It’s that time again where I round up all the hours this year I’ve spent in the cinema. Due to having more free time than ever before this year it’s a top 20.
The year's most underrated film. It suffered from coming out so early in the year and of course from treading the same ground as Capote, one of last year's best films. But this was actually the better movie. Toby Jones gives the performance of a lifetime as Truman Capote and there's great support from Juliet Stevenson, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig and yes even Gwyneth Paltrow.
Admittedly I went into this thinking that it might be a bit dull. I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved it from the off, a sweeping, tragic epic with some great performances it will surely get Oscars chucked at it in the new year.
3. Taking Liberties
A brilliant documentary which is sure to make any UK citizen shake with rage while watching it. The film looks at the erosion of liberties under Tony Blair's rule. The website is well worth a look and the DVD is out now.
Immature, crude, sexist, aye maybe but the funniest film of the year all the same.
5. Hot Fuzz
This wasn't far behind. As good as you would expect from the makers of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead. Lethal Weapon meets Miss Marple.
Michael Moore's damning documentary on the American health system. Of course it has had its detractors, like everything Moore does, but it's hard hitting and moving and makes you grateful for the NHS, despite its flaws.
7. Knocked Up
A really enjoyable comedy from Judd Apatow. I look forward to more of the same from him in the multitude of Apatow written, produced and/or directed films that are coming out in 2008.
"He's doing the dice too much."
"That's all he's got."
8. This is England
Skinheads and racism in the Midlands in 1983. This might be Shane Meadows' best film. It captures the racist mentality well, and features some really strong performances.
9. Mutual Appreciation
The story of a musician coming to stay with his friend while trying to put a band together, he realises he kind of fancies his friend's girlfriend and that's about it. It has a lot of charm and some likable characters.
10. The Darjeeling Limited
More of the same from Wes Anderson as three brothers cross India in a train in an attempt to reconnect. I happen to love Anderson's quirky style of filmmaking, so this kind of thing will always win me over. Amusing performances, great sets and cinematography an excellent soundtrack and a couple of nice cameos.
Directed by David Fincher and based on Robert Graysmith's books Zodiac tells the story of the people hunting the infamous 'Zodiac' killer over three decades in San Francisco. Nearly three hours in length, it really doesn't feel it, as it's completely absorbing. Although the film focuses more on the investigation there is at least one truly shocking murder scene. A bumper DVD is out in the new year.
12. In the Shadow of the Moon
The story of how America won the space race. A Fascinating documentary with some stunning footage.
13. Bee Movie
Jerry Seinfeld's heavily promoted animated comedy. It's got a lot of Seinfeld's touches, "Toe-rings? Why would anyone wear a ring on their toe? That's like wearing a hat on your knee." Smart enough for grown-ups, daft enough for kids.
14. The Simpsons Movie
The much anticipated feature film hit the mark for me. Perhaps not as funny as its reputation as the world's funniest comedy show would suggest, but enough laughs in it to be a success. 'Look out he is a spiderpig'.
15. The Hoax
Another film based on a true story, Richard Gere plays Clifford Irving who claims he is ghostwriting the autobiography of Howard Hughes. It sags a bit towards the last half hour but it's a compelling story of opportunity and greed and a solid performance from Gere.
16. Run Fat Boy Run
Simon Pegg stars in this comedy that was actually much funnier than I anticipated.
17. 3.10 to Yuma
Russell Crow plays the heartless villain, Christian Bale the loving family man who offers to escort him to prison in this western. Two of the best actors working at the moment playing off one another, you could hardly lose.
18. American Gangster
Crowe again, this time opposite Denzel Washington in a cops and robbers tale. It never really takes the mantle of great movie but it holds your attention all the way through and there are some good supporting roles, notably from Josh Brolin.
19. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
I'm a huge fan of director Andrew Dominik's film Chopper and since then I've been waiting to see what he would do with some Hollywood big bucks. He did this and although it's long and slow moving it's captivating. Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in the title roles are both outstanding.
20. The Bourne Ultimatum
The third instalment of the Bourne saga ticks all the boxes. I could have done with more Paddy Considine however.
Worst films of the year? The Number 23 was pretty awful. In fact I don't think I went to the cinema again for about a month after seeing it.
Tom's Films of 2006
Tom's Films of 2005
Tom's Films of 2004