Richard Corliss of TIME Magazine's Top 10 of 2008

December 8, 2008

Speed Racer - TIME Magazine

Richard Corliss of TIME Magazine has published his year end Top 10 list and yet again, it will probably be one of the most off-the-wall lists you'll see. Last year, TIME had two lists to deliver, one from each of their two critics, and each list had some very odd yet quite acceptable choices. This year it's only Corliss, but it's still a very odd list, with one of my own favorites, the Wachowski's Speed Racer, getting a nod as well. He left out of a few good ones, sure, but also chooses a few underrated films that deserve some extra attention. Read on to see Corliss' full list or head over to their site for a write up on each of his 10 picks.

1. Wall-E
2. Synecdoche, New York
3. My Winnipeg
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
5. Milk
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Slumdog Millionaire
8. Iron Man
9. Speed Racer
10. Encounters at the End of the World

In his write-up on Speed Racer, Corliss takes a shot at those who ignored the film during its theatrical run. "Not every avant-garde FX masterpiece receives instant audience validation," he says. "Operating a pitch of delirious precision, the movie is a rich, cartoonish dream: non-stop Op art, and a triumph of virtual virtuosity." I love that Corliss doesn't go with all the conventional choices like most critics, although he leaves out a few important ones, like The Dark Knight and The Wrestler. This is only the beginning, as we'll be seeing plenty more of these year end lists all throughout December and January.

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any list without The Dark Knight, isnt a valid list!

troy on Dec 8, 2008


^^^ |T|R|U|T|H|

Travis on Dec 8, 2008


It has My Winnipeg. It's a valid list alright.

Colca on Dec 8, 2008


Ok. Speed Racer is on the list. Dark Knight isn't. Validity is gone.

Hauitzer on Dec 8, 2008


wow...what a crappy list.

SlashBeast on Dec 8, 2008


Well, I respect the fact that he has his own opinion...but I completely disagree with it.

Will on Dec 8, 2008


What a stupid list for Corliss to come up with. He grouped every "action" (he should really classify them as comic book) movie together under, of all movies, Iron Man. Iron Man was FUN, it was ENTERTAINMENT, it was well-written. But it does not deserve to be above the Dark Knight on any best of list. None. The fact that Speed Racer made the cut simply based off of its superb visual effects, degrades even further the importance of story to any movie. The story drives the movie, special effects, neat directorial tricks, and innovations notwithstanding. Alex, you yourself state this over and over again about 3D. But when it comes to a list like this? You should be infuriated. I am, and I hope others are as well. The Dark Knight should be on this list because it addresses directly, explicitly, and in a language and tone that is familiar with all viewers, not just Hollywood's elite critics and fanboys on the internet, a theme that needs to be addressed in a time when heroes are scarce. Nolan defined heroism and stoicism. He gave honor, duty, and nobility back to an adoring public. People will and have taken away these things from the movie, they have seen that Batman puts his entire life, soul, and mental well-being on the line in order to protect a city that both vilifies and validates him. There are plenty of poignant messages in the movies that debuted in 2008. Dark Knight's message is one of the loudest of these poignant messages.

Reza on Dec 8, 2008


I respect the fact that he put Speed Racer there. That movie was way under-rated. I enjoyed every moment of that movie. The Dark Knight definitely should be a must but I ain't going to rag the guy's list. It's his opinion and he is entitled to that. I agree with Alex in that The Wrestler was awesome and should be in the list. That was a great movie. How about we leave the guy's list and just write your own if you don't agree. My one would be - 1. The Dark Knight 2. The Wrestler 3. Wall-E 4. Iron Man 5. Wanted 6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 7. Speed Racer 8. Burn After Reading 9. There Will Be Blood 10. Tropic Thunder

TKaihea on Dec 8, 2008


Dark Knight and Tropic Thunder should be on the list Again....Epic Fail

yourmom (I know...but im not going to use my real name) on Dec 8, 2008


Ok...i agree with #8 list except for SpeedRacer and Wanted.... Wanted shouldnt be in a top 10. It should also include a documentary like Man on Wire or Dear Zachary

