• Theatrical Release Date:  December 8, 2006 (wide)

  • Rating:  R (for strong violence and language)

  • Genre:  Drama/Romance/Thriller

  • Run Time:  138 min.

  • Director:  Edward Zwick

  • Actors:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, James Purefoy, Arnold Vosloo

Like the recent film "Hotel Rwanda," "Blood Diamond" has a message for those unfamiliar with life in Africa. Yet this message is not so heavy handed that good storytelling is sacrificed. The film gives us Solomon (Djimon Hounsou), a fisherman living in Sierra Leone, whose village is destroyed, whose son is kidnapped and brainwashed by guerilla soldiers, and who’s forced to work as a slave laborer in the local diamond fields. Both brutal and poignant, this film deals with the horrific issues of slavery, kidnapping, child soldiers, and the smuggling of diamonds out of conflict zones.  This is a harsh movie, but an important one.


THE B LIST:

A few of this year's honorable mentions ... 

  • CHARLOTTE'S WEB
    The timeless classic story of Wilbur the “terrific” pig brought to life in the heartwarming “Charlotte’s Web.” Funny barnyard friends, important life lessons, impressive voice talents … this one does the book proud.

  • FACING THE GIANTS      
    The story behind how this film was made is interesting in and of itself. “Giants” gives us hope that more and more Christians will continue applying their worldview to the art of filmmaking.

  • LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
    This ensemble cast portrays a flawed family to perfection. An odd little film with great a message about not letting with our personal failures and character flaws keep us from supporting our family.

  • WORDPLAY
    A fascinating film documenting New York Times puzzle-meister Will Shortz and the annual crossword competition he founded. With object lessons in fair play and vocational calling, “Word Play” explores the captivating world of crossword puzzle constructors and enthusiasts.

  • CURIOUS GEORGE
    An odd choice for a “best of the year” list we realize, but this contemporary retelling of the classic H.A. Rey books is one of the year’s most endearing family films.