Best Action Movies of 2003

1.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

7.5
8.9/10

Aragorn is revealed as the heir to the ancient kings as he, Gandalf and the other members of the broken fellowship struggle to save Gondor from Sauron's forces. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam bring the ring closer to the heart of Mordor, the dark lord's realm.

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Release date: 2003-12-01
2.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

6.7
8.0/10

Jack Sparrow, a freewheeling 18th-century pirate, quarrels with a rival pirate bent on pillaging Port Royal. When the governor's daughter is kidnapped, Sparrow decides to help the girl's love save her.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Release date: 2003-07-09
3.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

6.6
8.1/10

An assassin is shot by her ruthless employer, Bill, and other members of their assassination circle – but she lives to plot her vengeance.

Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Release date: 2003-10-10
4.

The Matrix Reloaded

6.2
7.2/10

Six months after the events depicted in The Matrix, Neo has proved to be a good omen for the free humans, as more and more humans are being freed from the matrix and brought to Zion, the one and only stronghold of the Resistance. Neo himself has discovered his superpowers including super speed, ability to see the codes of the things inside the matrix and a certain degree of pre-cognition. But a nasty piece of news hits the human resistance: 250,000 machine sentinels are digging to Zion and would reach them in 72 hours. As Zion prepares for the ultimate war, Neo, Morpheus and Trinity are advised by the Oracle to find the Keymaker who would help them reach the Source. Meanwhile Neo's recurrent dreams depicting Trinity's death have got him worried and as if it was not enough, Agent Smith has somehow escaped deletion, has become more powerful than before and has fixed Neo as his next target.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Helmut Bakaitis
Directed by: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Release date: 2003-05-15
5.

X2

6.1
7.4/10

Professor Charles Xavier and his team of genetically gifted superheroes face a rising tide of anti-mutant sentiment led by Col. William Stryker. Storm, Wolverine and Jean Grey must join their usual nemeses—Magneto and Mystique—to unhinge Stryker's scheme to exterminate all mutants.

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Release date: 2003-04-24
6.

Battlestar Galactica

6.0
8.6/10
Battlestar Galactica
After a 40-year armistice in a war between the Twelve Colonies and the Cylons, the Cylons launch a surprise nuclear attack intended to exterminate the human race. Virtually all of the population of the Twelve Colonies are wiped out.
Release date: 2003-12-08
7.

The Matrix Revolutions

5.7
6.7/10

The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Mary Alice
Directed by: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Release date: 2003-11-05
8.

Touching the Void

5.7
8.0/10

A documentary based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson about Simpson's and Simon Yates' disastrous and near-fatal attempt to climb 6,344m Siula Grande in the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Starring: Brendan Mackey, Nicholas Aaron, Richard Hawking, Ollie Ryall, Joe Simpson
Directed by: Kevin Macdonald
Release date: 2003-09-05
9.

The Italian Job

5.7
7.0/10

Charlie Croker pulled off the crime of a lifetime. The one thing that he didn't plan on was being double-crossed. Along with a drop-dead gorgeous safecracker, Croker and his team take off to re-steal the loot and end up in a pulse-pounding, pedal-to-the-metal chase that careens up, down, above and below the streets of Los Angeles.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Jason Statham, Seth Green
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Release date: 2003-05-30
10.

Underworld

5.6
7.0/10

Vampires and werewolves have waged a nocturnal war against each other for centuries. But all bets are off when a female vampire warrior named Selene, who's famous for her strength and werewolf-hunting prowess, becomes smitten with a peace-loving male werewolf, Michael, who wants to end the war.

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Release date: 2003-09-19
11.

Bad Boys II

5.5
6.6/10

Out-of-control, trash-talking buddy cops Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey of the Miami Narcotics Task Force reunite, and bullets fly, cars crash and laughs explode as they pursue a whacked-out drug lord from the streets of Miami to the barrios of Cuba. But the real fireworks result when Marcus discovers that playboy Mike is secretly romancing Marcus’ sexy sister.

