Saturday, January 13, 2007

Top 10 Movies of 2006

With the movie awards season in full swing, I figured I would throw my own two cents out there and share with you all my top 10 movies of 2006. These are the 10 movies that I enjoyed the most, that captured my attention and wouldn't let go, that left me leaving the theater talking and discussing with my friends. I was going to break this list down by genre, but decided I would keep it simple and list out for you my top 10 overall favorite flicks of 2006. Needless to say, I suggest you check out each of these as soon as possible, if you haven't' seen them all already. (For a full list of the movies I saw and reviewed here in Iraq, click here).

Honorable Mention (in no particular order): The Pursuit of Happyness, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The War Tapes, United 93

10. Jackass Number Two In a strong year for comedies, this film might have made me laugh the hardest and the longest out of them all. I went in with low expectations (as you have to for most sequels) but left highly entertained and pleased with the second effort from Johnny Knoxville and crew. Definitely not a movie everyone will enjoy, but the lengths these folks go to in order to get a laugh must be appreciated.
9. Wordplay My choice for documentary of the year (with apologies to The War Tapes). I somehow managed to drag Nicki down to the excellent Ross theater in Lincoln to see this film when I was home on leave, based on some of the excellent reviews I had read in the press. Wordplay did not disappoint. Who thought a movie about crossword puzzles could be so entertaining? I thought learning about how these intricate puzzles are created was fascinating, and seeing how dedicated some folks are to the life of crossword puzzles was amazing to watch.
8. The Prestige This film features one of my favorite actors of today, Christian Bale. If you haven't seen any of his work before, you are missing out. The strong cast (Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine) helps carry this movie along and overcome a few plot holes along the way in an entertaining film that was good, but not quite as good as I think it could have been.
7. Clerks II Another crude comedy that I really enjoyed. I am a big fan of Kevin Smith's work, and thought that the second installment of the Clerks series returns Smith to his roots, and helps make up for recent flops such as Jersey Girl. Hopefully Smith keeps up the good work and kicks out another comedy or two soon - he has earned my respect back with this strong effort.
6. Stranger Than Fiction Will Ferrell stars in this excellent, quirky comedy, and puts on my 3rd favorite Ferrell performance to date (next to the untoppable tour de force displays in Old School and Anchorman). This film surprised me with just how good it was, and is probably the biggest surprise for me on this list.
5. Thank You For Smoking Nicki saw this before I did, and raved about it. I kept trying for months and months to get my hands on a copy of the DVD, and finally saw it in November. I loved the acting, the writing, the production - it was all top notch. Very well done film, and bitingly funny satire on big tobacco.
4. Borat I felt a little wrong for having this masterpiece so low on my list, but also felt a little wrong for having such a horribly obscene film so high. I'll just leave it here in the clean up spot and call it even. The comedy here is defiantly not going up everyone's alley, and in fact will probably cause some of you to walk out of the theater in disgust. I for one found this mockumentary to be flat our hilarious, although my internal moral high ground tells me I'm wrong for saying so. Regardless, Sacha Baran Cohen's performance is phenomenal and makes this film a must see. No comedy released this year (and possibly in the last 5 years) will make you laugh harder.
3. Little Miss Sunshine Review after review hales this film as the top comedy of 2006, so I was almost nervous to see it in fear that it would not live up to the incredible expectations I had. Thankfully, the film does not disappoint. Steve Carel is fun to watch, in a role that is a polar opposite from his work on his popular TV show, The Office. Greg Kinnear also puts on a show as the obnoxious father of one of the most dysfunctional families you'll ever see. However, my favorite performance of the film belongs to the youngest actor in the whole show, Abigail Breslin, as Olive, who is mature beyond her years. Comedy of the year? I think so, although if this is #1, Borat is 1A.
2. Casino Royale I'll admit it - I'm not historically a big James Bond fan. I think I've seen 2 or 3 movies in the franchise before and have never been too terribly impressed. I'm sure that will lead some to question my status as a "guy", but oh well. However, my opinion of Bond was blown away after seeing Casino Royale, the newest installment starring Daniel Craig as a new, unproven 007. I was mesmerized by the glitz, the glam, the explosions, the fast cars, the tremendous action scenes (the opening scene in particular is jaw dropping) and of course the beautiful Bond girls. Craig is perfectly cast as 007, and his cool, calm demeanor personifies everything Bond should be.
1. The Departed Sometimes, a film comes along that is just destined for greatness. The ingredients are just so perfect, so well done, that it would be nearly impossible to not achieve perfection. The Departed is one of those movies. From the outstanding cast, to the iconic director, The Departed is far and away my favorite film of 2006. Marky Mark shines as the scene-stealing loud mouth Boston detective, Jack Nicholson intimidates as the gruff mafia crime lord, Matt Damon brings it as the fresh faced cop playing both sides of the fence and Martin Scorsese pulls it all together with amazing skill and grace. The owner of this movie, however, is Leonardo DiCaprio, who jumps off the screen as the undercover cop who is forced into making everyone happy but himself. I was sky high for this movie going in, and left knowing that I had added a new film to my favorite of all time list. If you appreciate film making and story telling at it's finest, combined with tremendous acting and masterful directing, then The Departed is your movie. You will not be disappointed.


Sack said...

What, no Touristas?

Beans said...

You should see "Night at the Museum". I thought it was pretty funny.

Joe said...

if you liked the opening scene of Casino Royale check out some parkour videos online. anything with david belle is amazing.

Nicki Picky said...

I hate that you see more movies then's annoying, but I still love you!

Anonymous said...

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Denali said...

Thanks for writing this.