The 50 Biggest Movies of 2008

  1. January 17, 2008
    After the year of the threequel, 2008 looks like a year to remember. Here are the films we think will make the 'Best of 2008' lists come December

    (I've indicated the ones I want to see!)

    Few movies live up to the original promise of their trailers, but if only half of these films deliver this will be one of the most exciting years in cinema history.
    If the Hollywood writers' strike ends quickly and amicably enough we may also be treated to a big screen outing from the High School Musical gang and Brendan Fraser's 3D take on the Jules Verne classic Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
    In the meantime, here is our unscientific, best guess at some of the films that should be in everybody's end-of-year Top 50 come Christmas. All movies are scheduled for UK release in 2008.

    50: Semi Pro
    Will Ferrell expands his catalogue of inept sportsmen with this wilfully silly look at the world of basketball. Expect giant afros, male nudity and slam dunks. Outkast singer Andre 3000 also stars.

    49: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    David Fincher directs Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton in this tale of a man who, annoyingly, begins ageing backwards. Fincher tends to alternate crowd-pleasers like Alien3 with more thoughtful pieces like Fight Club so we are about due a Fincher movie for the kind of person who takes a coffee into the auditorium rather than a Kia-Ora.

    48: Horton Hears A Who!
    Jim Carrey and the Steve Carrell provide the voices as Dr.Seuss gets the CGI treatment.

    47: No Country For Old Men
    The Coen brothers return to their noir roots for this adaption of Cormac McCarthy's novel. Expect a sun-baked, but bleaker, Fargo.

    46: Harold & Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay
    The loveable stoners from the sleeper hit of 2005 return in what very sensibly looks like exactly the same film again. Which is precisely what everyone wanted.

    45: X-Files 2
    Mulder and Scully return this Summer to explore more alien conspiracies and unexplained phenomena. Perhaps they can explain why they’ve been away so long.

    Times Online
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  2. 45: X-Files 2
    Mulder and Scully return this Summer to explore more alien conspiracies and unexplained phenomena. Perhaps they can explain why they’ve been away so long.

    44: Wanted
    Wish fulfilment for every bored office drone: This comic book adventure tells how James MacAvoy is rescued from cube farm drudgery by Angelina Jolie’s sexy assassin and trained to become a super-cool killing machine. If you liked the ‘secret war’ aspects of The Matrix or Nightwatch but would like to see it mixed up with the recklessly exuberant gunplay of Shoot ‘Em Up, this is the film for you.

    43: Leatherheads
    George Clooney’s Gridiron romcom is likely to find more friends in the US than in Britain but it could well score big on DVD in the latter, colder, part of the year.

    42: Jumper
    Evil Jedi Hayden Christensen, who has also just signed to star in the long-awaited movie version of William Gibson’s prescient sci-fi classic Neuromancer, stars as a teleporting mutant in a loose adaptation of the Steven Gould book.

    41: The Love Guru
    More inspired drollery from Mike Myers. With a script involving groovy gurus causing chaos in the self-help business it doesn’t sound as if he’s straying too far from his Austin Powers roots
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  3. 40: Synecdoche, New York
    Being John Malkovich writer Charlie Kaufman scripts and directs this typically oddball self-referential tale of an obsessive theatre director who builds a replica of New York.

    39: Persepolis
    Vincent Parannoud directs his own screenplay based on the graphic novel about a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution.

    38: Flashbacks Of A Fool
    Daniel Craig plays against type as a gone-to-seed Hollywood leading man looking back on a life of movie star hedonism. For more mature readers, Miriam Karlin also appears.

    37: 27 Dresses
    This Easter’s most promising chick flick stars Grey’s Anatomy favourite Katherine Heigl as a perennial bridesmaid.

    36: You Don't Mess With The Zohan
    In easily one of the most original plots of 2008 a Mossad agent fakes his death so he can start a new life in New York City as a hair stylist. Adam Sandler, Rob Scheider and the Fonz all feature.

    35: Walk Hard
    Perennial sidekick John C,Reilly gets his own movie at last, a send-up of every biopic of a troubled musician you’ve ever seen.
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  4. 34: Drillbit Taylor
    Troubled star Owen Wilson is be bound to attract plenty of attention in this easygoing comedy about playground bullies and the inept bodyguards who confront them.

