The Best Films of 2003

by LeoCrow2002 | created - 07 Jan 2011 | updated - 29 Aug 2011 | Public
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1. Mystic River (2003)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.0
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84 Metascore

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum

Votes: 364,930 | Gross: $90.14M

2. Lost in Translation (2003)

R | 102 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
89 Metascore

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris

Votes: 349,046 | Gross: $44.59M

3. 21 Grams (2003)

R | 124 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.7
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70 Metascore

A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts, Danny Huston

Votes: 202,048 | Gross: $16.25M

4. American Splendor (2003)

R | 101 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

7.5
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90 Metascore

An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini | Stars: Paul Giamatti, Shari Springer Berman, Harvey Pekar, Chris Ambrose

Votes: 43,822 | Gross: $6.00M

5. House of Sand and Fog (2003)

R | 126 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
71 Metascore

An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.

Director: Vadim Perelman | Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Frances Fisher

Votes: 59,224 | Gross: $13.01M

6. Shattered Glass (2003)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, History

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
73 Metascore

The story of a young journalist who fell from grace when it was discovered he fabricated over half of his articles from the publication The New Republic magazine.

Director: Billy Ray | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn, Peter Sarsgaard

Votes: 30,332 | Gross: $2.22M

7. Monster (2003)

R | 109 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
74 Metascore

Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

Director: Patty Jenkins | Stars: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen

Votes: 115,559 | Gross: $34.47M

8. Matchstick Men (2003)

PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
61 Metascore

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.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alison Lohman, Sam Rockwell, Bruce Altman

Votes: 112,706 | Gross: $36.91M

9. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
81 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy

Votes: 179,653 | Gross: $93.93M

10. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)

PG-13 | 107 min | Documentary, Biography, History

8.2
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87 Metascore

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.

Director: Errol Morris | Stars: Robert McNamara, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon

Votes: 20,474 | Gross: $4.19M

11. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
69 Metascore

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.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen

Votes: 818,117 | Gross: $70.10M

12. In America (2002)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
76 Metascore

A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou, Sarah Bolger

Votes: 37,895 | Gross: $15.54M

13. Elephant (2003)

R | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Elias McConnell, Alex Frost, Eric Deulen, John Robinson

Votes: 75,724 | Gross: $1.23M

14. Big Fish (2003)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.0
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58 Metascore

A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange

Votes: 372,089 | Gross: $66.26M

15. Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Not Rated | 107 min | Documentary, Biography

7.8
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90 Metascore

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.

Director: Andrew Jarecki | Stars: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman, David Friedman, Elaine Friedman

Votes: 20,878 | Gross: $3.12M

16. The Last Samurai (2003)

R | 154 min | Action, Drama, History

7.7
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55 Metascore

An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

Director: Edward Zwick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, William Atherton

Votes: 343,687 | Gross: $111.11M

17. Cold Mountain (2003)

R | 154 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.2
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73 Metascore

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.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins

Votes: 125,253 | Gross: $95.64M

18. Nirgendwo in Afrika (2001)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
72 Metascore

A German Jewish refugee family moves to and adjusts to a farm life in 1930s Kenya.

Director: Caroline Link | Stars: Juliane Köhler, Merab Ninidze, Matthias Habich, Sidede Onyulo

Votes: 11,249 | Gross: $6.17M

19. Owning Mahowny (2003)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.1
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70 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Kwietniowski | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Minnie Driver, John Hurt, Maury Chaykin

Votes: 11,192 | Gross: $1.01M

20. Raising Victor Vargas (2002)

R | 88 min | Drama, Romance

7.1
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83 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Sollett | Stars: Victor Rasuk, Donna Maldonado, Kevin Rivera, Krystal Rodriguez

Votes: 4,903 | Gross: $2.07M

21. School of Rock (2003)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Family, Music

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
82 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack, Adam Pascal

Votes: 226,313 | Gross: $81.26M

22. The Cooler (2003)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

7.0
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69 Metascore

In an old school Las Vegas casino, its top gambling jinx breaks his curse when he falls in love, much to his boss' consternation.

