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SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE & WALL-E Emerging As The Critics’ 2008 Movies To Beat!!

I am – Hercules!!
While we patiently await staffers Harry, Moriarty, Father Geek, Capone and Quint to vote on the second AICN Movie Award (the only one that counts, if you’re to ask me), I thought readers might be curious to see how the other critics awards are tallying up. Among the regional critics associations, “Slumdog Millionaire” tops the most lists I’ve seen, though WALL-E is getting plenty of love as well:
Regional critics' associations: New York Film Critics: Milk Los Angeles Film Critics: WALL-E Chicago Film Critics: WALL-E London Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Toronto Film Critics: Wendy and Lucy D.C. Area Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Boston Film Critics: (tie) Slumdog Millionaire & WALL-E San Francisco Film Critics: Milk Dallas/Fort Worth Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Florida Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire Las Vegas Film Critics: Frost/Nixon Detroit Film Critics: Slumdog Millionaire St. Louis Film Critics: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Utah Film Critics: The Dark Knight Austin Film Critics: The Dark Knight International Press Academy: DRAMA: Slumdog Millionaire COMEDY: Happy-Go-Lucky Critics Choice Awards nominees: The Changeling The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Dark Knight Doubt Frost/Nixon Milk The Reader Slumdog Millioniare WALL-E The Wrestler Roger Ebert’s top 20, as published in The Chicago Sun-Times: Ballast The Band’s Visit Che Chop Shop The Dark Knight Doubt The Fall Frost/Nixon Frozen River Happy-Go-Lucky Iron Man Milk Rachel Getting Married The Reader Revolutionary Road Shotgun Stories Slumdog Millionaire Synecdoche, New York W WALL-E Michael Phillips' top 10, as published in the Chicago Tribune: 1. WALL-E 2. The Class 3. A Christmas Tale 4. Let The Right One In 5. The Flight of the Red Balloon 6. Alexandra 7. Man on Wire 8. Snow Angels 9. Still Life 10. The Dark Knight Manohla Dargis’s top picks, as published in the New York Times: Alexandra The Dark Knight Encounters At The End Of The World The Flight of the Red Balloon Happy-Go-Lucky Milk Silent Light Still Life Synecdoche, New York Wendy and Lucy Kenneth Turan’s top picks, as published in the Los Angeles Times: Ballast A Christmas Tale The Class Frost/Nixon Frozen River Gomorrah Happy-Go-Lucky Rachel Getting Married Slumdog Millionaire Tell No One WALL-E Waltz With Bashir Plus four Sundance documentaries ("Man on Wire," " Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," "Stranded" and "Trouble the Water") Richard Corliss’ top 10, as published in Time Magazine: 1. WALL-E 2. Synecdoche, New York 3. My Winnipeg 4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days 5. Milk 6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 7. Slumdog Millionaire 8. Iron Man 9. Speed Racer 10. Encounters At The End of the World Stephen King's top 10, as published in Entertainment Weekly: 1. The Dark Knight 2. Slumdog Millionaire 3. WALL-E 4. Tropic Thunder 5. Funny Games 6. The Bank Job 7. Lakeview Terrace 8. The Ruins 9. Redbelt 10. Death Race Lisa Schwarzbaum's Top 10, as published in Entertainment Weekly: 1. WALL-E 2. Milk 3. The Dark Knight 4. Waltz With Bashir 5. Gomorra 6. Wendy and Lucy 7. Trouble The Water 8. Happy-Go-Lucky 9. Man On Wire 10. Tropic Thunder Owen Glieberman’s Top 10, as published in Entertainment Weekly: 1. The Wrestler 2. The Dark Knight 3. Rachel Getting Married 4. WALL-E 5. Momma’s Man 6. The Edge of Heaven 7. Burn After Reading 8. The Class 9. Milk 10. Tell No One The National Board of Review's pick: Slumdog Millionaire The American Film Institute's picks: 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 With year's end less than two weeks away, award announcements seem to be flying in almost hourly. If anyone’s aware of overlooked press awards worthy of inclusion - i.e. not the farcical Golden Globes - kindly email: !

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:49 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi


  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:52 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi


  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:52 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

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  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:52 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi


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  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

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  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

    GUTEN NACHT!!!!!!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

    MEIN LIEBEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

    not noun, or verb

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST

    ten 10 ten 10

    by BYOBkenobi

    cmon, you people are actually reading the article? start posting!

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:55 p.m. CST

    11 o klok

    by BYOBkenobi

    do you know where your children are?

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:55 p.m. CST

    12 angry monkeys

    by BYOBkenobi

    starring peter otoole and his pipe wrench

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:56 p.m. CST

    13 of friday

    by BYOBkenobi

    starring jane fonda eating rice

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:56 p.m. CST


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    by BYOBkenobi

    will get you 20

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    by BYOBkenobi

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  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

    is getting really old

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    by BYOBkenobi

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  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Calm down, BYOBkenobi!

