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..
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.
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.
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!