Mike's top 10 films of 2003

There are actually several lists on this page...

Any comments should be addressed to Mike Weston at mike@misosoup.com.

Top 10 films I saw during 2003

...or, the “hey, what is Chicago doing on there?” list

I saw 96 films in theaters during 2003, plus one I reviewed on DVD. Some of these were 2002 films I saw in early 2003, and therefore might have appeared on one of my “top 10 films of 2002” lists. Conversely, this list excludes any 2003 films that I saw for the first time after 2003 ended.

When I started the year, I aimed to reserve my highest 4 star rating for films that deserve to go on this list, and mostly by chance I hit it exactly right this time. Here they are, ranked starting with the best:

  1. Lost in Translation (seen 10/18/2003, 1:42, rated R)
  2. American Splendor (seen 8/3/2003, 1:40, rated R)
  3. 21 Grams (seen 12/13/2003, 2:05, rated R)
  4. Pianist, The (seen 2/20/2003, 2:28, rated R, in English and German with subtitles)
  5. Chicago (seen 3/20/2003, 1:53, rated PG-13)
  6. Elephant (seen 11/20/2003, 1:21, rated R)
  7. Zero Day (seen 10/12/2003, 1:32, unrated)
  8. My Flesh and Blood (seen 12/3/2003, 1:23, unrated)
  9. Weather Underground, The (seen 3/1/2003, 1:32, unrated)
  10. Mystic River (seen 10/6/2003, 2:17, rated R)

Bottom 10 films I saw during 2003

While I'm at it, here are the worst films I saw in 2003, ranked starting from the worst:

  1. Sharasojyu (English title: Shara, seen 11/1/2003, 1:40, unrated, in Japanese with subtitles)
  2. All Tommorrow's Parties (seen 11/5/2003, 1:36, unrated, in Korean and Mandarin with subtitles)
  3. 2LDK (seen 11/3/2003, 1:10, unrated, in Japanese with subtitles)
  4. Big Durian, The (seen 11/4/2003, 1:15, unrated, in English, Malay, and Cantonese with subtitles)
  5. Anarchist Cookbook, The (seen 3/3/2003, 1:41, unrated)
  6. Want (seen 3/2/2003, 1:38, unrated)
  7. Potestad (seen 3/2/2003, 1:30, unrated, in Spanish with subtitles)
  8. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (seen 7/2/2003, 1:45, rated PG-13)
  9. Burning Dreams (seen 11/7/2003, 1:15, unrated, in Mandarin with subtitles)
  10. Ravaryete makdush (English title: Black Tape: A Tehran Diary, the Videotape Fariborz Kambari Found In the Garbage, seen 2/28/2003, 1:23, unrated, in Farsi and Kurdish with subtitles)

Top 10ish AMPAS films of 2003

...or, the “where's Zero Day, and didn't you see In America in 2004?” list

This section is my choice for the best films that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS, the Oscar® people) define as films released during 2003. Two 2002 films from the first list above didn't make this list, but since Weather Underground did qualify in the documentary category, I decided to include it on this list. I don't know what happened to Zero Day.

Here they are, ranked starting from the best:

  1. Lost in Translation (seen 10/18/2003, 1:42, rated R)
  2. American Splendor (seen 8/3/2003, 1:40, rated R)
  3. 21 Grams (seen 12/13/2003, 2:05, rated R)
  4. In America (seen 1/7/2004, 1:43, rated PG-13)
  5. Elephant (seen 11/20/2003, 1:21, rated R)
  6. My Flesh and Blood (seen 12/3/2003, 1:23, unrated)
  7. Weather Underground, The (seen 3/1/2003, 1:32, unrated)
  8. Mystic River (seen 10/6/2003, 2:17, rated R)

Here's another interesting observation about the AMPAS list: The Matrix Revolutions is on it, but The Matrix Reloaded is not. Maybe the studio wanted to avoid splitting the vote.

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Copyright © 2001-2004 by Michael S. Weston. All rights reserved.