movies from 2004/5
September 28, 2005 6:31 AM   Subscribe

I haven't been keeping up with movies much for the last couple of years and so I'd like to catch up. What are some of the best films from 2004/2005?

I have been keeping up with documentaries though so no need to list those. What fictional films did you really like?
posted by dydecker to Media & Arts (47 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Million Dollar Baby despite the oscar, wasn't that good, and was overly sentimental and predictable.

The sad thing is that I can't think of any movies from that period that I really liked...

I really liked Matchstick men. A con man movie, but a fairly good one.
posted by craniac at 6:45 AM on September 28, 2005


I saw a bunch of movies... the only ones that stuck in my mind are "Sin City" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".
posted by Marky at 6:49 AM on September 28, 2005

"A Very Long Engagement" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (always worthwhile) springs to mind.
"The Constant Gardener" by Fernando Meirelles is also good.
posted by Thug at 6:54 AM on September 28, 2005

Off the top of my head:
  • Kill Bill, Vols. 1 and 2.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • The Incredibles
  • Hero (although a big screen is required for the full effect.)
Here's MetaCritic's summary of a bunch of critics' top-ten lists for 2004. Should be helpful.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:13 AM on September 28, 2005

2004 movies I thought were great: Maria Full of Grace, Closer, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hotel Rwanda.

Good 2004 movies: The Incredibles, Silver City, Spartan, Hellboy, Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow, Million Dollar Baby.

2005: I thought Sin City was great and Batman Begins and Star Wars were decent. Sky High was also a very good family film.
posted by 6550 at 7:13 AM on September 28, 2005

What kind of movies do you like? I really like understated movies about the struggle to connect / belong.

Four that fit the bill, though I'm not sure they all fit within your time period:
Monster's Ball
The Good Girl
The Station Agent

If Thoreau were going to write a satirical 21st century zombie movie, I think he'd write "Shaun of the Dead."It's a movie about people sleepwalking through their days, trapped despite occasional efforts to break out of life's quiet desperation. I'm being a big facetious -- it's also damned funny. But don't see if if you can't handle zombies / scary themes.

"Monster," starring Charlize Theron as a dirt-poor serial kiler, was well done and well acted, but incredibly hard to watch because of the subject matter.

"Whale Rider" is incredibly adorable, all-ages fun. It's way better than any other kids movie to come out in the past couple of years, though I also liked "The Incredibles" in a very different way.

I also liked "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." The basic theme (memory loss) has been done a million times in movies, but this one gave it an interesting twist. The plot was simple, but enjoyable, and it was fun to watch.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:14 AM on September 28, 2005

To comment on other's recommendations:

I thought "Hero" was extremely boring. Pretty "Crouching Tiger"-style fight scenes and neat use of color, yeah, but you'd have to be stoned to deal with the incredibly ..... slow .... motion .... plot.

6550 is dead on, recommending "Maria Full of Grace" (about a young girl who smuggles drugs to get money and escape her improvrished lot) and "Hotel Rwanda" (a fairly accurate depiction of one small, heroic story within the context of the awful Rwandan genocide).

I forgot to mention "Crash," which featured a sexual assault that -- though not as graphic as it could have been -- really wigged me out. Despite that, a good movie.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:21 AM on September 28, 2005

Keane is the best movie of 2004. It's in selected theatres now and on DVD in January.
posted by dobbs at 7:27 AM on September 28, 2005

What kind of movies do you like? Give us something to go on here.

A good place to start would be's top-rated films of 2004 and top-rated films of 2005.

Films I enjoyed from 2004 include The Incredibles; Sideways; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring; Hero; Spider-Man 2; House of Flying Daggers; Mean Girls; and Finding Neverland. Films that others may recommend that I actively dislike include Kitchen Stories; Shrek 2; and Good-bye, Lenin!.

