First Standard Disclaimer: The name of this list is "Matt's Favorite Movies of 2004"--not "Matt's Idea of the Ten Best
Movies of 2004". Some movies, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Harry Potter and Whatever He's Up
To Now might have been "better" movies, I didn't appreciate them as much as I did the movies on this list.
Second Standard Disclaimer: I only ranked the movies I saw this year. Therefore, Bon Voyage, technically a film from
2003 is on this list. I haven't yet seen House of Flying Daggers or Million Dollar Baby, but it may appear on next year's
list (although I doubt it).
Honorable Mentions: The Bourne Supremacy Much better than The Bourne Identity and probably the best action
movie of the year. I wish I were doing a Top 11 list. And as Casey Kasem says, "And now, on to the countdown!"
10: Bon Voyage Somewhere on my all-time top ten movie list is The Story of Adele H, a Francois Trufaut film about the
daughter of novelist Victor Hugo who drove herself insane in pursuit of a worthless French soldier in the 1860's. That was
Isabel Adjani's first major role, and thirty years later, she proves that she's still got "it". She plays a spoiled French actress at
the outbreak of World War II whose greatest concern about the invading Nazis is how much more difficult it will be to find a
flattering hat in the shops. (This film came out in 2003.)
9. Shaun of the Dead I think I'm giving this movie credit for the great film it could have been, not the good movie that it is.
For the first hour or so, the "zombies" that show up in the movie aren't really dead--they've just got crummy jobs or they
have nothing to read on the bus. I was beginning to think, "a zombie movie about living people--brilliant!" But then the
zombies turned out to be more typically "undead" and the plot became more predictable. But it could have been great!
8. Before Sunset At the time I saw this movie, I wrote in my blog that it ended at the exact moment that I lost interest in the
characters. Up until that moment, however, it was a great buzz. By the way, we are VERY EXCITED to learn that Julie Delpy
has signed on for The Da Vinci Code. (Update: Audrey Tatou replaced Julie Delpy in The DaVinci Code, and everybody
lived happily ever after.)
7. Vanity Fair Reese Witherspoon is so charismatic, I'd even watch her play June Carter Cash in a movie. I'd even watch her
try to get away with playing a young whipper-snapper like Becky Sharp, even when it's clearly evident that she's about
seventeen months pregnant.
6. Sideways A good subtitle would be Woody Allen Goes to Wine Country, but I haven't heard anyone else say that they got a
Woody vibe from the movie. was very enjoyable and I'm gratified that Lowell from Wings seems to have something of a
5. Spider-Man 2 Roger Ebert calls it the greatest comic book film of all time (Sorry, Fahrenheit 911), and it certainly is one
of the best. The movie rises and falls on the appeal of Tobey Maguire, who is certainly one of the most accessible actors of
the current era.
4. Good-bye, Lenin! This is the first film on this list to qualify as a movie I'd want to watch again more than once. It's a
hilarious tale of the last days of East Berlin, and a troubled young man who thinks that the fall of the Berlin Wall will kill his
mother. (This film came out in 2003.
3. Bright Young Things This is a terrific movie about Britain in the heady days before World War I and the beautiful,
thoughtless creatures that set its fashions and tastes. It's fresh and lots of fun.
2. Finding Neverland If there's a surprise on this list, this is it. I've never seen any version of Peter Pan from beginning to
end; I've never been a big fan of Johnny Depp or Dustin Hoffman, and I've thought that Kate Winslet seems to "miss" as
much as she "hits". Well, she certainly "hits" here--as do four engaging young actors who shine as her children. Johnny
Depp is even better than he was in Benny and Joon and Pirates of the Caribbean, the two movies I liked him in.
1. The Passion of the Christ We live in political times, and for better or worse, this movie can't really be judged on its
merits alone. Yes, it's a good movie-- but that it caused literally millions of people to examine and question their faith made
it more than just another trip to the multi-plex. In my book, that makes it a great movie. Will it stand the test of time?
Probably better than The Majestic and Lilo and Stitch, two other top favorites in recent years (and by the way, I still
stand by their selections), but who knows? In the meantime, I'm glad I saw it --twice.
Matt's Ten Favorite Movies of 2004