2018 brings with it a ton of unmissable new films, from Oscar contenders like Lady Bird and Molly’s Game to blockbuster heavyweights such as Avengers: Infinity War, Tomb Raider and of course Solo: A Star Wars Story. But what were we all getting excited about 10 years ago? Here’s 18 huge 2008 films turning 10 this year.
1. The Dark Knight
The second in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy featured the late Heath Ledger in his unparalleled, Oscar-winning role as The Joker, and was such a hit that it topped 2008’s global box-office. It took more than $1bn – in the process becoming the first comic-book adaptation to do so.
Pixar’s futuristic and beloved animation focussed on a trash-compacting robot called Wall-E, abandoned by humans but still managing to function on a post-apocalyptic Earth. When a probe called Eve comes to find plant life, Wall-E falls in love, and embarks on an adventure through space.
3. Slumdog Millionaire
Following Dev Patel’s breakout performance as Skins‘ Anwar, he achieved worldwide fame in this Oscar-winning Danny Boyle film about an 18-year-old from the slums of Mumbai. In the film, his character Jamal Malik tells the story of how he is able to pass every round of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
4. Quantum of Solace
Daniel Craig’s second outing as Bond was more critically divisive than any other: it holds a score of just 58 on Metacritic. It was a gritty, complex proposition that didn’t offer easy answers and featured visceral action that made you grimace – but reevaluating it in the context of Skyfall and Spectre, it’s actually a much more scrappy and unusual film than it’s given credit for. And whatever the critics said, it still finished up seventh in the annual box office, with takings of $568m.
5. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Penelope Cruz won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her unforgettably manic turn as María Elena in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy, which starred Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall. Memorable mainly for its weird mixture of outrageous vivaciousness and melancholy reflection.
6. Pineapple Express
Continuing an ongoing friendship that started with Freaks & Geeks, Seth Rogen and James Franco starred in this screwball comedy about stoners fleeing hitmen and police after witnessing a murder.
7. The Wrestler
Reviving the career of Mickey Rourke – he received a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination in his pained turn as the titular washed-up wrestler – Darren Aronofsky’s fifth feature film also won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
8. Iron Man
The film that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it today. It starred Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a weapons manufacturer and master-engineer who leaves behind his arms-production days and becomes the vigilante known as Iron Man. Surprisingly, it took a while for Marvel to establish box-office dominance: in 2008 this film was beaten by movies such as Madagascar and Mamma Mia!
9. Kung Fu Panda
The third most popular film at the 2008 global box-office centred on a goofy, Jack Black-voiced panda that became a kung-fu master. Fun fact: it was originally intended to be a parody of martial arts films, before (sort of) becoming one.
10. Step Brothers
Will Ferrell brought us more memorable comedy gold in the many Step Brothers quotes he and John C. Reilly delivered. They played two grown men living with their respective single parents, who are forced to live with one another after their parents fall in love and marry.
Becoming a professional assassin as easy as pie when your dad was one, as James McAvoy’s character discovers in this fun thriller starring Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, and based on the comic book miniseries by Mark Millar.
12. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The one about Brad Pitt ageing backwards, also starring Cate Blanchett. Directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac), …Button was nominated for 13 Oscars and won three.
13. Burn After Reading
The Coen brothers crafted a hugely elaborate non-conspiracy for the CIA to solve in this excellent black comedy starring Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Frances McDormand.
14. Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Harrison Ford ill-advisedly returned to endorse this crummy reboot of his beloved ’80s franchise, starring alongside Shia Labeouf. Cate Blanchett has a lot of fun as the villain though – and the film took second place in the global box office for 2008, taking home $786.6m.
15. In Bruges
This black comedy finds Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson playing two beautifully inept Irish hitmen, hiding out in the picturesque Belgian town of Bruges after one of them has accidentally killed a child. Soon they have to contend with their exasperated boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and Bruges’ duplicitous local drugdealer Chloë (Clémence Poésy). Farrell won a Golden Globe for his leading role.
J.J. Abrams produced this iconic monster horror, shot as if from found-footage, in which an unidentified gigantic creature lays waste to New York City. A sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane, was released in 2016, and another – The God Particle – is due in 2018. Meanwhile, director Matt Reeves has graduated to the forthcoming The Batman film.
This biopic starring Sean Penn tells the story of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist who became the first openly gay person elected to public office in California and who was assassinated in 1978. It won two Oscars: Best Actor for Sean Penn, and Best Original Screenplay for Dustin Lance Black.
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner kick-started a cinematic phenomenon with their roles in this adaptation of the teen-vampire/-werewolf romantic drama series by Stephanie Meyer: it spawned four further film instalments.