Our Top 10's of 2003: Time To Throw Down!

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jason Whyte, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. L. Anton Dencklau

    L. Anton Dencklau Second Unit

    Mar 23, 2000
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  2. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

    Mar 23, 2000
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    1. Finding Nemo
    2. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    3. The Last Samurai
    4. 21 Grams
    5. Kill Bill
    6. A Mighty Wind
    7. X-Men 2
    8. Pirates of the Carribean
    9. The Station Agent
    10. Triplets of Belleville, The
    ...for now.
  3. Raymond_H

    Raymond_H Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 31, 2001
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    Updated (12/27/03)

    I have seen a total of 47 2003 films, 95% of those movies should be considered "mainstream" titles, so alot of independent films and the like I have not seen yet.

    Criteria - My *favorite* movies, the ones I enjoyed most.

    Ray's 10 Favorite Movies of 2003

    1. Finding Nemo

    Pixar does it again, creating not only a visual masterpiece - the exact detail on how exactly the fish swim, the lighting, and the perspective of depth in the ocean - but also a wonderful tale of a father/son adventure that has so much heart in its core.


    2. Kill Bill : Volume 1

    Kill Bill represents of what a movie going experience is all about. The 4th Film by QT is enough to earn points, notice how many times you are recongizing QT's "trademarks" during the movie, some are and some aren't but the fact is the movie experience is well conceived here.


    3. Lord of The Rings : Return of the King

    The new "holy trilogy" has ended, and while I believe the movies(Two Towers especially) were dumb down a bit to be more action-oriented, Return of the King does indeed mark a Return - to the human elements of Fellowship . Great scenery, awesome action, good character moments, it cannot get better then that.


    4. Last Samurai

    What a wonderful surpise this movie was, after Minority Report I had a new interest in Tom Cruise but felt maybe it was Spielberg who was the one to praise but Last Samurai has changed that, Tom Cruise is indeed the man. Maybe not as much as Ken Watanabe who surprisingly steals the show.


    5. , X-Men United

    After the mediocre first movie, X-Men United comes out swinging in full force showing the potential of its story and characters. Despite a good villian the pacing and situations of how the characters evolve(the kids, Jean Grey) is such a delight to see, bring on #3.

    7. Mystic River

    While the characters and plot were meanlingless thus making some the emotional impact non existent, the telling of the story and acting are very remarkable. The craft of seeing a director getting the most of his actor's was just a joy to see.

    8. Millenium Actress

    I am a sucker for animated films (read: Finding Nemo) but here is another candidate that easily coud've been listed higher, a feel good movie that even though you know the characters are hand drawn they seem very real and the emotions are there pulling at you. Definetly a must see for those who have skipped or never heard of this movie.


    9. Out of Time

    Another surpise movie that caught me, a simple thriller movie but with alot of depth and just in general a very fine movie. We see Denzel in moments we never seen him before, he is venerable and boy was it exciting.

    10. Terminator 3 : Rise of the Machines

    A popcorn film that delievers. Crazy action, stupid one-liners, bad jokes, questionable acting are all here but the high budget movie was sure a joy to watch. Just the fact they didn't screw it up but made a decent story with some kick ass action was enough for me.

    Bottom 5 Movies of 2003

    1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    2. Jeepers Creepers II
    3. Underworld
    4. Charlie's Angels : Full Throttle
    5. Matrix revolutions
  4. Jay W

    Jay W Supporting Actor

    Oct 5, 1999
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    The Top 10 Of 2003 (tentative)

    Still To See: Mystic River, Hero, Irreversible, American Splendor, Whale Rider, Lilya 4-Ever, Open Range

    1. [*]The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

    1. [*]Lost In Translation
      [*]City Of God (Cidade de Deus)
      [*]House Of Sand & Fog
      [*]Finding Nemo
      [*]Matchbox Men
      [*]21 Grams
      [*]Kill Bill, Vol. 1

      Film Count (2003): 48

      Ineligible For List: placeholder
      Honorable Mentions: placeholder
  5. Arman

    Arman Screenwriter

    Jan 10, 2003
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  6. Stevan Lay

    Stevan Lay Second Unit

    Jan 5, 2000
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    Total 2003 Films seen: 86

    Best of 2003

    #1: Cidade de Deus (City of God)
    Fernando Meirelles
    It’s not that often that a film comes around and totally floors me in the highest aspects that I expect of a great film as Cidade de Deus did. And it’s not that often that I get so engrossed and extremely excited by such a film that had stayed in my memory for many days after with its powerful images, dialogues, characters, and deft direction. Combined with the flawless performances, some brilliant soundtracks, sharp editing, and dazzling cinematography, first-time director Fernando Meirelles has delivered to me an unforgettable cinematic experience that I’ll treasure for a long time to come.

