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HTF Top 10's of 2004: Time To Throw Down!

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jason Whyte, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. CalebC

    CalebC Extra

    Jan 6, 2003
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    was dogville a 2003 or 2004 movie? i could have sworn it was on '03. if not i must add it to my list.
  2. Nick C.

    Nick C. Second Unit

    Dec 27, 2001
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    Depends if you're going by international or US release dates (see Jason's instructional first post). It doesn't really matter which you use, as long as it's consistent with the rest of the list, I imagine.
  3. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

    Mar 4, 2001
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    As of right now, this is my list.

    1: The Machinist
    2: Haute Tension
    3: Friday Night Lights
    4: The Butterfly Effect
    5: Broken Lizard's Club Dread
    6: The Passion of the Christ
    7: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    8: Gozu
    9: The Woodsman
    10: Mean Creek
  4. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

    Dec 28, 1998
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    This is my list as of today.

    I havent seen:
    UnderTow, Mean Creak,Sideways,Closer, The Machinist,The Aviator or Kinsey (all of which Im looking foward to seeing)

    1. Million Dollar Baby
    2. Maria Full Of Grace
    3. Twilight Samurai
    4. Spiderman 2
    5. The Incredibles
    6. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
    7. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
    8. The Ladykillers
    9. The Butterfly Effect (Dir Cut)
  5. hanson mat

    hanson mat Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 23, 2003
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    Here is my current list:

    1)The Machinist
    2)Eternal Sunshine
    3)The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    4)Garden State
    6)Finding Neverland
    7)Napolian Dynamite
    8)The Corp.
  6. Don_Limey

    Don_Limey Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 15, 2004
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    10. Hellboy
    9. Butterfly Effect
    8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    7. Dodgeball
    6. Collateral
    5. Kill Bill Vol. 2
    4. Team America: World Police
    3. Ocean's Twelve
    2. Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
    1. Spiderman 2
  7. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

    Feb 4, 2002
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    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Quentin H
    Just like to say I LOVE all the graphics and everything people use for their lists. Wish I had the time...



    How does one pick best of the year? Even in a "down" year like this, the top films are always all so good. And, my top five are so disparate in genre and style. But, Clint won my heart with this one. It is the most flawless script in the bunch. Rock solid writing. Add to that top notch performances and a minimalist style worthy of note. It ranks with Rocky, and Raging Bull as one of the best boxing movies ever.


    So original. So unique. So touching. I never tire of watching this film. The performances are so perfect. And, the ending is a master stroke. It could be happy, it could be tragically sad. I could debate it either way for hours. And, I will! I love it enough to talk about it that long...


    The most personal and human film of the bunch. What can I say? Miles got to me. If his plight touched you, this film is in your top 5. Giamatti is heartbreaking.


    WOW! A movie about old Hollywood...GRAND old Hollywood...given to us from the master himself. He loves old film so much he uses different film stock to shoot the film. A friend of mine was talking to Scorsese about this great portrayal of a troubled genius...about the Mann's Chinese set they built. It was a near-exact replica, but one foot taller. My friend asked Scorsese why he built it one foot taller? "Because I could." I love Marty. Cate and Leo are awesome in this film. Whoda thunk I could care about a guy like this?


    This may not be my #1 film of the year, but it's the most fun! The best superhero movie ever made? Not Spidey, not X-Men...it's The Incredibles, hands down. Brad Bird rules.


    Man...this film is a real tear-jerker. But, it's so utterly enjoyable on the way there. So many moments of purity and goodness. So touching. I'll watch this again with my family...and cry even more.

    7. MAN ON FIRE

    Best 'genre' film of the year. I love when a writer/director decide to break out of the typical action formula and give me more. This film spends the first 50 minutes making sure I care about the two main characters. This is tantamount to me caring about one more minute. And, boy, it pays off. It involves you with the first act, takes you for a fun ride in the second, and then breaks your heart in the third.

    8. KILL BILL VOL. 2

    Tarantino doing what he does best. Capturing the flavor of so many great genres - spaghetti western, old Hong Kong kung fu film, 70's hardass action. The Elle/Bea fight is one for the ages, and I love the 5 finger palm payoff as much as the eye pluck. I could have done without trademark QT Superman rhetoric...but, hey, what're ya gonna do?


    House could have used Christopher Doyle. He added a touch to the mythical/dreamlike Hero that the film really needed. That said, I felt like I should include both. Still...House is imperfect to me, but Hero is complete. A smart, insightful, artistic eastern myth. I love it.