Films I've enjoyed this year include Batman Begins; 2046; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; and War of the Worlds. (The good film season really doesn't start til November, in my mind.) The one film from this year I've actively disliked but that others may suggest is Revenge of the Sith.
posted by jdroth at 7:29 AM on September 28, 2005

In 2004 I liked Eternal Sunshine, Garden State, Shaun of the Dead and Lemony Snicket very much
For 2005,
I saw Broken Flowers recently and loved it.
The Hitchikers Guide to the galaxy was a lot of fun if you're a fan of the series.
March of the Penguins is great but also very sad at times.
posted by soplerfo at 7:30 AM on September 28, 2005

Oh yeah — I just saw Crash last week. I liked it. A lot.
posted by jdroth at 7:30 AM on September 28, 2005

I'd forgotten about Crash, croutonsupafreak. It was one of the few movies I've seen that I wish had been longer.
posted by 6550 at 7:32 AM on September 28, 2005

By far, my favorite over the last two years was Garden State. I also liked Crash, Eternal Sunshine, Finding Neverland, The 40-year-old Virgin (hilarious), Batman Begins. War of the Worlds was OK, and I loved Spider-Man 2 but that's because I'm obsessed with Spider-Man :)
posted by geeky at 7:41 AM on September 28, 2005

Murderball. Howl's Moving Castle. Seconds for Kill Bill (although only vol. 2 was a 2004 release; vol. 1 was in 2003), Sin City, Hotel Rwanda, and March of the Penguins.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:47 AM on September 28, 2005

I have some lists: Best of 2004, best of 2005 so far. Also: worst movies of 2004.
posted by muckster at 7:51 AM on September 28, 2005

Response by poster: Movies I got into:

In Good Company
Sex Is Comedy
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Vera Drake

I am pretty much an jaded snob who cannot sit through George Lucas or Mona Lisa's Smile. A movie has to accurate observe people for me to like it. So now you know. But it doesn't matter. I'm kinda out of the loop now so I'm interested in many things, but esp. well directed indie things.
posted by dydecker at 7:55 AM on September 28, 2005

A few that haven't been mentioned yet:
The Door in the Floor
King Arthur
posted by CiaoMela at 8:03 AM on September 28, 2005

Looking at my wall of movie stubs/Netflix history and leaving out the documentaries...

Layer Cake
Up and Down
Saddest Music in the World
The Woodsman
Bad Education
Before Sunset
Young Adam
The Bourne Supremacy
All the Real Girls
I'm Not Scared
Raising Victor Vargas
Blue Car
Triplets of Belleville
posted by desuetude at 8:10 AM on September 28, 2005

Kung-fu Hustle!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:12 AM on September 28, 2005

More that haven't been mentioned:
- The Jacket
- Saved!
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
- Love, Actually (late 2003)
- Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
- The Village (I do not claim it's great; your mileage may vary. Worth seeing for Bryce Dallas Howard, imo)

Spectacle Films of Dubious Quality, Which I did Not Like Per Se Like but at Which I Gawped Happily While Chewing Popcorn
- Troy
- Kingdom of Heaven
- King Arthur

Recent/Upcoming Films with good buzz
- Junebug
- My Summer of Love
- Brokeback Mountain
- Walk the Line
- Thumbsucker
- Everything Is Illuminated
posted by junkbox at 8:31 AM on September 28, 2005

Touching the Void
Riding Giants
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:44 AM on September 28, 2005

You and me and Everything We Do.

As to some of the above suggestions, I think one needs to be under a certain age to appreciate Garden State. Nobody Knows? A bummer.

From last year, Eternal Sunshine, Goodbye, Lenin! and The Incredibles.
posted by Rash at 9:47 AM on September 28, 2005

er, Everyone We Know.

And yeah, Riding Giants: best surf film ever.
posted by Rash at 9:48 AM on September 28, 2005

I have to echo the sentiment on Eternal Sunshine--great movie, but becomes unwatchable (at least for me) after the fifth or sixth time. I liked Sin City quite a bit. Finding Neverland made my tough boyfriend cry. Shaun of the Dead gave me many a quote to annoy people with. I wanted to see Vera Drake, but none of the conservatoid video rental stores in my area carry it. Closer was good, but very long--had Jude Law for me, Miss Portman for him.

I was very hit or miss as to what movies were good when I did go to the theater this year, which was very sparingly.
posted by sian at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2005

I really enjoyed Before Sunset and Troy.

The concept of Dawn of the Dead was most unusal, I think the English version 28 Days was quite good as well.
posted by Chimp at 10:03 AM on September 28, 2005

Crash is great for Hollywood.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:11 AM on September 28, 2005

I Heart Huckabees was good.
posted by bricoleur at 10:14 AM on September 28, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
posted by TurkishGolds at 10:41 AM on September 28, 2005

I screwed up that link earlier--here's my top ten of 2004:

The Trilogy
Motorcycle Diaries
Before Sunset
Notre Musique
The Five Obstructions
The Dreamers
Control Room
Festival Express
posted by muckster at 10:49 AM on September 28, 2005

Awesome thread.
posted by exhilaration at 11:21 AM on September 28, 2005

Sideways, Eternal Sunshine, and Garden State were my faves in 2004. Kinsey and Troy were worth watching.

