Wall-E, Dark Knight And Iron Man Make AFI’s Top 10 List

AFI-Awards-8.jpgThe American Film Institute has just put out it’s annual list of the top 10 movies of the year. They don’t put them in any particular order at all. I’ve got to say it’s kind of a surprising list… not a bad one… just surprising. The most surprising (although a pleasant surprise) was the inclusion of Iron Man on the list.

Here are the 10 films (in no particular order) that the AFI has deemed the best of the year:

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

THE DARK KNIGHT

FROST/NIXON

FROZEN RIVER

GRAN TORINO

IRON MAN

MILK

WALL-E

WENDY AND LUCY

THE WRESTLER

Wall-E is the best film of the year bar none… and I’m going to keep saying it until the Oscar nominations are announced.

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21 thoughts on “Wall-E, Dark Knight And Iron Man Make AFI’s Top 10 List

  1. I did like The Dark Knight more than WALL-E initially, but now that I’ve seen both films again since they’ve been on DVD, I think I prefer WALL-E. Don’t get me wrong, both are very good movies. Both have good stories, characters, good soundtracks, etc. But somehow WALL-E is my favorite. I’m very happy with The Dark Knight though. I very rarely consider sequels to be better (or even as good) than their predecessors, but The Dark Knight is up with TESB and Toy Story 2 for best sequels of all time.

    Someone about mentioned that they prefer TDK because it has a “timeless substance” to it. I respect his/her opinion, but that is what I think about WALL-E. It just has a sort of classic vibe that TDK doesn’t quite have, kind of like old classic Disney movies like Dumbo and Pinocchio. Both are the best I’ve seen in theatres in quite a while though.

  2. Wall-E was great in my top 3 of 2008 but TDK its better, those first 45 minutes of Wall-E were amazing without dialogue, but TDK have better story, better villain (humans in Wall-E were not ”villains” in the typical villain kind of way), better music, and the movie rated higher than TDK in RT is nothing, Juno (which i liked) have better rating than Fight Club, Kill Bill, The Shinning, Heat, Batman Begins and thats a big wtf and lol.

  3. Wall-E may be the best movie of the year…but since there’s a category for best animated feature, I do not think it will get nominated for best picture….I’m not saying it doesn’t deserve to get nominated but I think it’s highly unlikely that it will.

  4. you raise a great point about wall-e the first 45 – 60 minutes are without dialogue. and they are amazing. its the best hour of film of the year.

    unfortunately once they leave earth it then descends into stupidity and the last half on the ship is terrible.

    for me anyway. it ruined the film for me.

  5. Hey Michael,

    You can’t compare Metacritics and RottenTomatoes to the little user poll at IMDB.

    MC and RT are a collection of the reviews of film critics across all mediums.

    IMDB is an open site where anyone, with no accountability and with pure anonimity can vote multiple times on the same film over and over and over again.

    MC and RT have a degree of credibility… the IMDB user polls do not .

  6. have we forgotton the silent movies of old? totally devoid of dialogue

    yes we have

    in reference to imdb I was crossing topics. I remeber a few months back you had an article about WALL-E being higher in the ratings for Rotton tomatoes and Metacritic than Batman. I guess imdb, probably the longest running movie site slipped your mind for some reason….anyway, polls are pointless

  7. I thought Wall-E was brilliant, and should be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, but since it wasn’t a Clint Eastwood movie, I think the debate will be for not, because it won’t be nominated, despite how amazing it is, and it will join the long list of movies that should have best picture nods that didn’t get them. I would have to agree with John here, a movie is a movie, you use the talent you have in different ways, in Dark Knight, it was the talent of Heath Ledger, in Wall-E, the talent was in the writing and direction, no matter what, it’s amazing talent and should be reckognized.

  8. Hey Michael,

    You incorrectly said:

    “John somehoe goes on to say they’re meaningless for films like TDK and then say they mean things for Transformers and WALL-E.”

    You didn’t read what I said. I only pointed out that the imdb poll shows that in general people liked Transformers. In this post I specifically said:

    The IMDB user ratings are good for generally getting a feel for it the online fans like or dislike a movie… but it really can’t be counted on for any more than that.

    So I’m being totally consistent.

    Your assertion that Wall-E didn’t try anything new or hard is something I outright reject. A movie where the first hour derives all of it’s narrative without using any dialog whatsoever, relying on context, performance and environment elusively to drive the film is VERY rare and extremely difficult. “There Will Be Blood” got huge praise for doing just the first 7 minutes this way.

  9. Matt-I’m just making a point, polls are pointless because you can find one to support anyting. John somehoe goes on to say they’re meaningless for films like TDK and then say they mean things for Transformers and WALL-E. It’s pointless.

    Awards don’t mean that much either, that guy who won best supporting actor for no country for old men did feck all acting in that movie, he wasn’t bad but hardly had enough screen time or dialogue to get the award, Casey Afflect was much more deserving.

    I’m sticking steadfast to WALL-E being a perfect movie only because it didn’t try anything special. Pixar went in with their usual bag of tricks, the same one they’ve been using since 1994 which is the period most of their movies were written, it’s getting stale. I’ll give TDK more mass because there was so much more effort put into it. It’s a bit rough in places but it’s got heart. To me WALL-E felt like by the numbers charming and cute, it was safe.

    cheers
    michael

  10. “lets not forget TDK has 9.0 user rating (4th highest) on imdb while Wall-E has a respectible 8.7 (34th I believe)”

    WALL-E has the highest rating of the year on Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic, though. Not to mention sweeping these awards like crazy compared to TDK, which is really only winning the occasional Best Pic with mostly nods for Ledger (well-deserved nods, but still).

