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Extended Readers Poll Results: The Best Movies of 2006

In the best of all possible worlds, our Readers’ Poll would mirror our Critics’ Poll, and everyone would be happy and just get along. We all seemed to be on the same page with The Departed, but then Children of Men vaulted from #19 to the number-two position (as an end-of-year film, readers had more time to catch it). The most glaring discrepancy (as time and the Academy will probably tell) was Babel—our critics ranked it a miserable #54. C’est la vie and vive la différence! In the March/April issue, we printed the Top 30; here are the Top 50. The numbers in parentheses indicate the films’ rankings in our Critics’ Poll. Click here for this year’s selection of readers’ comments, rants, and raves.

1. The Departed Martin Scorsese, U.S. (1)
2. Children of Men Alfonso Cuarón, U.K./U.S. (19)
3. Pan’s Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro, Mexico/Spain/U.S. (15)
4. The Queen Stephen Frears, U.K./France/Italy (5)
5. United 93 Paul Greengrass, France/U.K./U.S. (8)
6. Volver Pedro Almodóvar, Spain (9)
7. Borat Larry Charles, U.S. (6)
8. L’Enfant Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France (4)
9. Letters from Iwo Jima Clint Eastwood, U.S. (16)
10. Army of Shadows Jean-Pierre Melville, France/Italy
11. Little Miss Sunshine Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Faris, U.S. (28)
12. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu Cristi Puiu, Romania (2)
13. Inland Empire David Lynch, U.S./France/Poland (10)
14. Half Nelson Ryan Fleck, U.S. (7)
15. Three Times Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan (11)
16. Babel Alejandro González Iñárritu, U.S./Mexico (54)
17. A Scanner Darkly Richard Linklater, U.S. (12)
18. Little Children Todd Field, U.S. (42)
19. Casino Royale Martin Campbell, U.K./U.S. (20)
20. The Science of Sleep Michel Gondry, France/U.S. (40)
21. Tristram Shandy Michael Winterbottom, U.K. (14)
22. A Prairie Home Companion Robert Altman, U.S. (18)
23. Flags of Our Fathers Clint Eastwood, U.S. (13)
24. Miami Vice Michael Mann, U.S. (24)
25. The Proposition John Hillcoat, Australia/U.K. (31)
26. When the Levees Broke Spike Lee, U.S. (39)
27. Inside Man Spike Lee, U.S. (23)
28. Old Joy Kelly Reichardt, U.S. (13)
29. Marie Antoinette Sofia Coppola, U.S. (48)
30. Brick Rian Johnson, U.S. (37)
31. The Prestige Christopher Nolan, U.S. (31)
32. The Fountain Darren Aronofsky, U.S. (83)
33. The Descent Neil Marshall, U.K.(24)
34. An Inconvenient Truth Davis Guggenheim, U.S. (33)
35. The Good Shepherd Robert De Niro, U.S. (109)
36. Shortbus John Cameron Mitchell, U.S. (45)
37. Battle in Heaven Carlos Reygadas, Mexico (36)
38. Dreamgirls Bill Condon, U.S. (62)
39. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party Michel Gondry, U.S. (35)
40. Lady Vengeance Park Chan-wook, South Korea (41)
41. Mutual Appreciation Andrew Bujalski, U.S. (17)
42. Notes on a Scandal Richard Eyre, U.K. (60)
43. Syndromes and a Century Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/France/Austria (1 in unreleased)
44. Climates Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/France (22)
45. Bubble Steven Soderbergh, U.S. (79)
46. Apocalypto Mel Gibson, U.S. (68)
47. Manderlay Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands/France/Germany/U.K. (91)
48. Thank You for Smoking Jason Reitman, U.S. (44)
49. The Illusionist Neil Burger, Czech/U.S. (168)
50. The Last King of Scotland Kevin Macdonald, U.K. (124)