Any assessment of art will contain a certain degree of subjectivity, and a Top 10 list of the year’s best movies is no exception.

What were we looking for in a movie? How does it stand up against the Christian worldview? Is sin treated as sin? Is righteousness rewarded? What is the film’s message? Does it confirm a Christian worldview or attack it? How well does the filmmaking convey that message?

And then, of course, from an aesthetic perspective, is the film entertaining? Would we recommend it to our friends?

With those questions in mind, we consulted our regular movie reviewers and staff editors to put together this list of our favorites from 2006.

Please note, you can click on the hyperlinks we include to read more detailed reviews of the movies on our list. Some of the films we have included are not appropriate for all age groups.



1.  THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

  • Theatrical Release Date:  December 15, 2006

  • Rating:  PG-13 (for some language)

  • Genre:  Drama

  • Run Time:  117 min.

  • Director:  Gabriele Muccino

  • Actors:  Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, James Karen, Dan Castellaneta, Kurt Fuller, Takayo Fischer

There are many reasons to love a good father/son movie; fathers so often get the shaft in pop culture and on the big screen.  But there are even more reasons to love “The Pursuit of Happyness” our pick for #1 movie of the year. Not only does this film gives us a strong portrayal of a loving father, but an uplifting lesson in staying happy even when life is rough. Will Smith gives the performance of a lifetime. The on-screen chemistry between Smith and his real life son will bring tears to you eyes. The story of this down-and-out dad trying to survive life’s trials and care for his son is simultaneously heart-wrenching, funny and uplifting..

Click here for a full review.


2.  THE NATIVITY STORY

  • Theatrical Release Date:  December 1, 2006

  • Rating:  PG (for some violent content)

  • Genre:  Drama/History

  • Run Time:  101 minutes

  • Director:  Katherine Hardwicke

  • Actors:  Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Ciaran Hinds, and Allessandro Guiggioli

Imagine if you will, parents pushing aside all the meaningless movies about Santa crises, irritating Christmas relatives, greedy Grinches and stingy Scrooges on the rental shelf, and pulling to the forefront a compelling, well-crafted movie that brings the real story of Christmas to life for the whole family. Well, it seems that such a movie has arrived! “The Nativity Story” is a movie with everything:  drama, action, romance, history, and miracles – a sure bet to edge out the shallow, same old “pretend-Christmas” offerings. We hope that this film’s disappointing box office take won’t prevent Hollywood from making more such films that respectfully explore the Christian faith.