    #2: Ying Xiong (Hero)
    Zhang Yimou
    Forget Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this is the movie that should’ve been championed to the Western culture. With a formidable cast of Asian cinematic icons and absorbing cinematography, Ying Xiong unfolds more like poetry than theatre.

    #3: Better Luck Tomorrow
    Justin Lin
    Better Luck Tomorrow is a movie that I have a lot of time for. It is a striking movie that was both heartfelt and haunting in its conclusion. Had it not been for the great performance from Parry Chen and writer/director Justin Lin, the film would have suffered into a cliché about your average ethnic minority/high school/teenage angst. One of the scenes that I love and was most mesmerizing was the "graduation photo shoot" sequence.

    #4: Lost In Translation
    Sophia Coppola
    If you’ve seen Lost in Translation and had the opinion that nothing much happens in the movie except for two lonely Americans in a foreign country trying to make a break for a place of more familiar faces and surroundings than you’re right and didn’t miss much of what was portrayed on screen. This was also my reaction to the movie on initial viewing but to reject the film on surface level will only cheat your emotions of understanding. The ‘heart’ of the movie did not strike me until days later when reflecting back on the ending where Bob and Charlotte embrace each other and depart with a sense of more purpose and direction ahead. The performances from Bill Murray and the gorgeous Scarlett Johnansson are so sublime that you want to ‘belong’ in the moment.

    #5: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    Peter Jackson
    I’ve been one of the few that did not actually enjoy the first two chapters of Fellowship and Two Towers but it is safe to say that The Return of the King has come to the fore on this occasion. The film this time around seemed to have an urgency to it that was lacking in the first two episodes and as such the pacing is more viewer-friendly, even if the movie clocked in at over three hours long. Director Peter Jackson furthers his vision with this film and united with the great efforts from his trusted actors and crew they’ve created a grand picture of true epic proportions that IMO the Academy will have little hesitation in honoring as their best for 2003.

    #6: Seabiscuit
    Gary Ross
    This movie won me over with its big heart and inspiring tale that was uplifting and a crowd-pleaser. Seabiscuit had avoided the common pitfalls of being too manipulative and sentimental to be enjoyed from barrier to post. All the main leads were great with the standout coming from Chris Cooper and William H. Macy.

    #7: Raising Victor Vargas
    Peter Sollett
    The more I think about this movie the more I’m warming up to it. This coming-of-age romance is a ’gentle’ film that is both authentic and genuine due to the honest and raw performances from the two main leads in focus.

    #8: Kill Bill: Volume 1
    Quentin Tarantino
    The most fun viewing experience I had in 2003 was with Kill Bill: Volume 1. Like with all of his previous work, Tarantino has compiled a soundtrack that is again the highlight of this enthralling film. I cannot wait for the conclusion.

    #9: The Matrix: Reloaded
    The Wachowski Brothers
    Coming off the great momentum generated by the first Matrix movie, Reloaded continued with the same intensity and high-impact action that it was hard not to be consumed by its energy. It’s just an embarrassment that we had to follow this movie with the uninspiring Revolutions.

    #10: Matchstick Men
    Ridley Scott
    Matchstick Men is not only entertaining but offers educational references that viewers can take with them 'in case'... you happen to come across such individuals/groups. The performances from the three main leads were great, in particular of Cage (in which I've become to loathed as an actor but has come good in this movie) where you become to feel for his downfall. Matchstick Men is a casual viewing movie from a Director - Ridley Scott, who even not in his top form can skillfully produce such an enjoyable movie as this.
  7. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

    Aug 10, 2003
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    Movies seen as of December 27th: 47

    Top 10 of 2003

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    Would be here if it wasn't on my top 10 for 2002: City of God

    10th through 25th in alphabetical order:

    All the Real Girls
    American Splendor
    Bad Santa
    Bruce Almighty
    Dirty Pretty Things
    Italian Job
    Last Samurai
    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
    Matchstick Men
    Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
    School of Rock
  8. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

    Jun 21, 2000
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    2003 Top Ten
    Updated 5 February 2004
    Eligible Films Seen: 63

    1. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    Director: Peter Jackson

    There is little to say about this masterpiece that I haven't already said in other threads. PJ and company have outdone themselves with the finale of the greatest trilogy to grace film. As a fan of the book I commend the creative talent behind the film for doing a fantastic job of transcribing something that I hold dear to my heart. The atmosphere of this film is amazing coupled with a story that hits on all emotional levels. This isn't just the best film of 2003, it is quite possibly the greatest film in the last 20 years

    2. Irreversible
    Director: Gaspar Noé

    I have never seen another film that has affected me emotionally quite like this one. Gasper Noé tells us a standard revenge story in reverse in what could be the most violent thing I've ever seen. I've heard people criticize the films "in-reverse" storytelling method, but in my opinion there is no other way to achieve the sense of loss that this film conveys. The actions of the characters in this film truly show us that nothing in life is reversible.

