Best Drama Movies of 2004

1.

Million Dollar Baby

6.6
8.1/10

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
2.

The Notebook

6.5
7.9/10

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
3.

Before Sunset

6.5
8.1/10

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
4.

The Machinist

6.2
7.7/10

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
5.

Finding Neverland

6.1
7.7/10

During a writing slump, playwright J.M. Barrie meets a widow 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
6.

The Passion of the Christ

6.1
7.2/10

"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
7.

The Aviator

6.0
7.5/10

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
8.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

6.0
7.3/10

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
9.

Dawn of the Dead

5.8
7.3/10

A group of surviving people take refuge in a shopping centre after the world has been over taken over by aggressive, flesh-eating zombies.

Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Release date: 2004-03-19
10.

Closer

5.8
7.3/10

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
11.

Primer

5.7
6.9/10

Friends and fledgling entrepreneurs invent a device in their garage which reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it, but they discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities - ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity is the first challenge they face. Dealing with the consequences is the next.

Starring: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya, Carrie Crawford
Directed by: Shane Carruth
Release date: 2004-10-08
12.

Mysterious Skin

5.5
7.7/10

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
13.

Ray

5.5
7.7/10

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
14.

Vera Drake

5.4
7.7/10

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
15.

The Village

5.4
6.5/10

When a willful young man tries to venture beyond his sequestered Pennsylvania hamlet, his actions set off a chain of chilling incidents that will alter the community forever.

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Release date: 2004-07-30
16.

The Phantom of the Opera

5.4
7.3/10

Deformed since birth, a bitter man known only as the Phantom lives in the sewers underneath the Paris Opera House. He falls in love with the obscure chorus singer Christine, and privately tutors her while terrorizing the rest of the opera house and demanding Christine be given lead roles. Things get worse when Christine meets back up with her childhood acquaintance Raoul and the two fall in love

Starring: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Release date: 2004-12-08
17.

Garden State

5.4
7.5/10

Andrew returns to his hometown for the funeral of his mother, a journey that reconnects him with past friends. The trip coincides with his decision to stop taking his powerful antidepressants. A chance meeting with Sam - a girl also suffering from various maladies - opens up the possibility of rekindling emotional attachments, confronting his psychologist father, and perhaps beginning a new life.

Starring: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, Ian Holm, Peter Sarsgaard, Jean Smart
Directed by: Zach Braff
Release date: 2004-07-28
18.

Miracle

5.3
7.5/10

In 1980, the United States Ice Hockey team's coach, Herb Brooks, put a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games. Despite the long odds, Team USA carried the pride of a nation yearning for a distraction from world events. With the world watching, the team rose to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels' now famous question to the millions viewing at home: "Do you believe in miracles?" Yes!

Starring: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich, Sean McCann, Kenneth Welsh
Directed by: Gavin O'Connor
Release date: 2004-02-06
19.

Dead Man's Shoes

5.3
7.7/10

A soldier returns home to his small town and exacts a deadly revenge on the thugs who tormented his dimwitted brother while he was away.

Starring: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell, Jo Hartley, Seamus O'Neill
Directed by: Shane Meadows
Release date: 2004-09-29
20.

Sideways

5.3
7.5/10

Two middle-aged men embark on a spiritual journey through Californian wine country. One is an unpublished novelist suffering from depression, and the other is only days away from walking down the aisle.

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke
Directed by: Alexander Payne
Release date: 2004-10-22

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