1. The Departed
The Departed is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis “Frank” Costello plants Colin Sullivan as a mole within the Massachusetts State Police. Simultaneously, the police assign undercover state trooper William “Billy” Costigan to infiltrate Costello’s crew. When both sides realise the situation, Sullivan and Costigan each attempt to discover the other’s identity before his own cover is blown.
2. Pan’s Labrynth
The story takes place in Spain in May–June 1944, five years after the Spanish Civil War. Ofelia’s stepfather, the Falangist Captain Vidal, hunts the Spanish Maquis who fight against the Francoist regime in the region, while Ofelia’s pregnant mother grows increasingly ill. Ofelia meets several strange and magical creatures who become central to her story, leading her through the trials of the old labyrinth garden.
Set in pre-Columbian Yucatan and Guatemala around the year 1511. Apocalypto depicts the journey of a Meso-American tribesman who must escape human sacrifice and rescue his family. His village has been captured and destroyed just as the Mayan civilization is about to come to an end.
4. The Prestige
The story follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden as rival stage magicians in London at the end of the 19th century. Obsessed with creating the best stage illusion, they engage in competitive one-upmanship with tragic results.
5. Casino Royale
The remake of the 1967 film sees Secret Agent James Bond just as he is earning his licence to kill. After preventing a terrorist attack at Miami International Airport, Bond falls in love with Vesper Lynd. She is the treasury employee assigned to provide the money he needs to bankrupt a terrorist financier, Le Chiffre, by beating him in a high-stakes poker game.
6. The Devil Wears Prada
A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine. Andrea Sachs dreams to become a journalist and faces the opportunity as a temporary professional challenge. Andrea changes her attitude and behavior, affecting her private life and the relationship with her boyfriend Nate, her family and friends. In the end, Andrea learns that life is made of choices.
King Leonidas, leads an army of 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian “god-King” Xerxes and his invading army. As the battle rages, Queen Gorgo attempts to rally support in Sparta for her husband. The story is framed by a voice-over narrative by the Spartan soldier Dilios.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
The wedding of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann is interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett. He wants Turner to acquire the compass of Captain Jack Sparrow in a bid to find the Dead Man’s Chest. Sparrow also discovers his debt to Davy Jones is due.
9. Blood Diamond
Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1996–2001, the film depicts a country torn apart by the struggle between government loyalists and insurgent forces. It also portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections. The film’s ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, refers to a historic meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa in 2000.
The last race of the Piston Cup championship ends in a three-way tie between retiring veteran Strip “The King” Weathers, infamous runner-up Chick Hicks, and rookie Lightning McQueen. The tiebreaker race is scheduled at the Los Angeles International Speedway. Lightning is desperate to win the race, since it would allow him to leave the unglamorous sponsorship of Rust-Eze, and allow him to take The King’s place as the sponsored car of the lucrative Dinoco team.
Did this list of the most popular films in 2006 turn out as you expected? Were there some films that you did or didn’t expect to see within the top 10? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.