2004: The Top 50 Ranked (RottenTomatoes average rating)

According to average rating on RottenTomatoes.com, these are the 50 best films of 2004*

*RELEASED to a general American audience in 2004, not necessarily filmed/produced in 2004
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1.
Sideways (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle. (126 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
 
2.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with. (108 mins.)
Director: Michel Gondry
 
3.
Before Sunset (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour. (80 mins.)
 
4.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. (132 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
5.
The Incredibles (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world. (115 mins.)
Director: Brad Bird
 
6.
Hero (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors. (99 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
 
7.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius. (127 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
 
8.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young and truth seeking boy travels to an isolated lake, where an old Buddhist master lives on a small floating temple. (103 mins.)
Director: Ki-duk Kim
 
9.
Maria Full of Grace (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A pregnant Colombian teenager becomes a drug mule to make some desperately needed money for her family. (101 mins.)
Director: Joshua Marston
 
10.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. (121 mins.)
Director: Terry George
 
11.
Vera Drake (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family. (125 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
12.
The Aviator (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s. (170 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
13.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry. (142 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
14.
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem. (119 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
 
15.
Osama (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The Taliban are ruling Afghanistan, they being a repressive regime especially for women, who, among other things... (83 mins.)
Director: Siddiq Barmak
 
16.
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle. (137 mins.)
 
17.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living. (99 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
 
18.
Shrek 2 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Princess Fiona's parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres. (93 mins.)
 
19.
Kinsey (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior. (118 mins.)
Director: Bill Condon
 
20.
The Sea Inside (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The factual story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro, who fought a thirty-year campaign in favor of euthanasia and his own right to die. (125 mins.)
 
21.
Bad Education (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends. (106 mins.)
 
22.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling. (126 mins.)
Director: Walter Salles
 
23.
I'm Not Scared (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A young boy accidentally discovers a deep hole in the ground, where another boy is kept prisoner. (108 mins.)
 
24.
Finding Neverland (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. (106 mins.)
Director: Marc Forster
 
25.
A Very Long Engagement (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Tells the story of a young woman's relentless search for her fiancé, who has disappeared from the trenches of the Somme during World War One. (133 mins.)
 
26.
Garden State (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade. (102 mins.)
Director: Zach Braff
 
27.
Collateral (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. (120 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
 
28.
Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared. (121 mins.)
Director: Wolfgang Becker
 
29.
Ray (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s. (152 mins.)
Director: Taylor Hackford
 
30.
The Woodsman (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A child molester returns to his hometown after 12 years in prison and attempts to start a new life. (87 mins.)
Director: Nicole Kassell
 
31.
Intimate Strangers (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Frenchwoman tells her marital troubles to a man she mistakes for a psychiatrist, and soon they form an unusual relationship. (104 mins.)
Director: Patrice Leconte
 
32.
Mean Creek (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When a teen is bullied, his brother and friends lure the bully into the woods to seek revenge. (90 mins.)
 
33.
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry, he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive. (108 mins.)
Director: Paul Greengrass
 
34.
Friday Night Lights (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Based on H.G. Bissinger's book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers. (118 mins.)
Director: Peter Berg
 
35.
Zatoichi (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda. (116 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano
 
36.
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes. (129 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
37.
In Good Company (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A middle-aged ad exec is faced with a new boss who's nearly half his age... and who also happens to be sleeping with his daughter. (109 mins.)
Director: Paul Weitz
 
38.
Miracle (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Miracle tells the true story of Herb Brooks (Russell), the player-turned-coach who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Russian squad. (135 mins.)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
 
39.
The Mother (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A grandmother has a passionate affair with a man half her age, who is also sleeping with her daughter. (112 mins.)
Director: Roger Michell
 
40.
Mean Girls (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Cady Heron is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George. (97 mins.)
Director: Mark Waters
 
41.
Team America: World Police (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Popular Broadway actor Gary Johnston is recruited by the elite counter-terrorism organization Team America: World Police. As the world begins to crumble around him, he must battle with terrorists, celebrities and falling in love. (98 mins.)
Director: Trey Parker
 
42.
Dogville (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away... (178 mins.)
Director: Lars Von Trier
 
43.
Hellboy (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness. (122 mins.)
 
44.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
After New York City receives a series of attacks from giant flying robots, a reporter teams up with a pilot in search of their origin, as well as the reason for the disappearances of famous scientists around the world. (106 mins.)
Director: Kerry Conran
 
45.
Being Julia (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Set in '30s London, the film involves stage actors and their experiences with love and revenge. (104 mins.)
Director: István Szabó
 
46.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall. (101 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
 
47.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents' vast fortune. (108 mins.)
Director: Brad Silberling
 
48.
The Merchant of Venice (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead. (131 mins.)
Director: Michael Radford
 
49.
Bon voyage (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An actress, a writer, a student, and a government worker band together in an effort to escape Paris as the Nazis move into the city. (114 mins.)
 
50.
The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Based on real life events, Assassination is set in 1974 and centers on a businessman who decides to take extreme measures to achieve his American dream. (95 mins.)
Director: Niels Mueller