Everyone's a critic, so the old saying goes. And now filmmaker Kevin Smith -- after a 2006 appearance on the "Roeper" show -- has decided to add his name to the hat by drawing up his own version of the ten best films of 2006. Although Smith gave Ryan Fleck's Half Nelson a breathless review on television, calling it the best movie he'd seen in a decade, it only placed at #3 on his list. (I guess this must have been a pretty good year for Kevin.)
Coming it at number two was Todd Field's Little Children. His pick for the year's best film was Martin Scorsese's The Departed ("The one everybody else liked too.") Already Smith seems to understand the way that critics put themselves on the line over certain movies, certain to arouse the ire of readers who are not tuned into the same wavelength. For some of his listings, he includes the caveat: "the one I'll take shit for." One of these picks was his own film, Clerks II, which ranked at #4. You've gotta give the guy a hand for making films that he actually likes to watch, which is more than you can say for 75% of Hollywood directors.
Smith's #5 film was Spike Lee's Inside Man, which he dubs: "the one nobody else seems to remember." Smith admits to seeing only 85 movies of the potential 500 released during the year (most critics see upwards of 300). The rest of Smith's picks aren't all that surprising, representing a cross-section of films that more or less placed on most other critics' lists. It'll be interesting to see if Catch and Release makes his 2007 list.