Heckle on Dec 8, 2008


i saw encounters at the end of the world and its not the movie im going to remeber werner herzog for or a movie i would remember for too long. it was just average and i really had high hopes for it

Jont on Dec 8, 2008


I liked speed racer. I thought it was good, but many people thought it was just tooooo childish

alex on Dec 8, 2008


Print magazines further solidify their irrelvancy in the 21st century. Vic on Dec 8, 2008


Personally, I thought that Speed Racer was dumbed down a lot so it would make a lot of money. That was why it wasn't good (and oddly, it made no money)

Ajax on Dec 8, 2008


who the hell ever thought that speed racer should be on a top 10 movies of the year list is a damn fool, and yes all validity is striped from that list. with no dark knight on it and even though I have not seen the wrestler yet I would say that it should be and will most likely be on my top list. burn after reading was really good. and yeah I liked speed racer too but to put it on the top 10 and not include the dark knight or wanted, which was awesome, just seems a little outrageous to me thats all. not on the subject of top ten movies but has anyone seen The Fall? it was directed by a man named tarsem and david fincher had something to do with it. it was crazy and really good you should make it a point to see it.

tyler on Dec 8, 2008


Why should I even care?

Woodge on Dec 8, 2008


at #8. There Will Be Blood came out in 2007, and is in my opinion superior to every movie on that list outside of TDK of course.

Johnny on Dec 8, 2008


Speed Racer was HORRIBLE. I got stuck watching it on a cross-country flight and I couldn't even stand how stupid that movie was. Any critic who puts that piece of crap on a Top 10 list instead of The Dark Knight is truly an idiot that should be writing obits in a small town paper instead of columns in a major magazine article. You said it best Vic, print media is becoming obsolete.

AndyS on Dec 8, 2008


I do not like this list as it does not agree with mine.

another tyler on Dec 8, 2008


Come on... speed racer in, dark night out... seriously??? One pretty good list includes at least one of the following: 1. The Dark Knight 2. Iron Man 3. Wanted 4. Taken 5. Hellboy II --- And just based on the great hope over the trailers: The curious case... and Milk

Jorge Leiner on Dec 8, 2008


Any list that doesn't include Happy-Go-Lucky in the top 5 means nothing...I've seen it three times and still can't wait for it to hit theaters. Also, Iron Man should've been replaced by In Bruges.

Homero on Dec 8, 2008


Ugh, I meant DVD, I can't wait for Happy-Go-Lucky to come out on DVD.

Homero on Dec 8, 2008


Fuck The Dark Knight... where are the truly GREAT films with heart? The Visitor? The Wrestler? BOOOOOOO

Kent on Dec 8, 2008


Happy to see a list without the most overrated film of the year...Dark Knight. Even if it was the best Batman, (and is that even certain?), that really doesn't place it very high. I defy anyone to remove Heath Ledger's performance and still defend this hamhandedly directed film.

Paul on Dec 8, 2008


Iron Man and Speed Racer? Ha! No TDK? This guy is either a well paid comedian or a joke

m4st4 on Dec 9, 2008


Only things i agree with him are that he doesnt have TDK on that list and he has Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Benjamin Button, Iron Man (best actionmovie this year to be honest), Walle (best animation).. The rest i havent seen or I TOTALLY DISAGREE with; like Speed Racer.

max on Dec 9, 2008


#4 was stupendous but came out 07

twispious on Dec 9, 2008


have to admit although dark knight was the best film of the year, but for me personally i actually had the most fun by watching speed racer.

Darrin on Dec 9, 2008


excellent list, somebody understand speed races, thanks god! and about the dark... is a fantastic movie, that doesn't need more publicity.

paulina on Dec 9, 2008


Speed Racer would be lucky not to end up as one of the top 5 worst films of the year I've seen.