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Jordi Mollà, Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare
Directed by: Michael Bay
Release date: 2003-07-18
12.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

5.3
6.3/10

It's been 10 years since John Connor saved Earth from Judgment Day, and he's now living under the radar, steering clear of using anything Skynet can trace. That is, until he encounters T-X, a robotic assassin ordered to finish what T-1000 started. Good thing Connor's former nemesis, the Terminator, is back to aid the now-adult Connor … just like he promised.

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken, David Andrews
Directed by: Jonathan Mostow
Release date: 2003-07-02
13.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

5.2
6.4/10

Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Eva Mendes, Mickey Rourke
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Release date: 2003-09-11
14.

2 Fast 2 Furious

5.2
5.9/10

It's a major double-cross when former police officer Brian O'Conner teams up with his ex-con buddy Roman Pearce to transport a shipment of "dirty" money for shady Miami-based import-export dealer Carter Verone. But the guys are actually working with undercover agent Monica Fuentes to bring Verone down.

Starring: Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Ludacris
Directed by: John Singleton
Release date: 2003-06-05
15.

Johnny English

5.1
6.2/10

A lowly pencil pusher working for MI7, Johnny English is suddenly promoted to super spy after Agent One is assassinated and every other agent is blown up at his funeral. When billionaire entrepreneur, Pascal Sauvage sponsors the exhibition of the Crown Jewels and the valuable gems disappear on the opening night and on English's watch, the newly designated agent must jump into action to find the thief and recover the missing gems.

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, John Malkovich, Natalie Imbruglia, Tasha de Vasconcelos, Ben Miller
Directed by: Peter Howitt
Release date: 2003-03-14
16.

Shanghai Knights

5.1
6.2/10

The dynamic duo of Chon Wang and Roy O'Bannon return for another crazy adventure. This time, they're in London to avenge the murder of Chon's father, but end up on an even bigger case. Chon's sister is there to do the same, but instead unearths a plot to kill the royal family. No one believes her, though, and it's up to Chon and Roy (who has romance on his mind) to prove her right.

Starring: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Fann Wong, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Aidan Gillen
Directed by: David Dobkin
Release date: 2003-02-06
17.

S.W.A.T.

5.0
6.0/10

Hondo Harrelson recruits Jim Street to join an elite unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Together they seek out more members, including tough Deke Kay and single mom Chris Sanchez. The team's first big assignment is to escort crime boss Alex Montel to prison. It seems routine, but when Montel offers a huge reward to anyone who can break him free, criminals of various stripes step up for the prize.

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Josh Charles
Directed by: Clark Johnson
Release date: 2003-08-08
18.

Tears of the Sun

4.9
6.6/10

Navy SEAL Lieutenant A.K. Waters and his elite squadron of tactical specialists are forced to choose between their duty and their humanity, between following orders by ignoring the conflict that surrounds them, or finding the courage to follow their conscience and protect a group of innocent refugees. When the democratic government of Nigeria collapses and the country is taken over by a ruthless military dictator, Waters, a fiercely loyal and hardened veteran is dispatched on a routine mission to retrieve a Doctors Without Borders physician.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Cole Hauser, Eamonn Walker, Johnny Messner
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Release date: 2003-03-07
19.

The Rundown

4.9
6.7/10

When Travis, the mouthy son of a criminal, disappears in the Amazon in search of a treasured artifact, his father sends in Beck, who becomes Travis's rival for the affections of Mariana, a mysterious Brazilian woman. With his steely disposition, Beck is a man of few words -- but it takes him all the discipline he can muster to work with Travis to nab a tyrant who's after the same treasure.

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ernie Reyes, Jr.
Directed by: Peter Berg
Release date: 2003-09-26
20.

Basic

4.9
6.5/10

A DEA agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army ranger drill sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.

Starring: John Travolta, Connie Nielsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Daly
Directed by: John McTiernan
Release date: 2003-04-18

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