movie of the year

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest for its visual splendour and excitement. The runner-up in this category is Shaolin Soccer, which is made by the same guy who made 2005's movie of the year, Kung Fu Hustle.

best movie

The Butterfly Effect is the year's best movie, followed by Birth. There is stiff competition coming from the exciting and superb Confessions of A Dangerous Mind as well as Lord of War. Such a listing convinces me that, although the year wasn't as exciting, it probably had more supreme movies compared to 2005.

spectacle of the year

Nothing beats Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in terms of size, not to mention breath-taking effects.

performance of the year

Crispin Glover shines in a bizarre performance in the surreal Dead Man. Another favorite of mine is the almost comic one of James Caan in Dogville, however the year's favorite is easily Eamonn Walker's dictator in Lord of War, a great highlight of an already brilliant movie. I found the character portrayal of Tia Dalma, the witch in Dead Man's Chest, the closest competitor to Eamonn Walker's character.

best female performance

Nicole Kidman's perplexed widow in Birth is her most intense and best ever. The most touching of female performances however goes to Amy Smart's in The Butterfly Effect for the part in which she's a wasted waiter.

best male performance

Jack Nicholson steals the screen away from the two leads of Easy Rider, while John Malkovich is notable for Ripley's Game. Another impressive, but overly self-conscious performance, is that for the daring show host found in V for Vendetta.

best cast

Red Dragon wins in this category due to luminous appearances from the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Emily Watson, etc.

direction

George Clooney really outdoes himself (even considering this is a debut) in the beautifully-crafted Confessions of A Dangerous Mind. This is not nearly the genius that is shown in Darren Aronofsky's Pi, and only masters wind up making electrifying fables like A History of Violence.

beautiful imagery

The festival depicted in Ghost in the Shell 2 is breathtaking. Runner-up is Rize's well-sculpted climactic scene, the one in which the performers dance to the sun with oil-covered skin, is so illustrious the characters seem god-like.

irritating, disturbing

Life Aquatic takes the lead here.

action movie

Me not being comfortable about the fact that there weren't too many competitors, Assault on Precinct 13 still deserves attention for its action (though it's no Die Hard) and good direction, even though it's got nothing fresh.

scariest

Birth wins for its edge-of-the-seat, slow thrills, well-enhanced by its performances, owed to Nicole and the boy.

script

Only a genius could be held responsible for The Butterfly Effect's superb, complex, and rich storyline. Lord of War deserves honorable mention for its very fresh take on gun-running, which happened to be a foreign idea to me.

prison depiction

This ain't no standard category, but nothing in my history of film viewing beats what's shown in The Butterfly Effect.

character design

The gorgeous designs in A Corpse Bride are breathtaking, but this only applies to living humans and not the ghosts, which are too gimmicky for my liking.

strangest movie

This honor goes to the weird Dead Man which has some very memorable scenes; It also has the honor of being totally respected by master-critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum.

cinematography

Man on Fire, with excellent, grainy touches and handheld camerawork, is followed by Constantine's gorgeous shots, Delicatessen's ultra-polished images and, to a lesser extent, Tsotsi's shots of SA's less pleasant living conditions.

music

Tsotsi's energetic Kwaito beats are well-executed, enhancing the movie.

war movie

Tears of the Sun shows the tough realities of African guerilla warfare, distorted as it may be.

production design

Tough competition sees Constantine, Man on Fire, Spiderman 2, and Tsotsi battling without a clear winner.

visual effects

Pirates of the Caribbean is up there with King Kong among the greatest ever visual spectacles. An honorable mention goes to SpiderMan 2 and another to the lower-budget entrant, Constantine.

sound

The Ring uses wonderful sound to achieve its scare effort and is followed closely by Man on Fire.

editing

Nothing beats The Ring here especially with the well-done flashbacks. Runner-up is Man on Fire.

voice talent and voice-overs

One could watch Sin City just for the tough guy, deep male voices heard throughout.

shit

Star Wars III has the worst editing, worst acting, worst sound, worst direction, but got beaten by Eurotrip as worst movie.