Grab the popcorn and pour your favourite drink into an oversized cup; it’s time to check out the best movies from 2004!
2004 was a wild year, what with a little thing called ‘Facebook’ appearing for the very first time. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it, but it’s probably worth checking out at some point.
And what better way to talk about all of our favourite movies than on what is now arguably the world’s most popular social network.
While the Opportunity Rover was landing on Mars and the Summer Olympics were in full swing, we were getting excited about a wizard, an airport, and a weird village with a lot of strange goings-on happening inside.
Some of my favourite films of all time dropped in 2004, but which made the cut in this list? Let’s do away with the chit chat and take a look at our first entry!
10. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban was definitely one of the most attended films of 2004, that can’t be denied. And yes, while it’s a good film to watch on a Sunday afternoon, it does annoy me how completely wrong it is in relation to the book.
I mean, how hard is it to get the right events in the right order when you’re literally copying from a book, for crying out loud!
Harry, Ron, & Hermione must try to stop Sirius Black in the movie adaptation of the third book in JK Rowling’s iconic series. Admittedly Gary Oldman is the best thing about this film, as well as the dementors.
Without them it would be a bit of a squib… which is only funny if you know anything about Harry Potter.
9. The Incredibles
Next up in our best movies from 2004 is The Incredibles, Disney Pixar’s epic tale about a family of superheroes.
This film never fails to put a smile on my face; every character from Edna to Jak Jak is perfectly created and adds to the story brilliantly, making for fast paced and entertaining action all the way through.
The concept of superheroes having to hide their powers and living normal lives vs the driving need to do good makes for a great storyline, as does the family dynamic of raising children with superpowers… which is just as hard as you might imagine.
8. The Notebook
Ah, The Notebook, the source of many Instagram quotes and the go-to breakup film for lovers in pain.
Ryan Gosling’s romantic drama has definitely caused the general public to shed more than a few tears over the years, and while the critics were a little undecided on Nick Cassavetes seminal title, it certainly found a home with hopeless romantics all over the globe.
The premise itself is enough to make your eyes fill up; the story of a couple in love read to a nursing home resident… you just know it’s going to be a hard hitter!
7. Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby takes the 7th spot in this list of the best movies from 2004!
If you’re looking for a hard hitting story that takes you through every emotion going, then look no further. I became so invested in Hilary Swank’s character in this film that, by the end, I was so gutted.
No spoilers though, I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.
Any film with Clint Eastwood and Morgen Freeman working together is always going to be an instant classic too, and with Swank’s epic role as the underdog working to reach the top added into the mix, there’s no wonder it won 4 Academy Awards!
6. The Terminal
It’s time for a Tom Hanks double bill! The Terminal is a film that I think about every time I enter an airport, and it never fails to put a smile on my face before I fly.
After landing in an American airport and his country declaring a military coup, Viktor Navorski effectively becomes a citizen of nowhere, unable to leave the airport terminal and with nowhere to go.
What follows is a heartwarming tale of a man trying to get by without any knowledge of the language, money, or friends, all of which he gains over the course of this beautifully crafted film.
The Terminal is funny, moving, and feel-good, the ultimate combination for a lazy weekend afternoon!
5. The Polar Express
2004 really was a great year for Tom Hanks!
Some people find the Polar Express a little creepy, what with Hank’s portrayal of the mysterious train conductor and the strange spectral man on top of the train, but I love it.
It’s a brilliant Christmas journey for all the non-believers out there and a feel-good film that captures both the spirit of Christmas and what it means to be a good person all-year-round.
The animation might look a little dated at times, but none of that matters as soon as you see Aerosmith as little elves playing in the North Pole at the end. And of course, the big man himself with his eight prancing reindeer!
4. The Day After Tomorrow
Jake Gyllenhaal is fantastic in The Day After Tomorrow, a film based on the incredible book ‘The Coming Global Superstorm’.
At the time of release, this movie was recorded as generating the biggest profit of any Hollywood film made in Canada. If that isn’t a success story, then I don’t know what is.
The world has been covered in a new ice age, and the characters’ fight for survival is filled with suspense that will keep you perched on the edge of your seat all the way through.
This is yet another film that people should watch more in order to understand the devastating effects of global warming. Unlike this film, the Earth’s story isn’t going to end with a happy ending!
3. Shaun Of The Dead
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Shaun Of The Dead in my life thus far. It was definitely one of the best movies from 2004 that me and my friends watched on at least a weekly basis at one point.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are an incredible duo and turn anything they touch into gold. Plus the cast in this zombie-slaying comedy epic is second to none.
Bill Nighy, Kate Ashfield, Peter Serafinowicz, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran – the list goes on. and let’s not forget the little nod to Spaced when Jessica Hynes appears!
Can you believe that Shaun of the Dead made over $30 million on a budget of just over $6 million! Wow, I guess we really love zombies, huh?
2. The Village
I love The Village so much that I’ve immortalised it on my hand forever, getting a tattoo based on one of the original promo posters for the film.
If you’ve never seen an M. Night Shyamalan film, then one thing you need to know is that they all have massive twists in them. I’m talking mind blowing ‘what the heck’ moments that you never saw coming.
And The Village is no exception.
Bryce Dallas Howard, William Hurt, Joaquin Pheonix, Adrian Brody; the cast in this film astounds me every time I watch it, and The Village remains on of my favourite of Brody’s movie appearances alongside The Grand Budapest Hotel.
A thrilling tale of bravery, trust, and terrible secrets, The Village remains one of the best movies from 2004 that never fails to thrill and excite us!
1. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
It just had to be, didn’t it? Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is officially the best film from 2004!
Would you have the memories of a loved one erased completely?
Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet are joined by Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, and Kirsten Dunst in a psychological drama of epic proportions. Everything from the music, the story, the actors, the topics covered, and the emotional pull of the over arcing theme works perfectly.
It’s a true work of art and is still considered by many to be one of the most romantic movies ever made, winning Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards.
The film is a little dark at times, and anyone who shed a tear at The Notebook is bound to have got a little emotional over this noughties classic.
And that’s a wrap!
Thanks for checking out our list of the best movies from 2004! If you’re still in the mood for some more cinematic brilliance, then why not check out our list of the best movies from 2002!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.