10 Best Films Of 2006
Although 2006 was not as quite a big year for films as 2005, there were a number of excellent films released, including the top 10 films of 2006. It was a particularly good year for British actors and filmmakers, as evidenced by the large numbers of British-oriented films in this list.
- "The Queen"-Featuring the acting talents of the actress Helen Mirren, this 2006 film details the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Tony Blair, as well as the reaction following the death of Princess Diana. It is a moving film, and Mirren does a fantastic job of bringing the spirit and essence of the proud British monarch into her performance.
- "Ice Age: The Meltdown"-This 2006 sequel chronicles the continued adventures of the prehistoric characters of Manny, Diego, and Sid as they flee their home, which is rapidly becoming overwhelmed by melting glaciers. Along the way, Manny discovers a love interest, and the whole film is just generally delightful. Although somewhat darker in tone than its predecessor, it's still a good watch for both children and adults.
- "The Da Vinci Code"-Although not particularly well-received by critics, this film, based on Dan Brown's novel of the same name, actually does have some human magic and warmth, and definitely manages to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole affair. Tom Hanks and Ian McKellan bring an aura of authenticity to a film that might otherwise be a little too hyped up for its own good.
- "Pan's Labyrinth"-This 2006 fantasy film, from the delightfully twisted mind of director Guillermo del Toro, is like a darker version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It chronicles the life of a girl living in the Spanish countryside who may or may not be the daughter of a fairy king. It's dark and somewhat disturbing at times, but in general this is an excellent film.
- "The Last King of Scotland"-Featuring the acting talents of Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy, this riveting 2006 film tells the story of a Scottish doctor drawn into the political orbit of the cruel dictator Idi Amin. There are definitely some traumatic moments in this film (including a gruesome torture scene near the end,) but it does an excellent job of pointing out the dangers of a military dictatorship.
- "Notes on a Scandal"-Even if the plot of this film weren't so engaging, it would deserve to be in the top ten films of 2006 because of the fantastic star talent that it features, namely the great actresses Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, who are without a doubt two of the finest actresses living today. The fact that they bring such power and vibrancy to their characters and their interactions with one another makes this a truly extraordinary film.
- "Children of Men"-This excellent film from 2006, set in a future in which mankind has become incapable of producing children, is a riveting and suspenseful film, in which a young pregnant woman becomes a pawn in a struggle for power. It is a potent statement about just how fragile our societal structures really are, and how close we are to total collapse at any given time.
- "The Wild"-Often unfavorably compared to the similarly themed "Madagascar," this 2006 Disney film actually has a number of points over the other film, including a better script, more humor, and better actors, including the always funny British comedian Eddie Izzard and the ever-bizarre but likable William Shatner.
- "Cars"-This cartoon gem from 2006, released by the famous Pixar studios, features, you guessed, talking cars. Don't let that fool you, though. This is a splendid little film that does some interesting things and features some truly rich and distinctive voices, including that of the late Paul Newman. This is an excellent family movie, ideal for nights on the couch.
- "Little Miss Sunshine"-This film is one of those rarities, an independent film that does a great deal with a little. Telling the simple story of a rather plain girl seeking to be part of a little girls' pageant, it's a warm and touching film that speaks to the power that can come from the innocence of the youngest people in society, even in the face of great odds.