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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Top 10 movies of 2008

While most people roll out the best-of list in the final days of December, the film industry honors the year’s best during the award season, which culminates on Feb. 22 with The Academy Awards. The BG News Film Critic lists the films that struck a cord with fans and critics in 2008.

10. “Tropic Thunder”

While it may have achieved its legendary status as a spoof comedy, the Ben Stiller-directed film “Tropic Thunder” does so by first adjoining with the likes of prestigious war films. With a diverse multi-talented cast, including the scene-stealers Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise, this captivating, offensive and ingeniously well-written film provides a comment on the Hollywood film industry that we’ll never soon forget.

9. “Burn After Reading”

“Burn After Reading” creators Joel and Ethan Coen not only wrote the book on crafting a classic suspense thriller, they’ve successfully married it to signature dark humor time and time again. Already a year after the release of their Oscar-winning film “No Country for Old Men,” the Coen brothers have stayed at the top of their game with another extravagant game of cat-and-mouse that truly has us laughing on the edge of suspense.

8. “The Reader”

Being a film inspired by the events of World War II and Nazi Germany, “The Reader” is sure to attain some award season attention. However, with a remarkable performance by Kate Winslet, “The Reader” has more to say than its simple original love story. As a driving force throughout the film, Winslet exhibits a humanity that’s stronger than a standard award-winning wartime drama. With a role as powerful as this, Winslet may finally receive the recognition she’s always deserved.

7. “Slumdog Millionaire”

As a film that’s laden with so much predictability, “Slumdog Millionaire” hijacks a simple rags-to-riches story and tells it with emotionally original characters, a thrillingly creative premise and a poignant eye on global issues. In simple terms, it’s a love story; but with all the strengths of powerful filmmaking, this film is remarkably intoxicating.

6. “In Bruges”

There’s nothing more typical about an action star entering a big budget movie with guns blazing. “In Bruges” strives for something different. As a hitman film without your usual hitmen, this dark comedy is given wondrous on-screen life by two inseparable co-stars, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. With an eye-opening tale on the life of a contract-killer, “In Bruges,” like the city it’s told in, is truly one-of-a-kind.

5. “Doubt”

While it may be the most direct and to-the-point story out of all the films featured on this list, “Doubt” succeeds largely for being an actor’s film. By showcasing a terrific ensemble cast, including Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt’s” controversial story never breaks formation from start to finish.

4. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Throughout our lives, so much of what we know can be witnessed through film. With “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” we not only study the journey of life through a unique main character, but we learn to understand it through the defining moments it gives us as well. Sounds convenient, seeing that the most memorable films are the ones defined by their own shining moments.

3. “Gran Torino”

If there’s one filmmaker who consistently delivers a heartwarming award-winning story, Clint Eastwood has long retained that distinction. In a remarkable lead role that brings back to life his classic roles from the past, Eastwood infuses “Gran Torino” with a vintage character we haven’t seen since the likes of “Dirty Harry.” With a story that’s full of laughter, sadness, hatred and happiness we can’t help but relate to, “Gran Torino” finds a significant verse in what it means to be an American.

2. “WALL-E”

It’s a shame that a separate award is presented to the best animated films of the year. With a mindset like Pixar’s, “WALL-E” features more life and abundant joy than nearly all of the selections on this list. Since there’s no use worrying about whether or not Pixar will top themselves after each magnificent film, the story of “WALL-E” was met with unblemished anticipation and spectacular rejoice. Thanks to a determined little robot, Pixar’s monumental technology will soon be used to make Best Picture Winners rather than Best Animated Features.

1. “The Dark Knight”

It’s hard to imagine any other film at the top of this list. As the second highest grossing film of all time and one of the highest rated films of the year, “The Dark Knight” is more importantly a spectacular movie. Given its poetic nature by distinguished filmmaker Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight” is the first film to finally restore the deserved recognition of a genre that has long been seen as insignificant. Packed with powerful performances, lyrical dialogue and a fascinating depiction of true human struggle, “The Dark Knight” will forever remain a memento of truly accomplished endeavors.

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