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The Top 10 Best Movies of 2004

Compiled by: Jack Foley

IT'S been quite a good year the movies, with plenty to pick from in the best film stakes.

Who can forget Bill Murray's memorable Lost in Translation, or Jim Carrey's masteful Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

It was a year for controversy, too, with Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ dominating early headlines and splitting opinion, ahead of Michael Moore's war on Bush, Fahrenheit 9/11.

In what proved to be another great year for animation, Shrek proved another popular draw, as did Pixar's The Incredibles.

While the blockbusters served up ancient history (Troy), environmental warnings (The Day After Tomorrow), and cautionary glimpses of the future (i, Robot).

And let's not forget Denzel Washington, who delivered two memorable turns in Man on Fire and The Manchurian Candidate.

But which, if any, figured in our top ten?

Let's start at the bottom...

10) The Bourne Supremacy (12A)

The superb action sequences provide the heart-pounding highlights of a film that never skips a beat, delivering audiences a non-stop adrenaline rush that’s guaranteed to leave them breathless.
Review l Buy it

9) Spider-Man 2 (PG)

Too often, sequels seem content to churn out simple re-treads of the original, yet Raimi excels by refusing to take his eye off the ball, and by actually furthering the story in a way that completely satisfies the viewer. For Peter’s sake, don’t miss it!
Review l Buy it

9) The Cooler (15)

Alec Baldwin creates one of the great anti-heroes of recent screen memory, clearly revelling in the opportunity to portray someone as edgy and dangerous as Shelly, whose presence is felt throughout the movie. It is a genuine return to form for the star, who had appeared to have lost his way of late.
Review l Buy it

8) Man On Fire (18)

When Walken's character points out that 'Creasy's art is death, and he's about to paint his masterpiece', you'll be hard-pressed not to agree with the sentiment, for Scott and Washington have masterfully created one of their own. The film is downright essential viewing.
Review l Buy it

6) The Station Agent (15)

The Station Agent deservedly won the Audience Award when it played at the Sundance Film Festival, in 2003, an award which is thoroughly deserved. It may operate on a small scale, but it’s achievements are of the highest calibre. Make sure that it doesn’t get overlooked from your schedule.
Review l Buy it

5) The Motorcycle Diaries (15)

The Motorcycle Diaries, directed by Walter Salles, is a life-affirming, enjoyable and hugely engrossing affair that functions on so many different levels, without ever feeling the need to become heavy-handed or preachy.
Review l Buy it

4) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (15)

As an exploration of the timeless themes of love, loss and human emotion, this refuses to take the easy options, managing to appeal to the intellect, while pulling at the heart-strings, without ever feeling manipulative. Needless to say, it is an unforgettable experience.
Review l Buy it

3) Lost in Translation (15)

By the time the inevitable farewell rears its tragic head, there shouldn’t be a dry eye in the house, for this pulls at the heart-strings in a far more effective way than anything the mainstream has delivered in ages. Thoughtful and endlessly inventive, this would rate among the top ten of any year’s best movies, and really looks destined to become a timeless classic. Rush to see it.
Review l Buy it

2) Bad Santa (15)

Rather like unwrapping a sex toy in front of your parents, or turning up drunk for the Christmas meal, the film continually sets about offending most sensibilities - yet does so with aplomb.... It's laugh-out-loud funny, completely original and a cracker from start to finish.
Review l Buy it

1) The House of Flying Daggers (12A)

The film has something for everyone - passion, complexity, double-cross after double-cross and characters that are worth investing time with, not to mention the outstanding choreography. It is as visually rewarding as it is emotionally enriching and really stands out as one of the films of the year.
Review l Buy it

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