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The movies of 2004 are knocking on theatre doors, but the fuss over 2003 is just getting started. The Golden Globe Awards will take place January 25th, and Oscar ballots will be filled out in a matter of days. Every morning, the Internet buzzes with the latest batch of critics' awards or industry honors.

Religious media outlets are no exception. Michael Medved's 2003 picks are posted here. The films favored by J. Robert Parks (The Phantom Tollbooth) are also posted.

I find it difficult to say with any conviction what the "best films" of 2003 are. Very few critics can say they've seen everything that should be taken into consideration before making such a claim. But I have provided a list of the films that meant most to me in 2003. They are posted here.

If you've seen many of the films that wrapped up this year, you're probably feeling a bit shell-shocked by multiplex massacres. With cannons, longswords, rifles, crossbows, catapults, point-blank pistol shots, 2003 wrapped up with several cinematic explorations of war, its causes, its forms, its consequences. Cold Mountain. The Last Samurai. The Return of the King. (To cap it off, we now have Monster, the biography of a serial killer.)

The bloodletting does not look likely to stop anytime soon. As the films of 2004 march into view, it appears that battlefields will continue to fill the screens.

Two major films about Alexander the Great are being made. Oliver Stone's Alexander stars Colin Farrell (Phone Booth, Daredevil) as the Macedonian conqueror, supported by an all-star cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Rosario Dawson, and Val Kilmer. Baz Luhrman's version will bring Leonardo DiCaprio to the screen opposite Nicole Kidman in ...

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January 2004

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