Director: Wayne Kramer | Stars: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin, Shawn Hatosy

Votes: 29,683 | Gross: $8.24M

23. The Station Agent (2003)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
81 Metascore

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.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Benjamin

Votes: 61,361 | Gross: $5.74M

24. Thirteen (2003)

R | 100 min | Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
70 Metascore

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.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Vanessa Hudgens

Votes: 72,694 | Gross: $4.60M

25. Finding Nemo (2003)

G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.1
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90 Metascore

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.

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich | Stars: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 782,280 | Gross: $380.84M

26. Whale Rider (2002)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Family

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.

Director: Niki Caro | Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis

Votes: 35,995 | Gross: $20.78M

27. Northfork (2003)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
64 Metascore

Set in 1955, the residents of a small Montana community are forced to move their homes to make way for a new dam.

Director: Michael Polish | Stars: Duel Farnes, Nick Nolte, Anthony Edwards, James Woods

Votes: 5,011 | Gross: $1.42M

28. Man on the Train (2002)

R | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
75 Metascore

A teacher and a gangster meet by chance in a small town pharmacy. As a friendship of sorts develops between these opposite personalities, each starts to envy the other and by the week's end... See full summary »

Director: Patrice Leconte | Stars: Jean Rochefort, Johnny Hallyday, Jean-François Stévenin, Charlie Nelson

Votes: 6,317 | Gross: $2.54M

29. Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

PG-13 | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

7.0
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72 Metascore

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.

Director: Peter Webber | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, Judy Parfitt

Votes: 64,503 | Gross: $11.63M

30. 28 Days Later... (2002)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
73 Metascore

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Alex Palmer

Votes: 323,464 | Gross: $45.06M

31. Open Range (2003)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.5
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67 Metascore

A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna, Abraham Benrubi

Votes: 57,938 | Gross: $58.33M

32. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.7
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66 Metascore

The daughter of orthodox Sikh rebels against her parents' traditionalism and joins a football team.

Director: Gurinder Chadha | Stars: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anupam Kher

Votes: 95,071 | Gross: $32.54M

33. Something's Gotta Give (2003)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.7
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66 Metascore

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.

Director: Nancy Meyers | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet

Votes: 97,414 | Gross: $124.73M

34. Pieces of April (2003)

PG-13 | 80 min | Comedy, Drama

7.1
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70 Metascore

A wayward daughter invites her dying mother and the rest of her estranged family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.

Director: Peter Hedges | Stars: Katie Holmes, Oliver Platt, Patricia Clarkson, Derek Luke

Votes: 18,658 | Gross: $2.53M

35. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

PG-13 | 78 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
91 Metascore

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.

Director: Sylvain Chomet | Stars: Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, Monica Viegas

Votes: 45,255 | Gross: $7.00M

36. Spellbound (2002)

G | 97 min | Documentary, Comedy, Thriller

7.6
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80 Metascore

Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz | Stars: Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar, Scott McGarraugh

Votes: 11,339 | Gross: $5.73M

37. A Mighty Wind (2003)

PG-13 | 91 min | Comedy, Music

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
81 Metascore

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.

Director: Christopher Guest | Stars: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer

Votes: 23,371 | Gross: $17.51M

38. Old School (2003)

R | 88 min | Comedy

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
54 Metascore

Three friends attempt to recapture their glory days by opening up a fraternity near their alma mater.

Director: Todd Phillips | Stars: Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Jeremy Piven

Votes: 194,978 | Gross: $75.59M

39. Stuck on You (2003)

PG-13 | 118 min | Comedy

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
62 Metascore

Conjoined twins from Martha's Vineyard move to Los Angeles so that one of them can pursue an acting career.

Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly | Stars: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes, Cher

Votes: 46,786 | Gross: $33.83M

40. Seabiscuit (2003)

PG-13 | 140 min | Drama, History, Sport

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
72 Metascore

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.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Cooper

Votes: 60,305 | Gross: $120.28M