Film Society of Lincoln Center

Film Comment’s End of Year Critics’ Poll 2006

By Film Comment

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For Film Comment’s Seventh Annual Critics’ Poll we invited our contributors and colleagues to rank their top 20 films of the year, plus the 10 best unreleased films they discovered on any festival sorties. (In the latter category, 10 had their U.S. premieres at the 44th New York Film Festival and at least two more will be shown in our annual Film Comment Selects series.) In each ballot from the 80-plus critical chorus, a first-place choice was allotted 20 points, 19 for second, and so on. We published the results for the Top 20 in the current issue and on this website in mid-December. Here are the Top 50.

BEST FILMS OF 2006

The Departed

1. The Departed
Martin Scorsese, U.S.

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

2. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Cristi Puiu, Romania

Army of Shadows

3. Army of Shadows
Jean-Pierre Melville, France/Italy

L'Enfant

4. L’Enfant
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France

The Queen

5. The Queen
Stephen Frears, U.K./France/Italy

Borat

6. Borat
Larry Charles, U.S.

Half Nelson

7. Half Nelson
Ryan Fleck, U.S.

United 93

8. United 93
Paul Greengrass, France/U.K./U.S.

Volver

9. Volver
Pedro Almodóvar, Spain

Inland Empire

10. Inland Empire
David Lynch, U.S./France/Poland

Three Times

11. Three Times
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan

A Scanner Darkly

12. A Scanner Darkly
Richard Linklater, U.S.

Old Joy Flags of Our Fathers

13. Old Joy
Kelly Reichardt, U.S.

(tie) Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood, U.S.

Tristram Shandy

14. Tristram Shandy
Michael Winterbottom, U.K.

Pan's Labyrinth

15. Pan’s Labyrinth
Guillermo del Toro, Mexico/Spain/U.S.

Letters from Iwo Jima

16. Letters from Iwo Jima
Clint Eastwood, U.S.

Mutual Appreciation

17. Mutual Appreciation
Andrew Bujalski, U.S.

A Prairie Home Companion

18. A Prairie Home Companion
Robert Altman, U.S.

Children of Men

19. Children of Men
Alfonso Cuarón, U.K./U.S.

Casino Royale

20. Casino Royale
Martin Campbell, U.K./U.S.

Climates

21. Climates
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/France

Inside Man

22. Inside Man
Spike Lee, U.S.

The Descent

23. The Descent
Neil Marshall, U.K.

Clean

24. Clean
Olivier Assayas, Canada/France/U.K.

Our Daily Bread

25. Our Daily Bread
Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Germany/Austria

Iraq in Fragments

26. Iraq in Fragments
James Longley, U.S./Iraq

Little Miss Sunshine

27. Little Miss Sunshine
Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Faris, U.S.

Miami Vice

28. Miami Vice
Michael Mann, U.S.

Gabrielle

29. Gabrielle
Patrice Leconte, France

The Proposition

30. The Proposition
John Hillcoat, Australia/U.K.

Fast Food Nation

31. Fast Food Nation
Richard Linklater, U.S.

An Inconvenient Truth

32. An Inconvenient Truth
Davis Guggenheim, U.S.

Brick

33. Brick
Rian Johnson, U.S.

Woman is the Future of Man

34. Woman Is the Future of Man
Hong Sang-soo, Taiwan

Dave Chappelle's Block Party

35. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
Michel Gondry, U.S.

Battle in Heaven

36. Battle in Heaven
Carlos Reygadas, Mexico

49 Up

37. 49 Up
Michael Apted, U.K.