Micah on Dec 9, 2008


I agree with Micah ... but seriously The Dark Knight is nowhere near the best movie ever made! Everyone needs to calm the fuck down and watch the rest of the movies on this list (which for the most part have not had a wide release yet).

Betterchill on Dec 9, 2008


I don't know why everyone is ragging on the Dark Knight. Sure it's not the best movie ever but for me, it was certainly the best movie of the year. The thing that made the Dark Knight story so good is that it didn't have to be a superhero story. I think that it took a lot of the elements that makes us so human and placed it in a visually stunning way. Most of the movies on that list are based on real people so the actors had sources that they could play off. The Dark Knight had a comic book and the vision of Christopher Nolan, and the thing is Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart brought those characters to life and they did a phenomenal job. Each one of the characters was believable. I felt, walking out of that movie, that someone out there could be as sinister as the Joker or as righteous as Batman. I think for the most part that everyone just hates the movie for the sake of being different, because it's "WAY COOLER" to be in the minority.

TKaihea on Dec 9, 2008


I agree with everything that you say about The Dark Knight, but everyone is blowing this shit way out of proportion. I work at a movie theater and saw it before it was even released, and afterwords saw it six times. I have been a fan of Batman since I was a child and by no means am playing down the film to be "WAY COOLER". Its a great film, but most of the supposed major players this year have not even gotten wider releases yet. I doubt that any of you have seen The Wrestler, Milk, Synecdoche, New York, Slumdog Millionaire, or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I'm just saying Richard Corliss knows more about film than most of the people on this website. That's why he writes film reviews for Time Magazine.

Betterchill on Dec 9, 2008


Eh I could leave one or two off and TDK is an obvious choice to add I also think Doubt my be an overlooked film, from what I hear its pretty damn good.

KyB on Dec 9, 2008


I do agree however, that Speed Racer was completely and tragically underrated, overlooked, and condemed for no reason.

KyB on Dec 9, 2008


I am not one of those who thinks that Dark Knight was really good but not quite good enough to be on the list; I am one who thinks it is kind of an "emperor's new film", a massively overhyped mess with some of the worst action scenes ever put down (til Quantum came along anyway) and again excepting Ledger, very little charisma on screen despite Bale's voice which only could have been inspired by a lengthy spell of constipation. Not to mention a script pretending to moral questioning but really pretty artless. It was slim pickings indeed next to In Bruges. And in terms of action, Bourne outshone it bigtime. Won't say Dark Knight is the worst of the year...that goes to Wanted or Rachel Getting Married. I'm not surprised that some people enjoyed DK but its kind of like picking McDonald's as the best restaurant of the year.

Paul on Dec 10, 2008


Where is Pineapple Express? Not to put Tropic Thuder down, but P.E. was funnier. I'm guessing Corliss didn't mention Dark Night because he can't rate masterpieces next to usual basic entertainment, like Speed Racer. At least he didn't put Cloverfail on his list.

Meursault on Dec 10, 2008


ok #33 I dont give a shit how much that man thinks he knows about movies, I watched speed racer all the way through and i am a fan a speed racer, I thought it was entertaing but not in any way on a top ten list and shurly not better than the dark knight. I wish I could be as fortunate as you to have seen movies like the wrestler and benjamin button before they have been released, but as for what I have seen the dark knight is on the top, no not the BEST MOVIE ever but yes on the top ten list for sure, the acting perfomances in that movie were amazing on all sides and it showed real emaotion very well. I loved it and so did about the rest of the fucking world.

tyler on Dec 10, 2008


A total moron and reason number one why the role of the film critic is being slowly but surely destroyed. If the man doesn't have the common sense or good taste to include the Dark Knight in his top 5 yet alone inhis top ten, it speaks of nothing more than elitist and pretentious politics. I hate film critics and their continual bias towards box office gold. To consider Iron Man (a good film) over The Dark Knight a far superior film is an insult and a black mark against a critic who has always been a major horses ass anyway. I hate movie critics and everything they stand for because they are loaded with lies and pretention.