    33: The Pineapple Express
    Seth Rogen and James Franco in a stoner comedy that may not set any box office records, but will undoubtedly be rented on DVD by anyone who has ever inhaled.

    32: Charlie Wilson's War
    Well recieved gun-running thriller featuring the ever-reliable Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman with some spectacular wigs.

    31: Downloading Nancy
    Ever hired a hitman to kill you, and then fallen in love with him? That’s the everyday problem faced by Maria Bello in Downloading Nancy. Jason Patric and Rufus Sewell also star.

    30: Battle for Haditha
    Nick Broomfield abandons the documentary world to make this fact based drama about the war in Iraq. Using real locations and in many cases the real soldiers and civilians involved this is as close as most of us will ever get to the chaos and cruelty of warfare.

    29: The Time Traveller’s Wife
    After having been derailed by the Pitt/Aniston divorce Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘sci-fi for women’ finally reaches the big screen with Eric Bana as the man who can’t control his progress through time and Rachel McAdams as the girl who grows to love him anyway.
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  5. 28: How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
    Toby Young’s mordantly comic memoir of life as a New York magazine journalist gets the big screen treatment. Simon Pegg stars.

    27: 21
    Lawrence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth in a true story about a group of maths nerds who used their skills to fleece a casino.

    26: Cloverfield
    We’ll be finding out very soon if this monster movie lives up to its incredible hype. Expect an urban Blair Witch meets a pasty-faced Godzilla.

    25: Baby Mama
    Do you think the world is ready for a light-hearted look at infertility and surrogacy? Sigourney Weaver and Greg Kinnear seem to think so.

    24: There Will Be Blood
    Long, dark demanding drama about the early days of the oil industry which serves as a parable about the present day Middle East. Audiences have been polarised about this film, with some hailing at as a masterpiece while others have just been bored. Don't expect a gag reel on the DVD.

    23: Burn After Reading
    Clooney turns up again as part of an incredible cast assembled by the Coen Brothers for this tale of two losers who find a disk containing CIA secrets. As if that could ever happen.
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  6. 22: Be Kind, Rewind
    Michel Gondry’s next movie has the most original plot of the year, guaranteed. Jack Black’s magnetised brain erases every tape in his local video shop which leads to him re-making the classic films he has inadvertently destroyed.

    21: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
    The clawed Canadian mutant gets his own movie, set before the events in the X-Men franchise. Ian McKellen’s Magneto may join him on the prequel trail in 2009. Note: one or two commenters have pointed out that this film will not now be released until 2009. The 2008 date I had was based on an outdated release. I would like to apologise for any distress caused to readers.

    20: Wall-E
    Pixar do sci-fi as the last robot on Earth (who owes more tha
    n a little to the talkative automaton in Short Circuit) who finds a way to bring the human race home.

    19: The Eye
    Another Oriental horror film remade by Hollywood This one has Jessica Alba and Parker Posey as the appealing young women in supernatural peril.

    18: The Incredible Hulk
    Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk movie was seen as something of a misfire, despite respectable box office. This not-quite-a-sequel promises Ed Norton as the short-tempered scientist who turns into the jolly green giant, better effects, and a connection to the Iron Man movie to set up a future Avengers flick. We’ll be happy if they can just keep the Hulk the same size all the way through the film.
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  7. 17: 10,000 BC
    Roland Emmerich directs a cast of unknowns in a prehistoric epic which promises to show us hairy mammoth, sabre-toothed tigers, and some impressively huge CGI ziggurats.

    16: Sex & The City
    American Idol alumnus Jennifer Hudson, best known for her showstopping turn in Dreamgirls, joins the Gucci Golden Girls for one last round of Sea Breezes, sex, and shopping.

    15: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
    The second most popular instalment in CS Lewis’ Lion, Witch and Wardrobe series of fantasy novels, Prince Caspian will be the children’s movie most likely to please accompanying adults in 2008.

    14: Valkyrie
    Tom Cruise leads an all-star cast in the controversial true story of a failed attempt on Hitler’s life. Only a more contemporary political assassination will keep this movie off the newspaper front pages next autumn.

    13: Mamma Mia
    Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth in the film of the show of the song. England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 will double its audience as thousands of men will be dragged unwillingly along to view this fluffy confection which whips up the basic plot of forgotten 1960s gem Buona Sera Mrs Campbell with a frothy selection of classic Abba songs
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  8. 12: Righteous Kill
    DeNiro and Pacino together again in a gritty-sounding cop drama, and this time they may actually have a few scenes together. Despite the entirely dispensable presence of Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson, it’ s a must for every film fan.

