The year in film, 2006
1. Babel Alejandro González Iñárritu's film gives no quarter to, and precious little hope for, the future of mankind. Still, beneath the globalized dread beats a cinematic heart of righteous, unsullied honesty.
Marc Savlov's Top 10
2. Pan's Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece recognizes that the grandest and grimmest of childhood fairy tales are never further away than here, now. Thankfully, so are hope, courage, and GdT.
3. The Science of Sleep Love, actually, and with Charlotte Gainsbourg, to boot.
4. The Departed A quartet of actors working at the peaks of their powers, this is viciously entertaining Scorsese loping wolflike down mean streets we'd almost thought he'd forgotten.
5. The Devil and Daniel Johnston Heartbreaking, rapturous, sublime, Austin. The year's best documentary, bar none.
6. Brick Rian Johnson's directorial debut fused classic film noir existentialism to the hell called high school and did it with enough hipster sangfroid to make even Ross MacDonald do the six-under spin.
7. Half Nelson Ryan Gosling's crackhead high school teacher with a heart of gold was a double whammy, upending entrenched Hollywoodisms and leaving you wondering: What can't this guy do?
8. United 93 I'll not watch it twice, but director Paul Greengrass' stoic recounting of when the impossible engulfed but never fully overwhelmed a handful of ordinary human beings is everything I hoped and feared it might be.
9. V for Vendetta Why call it "the perfect comic book adaptation" when it's so obviously a new generation's 1984? Exhilarating in every sense of the word.
10. Borat: CLAMBGNK With so many troubled scenarios both in and out of the cineplex it was downright wonderful to have Cohen's alter ego bust my jaw with this sneaky, outrageous, and very, very smart roundhouse punch.