REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies 2004

RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS

Walk down memory lane… And let the movie nerd debate begin.

rewind2004

Let’s REWIND to the year 2004.

These are personal TOP 10s ranking Oscar-nominated movies right alongside popcorn-munching blockbusters, indie films, b-movies, and cult classics.You never know, you might even uncover a hidden gem or two.

2004 had some amazing honorable mentions. The year was just jam-packed with goodness. The #1 movie at the box office was SHREK 2 with $919.8 million worldwide. 
While the Top 10 is filled with fantastic must-watch flicks in a variety of genres (and sub-genres), 2004 had its fair share of shining turds like Hugh Jackman’s VAN HELSING, Halle Berry’s WTF version of CATWOMAN, the terrible disaster movie THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, M. Night Shyamalan’s descent with THE VILLAGE, and Vin Diesel’s disappointing sequel THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. Oh yeah, and then there was SOUL PLANE. 2004: A year with an abundance of everything (good, bad, and ugly).

My TOP 10 is followed by HONORABLE MENTIONS and the Best of ART VS POPCORN.

Let’s dig in…


THE TOP 10

10. DAWN OF THE DEAD

Zack Snyder directs this remake of George A. Romero’s cult classic. One of the big upgrades here is the edition of fast zombies. Intense. Gory. Fun.

9. GARDEN STATE

Natalie Portman and Zach Braff star in this coming-of-age romantic comedy. Opting for cynicism over cheese, there are a lot of laughs to go along with the drama in this under-the-radar indie.

8. SIDEWAYS

 This indie comedy focuses on character. Paul Giamatti blew up with this story about friends finding themselves (mid-life crisis style) in wine-tasting country. Thomas Haden Church steals the scene in a supporting role.

7. THE AVIATOR

Martin Scorsese directs Leonardo DiCaprio in this biopic about Howard Hughes, an eccentric millionaire. This character study follows his descent into mental illness.

6. MEAN GIRLS

This surprise cult classic comedy came out of nowhere, reaching far beyond its intended demographic. A clever screenplay from Tina Fey is a real highlight. Great comedic performances from Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, and Amanda Seyfried. An unexpected delight. Tons of laughs.

5. THE NOTEBOOK

This surprise romance avoided the cheese and set its roots in deeply heart-felt emotion. The movie made stars out of Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams because of how well the story connects. Heart-breaking and inspirational at the same time. An unexpected gem.

4. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

Mel Gibson directs this hard-hitting, unflinching, brutal portrayal of Jesus. Adapting the Bible with an attention to compelling visuals, the familiar story almost feels new. With a focus on the violence, the man’s sacrifice is embellished and felt. Regardless if the man debated his sanity or believed he was the son of God, it’s clear how committed he was to his own morals. Gibson forces us to consider the realism of the legend while avoiding hitting us over the head with message. Impressive.

3. SPIDER-MAN 2

One of the best comic book movies ever. The sequel focuses on character, trying to make us believe in the real world problems our superhero faces as much as the fantastic villains who oppose him. Once again, Sam Raimi directs with an eye for style and fun, while balancing strong emotional content.

2. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

An incredibly haunting premise is executed in a perfectly strange manner. Jim Carrey stretches his acting muscles with his best performance ever. Despite the weird science of the ultra-high concept, honest emotions ring true. Incredible performances all around, from stars Carrey and Kate Winslet, to the supporting cast of Kirsten Dunst and Mark Ruffalo. The less you know about this romance and its risky narrative, the better. Dark, yet full of light. Nuanced and special, in a league all its own.

1. KILL BILL: VOL.2

Tarantino’s “Blood Affair” comes to an end. While not as fantastic as VOLUME 1, the continuation is still the best of the year. Mixing the best flavours from the best genres, this revenge tale ends on a satisfying note. Tarantino knows how to orchestrate each scene, every one playing like its own short film. From the written word, to the hyper visuals and astounding acting, every second of this opus is phenomenal for grindhouse genre fans.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

listed alphabetically

COLLATERAL / FAHRENHEIT 9/11 / HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE / HELLBOY / THE INCREDIBLES / HARRY POTTER & THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN / NAPOLEON DYNAMITE / SAW / SHAUN OF THE DEAD / TEAM AMERICA


THE BEST OF ART VS POPCORN

listed alphabetically

ALEXANDER / ALIENS VS PREDATOR / ANCHORMAN / BLADE: TRINITY / THE BOURNE SUPREMACY / THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT / CLOSER / EUROTRIP / FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS / I HEART HUCKABEES / HOTEL RWANDA / HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS / I, ROBOT / KING ARTHUR / KUNG FU HUSTLE / LAYER CAKE / THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU / MAN ON FIRE / MILLION DOLLAR BABY / THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES / NATIONAL TREASURE / OPEN WATER / RAY / RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE / SHREK 2 / SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW / TROY / WALKING TALL / WHITE CHICKS / WIMBLEDON


MY MUST-WATCH LIST

notable films i need to watch

BEING JULIA / FINDING NEVERLAND / HIDALGO / THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA / THE POLAR EXPRESS / THE TERMINAL / VERA DRAKE


What do you think?

Stay Tuned for Rewind & Rank: 1994.


 

12 thoughts on “REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies 2004

  1. Wow, Shrek 2, what a time it was!
    I’ve never seen Kill Bill or Passion of the Christ or Mean Girls.
    I feel like Garden State embarrasses me now, when I rewatch it. I think that one is “so 2004”.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The look of the film got my ass in the seat. Then this happened. Remember when the plane became a submarine. Gwyneth Paltrow looked out the window and said “We’re under water.” So bad it’s bad. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The original Thomas Crown Affair is style over substance. This is just garbage. I didn’t like the movie. Can you tell? Having said that, every film deserves a second chance and I get the sense that many were more forgiving it than me and my mates.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Simply one of the greatest years for film as far as I’m concerned. I enjoyed your Top 10. Just superb. Hmmm. I’ll tell Sideways, The Passion of the Christ, Garden State and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou are favourite of mine from that year. But how many more can you say you love? So Many. What a year. Million Dollar Baby haunts down throughout the ages with that ending. Mean Girls has endured as the teen film for a whole generation. Collateral maybe Tom Cruise’s best film and that is high praise indeed. Motorcycle Diaries. Closer. Where would we be without Ron Burgundy?The Bourne Supremacy easily the best of the Bourne sequels. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban maybe the best one and certainly started to edge the series into a more mature fare with higher stakes. Napoleion Dynamite. Team America: World Police I ate my chair during the alley scene it just made me laugh so much. Shaun of the Dead announced the arrival of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright and Nick Frost on the world stage. Dawn of the Dead, has Zack Snyder ever really made a better film? The Incredibles may be Pixar’s best. I know that I’m saying that a lot but that’s really what these films were. Career best, genre best, decade best, series best. Spider-Man 2 is a prime example of that. Haven’t even discussed The Aviator, Eternal Sunshine and Kill Bill Vol. 2. I agree with you Jim Carrey’s best performance, not bloody Truman Show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best year? Well, that’s what these kind of Top 10s are so great for. For me, it was hard to rank the Top 10 because I liked a lot of these films, but didn’t love them. It was hard to weigh Shaun of the Dead with Dawn of the Dead, for example. I liked them both nearly equally.

      I love your thoughts though. You make several strong points. It’s interesting to look at 2004 from another point of view (also why I’ve been adding these lists for each year through the decades). Although, as for as the 2000s go, this may be one of the best individual years. Thanks for tossing your two cents into the well!

      Liked by 1 person

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