V Wilson on Dec 10, 2008


#38 you did not get what I was saying. I said I saw The Dark Knight before it was released, not any of those other films. I'm just saying that since I haven't nor probably any of you have seen those other movies I mentioned it is to early to say this guys list sucks. P.S. I don't hate The Dark Knight but who knows on some level maybe these other films that I mentioned are perhaps "deeper" than The Dark Knight on some level?

Betterchill on Dec 10, 2008


Speed Racer was FANTASTIC. It's my favourite movie, and I can't believe how underrated it was. Everyone who says it "sucked" just cannot accept the fact that it was meant to be childish and cheesy, just like the old 60's cartoon. Emile Hirsch is a fantastic actor, I have not seen him in one bad film. (He is also extremely hot.) This is the man's OPINION. The Dark Knight is SO overrated. I enjoyed it, yes, but it does not deserve the hype that it is getting. But hey, everyone is a critic.

Sarah on Dec 10, 2008


Sorry, 'it was meant to be childish and cheesy' is not an excuse. Wall-e was made for children, and it managed to insult our intelligence, or test are ability to avoid vertigo while at the same time informing the populace what it is like to have a seizure. As for Speed Racer looking good, yeah, it does... in stills, or on TVs... in the theater, just to much color, to much well... vertigo inducing seizure moments. Allowing the excuse "meant to be childish and cheesy" is just giving permission to directors and actors to no longer give a damn.

Nate on Dec 11, 2008


Nate, I don't think you got what Sarah was trying to say. That was the intent of the director, for it to look and feel that way. It's not an excuse. It's a fact. The movie was meant to bring out the inner child as well as keeping it entertaining to an adult perspective. It was a kids film and I happened to find it entertaining. I had no problem with the way in which color was used. I think that the Wachowski Bros are very underrated. They always seem to tackle interesting projects and they always change the way in which they make films. I get tired of directors who keep the same similar feel and style in all their films. It gets boring.

TKaihea on Dec 11, 2008


No, I disagree... the movie turned out cheesy, so the directors came back and tried to edit history. It is becoming a very common trend among movie makers today, and one that is quite frankly getting old. As long as we the viewers keep accepting stupid excuses like that, then well they will keep taking the easy way out.

Nate on Dec 13, 2008


Get the movie out on DVD and watch the special features. Before they even started filming the movie, they said in an interview that they wanted to go for that feel. Even the story boards are similar to that. They kept the original feel from the source material, which was a big risk. I mean could you imagine if they tried to go for a much more realistic feel with Speed Racer, I reckon people would have just laughed themselves to death at the very concept. An excuse is almost apologizing for making such a film but the Wachowskis in no way apologized nor made excuses for why people didn't connect with Speed Racer. I guess that is a telling of the times in which we live, that no one can take a light hearted, fun movie to heart.

TKaihea on Dec 13, 2008


Judging by last years list, I would be alot more interested in seeing Schckels list than Corliss'. Personally, I hated Speed Racer with a passion. I do not really have a problem with movies that are driven by style over substance usually, but for some reason I did with Speed Racer. Maybe it was just that it felt like a movies for children, which again, is not something I usually have an issue with. I'm definitely no movie critic, and I can't point out what it was that irked me with Speed Racer, but something did. My top-10 1. Tropa de Elite (techincally a 2007 movie, but wasn't released out side of Brazil till 2008) 2. The Dark Knight 3. The Wrestler 4. Let the Right One in 5. Tropic Thunder 6. Gran Torino 7. Iron Man 8. Pineapple Express 9. Rambo 10. Burn After Reading

MBD on Dec 19, 2008


Speed Racer is the year's most daring film, literally re-writing the language of live action cinema and using a family friendly story on which to do it. For me, it's the best film of the year.

Manfred Powell on Dec 24, 2008

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