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
Are you not entertained?! You will be, You…. wiiilll… be. (Sorry ,my Yoda isn’t as good as my Maximus)
15. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
See, this is where my integrity shows up, because I really didn’t want to admit I liked this movie as much as I did. I know it was targeted toward teenage girls, but somehow it spoke right to me. (The logical ramifications of that sentence are terrifying). So it’s outside my demographic, can’t I be amazed at some amazing performances, including a post “Joan of Arcadia”, Amber Tamblyn, and a pre “Ugly Betty”, America Ferrera? Can’t I be moved by such touching stories no matter what age or gender is featured? Can’t I be impressed at a mainstream movie finally and honestly dealing with the consequences and pain of premarital sex, the confusion and bitterness of having divorced parents, and the loneliness and shallowness of the post modern sarcastic lifestyle? Yes, I believe I can, and I believe you could too, if the word “Sisterhood” doesn’t scare you away.
14. X-Men: The Last Stand
I sure hope not. The X-Men universe is a virtually endless possibility of stories and characters and as each movie comes along, I am more and more convinced that this could easily be the longest running movie franchise of all time. To be able to pull superheroes in and out of the story and create new ones with different powers allows unprecedented freedom and creativity. So much so that NBC stole this idea for new show “Heroes”, as blatant an X-Men ripoff as I’ve ever seen (Don’t get me wrong, I still love it.) The point is, this movie did exactly what I needed it to. Developed old characters, introduced new ones. kept the plot moving, and gave me plenty of special effect eye candy. To end this franchise would be one of the biggest movie mistakes of all time.
13. The Exorcism of Emily Rose *
At first glance this appears to be just another “Exorcist” type horror film, but the truth is that this is an amazing look into the true story of an actual court case involving exorcism and the moral and ethical questions that arise from it. Some great performances, but mostly I loved it for it’s honesty and message that what we see with our eyes is only part of the equation. I also love that the film, in a very literal way, is exactly what Emily Rose wanted to come from her story.
12. Walk the Line
I don’ t know that I could add much to what has already been said about this Johnny Cash biopic. Joaquin and Renee are amazing, the music is great, and the tender yet honest look at Cash is an honorable homage to a sometimes troubled yet talented man. I learned a lot about his story, but the main thing that stuck with me was the devotion and unconditional love of June Carter, whose commitment is as visual representation of being “Christlike” as I saw all year.
11. Sky High
Fun, just flat out fun. A great little message about family, community, and purpose wrapped in a crunchy superhero shell. If you’ve got kids this is required family viewing, and if you don’t, well, this movie is yet another reason to get started on that family or borrow some from the neighbors. I’ve seen this movie a dozen times or so already and seeing the joy of imagination and discovery in the face of my boys while watching this somehow never gets old.