Quite late and in semi-intentional, but quite possibly fluid order (don’t ask me to commit! And if you have any complaints, read the subtitle on the blog, which has been there since day one):
10. The Queen - helps if you were raised in a Commonwealth country
9. Road to Guantanamo - strong offering from Michael Winterbottom -howe anyone could watch this and justify our handling of detainees boggles my mind. Oh yeah, no one watched it.
8. Little Miss Sunshine - simply irresistible
7. Volver - another wonderful film from Almodovar - is he capable of making a bad one?
6. Man Push Cart - excellent NY indie probably never coming to a theater near you
5. Deliver Us from Evil/Jesus Camp - two horrific and gripping documentaries about child abuse and, oh yeah, they're both about child abuse in religious circles.
4. L'Enfant - the Dardenne brothers offer another gripping, humanistic fable (see also Le Fils)
3. The Departed - just a whole lot of fun; and unlike some folks, I didn't even mind the ridiculous placement of the rat at the end of the film. Fit the flick's feel entirely.
2. Children of Men - see my review
1. The Aura - I might be one of the few people to include this in a top ten list, let alone at number one (could swap with Children of Men, though) - see my review
Babel - writers act as gods when deciding the fates of their characters and Alejandro González Iñárritu makes for a bit of meanspirited God directing this one - I enjoy Thomas Hardy, for Pete's sake, yet I found the way the characters got repeatedly bludgeoned in this one rather disagreeable. Still, I'm tempted to slide it on up there into the top 10 because I find his filmwork so intoxicating.
Half Nelson - that Ryan Gosling sure can act
Little Children - disturbing and funny - great combination - consider moving into top 10
Miami Vice (confession: my Michael Mann weakness + Gong Li crush = multiple viewings)
Notes on a Scandal - Academy Award for Dame Judi
United 93 - see below
Update: Forgot about 13 (Tzameti), which came out here in 2006, but got a very small release. Excellent B&W film noir from Argentina. I'd even consider adding this to my top ten.
Haven't Seen Yet
The Good Shepherd, The Prestige, Pan's Labyrinth, Letter from Iwo Jima, Iraq in Fragments, Death of Mr. Lazarescu, The Proposition, Army of Shadows, Marie Antoinette, Venus, Dream Girls (and people think I see everything that comes out!) - Update: I've since seen The Good Shepherd and Pan's Labyrinth. Both of which were great, but I'll keep out of the top ten for now.
Borat – I laughed a lot, but I guess all the hype killed it for me.
Scanner Darkly – maybe just because I’m such a huge Phillip K. Dick fan, I hate it when people dick around with his work. That said, it did make me laugh, made some pretty good points and loved the fact that he had himself under surveillance – very meta, post-modern, etc.
World Trade Center – I actually thought WTC a pretty gutless film – it only focused in any depth on the lives and families of those officers who survived the WTC scenario Stone depicted. United 93 was a sharp, steel scalpel compared to Stone's flimsy plastic spork. Who’da thought I’d ever say that about Stone? I wasn’t looking for conspiracy theories. Just a real strong dose of reality.
Inside Man - I thoroughly enjoyed this one; just don't think it was that great; and all its twists could be seen an hour off. Hey, I enjoyed Casino Royale, too – the last couple of Bond movies looked like stinkers and I skipped ‘em.
And Honorable Mention for Best Video Perfomance
The comedic stylings of one Stephen Colbert at the National Press Club coupled with George W. Bush at his side. (Over 3 million views on Google Video alone.)