GOOD MOVIES TO SEE
This list of movies refelects ones I felt might be interesting.  The list is limited to ones that came out in 2006.  Some I have seen and some remain to be seen.  More will added later.
All About My Mother Renowned writer-director Pedro Almodovar weighs in with a compelling story (as usual) about two men who become friends based on a shared love of women who are in comas -- although their individual circumstances are completely different. The film (which won the best screenplay Oscar in 2003) is bookended by dance performances, with characters from the movie watching from the audience, and also features a movie-within-the-movie.
Almodovar This is a producer
Be Eliana, Eliana (Artsy) When small-town girl Eliana loses her job in the big city, she's torn between trying to make another start in Jakarta and heeding her mother's pleas to return to her hometown. As mother and daughter roam the streets looking for Eliana's missing friend, they come to understand each other, and themselves, better. Traditional values and fresh opportunities collide in this compelling drama set in the modern topsy-turvy nation of Indonesia.
Breaking and Entering Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain, The English Patient) directs this thinking-person's drama, weighing the difference between emotional and physical robbery. When his London office is burglarized by a young Muslim thief, an affluent architect (Jude Law) is forced to rethink his priorities and re-evaluate his life. The sterling cast includes Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, Ray Winstone and Martin Freeman ("The Office")
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee A dark chapter of U.S. history comes to light in this epic saga (Emmy winner for Best Made-for-TV Movie) of the U.S. government's extermination of the American Indians. Beginning after the Sioux victory at Little Big Horn, the film traces the stories of three men: a Sioux doctor (Adam Beach), a lobbying senator (Aidan Quinn) and the Lakota hero Sitting Bull (August Schellenberg). The acclaimed cast also features Anna Paquin and Fred Dalton Thompson as Ulysses S. Grant.
Casino Royale Martin Campbell (GoldenEye) directs this film adaptation (the 21st of the Bond franchise) of Ian Fleming's first novel. Daniel Craig debuts as the new Bond who takes on a corrupt financier (Mads Mikkelsen) in a showdown of Texas Hold 'Em. You'll learn Bond's back story as the action-packed film takes you to the Bahamas, Madagascar and other exotic locales. Eva Green stars as Vesper Lynd, and the sublime Judi Dench reprises her role as M.
Curse of the Golden Flower This lavish film from landmark director Yimou Zhang follows the romantic intrigue and political machinations in the house of the Emperor Ping (Chow Yun Fat) and his ailing wife (Li Gong). Even their children are swept into their secret passions and schemes to power, but will their reign end in a bloody coup? Sumptuous costumes and dazzling martial arts form the backdrop for this complex tale of loyalty and deception, love and betrayal.
Darwin Awards (May be good comedy) A forensic detective and an insurance claims investigator set out to find what makes potential Darwin Award winners tick in Finn Taylor's dark comedy. Assigned to create a profile for people who accidentally kill themselves in idiotic ways, detective Burrows (Joseph Fiennes) and insurance investigator Siri (Winona Ryder) meet some of the world's most dangerously creative minds. David Arquette, Juliette Lewis and Wilmer Valderrama co-star.
Even Money (Thriller) Director Mark Rydell's noirish drama chronicles the intertwining lives of three down-and-out Atlantic City addicts. As novelist Carol Carver (Kim Basinger) conceals her gambling habit from her hubby (Ray Liotta), Clyde Snow (Forest Whitaker) finds himself in debt to a bookie for big bucks. Meanwhile, a pretty therapist (Carla Gugino) risks her heart on a bottom-feeder (Grant Sullivan). Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer and Jay Mohr also star.
Evening (Looks Good) With daughters Constance (Natasha Richardson) and Nina (Toni Collette) by her bedside, terminally ill matriarch Ann Grant (Vanessa Redgrave) recounts a passionate romance that took place 50 years in the past yet defined the rest of her life. Claire Danes stars as a younger Ann, and Patrick Wilson portrays her lover. This adaptation of Susan Minot's best-seller also features the megawatt talents of Meryl Streep and Glenn Close.