    10. SPARTAN

    So many films to choose for #10. Just see below. I picked Spartan because I think it gets an unfair shake. Not since Ronin have I enjoyed a spy thriller as much as this. I love Bourne Identity, but it's more of a popcorn thrill ride. This film is smart and sharp in a way only this, Ronin, Condor and a couple other films reach. Mamet fires off dialogue and if you can't follow that's your problem. Kilmer owns the film. I hope we continue to see more smart thrillers like this in the future. Here's hoping for The Interpreter to be just as good.

    Honorable mentions:
    Hotel Rwanda
    The Woodsman
    Before Sunset
    Garden State
    Dawn of the Dead
    The Machinist
    Twilight Samurai
    Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
    Touching the Void
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    Friday Night Lights
    Shaun of the Dead
    Bourne Supremacy

    Films I have yet to see:
    A Very Long Engagement
    Maria Full of Grace
    Life Aquatic


    Connie and Carla-

    This movie tops my worst list. Easily the most terrible of the terrible. What an unconvincing, overreaching, gut-churning, horrid rip-off of "Some Like it Hot". Nia Vardalos exposes her true self, and the rest of the world (hopefully) realizes "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was one of the most overrated hype jobs of all time.

    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

    Ugh. What a terrible waste of a great and original idea. There is less than no story here. Combined with wooden acting, it is a recipe that doomed this high concept idea to never again appearing on screen.
  8. Kristian

    Kristian Supporting Actor

    Jun 16, 2001
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    Top Ten of 2004


    1. Spider-Man 2


    2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


    3. The Incredibles


    4. Kill Bill: Volume 2

    5. The Aviator


    6. Hero


    7. The Passion of the Christ


    8. The Terminal


    9. Collateral

    10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Bottom Five of 2004

    1. Catwoman
    2. Kinsey
    3. Eurotrip
    4. The Girl Next Door
    5. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
  9. Joe Kamsan

    Joe Kamsan Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 14, 2002
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    2004 Top Ten

    1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    2. Before Sunset
    3. The Aviator
    4. Kill Bill Vol. 2
    5. Dogville
    6. The Incredibles
    7. The Village
    8. Dawn of the Dead
    9. Mean Creek
    10. The Bourne Supremacy

    Honorable Mention: Touching The Void, Million Dollar Baby, Spartan, Finding Neverland

    *Edited 2-14-05 to include "The Aviator" straight in to number 3, bumps "Touching The Void" out of the Top Ten

    Still To See: Sideways, Closer
  10. Fred Bang

    Fred Bang Stunt Coordinator

    May 7, 2000
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    Just a note that I've changed my #10 spot from HERO to GARDEN STATE.
  11. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    I've now seen most of the films I consider any sort of serious contender for my list.. and, after a lot of debate, I'm going to decide to pitch in.

    1. Sideways. This is the position I have really debated because every film within my top three I feel is deserving of #1. Sideways is, in my mind, a throwback film, a film that was daring through it's subtle use of camera work, allowing the actors to act and focus on them, rather then pretty scenery or cutaway movements. Sideways had long, involved sequences of dialog that managed to express meaning and a connection with the characters. Thoughtfully filmed, Sideways is the kind of film I wish were made more often.

    2. The Incredibles. Brad Bird should be recognized outside of the Best Animated Film category for a film that manages to delve into the human condition better then many live action films this year. Addressing questions of who we are, and what we want from life, the Incredibles is a family friendly film with a lot of meaning and substance to it that is too easily dismissed because of it's format. A gem in direction, movement and style, The Incredibles is everything I expect of Pixar and Bird.

    3. Closer. This is a film that I have debated back and forth on. For a while, I hated it. For another bit, I loved it. Closer is a film that a lot of people will find hard to stomach with it's to the point dialogue and no holds barred attack on the nature of love. But Closer scores so well by making the situations seem real enough, understanding the torment of the characters. It's part of what I loved and hated about the film, the closeness you feel to the emotions of the characters, the shallow nature of some moments and the serious "thud" of the reprocussions. Wonderfully filmed, well acted, and with such tight spaces to make you feel entrapped in the situations.

    4. Hotel Rwanda. This is a film that is, in many ways, similar to the kind of film that made "Schindler's List" so powerful, a story of a man who looked beyond himself to do the right thing. But what made this film stunning is how many people that I saw this with were still oblivious to this occurring. A film that more people should see just to be aware of the world around them. The acting within this film is absolutely top notch, and there are sequences - especially those in the streets outside the hotel - that are crushing with the emotion as everything right seems to go by the wayside.

    5. The Passion of the Christ. Very few films get as much positive and negative press as TPoTC. Some people will bitterly hate this film, some will love it. I am not a religious person, but being aware of the beliefs having grown up with them, I found Gibson's portrayal to be to the heart of many of them, the cinematography perfect, and one scene - the scene in which Mary sees her son fall - to be amongst the most powerful moments in all film this year.

