The Best Films of 2003

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1.
Mystic River (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy. (138 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
2.
Lost in Translation (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. (101 mins.)
Director: Sofia Coppola
 
3.
21 Grams (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con. (124 mins.)
 
4.
American Splendor (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar. (101 mins.)
 
5.
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners. (126 mins.)
Director: Vadim Perelman
 
6.
Shattered Glass (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The true story of a young journalist who fell from grace when it was found he had fabricated over half of his articles. (94 mins.)
Director: Billy Ray
 
7.
Monster (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer. (109 mins.)
Director: Patty Jenkins
 
8.
Matchstick Men (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A phobic con artist and his protégé are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the former's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly. (116 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
9.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America. (138 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
 
10.
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara. (107 mins.)
Director: Errol Morris
 
11.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of. (111 mins.)
 
12.
In America (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child. (105 mins.)
Director: Jim Sheridan
 
13.
Elephant (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent. (81 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
14.
Big Fish (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life. (125 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
15.
Capturing the Friedmans (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes. (107 mins.)
Director: Andrew Jarecki
 
16.
The Last Samurai (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle. (154 mins.)
Director: Edward Zwick
 
17.
Cold Mountain (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart. (154 mins.)
 
18.
Nowhere in Africa (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A German Jewish refugee family moves to and adjusts to a farm life in 1930s Kenya. (141 mins.)
Director: Caroline Link
 
19.
Owning Mahowny (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A bank manager with: (a) a gambling problem and (b) access to a multimillion dollar account gets into a messy situation. Based on the story of the largest one-man bank fraud in Canadian history. (104 mins.)
 
20.
Raising Victor Vargas (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Lower East Side teen-ager struggles to find some sanity while surrounded by an eccentric grandmother, a crazy new girlfriend, and a longing younger brother. (88 mins.)
Director: Peter Sollett
 
21.
School of Rock (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
After being kicked out of a rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of a strict elementary private school, only to try and turn it into a rock band. (108 mins.)
 
22.
The Cooler (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation. (101 mins.)
Director: Wayne Kramer
 
23.
The Station Agent (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss. (89 mins.)
Director: Tom McCarthy
 
24.
Thirteen (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A thirteen-year-old girl's relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend. (100 mins.)
 
25.
Finding Nemo (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home. (100 mins.)
 
26.
Whale Rider (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize. (101 mins.)
Director: Niki Caro
 
27.
Northfork (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Set in 1955, the residents of a small Montana community are forced to move their homes to make way for a new dam. (103 mins.)
Director: Michael Polish
 
28.
Man on the Train (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A teacher and a gangster meet by chance in a small town pharmacy. As a friendship of sorts develops between these opposite personalities... (90 mins.)
Director: Patrice Leconte
 
29.
Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works. (100 mins.)
Director: Peter Webber
 
30.
28 Days Later... (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. (113 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
 
31.
Open Range (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman. (139 mins.)
Director: Kevin Costner
 
32.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism and joins a football team (soccer in America). (112 mins.)
Director: Gurinder Chadha
 
33.
Something's Gotta Give (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age. (128 mins.)
Director: Nancy Meyers
 
34.
Pieces of April (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A wayward daughter invites her dying mother and the rest of her estranged family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. (80 mins.)
Director: Peter Hedges
 
35.
The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him. (78 mins.)
Director: Sylvain Chomet
 
36.
Spellbound (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. (97 mins.)
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
 
37.
A Mighty Wind (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Mockumentary captures the reunion of 1960s folk trio the Folksmen as they prepare for a show at The Town Hall to memorialize a recently deceased concert promoter. (91 mins.)
 
38.
Old School (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Three friends attempt to recapture their glory days by opening up a fraternity near their alma mater. (88 mins.)
Director: Todd Phillips
 
39.
Stuck on You (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Conjoined twins from Martha's Vineyard move to Los Angeles so that one of them can pursue an acting career. (118 mins.)
 
40.
Seabiscuit (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation. (140 mins.)
Director: Gary Ross