My entirely opinionated list of the top films I saw this year (taking into account that I’ve missed some of the bigger hits due to being busy) in no particular order:
The film that made the most impact upon me this year, from Korean director Chan-Wook Park, with a superb performance by Min-sik Choi.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Assured direction by Michel Gondry brings this off-beat story about the fragility of love and memory to life, and proves that Jim Carey can act.
Lost in Translation
Not one for everyone, but I loved this lyrical and soulful film by Sofia Coppola, with a fantastic performance from Bill Murray.
Guillermo Del Toro brings one of the best comic book adaptations to the silver screen with this action comedy romp. Beats the disappointing Spiderman 2 hands down.
Adam and Paul
My goodness, this Irish gem does not have an IMDB entry! This début film by Lenny Abrahamson about the day in the life of two Dublin junkies sounds like gruesome viewing, but it evokes a Beckett-like poignant beauty that lingers despite the sad futility of the namesakes’ meandering lives.
Brad Anderson proves he’s a director to watch with this dreamy tale starring a starving Christian Bale.
Calvaire (The Ordeal)
Fabrice Du Welz directs a brutal but compelling film about why you should never accept help from a stranger in the woods if your car breaks down.
Kill Bill Vol 2
Quentin Tarantino continues his tale of revenge by the Bride (Uma Thurman). Worth it for the stonking good fight between Black Mamba and the Californian Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah).
Stupid entertainment of the highest calibre from Rawson Marshall Thurber. Starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller in fine form.
(Yeah, I’ve omitted The Incredibles, because despite everything the film just didn’t move me. Perhaps I saw it on the wrong day…)
Worst film this year (i.e. I watched this so you don’t have to make the same terrible, terrible mistake):
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (no I won’t link to it; avoid at all costs!).
If you want to read other people’s opinions about the best moments of 2004, then check out the fantastic list of lists compiled by Fimoculous.