2008's Top Ten Greatest Moments in Film

2008 was a great year for cinema. Within every genre, there were amazing performances. Actors, directors, DPs, and crew members came together on a plethora on films to create absolute works of genius. Today I’d like to look at the sum of those parts. I saw so many amazing films this year, it’s really hard to narrow it down to just ten. Let’s take a look back at some of the greatest scenes in film in 2008:

10. The Pencil Trick, The Dark Knight – I’ll never forget the noise the audience made the first time they saw this. Also the scene which featured my favorite quote of the movie: Batman has no jurisdiction. How could anyone argue that the Joker, with his total understanding of his enemy, isn’t the most complete and terrifying villain ever?

Before you email me, let me state that I do realize this was a movie and that none of it actually happened.

9. The Hong Kong Sequence, The Dark Knight – I have a rule for movies – a lot of people have this rule, actually – called the Ten Minute Test. Ten minutes into a movie, I know whether or not I’m going to like the whole thing. As an extension of that, there’s a singular moment where you know whether or not you’re watching a great movie. Most of the time, it occurs well past the ten minute mark. For example, in Collateral, when Tom Cruise guns down a mugger on the ground without stopping to look at him. Well, The Dark Knight easily passed the ten minute test, but when Batman intentionally gets pulled out of a window by a goddamn airplane – well, that isn’t just one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in a movie, my friends, that’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life.

8. Did They Really Just Flip That Fucking Truck?!?! The Dark Knight – Seriously. In a movie where the villain gets to deliver facial after facial, it was nice to see Batman deliver his best facial since Adam West saved the leaders of the U.N. from being colored powder.

7. The Bank Robbery, The Dark Knight – “Hello world? This is Heath Ledger’s Performance in The Dark Knight. Just checking in with you to see how you liked having my balls in your face.”

6. The Hospital Sequence, The Dark Knight – Joker manipulates Harvey Dent into becoming Two Face; really great scene.

5. “Accomplice? I’m Going to Tell Them the Whole Thing Was Your Idea,” The Dark KnightOne of my favorite aspects of the Nolan take on Batman is the dynamic between Alfred and Bruce. That may be due to my incredible bias towards anything involving Michael Caine, but despite the Joker’s one-liners, this has my vote for funniest line of the movie.

4. I’m Not Sure You Really Understand the Ramifications of Number 9….Ya See, Batman Escaped Certain Death By Getting Pulled Out a Window By a Fucking Airplane, The Dark Knight – I’m not going to lie to you, when that happened, I just about messed my pants in every possible way that one could mess their pants.

3. The Interrogation, The Dark Knight – Without question, the best confrontation between hero and villain I’ve ever seen on film.

2. The Joker’s Snuff Film, The Dark Knight – Probably the most genius scene in the film, for my money. Up until this point, everybody was laughing along with every wisecrack the Joker made. Some guy next to me was even going “Oh man!” and clapping every time Ledger so much as blinked. But the theater went deathly silent when this clip rolled. Joker taunts a guy the audience already knows to be dead in something eerily reminiscent of a Middle Eastern terrorist execution video? No one wanted to talk. It’s like everybody realized at once: “Oh yeah, this is the bad guy.”

1. Do You Want To Know What Makes Batman Batman? The Fact That One Way He Escapes Situations is By Getting Hooked Onto an Airplane From the Window of a Skyscraper, The Dark Knight – Okay, let’s call a spade a spade: if you didn’t nut when you saw this, you’re a communist. Do you really comprehend how bad ass this scene was? Do you? I’m not really sure that you do. I would have never thought anything that awesome could make it into a movie. Who directed this, the nine year old version of me?

Honorable Mention:

Rachel Dawes Eats It, The Dark Knight – Would have been cracked the Top Ten if it were Katie Holmes.

The Credits from The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight – I’m not sure what kind of font they used, but it definitely reflected the themes of the film. Nothing says conflicted morality tale like a nice sans Serif.

The Thought of Alfred Having a Giant Orgy With the Entire Russian Ballet, The Dark Knight – Michael Caine is my favorite actor of all time; I’d be rooting for him to pull this off. You know what, if you came to me and said, “Hey, I got two tickets for a Michael Caine orgy with a bunch of hot Russians,” I’d sit in the front row with a box of popcorn, cheering on my boy the whole time. “Get ’em, Mikey! By the way, your work in Secondhand Lions was magical!”

Admit it, you’d watch too.

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