The 20 Best Movies of 2008

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The 20 Best Movies of 2008

Check out Paste's top 20 films of 2008...

20. Iron Man[Directed by Jon Favreau]
on the small screen, Robert Downey Jr.’s fantastic, humanizing performance means you won’t just be waiting for him to put on the suit and blow shit up.
19. Chop Shop [Ramin Bahrani]
Reminiscent of the Dardenne brothers’ neo-realistic films, Chop Shop follows two orphaned siblings living in an auto-repair scrap yard in outermost Queens, who dream of making a better life for themselves. It’s a heartbreaking story of disappointment and hope at the intersection of two worlds.

18. The Pool
[Chris Smith]
Indie director Smith has a knack for edgy, comical documentaries about culture jammers (The Yes Men) and low-budget horror auteurs (American Movie), but The Pool is a literal jump into the deep end. This understated gem—about a poor young man’s dreams and a wealthy older man’s bottled sorrow—aspires to literary epiphany (in Hindi, no less) that transcends class and language barriers.

17. The Wrestler [Darren Aronofsky]
This gritty portrait of a former pro-wrestling star is not only a surprising blast of realism from the auteur who made The Fountain but also a stunning comeback for Mickey Rourke, who brings humor, pathos and pharmaceutical-grade testosterone to his role as Randy “The Ram.”

16. Paranoid Park [Gus Van Sant?]
A stylistic masterpiece, Paranoid Parkone part Spike Jonze, one part Wong Kar-wai and one part something only Gus Van Sant himself could’ve imagined. But while the film is unmistakably gorgeous, it’s Gabe Nevins’ untrained lead performance that makes this haunting tale of lost innocence unforgettable.