  11. John:

    “Movies really aren’t about actors… they’re about stories. Actors are just tools (any good actor will tell you this) to communicate the story. Important tools yes… but tools nonetheless. There are other tools as well. Visuals, sound, script (most important obviously)”

    You missed my point. I’m sure I don’t have to instruct you on the history of Hollywood, its legacy, its heritage, the profiles of its voters…its biases, its prejudices.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences instituted a Best ‘Animated Feature Film’ category. Not just to deal with the excellence of the animated films being released. But to also act as a declaration. This isn’t going to be reversed. Not in your lifetime, not in mine. No matter how great your passion for the cause is, no matter how many critics’ associations deem that ‘WALL-E’ is the best film of the year. AMPAS is a separate and wholly independent entity, with its own ideology, and is not subject to external consensus. You know this, I don’t need to lecture you on this.

    It’s your blog, you can go on ad infinitum, ad nauseam about this…but surely there are more worthy beneficiaries of your attention? ‘Wishing it doesn’t make it so.’

  12. Hey Probitionate,

    I appreciate your viewpoint… but as I said, if what you want is a category called “Best Live Action Movie”, then I’m cool with that. But if you’re going to continue to call it “Best Picture” then the best pictures need to get nominated regardless of medium.

    Movies really aren’t about actors… they’re about stories. Actors are just tools (any good actor will tell you this) to communicate the story. Important tools yes… but tools nonetheless. There are other tools as well. Visuals, sound, script (most important obviously).

    There are already categories for “Best Actors”. But the “Best Picture” award should go to the movie that best tells its story. It’s about story, not actors. Actors are just one part of many.

    Thus, in my opinion, Wall-E, being the best and most effectively told story on screen this year, deserves at the very least a nomination for Best Picture.

    Until they rename the category to “Best Live Action Picture”, the best movies should be nominated period, regardless of medium.

  13. John:

    We each have our biases. You believe that animated films should be up for ‘Best Picture’, and for the past two years, have had two wonderful examples to bolster your belief. I believe that animated films should NOT be up for ‘Best Picture’. Full-stop. Period.

    I understand your passion. But I’m sure you’re not so naïve -or stubborn- as to not be able to understand and accept that film, especially to Hollywood, is about people. As in ‘actors’. (Not ‘voiceovers’, not as in ‘paying jobs’) For this reason alone, I don’t see things changing to how you’d like them to be. (No matter how loud anyone’s whingeing gets.)

    I appreciate your viewpoint. I accept that you are quite adamant about your stance. But I simply do not agree. I’m not asking you to change your mind. Your opinion is your opinion. For me, it’s not a matter of debating the qualitative merits of particular animated films (as I commented on an old post of yours, I finally saw ‘Ratatouille’ and wasn’t impressed). It’s a fundamental belief that we’re talking apples and oranges.

    I’m glad you love your oranges. Enjoy with glee. (Watch that dribbling juice…)

  14. Hey probitionate

    Remove animated film from contention??? Why? Are they not films?

    The fact of the matter is that Wall-E is the #1 critic rated wide release film of the year. It has won best picture for the LA Film Critics and the Bostson Film Critics awards already (it’ll win more).

    If you want to re-name the best film category to “Best Live Action Film”, then I’m fine with that… but to me… the best picture is the best picture, animated or not.

    And yeah… Wall-E is the best picture and as such deserves a nomination at the Oscars this year.

  15. Hey Michael,

    I respect your view of The Dark Knight, but I completely disagree with your analogies and conclusions.

    But like I always say… that’s the best part about film… the pure subjectivity of it and how was can all see something different in each piece of art.

  16. ‘The best film of the year bar none.”

    Ah, yes. ‘Ratatouille’ redux.

    I can’t help but muse about the -admittedly ridiculous- scenario within which John is blown away by the most stupendous ‘adult’ film ever, and posts are then regularly riddled with ‘This film changed my life! It’s transcendent! It DESERVES the ‘Best Picture’ statuette!’

    I for one wish they’d make a final declaration removing animated films from consideration for ‘Best Picture’. But I guess the ‘discussion’ would then be on the lines of ‘The Academy should change its mind! This is categorically (pun fully intended) unfair!’

    Thanks for at least being consistent, John.

  17. They are two different movies, I just believe Wall-E wasn’t really ambitous. It’s like comparing wine and choc chip cookies. Wine is harder to make, takes a bit more time, has several layers, alot of room to go round while cookies are simple to get right.

    I’ll rightly say that Wall-E is the best animated movie I’ve ever seen but it’s not unique, there’s no quality to the movie that is it’s own, Wall-E has been built on the work done in previous pixar movies. As for the Dark Knight, it feels new when you’re watching it, I can’t exactly put it into words but it just seems to have a timeless substance to it.

    There are alot of faults to the dark knight but it has alot more than to offer than Wall-E. High calibre acting is one, Wall-E didn’t need that but i think it’s something to acknowledge. Obviously TDK developed better characthers (built on the comic archetypes) for the screen.

  18. Hey Michael,

    The IMDB user ratings are good for generally getting a feel for it the online fans like or dislike a movie… but it really can’t be counted on for any more than that.

    Any “poll” that allows multiple votes and where fans just hit 10 10 10 10 10 all day can’t really be taken too seriously.

    I LOVE The Dark Knight… but IMO it’s not the same caliber as Wall-E

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