Best Films of 2003

by jdkraus | created - 03 Jan 2013 | updated - 04 Jan 2016 | Public

2003 has some of the best films ever made. A number of them are personal favorites.

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1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

PG-13 | 201 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

94 Metascore

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Votes: 1,386,765 | Gross: $377.85M

2. The Last Samurai (2003)

R | 154 min | Action, Drama, History

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: 350,304 | Gross: $111.11M

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

63 Metascore

Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead.

Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

Votes: 913,299 | Gross: $305.41M

4. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

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: 842,949 | Gross: $70.10M

5. Bad Boys II (2003)

R | 147 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

38 Metascore

Two loose-cannon narcotics cops investigate the flow of Ecstasy into Florida from a Cuban drug cartel.

Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, Jordi Mollà

Votes: 195,701 | Gross: $138.61M

6. Secondhand Lions (2003)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

52 Metascore

A coming-of-age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas.

Director: Tim McCanlies | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Kyra Sedgwick

Votes: 46,734 | Gross: $41.41M

7. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 604,107 | Gross: $7.56M

8. Finding Nemo (2003)

G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

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: 806,673 | Gross: $380.84M

9. 21 Grams (2003)

R | 124 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

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: 204,753 | Gross: $16.25M

10. Mystic River (2003)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

84 Metascore

The lives of three men who were childhood friends are shattered when one of them has a family tragedy.

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

Votes: 371,046 | Gross: $90.14M

11. Seabiscuit (2003)

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

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: 61,023 | Gross: $120.28M

12. X2 (2003)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

68 Metascore

The X-Men band together to find a mutant assassin who has made an attempt on the President's life, while the Mutant Academy is attacked by military forces.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen

Votes: 453,925 | Gross: $214.95M

13. Cold Mountain (2003)

R | 154 min | Adventure, Drama, History

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: 127,319 | Gross: $95.64M

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

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

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: 182,736 | Gross: $93.93M

15. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

R | 129 min | Action, Sci-Fi

47 Metascore

The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 396,346 | Gross: $139.31M

16. Radio (2003)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

38 Metascore

The story of a high school coach and the developmentally challenged man who he took under his wing.

Director: Michael Tollin | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Debra Winger, S. Epatha Merkerson

Votes: 34,568 | Gross: $52.28M

17. Open Range (2003)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance

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: 58,945 | Gross: $58.33M

18. Big Fish (2003)

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

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: 376,886 | Gross: $66.26M