Everyone and his dog has a list of "The Best Films of [Whatever Year]." Sometimes, though, as good as a film can be, it's just not interesting. So, this year, I've put together a list of ten films that held my interest even after I'd left the theater. They are, in alphabetical order…
The danielcraigisnotbond website got a lot more attention in the news than it deserved – and Daniel Craig's Bond turned out to be one of the best [tied, in my book, with Sir Sean]. Casino Royale was a feast for action lovers and introduced a rookie Bond who was figuring it out as he went along. The script was smart; Craig was magnificent; the Bond girls were [gasp!] actual characters [played by actual actors]; the action was amazing, and the overall result was one of the best films of the year – in any genre.
The classic children's book works because it unflinchingly deals with life and death, and doesn't shy away from the hard questions – or the value of love and sacrifice. This film adaptation is as straightforward and courageous as the book. The use of live actors and animals [helped slightly by CG], along with a tone that perfectly emulates that of the book, and some dazzling performances, makes this an instant classic.
Scorsese's best film in a decade. A remake of an Asian film [Infernal Affairs], The Departed is a twisted crime thriller wherein the cops and the mob each have a highly placed informant in the other camp. The plot is labyrinthine, the cast [Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonard DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga] is uniformly at the top of their respective games; the direction is as close to perfect as one can get. The Departed rocks from start to finish.