It’s time for my films of the year.
1. United 93
Argue about the precise events or the political implications of the story all you want, but this is a brilliant piece of cinema. It captures the realism of the day as well as can be expected and Greengrass’s direction is spot on. There's also not a single known face in the entire cast.
Completely gripping, it’s a film that stays with you long after you’ve walked out of the cinema. It narrowly beats into number two...
A tight script and note perfect performances by the entire cast. Philip Seymour Hoffman turns in the performance of his career so far.
3. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
The funniest film of the year. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but I went to see it twice, so I guess I did.
4. Little Miss Sunshine
A film that seems to have become a little cult smash this year and well it should. A great ensemble cast work well together with a cracking script. A heart warming story without being schmaltzy or indeed looking for a happy ending.
5. Grizzly Man
A fascinating documentary, more of one man’s descent into madness than his life with wild animals. It’s really a tragic story, but very well told.
6. The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Another documentary, this time it's the story of the musician and artist Daniel Johnston. It has it all it's funny, exciting, sad and moving.
7. The Magician
An Australian film about an amoral hitman, it's never less than entertaining all the way through.
8. Thank You For Smoking
A funny and clever look at the dark side of the advertising industry. Aaron Eckhart leads a great cast that includes Robert Duvall, Rob Lowe and Sam Elliott.
9. The Prestige
Two of the best actors around at the moment Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman excel as rival magicians.
10. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
Comedy and hip-hop team up for this look at the block party Dave Chappelle threw.
11. Good Night, and Good Luck
George Clooney gives us Edward R. Murrow and his battle against McCarthyism.
12. Once In A Lifetime - The Extraordinary Story Of The New York Cosmos
The entertaining story of the rise and fall of the New York Cosmos and US soccer.
Other notable films this year included Down in the Valley where Edward Norton stars as Harlan, a good ole cowboy that’s not all he seems. David Morse is the stand out though as a loving father consumed with bitterness and rage. Munich wasn't as good as it perhaps could have been, but was still a good watch. Transamerica, Junebug and The Squid and the Whale were all good, solid films with some star turns. Walk the Line and 36 Quai des Orfevres also entertained.
A couple of films I found overrated were Hidden and The Departed. I enjoyed both of them up to a point, but they both let me down in the last 30 minutes or so. Pan's Labyrinth didn't really do much for me either, despite a lot of people putting it as their number one film of the year. Red Road too I thought was all right, but not the masterpiece it was being hailed as. Although that was mainly by the Scottish media.
Biggest disaster of the year was without a doubt The Black Dahlia. I urge Mr. De Palma to turn in the megaphone. The Family Stone isn't far behind although as it was released on Boxing Day last year it's technically last year's disaster.
Tom's Films of 2004
Tom's Films of 2005