When the Levees Broke

38. When the Levees Broke
Spike Lee, U.S.

Science of Sleep

39. The Science of Sleep
Michel Gondry, France/U.S.

Lady Vengeance

40. Lady Vengeance
Park Chan-wook, South Korea

Little Children

41. Little Children
Todd Field, U.S.

The Case of the Grinning CAt

42. The Case of the Grinning Cat
Chris Marker, France

Thank you for smoking

43. Thank You for Smoking
Jason Reitman, U.S.

Shortbus

44. Shortbus
John Cameron Mitchell, U.S.

4

45. 4
Ilya Khrjanovsky, Russia

The Ister

46. The Ister
David Barison & Daniel Ross, Australia

Marie Antoinette

47. Marie Antoinette
Sofia Coppola, U.S.

The War Tapes

48. The War Tapes
Deborah Scranton, U.S.

The Prestige

49. The Prestige
Christopher Nolan, U.S.

The Road to Guantanamo

50. The Road to Guantanamo
Mat Whitecross & Michael Winterbottom, U.K.

BEST UNRELEASED FILMS OF 2006

1. Syndromes and a Century
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/France/Austria

2. The Host Bong Joon-ho, South Korea/Japan

3. Colossal Youth* Pedro Costa, Portugal/France/Switzerland

4. I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France/Austria

5. Black Book Paul Verhoeven, Netherlands/U.K./Germany

6. Still Life* Jia Zhangke, Hong Kong/China
(tie) Woman on the Beach* Hong Sang-soo, South Korea

7. Private Fears in Public Places Alain Resnais, France/Italy

8. Belle Toujours* Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/France

9. Offside Jafar Panahi, Iran

10. The Wind That Shakes the Barley Ken Loach, Ireland/U.K./Germany/Italy/Spain

11. Brand Upon the Brain!* Guy Maddin, Canada/U.S.

12. Bamako Abderrahmane Sissako, Mali/France

13. Triad Election Johnnie To, Hong Kong

14. Southland Tales* Richard Kelly, Germany/U.S.

15. In Between Days* So Yong Kim, U.S./Canada/South Korea

16. Into Great Silence Philip Gröning, France/Switzerland

17. When the Levees Broke Spike Lee, U.S.

18. Day Night Day Night* Julia Loktev, U.S.

19. The Go Master* Tian Zhuangzhuang, Japan/China

20. Red Road Andrea Arnold, U.K./Denmark

21. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait* Douglas Gordon/Philippe Parreno, France/Iceland

22. The Lives of Others Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Germany

23. Wristcutters: A Love Story* Goran Dukic, U.S.

24. Le Pont des Arts* Eugène Green, France

25. Gardens in Autumn* Otar Iosseliani, France

26. Paprika Satoshi Kon, Japan

27. Rescue Dawn Werner Herzog, U.S.

28. Hana* Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan

29. 12:08 East of Bucharest* Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania

30. Opera Jawa* Garin Nugroho, Indonesia/Austria

31. Exiled Johnnie To, Hong Kong

32. The Journals of Knud Rasmussan* Zacharias Kunuk & Norman Cohn, Canada/Denmark

33. Honor of Knights (Quixotic) Albert Serra, Spain

34. Flandres* Bruno Dumont, France

35. Lake of Fire* Tony Kaye, U.S.

35. Jack Smith & the Destruction of Atlantis Mary Jordan/U.S.

36. These Encounters of Theirs* Straub-Huillet, Italy/France

37. The Pevert’s Guide to Cinema* Sophie Fiennes, U.K./Austria

38. Pine Flat* Sharon Lockhart, U.S.

39. Falling* Barbara Albert, Austria/Germany

40. Time* Kim ki-duk, South Korea/Japan

41. Colma: The Musical* Richard Wong, U.S.

42. A Short Film About the Indio Nacional* Raya Martin, Philippenes

43. This Is England Shane Meadows, U.K.

44. Ontic Antics Starring Laurel and Hardy: Bye, Molly* Ken Jacobs, U.S.

45. Comedy of Power Claude Chabrol, France

46. August Days* Marc Recha, Spain

47. Bug William Friedkin, U.S.

48. Full Grown Men* David Munro, U.S.

49. Son of Man* Mark Dornford-May, South Africa

50. The Wayward Cloud* Tsai Ming-liang, Hong Kong 

(*Currently without U.S. distribution)

Participants: Sam Adams, Thom Andersen, Melissa Anderson, Dudley Andrew, Steve Anker, David Ansen, Paul Arthur, Michael Atkinson, Saul Austerlitz, Marjorie Baumgarten, Nick Bradshaw, Richard Brody, Michael Chaiken, Chris Chang, Tom Charity, Godfrey Cheshire, Gary Crowdus, Giulia D’Agnolo-Vallan, Mike D’Angelo, Manohla Dargis, Bilge Ebiri, Cheryl Eddy, David Edelstein, Justine Elias, David Fear, F.X. Feeney, Paul Fileri, Scott Foundas, Chris Fujiwara, Graham Fuller, Roger Garcia, Susan Gerhard, Gary Giddins, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Larry Gross, Dennis Harvey, Molly Haskell, Grady Hendrix, Logan Hill, J. Hoberman, Robert Horton, Johnny Ray Huston, Harlan Jacobson, Kent Jones, Kristin M. Jones, Dave Kehr, Lisa Kennedy, Glenn Kenny, Laura Kern, Stuart Klawans, Robert Koehler, Michael Koresky, Nathan Lee, Dennis Lim, Phillip Lopate, Tim Lucas, Cynthia Lucia, Scott Macaulay, Guy Maddin, Maitland McDonagh, Don McMahon, Wesley Morris, Rob Nelson, Chris Norris, Geoffrey O’Brien, Mark Olsen, Mark Peranson, Tony Pipolo, Richard Porton, John Powers, James Quandt, Alissa Quart, Nicolas Rapold, Bérénice Reynaud, Jim Ridley, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Joshua Rothkopf, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Paul Schrader, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Gavin Smith, Roger Smith, Vivian Sobchack, Chuck Stephens, Bob Strauss, Jim Supanick, Amy Taubin, José Teodoro, Desson Thomson, Kenneth Turan, Michael Wilmington, Donald Wilson