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Critics Choice

A Review of How Professional Film Critics Rated Films of 2004

 

As they ponder their choices and options for which films and performances to nominate for the Fifth Annual Cosmique Movie Awards, many will be closely watching the other major awards for ideas of films to see and reminders of favorites worthy of nomination.

To make it a little easier, the Cosmique Movie Academy's Board of Governors has compiled several lists showing the opinions of professional film critics and their associations:

 

Film Critics Associations

 
Best Film
Best Director
Best Actress
Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics
Sideways
Zhang Yimou for House of Flying Daggers
Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx for Ray
Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics' Choice Award)
Sideways
Martin Scorsese for The Aviator
Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx for Ray
Chicago Film Critics Association
Sideways
Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake
Paul Giamatti for Sideways
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Sideways
Alexander Payne for Sideways
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake
Liam Neeson for Kinsey
National Board of Review
Finding Neverland
Michael Mann for Collateral
Annette Bening for Being Julia
Jamie Foxx for Ray
National Society of Film Critics
Million Dollar Baby
Zhang Yimou for House of Flying Daggers
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake and Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx for Ray and Collateral
New York Film Critics Circle
Sideways
Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake
Paul Giamatti for Sideways
San Diego Film Critics Association
Vera Drake
Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake
Jim Carrey for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Sideways
Alexander Payne for Sideways
Julie Delpy for Before Sunset
Paul Giamatti for Sideways
Seattle Film Critics
Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake
Jamie Foxx for Ray
Southeastern Film Critics Association
Sideways
Alexander Payne for Sideways
Annette Bening for Being Julia
Jamie Foxx for Ray
Toronto Film Critics Association
Sideways
Michael Gondry for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake
Paul Giamatti for Sideways
Washington DC Film Critics
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Michael Gondry for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake
Jamie Foxx for Ray

 

Further Down the List

A few critics associations gave awards for additional categories. Here are additional winners that correspond (more or less) to Cosmo categories:

Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics Choice Awards)
  • Best Supporting Actor - Thomas Hayden Church for Sideways

  • Best Supporting Actress - Virginia Madsen for Sideways

  • Best Screenplay - Sideways

  • Best Documentary - Fahrenheit 9/11

  • Best Ensemble - Sideways

  • Best Soundtrack - Ray

National Board of Review
New York Film Critics Circle
  • Best Supporting Actor - Clive Owen for Closer

  • Best Supporting Actress - Virginia Madsen for Sideways

  • Best Screenplay - Sideways

  • Best Cinematography - Hero

  • Best Animated Film - The Incredibles

 

Top 10 Lists

In general, film critics don't give awards in numerous categories like the Oscars and Golden Globes do. Instead, they prefer to do top 10 lists. Here, then, are the top 10 from some of the more influential movie critics. Most prefer to put them in order of their favorites; when they have done so, we've placed their favorite first. But some prefer just to select their favorite 10 without further ranking them. For those, we've provided their list alphabetically.

Roger Ebert
Richard Roeper
MSNBC
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwartzbaum
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
1. Million Dollar Baby
1. Hotel Rwanda
The Aviator
1. Sideways
1. Sideways
2. Kill Bill, Volume 2
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Before Sunset
2. Million Dollar Baby
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. Vera Drake
3. The Aviator
Blind Shaft
3. The Incredibles
3. The Incredibles
4. Spider-Man 2
4. Sideways
Fahrenheit 9/11
4. Maria Full of Grace
4. Maria Full of Grace
5. Moolaade
5. House of Flying Daggers
The Incredibles
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. Kinsey
6. The Aviator
6. Million Dollar Baby
Kinsey
6. Moolaadé
6. Before Sunset
7. Baadasssss
7. The Ternimal
Maria Full of Grace
7. Collateral
7. Osama
8. Sideways
8. Kill Bill, Volume 2
Sideways
8. The Aviator
8. Open Water
9. Hotel Rwanda
9. Spanglish
Strayed
9. The Return
9. 13 Going on 30
10. Undertow
9. Collateral
Touching the Void
10. Bright Leaves
10. Ray
   
Runners Up: Control Room; The Corporation; Finding Neverland; In Good Company; Mean Creek; Million Dollar Baby; The Return; Tarnation; Vera Drake
Worst of the Year: Spanglish; Surviving Christmas; Napolean Dynamite; Ocean's 12; When Will I Be Loved
Worst of the Year: Dogville; She Hate Me; Taxi; Control Room; Van Helsing

 

Aggregating the Top 10 Lists

Another excellent approach is to compare top-10 lists to see how many times a particular film appears on critics' lists, and to see how many times it appears as the critic's first choice. Gennin.net provides us with two variations - one that just looks at the most respected critics, and another that is more expansive covering almost 300 film critics. This is what they've provided as of December 31:

Cream of the Crop
Top 56 Critics
     
Critical Scoreboard
291 Critics
Rank
Film
# of Lists
Ranked #1
 
Rank
Film
# of Lists
Ranked #1
1
Sideways
40
16
 
1
Sideways
178
45
2
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
38
3
 
2
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
163
34
3
Million Dollar Baby
33
6
 
3
Before Sunset
121
20
4
Before Sunset
27
2
 
4
The Incredibles
98
3
5
The Incredibles
23
-
 
5
Million Dollar Baby
96
16
6
The Aviator
17
3
 
6
The Aviator
96
13
7
Maria Full of Grace
17
1
 
7
Kinsey
71
3
8
Kinsey
17
-
 
8
Kill Bill, Volume 2
66
3
9
Bad Education
16
2
 
9
Dogville
60
10
10
Vera Drake
15
2
 
10
Vera Drake
58
3

 

       
 
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