Gray Matters (Marilyn may like) Sam (Thomas Cavanagh) and Gray (Heather Graham) are devoted siblings who share an apartment and a love of many things -- ballroom dancing, 1940s movie musicals and, much to their surprise, an attractive woman named Charlie (Bridget Moynahan). Historically heterosexual, Gray is confused by her new feelings. Sibling rivalry, love and destiny are turned upside down in first-time writer-director Sue Kramer's romantic comedy.
Inland Empire (David Lynch, what else can I say?) Nikki (Laura Dern) is a married actress who ends up in bed with her co-star (Justin Theroux), but is it an affair or just acting? When the two start calling each other by their characters' names, the faint line between fact and fiction gets even fuzzier in this David Lynch mystery. Jeremy Irons stars as Kingsley, the director of the film within the film who does little to help the characters -- or the audience -- distinguish reality from fantasy.
Jindabyne (looks good)  
Kill Bill II The second half of Quentin Tarantino's outrageously inventive Kill Bill series is just as murderously brilliant as the first. The Bride (Uma Thurman) wakes up from a coma five years after she was shot in the head. Revenge is on her mind, and she sets out to pick off her ex-mentor's band of assassins one by one, until there's nothing left to do but … kill Bill (David Carradine). Co-stars Lucy Liu, Vivica Fox and Michael Madsen.
Knocked Up On order
Last King of Scotland Forest Whitaker stars in an Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning role as brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in this drama. During an African medical mission in the 1970s, Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) impresses Amin by acting swiftly in a crisis. Installed as the dictator's personal physician soon thereafter, Garrigan enjoys the perks of his new position, until he begins to become aware of Amin's inhumanity -- and his own complicity.
Lonely Hearts (Travolta) In this unnerving docudrama, John Travolta and James Gandolfini play homicide detectives assigned to pursue lovers Martha Beck (Salma Hayek) and Raymond Fernandez (Jared Leto) -- dubbed the "Lonely Hearts Killers." Luring unwary war widows and spinsters through personal ads in the late 1940s, the couple stripped respondents of their savings before slaying them in a sexually charged frenzy. The supporting cast includes Laura Dern and Scott Caan.
Lucky You (Find out) Eric Bana (Troy) stars as a gifted young poker player working to beat his personal demons and win the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. In the process, he connects with a struggling musician (Drew Barrymore) and his obstinate father (Robert Duvall). A bevy of real-life poker aces, including Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Marsha Waggoner and Jennifer Harman, co-star in this drama from Academy Award-winning director Curtis Hanson.
Man About Town (Ben Afllick) Jack Giamoro (Ben Affleck) is a man with a blessed life -- successful career as a top Hollywood agent, beautiful wife and plenty of money in his bank account. But his world begins to spiral out of control when he discovers his wife (Rebecca Romijn) is cheating and his private journal has been swiped by a reporter. Now, it's up to Jack to get back his life, love and privacy, and find the true happiness he only thought he had achieved.
Miss Potter (Romance) Blending lush animation sequences with live-action drama, director Chris Noonan constructs this biopic about the personal life of beloved children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Featuring the Academy Award-winning Renee Zellweger as the title character and co-starring Emily Watson and Ewan McGregor, the film traces Potter's private life as well as her contributions to literature such as the timeless "Tale of Peter Rabbit."
Murderous Intent (scarey, might be good) When Nigel (Tom Sturridge), a student at an exclusive British private school, is murdered, his classmate Alex (Eddie Redmayne) emerges as the prime suspect. Dr. Sally Rowe (Toni Collette), a forensic psychiatrist, questions Alex, probing for the truth behind the crime. As Alex's father (Patrick Malahide) presses the police to drop the case, Rowe discovers shocking secrets about both boys and their possible connection to an earlier murder.