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    I give you props, you got it!<p>Anyhow, I really want to see this.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

    pairs of boxer briefs

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10 p.m. CST

    I think thats a first

    by BYOBkenobi

    never seen someone with as much posting prowess as I. WINNER!

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:01 p.m. CST


    by BYOBkenobi

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:02 p.m. CST

    It's on all these lists because it deserves it...

    by Mr. Profit

    "Slumdog Millionaire" was a great movie. I'm a cynical bastard who does not get caught up in hype or into the hyperbole spewed by critics. But I saw the film and enjoyed it very much. I can totally see it winning and be fine with it if it does. I still give much props to "The Dark Knight" for elevating the genre and being a great film (plot holes and Batman voice and all). It was still one of the best films of 2008 and the best comic movie ever. But "Slumdog Millionaire" is looking like the one to beat. Also Dev Patel is the dark horse threat to Ledger's Oscar. Finally "Milk" is ridiculously overrated. Penn was great. But the movie was just "good".

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Let's all make films so we can get awards too!

    by Amy Chasing

    Yeah, that's why they do it.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:09 p.m. CST


    by iwontwin

    Seriously, the best

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:10 p.m. CST

    San Francisco picked Milk

    by Super Rabbi


  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:11 p.m. CST


    by iwontwin

    or best song, hes awesome.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:13 p.m. CST

    I thought both films were WAY overrated

    by Admiral Nelson

    As I've already stated here ad nauseum, Slumdog was a surprisingly formulaic Bollywood film minus the genre's charm and musical numbers, and Wall-E is one-half of a great movie (the first half, of course.) I enjoyed both films, but neither of them is as powerful -- and as unexpected -- a piece of filmmaking as The Dark Knight (especially in IMAX.) Finally, suggesting Dev Patel's performance in Slumdog was anywhere near the caliber of Heath Ledger's is highly questionable -- Patel was easily the weakest actor in the film, IMO.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST

    I agree about DEV

    by iwontwin

    He was ok, but those kids were amazing. However, when you talk about formulaic, one of the key points of the film was to examine the bollywood story arc and put a western, more authentic gritty twist....the atmosphere it builds is spectacular....

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 10:26 p.m. CST


    by HandsThe Hands of Fate

    American films only dipshit.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Austin knows what's up

    by zooch

    Why so serious?

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Wall•E was a boring collectivism eco-sermon.

    by Vindibudd

    Kung Fu Panda was a thousand times better. And anyone that puts Speed Race over The Dark Knight should be fired as a movie critic.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 11:15 p.m. CST

    At least THE FALL is on ONE person's list

    by phantom_of_teh_paradise

    Sheesh how could everybody have possibly forgotten about that one?

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 11:24 p.m. CST

    WALL*E x 1000 = Kung Fu Panda?

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    I mean, I liked both movies... but 1000 times better? C'mon.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Well maybe not 1000 times better, but at least 123 times better

    by Vindibudd

    Kung Fu Panda was a great film that had MUCH better animation, MUCH better dialogue, MUCH better humor and a MUCH better "moral of the story." Wall•E literally bored the hell out of me and my girlfriend and I saw it twice to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Pixar hasn't made a great movie since Toy Story. Yes, I just said that.

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 11:43 p.m. CST

    WENDY AND LUCY is a piece os shit!

    by FuckMichaelBay

  • Dec. 18, 2008, 11:48 p.m. CST


    by iwontwin

    On Blu Ray its amazing!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Heath was the best in my opinion...

    by Mr. Profit

    That's why I said Dev was the "Dark Horse" threat. Never said he was better. And he was good enough to nominate, allthough my preference was the youngest Jamel. But remember, backlash is a bitch. Look at the above lists to see what's happening to "The Dark Knight". It's not like it's questionable to suggest a dark horse for a supporting category since. Surprise winners happen in those categories all the time. So we need people to get back to realizing why the film and performance were great, and away from the notion that the film is being overrated due to his death. This is starting to be a critics consensus and that can be bad for "The Dark Knight" chances come Oscar time. Look at the SAG nominations... It's happening.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:09 a.m. CST

    More love for Speed Racer!

    by ranting_dude

    Also, want to add that unfortunately I fell into the hype for Wall-E. Once I finished watching it I found it to only be "good."

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:13 a.m. CST

    SHANTARAM please

    by iwontwin

    I love gritty mumbai, mixed in with narco/religious strife, shantaram is the film which should have introduced these themes into the western film lexicon....but alas...writers strike ended that. Maybe there is hope after slumdog Speed Racer will be remembered as a classic

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:33 a.m. CST


    by Tipsy McStagger

    You and your girlfriend are idiots.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:34 a.m. CST


    by Tipsy McStagger

    Sitting through a supposedly boring movie TWICE makes you a really big idiot.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST


    by DisneyFanatic


  • Dec. 19, 2008, 1:32 a.m. CST

    speed racer fuckin rules

    by rhcp2sweet

    I love that god damn movie so much

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:37 a.m. CST

    And Mamma Mia is still the most succesful movie in the UK.

    by DerLanghaarige

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:18 a.m. CST

    Neither film was the best I've seen this year...

