Best Drama Movies of 2003

1.

Big Fish

6.5
8.0/10

Throughout his life Edward Bloom has always been a man of big appetites, enormous passions and tall tales. In his later years, he remains a huge mystery to his son, William. Now, to get to know the real man, Will begins piecing together a true picture of his father from flashbacks of his amazing adventures.

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter
Directed by: Tim Burton
Release date: 2003-12-25
2.

Dogville

6.5
8.0/10

A barren soundstage is stylishly utilized to create a minimalist small-town setting in which a mysterious woman named Grace hides from the criminals who pursue her. The town is two-faced and offers to harbor Grace as long as she can make it worth their effort, so Grace works hard under the employ of various townspeople to win their favor. Tensions flare, however, and Grace's status as a helpless outsider provokes vicious contempt and abuse from the citizens of Dogville.

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Paul Bettany
Directed by: Lars von Trier
Release date: 2003-05-19
3.

Mystic River

6.4
8.0/10

The lives of three men who were childhood friends are shattered when one of them has a family tragedy.

Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Release date: 2003-10-07
4.

21 Grams

6.1
7.7/10

This is the story of three gentle persons: Paul Rivers, an ailing mathematician lovelessly married to an English émigré; Christina Peck, an upper-middle-class suburban housewife, happily married and mother of two little girl; and Jack Jordan, an ex-convict who has found in his Christian faith the strength to raise a family. They will be brought together by a terrible accident that will change their lives. By the final frame, none of them will be the same as they will learn harsh truths about love, faith, courage, desire and guilt, and how chance can change our worlds irretrievably—forever.

Starring: Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio del Toro, Danny Huston, Carly Nahon
Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Release date: 2003-09-06
5.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

6.1
7.4/10

After an abrupt and violent encounter with a French warship inflicts severe damage upon his ship, a captain of the British Royal Navy begins a chase over two oceans to capture or destroy the enemy, though he must weigh his commitment to duty and ferocious pursuit of glory against the safety of his devoted crew, including the ship's thoughtful surgeon, his best friend.

Starring: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, James D'Arcy, Edward Woodall, Chris Larkin
Directed by: Peter Weir
Release date: 2003-11-14
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.

Bad Santa

5.6
7.1/10

A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Bernie Mac, John Ritter
Directed by: Terry Zwigoff
Release date: 2003-11-26
8.

The Life of David Gale

5.6
7.6/10

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Gabriel Mann, Rhona Mitra
Directed by: Alan Parker
Release date: 2003-02-21
9.

The Station Agent

5.5
7.7/10

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Raven Goodwin
Directed by: Tom McCarthy
Release date: 2003-01-26
10.

Whale Rider

5.5
7.6/10

On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or more to a single ancestor, Paikea, who escaped death when his canoe capsized by riding to shore on the back of a whale. From then on, Whangara chiefs, always the first-born, always male, have been considered Paikea's direct descendants. Pai, an 11-year-old girl in a patriarchal New Zealand tribe, believes she is destined to be the new chief. But her grandfather Koro is bound by tradition to pick a male leader. Pai loves Koro more than anyone in the world, but she must fight him and a thousand years of tradition to fulfill her destiny.

Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis, Grant Roa
Directed by: Niki Caro
Release date: 2003-01-30
11.

In America

5.4
7.8/10

An Irish immigrant family adjusts to life in the United States, a chance to get over the lost son. They have no money and the apartment is in bad condition.

Starring: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Sarah Bolger, Emma Bolger, Djimon Hounsou
Directed by: Jim Sheridan
Release date: 2003-10-31
12.

American Splendor

5.4
7.5/10

An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Judah Friedlander, James Urbaniak, Harvey Pekar
Directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Release date: 2003-08-15
13.

House of Sand and Fog

5.4
7.6/10

Behrani, an Iranian immigrant buys a California bungalow, thinking he can fix it up, sell it again, and make enough money to send his son to college. However, the house is the legal property of former drug addict Kathy. After losing the house in an unfair legal dispute with the county, she is left with nowhere to go. Wanting her house back, she hires a lawyer and befriends a police officer. Neither Kathy nor Behrani have broken the law, so they find themselves involved in a difficult moral dilemma.

Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Frances Fisher, Kim Dickens
Directed by: Vadim Perelman
Release date: 2003-12-19
14.

Matchstick Men

5.3
7.3/10

A phobic con artist and his protege are on the verge of pulling off a lucrative swindle when the con artist's teenage daughter arrives unexpectedly.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce Altman, Bruce McGill
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Release date: 2003-09-01
15.

Seabiscuit

5.3
7.3/10

True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.

Starring: Jeff Bridges, David McCullough, Chris Cooper, Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks
Directed by: Gary Ross
Release date: 2003-07-22
16.

Monster

5.3
7.3/10

An emotionally scarred highway drifter shoots a sadistic trick who rapes her, and ultimately becomes America's first female serial killer.

Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen, Annie Corley
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Release date: 2003-12-24
17.

Secondhand Lions

5.3
7.6/10

"Secondhand Lions" follows the comedic adventures of an introverted boy left on the doorstep of a pair of reluctant, eccentric great-uncles, whose exotic remembrances stir the boy's spirit and re-ignite the men's lives.

Starring: Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment, Josh Lucas, Kyra Sedgwick
Directed by: Tim McCanlies
Release date: 2003-09-19
18.

Cold Mountain

5.3
7.2/10

In this classic story of love and devotion set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, a wounded Confederate soldier named W.P. Inman deserts his unit and travels across the South, aiming to return to his young wife, Ada, who he left behind to tend their farm. As Inman makes his perilous journey home, Ada struggles to keep their home intact with the assistance of Ruby, a mysterious drifter sent to help her by a kindly neighbor.

Starring: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins, Brendan Gleeson
Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Release date: 2003-12-24
19.

Runaway Jury

5.2
7.1/10

A juror on the inside and a woman on the outside manipulate a court trial involving a major gun manufacturer.

Starring: John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison
Directed by: Gary Fleder
Release date: 2003-10-09
20.

Elephant

5.2
7.2/10

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent. The film chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting.

Starring: Alex Frost, Eric Deulen, John Robinson, Elias McConnell, Jordan Taylor
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Release date: 2003-09-06

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