Hey... Wait.. What the..??? Where is Space Chimps??? OMG Roger knows nothing!!! LOL
  • dave13
    I'm so glad The Fall is on there! amazing visual masterpiece!
  • maya
    im glad slumdog is in. it will be the best picture in the coming oscars, i bet. we need underdogs in the oscars . let's vote for slumdog. it will be A VICTORY of asian movies, eventhoug an englishman , boyle , directs it.
  • Great Feature on Roger. Check out Roger’s response to the 5QuickQuestions:
  • Jackson
    Milk? What a fag




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