Next (Nicolas Cage, Las Vegas Terrorist) Las Vegas magician Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage) can see a few minutes into the future, an ability he uses to enhance his shows -- and to win at blackjack. But when FBI counterterror agent (Julianne Moore) wants his help in thwarting a nuclear attack on Los Angeles, Cris finds his psychic skills put to the ultimate test. Based on Philip K. Dick's short story "The Golden Man," this sci-fi thriller co-stars Jessica Biel and Peter Falk.
Painted Veil (Edward Norton) Shunned by a husband (Edward Norton) who's more interested in his research, the simpleminded Kitty Fane (Naomi Watts) embarks on a quest for life fulfillment. Along the way, she ignites a passionate affair with a dashing womanizer (Liev Schreiber) and travels with her husband to the Far East, where she turns her attention to fighting the cholera epidemic. Diana Rigg co-stars in this period drama based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham.
Perfect Stranger (Halle Berry, Bruce Willis) This thriller directed by James Foley stars Halle Berry as Ro, a woman who risks her life to discover the identity of a stranger lurking on the Internet who may hold the answers to her friend's murder. What Ro discovers is a murky world of online deception peopled by the likes of Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), a mystery figure who may be a friend or a foe. Giovanni Ribisi, Leigh Spofford and Jason Antoon also star.
Premonition (Sandra Bullock) Saw this
Reign Over Me (Sandler, Cheadle) Consumed with grief after losing his family in the World Trade Center attacks, a widower (Adam Sandler) seeks help from his former college roommate (Don Cheadle), who's now a psychiatrist. Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger) directs this thought-provoking look at friendship and post-Sept. 11 society in New York City, co-starring Liv Tyler, Saffron Burrows and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rennaisance (Black and White) It's 2054 Paris, and a megacorporation called Avalon dominates contemporary life and sells eternal youth and beauty to the citizenry in this animated sci-fi thriller. When promising young Avalon scientist Ilona Tasuiev is kidnapped, the company hires top detective Barthélémy Karas (voiced by Daniel Craig) to find her. As he investigates, Karas discovers others on the hunt for Tasuiev -- along with a trail of witnesses that keep turning up dead.
Rise: Blood Hunter (Lucy Liu) Reporter Sadie Blake (Lucy Liu) awakens to find herself in a morgue, transformed into a member of the undead by a vicious vampire cult. With the help of cop Clyde Rawlins (Michael Chiklis), who lost his daughter to the same sect, Sadie undertakes a mission of revenge against those who took away her life. Carla Gugino and James D'Arcy co-star in this terrifying supernatural thriller. Marilyn Manson appears as a bartender.
Slow Burn, Ray Lyota *s this my fav. Author?) District Attorney Ford Lowell (Ray Liotta) has aspirations of becoming mayor of his crime-ridden city but soon falls into a web of corruption that threatens to squelch his political career. Trying to clear the reputation of the woman he loves while keeping his own image untarnished, Lowell digs himself in deeper when he faces off against gang leader Luther Pinks (LL Cool J). This gritty pulp drama is screenwriter Wayne Beach's directorial debut.
Stephanie Daley Hilary Brougher's drama follows pregnant forensic psychologist Lydie Crane (Tilda Swinton) as she investigates a case in which a 16-year-old girl is accused of killing her newborn. In trying to determine whether teenage Stephanie Daley (Amber Tamblyn) hid her pregnancy, gave birth and then murdered her baby, Crane, who recently suffered a pregnancy loss, comes face to face with her own grief. Timothy Hutton and Denis O'Hare co-star.
Sweet Land n Ali Selim's Independent Spirit Award-winning tale of how love triumphs over ignorance, German immigrant Inge tells her life story to her grandson after burying her husband on their farm in Minnesota in 1968. Inge begins her tale in 1920, when she's just become a mail-order bride to Norwegian-American farmer Olaf. Discovering that Inge's heritage is actually German, both Olaf and the community struggle to overcome years of anti-German propaganda and prejudice.
