1. Anything Else – The movie was pretentious and honest, would you expect anything else from Woody Allen. It’s a story of two New York Love Birds, one in love with being in love, the other in love with the thrill of having men love her. It’s a must see that most did not.
2. Matrix III – Most will not agree but this movie was simply excellent. It had all the elements; drama, action, contempt, sacrifice and unconditional love. How could you not love it. It was far more simplistic than Reloaded and it left you fulfilled, even if the fulfillment was resentment.
3. Mona Lisa Smile – This movie pissed me off! For that alone it deserves it’s spot on the list. I sat in the theatre lost in the characters and their choices (or lack there of). Julia Roberts played her character well but it was Kirsten Dunst that you kept your eye on waiting for her character to evolve. This story showcased the ’50s woman, placing her in one of two threshholds conformed or confronted, sinner or saint. You hated to love it but it was all worthwhile.
4. X Men United – This movie was sick for lack of a better term. It set up what was dawned the Action packed summer. When Nightcrawler burst thru 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as nothing more than a blue puff of smoke, you sat up in your seat and took notice. There was less character development and more action which is what you want from a comic remake; X-Men 2 more than delivered.
5. LOTR Return of the King – You knew it was here, you were looking for it. This movie capped off what will go down in history as one of the biggest epics to hit film – ever. Although not many movies will ever accomplish the task of dominating the book, this series definitely gives the adage a run for its money. I have not and more than likely will not read the books for LOTR but I will own and cherish the story for a long time. This movie picks up as Frodo and Sam get closer to Mordor, Smeagol has allowed his alter ego Gullom to overcome him once more and all mankind is still threatened by the all seeing eye.
When you actually witness the rise and return of the king you are filled with emotion. It touches you to see him reunited with his love especially after denying a well deserved suitress. The movie like Matrix III embodies all the necessities to wrap you in and not let go until the closing credits. The movie is long but the way the story is being told, to attempt to put you in the place of the character, the close-ups and monologues become necessary. I enjoyed the Trilogy, I will own them all on DVD and I will actually watch them over and over.
When a story leaves you wanting more, wanting to know the characters even after the story is over that is the mark of a well made film. Ladies and gentlemen you have my Top 5 of 2003.
Honorable Mention: Finding Nemo;Kill Bill