From blockbusters like 'X-Men: The Last Stand' to indie hits like 'Little Miss Sunshine,' the staff of Moviefone counts down the 50 -- yes, 50 -- best movies of 2006.

Check them out after the jump, then make your own picks in the comments.


X-Men: The Last Stand50.
'X-Men: The Last Stand'
We admit it, we were a little wary of this 'X' installment, with popcorn director Brett Ratner at the helm. But we give Ratner his due -- it was a helluva good time watching his first go at the superhero genre. Gotta say, we hope it's not really the 'Last.' --Angie Argabrite

The Science of Sleep49. 'The Science of Sleep'
Like your crazy ex, Michel Gondry ('Eternal Sunshine') takes pleasure in toying with our heads, and it only makes us want to see more of him. In Gondry's most visual film yet, Gael García Bernal can't decipher dreams from reality, and it's a dizzying, spellbinding view to behold. --Kevin Polowy

The Last Kiss48.
'The Last Kiss'
'Garden State' fans may find this Zach Braff flick about a guy who cheats on his girl depressing, but it's a resonant movie about love and growing up -- set to cool indie music. It'll probably convince you your significant other is a cheating slut, but, hey, that's the journey. --Tom DiChiara

Mission: Impossible III47.
'Mission: Impossible III'
What if I told you that 'III' is the most exciting, human and underrated of the 'Mission' movies? Believe it, because this intensely fun actioner from 'Lost' creator J.J. Abrams puts Tom Cruise's manic energy to much better use than couch vaulting. --Tom DiChiara

For Your Consideration46.
'For Your Consideration'
Christopher Guest and co. take on the movie industry's sacred cow -- the Oscars -- in their latest improv-heavy parody. Don't be put off by the insider-y theme, instead laugh at the jackasses who inhabit showbiz. Come on, you know you wanna. --Angie Argabrite

Warner Bros.45. 'Beerfest'
In dismissing the latest gut-buster from Broken Lizard ('Super Troopers'), many critics cautioned readers that you'd have to be drunk to appreciate it. Um ... duh? In fairness, they also pointed out that Cheech & Chong's 'Up in Smoke' "would be lost on DEA officials." --Kevin Polowy

The Devil Wears Prada44. 'The Devil Wears Prada'
It hits the mark with every juicy chick-flick detail: the "ugly" duckling who gets a Cinderella makeover, the swoon-inducing love triangle, the fabulous clothes ... and Meryl Streep, in her best performance since 'Sophie's Choice.' (OK, not. But she's spectacular.) --Patricia Chui

The Pursuit of Happyness43.
'Pursuit of Happyness'
Raise your hand if you need a good man-cry. Will Smith is at his best as a single dad trying to get by with a few dollars and a dream. It's not only one of the most touching father-son stories since 'The Champ,' it's also a searing indictment of unpaid internships. They suck bad. --Kevin Polowy

Volver42. 'Volver'
Penélope Cruz has been better known in the United States for her fellas (Cruise, McConaughey) than her films ('Captain Corelli'). But with her empassioned turn in 'Volver,' Almodóvar's muse finally gets to show what a stunning talent she truly is. ¡Qué bueno! --Patricia Chui

Dead Man's Chest41.
'Dead Man's Chest'
It's the 'Empire Strikes Back' of the 'Pirates' saga, complete with supremely evil adversary (Davy Jones), unresolved father-son issues, weird love triangle (guy, girl, ambiguously gay pirate) and cliffhanger ending (is Captain Jack a Kraken snack?). Need I say more? --Tom DiChiara

The Good Shepherd40. 'The Good Shepherd'
Beware a bespectacled Matt Damon. The actor dons a pair and goes dark places (see 'Mr. Ripley') Bourne couldn't even fathom. That ambiguity lends Robert De Niro's taut CIA thriller a chilling resonance. And makes us damn glad we refused that invitation to join the CIA. --Kevin Polowy

