BEST DOCUMENTARIES THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PICKED UP AT HOT DOCS BUT WEREN'T Must Read After My Death; Song Sung Blue
BEST RECLAMATION OF THE "INDIE" MANTLE Lance Hammer's Ballast
BEST REASONS TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE MUMBLECORE MOVEMENT Baghead; Nights And Weekends
BEST FUSION OF AMERICAN SUBJECT MATTER WITH GONZO RUSSIAN SENSIBILITIES Wanted, from Night Watch and Day Watch director Timur Bekmambetov
MOST HORRIFYING INDICTMENTS OF GEORGE W. BUSH'S INCOMPETENCE Standard Operating Procedure (Abu Ghraib); Trouble The Water (Katrina)
BEST MOVIE TO RE-EXAMINE THE HOLOCAUST FROM THE GERMAN PERSPECTIVE The Counterfeiters
WORST The Reader
WORST ABSTINENCE METAPHOR Twilight (sex is scary and bad, but you still want it, so it's up to your awesome boyfriend to decide what's best for you - am I right, ladies?)
- Norman Wilner
BEST SEQUEL Rambo. Relentlessly, grotesquely, joyously deranged. All the other Rambos boiled down to just the bloody bits. Like Itchy and Scratchy with AK-47s.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A BAD MOVIE Tropic Thunder's Robert Downey Jr. as the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude. Method madness!
BEST SOUNDTRACK Slumdog Millionaire's propulsive Bollywood hip-hop score from A.R. Rahman (with a little help from M.I.A.).
MOST OVER-RATED Heath Ledger's performance was no joke, but you don't need to be from Krypton to punch holes in The Dark Knight's plot. Toss in Christian Bale's inane Eastwood growl and the unmerciful grimness of the whole thing (why so serious?!) and I'll take Iron Man any day. He knows that being a superhero is fun.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT A tie between Quantum Of Solace (more bland than Bond), Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (aliens and Shia LaBeouf swinging like Tarzan? WTF?!) and Synechdoche, New York (which is all about writer/director Charlie Kaufman finding a portal that allows him to stick his head up his own ass).
WORST MOVIE With so much going for it - a visionary director, two A-list actors, a sweeping story and a $130 million budget - how did Australia go from historical epic to epic bore? You can't blame it all on Nicole Kidman's permanently plastic expression.
- Barrett Hooper
GUILTY PLEASURES Wanted's sly Angelina Jolie; the bedroom scenes in Catherine Breillat's The Last Mistress; interviewing Lisa Ray for The World Unseen and I Can't Think Straight.
HATED IT For a few months, it looked like the industry was actually courting a female audience. But once the plot-?challenged Sex And The City and cliché-?ridden The Women hit the big screen, we said no to this suitor.
TOTALLY HATED IT The Dark Knight - Heath Ledger's great performance doesn't make this film "art." Get over yourselves, guys.
LOOK FOR IT ON DVD Inexplicably, Still Lovely with Ellen Burstyn and Martin Landau, and Lymelife with Alec Baldwin like you've never seen him, both at TIFF this year, never got distribution. Go figure.
- Susan G. Cole