With over 500 plus films released so far this year, it would be a difficult task for even the most die hard of film buffs to catch even half of these. Other than perhaps esteemed Chicago Sun Times film critic Roger Ebert – who would want to? ดูหนังฟรี With so many choices and perhaps little patience for risking inferior storytelling, it is easy to overlook a gem or two.

Here are eight must see films you may have missed this year, to savor in 2008!

300 – Spartan King Leonidas (Gerald Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army of over one million soldiers in this fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae. Graphic and visually stunning, with a cast of relatively unknown actors in fine performances, this one will seize your attention.

Away From Her – Screenplay adaptation of Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came over the Mountain”. Written and directed by Canadian actress Sarah Polley, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent. Away From Her is a love story of unwavering devotion in the throes of separation and loss. Polly handles the difficult subject of Alzheimer’s disease with an intelligence and sensitivity that belies her 28 years. (Polly is a director to watch for!) Christie lights up the screen with an abundance of beauty and grace while spiraling down the course of Alzheimer’s.

Eastern Promises – From acclaimed director David Cronenberg, this multilayered crime drama packs an intense powerful punch. Russian born Nikola Luzhin (Viggo Mortensen) and North London hospital midwife Anna Khitrova (Naomi Watts) cross paths amidst one of London’s most notorious crime families. Mortensen is intensely mesmerizing – this taut thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Steal A Pencil For Me – This moving documentary by Michele Ohayon provides the true love story of Jaap Polak and Ina Soep. Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust in German occupied Amsterdam in the early 1940’s, Jaap – his wife and his girlfriend Ina eventually find themselves interned at the same concentration camp. Restricted by his unhappy marriage, Jaap and Ina sustain themselves throughout the atrocities of war with love letters exchanged throughout their internment. The film delivers a detailed look into the daily rigors of internment as well as life in German occupied Amsterdam.

Stranger Than Fiction – Harold Crick, (Will Ferell) an obsessive-compulsive auditor for the IRS finds his routine life interrupted when he begins to hear a women’s voice (Emma Thompson) coming from within. As the voice narrates his daily routines, Harold becomes alarmed when the voice narrates his demise. Concluding that his life may not be his own and recognizing the voice as an esteemed author, Harold goes in search of reclaiming his life and finding love along the way. In a much-subdued performance, Ferell delivers a fine unexpected dramatic performance in this intelligent comedy. Co-starring Dustin Hoffman, Linda Hunt, Queen Latifah and the always-brilliant Maggie Gyllenhaal as Harold’s love interest.

Talk To Me – Don Cheadle brings down the house with his portrayal of radio personality Ralph Waldo “Petey” Green Jr in this slice of social history. In the mid 1960’s, ex-con Petey talks his way into on-air radio gig. Petey’s cutting edge humor and social commentaries in the “tell it like it is” vein made him a social icon. Also starring, Chiwetel Ejiofor in a standout performance as Petey’s more conservative best friend – soulful to the core and highly entertaining.

the Italian – Six-year-old orphan, Vanya (Kolya Spiridonov) is “The Italian” – so nicknamed by the other orphans in a Dickensonesque Russian orphanage. On the verge of adoption by a wealthy Italian couple and after a visit to the orphanage from the mother of an already adopted boy, Vanya is inspired to find his own family. Teaching himself to read so he can read his records, he discovers his mother is alive and embarks on a dangerous journey to find her. Inspired by true events, directed by documentary and TV director Andrei Kravchuk, this little film is worth a look for young Spiridonov’s performance alone. Russian with English subtitles.