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Most Wanted Movies of 2008

 

As tradition every year, I list the top 30 or so movies to anticipate during the year's release date. Research conducted was estimated release dates, familiar leading names, watching movies like the Indiana Jones trilogy that have a sequel this year, and reading about them elsewhere. It’s not as thoroughly detailed as usual, like caring about the people involved in the project rather than what's it about, but it'll do for now. A person can tell if a movie is going garner an audience just by a date, so Most Wanted lists are usually issued in late March when release dates are set and final for the year. There have been at least three original most wanted movies in each of the past two years that moved back their release date to the following year which causes either delays in finalizing top annual lists or finishing up reviewing the most wanted list by adding in a new movie to review. Star Trek XI went from Christmas ‘08 to May ’09 earlier this year, which is a perfect example. May has had The Shreks, Spider-Mans, Star Wars, Harry Potters, and Pirates which are the biggest selling movies of the millennium and the top 7 all-time opening weekends come from those franchises. The logic, like every year, that February to April movies are real bad, May-August are the fun blockbusters, and the following months are the promising greats still hold true with some smaller films that go unnoticed. Aside from independent productions, mainstream Hollywood makes a bunch of movies that are targeted at specific audience demographics with a sole purpose of just making money. Furthermore, Hollywood's future remakes of classics like The Thing, The Birds, Planet 51, and The Day the Earth Stood Still are scary to think about. Hollywood has more movie entertainers than movie artists these days and I had some trouble finding films to get excited about and look forward to in this year. It began to look like a dismal season for most wanted movies, but that also means there are fewer expectations this year, different from last year.  As usual on this list, dates always alter, especially limited releases in selected cities, so a movie may be pushed back till next year and it’ll be removed.
Update: Several movies, like The Soloist and The Road, headed into an 2009 release, so the list was reduced from 30 to 25.

{25 of 25 Reviewed}

1. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman)  {REVIEWED}

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Steven Spielberg: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, John Hurt)  {REVIEWED}

3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher: Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett)  {REVIEWED}

4. Wanted (Timur Bekmambetov: James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman)  {REVIEWED}

5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Animation by Dave Filoni; Written by George Lucas)  {REVIEWED}

6. Burn After Reading (Ethan & Joel Coen: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich) {REVIEWED}

7. Body of Lies (Ridley Scott: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe) {REVIEWED}

8. WALL·E (Pixar Animation by Andrew Stanton)  {REVIEWED}

9. Revolutionary Road (Sam Mendes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates)  {REVIEWED}

10. The Forbidden Kingdom (Rob Minkoff: Jet Li, Jackie Chan)  {REVIEWED}

11. Changeling (Clint Eastwood: Angelina Jolie, Amy Ryan, John Malkovich) {REVIEWED}

12. Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Macfadyen, Sam Rockwell)  {REVIEWED}

13. Milk (Gus Van Sant: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, James Franco, Josh Brolin) {REVIEWED}

14. Doubt (John Patrick Shanley: Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep)  {REVIEWED}

15. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Guillermo del Toro: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, John Hurt)  {REVIEWED}

16. The Duchess (Saul Dibb: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling)  {REVIEWED}

17. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg: John Cho, Kal Penn)  {REVIEWED}

18. City of Ember (Gil Kenan: Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Tim Robbins)  {REVIEWED}

19. Righteous Kill (Jon Avnet: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Carla Gugino, John Leguizamo, 50 Cent)  {REVIEWED}

20. Step Brothers (Adam McKay: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly)  {REVIEWED}

21. Appaloosa (Ed Harris: Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Jeremy Irons, Ed Harris) {REVIEWED}

22. Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Judi Dench)  {REVIEWED}

23. Hancock (Peter Berg: Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Charlize Theron)  {REVIEWED}

24. Eagle Eye (D.J. Caruso: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson)  {REVIEWED}

25. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Rob Cohen: Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, Jet Li) 
{REVIEWED}

 

 

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