Best Drama Movies of 2004

1.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

6.7

Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realises that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake.

Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood
Directed by: Michel Gondry
Release date: 2004-03-19
2.

Million Dollar Baby

6.6

Despondent over a painful estrangement from his daughter, trainer Frankie Dunn isn't prepared for boxer Maggie Fitzgerald to enter his life. But Maggie's determined to go pro and to convince Dunn and his cohort to help her.

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Release date: 2004-12-15
3.

Hotel Rwanda

6.5

Inspired by true events, this film takes place in Rwanda in the 1990s when more than a million Tutsis were killed in a genocide that went mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. Hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina houses over a thousand refuges in his hotel in attempt to save their lives.

Starring: Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Nolte, Fana Mokoena, Joaquin Phoenix
Directed by: Terry George
Release date: 2004-09-11
4.

Before Sunset

6.5

Nine years ago two strangers met by chance and spent a night in Vienna that ended before sunrise. They are about to meet for the first time since. Now they have one afternoon to find out if they belong together.

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff, Louise Lemoine Torrès, Rodolphe Pauly
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Release date: 2004-02-10
5.

The Notebook

6.4

An epic love story centered around an older man who reads aloud to a woman with Alzheimer's. From a faded notebook, the old man's words bring to life the story about a couple who is separated by World War II, and is then passionately reunited, seven years later, after they have taken different paths.

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Sam Shepard
Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
Release date: 2004-06-25
6.

The Bourne Supremacy

6.3

When a CIA operation to purchase classified Russian documents is blown by a rival agent, who then shows up in the sleepy seaside village where Bourne and Marie have been living. The pair run for their lives and Bourne, who promised retaliation should anyone from his former life attempt contact, is forced to once again take up his life as a trained assassin to survive.

Starring: Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles, Karl Urban
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Release date: 2004-07-23
7.

Man on Fire

6.2

Jaded ex-CIA operative John Creasy reluctantly accepts a job as the bodyguard for a 10-year-old girl in Mexico City. They clash at first, but eventually bond, and when she's kidnapped he's consumed by fury and will stop at nothing to save her life.

Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Radha Mitchell, Christopher Walken, Marc Anthony
Directed by: Tony Scott
Release date: 2004-04-23
8.

The Machinist

6.2

The Machinist is the story of Trevor Reznik, a lathe-operator who is dying of insomnia. In a machine shop, occupational hazards are bad enough under normal circumstances; yet for Trevor the risks are compounded by fatigue. Trevor has lost the ability to sleep. This is no ordinary insomnia...

Starring: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian, Michael Ironside
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Release date: 2004-02-09
9.

Finding Neverland

6.1

Finding Neverland is an amusing drama about how the story of Peter Pan and Neverland came to be. During a writing slump play writer J.M. Barrie meets the widowed Sylvia and her three children who soon become an important part of Barrie’s life and the inspiration that lead him to create his masterpiece “Peter Pan.”

Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman, Freddie Highmore
Directed by: Marc Forster
Release date: 2004-10-17
10.

Collateral

6.1

Cab driver Max picks up a man who offers him $600 to drive him around. But the promise of easy money sours when Max realizes his fare is an assassin.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg
Directed by: Michael Mann
Release date: 2004-08-04
11.

Troy

6.1

In year 1250 B.C. during the late Bronze age, two emerging nations begin to clash. Paris, the Trojan prince, convinces Helen, Queen of Sparta, to leave her husband Menelaus, and sail with him back to Troy. After Menelaus finds out that his wife was taken by the Trojans, he asks his brother Agamemnom to help him get her back. Agamemnon sees this as an opportunity for power. So they set off with 1,000 ships holding 50,000 Greeks to Troy. With the help of Achilles, the Greeks are able to fight the never before defeated Trojans.

Starring: Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, Brian Cox, Sean Bean
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Release date: 2004-05-03
12.

The Terminal

6.1

Viktor Navorski is a man without a country; his plane took off just as a coup d'etat exploded in his homeland, leaving it in shambles, and now he's stranded at Kennedy Airport, where he's holding a passport that nobody recognizes. While quarantined in the transit lounge until authorities can figure out what to do with him, Viktor simply goes on living – and courts romance with a beautiful flight attendant.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Chi McBride, Diego Luna
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 2004-06-17
13.

The Aviator

6.0

A biopic depicting the life of filmmaker and aviation pioneer Howard Hughes from 1927 to 1947, during which time he became a successful film producer and an aviation magnate, while simultaneously growing more unstable due to severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Release date: 2004-12-17
14.

The Passion of the Christ

6.0

"The Passion of the Christ" is a film about the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus. Director Mel Gibson received much criticism from critics and audiences for his explicit depiction of and focus on violence and on Christ's suffering, especially on the part of the Jewish community. The film's languages are Arabic, Latin and Hebrew and it's actors are laymen which was controversially received as well.

Starring: Jim Caviezel, Maia Morgenstern, Monica Bellucci, Rosalinda Celentano, Sergio Rubini
Directed by: Mel Gibson
Release date: 2004-02-25
15.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

6.0

Renowned oceanographer Steve Zissou has sworn vengeance upon the rare shark that devoured a member of his crew. In addition to his regular team, he is joined on his boat by Ned, a man who believes Zissou to be his father, and Jane, a journalist pregnant by a married man. They travel the sea, all too often running into pirates and, perhaps more traumatically, various figures from Zissou's past, including his estranged wife, Eleanor.

Starring: Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Release date: 2004-12-10
16.

Dawn of the Dead

5.8

A group of surviving people take refuge in a shopping center after the world has been over taken over by aggressive, flesh-eating zombies. A remake of the 1978 zombie film of the same name.

Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Release date: 2004-03-19
17.

Closer

5.8

A witty, romantic, and very dangerous love story about chance meetings, instant attractions, and casual betrayals. Two couples disintegrate when they begin destructive adulterous affairs with each other.

Starring: Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Colin Stinton
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Release date: 2004-12-01
18.

Mysterious Skin

5.5

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brady Corbet, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Lynn Rajskub, David Lee Smith
Directed by: Gregg Araki
Release date: 2004-05-20
19.

Ray

5.5

Born on a sharecropping plantation in Northern Florida, Ray Charles went blind at seven. Inspired by a fiercely independent mom who insisted he make his own way, He found his calling and his gift behind a piano keyboard. Touring across the Southern musical circuit, the soulful singer gained a reputation and then exploded with worldwide fame when he pioneered couping gospel and country together.

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King, Harry Lennix, Clifton Powell
Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Release date: 2004-10-29
20.

Vera Drake

5.4

Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain – a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family.

Starring: Imelda Staunton, Phil Davis, Sally Hawkins, Daniel Mays, Eddie Marsan
Directed by: Mike Leigh
Release date: 2004-10-22

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