The Best Movies I Saw This Year

The Amityville Horror
st. Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George
It was truly uncomfortable to watch.

Batman Begins
st. Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson
If Burton is art deco, this version is pure art nouveau.

Birth
st. Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall
On the cusp of her wedding to a new man, a 10-year-old boy inexplicably arrives and claims to be Kidman’s dead husband reincarnated. Wrenching results.

Brokeback Mountain
st. Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal
Fantastic performances by both leads and all the women in this film make a classic from a simple (and familiar) story.

Chronicles of Narnia
st. Tilda Swinton
Right in all the ways Lord of the Rings was wrong/boring.

Crash
breakout performances by Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillipe, and Terrence Howard
Disparate lives intertwine and intersect in Los Angeles. Magnolia-ish, but well done.

Cry Wolf
st. Jared Padelecki
You probably never even heard about this little thriller with the cast of unknowns. Reminiscent of old Hollywood, it was both interesting, well-filmed, and not gory.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
st. Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Campbell Scott
Easily better than The Exorcist, this film is both brutal and beautiful.

Heights
breakout performances by Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Glenn Close, and Rufus Wainwright
Relationships begin, end, and fuck each other up over several days in New York City.

House of Wax
st. Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray
More revision than remake, this gorefest delivered both chills and stomach knots.

The Island
st. Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson
Listen, it wasn’t as bad as everyone said.

Mysterious Skin
st. Joseph Gorden-Leavitt, Brady Corbet, Michelle Trachtenberg
A beautifully filmed masterpiece of self-discovery, forgiveness, and childhood abuse.

Prime
st. Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep
A rare example of the romance genre that elects realism over fantasism.

Sin City
st. Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba, et al.
Frank Miller’s bleak graphic novel comes to breathtaking reality in this green-screen masterpiece.

Skeleton Key
st. Kate Hudson and Peter Sarsgaard
An interesting puzzle about voodoo, racism, and home care.

**This is a generous list. I saw a lot of crap this year. I spent too much time sitting through shit like Venom instead of seeing films I really wanted to.

Films I wish I’d seen this year:
Diary of a Mad Black Woman
The Upside of Anger
Dot the I
Ice Princess
(I like Michelle Trachtenberg and I’m not sorry!)
Melinda and Melinda
D.E.B.S.
March of the Penguins
Broken Flowers
The Chumscrubber
Pretty Persuasion
Capote
In Her Shoes
Elizabethtown
Shopgirl
Breakfast on Pluto
Yes
Zathura
Walk the Line
Proof
Just Friends
Transamerica
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Family Stone

Big fat disappointments of 2005:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
King King
Rent
Domino
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Everything Is Illuminated
High Tension
Cursed
Bride & Prejudice

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