2006 brought a really interesting mix of movies, both big and small, covering a mix of genres. Some of these movies I’ve watched over and over multiple times, enjoying them more and more on each subsequent viewing, like Little Miss Sunshine and The Last Kiss. I own most of these movies on blu-ray and like to revisit them in regular rotation, escaping in to the worlds they so nicely create.
10. Apocalypto (4 stars)
9. Inside Man (4 stars)
8. Notes on a Scandal (4 stars)
7. Little Miss Sunshine (4 stars)
6. Blood Diamond (4 stars)
5. 300 (4.5 stars)
4. The Last Kiss (4.5 stars)
3. The Departed (4.5 stars)
2. United 93 (5 stars)
1. The Prestige (5 stars)
It’s a tough choice between The Prestige and United 93 for my #1 movie of 2006. Both films completely envelop you in their worlds and connect with you on so many levels. It wouldn’t surprise me if these two go back and forth for the title now and then. United 93 is by far the best film about the September 11 attacks on America still to this day. It’s absolutely riveting and chilling every time, even though you know exactly what’s going to happen. British writer/director Paul Greengrass did something no American dared do, tell the story of 9-11 so that we can cathartically heal from it and understand it on a realistic level from many points of view and not just from the “Let’s go kill them there terrorists” George Bush line of thinking. That being said, The Prestige is another Christopher Nolan film that so justly shows why Nolan is simply one of the best working directors today. In the hiatus between his first two Batman movies, he popped out this magical mystery thriller with Bruce Wayne himself, Christian Bale. The cinematography, production design, acting, sound, music, editing, and every other possible facet of filmmaking is on gorgeous craftsmanlike display in The Prestige. And much like Inception, Nolan leaves us with a huge question mark at the end of The Prestige that sinks in to your psyche and never quite gets out. And each time you watch it, you get caught up in it again. The magic of Nolan is that he somehow keeps making fantastic films time after a time. He’s a real magician himself.