2006: A viewer's guide.

by millsy | created - 02 Feb 2012 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

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)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

98 Metascore

In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 577,620 | Gross: $37.63M

my collection

2. Iraq in Fragments (2006)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, War

84 Metascore

Stories from modern day Iraq as told by Iraqis living in a time of war, occupation and ethnic tension.

Director: James Longley | Stars: Mohammed Haithem, Suleiman Mahmoud, Muqtada al-Sadr, George W. Bush

Votes: 1,354 | Gross: $0.20M

3. Flags of our Fathers (2006)

R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

79 Metascore

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross, Jesse Bradford

Votes: 112,084 | Gross: $33.60M

"Flags Of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" are considered a single entry.

4. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

R | 141 min | Drama, History, War

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Votes: 147,149 | Gross: $13.76M

"Flags Of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" are considered a single entry.

5. United 93 (2006)

R | 111 min | Drama, History, Thriller

90 Metascore

A real-time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on September 11th, 2001 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: David Alan Basche, Olivia Thirlby, Liza Colón-Zayas, J.J. Johnson

Votes: 93,293 | Gross: $31.57M

6. Volver (I) (2006)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

After her death, a mother returns to her home town in order to fix the situations she couldn't resolve during her life.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo

Votes: 88,515 | Gross: $12.90M

my collection

7. Half Nelson (2006)

R | 106 min | Drama

85 Metascore

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.

Director: Ryan Fleck | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Shareeka Epps, Jeff Lima

Votes: 80,898 | Gross: $2.69M

my collection

8. The Departed (2006)

R | 151 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Votes: 1,088,888 | Gross: $132.38M

my collection

9. Man Push Cart (2005)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama

71 Metascore

A night in the life of a former Pakistani rock star who now sells coffee from his push cart on the streets of Manhattan.

Director: Ramin Bahrani | Stars: Ahmad Razvi, Leticia Dolera, Charles Daniel Sandoval, Ali Reza

Votes: 2,863

my collection

10. Children of Men (2006)

R | 109 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

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.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Caine

Votes: 432,905 | Gross: $35.55M

11. Apocalypto (2006)

R | 139 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

68 Metascore

As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, a young man is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression.

Director: Mel Gibson | Stars: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Max Trujillo, Dalia Hernández, Rudy Youngblood

Votes: 272,520 | Gross: $50.87M

12. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 327,120 | Gross: $11.29M

my collection

13. The Queen (2006)

PG-13 | 103 min | Biography, Drama, History

91 Metascore

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings

Votes: 98,540 | Gross: $56.44M

14. Blood Diamond (2006)

R | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Kagiso Kuypers

Votes: 466,618 | Gross: $57.37M

my collection

15. Venus (I) (2006)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Life for a pair of veteran actors gets turned upside down after they meet a brash teenager.

Director: Roger Michell | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Jodie Whittaker, Leslie Phillips, Beatrice Savoretti

Votes: 12,016 | Gross: $3.34M

16. The Road to Guantanamo (2006)

R | 95 min | Documentary, Drama, War

64 Metascore

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.

Directors: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Waqar Siddiqui, Arfan Usman

Votes: 10,937 | Gross: $0.32M

17. Little Children (2006)

R | 136 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

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.

Director: Todd Field | Stars: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley

Votes: 100,856 | Gross: $5.46M

18. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

R | 147 min | Crime, Drama

56 Metascore

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), 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.

Director: Tom Tykwer | Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Francesc Albiol

Votes: 221,324 | Gross: $2.22M

19. Son of Man (2006)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama

One man's journey of love, deception and betrayal in contemporary South Africa. Based on the New Testament.

Director: Mark Dornford-May | Stars: Noluthando Boqwana, Andile Kosi, Pauline Malefane, Andries Mbali

Votes: 216

my collection

20. Climates (2006)

Unrated | 101 min | Drama

72 Metascore

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.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan | Stars: Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Nazan Kesal, Mehmet Eryilmaz

Votes: 10,215 | Gross: $0.12M

21. A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

PG-13 | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

75 Metascore

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.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Lily Tomlin, Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly

Votes: 21,119 | Gross: $20.34M

22. After the Wedding (2006)

R | 120 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

Director: Susanne Bier | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Rolf Lassgård, Neeral Mulchandani

Votes: 29,689 | Gross: $0.41M

23. Art School Confidential (2006)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

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.

Director: Terry Zwigoff | Stars: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 16,127 | Gross: $3.30M

24. Babel (I) (2006)

R | 143 min | Drama

69 Metascore

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, Mohamed Akhzam

Votes: 274,980 | Gross: $34.30M

25. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

R | 84 min | Comedy

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Larry Charles | Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Chester

Votes: 334,556 | Gross: $128.51M

26. The Bridge (I) (2006)

R | 94 min | Documentary, Drama

58 Metascore

People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Steel | Stars: Eric Geleynse, Chris Brown, Susan Ginwalla, Caroline Pressley

Votes: 10,483 | Gross: $0.18M

27. The Camden 28 (2007)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

The Camden 28 explores how and why 28 individuals intentionally placed themselves at risk of arrest and imprisonment while protesting the war in Vietnam. Featuring a treasure of archival ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Giacchino

Votes: 100 | Gross: $0.01M

28. Cars (2006)

G | 117 min | Animation, Family, Sport

73 Metascore

A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family.