    3. Lost in Translation
    Director: Sophia Coppola

    Does Sofia Coppola know how to tell a story, or what? I thought The Virgin Suicides was a great debut, but she comes out even stronger with her second film, Lost in Translation. Maybe it's the Bill Murray fan in me, or maybe it's my sentimental side, but this film floored me. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson have such an amazing chemistry together that I can't help but smile when reflecting on this film.

    4. American Splendor
    Director: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini

    Out of a year with a bunch of great comic book adaptations, this brilliant biographical-quasi-documentary is definitely the leader of the pack. Much like Lost in Translation, it skipped under my radar when it was released. Paul Giamatti is fantastic as the grumpy Harvey Pekar (hell, Harvey Pekar is fantastic as well [​IMG]). This is a flick that will get infinite spins in the Stoneyplex.

    5. The Shape of Things
    Director: Neil LaBute

    The Shape of Things is a fantastic exercise in manipulation; Not only manipulation of the main character, but manipulation of the audience. What is art? This film provides no answers, but I had quite an amazing time considering the possibilities.

    6. Kill Bill: Volume 1
    Director: Quentin Tarantino

    7. Mystic River
    Director: Clint Eastwood

    8. All the Real Girls
    Director: David Gordon Green

    9. The Matrix Reloaded
    Director: Wachowski Bros

    10. May
    Director: Lucky Mckee

    Other Films Worth Mentioning
    Dirty Pretty Things
    Director: Stephen Frears
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    Director: Gore Verbinski
    Cabin Fever
    Director: Eli Roth
    21 Grams
    Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

    2003 Best of the Rest
    (Films seen for the first time in 2003)
    1. North By Northwest
    2. Eraserhead
    3. The Thin Blue Line
    4. Battle Royale
    5. Lost Highway

    2003 Worst of the Worst
    1. The Life of David Gale
    2. Anger Management
    3. Just Married
    4. Dreamcatcher
    5. Identity

    Watch for updates! I will add comments about all films later this week.
  9. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

    Apr 7, 2000
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    I'll start with a Top 5 knowing that I'll be adding to this in the future.

    1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    2. Kill Bill Volume 1

    3. Open Range

    4. X-2

    5. Finding Nemo

    In the running
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

    High on my Must-See list
    Big Fish
    The Last Samurai
    Lost in Translation
    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
    Matchstick Men
    The Matrix Revolutions
    Mystic River
  10. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

    Jul 5, 2002
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    Place holder.

    In my top ten will be ROTK, Master & Commander, Mystic River, City of God and (probably) Whale Rider. Seeing a bunch between now and New Year's. Then I need to sort out with films I saw earlier in year. Catch y'all later.
  11. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

    Nov 20, 2001
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    Top 10 Films of 2003




    4. KILL BILL: VOL. 1







    Honorable mentions:
    Cold Mountain, Daredevil, Finding Nemo, Identity, Matchstick Men, Millennium Actress,
    Open Range, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Russian Ark,
    Together, 28 Days Later, Winged Migration, X2: X-Men United

    Hulk & Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (actually, they weren't that bad, but I didn't see much else this year that was worse)

    Yet to See:
    American Splendor, Bad Santa, Big Fish, City of God, Elf, The Fog of War, House of Sand and Fog, In America, Love Actually, Mystic River, Oldboy, Save the Green Planet, School of Rock, Shattered Glass, Tale of Two Sisters, 21 Grams, etc.
  12. Chad A Wright

    Chad A Wright Supporting Actor

    Jul 22, 2002
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    Top 10 most enjoyed films of 2003

    1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    If you completely strip away the emotional investment we have in these character, what are you left with? You are left with a film that is beautiful to look at, contains superb acting, and has more jaw dropping moment than anything else released this year. This film (and the trilogy) is one of the greatest cinematic accomplishments ever. Add back in the emotion we feel for these characters, and you have a cinematic journey that may never be equaled again. Plus, it was one of only two release to almost make me cry.