An Inconvenient Truth39. 'An Inconvenient Truth'
Al Gore became 2006's unlikeliest Comeback Kid with this blistering global warming doc, which shows more heart and humor than anything we saw from him in the 2000 election. Even some Republicans thawed toward Gore, and that says more than the box office ever could. --Patricia Chui

Infamous38. 'Infamous'
After the success of 'Capote,' this one never had a chance. So it's a shame more people didn't catch Toby Jones' funny, ferocious turn as the pint-sized gossip queen who stormed small-town Kansas and emerged sadder, wiser and both blessed and cursed with the story of a lifetime. --Patricia Chui

Awesome ...37. 'Awesome ... '
Let's face it, The Beastie Boys ... they're kinda old now. But they've had a helluva career, and this electrifying concert doc -- shot by 50 fans, the footage skillfully woven together by MCA -- is a heartfelt tribute to their faithful and a sure-shot capsule of their best songs. --Kevin Polowy

Cars36. 'Cars'
Pixar continued its undefeated streak, turning out yet another critical and box office success. This tale of a cocky race car who learns to appreciate life off the beaten track appealed to kids and adults and, most impressively, showed that Larry the Cable Guy can be funny. --Tom DiChiara

Aurora Borealis35. 'Aurora Borealis'
Joshua Jackson is brilliant in this moving indie about a slacker who finds meaning in his relationships with his ailing grandfather (Donald Sutherland) and a free-spirited Replacements groupie (Juliette Lewis). It's by far Josh's best role since 'Mighty Ducks.' Yes, I went there. --Tom DiChiara

The Ground Truth34.
'The Ground Truth'
Both a genuine tribute to U.S. troops and a scathing criticism of the military's treatment of them, this heartbreaking doc focuses on post-traumatic stress and returning soldiers now speaking out against the Iraq War. Just when we thought they couldn't get any braver ... --Kevin Polowy

Miami Vice33. 'Miami Vice'
Who'da thunk Michael Mann could turn his campy '80s TV series into a sweeping drama with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx? Mann took all the good parts of the show and put them on the screen. We don't miss Don Johnson or Philip Michael Thomas (or the pastel) one iota. --Angie Argabrite

We Are Marshall32. 'We Are Marshall'
It was a disaster of unbelievable proportions; a 1970 plane crash killed almost the entire Marshall football team and its staff. The film dramatizes how the college -- and Huntington, W.V. -- rebuilt. The two Matthews, McConaughey and Fox, are yin and yang as coach and assistant. --Angie Argabrite

The Illusionist31. 'The Illusionist'
'The Prestige' and 'Lady in the Water' were splashier, but neither achieved the same level of mysticism as this modest yet exquisite film that revels in the possibilities of magic. Plus Edward Norton once again proves riveting, even if we do wish he'd smile more. --Patricia Chui

Notes on a Scandal30. 'Notes on a Scandal'
Judi Dench is chilling as a manipulative crone who discovers fellow teacher Cate Blanchett's illicit affair with a student -- and decides to use the knowledge to emotionally blackmail the younger woman. Her voice-over gives insight into her malignant thoughts. --Angie Argabrite

Road to Guantanamo29. 'Road to Guantanamo'
Apparently adept working in any genre (even porn! See '9 Songs'), Michael Winterbottom flexes his docudrama muscle in exposing the story of three wrongly accused British nationals tortured in Cuba. It's a potent political narrative that enrages, even if you're sick and enjoyed 'Hostel.' --Kevin Polowy

Superman Returns28. 'Superman Returns'
Bryan Singer proved that not even the Kryptonite that was 'Part IV' could kill the Man of Steel. Brandon Routh doesn't miss a beat as Christopher Reeve's heir, the special effects are terrific, and Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is actually hot -- no offense, Margot Kidder. --Tom DiChiara

The Queen27. 'The Queen'
Helen Mirren gets stiff-lipped as Elizabeth II in this dramatization of how Diana's death forced the monarchy into modernity. It's a fascinating look at a very specific time -- a week when half the world, it seems, was united in its grief for the People's Princess. --Angie Argabrite

Catch a Fire26. 'Catch a Fire'
Derek Luke breaks out from sports movies ('Friday Night Lights,' 'Glory Road') in this under-
seen thriller, more than matching co-star Tim Robbins in intensity level and setting the screen on fire (sorry) as a decent man turned terrorist by the brutality of apartheid. --Patricia Chui

Why We Fight25.
'Why We Fight'
Eugene Jarecki's sensational documentary about the U.S. war machine gets more relevant by the day. Instead of falling into the trap of telling you this is a film every American must see (d'oh!), I'll just wonder aloud why it couldn't have made a tenth of what 'Fahrenheit 9/11' grossed. --Kevin Polowy

Babel24. 'Babel'
Alejandro González Iñárritu's brilliant meditation on the global breakdown of communication shows that although one event can tie people together on four different continents, it can't make them understand each other. It's utterly depressing, and that's why it's so good. --Tom DiChiara

Inside Man23. 'Inside Man'
It'd been a while since Spike Lee's last hit (I'm guessing 'She Hate Me' won't be mentioned in his eulogy), but he went outside the box with 'Inside Man,' delivering a sly, savvy caper whose marquee stars are having such a ball, it oughta be criminal. Spike Lee, fun? Who knew? --Patricia Chui

Jesus Camp22. 'Jesus Camp'
This documentary gives a frightening glimpse into the minority of the country who have co-opted our national political agenda for the last several years thanks to their attention-grabbing activism. And here's how they do it: They start training them young ... real young. --Angie Argabrite

Apocalypto21. 'Apocalypto'
Say what you will about Mel Gibson, but the guy took a cast of Yucatec-speaking non-actors and a topic (the downfall of Mayan civilization) that's not exactly hot-button and made a 2 ½-hour film that's gorgeous, captivating, unique, and, frankly, awesome. --Tom DiChiara

Sherrybaby20. 'Sherrybaby'
Maggie Gyllenhaal is all raw emotion and unbridled id as a former drug addict fresh out of jail and trying to get her life back on track, with mixed results. When Sherry tries to run off with her daughter but turns back, it's the most mature decision she's ever made. --Angie Argabrite

The Groomsmen19. 'The Groomsmen'
You know you're in uncharted waters when Matthew Lillard plays a devoted family man; but he's just one of the likable, sharply drawn characters in this terrific Ed Burns film about buddies who bond, fight, and come together in the service of friendship, loyalty and rock 'n' roll. --Patricia Chui

United 9318. 'United 93'
Paul Greengrass dramatizes what should have been a routine flight but that became the only planned suicide mission not to reach its target on 9/11. Pieced together from passengers' and crew members' last cell phone calls, the film is quietly devastating. --Angie Argabrite

Little Children17. 'Little Children'
Suburban dysfunction has been done to death ever since 'American Beauty,' but Todd Field ('In the Bedroom') crafts an entirely fresh melodrama on picket-fenced streets, in part thanks to the film's splendidly dry narration, in part to the sheer presence of Kate Winslet. --Kevin Polowy

The Descent16. 'The Descent'
This lean, mean thriller about sexy female spelunkers battling bloodthirsty cave mutants avoids classic fright-film pitfalls: lame twists, gratuitous shower scenes (OK, I like these) and a silly hook-wielding killer. And it oozes with a quality so many horror pics lack: actual horror. --Tom DiChiara

Slither15. 'Slither'
A criminally under-seen horror thriller penned and directed by 'Dawn of the Dead' screenwriter James Gunn (also hubby to Jenna Fischer, Pam on 'The Office'), 'Slither' tickled us, grossed us out and gave us a new appreciation for Air Supply's 'All Out of Love.' --Angie Argabrite

Thank You for Smoking14.
'Thank You for Smoking'
Writer-director Jason Reitman has done something awe-inspiring: He's made a Big Tobacco lobbyist into a sympathetic character. For this, he owes no small debt to Aaron Eckhart, who imbues said lobbyist with piss, vinegar and vulnerability. --Tom DiChiara

