The Amityville Horror
st. Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George
It was truly uncomfortable to watch.
st. Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson
If Burton is art deco, this version is pure art nouveau.
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.
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.
breakout performances by Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillipe, and Terrence Howard
Disparate lives intertwine and intersect in Los Angeles. Magnolia-ish, but well done.
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.
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.
st. Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson
Listen, it wasn’t as bad as everyone said.
st. Joseph Gorden-Leavitt, Brady Corbet, Michelle Trachtenberg
A beautifully filmed masterpiece of self-discovery, forgiveness, and childhood abuse.
st. Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep
A rare example of the romance genre that elects realism over fantasism.
st. Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba, et al.
Frank Miller’s bleak graphic novel comes to breathtaking reality in this green-screen masterpiece.
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
March of the Penguins
In Her Shoes
Breakfast on Pluto
Walk the Line
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Family Stone
Big fat disappointments of 2005:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Everything Is Illuminated
Bride & Prejudice