2006: A viewer's guide.

The best films of 2006. 1-21 are listed in order of preference. The rest are listed alphabetically.
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1.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. (118 mins.)
 
2.
Iraq in Fragments (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Stories from modern day Iraq as told by Iraqis living in a time of war, occupation and ethnic tension. (94 mins.)
Director: James Longley
 
3.
Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in WWII. (135 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ "Flags Of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" are considered a single entry. ” - millsy
 
4.
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it. (141 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ "Flags Of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" are considered a single entry. ” - millsy
 
5.
United 93 (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A real-time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on September eleventh, 2001, that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot. (111 mins.)
Director: Paul Greengrass
 
6.
Volver (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After her death, a mother returns to her home town in order to fix the situations she couldn't resolve during her life. (121 mins.)
 
7.
Half Nelson (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret. (106 mins.)
Director: Ryan Fleck
 
8.
The Departed (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston. (151 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
9.
Man Push Cart (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A night in the life of a former Pakistani rock star who now sells coffee from his push cart on the streets of Manhattan. (87 mins.)
Director: Ramin Bahrani
 
10.
Children of Men (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. (109 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
11.
Apocalypto (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate. (139 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
 
12.
The Lives of Others (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. (137 mins.)
 
13.
The Queen (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted. (103 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
 
14.
Blood Diamond (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond. (143 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
 
15.
Venus (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Life for a pair of veteran actors gets turned upside down after they meet a brash teenager. (95 mins.)
Director: Roger Michell
 
16.
The Road to Guantanamo (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Part drama, part documentary, The Road to Guantánamo focuses on the Tipton Three, a trio of British Muslims who were held in Guantanamo Bay for two years until they were released without charge. (95 mins.)
 
17.
Little Children (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Massachusetts. (136 mins.)
Director: Todd Field
 
18.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent. (147 mins.)
Director: Tom Tykwer
 
19.
Son of Man (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
One man's journey of love, deception and betrayal in contemporary South Africa. Based on the New Testament. (86 mins.)
 
20.
Climates (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A dowdy university instructor Isa is an inattentive husband to his younger, TV-business wife Bahar. Self-absorbed and selfish, Isa only communicates in the most rudimentary way, while she, similarly, detaches into crying jags and juvenile behavior. (101 mins.)
 
21.
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A look at what goes on backstage during the last broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show, where singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, a country music siren, and a host of others hold court. (105 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
 
22.
After the Wedding (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret. (120 mins.)
Director: Susanne Bier
 
23.
Art School Confidential (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Starting from childhood attempts at illustration, the protagonist pursues his true obsession to art school. But as he learns how the art world really works, he finds that he must adapt his vision to the reality that confronts him. (102 mins.)
Director: Terry Zwigoff
 
24.
Babel (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families. (143 mins.)
 
25.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Kazakh TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. With a documentary crew in tow, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson. (84 mins.)
Director: Larry Charles
 
26.
The Bridge (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary... (94 mins.)
Director: Eric Steel
 
27.
The Camden 28 (2007 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The Camden 28 explores how and why 28 individuals intentionally placed themselves at risk of arrest... (83 mins.)
 
28.
Cars (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family. (117 mins.)
 
29.
Casino Royale (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem. (144 mins.)
Director: Martin Campbell
 
30.
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself. (111 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
 
31.
Days of Glory (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
During WWII, four North African men enlist in the French army to liberate that country from Nazi oppression, and to fight French discrimination. (128 mins.)
 
32.
The Dead Girl (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The clues to a young woman's death come together as the lives of seemingly unrelated people begin to intersect. (85 mins.)
Director: Karen Moncrieff
 
33.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic... (153 mins.)
Director: Cristi Puiu
 
34.
Deep Water (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A documentary about the disastrous 1968 round-the-world yacht race. (93 mins.)
 
35.
Deliver Us from Evil (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Documentary about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who was relocated to various parishes around the United States during the 1970s in an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover up his rape of dozens of children. (101 mins.)
Director: Amy Berg
 
36.
Down in the Valley (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Set in the present-day San Fernando Valley, the project revolves around a delusional man who believes he's a cowboy and the relationship that he starts with a rebellious young woman. (108 mins.)
Director: David Jacobson
 
37.
Dreamgirls (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way. (130 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
 
38.
For Your Consideration (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Three actors learn that their respective performances in the film "Home for Purim," a drama set in the mid-1940s American South, are generating award-season buzz. (86 mins.)
 