    11: Hellboy II: The Golden Army
    John Hurt apparently defies onscreen death in the first Hellboy film to return in another outing for the slacker demon hero. Bros fans will be pleased to see Luke Goss popping up as an evil prince.

    10: Body of Lies
    Ridley Scott directs Gladiator star Russell Crowe and popular Norman Lamont lookalike Leonard di Caprio in a CIA drama adapted from the novel by David Ignatius.

    9: Star Trek XI
    Taking place, in the increasingly complex Star Trek universe, during the period after ‘Enterprise’ but before ‘Star Trek’ this movie introduces new actors in the well-loved Kirk, Spock, Scott and McCoy roles as it explains how the classic crew came to be. If anyone can pull off that extraordinary feat of cinematic cheek it’s JJ Abrams.

    8: Speed Racer
    A hyperkinetic 1960s Japanese cartoon series provides the source material for the next sci-fi hallucination from Matrix creators the Wachowskis
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  9. 7: Hancock
    Superhero comedies can be as knowingly funny as Mystery Men or as plain silly as Condorman. Hancocks’s secret weapon will be the perennially likeable Will Smith in the title role as a super-powered crime fighter who creates almost as many problems as he solves.

    6: Sweeney Todd
    Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Helena Bohnham Carter conspire in a dark plot of pies and hairdressing. Spectacular somgs from Steven Sondheim are the icing on a wonderful, sinister, cake.

    5: Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    Transformers star Shia LaBeouf pops up as the son of the world’s hardest-working archeologist in what must surely be the final Indy adventure.

    4: Iron Man
    Next up from Marvel’s collection of flawed supermen is Tony Stark: Former arms dealer turned terrorist captive turned armoured avenger. To critics who suggest that movie fans aren’t ready for a moody alcoholic superhero Iron man has one response: Talk to the hand. The glowing metal hand.

    3: Bond 22: Quantum of Solace
    After a shooting schedule more secretive than the ageless super-spy, Bond 22's title has finally been revealed.That doesn't offer too many clues as to the storyline, but it looks as if the adversary from Casino Royale, Mr. White, is going to be replaced by a no less sinister Mr.Greene. The suggestion that it continues almost immediately from the end of Casino Royale, and in much the same vein, is all the advertising most movie fans will need.

    2: Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
    The vast regiment of Potter fans will already know what they’re getting. Despite Guillermo del Toro’s pleas this instalment of the boy wizard franchise will be directed by David Yates, who everyone except Guillermo seems to agree made a decent fist of Order of the Phoenix.

    1: The Dark Knight
    The hype machine is almost up to full speed now for The Caped Crusader’s next outing. Great notices for director Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and an irresistible trailer make The Bat the boy to beat in 2008.
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  10. Not mentioned:

    Fanboys: "Star Wars" fans travel to Skywalker Ranch to steal an early copy of "Episode I: The Phantom Menace" for their dying friend. (Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Seth Rogan)

    Get Smart: Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, battles the forces of KAOS with the more-competent Agent 99 at his side. (Steve Carrell, Anne Hathaway)

    Nim's Island: A young girl inhabits an isolated island with her scientist father and communicates with a reclusive author of the novel she's reading. Based on the book by Wendy Orr and Kerry Millard. (Gerard Butler, Jodie Foster, Abigail Breslin)

    Penelope: A modern romantic tale about a young aristocratic heiress born under a curse that can only be broken when she finds true love with "one who will love her faithfully." (Christina Ricci, Reese Witherspoon, James McAvoy)

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  11. I wanna watch The Dark Knight.
  12. Ooooh boy, I can't wait to see The Time Traveller's Wife, Harry Potter and the new Bond movie.
  13. Now that Heath is gone, I'm guessing that the Dark Knight may just break box office records. I wouldn't be suprised if it became the highest grossing movie ever
  14. Thanks for the list!

    I am excited for these movies:
    Semi Pro
    Harold & Kumar II
    The Pineapple Express
    X-Men Origins – Wolverine
    Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian
    The Dark Knight
    And Fanboys!
  15. im going to be watching dark knight to support Heath's memory. they said he encountered a lot of stress for this role, so it won't be in vain if its a best seller. poor guy