Directors: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft | Stars: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy

Votes: 334,634 | Gross: $244.08M

29. Casino Royale (2006)

PG-13 | 144 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

80 Metascore

Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.

Director: Martin Campbell | Stars: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 543,326 | Gross: $167.45M

my collection

30. Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)

R | 114 min | Action, Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

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.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou, Ye Liu

Votes: 40,477 | Gross: $6.57M

31. Days of Glory (2006)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

82 Metascore

During WWII, four North African men enlist in the French army to liberate that country from Nazi oppression, and to fight French discrimination.

Director: Rachid Bouchareb | Stars: Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Jamel Debbouze

Votes: 13,396 | Gross: $0.32M

32. The Dead Girl (2006)

R | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

The clues to a young woman's death come together as the lives of seemingly unrelated people begin to intersect.

Director: Karen Moncrieff | Stars: Toni Collette, Brittany Murphy, Marcia Gay Harden, Piper Laurie

Votes: 13,918 | Gross: $0.02M

33. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)

R | 153 min | Drama

86 Metascore

Mr. Lãzãrescu, a dying old man, is shuttled from hospital to hospital by a loyal paramedic as doctors refuse to operate and no one can agree on a diagnosis.

Director: Cristi Puiu | Stars: Doru Ana, Monica Barladeanu, Alina Berzunteanu, Dorian Boguta

Votes: 12,295 | Gross: $0.08M

34. Deep Water (2006)

PG | 92 min | Documentary, History, Sport

80 Metascore

A documentary about the disastrous 1968 round-the-world yacht race.

Directors: Louise Osmond, Jerry Rothwell | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Simon Russell Beale

Votes: 2,777 | Gross: $0.27M

35. Deliver Us from Evil (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime

86 Metascore

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.

Director: Amy Berg | Stars: Oliver O'Grady, Thomas Doyle, Adam, Jeff Anderson

Votes: 9,426 | Gross: $30.58M

36. Down in the Valley (2005)

R | 114 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

65 Metascore

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.

Director: David Jacobson | Stars: Edward Norton, Evan Rachel Wood, David Morse, Rory Culkin

Votes: 17,445 | Gross: $0.57M

37. Dreamgirls (2006)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Music, Musical

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover

Votes: 64,854 | Gross: $103.37M

38. Fireworks Wednesday (2006)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

84 Metascore

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.

Director: Asghar Farhadi | Stars: Hamid Farokhnezhad, Hediyeh Tehrani, Taraneh Alidoosti, Pantea Bahram

Votes: 8,596

39. For Your Consideration (2006)

PG-13 | 86 min | Comedy

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Christopher Guest | Stars: Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Christopher Guest

Votes: 13,239 | Gross: $5.54M

40. The Heart of the Game (2005)

PG-13 | 97 min | Documentary, Sport

74 Metascore

A documentary Roosevelt Roughriders, a girls' high-school basketball team in Seattle, and one player's fight to regain her eligibility to play.

Director: Ward Serrill | Stars: Darnellia Russell, Bill Resler, Ludacris, Devon Crosby Helms

Votes: 900 | Gross: $0.44M

41. The History Boys (2006)

R | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

74 Metascore

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.

Director: Nicholas Hytner | Stars: Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Clive Merrison, Samuel Anderson

Votes: 19,546 | Gross: $2.71M

my collection

42. The Host (2006)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Horror

85 Metascore

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and begins attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director: Joon Ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae

Votes: 86,384 | Gross: $2.20M

43. Inland Empire (2006)

R | 180 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Karolina Gruszka, Krzysztof Majchrzak, Grace Zabriskie, Laura Dern

Votes: 49,959 | Gross: $0.75M

44. Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis (2006)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary

72 Metascore

A mesmerizing collage of images and audio from the life and work of Jack Smith, the underground filmmaker, photographer, performance artist, and anti-capitalist, who worked in New York from... See full summary »

Director: Mary Jordan | Stars: Jack Smith, Nayland Blake, Ira Cohen, Tony Conrad

Votes: 160

45. Jesus Camp (2006)

PG-13 | 87 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady | Stars: Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer, Ted Haggard

Votes: 25,391 | Gross: $0.90M

46. The King (2005)

R | 105 min | Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

A troubled man, recently discharged from the Navy, goes to Corpus Christi, Texas, in search of the father he's never met.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Gael García Bernal, William Hurt, Laura Harring, Derek Alvarado

Votes: 6,975 | Gross: $0.28M

47. The Last King of Scotland (2006)

R | 123 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, Kerry Washington

Votes: 166,568 | Gross: $17.61M

48. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama

80 Metascore

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Abigail Breslin

Votes: 412,871 | Gross: $59.89M

49. Manufactured Landscapes (2006)

Unrated | 86 min | Documentary

7.3