The Year in Rewind

The 'Chronicle' looks back at 2008 at the movies

The Year in Rewind

They're lists. They're fun. They're obligatory. They're enlightening and sometimes baffling moments of truth – both for us and for you. A time for you to get to know our reviewers better. And for us to know ourselves better. A time of reckoning. And a time of good cheer.

Good cheer because spread across these four Chronicle reviewers' lists (which are combined above into an overall Chronicle Top 10 film list and then presented individually on the following pages) are a wealth of good suggestions of movies to see. As reviewers, we rarely agree, although on our No. 1 selections, clearly a couple of us do. Some are titles of films that haven't opened yet in Austin, so automatically, that gives us some bright spots to look forward to in 2009 (presuming that's when these films finally make their presence known in Austin).

One curious outcome is the unanimity of placement of The Dark Knight in the Overrated Films category by three of our four reviewers (all of whom are presently members of the Austin Film Critics Association). This is in diametrical opposition to the results announced a couple of weeks ago by the AFCA, which named the superhero movie as the group's choice for best film of the year. Make of that what you will. If nothing else, this should demonstrate the vast array of voices in the organization as well as highlight the Chronicle's tradition of singularity, something which continues to bind us with our readers.

This is why the discussion won't stop in these pages. We're taking it to the Web so that everyone has a chance to participate. I know our writers felt constrained by the 25-word maximums they were given to annotate their top choices and other categories and are bubbling over with pent-up commentary. Chronicle readers, too, have never been shy with feedback. Once you look over these lists, surely they will stimulate more reactions and thoughts of your own. Or maybe your own list for others to peruse? Bring on the discussion. After you turn the page and look over our lists, go to for more. And even if you have no time or inclination to chime in, go out and watch movies. It's our favorite holiday tradition.

'Austin Chronicle' Top 10

1) Synecdoche, New York

2) A Christmas Tale (tie)

2) Gomorrah (tie)

4) Elegy (tie)

4) Let the Right One In (tie)

6) Tell No One

7) My Winnipeg

8) Slumdog Millionaire

9) The Wrestler

10) Man on Wire

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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More Top 10s
Top Books of 2018 for Heroine Addicts
Top Books of 2018 for Heroine Addicts
Sisters were doing it for themselves in historical fiction, alt-historical fiction, romance, and a graphic novel

Rosalind Faires, Dec. 28, 2018

Top Books of 2018 That Make the Past Present
Top Books of 2018 That Make the Past Present
Whether in biography, graphic novel, crime fiction, or retold Greek myths, these books brought history to life

Jesse Sublett, Dec. 28, 2018

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Lunarcy!'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Wayne Alan Brenner, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'The Punk Syndrome'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Patrick Courtney, March 15, 2013

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Follow-up to Oscar winner Son of Saul keeps the techniques but loses the emotional weight

April 26, 2019

Chilly nature documentary has a cuddly heart that's perfect for young animal lovers

April 19, 2019


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