Top 5… Films from 2006

Another week, another year to recap. This time it is 2006 and what a year it was! Here are my difficult to choose top 5 movies from 2006.

5. Pan’s Labyrinth

Guillermo Del Toro is a the king of the modern creature feature. The Hellboy movies are a cornucopia of strange and interesting monsters and his upcoming Pacific Rim movie looks to outdo them all. But in 2006 he managed to blend his unique gothic beasts with a haunting tale of a young girl caught up in the Spanish civil war. This young girl could be the missing princess of an underground realm but she must undergo some gruelling and horrific tasks first. A grim fairy tale indeed!

4. 300

Style. Pure style. Not since The Matrix has someone managed to create such beautiful action scenes in a movie. As Gerard Butler and his 300 Spartans fight off wave after wave of invading Persians you can’t blink at the incredible visual display on offer. This was the peak of Zack Synder’s filmography which has been in steady decline since. It’s a shame as he showed such early promise with this.

3. Apocalypto

I’ve already rated Apocalypto as my top adrenaline pumping movie but adrenaline aside this is still a fantastic film and proof that Mel Gibson knows how to direct. Deciding to film entirely in Mayan dialect with subtitles was brave and probably hit the box office but for those of us that don’t care about subtitles got to appreciate an authentic and blisteringly paced piece of cinema. I just hope that Mel gets behind the camera again one day.

2. Children of Men

I’ve only seen two films directed by Alfonso Cuarón (the other being Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) but that hasn’t stopped him becoming one of my favourite directors. Cuarón’s vision of England in the future made Children of Men the number two film in my bleak futures top 5. The story of Clive Owen’s ex revolutionary attempting to transport the first pregnant woman in 18 years to safety is inventive and gripping but it is Cuarón’s grasp of cinematography and the infamous long take scenes that truly stay in the memory. A must watch film for everyone.

1. The Fountain

Darren Aronofsky had already hit two home runs with Pi and Requiem for a Dream and would go on to create the award courting Wrestler and Black Swan. Before this though he attempted a very ambitious film that spanned three timeframes (1500s Spain and South America, modern day America and space in the distant future), a film of love, death and spirituality. It divided critics and the public, some people loving it and others hating it. I fall very much into the former and I remember clearly the first time I saw this beautiful movie and falling deeply in love with it. Chances are you either won’t understand the film or if you do you won’t enjoy it but if you are one of the happy few that get it and appreciate how amazing it is then I am glad. I hope that one day it will receive the recognition it deserves.

Honourable Mentions

  • The Prestige – Another Nolan masterpiece that filled the gap between the first two Batman films.
  • Casino Royale – An excellent reboot for the James Bond franchise for the Bourne generation.
  • Marie Antoinette – Sofia Coppola follows Lost in Translation with a funky telling of the French Quenn.
  • The Host – A South-Korean monster film that cranks up the crazy!
  • Black Book – Paul Verhoeven takes on the Nazis with naked Dutch spies.
  • Little Miss Sunshine – Tiny, offbeat comedy of a family heading across the country for a beauty pageant.
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