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Top 10 from 2006? Not quite…

January 6, 2007

I jotted down some notes the other night that will form the embryonic beginnings of my top 10 movies from 2006; it’s way too early to attempt an official list yet, as there are more than a dozen movies that I feel I need to see before I can intelligently write this list. (Last year, I didn’t feel ready to do a top 10 from 2005 until June 21.) I’ll break down my candidates for this list into several categories:

  • Movies that will definitely make the final cut: Notes on a Scandal, United 93, Borat, Superman Returns
  • Movies that will likely make the final cut: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Departed, Thank You For Smoking
  • Movies that may make the cut, but I’ll be surprised if they do: The Queen, Little Children, X-Men: The Last Stand
  • Movies that I have yet to see but will almost definitely make the cut when I do: Half Nelson
  • Movies that have a good chance of making this list if I see them: Children of Men, Letters from Iwo Jima, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Last King of Scotland, Casino Royale, The Good Shepherd, Inside Man, Lady in the Water (seriously)
  • Movies that I need to see even though they probably won’t make the list: Dreamgirls, Babel, Cars, The Prestige
  • Movies that I will almost certainly not see before I make the list, but I’m bummed that I won’t, because I have a feeling that I’ll like them a lot: Volver, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Brick, Sweet Land, Science of Sleep, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, Sherrybaby
  • Movie that is getting inexplicable recognition from critics and industry groups: Little Miss Sunshine
  • Movie that everyone else has seen but I very well may not see before I die: Pirates of the Caribbean II
  • Movies that I suspect I will enjoy with the same mixture of guilt and pleasure that comes from watching good porn: Little Man, Take the Lead
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    7 Comments leave one →
    1. bro permalink
      January 5, 2007 11:26 pm

      lady in the water? i dont think so. i’m a m. night fan, but this was the biggest crapfest i’ve seen on the big screen in years. dont bother
      and inside man would only make a top 10 list if you had only seen 10 movies. there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but it’s a pretty standard genre exercise

    2. January 6, 2007 5:57 pm

      I’m in the same boat. There are too many films I haven’t seen that are potential candidates: Pan’s Labyrinth, Days of Glory, Children of Men (seeing it this weekend), Letters from Iwo Jima, etc. At this point, though, my favorite 2006 movie is The Queen.

      And I have to agree with bro: Lady in the Water? Come on!

    3. January 6, 2007 7:23 pm

      I saw Children of Men last night and it was fantastic. I should have a review up by Monday or Tuesday.

      As for Lady in the Water, I know it’s supposed to be awful, but a lot of people didn’t like The Village, and I thought it was both a terrific entertainment and an interesting thinkpiece. I think Shyamalan has the potential to be the next Hitchcock, so I’ll give anything he does a chance.

    4. January 8, 2007 11:52 am

      Yep, I too saw Children of Men, and I agree wholeheartedly. I wish I could say the same about Notes on a Scandal, but I can’t. I agree with A.O. Scott’s take (on the Ebert & Roeper show): “Fatal Attraction meets The History Boys.”

    5. January 8, 2007 6:12 pm

      I think A.O. Scott is a very good critic, but his description is awfully facile. Saying Children of Men is “Fatal Attraction meets The History Boys” is like saying Raging Bull is “On the Waterfront meets Punchline.”

      Just because Fatal Attraction and The History Boys tackle similar subjects as Notes on a Scandal doesn’t mean they’re remotely similar; the essential difference between Fatal Attraction and Notes on a Scandal is the perspective from which the story’s told. In Fatal Attraction, it’s told from the perspective of the victim; in Notes on a Scandal, it’s told from the perspective of the obsessed predator. Morever, Notes on a Scandal is often hilarious; I haven’t seen Fatal Attraction in a long time, but I remember its tone as deathly serious, in the way only mainstream Hollywood filmmakers can do when they’re trying to bring light to an “important” issue. And I haven’t seen The History Boys, but it’s my understanding from the reviews that the tone is radically different from Notes on a Scandal.

      I don’t know if you read my review, but I think Notes on a Scandal is part of a rich English tradition of basing drama on unapologetically malevolent protagonists.

    6. January 9, 2007 12:52 am

      OK, but I still didn’t like Notes.

      Hey, next weekend: Pan’s Labyrinth — finally!

    7. January 15, 2007 11:53 am

      I saw PAN’s LABYRINTH yesterday and loved it, so it will make my best-of-2006 list as well. Definites so far: The Queen, Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth, Borat, Casino Royale, The Departed (I liked it much more the second time) and–GET READY–Little Miss Sunshine. Sorry.

      Next week: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA.

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