2006: Runners' Up (Top 11-20)

Spike Lee helmed his first crowd-pleaser, a crackerjack bank hostage thriller where the excitement is generated by the actors rather than the violence. Two smarter than average touches that stay with me are the documentary-style interviews with the hostages and the final moment, which makes me smile just to think about.

Fox inexplicably dumped a small comedy gem and created a future cult classic. An “average Joe” (Luke Wilson) is frozen for centuries. He awakens to learn society has been dumbed-down to the point where he is the smartest man alive. Mike Judge’s satire on where we’re headed is smart, with many throwaway jokes and an idea that feels frighteningly real.

Darren Aronofsky’s passion project sharply divided critics, and I honestly don’t understand why. The film is boldly visual and ambitious, but I didn’t find it pretentious. It’s a rather simple tale on the undying nature of love, and I hope it finds its audience on DVD (although it was one of the best “in theatre” experiences I had all year.)

A real button-pusher about a pedophile and a young girl who turns the tables on him. It works because the writing, directing, acting, photography, editing and sound are all excellent. The movie makes some hard choices that ask the viewer how they feel about what they’re watching. This one will stay with you.

Not as funny as the original, but much more fascinating as a piece of performance art. In this one, the guys begin to question what they’re doing, and I sometimes found myself questioning it too. Plus, some bits are hysterical, especially when the boys turn on each other.

I’ll get crucified for this, and I hate Brett Rattner too, but I watched the film twice and I think it’s one of the most entertaining and least pretentious of the year’s blockbusters. There’s a couple of exciting storylines, some great new mutants, plus the old ones I enjoy watching.

Three important socio-political films came out this year from Mexican directors. Inarritu’s BABEL took the hyper-real approach, and Cuaron’s CHILDREN OF MEN relied on clever camerawork and a fable-like tone. Guillermo Del Toro did all of the above plus a whole lot more. Terry Gilliam should be envious.


LITTLE CHILDREN is not about adultery, or a child molester or anything that can be described in a few words. Like a great book, LITTLE CHILDREN presents a slice of events and the thematic connections form by putting it all together. When I finished watching LITTLE CHILDREN, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. Months later, it’s the fascinating film I can’t shake from my head.

Over-praised and overlong, but still excellent gangster pic from the master of gangster pics, Martin Scorsese. Maybe this would be higher if I hadn’t seen the superior original, INFERNAL AFFAIRS. Still, it’s a great idea and Scorsese, his cast and crew, made for a fun night at the movies.

Film-noir goes to high school, an idea of inspired genius. Tough guys, dames you can’t trust and shadowy figures who run everything. It all revolves around our Bogart-like drifter out to solve the murder of his girlfriend. Not a gimmick, but a fully executed idea.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Definitely some good films on your list, but your placement begs another STRONG OPINION.

I know you expect to be hassled for your placement of "X-Men 3," but, well... You should be hassled!

That "Inside Man" is on your list below Ratner's virtually complete destruction of the "X-Men" franchise and even "Jackass Number Two" defies logic - I mean, I laughed my ass off at Knoxville and his boys, but really? REALLY?

I usually enjoy your editorials and your site, but your placement of certain films makes me question whether I should bother coming back to check 1-10.

By the way, I only single out "X-Men" because while it may have had it's moments, ultimately it was a sad loss to the great work Singer had set up... beyond that though, you have some other dubious placements.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Cutshaw said...

Of course I could have gone through my list in more detail, and I wish I had posted a full review of INSIDE MAN back when i saw it. Truth is while I really liked most of the movie, I was greatly disappointed by Jodie Foster. (A first for me.) Her character didn't make any realistic sense to me, and Foster played it with a bit too much "wink & smile".

Ultimately I didn't care about the whole Nazi sub-plot and Foster was more of a distraction. Still, I liked INSIDE MAN slightly more than DREAMGIRLS, THE PROPOSITION, FIND ME GUILTY and OVER THE HEDGE.

I've heard from a bunch of people how Rattner destroyed X-MEN, and maybe it's because I never read the comics, but to my amazement I liked what I was watching. I wish i could say I didn't to spare me the ridicule, and I'll even say that I'm most likely wrong in this case. Fine. It makes sense. But I can't bring myself to NOT like X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, no matter how much I wish I could.

I hope you appreciate my Top 10 more

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Watch Movies said...

Thanks for reviews ! I heard lot about this film but never got any chance of watching it. I am planning of watching it next week..Hopefully, I will also like this film.

11:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home