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Class of 2006 Week

The 10 Most Game-Changing Movies of 2006

From 'Borat' to 'Block Party,' these films perfectly characterized the year

1 / 10

'Little Miss Sunshine'

This gooey-hearted, sharp-scripted sorta-indie earmarked Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell and Paul Dano as performers to follow under any and all circumstances. Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, a cameo by a pre-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston and a to-die-for talent show finale carried it the rest of the way to greatness. It went on to snag four Oscar nominations and two wins, for Alan Arkin's supporting performance and that sterling screenplay from Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3).

2 / 10

'The Departed'

Somehow another go-round in the organized crime department didn't see Martin Scorsese losing any air from the tires that drove him through greats like Goodfellas, Casino and Gangs of New York. Scorsese may have gotten the final unmissable performance out of Jack Nicholson, and he cemented his relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio as one that'll go down as memorably as his work with Robert De Niro.

3 / 10


The one truly essential onscreen Beyoncé performance thus far came in the form of a Broadway adaptation that introduced movie audiences to Jennifer Hudson and scored Eddie Murphy his first (and so far only) Oscar nomination. J-Hud's performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is up there with the most emotional moments of the decade in film.

4 / 10

'Casino Royale'

Eleven years after Pierce Brosnan became James Bond—magazine-cover slick, entirely unshakable, center of at least a couple very messy movies—Daniel Craig presented us with a grittier, more flawed 007. The world of the franchise followed suit, going darker and realer, stripping away the camp and marking possibly the biggest reinvention the series had seen since its 1962 debut. (The fact it came just one year after Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins makes a lot of sense in retrospect.)

5 / 10

'Dave Chappelle's Block Party'

Hot off Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michel Gondry linked up with Dave Chappelle to improvise an adventure in Brooklyn. The concert footage—Kanye West doing "Jesus Walks" with a marching band, the Fugees reuniting, Jill Scott bringing down the house, Erykah Badu slaying, etc. etc.—is utterly incredible, but it's easily rivaled by Chappelle's off-the-cuff warmth, humor and curiosity.

6 / 10

'Children of Men'

A post-apocalyptic film to judge all others against, Children of Men had the perfect synthesis of performances (newcomer Clare-Hope Ashitey, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julianne Moore and Clive Owen, never better), story (adapted from P.D. James' novel about a world deep into an impenetrable human infertility crisis) and directorial derring-do. Y Tu Mamá También auteur Alfonso Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (who has since done The Revenant and Birdman) served up an epically long single-take action sequence midway through that singlehandedly makes the altogether excellent movie worth revisiting.

7 / 10

'Madea's Family Reunion'

Tyler Perry's first film as director and writer was the outset of an empire, one that would show year after year that black filmmakers leading black ensembles could and should be an essential part of the lily-white land known as Hollywood.

8 / 10

'An Inconvenient Truth'

Former Vice President Al Gore and his documentary slideshow helped wake the world up to the realities of global warming. For an educational call-to-action to become one of the biggest documentaries in history (it currently stands at No. 11 on the all-time doc chart) was remarkable and heartening.

9 / 10

'Snakes on a Plane'

The little B-movie that could ended up being championed by the Internet into a viral sensation, bestowing upon the world another flawless Samuel L. Jackson line: "Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!"

10 / 10

'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan'

Sacha Baron-Cohen's blockbuster-scale commitment to his Da Ali G Show character shocked nervous systems and realigned the movie-quoting culture. Its influence on the mockumentary-made-in-the-real-world format still reverberates through TV and cinema a decade later.

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Photo of the day

Apr 2: Basket-Bros

Currently on his 'The Man of the Woods' tourJustin Timberlake brought out a special guest for his Cleveland show. LeBron James surprised concertgoers by showing up alongside Timberlake and taking a shot on stage. On Friday, the singer was also seen cheering on LeBron during the Pelicans and Cavaliers game. James gave a shout out on Instagram, "My brother @justintimberlake showed up and showed out last night at the Q! One of the greatest to ever do it in my lifetime and still going strong."