Theoretically an adventure film about saving the culture of the Western World from rampaging Nazi philistines, George Clooney's first serious misstep as a director is somehow both painfully serious and trite.
In his classic SF novel Solaris, Stanislaw Lem composes an ode to the absurdity of the human struggle for knowledge. No better is this struggle encapsulated than in the infinite expanse of space and in the discovery of new worlds.
Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.
Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.
From Julian Schnabel's artsy The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to the legendary Coen Brothers splendid adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, PopMatters counts down the 30 best films of 2007.