Top 10 Films I saw in 2006

Kevin Smith just put out his list today or his top ’06 films. So I thought this would be a good time for me to list mine. Although I suspect that he has a lot more people that care.

One disappointing note is that his top 3 films are all films I really wanted to see but haven’t yet. The Departed, Little Children and Half Nelson. I just don’t get out to the movies that often, and these haven’t made it to video yet.

1. 12 and Holding – This actually came out in ’05, but like I said, I’m not seeing most films until DVD. Everything about this film is awesome. The acting is top notch, the directing was great, but it’s the screenplay that is really beyond what I think we see in 99% of films. It was just a really well done story. Also, Jeremy Renner is really starting to pop up in a lot of great films. I had just seen him in North Country and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things. It was nice to see him play a decent guy for a change. Between his acting and the great films he chooses to be in, he is really becoming a signal of quality for me when looking at movies.

2. Syriana – Again, an ’05 movie. Clooney got a bit more credit for Good Night and Good Luck, but this is by far my favorite Clooney film yet. If you haven’t seen this yet, check it out right away. It’s one of the most intelligent movies I have ever seen.

3. Borat – Think what you will about him, but if you didn’t laugh at this movie there is something wrong with you. This is one of the funniest films I have ever seen.

4. Babel – Really well put together movie. Each story line could have been its own film, but they weaved together beautifully. I was happy to see a lot of the supporting actors getting some recognition at the Golden Globes.

5. Clerks 2 – I was concerned about Kevin Smith messing with the Clerks movie. He did a great job with the rest of the “Jersey† films, but the Clerks characters felt almost off limits, even to him. But he pulled it off incredibly well. By far my second favorite Smith film yet. Take note Lucas, you can make a decent sequel a decade later and not have it suck.

6. Casino Royale – I have to admit when I’m wrong here. I didn’t like the idea of a blonde Bond, and when I first heard that James Bond was going to have a genuine love interest, I thought I might throw up. I thought they were going to destroy the whole thing. But it was by far the best Bond since You Only Live Twice. Craig is an awesome Bond, and the director really used Judi Dench a lot better then the last guy. I read somewhere that Sean Connery thought that Quinton Tarantino should have directed the Bond film. This turned out almost as good as that would have been.

7. Who Killed the Electric Car – I’m becoming a bit of a tree hugger in my old age (or maybe just that it seems many of the problems we have today stem from oil), so I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. It raised some great points, and I think everyone should really be asking these questions when you see such an obvious move by an industry that hurts the consumers. I’m looking forward to the future of cars in the hybrid space, especially the plug-in hybrid. Because I think Ed Beagly Jr. was wrong when he says that electric cars are good for 90% of the people. They are actually good for 90% of the driving. 10% of the time, you may need to go further than electric can currently take you. But if we can start seeing plug-in hybrids that work with E85 fuel, imagine getting 100 MPG on average, and the gas being E85! We are close to seeing some real changes in this industry; hopefully the automakers will start moving a lot faster.

8. Little Miss Sunshine – Proof this list is not in order. If it was I would say this would rank #3 beneath 12 and Holding and Syriana. This is an amazing film, but everyone seems to know that already.

9. Thank You For Smoking – The best role for Aaron Eckhart since In The Company of Men. It does a great job at walking a moral line and still showing heart.

10. The Good Sheperd – The longest movie I enjoyed all year. The story was compelling and I loved watching the character develop, or actually come apart over the span of a couple decades. It was also a nice suprise to see Angelina Jolie play a role with a little subtlety, which is rare. I did have a hard time buying Matt Damon getting older. He just didn’t seem to age.

Some honorable mentions: Notes on a Scandal, Last Kiss

Worst movie I saw in ’06: Dukes of Hazzard, Miami Vice (not a good year for 80’s TV shows), The Illusionist, Employee of the Month, Basic Instinct 2.
[tags]movies, kevin smith, clerks, illusionist, babel, borat, jeremy renner, miami vice, james bond, casino royale, syriana[/tags]

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