10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – An epic film. You can watch some of the scenes seven times and not grasp it all. The best of all three in the trilogy.
9. Mystic River – One of the most powerful films this year. An amazing emsemble cast all equal in talent.
8. Cold Mountain – The last movie I saw this year and “Wow” is the first thing that comes to mind. So many great performances. Where it is certainly not the “feel good movie of the year”, it’s one that I would make sure you see.
7. House of Sand and Fog – Hands down the best acting performances are in this movie. I have gone on record stating that Ben Kingsley deserves to win the Academy Award for his role. Jennifer Connelly is amazing. Another depressing film not to be missed.
6. Open Range – I have a soft spot for the western genre and this one is near perfect. Robert Duvall is incredible.
5. Love Actually – The hopeless romantic comes out in me on this one. It gets better with each viewing and has a killer soundtrack. So many storylines and they all connect somehow.
4. Finding Nemo – How can you not love this beautiful animated story/comedy. Great characters, especially hysterical Ellen DeGeneres as her memory impaired fish Dory.
3. Pieces of April – Such a wonderful personal story by first time director Peter Hedges, best known for writing What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and About a Boy. Patricia Clarkson is fantastic as usual.
2. Matchstick Men – Alison Lohman is the best actress on the planet and holds her own against the fabulous Nicolas Cage. Throw in director Ridley Scott and you have one of the best films of the year.
1. In America – Director Jim Sheridan is a master story teller and proves it once again with this movie. You fall in love with real life sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger who steal every scene they are in. I broke the armrest to my seat watching the “E.T.” carnival scene because I was squeezing it so hard. Based on a true story. I cried as hard on the third viewing as I did on the first. Not only the best film I have seen this year but the best film I’ve seen in years.