Roger Ebert's "Top Twenty Movies of 2008"
In an ill-conceived departure from the traditional Top Ten, Roger Ebert has instead released a list of 26 films he liked from 2008 (and early 2009). This is his defense:
In these hard times, you deserve two "best films" lists for the price of one. It is therefore with joy that I list the 20 best films of 2008, in alphabetical order. 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. A best films list should be a celebration of wonderful films, not a chopping process. And 2008 was a great year for movies, even if many of them didn’t receive wide distribution.
Look at my 20 titles, and you tell me which 10 you would cut. Nor can I select one to stand above the others, or decide which should be No. 7 and which No. 8. I can’t evaluate films that way. Nobody can, although we all pretend to. A "best films" list, certainly. But of exactly 10, in marching order? These 20 stood out for me, and I treasure them all. If it had been 19 or 21, that would have been OK. If you must have a Top 10 List, find a coin in your pocket. Heads, the odd-numbered movies are your 10. Tails, the even-numbered.
I have composed a separate list of the year’s five best documentaries. They also may be described as "one of the year’s best." And this year’s Special Jury Award goes to Guy Maddin’s "My Winnipeg," which stands between truth and fiction, using the materials of the documentary to create a film completely preposterous and deeply true. Another of "the year’s best."
As stated by Ebert, these are in alphabetical order, with narrative followed by documentary, and the mixed-genre "My Winnipeg" between.
(NOTE: Ebert later stated that Darren Aronofsky’s "The Wrestler" was one of the best of 2008, but wasn’t on his top twenty for "complicated and boring reasons.")
Roger Ebert Top 10 Lists: