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As the red carpet season officially started with Monday’s Golden Globe Awards, I have decided it is finally time to announce my personal picks for the best films of 2006. Granted, there are two films I have yet to see that I believe probably would have made my list (“Half Nelson” and “Little Children”), but in general, my picks aren’t exactly tracking with what will probably take home the gold statues come Oscar time. So, in no particular order, here they are:

Brick: This low-budget indie film is perhaps the only intelligent teen thriller I have seen–ever– and it gives a thoughtful millenialist perspective on the desire to love and be loved unconditionally.

Monster House: The best, smartest, and freshest family movie of the year that seems to have been overlooked on some other Beliefnet lists.

Inside Man: It takes quite a bit to stump me, but this heist movie always kept me guessing, and was socially conscious to boot.

For Your Consideration: I believe in the healing power of laughter, and this was the funniest movie of the year, as director Christopher Guest exposes the humor of human frailties without exploiting them.

Children of Men: While not completely satisfying, this movie is still a creative reflection on the value of human life.

The Queen: An original premise, brilliant acting, and layered nuances make this movie a gem.

World Trade Center: While “United 93” only gave me a panic attack, this 9/11 story filled me with hope in my fellow man.

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