Best Movies of All Time + [Walk the Line]

Top 10 Films of 2005

The year is 2005, and a lot has happened in the movie world. To help take you back in time, here's a look back at some of the film-related events that took place:

Pierce Brosnan officially announces that he will be leaving the role of James Bond, whom he portrayed four times from 1995 to 2002. Daniel Craig is announced as the new James Bond later in the year.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire becomes the year's highest-grossing film, earning over $895 million at the worldwide box office.
Crash upsets Brokeback Mountain at the Academy Awards and also takes home Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing.

The world loses the likes of John Vernon, Anne Bancroft and James Doohan.

I've been able to see 52 films released in 2005, and from those, I've compiled my own top ten list. As one can imagine, some great films had to be left off the final list. Here's a look at some of the movies (listed alphabetically) that just missed the cut:

Corpse Bride
The Great Raid
Green Street Hooligans
The Jacket
Wedding Crashers
But enough about the runners-up; here's the list you've been waiting to see! Counting down from number ten to number one, I've listed each film and have given the principal cast list as well as if and how fared at the Academy Awards. Also, I've listed the film's rank on my "Best Films of All-Time" list, if applicable. So without any further delay, here's my top ten movies of 2005!

10. Walk the Line

Rated: PG-13
Directed by: James Mangold
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick, Dallas Roberts
Academy Awards: 5 nominations, 1 win
***
Having always been relatively a fan of Johnny Cash's music, it was interesting to see a look at his life as a whole. This biopic blended a great storyline with fantastic music, brought by stellar performances from the likes of Phoenix and Witherspoon (in a career-best role). A little unsung was Robert Patrick in his supporting role, but the entire cast delivers in this well-made musical biopic about a legendary musician.

9. Good Night, and Good Luck

Rated: PG
Directed by: George Clooney
Starring: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella
Academy Awards: 6 nominations
***
In only his second directorial effort, George Clooney managed to make a fantastic film about Edward R. Murrow, who was trying to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy during the red scare of the 1950s. Brilliantly acted by the entire cast, a large portion of the credit has to go to Strathairn in the lead for providing such an even keel throughout the film that it's almost as though he became Murrow himself. Aided by a well-written screenplay, this is one political film you shouldn't want to miss.

8. Mysterious Skin

Rated: NC-17
Directed by: Gregg Araki
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brady Corbet, Michelle Trachtenberg, Bill Sage
***
To be fair, I'm a tad bit biased towards films starring Gordon-Levitt, but this might be one of his best - and most provocative - performances. It tells the story of two young men who were molested by the same baseball coach as children, telling how each turned out in life. Both boys became drastically different young adults: one became a sexual deviant, and one became obsessed with the idea that he was abducted by alien life. It's a film that's going to make you a little uncomfortable from time to time, but the climactic moments are so brutally honest and emotional that I found myself in tears. It's a beautiful film, even if it's a little tough to watch.

7. Sin City

Rated: Unrated
Directed by: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Jessica Alba, Devon Aoki, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Carla Gugino, Josh Hartnett, Rutger Hauer, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Nick Stahl, Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood
***
Sin City was one of the first big graphic novel film adaptations I had the pleasure of viewing, and boy what an entrance into the genre. Cemented by an all-star ensemble cast (most of whom are listed above), we're getting the intersecting stories of lies, deceit and murder in Basin City. As pleasing visually as it is in its story and its acting, Sin City is at the very least a bit of great entertainment; however, it may prove to be a little more profound for you as well.

6. Munich

Rated: R
Directed by: Steven Spielberg 
Starring: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciarán Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, Ayelet Zurer, Geoffrey Rush
Academy Awards: 5 nominations
***
Since watching this film, I've had a lot of offer mixed feelings towards it, but I myself found it to be a rather incredible venture into a true story of vengeance. Spielberg has always been deft behind the camera, and although this doesn't quite rank with his best work, there's a quiet sense of poetic justice floating through the aura surrounding Munich. With a great cast and a great musical score from John Williams, there's actually quite a lot to like about this one.

5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Rated: R
Directed by: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen
***
To this day, I've still only seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang once, but it was so bitingly hilarious that I can't seem to forget it. It tells the story of a con man who gets wrapped up in a bigger criminal conspiracy and has to fight his way out in order to survive, but it's done so in such a comedic manner that you'll be laughing throughout the film's entirety. Downey Jr. is fantastic in the leading role, but Kilmer and Monaghan shouldn't be forgotten either. All in all, this is a film that has a brilliant screenplay coming together with a cast who knows how to deliver, making for quite the romp.

4. Batman Begins

Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Ken Watanabe
Academy Awards: 1 nomination
***
When I first saw this film, I thought it was a great new look for the "Batman" franchise, but it wasn't until I saw the brilliant 2008 sequel, The Dark Knight, that I went back to give this one another go. It proved to be a much stronger film than I had remembered, offering quite the foundation for what now looks to be one of the greatest film trilogies ever created. Nolan helped redefine the superhero genre with this film, and with the closing chapter slated for release this summer, we can only imagine how good it just might be.

3. Downfall (Der Untergang)

Rated: R
Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler, Christian Berkel, Thomas Kretschmann
Academy Awards: 1 nomination
***
I'm generally a sucker for both historical films and foreign films, so when you put the two together, you can only imagine my excitement. This film tells the story of Hitler's last days of life, living inside a bunker in Germany as the war rages around him. It offers an interesting look at a man who's desperately trying to cling onto some sort of success but seemingly knows that the end just might be around the corner. A brilliant performance by Bruno Ganz as Hitler puts this one over the top.

2. Crash

Rated: R
Directed by: Paul Haggis
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Tony Danza, Keith David, Loretta Devine, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, Michael Peña, Ryan Phillippe
Academy Awards: 6 nominations, 3 wins
All-Time Ranking: 150
***
I was blown away by Crash when I first saw it as it offered a brilliantly complex series of interconnected stories that helped show a myriad of lives in Los Angeles. The pitch-perfect cast does well with the fantastic screenplay that delves into the themes of social prejudice in today's society, and what better place to set the story than L.A., right?

1. Brokeback Mountain

Rated: R
Directed by: Ang Lee
Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway
Academy Awards: 8 nominations, 3 wins
All-Time Ranking: 5
***
Since finally giving this a watch in early 2008, I have been quite the proponent for Brokeback Mountain. It offers a great screenplay as well as career-best performances from the likes of Ledger and Gyllenhaal. However, the real reason I'm so fond of this film is the fact that it offers one of the most beautiful cinematic romances I've ever seen. It's an honest tale of two people who love each other, plain and simple, but society tells them that what they're doing is wrong. It's a tragic tale, but that only makes their love for one another all the more powerful. Truly a beautiful film.