The 2008 Readers' Choice Awards
In voting for our annual Readers' Choice Awards, you went for films about a marriage on the brink, an irresistible robot, a kid from the slums of Mumbai, an adventure story in Narnia, and much more. But more than any other movie, you went for a riveting story about a caped crusader on a mission, and probably the darkest movie ever chosen No. 1 by our readers—The Dark Knight.
Here are your picks for the best movies of 2008, followed by comments from readers on each. Thanks for voting!
1. The Dark Knightdirected by Christopher Nolan
"Though a dark movie, we see heroes as we should see other people, gifted but sometimes flawed." "Beyond compelling acting, a great story." "The most powerful film of the year. A complex film which made the viewer look inward, and wonder whether a murderer lurked in each of us. Bale's tortured Batman is the most real, and the most suffering, of all the Batmans." "BIG EXPLOSIONS!!!!!" "Heath Ledger did an amazing job as the Joker—perhaps too good a job; I believe he transcended the medium." "It is rare that a film is able to address such wide-ranging issues as authoritarianism, domestic spying, use of torture, and society reactions to crime along with such personal issues as responsibility, integrity, and doubt in the middle of a thrill ride. The Dark Knight accomplishes all of this." "Because we all need a savior, and there's nothing like a really creepy bad guy, defeated by a good guy in cool superhero garb (and with a really pimped out car) who gives it all up to save everyone." (Our review.)
2. Fireproofdirected by Alex Kendrick
"Great story, great acting, and most of all, a clear presentation of the gospel." "The most impactful movie I've ever seen. An absolute must see for anyone who wants to see their marriage change for the better, or for those considering marriage to see what God means for marriage." "A movie that embraces God's best for marriage and relationship should be the clear winner. In the world that we live in, any message that speaks of love as Jesus gave us love and shows us what that means should be No. 1." "Haven't seen any of the other movies." "A classic-in-the making. I expected to like the movie, but I didn't expect it to move me to tears. I believe the film will be used for years to come to save poor marriages and inspire good marriages to be even better." "A breath of fresh air to my marriage. The themes are real and applicable to my life." (Our review.) (Discussion guide.)
3. WALL•Edirected by Andrew Stanton
"Funny, romantic and inspirational. It also points out that you can meet new friends where you least expect it, and some of the best ones are definitely not 'normal.'" "Masterful storytelling." "Pixar blows my mind! In this movie, they accomplished so much and yet said so little." "Beautiful animation, emotionally appealing characters and a strong emphasis on the importance of responsible stewardship of creation and the value of hard, honest work." "I got the message that God is in control, and man cannot destroy his creation." "I love the story line—the sacrificial love they have for each other, and the story of the humans coming alive, so to speak, again. Some of us today need to come alive and see what is happening around us." "Grace. Redemption. Artful." (Our review.)
4. Slumdog Millionairedirected by Danny Boyle
"A very well-crafted story of redemption." "Well-paced and well-acted, showed the conflict of good and evil, but good was clearly the winner. The terrible evil done to children stood out to me afterward as making a significant social and moral comment." "It has SO much to say about character, culture, needs, and the dangers of poverty and corruption. It was an intense movie and tough to watch at times, but well worth it." "It reminded me of the love the Christ has for his bride, his Church." "It shows beauty in unexpected places, the strength and dignity of humanity in all its circumstances." "Combined the storytelling of Dickens with the beauty and pain of modern India." (Our review.)