Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Master and Commander is fantastic. Directed by the Truman Show's Peter Wier, it's a period fiction piece about a British ship and it's brave crew engaging a larger, faster Napolean galleon that hunts them like a phantom. Think Das Boot with sunlight, humor, and movie-star charisma. I actually enjoy the movie more than the German classic.
M&C is a thinking guy's action movie. The film is beautifully shot, visual poetry of 19th century sea vessels and the men that sailed them. The cast is fantastic, especially the two leads, Russel Crowe and Paul Bettany as the ship's captain and doctor, respectively. The sea battles are logical and visceral. Unlike most war movies, the scenes between the battles are no less captivating.
Master and Commander is of my favorite movies released this year, along with Lost in Translation.