Thank you for not Smoking Big Tobacco spin doctor Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is on a mission to make the country forget the dangers of his product. Rallying for the cause, he works to promote smoking in the movies and hush former employees who bad-mouth cigarettes, all the while trying to remain a role model for his young son. Maria Bello, Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall and William H. Macy co-star in Jason Reitman's razor-sharp satire, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenpla
The Contract While vacationing with teenage son Chris (Jamie Anderson) in the wilderness, Ray Keene (John Cusack) discovers that a hired killer (Morgan Freeman) and his team of assassins are tracking the duo. Can Keene protect himself, his son and take down a first-class hit man before his bullet finds its mark? Directed by Bruce Beresford, this action-packed crime thriller also stars Ned Bellamy, Corey Johnson and Thomas Lockyer.
The Couple (Holicaust) Director John Daly's taut drama stars Martin Landau as Jewish businessman Joseph Krauzenberg, who's desperate to ensure his family's safe departure from 1944 Nazi-occupied Hungary. He surrenders his assets -- his factories and art collection -- in exchange for freedom, but as German officials are signing his release papers, they discover that his allegedly Aryan servants (Kenny Doughty and Caroline Carver) are Jews working for the resistance.
The Dead Girl (Runaway) A small close-knit community near Los Angeles is thrown into turmoil when the brutally desecrated body of a vibrant young girl is discovered in a field. A series of seemingly unrelated dramas in the lives of the town's residents ultimately converge and reveal answers to the murder itself. Toni Collette, James Franco, Giovanni Ribisi and Mary Beth Hurt star in this dark Independent Spirit Award-nominated mystery directed by Karen Moncrieff.
The Holiday Stuck in a vicious cycle of dead-end relationships with two-timing men, Los Angeles resident Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Londoner Iris (Kate Winslet) decide to swap homes -- paving the way for romances they never imagined possible. This charming comedy from writer-director Nancy Meyers features an all-star cast, including Jude Law, Jack Black, Edward Burns and Rufus Sewell.
The Last Time Hard-driving New York salesman Ted (Michael Keaton) is assigned to train new recruit Jamie (Brendan Fraser), a fresh-faced transplant from Ohio. But when Ted falls for Jamie's fiancée (Amber Valletta), his newly emerged softer side has detrimental effects on his sales game. The cynical comedy drama marks the feature debut of writer-director Michael Caleo, a former writer for "The Sopranos."
The Lives of Others Set in 1980s East Berlin, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's debut feature (which earned an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film) provides an exquisitely nuanced portrait of life under the watchful eye of the state police as a high-profile couple is bugged. When a successful playwright and his actress companion become subjects of the Stasi's secret surveillance program, their friends, family and even those doing the watching find their lives changed too.
The Look Out Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Get Shorty) makes his directorial debut with this intelligent crime thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, Mysterious Skin) as a down-and-out janitor recruited by a crew of dangerous bank robbers planning a heist. Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale), Matthew Goode (Match Point), Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers) and Carla Gugino (Sin City) round out the ensemble cast.
The Ultimate Gift (Film Festival) When his wealthy grandfather (James Garner) finally dies, Jason Stevens (Drew Fuller) fully expects to benefit when it comes to the reading of the will. But instead of a sizable inheritance, Jason receives a test, a series of tasks he must complete before he can get any money. Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin and former beauty queen Lee Meriwether also star in this coming-of-age drama based on the novel by Jim Stovall.
Theory Of God  
Two Weeks (Family,love) Four grown siblings return to their North Carolina hometown to visit their mother (Sally Field) on her deathbed. Each handles the situation differently: Emily (Julianne Nicholson) devours self-help books; Keith (Ben Chaplin) floats through events in a Zen cloud; Barry (Thomas Cavanagh) won't stop working; and Matthew (Glenn Howerton) seems disengaged. This poignant comedy is based on writer-director Steve Stockman's personal experience.