Best Movies of 2003

This year was by far the biggest year of Hollywood blockbusters and sequels. The suits in Cali are obviously out of ideas, but this year's cinema resulted in a mixed bag of film.

And now, the good...

#3: The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions

Love or hate these movies, this much is for certain: No one expected the sequels to the Matrix to turn out quite like this. As Smilin' Jack Ruby declared over at CHUD, the Matrix Reloaded had about as much to do with the original Matrix as Evil Dead II had to do with Evil Dead.

Definitely not perfect, but still immensely entertaining and original, the Matrix sequels will undoubtedly be the subject of much scrutiny and debate for some time to come. I wouldn't have it any other way.

#2: The Last Samurai

A historical epic based on the ancient art of the Samurai, with a drunken American played by superstar Tom Cruise thrown into the mix. Doesn't sound like it would draw comparisons to Braveheart, but strangely enough, the films are in the same vein.

A great war flick, an emotional character story, and a well done film.

The best movie of 2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Everything you can say about this movie has already been said. I've seen it twice and plan on going for a third viewing. Peter Jackson's version of J.R.R. Tolkien's sweeping epic captures the mood and themes of the novel as well as any fan could ask for.

It'll be a damn shame if Jackson and company get shut out when Oscar time comes this year. And yes, it's that damn good.

Most Surprising Movie of 2003: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Didn't do this category for the videogames, but Terminator 3 is deserving of this category all by its lonesome self.

The early previews for this one looked horrid. "She'll be back"? Hooboy. No James Cameron, no returning stars except Arnold... how could it be good?

Luckily, director Johnathan Mostow (of U571 fame) managed to pull this one off against all odds. While not nearly as good as the definitive action movie, Terminator 2, this movie gave enough twists in the Terminator 3 universe to make the franchise fresh and entertaining, and potentially move it into a territory where a sequel without Governor Schwarzenegger could exist. Bravo.

Most Disappointing Movies of 2003

Not all was perfect in 2003, though... particuarly if you're Ben Affleck or Charlie Sheen.


One of my favorite comic book series brought to the big screen in horrible fashion. Apparently hero Matt Murdock picked up some of Spidey's superhuman strength, as he was able to jump a few stories into the air and latch onto the wall with no explanation.

Despite Colin Farrell with an excellent portrayal of Bullseye, the movie falls flat (unlike Elektra's giant chest).

Scary Movie 3

David Zucker, of Airplane! and Naked Gun fame, takes over the lame intentionally-offensive adult comedy from the Wayans brothers and turns it into a PG-13 affair. Zucker's track record is good and I enjoy his style of comedy. Combined with a dynamite trailer that even had me laughing, and I thought this one might pay off.

Couldn't have been more wrong. Zucker's throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach is back and intact, but these walls are quite slippery this time around.

In the end...

Hollywood had a number of surefire sequels that managed to disappoint in the box office, namely Charlie's Angels 2, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, and Legally Blonde 2. This is very good.

Then a few sequels that shouldn't have fared so well managed to exceed expectations, such as Scary Movie 3 and 2 Fast 2 Furious. This is very bad.

Next year seems to hold nothing particuarly exciting in the theaters... the I, Robot film seems to not realize its based on a novel, The Chronicles of Riddick looks a bit too over the top, and there's another movie set in the universe of "The Mask" coming out. Kill me now.

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2003 - 2005
Reverend Hughes