39.
The Heart of the Game (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A documentary Roosevelt Roughriders, a girls' high-school basketball team in Seattle, and one player's fight to regain her eligibility to play. (97 mins.)
Director: Ward Serrill
 
40.
The History Boys (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge. (109 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Hytner
 
41.
The Host (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches. (120 mins.)
Director: Joon Ho Bong
 
42.
Inland Empire (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal. (180 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
 
43.
Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A mesmerizing collage of images and audio from the life and work of Jack Smith, the underground filmmaker... (94 mins.)
Director: Mary Jordan
 
44.
Jesus Camp (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham. (84 mins.)
 
45.
The King (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A troubled man, recently discharged from the Navy, goes to Corpus Christi, Texas, in search of the father he's never met. (105 mins.)
Director: James Marsh
 
46.
The Last King of Scotland (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970's. (121 mins.)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
 
47.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. (101 mins.)
 
48.
Manufactured Landscapes (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world observing changes in landscapes due to industrial work and manufacturing. (86 mins.)
 
49.
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Agent Ethan Hunt comes into conflict with a dangerous and sadistic arms dealer who threatens his life and his fianceé in response . (126 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
 
50.
Monster House (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster. (91 mins.)
Director: Gil Kenan
 
51.
The Motel (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way... (75 mins.)
Director: Michael Kang
 
52.
Mountain Patrol (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A moving true story about volunteers protecting antelope against poachers in the severe mountains of Tibet. (85 mins.)
Director: Chuan Lu
 
53.
Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A film shot over during a two-night performance by Neil Young at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. (103 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
54.
Notes on a Scandal (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship. (92 mins.)
Director: Richard Eyre
 
55.
The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
The life of Bettie Page, a 1950s pin-up model and one of the first sex icons in America, who became the target of a Senate investigation due to her risqué bondage photos. (91 mins.)
Director: Mary Harron
 
56.
Paprika (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it. (90 mins.)
Director: Satoshi Kon
 
57.
The Prestige (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Two stage magicians engage in competitive one-upmanship in an attempt to create the ultimate stage illusion. (130 mins.)
 
58.
Quinceañera (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
As Magdalena's 15th birthday approaches, her simple, blissful life is complicated by the discovery that she's pregnant. Kicked out of her house, she finds a new family with her great-granduncle and gay cousin. (90 mins.)
 
59.
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result. (100 mins.)
 
60.
The Science of Sleep (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world. (105 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
 
61.
Sir! No Sir! (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
This feature-length documentary focuses on the efforts by troops in the U.S. military during the Vietnam... (85 mins.)
Director: David Zeiger
 
62.
Still Life (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes. (111 mins.)
Director: Zhangke Jia
 
63.
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death. (113 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
 
64.
Street Fight (2005 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
This documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey in which the Cory Booker attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James. (83 mins.)
Director: Marshall Curry
 
65.
Thank You for Smoking (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son. (92 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
 
66.
Tuya's Marriage (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Set in Inner Mongolia, a physical setback causes a young woman to choose a suitor who can take care of her, as well as her disabled husband. (86 mins.)
Director: Quan'an Wang
 
67.
12 and Holding (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After his twin brother is accidentally killed by vengeful bullies, a 12-year old boy and his friends face the harsh realities of death, teenage hormones, and family dysfunction. (94 mins.)
Director: Michael Cuesta
 
68.
Water (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The film examines the plight of a group of widows forced into poverty at a temple in the holy city of Varanasi. It focuses on a relationship between one of the widows, who wants to escape the social restrictions imposed on widows, and a man who is from the highest caste and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. (117 mins.)
Director: Deepa Mehta
 
69.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces. (127 mins.)
Director: Ken Loach
 
70.
Fireworks Wednesday (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
On the last Wednesday before the spring solstice ushers in the Persian New Year, people set off fireworks following an ancient Zoroastrian tradition. Rouhi, spending her first day at a new job, finds herself in the midst of a different kind of fireworks -- a domestic dispute between her new boss and his wife. (102 mins.)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
“ pending ” - millsy