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1. Dark Knight
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
3. In Bruges
4. Slumdog Millionaire
5. Iron Man

1. Milk
2. The Wrestler
3. Dark Knight
4. Slumdog Millionaire
5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

2. Pineapple Express
3. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
4. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
5. The Dark Knight

1. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
2. The Dark Knight
3. Milk
4. The Wrestler
5. Slumdog Millionaire

Or, in other words, Adam is training to be a comic book fanboy, Brian is the guy who sees a few movies at the end of the year, I’m a 14 year old girl, and John, as he just established, is a crappy film critic no one likes.

I didn’t become a regular At the Movies viewer until about two years ago. That’s when they started posting their videos online and the four of us started talking movies more and more. That means I never watched regularly before Roger Ebert left, but that was okay because I really like Richard Roeper and I find his tastes match mine pretty well. Ebert’s a good read but he falls for overly-sentimental, treacly junk too often for my liking (see: anything by Paul Haggis).

A string of guest reviewers came (including one horrible show with John Mellencamp) but eventually two settled in permanently that I liked: AO Scott from the New York Times and, even better, Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune. This was swell until Disney took the show in a different direction early last autumn and all the smart guys left.

Enter the Bens: Ben Menkiewicz from Turner Classic Movies and Ben Lyons from E!. They started rough but Menk turned out all right. He’s knowledgeable and decent enough in front of the camera. Lyons sucked from the beginning — he was derided from the moment he was announced as host for calling I Am Legend “one of the greatest movies ever made” — and he still sucks. His reviews barely skim the surface and the reasons for his recommendations either make no sense or are based entirely around an actor’s star power. Your kids are going to make you see High School Musical 3 so you might as well Rent It. Thanks, critic! The mockery from the internet continues to grow, including from Ebert himself.

As I often do, I awoke Sunday morning and watched the latest DVR’d episode. It was the Best of 2008 show and I grew horrified as Lyons revealed his list. His top 5:

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2. Slumdog Millionaire
3. Milk
4. The Wrestler
5. The Dark Knight

We’ll have another top 5 post coming up in a few days for movies we saw through the end of 2008. Here’s what my top 2-6 would be, discounting my #1 of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days which appeared on most critics’ lists in 2007:

1. The Dark Knight
2. Milk
3. The Wrestler
4. Slumdog Millionaire
5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I am disgusted that I loved the same films as Ben Lyons. And I haven’t seen Benjamin Button, the only film that differs on our top fives, yet. His number 10 was also one of my 2008 faves, In Bruges. My belief system is shocked to the core and my ego has taken a beating. Every week I mock this guy as I watch the show but when it comes down to it our favorites are nearly identical. GAH!

Unfortunately the only other syndicated movie review show, Reel Talk, is hosted by Lyons’s nearly-as-obnoxious father, Jeffrey, a man who seems to like every damn movie. But on a side note, the younger Lyons hosts My Family’s Got Guts on Nickelodeon and is quite good, though that only makes me trust his reviews even less. He should stick to hosting kids’ shows.

Full At the Movies top 10s after the jump.

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January 2009
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