As is tradition around this neck of the woods, at every year's end the Culture Dogs Sam and Kevin join forces with Helder Mira and John Boonstra of Hartford Public Access' Minimum Wage (and also of The Hartford Advocate in Boonstra's case) to mull over the previous year's smorgasbord of celluloid offerings. Will their ravenous hunger for cinema be sated, or will they merely choke on Little Man only to regurgitate it a moment later?



Sam's Top Twenty Films of 2006

Here's the part where I'm supposed to whine about what a horrible year at the cinemas it has been, and follow that statement up with some ridiculous claim that ten years ago every film was a bona fide masterpiece and now the industry is destroying itself while wallowing in nothing but celluloid filth. Unfortunately, that's a load of crap, so you'll have to deal with me saying '2006 - Hey! It wasn't half bad!' instead.

Like most years, there were patches of dullness punctuated by bright lights here and there, but what lights they were! There were some legitimately great films released in 2006, and my only complaint is that there are some I will most likely not get to see until 2007 (Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth spring to mind). Unlike most critics, I pretty much shut down for the last few weeks of December, so you're not going to see me running through the streets a la Lisa Schwarzbaum, decrying Letters From Iwo Jima as the best film of the year before the last reel has stopped spinning. I'm not part of the Academy, so there's no need for me to buy into their last minute feeding frenzy. If you wanted in on my list (and who doesn't, really?), then you should have thought about that earlier and released your film before late December like a normal person. Take that, Hollywood bigwigs!.

So let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? On with the list! (Click on the title to read my thoughts on it.)

20. Hollywoodland

19. Favela Rising

18. F*ck

17. Inside Man

16. Slither

15. The Descent

14. Police Beat

13. United 93

12. The Prestige

10. Banlieue 13

9. Miami Vice

8. Lady in the Water

7. The Departed

6. Borat

5. A Scanner Darkly

4. V for Vendetta

3. The Illusionist

2. Hostel

1. Casino Royale



John Boonstra's (Minimum Wage, Hartford Advocate) Top Twenty Films of 2006

20. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

19. An Inconvenient Truth

18. Hard Candy

17. X-Men: The Last Stand

16. A Prairie Home Companion

15. The Last King of Scotland

14. The World's Fastest Indian

13. Running with Scissors

12. Running Scared

11. Half Nelson

10. Lady in the Water

9. Wah-Wah

8. V for Vendetta

7. Match Point

6. Factotum

5. Casino Royale

4. The Queen

3. The Departed

2. Little Children

1. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazahstan


Helder Mira's (filmmaker and co-host of Minimum Wage) Top Eleven Films of 2006

11. Who Killed The Electric Car / Black Gold (tie)

10. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

9.. Brick

8. V For Vendetta

7. The Prestige

6. Police Beat

5. A Scanner Darkly

4. The Departed

3. Match Point

2. Tristram Shandy - A Cock and Bull Story

1. Little Children



The magnificent Culture Dog Kevin drops his Top Ten Films of 2006

10. Police Beat / Babel

9. Lady in the Water

8. A Scanner Darkly

7. Inside Man

6. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

5. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

4. Casino Royale

3. Brick

2. Hostel

1. The Departed