Film Critics see a lot of movies and, as a general rule, film critics love moves-that’s why they became film critics. So the problem will all film critics Top Ten films of the year lists is that they tend to love whatever movie they saw last. So that every January we are given lists of the best film of the year and nine time out of ten, they are either films that were released in December or films that have not yet been released-which, to me, makes them this year’s best film, not last year’s best film.
These are, more often than not, films I have never heard of and films that will not likely be coming to a theater near me. Film Critics also like just about anything different. So if the movie is filmed in black&white, the dialogue is all in Swahili, and the plot involves a bit of paper blowing out a window-it is hailed as a visionary masterpiece not to be missed.
Critics also tend to ignore the Box Office Top Ten-as those are just movies people have actually seen and heard of-so they can’t be any good. I have seen most of the movies on the Top Ten Box Office Movies and have heard of all of the films on the list.
10. Horton Hears a Who Total Gross: $154,529,439
9. Twilight Total Gross: $158,461,000
8. Quantum of Solace Total Gross: $161,300,000
7. Madagascar:Escape 2 Africa Total Gross: $172,332,000
6. Kung Fu Panda Total Gross: $215,434,591
5. WALL-E Total Gross: $223,749,872
4. Hancok Total Gross: $227,946,274
3. Indian Jone and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull Total Gross: $317,023,851
2. Iron Man Total Gross: $318,313,199
1. The Dark Knight Total Gross: $530,750,228
AFI’s Top Ten List for 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-release date-Dec 25th
The Dark Knight-On Box Office list
Frost/Nixon-release date-Nov 17th-still in limited release
Frozen River-release date-Oct 31-still in limited release-I never heard of this one
Gran Torino-release date-Dec 12 limited-Jan 9 wide-in other words, a 2009 movie
Iron Man-On Box Office list
Milk-release date Nov 26th-still in limited release
Wall-E-On Box Office list
Wendy and Lucy-release Dec 10-seems to be a Film Festival film-I never heard of this one
The Wrestler-release date Dec 9-limited release-I heard of this film yesterday
NPR’s David Edelstein’s Top Ten List
1. Rachel Getting Married-release Oct 3-still in limited release-I never heard of this one
2. Wall-E-On Box Office List
3. Happy-Go-Lucky-April 18 UK-not too surprising that I have not heard of a British film
4. Cadillac Records-release Dec 5 still in limited release-I never heard of this one
5. The Class-release Dec 19 limited-I never heard of this one
6. Waltz with Bashir-Dec 25 limited-another Film Festival film I never heard of.
7. Shotgun Stories-March 26-oddly this seems to be a 2007 film that I never heard of.
8. Kit Kittredge: American Girl-July 2-I have heard of this one, just didn’t care to see it. Also it breaks the recent release/I’ve never heard of it rule.
9. Doubt-Dec 12 limited-seems to be in wide release now
10. Taxi to the Dark Side-another 2007 film that I never heard of.
11. Trouble the Water-August 22-I never heard of this one
Many movie critic use their end of the year list to promote movies that no one has ever heard of. This is their way of getting the word out that there is more to the movies than big CGI Things fighting off Big Name Movie Stars. The trouble, of course, is that most of us like Big CGI Things fighting with Big Name Movie Stars. Just look at the Top Box Office list again-remove the CGI and the list vanishes in a poof of pixel dust.