Water13.
'Water'
Think you had a rough childhood? At 8, young Indian Chuyia (Sarala) is married off to an old (old!) geezer; when he croaks she's banished to a widow's colony. Deep Metha's heartrending tale about outdated traditions a world away would make a Bond villain sob. --Kevin Polowy

Dave Chappelle's Block Party12.
'Dave Chappelle's Block Party'
He could do anything and make us laugh -- well, except quit TV. This purely fun doc alternates between the comic's brilliant non-act and treasured hip-hop acts and was the perfect antidote for those of us in 'Chappelle's Show' withdrawal. --Kevin Polowy

Children of Men11. 'Children of Men'
Alfonso Cuarón follows up his masterful stab at 'Harry Potter' with a film about a war-torn future where women can no longer bear children. Not surprisingly, it's bleak and not for kids. But it is more powerful than a hormonal teenaged wizard hopped up on gillyweed. --Tom DiChiara

Brick10. 'Brick'
A 1940s film noir set at a modern-day high school? What sounds like a bad gimmick is actually one of the freshest, smartest movies of the year, as cool and witty as Bogart on his best day. First-time director Rian Johnson, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. --Patricia Chui

Stranger Than Fiction9. 'Stranger Than Fiction'
Maybe his frat-boy demographic wasn't ready for a clothed and semi-serious Will Ferrell, but he charms the pants off us in this sweet, funny Charlie Kaufmanlike tale about an IRS auditor who learns he's the doomed hero of an unfinished novel. You stay classy, Will Ferrell. --Patricia Chui

Dreamgirls8. 'Dreamgirls'
How good's the music? There shouldn't be that much clapping in a movie theater. How good's the acting? Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé and Eddie Murphy ALL upstage Best Actor Jamie Foxx. How much did I not care about musicals until this one came along? That one's just rhetorical. --Kevin Polowy

Shut Up & Sing7.
'Shut Up & Sing'
This excellent Dixie Chicks documentary follows the band in the aftermath of singer Natalie Maines' 2003 Bush-bashing comment. Being reminded of how much the Chicks were bashed because of it makes us ashamed that those "patriots" are from our country. --Angie Argabrite

Little Miss Sunshine6. 'Little Miss Sunshine'
It's got a hilarious script and superb cast, but what makes 'Sunshine' rock so hard is its priceless details, from Dwayne's looks of horror to the van-pushing to Olive's gloriously tacky finale. Forget the superlatives; this film gets the highest praise I can give: I loved it. --Patricia Chui

Borat5. 'Borat'
Despite offending just about every ethnic, religious and gender group known to man, woman or goat, Sacha Baron Cohen's improv comedy was a runaway hit and the funniest flick of the year. By the time the credits roll, you'll want to make sexytime with this moviefilm. --Tom DiChiara

Casino Royale4. 'Casino Royale'
Finally, a James Bond who bleeds when bad guys cut him, scars when the love of his life hurts him and wins the day with brute force and smarts rather than gadgets. It sounds blasphemous, but Daniel Craig might be the best Bond ever. That's right, Lazenby fans. --Tom DiChiara

Half Nelson3. 'Half Nelson'
Crackheads tend to get a bad rap. Ryan Gosling plays the first one I ever rooted hard for as a Brooklyn teacher trying to inspire kids while he just can't say "No." It's is a startling achievement, a penetrating, engrossing, outstanding film. And that's putting it lightly. --Kevin Polowy

Pan's Labyrinth2. 'Pan's Labyrinth'
For sheer breathtaking imagination and narrative genius, no film in recent memory can top this heartrending fairy tale, a reminder of what the best movies are supposed to do: spirit you away to a strange and wondrous new world. In every sense of the word, it's fantastic. --Patricia Chui

The Departed1. 'The Departed'
Martin Scorsese is bringing gritty mob dramas back with this testosterone-charged Boston crime drama. There's a screen full of career-best performances -- Leo, Matt, Marky Mark -- and an ending so cool they needed three. And we loved every one of 'em. --Angie Argabrite