Actors (And Movie Moments) We Are Thankful For This Year

Robert Downey Jr., Heath Ledger's Joker and vampires are just a few of our favorite celluloid moments of 2008.

The leaves are falling, and the turkey is practically in the oven. Yes, according to the calendar, it’s time to take stock and give thanks. So that’s precisely what we’re doing by talking to the actors and filmmakers that made 2008 a memorable year at the movies — a year filled with self-loathing kick-ass superheroes, scene-stealing Brits , Manolo-wearing women and the return of a very familiar man in a hat .

For the past week we’ve profiled five of the men and women who made 2008 what it was with brand-new conversations with each. In case you missed it…

» [movieperson id="327783"]Russell Brand[/movieperson] confided that all he really wants to do after a breakneck year is sing a Christmas song with the Jonas Brothers .

» [movieperson id="21368"]Harrison Ford[/movieperson] told us hyping Indiana Jones all summer “wore [his] ass out.”

» [movieperson id="48614"]Sarah Jessica Parker[/movieperson] revealed that losing her famous mole is nothing compared to the success of a “Sex and the City” movie.

» [movieperson id="7725"]Josh Brolin[/movieperson] decided that the only way to follow up “W.” and “Milk” is to maybe “do the most awful movie I can find.”

» And the actor we’re most thankful for, [movieperson id="17609"]Robert Downey Jr.[/movieperson], told us that it’s only going to get better in 2009 with “Sherlock Holmes,” [movie id="390378"]“Iron Man 2″[/movie] and “The Avengers.”

But this year we had a lot more to be thankful for at the movies besides these five fine thespians — here now are 10 more reasons we’re appreciative of what graced the silver screen in ’08.

» [movie id="362118"]“Cloverfield”[/movie] proved that monster movies weren’t dead — they were just waiting for a director like Matt Reeves. We just hope you took some Dramamine.

» [movie id="307802"]“Get Smart”[/movie] and [movie id="360881"]“Rachel Getting Married”[/movie] aren’t likely to be part of a double-feature anytime soon, but these two ends of the movie spectrum managed to prove [movieperson id="257378"]Anne Hathaway[/movieperson] can be a star and an actress in one calendar year.

» Jean Claude Van Damme showed us that he’s got an honest-to-goodness decent film in him and that “acting is not acting if you act.”

» Vampires can still be cool! [movie id="369195"]“Twilight,”[/movie] “Let The Right One In” and a “Lost Boys” sequel in the same year?! Well, two out of three were all right.

» “The Clone Wars” bombs at the box office. See, “Star Wars” fans can be discerning. Can someone explain why the TV show is so much better than the movie by the way?

» Four words: Kirk Cameron is back !

» A comedy secret weapon no more: Jane Lynch eats cocaine for breakfast and lunch. Get out of her way!

» The oddest [movieperson id="166010"]Mark Wahlberg[/movieperson] performance on record (and that’s saying something) plus the kookiest crazy lady in the third act since Anthony Perkins put on a dress made “The Happening” an instant camp classic.

» Documentaries that put us through an emotional wringer. Do yourself a favor and check out “Young@Heart” and “Dear Zachary” — just keep the tissues close at hand.

» And finally, one performance that will define an all-too-short career: [movieperson id="233661"]Heath Ledger[/movieperson]‘s Joker was a piece of pop-art, a mesmerizing bundle of tics and neuroses, and instantaneously one of the most haunting villains in the history of cinema. It was most certainly a creation well worth our appreciation.