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Career-Limiting Move Number XXIII, My Favorite Movies of 2006 January 15, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.

With the last long weekend for a while, I’m not going to see many more movies before it becomes ridiculous to put out…yes, you guessed it, another 2006 Top Ten list. (Curse you, Hollywood for holding on to Oscar fodder till after Thanksgiving.)

I’m not supposed to do this, but hey, I’m a media analyst. Following, in almost no particular order, were my favorite movies of 2006:

Army of Shadows
The Proposition
Hard Candy
Inside Man
The Descent
The Queen
Flags of Our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima
Children of Men
Pan’s Labyrinth

Most disappointing: The Black Dahlia, Cars, Pirates II. Worst of the year by serious talent: Lucky Number Slevin (don’t be fooled by would-be hipster critics, it’s awful), All the King’s Men, and The Wicker Man (please rent the original).

None of the box office Top Ten made my list, which is unusual (I have relatively pedestrian tastes: I like kids’ movies and cartoons, and I love genre movies and good blowin’ up.) Only one of my faves made over $100M (The Departed), though, hooray!, Spike Lee did okay ($88.5M) with Inside Man. There were 18 $100M movies this year, one less than last year, although the box office take appears to be up about 4%, to $9.2B. That hardly means hits are dead and the long tail rules.

There are three subtitled movies on my list, which is a higher ratio than usual, although one was made by an American director (Letters). The best movie I saw all year is the French “Army of Shadows,” which, though made in 1969, hadn’t been released in the US before now. Thank gawd I live in Manhattan. And, no, I’m not being particularly pretentious; look at some of the others on my list.

This is a pretty grim and scary list, all things considered. Maybe I need to see some “feel-good” movies, or sports flicks. Still, Talladega Nights and Little Miss Sunshine almost made it into my Top Ten, and I don’t like comedy. Again this year, good TV engaged and moved me more than did the movies. Oddly, I didn’t see any documentaries this year, even though there seem to have been some good ones. This might be due to the fact my local Hollywood Video closed. I may need to do that Netflix thing, after all.

Finally, I haven’t seen Dreamgirls, Apocalypto, or Notes on a Scandal, all of which seem like my kind of thing.

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