RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS
Walk down memory lane… And let the movie nerd debate begin.
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.
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.
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
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.