Movie Essentials: 2004

In 2004, George Bush beat John Kerry and was elected to a second term as POTUS.  Scott Peterson was found guilty of murdering his wife, Laci.  Washington D.C. was terrorized by a series of sniper shootings.  Also in D.C., the National WWII Memorial opened to the public.  Janet Jackson's boob was briefly exposed by Justin Timberlake during the Super Bowl halftime show.  Cue the phrase: "Wardrobe Malfunction." Ken Jennings won over $2.5 million on Jeopardy.  Ashlee Simpson had a hit with "Pieces of You," and Maroon 5 scored with "This Love."  On TV, Lost and Veronica Mars premiered (yay!), but so did the short-lived (and ill-advised) Joey.
The essential movies of 2004 seem to be split into two categories: superhero flicks and comedies.  It was tough to pick just 10.  In a year where the Best Picture race boiled down to Million Dollar Baby vs. The Aviator, it's another movie (Eternal Sunshine) that should have earned the top prize.  Honorable mention goes to Sideways, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, I Heart Huckabees, Napoleon Dynamite, Hotel Rwanda, Collateral, The Bourne Supremacy, Ray, The Machinist, House of Flying Daggers, and Garden State.
Other notable movies of '04 include: Shrek 2, Passion of the Christ, Troy, Ocean's 12, Along Came Polly, Dodgeball, Finding Neverland, Hellboy, Fahrenheit 9/11, I Robot, In Good Company, The Life Aquatic, National Treasure, Man on Fire, Alfie, The Notebook, Saw, The Terminal, The Ladykillers, and The Polar Express.
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