Best-of-the-aughts: exploring 2004 and 2003

Another week, another double dose of years in the best-of-the-aughts series. This week will feature a breakdown of the best films from the years 2004 and 2003. There isn’t much need for an introduction this week, so I will jump right into the list.

As always, the list is in alphabetical order.


1. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy
Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy and the rest of his news team were the most quotable characters in any film from the decade..

2. Collateral
Seeing Tom Cruise in a villainous role was fascinating, as was Jamie Foxx’s performance.

3. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
I will fight anyone who speaks ill of this film.

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
My favorite actress (the always magnificent Kate Winslet) in her signature role. Yes, that is including Titanic.

5. Friday Night Lights
The most realistic portrayal of the culture of high school sports from the decade.

6. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
The more talkative half of the two-part film proved great dialogue could be just as thrilling as action scenes.

7. Mean Girls
This film further proved the genius of Tina Fey. Arguably just as quotable as Anchorman. 

8. Million Dollar Baby
The high point of Clint Eastwood’s consistently great decade (more on that in a little bit).

9. Shaun of the Dead
The first ever zom-rom-com is easily the best horror-comedy of the decade.

10. Spider-man 2
Iron Man and company gave it a great run in this summer’s The Avengers, but I still think Spidey holds the title for best Marvel movie thanks to this exhilarating film.


1. Big Fish
Tim Burton’s fantasy story about a father and his son is heartbreaking.

2. Elf
Buddy the Elf is classic.

3. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Never upset Beatrix Kiddo. This bloody homage to samurai films of the past turns the gore, and creativity, up to full blast.

4. The Last Samurai
Speaking of samurais. Although this is a much different type of samurai film, it is just as enjoyable.

5. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The culminating film in the most detailed cinematic universe ever created. Peter Jackson won all the Oscars for this movie.

6. Lost in Translation
What did she whisper in his ear at the end? The film is so good that it doesn’t even matter.

7. Mystic River
The film that kicked off Clint Eastwood’s unprecedented creative streak to finish out the decade.

8. Oldboy
It will be best if I say nothing about this film other than the fact that it was my favorite movie from 2003. Just go watch it. I won’t ruin the surprises.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Single-handedly revitalized the pirate genre and gave us the movie character most synonymous with the aughts: Captain Jack Sparrow.

10. X2: X-Men United
Easily the best of the original X-Men trilogy. The addition of Nightcrawler and the continued excellence of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart set this one apart from the first in the series.

Unfortunately I could not fit in all of the films I enjoyed from these two years, so I would like to give a shout out to the following for being awesome: Brad Pitt in Troy, the fight scenes in The Matrix Reloaded, the remake of Dawn of the Dead, “vote for Pedro” t-shirts and Gary Oldman’s take on Sirius Black. If you have any additions or subtractions that you think the list needs, feel free to comment below!

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3 Responses to Best-of-the-aughts: exploring 2004 and 2003

  1. cndy828 says:

    Your crazy aunt here. Just remember I am 50 something and the movies I watch aren’t necessarily what you would. I like your choices. I love Million Dollar Baby such a well acted movie. And Mystic River is one of those give you the creeps movies but once again excellent. I have to add Passion of the Christ, if you can watch that and not feel the pain that Jesus is goes through then you arent’ human. The Notebook, a chic flick tear jerker but well done. SeaBiscuit, really good true story movie. And lastly, Something’s Gotta Give, this one applies much more to and older audience but I don’t know when I laughed so hard as I did in a few scenes in this movie. And I really like Jack Nicholson.

    • Logan Butts says:

      I agree with Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River. The Notebook is great as well, but I ran out of room on the list. I haven’t seen Seabiscuit in forever and I haven’t seen Something’s Gotta Give or Passion of the Christ at all. I need to see those! And evryone should love Jack Nicholson!

  2. I don’t know much about particular years that movies came out, so I wouldn’t know which movies to add or take away from these lists. I do, however, love a couple of movies that you have mentioned. Anchorman has to be one of the funniest movies ever made; it’s a classic. The same could be said for Elf. With Christmas quickly approaching, I plan to watch Elf as much as I possibly can!

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