Critics Pick the Best and Worst Films of 2008

Tomatometer critics chime in on which films they loved (and hated) this year!

With 2008 coming to a close, Rotten Tomatoes polled a selection of Tomatometer critics to find out which of the hundreds of films they were paid to watch this year they loved the most -- and which films were the absolute worst. Read on to see if your favorites matched up with the critics, see who loved The Dark Knight and who hated Speed Racer, and find out which film of 2008 earned Roger Ebert's honor as the worst film of the year.

The Dark Knight (94% Tomatometer)
The Dark KnightJust when you thought comic book movies had ruined Hollywood forever, this brilliant parable of corruption, social collapse and fighting back against fear proved classic storytelling could still stir and astound, even with people running around in capes. Plus, those IMAX sequences! And there was Heath.

-- Bob Strauss, L.A. Daily News

Frost/Nixon (90% Tomatometer)
Frost/NixonNo one work of art or history will ever contain Richard Nixon, a man of extraordinary contradictions, but writer Peter Morgan, director Ron Howard, and actors Frank Langella and Michael Sheen take a pivotal moment in Nixon's life and make it into a gripping story of the craving of two very different men for power and acceptance and how it plays into a contest of wit and will that becomes a larger story of accountability and meaning. Epic in scope, meticulous in detail, and brilliantly acted, this is a rare film that leaves its main characters no wiser at the end. But the audience is.

-- Nell Minow, (Read Nell's full Top Ten List here)

The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonEverything a film should be. Entertaining and engrossing. Visual and poetic. Takes you to a world you've never been to, yet remains identifiable and universal to all. If, as Lord Buckley once said, people are like flowers, Benjamin Button is filled with some of the most beautiful flora captured on screen, and it has been a privilege to have walked> through David Fincher's garden.

-- Edward Havens, Film Jerk

Revolutionary Road (67% Tomatometer)
Revolutionary RoadRichard Yates' 1961 novel about a young couple staring into the abyss of the American Dream myth provides director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) with plenty of emotional ammunition to fuel this gorgeous but devastating drama that barely allows the viewer to catch their breath. Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet give stunning performances that resonate long after the movie is over. There will be tears.

-- Cole Smithey, (Read Cole's full Top Ten List here)

Slumdog Millionaire (94% Tomatometer)
Slumdog MillionaireUnabashedly romantic, visually intoxicating and narratively audacious, this extraordinary 21st century masterpiece from director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy has soared past a full season's worth of star-driven, big-budget disappointments to become an unlikely Oscar favorite. Why? Because it's honest and cuts right to the heart, all without a single Caucasian (much less movie stars) anywhere in the cast. Incredibly, original financier Warner Bros. didn't get it, opening the door for the savvier Fox Searchlight to snatch up one of the new millennium's most original triumphs.

-- Wade Major, Box Office Magazine

The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button is my pick for the best movie of 2008. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett's performances are larger than life, yet feel incredibly personal and intimate. The film is technically flawless, a benchmark in special effects. This is what going to the movies is all about, and why there is nothing better than the experience of seeing a great one on the big screen.

-- Ben Lyons, At the Movies

The Wrestler (98% Tomatometer)
The WrestlerMy pick for the best movie of 2008 is The Wrestler. Darren Aronofsky manages to relate in every scene a sense of Mickey Rourke's clinging to his past while somehow simultaneously hoping for the future. It's a depressing world, but enriched by Randy The Ram's infectious spirit. It's the role of Rourke's career, with a big assist coming from Marisa Tomei.

-- Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies

Trick 'R TreatA vivid intersection of tradition, the supernatural, smart storytelling and amusing twists, Trick 'r Treat isn't just a love letter to those who love Halloween and horror, it's a full-blown carnival of devilish delights. Ringleader Michael Dougherty, here making one of the most impressive directorial debuts of his generation, rolls out the pumpkins, zombies, werewolves, vampires and even a deadly lollipop-wielding masked imp. He puts a fresh spin on this cavalcade of ghouls and reinvigorates the dying form of horror anthology storytelling.

-- Ryan Rotten, (Read Ryan's full Best and Worst Horror Films of 2008 List here)

The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonWhile Repo! The Genetic Opera is a sentimental favorite of mine, and a movie I admire for its "little engine that could" chutzpah, I realize it's not for everyone and not many people saw it. Some fantastic movies of 2008 that are more palatable beyond the cult are The Wrestler, Slumdog Millionaire, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Each of those movies could not be more different from the other, which is why it was so difficult to pick...The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as the #1 best movie of the year. I felt it was the most emotional, relatable, and humanistic drama of them all, wrapped in a gift-box of beautiful and dazzling visuals. I am looking forward to see it again on the big screen... I'll even pay.

-- Staci Layne Wilson, Fi Weekly

But wait, it gets better! Think critics are tough on movies throughout the year? There's always a little more sizzle when it comes to the worst films of the year...


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