With a trio of photogenic stars, a top-shelf crew and outstanding writer-director Anthony Minghella on board, Cold Mountain tries valiantly to match the epic sweep of Charles Frazier's novel, which won the 1997 National Book Award. But it lacks a clear understanding of what the book is about, and that's a problem.
My choice as 2003’s best film is Mystic River, which introduces us to characters burdened by their choices. Three boys are playing in the street one day when two men approach them. The men say they are policemen and order one of the boys to get into their car, leaving the other two to watch as the car drives away.
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