    6. Million Dollar Baby. This is a film that, at the beginning, I thought would suffer from a script that seemed replete in everything you've seen before. Old manager, boxer on the outs. And yet, it manages to make it feel fresh and real. Eastwood turns in a fantastic performance and you relate to the characters. There were moments within Million Dollar Baby that I felt were not as good as it could have been, thus putting it at #6, however, it is a solid film that is probably going to stand up well in the test of time.

    7. A Very Long Engagement. Another film I fear will be overlooked because of low distribution. A sweeping film with a lot of heart and a difficult storyline. Definitely worth a watch.

    8. Before Sunset. I didn't get to see this in the theaters, finally watched on DVD. It was a glad find, one of the better films with a simple story. Sometimes, we dress up things with far too much "wow" moments instead of dealing with the subtle nature of reality. Before Sunset gets it, and sings true, making it a great film.

    9. Eternal Sunshine... one of those films that the first time I saw it, I hated it. Hated it. The second time I saw it, I said "hmm" By the third time I watched, I said "this is a good film" The more I watched Eternal Sunshine, the more I appreciated it, and began to really love the film.

    10. .. is still up for debate. I have several films I'm really debating over here, between "Finding Neverland" "Ray" "Kill Bill V. 2" etc.. I have not seen Vera Drake, Moolade or Aviator yet, so this list may also be revised...

    Revised: Ok, just watched Aviator. That one will not make my list. Not bad, but not top 10.

    Worst of the Year

    1. My Baby's Daddy (what a piece of crap) - I had managed to totally black this piece of garbage out until it was on Starz this weekend. Jeezus.

    2. Without a Paddle.

    3. Catwoman

    4. Alexander

    5. Phantom of the Opera - I know, I know, I just gave it a mixed review.. but the more I think about it, the more and more unhappy I am with this film, which isn't bad in the sense of some films that will go unnamed in my list, but bad in the sense that I feel it took a great work and pissed all over it.. at least "White Chicks" started as a piece of crap, so the fact it ended up that way isn't a big suprise.

    6. White Chicks. (said above)

    7. Soul Plane - what a racist piece of c***, for a film with so many African American people, the way it portrayed a large group of people (African Americans) was so offensive I wouldn't want my children to see it in any way shape or form. Talk about garbage.

    8. Club Dread - who greenlit this garbage?

    9. Stepford Wives. Couldn't leave well enough alone? I was waiting for Nicole Kidman to scream "Go Go Gadget robotwife!"

    10. Teacher's Pet. A film that tells kids being special is really not the way it is supposed to be, and only comformists really succeed. Way to go, Disney! Take a show with at least a good message "you can achieve anything!" and turn it into a movie that says "you have to do what you were born to do, you'll never be greater then that" What a message!

    11. Fat Albert I had to make mention for this. CRAP.

    Top Performances


    Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda)
    Jim Caveziel (The Passion of the Christ)
    Jamie Foxx (Ray)


    Hillary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)
    Natalie Portman (Closer)
    Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
  12. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

    Mar 4, 2000
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    League City, Texas
    Real Name:
    Craig Seanor
    Here's the latest cut of my Top Ten:
    1. Sideways
    2. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
    3. A Very Long Engagement
    4. Kill Bill, Vol. 2
    5. Finding Neverland
    6. Hero/House Of Flying Daggers
    7. Million Dollar Baby
    8. The Aviator
    9. The Incredibles
    10. The Terminal
    Bubbling Under - these films were at one time in (or in consideration for) my Top Ten. All are very worthy contenders. In alphabetical order:
    • Closer
    • Collateral
    • Friday Night Lights
    • Garden State
    • Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban
    • Hotel Rwanda
    • Kinsey
    • Miracle
    • The Passion Of The Christ
    • The Polar Express (3D IMAX Version)
    • Ray
    • Spider-Man 2
    • The Woodsman
    I have seen a total of 78 2004 films. Here are the Top Ten contenders I have yet to see:
    • The Assassination Of Richard Nixon
    • Bad Education
    • The Motorcycle Diaries
    • The Sea Inside
    I try to avoid bad movies, but here's the bottom 5 I saw this year, with number 1 being the worst:
    1. Twisted
    2. Godsend
    3. The Forgotten
    4. Walking Tall
    5. Van Helsing
  13. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

    Feb 22, 2000
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    Still have a lot to see but I'll go ahead and post a list

    2004 Top 10 List (NY/LA 1st Release)

    1. Dogville
    2. The Brown Bunny
    3. The Return
    4. The Trilogy: An Amazing Couple
    5. Intimate Strangers
    6. Dawn Of The Dead (04)
    7. Sideways
    8. The Trilogy: On The Run
    9. Rosenstrasse
    10. The Five Obstructions

