I've been lucky enough (it certainly wasn't based on my prolific output) to be invited to participate in this year's Muriel Awards, which are organized by Paul Clark to honor the year's best films and filmmakers, by the most knowledgeable and opinionated people around: amateur movie bloggers (okay, there are some professionals in there too).
Among the awards given out are the 50th/25th/10th Anniversary Awards, for the best films released in 1958, 1983, and 1998 (based on New York release dates). Since those lists don't involve my frantically catching-up on 2008 titles before the deadline, here are my top-five lists for those respective years.
Lists slightly revised to accomodate the actual rules of the Muriels - the movies are organized by actual release dates, not U.S. dates, so I'm removing Fanny and Alexander from my 1983 list since it's a 1982 film.
1. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
2. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
3. Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati)
4. I Bury the Living (Albert Band)
5. Elevator to the Gallows (Louis Malle)
1. Videodrome (David Cronenberg)
2. Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio)
3. The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese)
4. A Christmas Story (Bob Clark)
5. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman)
1. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick)
2. Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg)
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam)
4. The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
5. Rushmore (Wes Anderson)