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Film Comment’s End of Year Critics’ Poll 2006

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What really mattered in 2006? These movies!

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 (Released theatrically in the U.S.)

1. The Departed Martin Scorsese, U.S. 779 points
2. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu Cristi Puiu, Romania 740
3. Army of Shadows Jean-Pierre Melville, France/Italy 657
4. L’Enfant
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France 611
5. The Queen
Stephen Frears, U.K./France/Italy 587
6. Borat
Larry Charles, U.S. 455
7. Half Nelson
Ryan Fleck, U.S. 454
8. United 93
Paul Greengrass, France/U.K./U.S. 432
9. Volver
Pedro Almodóvar, Spain 429
10. Inland Empire
David Lynch, U.S./France/Poland 414
11. Three Times
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan 379
12. A Scanner Darkly
Richard Linklater, U.S. 363
13. Old Joy
Kelly Reichardt, U.S. 352
(tie) Flags of Our Fathers Clint Eastwood, U.S. 352
14. Tristram Shandy
Michael Winterbottom, U.K. 333
15. Pan’s Labyrinth
Guillermo del Toro, Mexico/Spain/U.S. 322
16. Letters from Iwo Jima
Clint Eastwood, U.S. 318
17. Mutual Appreciation
Andrew Bujalski, U.S. 248
18. A Prairie Home Companion
Robert Altman, U.S. 246
19. Children of Men
Alfonso Cuarón, U.K./U.S. 244
20. Casino Royale
Martin Campbell, U.K./U.S. 228
22. Climates Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/France 223
23. Inside Man
Spike Lee, U.S. 202
24. The Descent
Neil Marshall, U.K. 199
25. Clean
Olivier Assayas, Canada/France/U.K. 189
26. Our Daily Bread
Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Germany/Austria 188
27. Iraq in Fragments
James Longley, U.S./Iraq 186
28. Little Miss Sunshine
Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Faris, U.S. 171
29. Miami Vice
Michael Mann, U.S. 162
30. Gabrielle
Patrice Leconte, France 161
31. The Proposition
John Hillcoat, Australia/U.K. 155
32. Fast Food Nation
Richard Linklater, U.S. 148
33. An Inconvenient Truth
Davis Guggenheim, U.S. 147
34. Woman Is the Future of Man
Hong Sang-soo, Taiwan 145
35. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
Michel Gondry, U.S. 144
36. Battle in Heaven
Carlos Reygadas, Mexico 141
37. Brick
Rian Johnson, U.S. 138
38. 49 Up
Michael Apted, U.K. 134
39. When the Levees Broke
Spike Lee, U.S. 123
40. The Science of Sleep
Michel Gondry, France/U.S. 122
41. Lady Vengeance
Park Chan-wook, South Korea 115
42. Little Children
Todd Field, U.S. 108
43. The Case of the Grinning Cat
Chris Marker, France 107
44. Thank You for Smoking
Jason Reitman, U.S. 104
45. Shortbus
John Cameron Mitchell, U.S. 102
46. 4
Ilya Khrjanovsky, Russia 98
47. The Ister
David Barison/Daniel Ross, Australia 94
48. Marie Antoinette
Sofia Coppola, U.S. 92
49. The War Tapes
Deborah Scranton, U.S. 89
50. The Prestige
Christopher Nolan, U.S. 87

(*Currently without U.S. distribution)

1. Syndromes and a Century Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/France/Austria 253
2. The Host
Bong Joon-ho, South Korea/Japan 139
3. Colossal Youth*
Pedro Costa, Portugal/France/Switzerland 127
4. I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone
Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/Fr./Aus. 111
5. Black Book
Paul Verhoeven, Netherlands/U.K./Ger. 108
6. Still Life*
Jia Zhangke, Hong Kong/China 107
(tie) Woman on the Beach* Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 107
7. Private Fears in Public Places
Alain Resnais, France/Italy 104
8. Belle Toujours*
Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/France 84
9. Offside
Jafar Panahi, Iran 76
10. The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Ken Loach, Ireland/U.K./Germany/Italy/Spain 70
11. Brand Upon the Brain!*
Guy Maddin, Canada/U.S. 68
12. Bamako
Abderrahmane Sissako, Mali/France 64
13. Triad Election
Johnnie To, Hong Kong 60
14. Southland Tales*
Richard Kelly, Germany/U.S. 53
15. In Between Days*
So Yong Kim, U.S./Canada/South Korea 50
16. Into Great Silence
Philip Gröning, France/Switzerland 44
17. When the Levees Broke
Spike Lee, U.S. 43
18. Day Night Day Night*
Julia Loktev, U.S. 40
19. The Go Master*
Tian Zhuangzhuang, Japan/China 29
20. Red Road
Andrea Arnold, U.K./Denmark 39
21. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait*
Douglas Gordon/Philippe Parreno, Frane/Iceland38
22. The Lives of Others
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Ger. 37
23. Wristcutters: A Love Story*
Goran Dukic, U.S. 36
24. Le Pont des Arts*
Eugène Green, France 35
25. Gardens in Autumn*
Otar Iosseliani, France 34
26. Paprika
Satoshi Kon, Japan 33
27. Rescue Dawn
Werner Herzog, U.S. 32
28. Hana*
Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan 31
29. 12:08 East of Bucharest*
Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania 30
30. Opera Jawa*
Garin Nugroho, Indonesia/Austria 29
31. Exiled
Johnnie To, Hong Kong 28
32. The Journals of Knud Rasmussan*
Zacharias Kunuk/Norman Cohn, Canada/Denmark 27
33. Honor of Knights (Quixotic)
Albert Serra, Spain 26
34. Flandres*
Bruno Dumont, France 25
35. Lake of Fire*
Tony Kaye, U.S. 24
35. Jack Smith & the Destruction of Atlantis
Mary Jordan, U.S. 23
36. These Encounters of Theirs*
Straub-Huillet, Italy/France 22
37. The Pevert’s Guide to Cinema*
Sophie Fiennes, U.K., Aus., 21
38. Pine Flat*
Sharon Lockhart, U.S. 20
39. Falling*
Barbara Albert, Austria/Germany 19
40. Time*
Kim ki-duk, South Korea/Japan 18
41. Colma: The Musical*
Richard Wong, U.S. 17
42. A Short Film About the Indio Nacional*
Raya Martin, Phil. 16
43. This Is England
Shane Meadows, U.K. 15
44. Ontic Antics Starring Laurel and Hardy: Bye, Molly*
Ken Jacobs, U.S. 14
45. Comedy of Power
Claude Chabrol, France 13
46. August Days*
Marc Recha, Spain 12
47. Bug
William Friedkin, U.S. 11
48. Full Grown Men*
David Munro, U.S. 10
49. Son of Man*
Mark Dornford-May, South Africa 9
50. The Wayward Cloud*
Tsai Ming-liang, Hong Kong 8

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

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