    2. The Last Samurai
    For me this was a very powerful film. I can pick out definite problems cinematically, like the heavy handedness of the ending and the predictability. However, this film was absolutely beautiful, and the acting was superb. I was impressed with Tom Cruise, but moreso with Ken Wantanabe who deserves academy recommendation for his work here. This is a fantastic film, and the soundtrack is a wonderful listen.

    3. Secondhand Lions
    Besides Amilie, I've never left a theater feeling better than after Secondhand Lions. I have yet to see this film on many lists of favorite films for 2003, but this is absolutely one I love.

    4. Big Fish
    5. Finding Nemo
    6. X2: X-Men United
    7. Down With Love
    8. Alien: Director's Cut
    9. The Matrix Revolutions
    10. Something's Gotta Give

    Bottom 5 of 2003

    1. The Medallion
    2. Charlies Angels: Full Throttle
    3. Daddy Daycare
    4. Bad Boys 2
    5. Hollywood Homicide

    And I was so dissappointed in Spy Kids 3D (after loving the first 2) that it is hand down the biggest let down of the year for me.
  13. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

    Oct 27, 2001
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    My 2003 Film List

    Top Ten Last Updated: 2-3-04

    2003 Top Ten List
    1. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
    2. Lost in Translation
    3. Kill Bill: Volume 1
    4. Mystic River
    5. House of Sand and Fog
    6. Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika)
    7. The Last Samurai
    8. The Italian Job
    9. 28 Days Later
    10. Irréversible

    2003 Bottom Five List
    1. Spun
    2. Darkness Falls
    3. Dreamcatcher
    4. House of 1000 Corpses
    5. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  14. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Nov 1, 2000
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    Since it seems many members are not considering documentaries (or at least they don't appear in many top ten lists), I am allowing for ten fictional films to be on the list just for reference. It makes more sense to include my favorite documentaries within the overall list than exclude them.

    1. The Matrix Reloaded

    No film this year has made my brain think as hard and my blood pumping as fast at the same time as Reloaded. Its action sequences are astounding and brilliantly choreographed, but it is the continuation of understanding one's role within the system that makes Neo a most powerful existential figure, and therefore the endless angles to evaluate this supposedly genre film. That Revolutions does not provide a most satisfying conclusion is not the fault of this chapter; every question posed by Reloaded can be chewed on by the viewers themselves while thinking through the thematic links of the first two films.

    Unlike other finished or ongoing film series, the Wachowski brothers have utilized the middle installment to a maximum effect. It's not just bigger and better, or a continuation of a previous story, but a complete jolt that forces one to rethink the first film and our conclusions about it. Instead of expanding the series horizontally (as the Rings films do so well), the brothers bring ideas that give each detail, interaction, line, and look suddenly exponential potential. If criticism of the flatter exposition scenes are valid, then credit also must be given to Reloaded for unfolding each page with surprises that are intertwined with a sci-fi story that mirrors on life. This is astonishing storytelling.

    2. City of God
    If City of God is described as part Scorsese and part Tarantino, then maybe it is fair to say that Fernando Meirelles has made a film that is broader in its sociological context than either of those filmmakers have achieved so far. In telling the story of a troubled community, the film reveals the cycle of violence and brutality that is unblinkingly startling. Along the way there are colorful and crazy characters, hyper charged storytelling, social commentary and little moments of beauty that is cherished.

    3. Kill Bill: Volume I
    Yes, it has a ton of cross references, music choices are inspired, it's bloody, wholelotta fun, stylized and Thurman is great, but let's get to things not acknowledged enough about this film. The first fight scene establishes a tough physical world that revenge must take place in. Tarantino is playing cute with film narrative, but also keying in an aspect of violence that is important to the rest of the film. Every breathe is deep and tired, every look calculating and lethal. When the limbs start flying, it works partially because of its outrageousness, but also because of what opened the film. When Oren-Ishii faces off with The Bride, the stares at one another morph into a tremendous anticipation of confrontation. Tarantino is so inventive because he can present essentially the same content in not only different contexts, but altogether different strokes.

    4. Capturing the Friedmans
    There are two elements in this documentary that are outstanding: the elusiveness of truth, and the wealth of home-made footage. It's mind boggling that the family has so much of their internal fights on video. What's more astonishing is that the footage has survived all these years when the content is so explosive. The film looks into this disturbed family and sees neither side of the debate winning. The consequences of this case is evident, too. It's a shattered family. Unexpected insights on how human beings and family members deal with each other provide the final punch to make this into a gut wrenching film.

