With no live action, non-documentaries having scored higher than 90 on Metacritic (4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days suffers from foreign release date syndrome), 2008 is shaping up to be the worst year for movies of this decade. 2003 was pretty bad as well, weighted down by the portentous Return of the King, and fully marred by the last ten minutes of Mystic River, ten minutes that ruined what was shaping up to be one of the best crime films ever told by twisting its characters into unrecognizable shapes of their former selves; and 2004 wasn’t so great either, thought it’s at least saved by the best love story/weepie of the last decade (Finding Neverland), and The Aviator, an ode to the possibilities of cinematography that transcends into something greater as we watch DiCaprio develop his form; but, as of now, it’s safe to say that 2008 is the worst.

Still, there are a few bright spots. Slumdog Millionaire is over-hyped, over-acclaimed, and frequently under-acted, but it’s still a pretty darn good movie. The shots of the Mumbai slums are legitimately stunning–proof that tight, claustrophobic shot composition can be just as luxurious as the great wide west. Its hyper-kinetic visual style is something to be admired, at times channeling the movement and that made City of God so thrilling. But if City of God was defined by its bloody violence, Slumdog is marked by its total absence of blood. It’s a pretty graphic movie, yet we never see the results of the action. One could say that it’s trying to eat its cake and have it too, that it wants to remain a family fable while also portraying the violence of modern India, but this is just a conceit; if anything, things are often more disconcerting in their total irreality. It’s an inventive style of fimmaking, but one that falls into a thoroughly predictable plot. Overall, a fully enjoyable movie-going experience.

Rachel Getting Married and Milk after the jump

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