Batman Begins was the only thing I've really enjoyed this year.
posted by Manjusri at 11:55 AM on September 28, 2005

Ditto Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Triplets of Bellville (even though it was 2003), Shaun of the Dead, Hero, March of the Penguins, the 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Incredibles, Sideways, Spider-Man 2.

I'd add House of the Flying Daggers, Ong Bak: the Thai Warrior, Shrek 2, and Wedding Crashers.

I'll give lukewarm recommendations to Batman Begins, Hitch, Garden State.

And though I've enjoyed all of Wes Anderson's other movies, I hated The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, probably because I never found Zissou sympathetic.

I'm looking forward to Serenity and MirrorMask this weekend.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:57 AM on September 28, 2005

"Whale Rider" is incredibly adorable, all-ages fun.

That is a good movie but man those are not the words I'd pick to describe it.

Others: Me and You and Everyone We Know, is what it's called, for happy googling. I also enjoyed Old Boy. Well, until the ending. Then I was disturbed for a very long time.
posted by furiousthought at 1:34 PM on September 28, 2005

Top three for me are:

Kill Bill vol 1.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Before Sunset
posted by ori at 1:43 PM on September 28, 2005

I can't believe so many people liked "Troy." Maybe its because I saw it right after reading The Aeneid, but I thought the only good part of that movie was all the Brad Pitt flesh on display.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:52 PM on September 28, 2005

Batman Begins
Constant Gardener
Shrek 2
The Incredibles
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Der Untergang
posted by I Love Tacos at 4:24 PM on September 28, 2005

Garden State
Shattered Glass (2003)
posted by SoulOnIce at 4:57 PM on September 28, 2005

The Station Agent
posted by 6:1 at 5:04 PM on September 28, 2005

Lost In Translation, Touching the Void, Sideways, Hotel Rwanda

I have to say that as a huge fan of Kaufmann's previous movies I thought "Eternal Sunshine" was a big disappointment. Unlikeable and dim main characters, full of plot holes, and terribly obvious in a way that Adaptation (oh yeah, see that), and Being John Malkovich weren't. I even preferred Human Nature.
posted by Decani at 6:12 PM on September 28, 2005

Shrek 2
Hitchhiker's Guide
Mangal Pandey
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Main Hoon Na (at UCLA in Oct)
posted by Methylviolet at 6:16 PM on September 28, 2005

Some of these are 2003. But, then again, I've seen a grand total of 2(!) of the movies on the Rotten Tomatoes list for 2005 linked above.

Shaun of the Dead
The Incredibles

Really Good:
Mean Girls
Batman Begins
The Last Samurai
The Bourne Supremacy
Master and Commander

Garden State
Harry Potter aTPoA


Eternal Sunshine
I Heart Huckabees
Lost in Translation
Bride and Prejudice (but my wife thought it was "cute")

Next on my list: House of Flying Daggers, Hero, The Twilight Samurai
posted by Alt F4 at 6:42 PM on September 28, 2005

two best movies i've seen this year are "Kontroll" and "Me and You and Everyone We Know".
posted by jimmy at 10:26 PM on September 28, 2005

I agree with you about Troy, crouton. I could not even bear to finish wathcing it, for it was just terrible. It's like a parody of every awful big budget hollywood movie ever made, but it takes itself seriously.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:03 PM on September 28, 2005

Allow me to recommend Fighting Tommy Riley to anybody else who thought Million$ Baby was an oversold mediocrity but would enjoy a boxing movie that turns out to be much more than that...

And for other great recent documentaries, check out The Story of the Weeping Camel and Born Into Brothels.
posted by dpcoffin at 11:42 AM on September 29, 2005

...sorry, hadn’t noticed that you’re up on docs.
posted by dpcoffin at 11:45 AM on September 29, 2005

Primer was by far the best movie I have seen in years. This is one you will need to watch multiple times to "get it" and even then, there are endless debates on the movies official forum about certain aspects. Incidentally, the author and producer of the movie also partipates on that forum
posted by crazyray at 2:41 PM on October 1, 2005

id like to throw this one into the mix... Downfall, its all about Hitler's final days in the bunker. its all in german, so be prepared to read subs for 3 hours... well worth it though, ive seen it about 3 times so far and learn something new each time i watch it!!!

posted by hummercash at 11:29 PM on October 3, 2005

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