2008 was a really strong year for films, specifically for comic book films, and this made selecting the top 3 films of 2008 a real challenge. However, I'm pleased with that statement simply because the silver screen hasn't been doing too well over the last few years with so many mediocre releases, and the fact that I needed to do a little deliberation hopefully points at stronger things to come.
3) Iron Man - What else can I say but Robert Downey Jr. simply charmed everyone with his excellent performance as Tony Stark. From pompous business man, we follow Stark as he gains a sense of mortality and becomes a hero.
After a horrible abduction, Stark slowly realizes the impact the weapons his company designs have on the world, and that his personal wealth has come at a great cost. He then sets about to change himself, to try and make the world a better, safer place, and the character transformation is done very, very well.
Iron Man is an excellent super hero film with action, character, and conflict, and it was an great precursor for the summer blockbuster season.
2) The Dark Knight - Which leads us of course to _the_ blockbuster of the year: The Dark Knight. Simply put, who didn't enjoy this roller coaster ride? The Dark Knight is considered one of the best super hero films ever made, and with very good reason. Not only is it a dark super hero film, but it features the realization of the single best super villain ever captured on film.
Ask anyone, and they'll readily agree that Heath Ledger's final performance as the Joker is a masterpiece, and nothing short of shear brilliance. Without any question, he carries the film with his charisma and sadistic pleasure, and the tragedy of it all is that there can never be a repeat performance.
The dark storyline, the excellent effects, and this key, brilliant performance all add up to bring us the action ride of the year.
1) Wall-E - So of course, if The Dark Knight is the ride of the summer, then how could it fall short of our top spot? Simple. He was outmaneuvered by the little trash compactor that stole our hearts.
Where as The Dark Knight entertained with action and the exceptional performance of the Joker, Wall-E presented us with such a wonderfully touching and simple experience, it provided the kind of attachment that The Dark Knight never could.
Roughly the first 30 minutes of Wall-E has no dialogue, and yet you can't help but be mesmerized by this simple little robot who's stuck trying to clean the planet up. Hundreds of years after humanity has left the planet due to pollution and waste, Wall-E is the last functioning robot tasked with cleaning up the Earth, and he goes about his task diligently. After being alone for so long, however, he's developed one little quirk: a personality.
Left alone for so long, once he finally meets another robot, the probe EVE, he falls in love and would follow her anywhere, whether he's wanted or not. The adventure that ensue's takes Wall-E above and beyond and is a recipe for pure entertainment and laughter.
Wall-E stands, in my opinion, as Pixar's best work to date, and it's with great pleasure that I award Wall-E Arbiter's Judgement's 2008 Movie of the Year.