December 31st, 2008
10:56 AM ET

Everybody's a critic movie reviewer Tom Charity adds his list of the best - and worst - movies of this past year to the throng of such postings. “WALL-E” tops Tom’s list, and you’re welcome to post your No. 1 film of 2008 at

Critics are often roasted for their preferences, but Tom makes the valuable point that part of a critic’s role is to act as a guide - not to offer the final word on a film’s value, but to offer an informed opinion on what’s out there. Hundreds of films were released in 2008, many of which barely got into theaters (and certainly not in theaters outside of major markets). At the least, a reviewer can say, “Check this out.”

Of course, critics are a contentious bunch - even among themselves. (Perhaps especially among themselves.) There’s some infighting going on in the film-reviewing community over the addition of Ben Lyons to “At the Movies.” Lyons, who with Ben Mankiewicz replaced Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper on the long-running review program, has been attacked for being a “quote whore” and “an imposition.” There’s even a “StopBenLyons” Web site.

At the very least, Lyons appears guilty of hyperbole; even Will Smith probably wouldn’t call “I Am Legend” “one of the greatest movies ever made.”

What are your thoughts on movie reviewing? Offer your comments below or send them to Keep in mind, though: Not everyone sees eye to eye. Or, as the Rutles put it, “One man’s civilization is another man’s jungle (yeah).”

- Todd Leopold, Entertainment Producer

Filed under: movies
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