Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Mark Wahlberg headline the best cast of the year that also includes strong supporting roles for Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, and Vera Farmiga. I cannot say enough about this movie. If director Martin Scorsese doesn't get an Academy Award for this film there is no hope for the man. "The Departed" was spectacularly acted, had a great plot and didn't drag for a second. Not since "Goodfellas" has there been a better Mafia movie, and if Joe Pesci was in this it would surpass even that. In my mind, this is hands down the best picture of the year.
"Everything was very real. Nothing was taken away from reality," says Dan Coiro, a junior at Roxbury High School.
I'm still laughing from this outrageous mockumentary, and am counting down the days to its DVD release. There is nothing else like it. This equal-opportunity offender is as politically savvy as it is gut-wrenchingly hilarious.
"'Borat' was hilarious. I didn't stop laughing the whole time," said Kailee Beal, a sophomore at Roxbury High School.
Does Sacha Baron Cohen need to be nominated for a Golden Globe for you to see this movie? What's that? He has? Well, it certainly didn't get the nod for Best Picture. It did? Well now you have absolutely no excuse to avoid seeing this movie.
"It was so funny. I couldn't stop laughing at the stupidity,"said Brianne Talmadge, a sophomore at Roxbury High School.
3. Casino Royale
The James Bond franchise has never been the same since Sean Connery left it. It looked like things were heading in the right direction with "Goldeneye" in the mid-'90s, but that turned out to be a bust. Surely this no-name blonde would only bring the series further down. We all thought it, admit it. It's probably the reason most people didn't see it.
Thankfully, we were wrong. Daniel Craig brought new life and a fresh attitude to a character that just seemed to be going through the motions in the last few films. Craig single-handedly turned around the franchise and made the best action movie of the year.
"'Casino Royale' was the best James Bond movie I have ever seen," said Zack Izzo, an eighth-grader at Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury.
4. V for Vendetta
The Wachowski brothers follow the "Matrix" trilogy with the best film of the first half of the year. "V" was the most underrated movie of the year. It had a great story, which was incredibly original, and had a great political message. I think everyone who saw this film left the theater thinking, even if they didn't know it. It was stylish and action-packed, with mind-blowing effects that you would come to expect for the guys who created "The Matrix."
"It was more than just action,"said Roxbury High School junior Roy Bauer, "It had an intriguing plot."
With great performances from both Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, and a story that for the ages, it is hard to disappoint. If you were a fan of "The Matrix,""V" will not let you down.
5. United 93
It's too soon! That's what everyone was thinking when they first heard of this film. Many thought that people we just trying to make money from a terrible tragedy, and the film would not do justice to that terrible day in our nation's history.
Well, I'm not going to say this movie is for everyone, because it certainly isn't, as this is a very sensitive subject. But if you think you are ready for it, you will find one of the best movies of the year. Paul Greengrass, director of "The Bourne Supremacy," gets every detail down and make a tasteful, respectable film. You will feel emotional watching this, but it does the event justice, which is why many are hailing it as the best picture of the year.
"It was a dramatic movie, which portrayed the even realistically," said Greg Camasta, a junior at Roxbury High School.
6. Blood Diamond
I don't think anybody was expecting much from this movie. Sure, I thought it would be good, but was it really going to be that great? My expectations were exceed with this film, as it was one of the best-acted movies of the year, with each lead delivering an Oscar-worthy performance.
It tells of the controversial diamond industry in Africa, and after seeing this movie, I will never look at an engagement ring the same way again. There is a reason Leonardo DiCaprio got nominated for this along with "The Departed."Personally, I think he did a better job in this.
"I never thought I'd say it, but I was blown away by DiCaprio's performance," said Matt Diton, a junior at Roxbury High School.
7. Rocky Balboa
"'Rocky' has been dead for a long time. This movie is going to ruin the franchise more than 'Rocky V' did. Stallone is just too old."
Nobody was giving this movie a chance, and I don't blame them. After the debacle that was "Rocky V," it was would be no easy task restoring the series, and the fact that Stallone was nearly 60 years old didn't help matters.
People forgot one thing, though: This was the year to reboot franchises. Like "Batman Begins" and "Casino Royale," the movie was top notch, restoring pride to what was supposedly a forgotten franchise.
I couldn't be happier. Rocky deserved to go out better than he did in "Rocky V." At the end, the crowd was still cheering, just as they were nearly three decades ago.
"It was aware of how over the hill it was. Using that to his advantage, Stallone created a truly inspirational movie," said die-hard "Rocky" fan Tim McMillan, a junior at Roxbury High School.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
While not nearly as good as the first, mostly because it just set up the third installment of the series, due out this May, "Pirates 2" was no slouch.
"It was not as good as the first one, but was a great setup for the third," said Alison Hadley, a junior at Roxbury High School.
This was evident as it shattered nearly every record in the book, including largest single-day gross and largest opening weekend.
All of the characters you've come to love returned and brought their A-game. This was the blockbuster of the summer, and it didn't disappoint. It was enough to give Johnny Depp his second nod for his portrayal of the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. I'd say that I would be first in line for the third movie, but I know there will be people in sleeping bags waiting for the final one to arrive in theaters.
9. Inside Man
It seems Denzel Washington can do no wrong. "Remember the Titans,""Training Day,""Malcolm X," the guy just doesn't make bad movies. Even his mediocre ones –"D