    5. Stevie
    6. Mystic River
    7. Stone Reader
    8. Finding Nemo
    9. House of Sand and Fog
    10. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    11. Whale Rider
    12. Owning Mahowny
    13. Sweet Sixteen

    Favorite scores of the year:
    1. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - Howard Shore
    2. The Matrix Revolutions - Don Davis
    3. Nowhere in Africa - Niki Reiser
    4. The Matrix Reloaded - Don Davis
    5. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas - Harry Gregson-Williams
    6. Finding Nemo - Thomas Newman
    7. Down With Love - Marc Shaiman
    8. Lara Croft-Tomb Raider: the Craddle of Life - Alan Silvestri
    9. Tears of the Sun - Hans Zimmer and others
    10. Peter Pan - James Newton Howard
  15. Cary T

    Cary T Screenwriter

    Feb 21, 2002
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    Still need to see more films, but here's my list for now.

    1. Elephant
    2. Spellbound
    3. In America
    4. I Capture the Castle
    5. May
    6. The Shape of Things
    7. Blue Car
    8. Owning Mahowny
    9. L'Auberge Espagnole
    10. Lilja 4-ever
  16. Andrew Schwarz

    Andrew Schwarz Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 11, 2002
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    TOP TEN OF 2003:

    1. 21 Grams
    2. Irreversible
    3. Mystic River
    4. Kill Bill - Volume 1
    5. Finding Nemo
    6. Cabin Fever
    7. Identity
    8. May
    9. Dead End
    10. Bad Santa

    WORST TEN OF 2003:

    1. Daddy Day Care
    2. The In Laws
    3. Darkness Falls
    5. Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2 - The Cradle of Life
    6. The Matrix Revolutions
    7. Paycheck
    8. Dreamcatcher
    9. Just Married
    10. The Matrix Reloaded

    Guilty Pleasures: Bad Boys 2 / Final Destination 2

    Biggest Disappointments: The Matrix sequels
  17. ChristopherDM

    ChristopherDM Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 23, 2000
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    My Top Ten of 2003:
    1.Lord of the Rings:Return of the King
    2.X-2:X-Men United
    3.Pirates of the Carribean(sp)
    4.Kill Bill Volume One
    5.Italian Job
    6.The Matrix:Reloaded
    7.The Last Samurai
    8.Finding Nemo
    9.Bad Boys II(yes it is my guilty pressure flick)
    10.Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines

    Biggest Dissapointment of 2003:
    The Hulk
  18. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

    Mar 7, 2001
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    Brooklyn, NY
    Real Name:
    Damin J. Toell
    Top 10:
    1. Irréversible
    2. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    3. Cabin Fever
    4. Lost in Translation
    5. Elf
    6. Big Fish
    7. Kill Bill Vol. 1
    8. Epidemic
    9. Bubba Ho-Tep
    10. Bad Santa

    Bottom 5:
    5. Johnny English
    4. Seabiscuit
    3. Gods and Generals
    2. Marci X
    1. House of 1,000 Corpses
  19. Ryan_TD

    Ryan_TD Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 8, 2002
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    1. LOTR - Return Of The King
    2. Pirates Of The Carribean
    3. Mystic River
    4. Lost In Translation
    5. Kill Bill V.1
    6. Finding Nemo
    7. 21 Grams
    8. Master & Commander
    9. Intolerable Cruelty
    10. X2

    best mindless action - bad boys 2

    worst 5 of the year
    1. matrix 3 revolutions
    2. american wedding
    3. hulk
    4. once upon a time in mexico
    5. matrix 2 reloaded
  20. Chris_Richard

    Chris_Richard Supporting Actor

    Dec 3, 2001
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    Top 10 of 2003
    1. Lost in Translation
    2. City of God
    3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    4. Spellbound
    5. American Splendor
    6. Northfork
    7. Gerry
    8. Sweet Sixteen
    9. The Barbarian Invasions
    10. The Station Agent

    The Next 10
    11. My Life Without Me
    12. Finding Nemo
    13. The Triplets of Bellville
    14. Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World
    15. Thirteen
    16. All the Real Girls
    17. Winged Migration
    18. He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
    19. The Event
    20. The Good Thief

    Total 2003 films seen: 112
    Movies not seen: Elephant, The Last Samurai, The Matrix Revolutions, May, Raising Victor Vargas.

    Worst of 2003
    1. The Life of David Gale
    2. Friday Night
    3. Beyord Borders
    4. Cold Creek Manor
    5. The Hulk
    6. Biker Boyz
    7. The Legend of Suriyothai
    8. Pieces of April
    9. In the Cut
    10. Spun

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