Best Ten Movies of 1998:
1. Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg's magnificent, harrowing D day epic is one of the great war movies ever made--and the most disturbing. Can The Thin Red Line match up?
2. Happiness. Director Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse) returns to his native New Jersey, where the damned and the doomed search for something like solace.
3. The Truman Show. Rubber-faced Jim Carrey, fresh out of fart jokes, moves up to a surreal, wildly funny contemplation of celebrity culture, the power of television and American privacy.
4. Twilight. Whaddya mean, you missed it? Grand masters Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, James Garner and Gene Hackman combine in a moody, brilliant Los Angeles film noir.
5. I Went Down. The Butcher Boy was splendid, but this dark Irish farce about crime, punishment and love was the sleeper of the year.
6. Bulworth. Quick. Get a print to the White House. Warren Beatty's lunatic portrait of a U.S. senator who starts telling the truth about everything is a moral tale for our times.
7. Sliding Doors. Lovely sylph Gwyneth Paltrow stars in a smart, delicate London comedy set on two parallel tracks of romantic possibility.
8. Ronin. Director John Frankenheimer, a craftsman for four decades, comes up with the ultimate Euro-action movie. It even has De Niro.
9. Smoke Signals. In Sherman Alexie and Chris Eyre's astonishing, low-budget road movie, two young American Indians search for their true selves and the nature of America.
10. Henry Fool. Indie cult favorite Hal Hartley examines the tug of art, the nature of fame and the durability of friendship.
Worst Ten Movies of 1998:
1. Spice World. If you're female and in the third grade, you saw it nineteen times. All others are still calling for mass execution of the no-singing, no-dancing, no-talent principals.
2. Godzilla. Rescucitated Lizard Lays Egg: Desperate studio money men leap to their deaths from his upturned beak.
3. The Big One. That self-appointed champion of the working class, Michael Moore (Roger and Me), gets way too big for his britches.
4. Meet Joe Black. Life and Death and, you know, stuff like that overwhelm cute Brad Pitt and the (former) executives at Universal Pictures.
5. The Horse Whisperer. If Robert Redford gets any more virtuous, we may have to canonize him--or elect him president. Meanwhile, we all know what comes out of the back of his horse.
6. Doctor Doolittle. Eddie Murphy's remake is replete with bathroom jokes unfit for kiddies or grownups.
7. Kurt and Courtney. Sleazeball British documentarian hints (then hints some more) that rocker Kurt Cobain was murdered by his wife. Anybody out there care?
8. The Odd Couple 2. Good heavens! Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau emerge from the mothballs for a road-movie sequel with no laughs and no point.
9. Armageddon and Deep Impact. Okay, then. Boom! And Boom! again.
10. Hush. Perfectly awful evil mother-in-law movie was delayed two years (not long enough), then crucial scenes reshot.
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