BEST OF 2006: Brad’s Picks

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Happy New Year everyone! With the new year we must also look back at the year that was, and I think we can all agree that 2006 was a large step forward after 2005 cinematically. Creating my top ten of 2005 was one of the hardest things I had to do considering there were so few films I really enjoyed, but this year is different.

I should let you know, a top ten list for me is not an Oscar list. These are the movies that entertained me the most and are rated very high on my rewatchability meter. These are movies I could throw in the DVD player and watch over and over again and some of them I already am. Let’s take a look at my favorites from 2006…

#10 CHILDREN OF MEN
Children of Men is easily the most ambitious film of 2006 from a filmmaker’s perspective. Alfonso Cuarón pushed the limit and churned out one hell of a movie that seems to have been overlooked by critics groups and awards circles thanks to what seems to have been a misstep on the part of Universal. Hopefully the Oscars won’t make the same mistake so many others have already. [read my review]

#9 PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST
As far as summertime blockbusters go Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest fits the description. This movie had so much stuff packed into its 2 hours and 30 minutes it is almost unbelievable. It’s managed over $1 billion in worldwide box-office, which tells me others have enjoyed it as well. [read my dvd review]

#8 INSIDE MAN
Here is a movie I didn’t particularly enjoy in theaters, but have revisited it several times on DVD and as you can see it has now found its way into my top ten. Spike Lee really did a fantastic job of casting this picture and when you get Denzel, Clive, Jodie and even Christopher Plummer involved you know you are in for something special. [read my dvd review]

#7 CASINO ROYALE
Bond is back and in a big way. Daniel Craig proved he can take on the famed secret agent and Catalina Murino proved it is something special to be a Bond Girl, even if you get capped very early on… Ooops, spoiler… [get more info]

#6 MARIE ANTOINETTE
“Let them eat cake!” and let me eat up a bit o’ Kirsten Dunst as this movie is as much fun as it looks, but is also quite serious as it takes a look at a young queen and her life as all eyes are on her. Sofia Coppola once again gives us a movie to love. [read my review]

#5 THE QUEEN
From a young French queen to an old British one 2006 brought us two fantastic films of royalty. The Queen takes a look at the time period following Princess Di’s death and the turmoil it caused in all facets of Britain. It’s both funny and emotional and a movie just about everyone will love. [read my review]

#4 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III
Tom Cruise may be a bit wacky, but I love his movies. Mission: Impossible III is the best Mission movie there is and with Hoffman as the baddie and J.J. Abrams as the director it spelled entertainment. [read my hd dvd review]

#3 BLOOD DIAMOND
Leonardo DiCaprio turns in one of his best performances ever (yup, better than The Departed) in Blood Diamond. His top notch performance is joined by another one in Djimon Hounsou who never seems to fail in front of the camera as this tale of the conflict diamond trade in Africa is both horrifying and entertaining. [read my review]

#2 V FOR VENDETTA
It was between V for Vendetta and The Departed for the top spot and one of them had to come in second… [read my dvd review]

#1 THE DEPARTED
Everyone loves The Departed and I am right there with them, despite its logic problems this movie is highly rewatchable. One of the reasons for this movie’s success is pictured above in Mark Wahlberg and the second reason is Alec Baldwin. Wahlberg and Baldwin are given the very best lines of 2006 with Scorsese’s latest. Top that off with the violence and plenty of other great performances and you have the best movie of 2006. [get more info]

So there you have it, but there were a few films just on the outside looking in…

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – Borat is the comedy of the year for sure.

The Descent – Just as Borat is the comedy of the year, The Descent is easily the horror of the year… Sorry Hostel, I did like you too.

The Good Shepherd – At nearly three hours, The Good Shepherd is a test of your patience as it tells a very slow and methodical fictionalized version of the birth of the C.I.A. Matt Damon is phenomenal, as is just about everyone else in the cast. Its rewatchability factor is what has it falling just short of the top ten.

Lady in the Water – I thought this would make it into my top ten, but after all was said and done I just couldn’t do it. I am the only one that will probably have this movie on their list, but oh well…

The Last King of Scotland – I just saw this at the end of the year and liked it far more than I expected. Forrest Whitaker is phenomenal, but it should also be mentioned that so is James McAvoy as any accolades that would normally be heading his way seem to have all been gobbled up by Whitaker on his way to should be his first Oscar.

Pan’s Labyrinth – Guillermo del Toro makes fantastic films and Pan’s Labyrinth may be his best one yet.

The Prestige – To not include Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige would be a shame. If this movie was about 15 minutes shorter I think it might have been in my top five, but unfortunately some pacing issues have it falling short.

The Proposition – Here’s a movie that bounced in and out of my top ten several times, but ultimately fell just short. It really is a good one and I urge you to give it a peek.

Rocky Balboa – I plan on watching this one over and over again once it hits DVD.

Thank You for Smoking – Witty and highly comical, Thank You for Smoking may be a victim of its own attempts at cleverness. It took it a bit too far in trying to be oh so clever, which is why it falls short, but this is a movie several people will easily fall in love with.

That does it for me folks, be sure to check out my disappointments of 2006 right here.

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