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2008: The best & worst in movies


Best drunken duet: “Can’t Smile Without You,” from Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

 Best performance as an insane guy with eerie, worldly wisdom: Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight & Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road (tie).

Most affecting portrayal of terminal perkiness: Anna Faris in The House Bunny & Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (tie).

Best dream girlfriend for angst-ridden young men: Olivia Thirlby in The Wackness & Kat Dennings in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (tie).

Best drug dealer: James Franco in Pineapple Express.

Worst drug dealer: Josh Peck in The Wackness.

Worst script device: “Okay, potential slumdog millionaire, why don’t you head to the restroom for a few minutes while you consider your answer to this life-changing question?”

Worst approximation of casually racist dialogue in the entire history of film: Gran Torino. Or as we like to call it, Listen Eggroll.

The film version of Mamma Mia!" opens this weekend, and the musical version continues to hum along at Mandalay Bay.

Best argument against letting actors sing: Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia!

Best argument against letting singers act: Beyoncé Knowles in Cadillac Records.

Best use of multiple F-bombs: In Bruges.

Best use of directorial fiat: Werner Herzog, cutting off one of his Encounters at the End of the World interview subjects in mid-sentence with a weary “Her story goes on forever ...”

Best scare tactic: The Strangers’ masked strangers terrorize poor Liv Tyler with a skipping Joanna Newsom track.

The Showgirls award for the year’s best so-bad-it’s-good movie: Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears.

Best representation of the tortured soul of a vampire: Epic Dracula puppet musical A Taste for Love, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Worst representation of the tortured soul of a vampire: Twilight.

Best, or possibly worst, deliberate omission: Man on Wire, about Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in 1974, never once so much as glancingly alludes to 9/11.


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  • A balance of strong humor with serious danger and uncertainty with a cast full of great actors.

  • Remarkably, the film gradually neutralizes its apparent protagonist, adding to a harrowing experience.

  • Ken Jeong has had scene-stealing roles as oddball characters, but a little of his manic energy goes a long way.

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