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14 December 2008

Everyone's doing it, so why can't we?

Ah, the annual rash of critic's lists!
A chance to snort with amiable derision at the choices of people you admire – Michael Dwyer and Donald Clarke both choose Paul Thomas Anderson's awful “There Will Be Blood” as the year's best movie! Are they nuts!
Well, just to prove that we are as nutty as all the other hacks, here are our faves from the year almost ended...

I'm Not There, dir. Todd Haynes
Most folk included this in 2007's list but it only made its way down to us in 2008. Cinema was invented so that directors like Haynes could make movies like this. We were mesmerised by every frame.

WALL-E, dir. Andrew Stanton
Scary, beautiful, filled with life and love in a world without life or love. Pixar are the champs.

Be Kind, Rewind, dir. Michel Gondry
Bricolage cinema from the extraordinary Gondry, a man with an imagination like no other. Even managed to redeem Mia Farrow. Well, almost.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, dir. Guillermo del Toro.
Another director with an utterly exuberant imagination, and a stunning cast. Sheer class.

The Orphange, dir. Juan Antonio Bayona
A protége of del Toro, and a freshman director with absolute control over story and camera. Brilliant, and scary in equal measure.

Iron Man, dir. Jon Favreau
How has Robert Downey Jr, managed it? All those drugs, all that jail time, and he comes out the coolest guy on the block. Even managed to redeem Gwyneth Paltrow. Really.

Sweeney Todd, dir Tim Burton
Sondheim, Burton and Depp? Mr Cool, Mr Cool and Mr Cool. How could it fail? It didn't. And Mrs Tim Burton was genuinely brilliant.

The Dark Knight, dir. Christopher Nolan
Nolan deserves all the money just for daring to make a Hollywood movie that is so unrelentingly dark. The storyline was confusing, but the emotional heart of the movie was direct and unflinching.