"Ten at a Time" is a series of my top 10 lists of movies in different areas, like a particular year or lists of a more specific nature like a certain genre. Most of the lists will be retrospective, meaning I will be looking at years past, now having had the chance to view a lot of films I might not have seen in the cinema, and am now familiar with the films for a longer period of time. These aren't definitive lists of what are the best films of a particular area but just my own personal opinion.
The following is my list of top 10 films of the year 2006. Enjoy.
10. The Departed
In spite of my huge problems with the film's last fifteen minutes (and specifically the last couple of minutes), Martin Scorsese's The Departed sees the master of cinema back on form as he creates yet another world of crime for us to bask so willingly in. Stellar performances all round, particularly from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson (and often unjustly overlooked performances from Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg, the latter seen in full swearing mode), and an on-the-ball script by William Monahan make this not only one of 2006's best but ranking amongst the best of the century so far.
Boy, London 2027 sure is a dreary place. Children of Men paints a future for humanity without the ability to procreate and it's haunting, powerful, and emotionally draining to sit through. Alfonso Cuaron is a director who knows how to create a sense of realism, and his talent coupled with superb performances from the likes of Clive Owen and Michael Caine make for one of 2006's most worthwhile motion pictures.
A film which tells the connected stories of four different sets of people around the world, Babel tackles such things as the difficulty of communication between people, how a tragedy can affect relationships years on, and a host of other things that occurs to people every single day all over the world. Brad Pitt gives arguably his finest performance here and he is supported superbly by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi and a phenomenal performance by Adrianna Barraza as a Mexican nanny. Its almost 140 minute runtime might push the more casual viewer but anyone looking for a powerful and emotional experiencing need not look further.