Favorite Films 

of 2004





As suggested from the Film Main Page, I have chosen to list my favorite movies as seen based on the calendar year rather than on the film released year.    So, you will occasionally see a film in my favorites list that was technically released a year earlier.   Unfortunately, for the non industry working film fan seeing all quality films on scheduled released dates is particularly tough, especially since many are only submitted to film festivals or selection committees at year end.      That said, since I am chronically late in publishing my favorites, I figured I should strive to have my favorites better align with release year; so starting with this year I have decided to extend the window from February to February for my top films.  

I viewed 60 films from 20 different countries on the large screen in 2004.    The films highlighted below are films that I can confidently recommend seeing to a large audience.   The top twenty is well represented in genre and origination country (eight different countries represented).  Anyway, here are the twenty films that I found most enjoyable or thought provoking this year.  

Dana also picked her favorite films this year, check out her list (Dana's Favorites of 2004)

1. Michel Gondry's
Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind

Another intriguing story written by Charlie Kaufman, this one focuses on an operation to erase the memories of a failed relationship.

2. Vadim Perelman's
House of Sand and Fog

A disorganized woman is mistakenly evicted from her heritage house, but before the situation can be rectified the city sells the house.   This psychological drama centers on the woman's attempts to regain possession of the house.

3. Thomas McCarthy's
Station Agent

An audience favorite at Sundance, this film about a midget that inherits a train depot is a great character study.

4. Clint Eastwoods'
Mystic River

Three childhood friends are reunited after a brutal murder takes place.


5. Morten Tyldum's

 *Film Movement Film

This Norwegian film centered around reality television presents the decision between fame and friendship.

6. Andrew Lau's
Infernal Affairs (Volume 1)

This Hong Kong film centers around a cop that infiltrates a powerful triad, while the triad infiltrates the police force.... Both bosses know it, who will figure out the spy first.

7. Clint Eastwood's
Million Dollar Baby

Another great film from Clint, this one tackles many difficult subjects:  the value of the church, euthanasia, and sexism in sports.  At the center it is a film about a fabled boxing cut man and his relationship with a female boxer.


Jean Claude Brisseau's
Secret Things

Two woman decide they are going to use their sexuality to advance their careers.  It works perfectly until they meet the completely amoral CEO.


John Crowley's

An Irish ensemble crime thriller, that won the audience award at the Galway Film Festival.


Zhang Yimou's

While this stylish Hong Kong film is telling an old Chinese parable of power, leadership and war, its content still rings very true today

Quentin Tarrentino's
Kill Bill Volume 2

The second chapter in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill saga.   The film gives more context to the first volume as the Bride strikes back.

Terry George's 
Hotel Rwanda

Based on a true story of the brutal massacres in Rwanda committed by the Hutus.   This film shows the impact that one man can have. 

Morgan Spurlock's 
Super Size Me

 *Talk Cinema Film

Morgan's bio-documentary about what eating fast-food everyday will do to your body.   The was the catalyst to McDonalds ending their super size menu.

Zhang Yimou's 
House of Flying Daggers

The second stylish film from Zhang in the top ten.   Again excellent use of cinematography and color in telling an interesting tale.

John Curran's
We Do Not Live Here Anymore

Two marriages and four lives are brought to a crossroads by a series of infidelities.

Gus Van Sant's

A film about a killing spree by students at a high school, very reminiscent to Columbine.   

Bernado Bertolucci's
The Dreamers

An erotic French drama where an American engages in stylish sexual interplay with French twins (brother and sister).

Alexander Payne's

 *Talk Cinema Film

Two men head to wine country for one's final days of bachelorhood.   His final days turn into a comical tale intertwining friendship, romanticism and lust.

Rolf de Heer's
Alexandra's Project

 *Film Movement Film

A regular suburban family man comes home from work to celebrate his birthday only to find a strange video tape from his now missing wife.

Jehane Noujaim's
Control Room

A documentary on the truthfulness of news, based on the operations of Al-Jazeera, the media leader in the Arab world.


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This page was created on: January 26, 2003

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