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    ...In fact, not even close. And I still haven't seen big hitters like Frost/Nixon or Milk.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Yeah, SHANTARAM...

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    ...The books fantastic. A much, much better story, and all through the first half of Slumdog I kept thinking "Fuck, I wish boyle had gotten that property instead". ALSO...MASSIVE FUCKING SPOILER FOR SLUMDOG...SKIP AHEAD. I seriously though it would conclude with him getting the answer wrong, but being content with the girl (I know, the ads keep saying he wins the money blah blah blah, but notice how the flashbacks and interrogation come before the big final question) I just thought thats how it would twist. Suprisingly it had a rather schmaltzy ending. And that dance number was fucking stupid. Wes Anderson didn't dump a bollywood dance into his flick just because the story was set in India.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:29 a.m. CST


    by Horace Cox

    Nice to see that flick getting some love. I don't know that it would make my top ten, but it was a solid flick. And no mention of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN? That is weak!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:18 a.m. CST

    In other words

    by Mr Gorilla

    It's not been an entirely terrific year for movies.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:27 a.m. CST

    slumdog and wall-e

    by movieManiac

    First of all get over the Bollywood dance number, it wasn't even that well choreographed, but it was fun and a little nod to bollywood, big deal. Secondly, as good as the kids were, Dev Patels distracting british accent was annoying and hes not that great an actor. Why doesn't Anil Kapoor get any love? I really thought he was great as the slimy game show host. Lastly, to whoever said that Toy story was the only good movie Pixar made, you're an idiot. I love the incredibles and I loved finding nemo. And I think all of those were superior to Wall-E.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Do people still subscribe to entertianment weekly?

    by Stalkeye

    EW used to be a good read back in the 90's but now it's mostly a hype rag.And WTF happened to Glenn Kenny? His video reviews was the best thing about the magazine.He was Vern, before there was a Vern.<p>Oh and Owen Gliberman is a overopinionated douche.Not sure about all the slumdog love, but atleast Ironman is getting a shout out here and there.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 8:06 a.m. CST

    also AR Rahman

    by movieManiac

    should've been nominated for best original song along with score for the globes...instead some stupid shit from Bolt got nominated.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Austin film critics choose...

    by TheBlackKnight

    The Dark Knight. No, they're not geeks...

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    by taylor2

    It was good, but I agree, overrated. I think this is an american quality-of-life guilt thing... the entire movie played out exactly as expected from the sypnosis and the first 10 minutes and frankly a scene near the end makes nearly no sense. I'm also stunned on the nominations (and wins) for Dev Patel. The acting was all around, for the most part, pretty marginal. I only felt for the characters situations but not the characters themselves. The Wrestler has far more emotion in it's pinky finger. Haven't seen Milk or Frost/Nixon yet either though I'm getting the feeling Milk is overrated too so I'm trying to lower my expectations. Wall-E was quite good but Ratatouille should have gotten it last year. Still liked The Hurt Locker. Oh and enough with the Iron Man reacharounds. Jesus, the only thing that made it "Good" was people didn't expect it to be any good in the first place and woah and behold, it didn't suck! Anyone want to point out to Richard Corliss that 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days is from 2007? I've lost a lot of respect for Critics this week after importing, so I could finally watch, "L'interieur (Inside)". *sigh*

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    That post should have been titled "Slumdog Millionaire"

    by taylor2

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Tipsy McStagger

    by Vindibudd

    I am open minded for seeing the movie twice because I thought that maybe I had missed something. The second time around I was just more convinced of the condescension. My girlfriend and myself are not idiots, however if someone is looking for the missing one in their village, I will point them in your direction. You can thank me later.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Where's In Bruges?

    by BackRiverCatfish

    That's right, it sucked!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 1:25 p.m. CST

    The British accent shouldn't be distracting...

    by Mr. Profit

    It's realistic because the call centers in India teach the people who work their to either speak with a British or American accent. I learned that from reading the book "The World is Flat" by Freidman. They do this so that they sound like they are in the country their call center services. He worked their and called a woman in the UK when he got on the phone. So I would think that detail of his accent was realistic. Salim and Latika did not have the accent Jamel had because they didn't work where he did.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Profit

    Fucking iPhone and it's auto correct feature...

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Neither film is as good as Paul Blart: Mall Cop

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Wall-E and Dark Knight are the only two on these lists...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...that I've seen. I can't get excited for most of these movies as they're only playing in selected theaters. Manhattan is a 40 minute LIRR ride away and can't bother with the hassle just to catch a flick.