Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Jamal Malik is only one correct answer away from winning 20 million rupees on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" He's a waif and tea-server from India's slums, so the show's producers think that he's cheated. As they nearly beat Jamal to death, the movie repeatedly flashes back to his early childhood and the random events seared in his memory that enabled him to answer the show's arcane questions. But Slumdog is not about how he could answer the game show questions but why he became a contestant in the first place. He's clearly not interested in the money itself. This remarkable film is many things — action thriller, human drama, social commentary on contemporary India, a story of human destiny, and, most of all, a tender romance. Slumdog is far and away one of the best films of the year.