    2004 Top 10 List (World 1st Release)

    1. The Brown Bunny
    2. Intimate Strangers
    3. Dawn Of The Dead
    4. Sideways
    5. Shaun Of The Dead
    6. We Don't Live Here Anymore
    7. Team America World Police
    8. Kill Bill, Vol. 2
    9. Control Room
    10. Jersey Girl

    10 Best Movies I Saw For The 1st Time In 2004

    1. In A Year With 13 Moons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
    2. Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais)
    3. The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang)
    4. Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu)
    5. A Page Of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa)
    6. Lola (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
    7. The Battle Of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo)
    8. Minnie & Moskowitz (John Cassavetes)
    9. Autumn Tale (Eric Rohmer)
    10. The Passion Of Anna (Ingmar Bergman)
  14. Brian.L

    Brian.L Supporting Actor

    Feb 5, 2004
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    Top Ten of 2004

    1. Sideways

    2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    3. The Incredibles

    4. Shaun of the Dead

    5. Control Room


    6. Before Sunset

    7. The Staircase

    8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    9. Collateral

    10. Friday Night Lights

    Honorable Mentions:
    In Good Company, Touching the Void, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Aviator, Spider-Man 2, Primer

    EDIT 1/6/11: Added The Staircase and messed around with the ratings a bit. This year was so good it's crazy.
  15. Stevan Lay

    Stevan Lay Second Unit

    Jan 5, 2000
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    Best of 2004

    By Australian release:
    1. The Station Agent
    2. The Incredibles
    3. Open Range
    4. The Passion of the Christ
    5. The Twilight Samurai
    6. House Of Flying Daggers
    7. Garden State
    8. Dawn of the Dead
    9. Infernal Affairs
    10. Before Sunset

    Worst of 2004
    • Envy
    • Twisted
    • Gothika
    • The Whole 10 Yards
    • Van Helsing
  16. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

    Feb 22, 1999
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    MY TOP TEN OF 2004
    1. Million Dollar Baby
    2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    3. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
    4. Before Sunset
    5. Sideways
    6. Hotel Rwanda
    7. Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement)
    8. The Aviator
    9. Closer
    10. Garden State
    11. Mar adentro (The Sea Inside)
    12. Tarnation
    13. Diarios de motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries)
    14. Primer
    15. Kinsey
    16. Dogville
    17. Spartan
    18. Undertow
    19. Ying xiong (Hero)
    20. Collateral[/list=1]
  17. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Apr 9, 2000
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    I should just put a placeholder, as well, but I'm sure it'll be well over a year and probably longer before I can put this question of "2004 favorites" to bed. Ah well, here's the first draft, and I've noted those I've now seen more than once as "(*)":

    1. Before Sunset (*)
    2. Dogville (*)
    3. Kill Bill 2 (*)
    4. House of Flying Daggers (*)
    5. Cowards Bend the Knee
    6. Hero (*)
    7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (*)
    8. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
    9. The Return
    10. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
  18. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

    Jun 21, 2000
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    Matt Stone
    First update on my list. I dropped Sky Captain and Spartan in favor of Kinsey and Baadasssss!
  19. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

    Jun 27, 1999
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    Finalized since this is what is going to the proverbial press.

    Best of 2004 version

    1. Dogville
    2. The Five Obstructions (De Fem benspaend)
    3. Before Sunset
    4. The Village
    5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    6. The Aviator
    7. Million Dollar Baby
    8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    9. Kill Bill Vol. 2
    10. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

    Honorable Mentions
    -Bon Voyage
    -Code 46
    -Cowards Bend the Knee
    -Garden State
    -Hero (Ying xiong)
    -House of Flying Daggers
    -Maria Full of Grace
    -The Saddest Music in the World
    -Spider-Man 2
    -Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring
    -Touching the Void

    Just missing the cut
    -Blind Shaft (Mang jing)
    -Enduring Love
    -I Heart Huckabees
    -The Incredibles
    -Intimate Strangers (Confidences trop intimes)
    -Mean Girls
    -The Polar Express
    -The Return (Vozvrashcheniye)
    -Secret Things (Choses secretes)
    -Shall We Dance?
    -Super Size Me
    -The Terminal
    -Time of the Wolf (Les Temps du loup)
    -Vera Drake
  20. Chris_Richard

    Chris_Richard Supporting Actor

    Dec 3, 2001
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    1. Dogville
    2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    3. The Aviator
    4. Vera Drake
    5. Mean Creek
    6. Collateral
    7. Sideways
    8. p.s.
    9. Closer
    10. Saved

    Just Missed Out: Baadasssss!, Control Room, Finding Neverland, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Kinsey, A Very Long Engagement.

    I still have a few films to see, so I expect there will be some movement.

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