24. End of the Spear
22. Inside Man *
21. Akeelah and the Bee
19. Good Night and Good Luck
18. A History of Violence *
17. World Trade Center
16. The Greatest Game Ever Played
15. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
14. X Men: The Last Stand
13. The Exorcism of Emily Rose *
12. Walk the Line
11. Sky High
10. Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
This is a pretty straight forward, against all odds, tug the heartstrings kind of Disney movie. What made it great, though, was the amazing performance of Dakota Fanning (I’m more and more convinced that she is actually some sort of freaky child/adult clone hybrid where she only looks 10 but is actually 36 years old), and the wonderful look into the Father/Daughter dynamic.
9. Cinderella Man
I honestly don’t know if I’ve seen a Russel Crowe performance that disappointed me. The guy’s got it down. His portrayal of Braddock (yes, yet another “true story”) was extremely moving and I found myself openly cheering for this man whose roller coaster or a life never threw off his moral compass. Also, Ron Howard’s touch is felt throughout, giving the entire film a real sense of weight. Well done, Opie, well done.
8. Monster House
A horror movie for kids? A kids movie for adults? What is this thing? All I know is that it was genuinely funny and touching, and absolutely gorgeous. There is a reason it was nominated for both the Globe and the Oscar for animation. It is a beautiful movie, and well executed both in plot and pace. My recommendation? Put the kids to bed and watch it with your local spouse.
7. Lady In the Water
I should have known better than to trust the critical bashing this took. M. Night has never let me down before, yet somehow as more and more critics trashed this, I became more convinced the streak was over. Maybe my low expectations had me thinking this was better than it was, maybe I’m just a Shammy fanboy, but I thought this movie was great. I loved the characters, loved the storybook feel to it, and most of all loved what it had to say about purpose and plan. A solid double to the gap for Night who is now 6 for 6 as far as I’m concerned.
6. Match Point *
Woody Allen made this? Seriously? This movie owned me. I wasn’t expecting much of anything from this, but a friend whose cinema opinion I really respect told me I just HAD to see it. He was right, and I’ll try and tell you why without giving too much away. It’s all right there in the first opening minutes of the film, I mean all of it. The power of seemingly random things, the beauty of the tennis analogy, the pace and feel, all of it. Arriving at the end of this movie was a stunning experience, and I felt like the movie had me where it wanted me the entire time.