In 2008, I saw 34 films that qualify as 2008 releases. I spent more time catching up on Godard, Hitchcock, various samurai pictures, bargain bin finds, Heroes and Sarah Connor Chronicles, TCM DVD-Rs from my mother, and classic silents than I did seeing what was new and shiny. Also, movie club with Brandon for nearly half of the year contributed more than a dozen films I otherwise wouldn't have watched. In total, I watched 185 films (counting a few repeated viewings of features, but not counting television episodes or shorts) last year. That's a lot of moving pictures to chase.
For 2008, 34/185=18%
So, it feels a bit silly making a list of 10 out of 34 when many professional critics are making lists based on seeing 100+ films from the year in question. I'm not a professional critic. I'm hardly an amateur. But, I think I've seen some good movies and I feel confident saying that a certain 10 films were better than the other 24.
Obviously, I may revise this list heavily as I catch up on the numerous critically acclaimed titles that I've missed, but here's where things stand as of the very end of 2008, ranked very loosely in the following order.
2. A Christmas Tale
3. La France
4. Gran Torino
5. The Flight of the Red Balloon
7. The Fall
9. Tell No One
And the best non-2008 releases that I caught for the first time on DVD this year...
1. Samurai Rebellion (Kobayashi, 1967)
2. Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky, 1966)
3. Les Carabiniers (Godard, 1963)
4. Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda, 1962)
5. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (Gordon, 2007)
6. The Narrow Margin (Fleischer, 1952)
7. The Lady Vanishes (Hitchcock, 1938)
8. Damnation (Tarr, 1988)
9. Pierrot le Fou (Godard, 1965)
10. Faces (Cassavetes, 1968)
Finally, Mildred's award for greatest movie of all time goes to.....