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Every year, the American Film Institute selects the 10 best films of the calendar year.

This year's jury was chaired by Roger Ebert, the famed Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, and included David Ansen of Newsweek, actor (Babe, LA Confidential, The General's Daughter) James Cromwell, producers Naomi Foner, Tom Pollock and Robert G Rehme, Richard Schickel of Time, and Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, among others.

The AFI's top 10 films of 2004 are:

THE AVIATOR

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Gwen Stefani, Jude Law

Director: Martin Scorsese

Written by: John Logan

The film has generated rave reviews across the critical spectrum; some going far enough to hail it among Scorsese's best work. DiCaprio is being acknowledged for his lead performance, and has been rewarded already with a Golden Globe nomination, like his illustrious director.

The Aviator is about Howard Hughes: star businessman, movie mogul, glamorous ladykiller and pioneering aviator. It focuses on the 20 years when Hughes revolutionised the air travel business.

Obviously, it also catalogues his high profile romances: with Katharine Hepburn (played by Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale). Jude Law plays Errol Flynn.

The Aviator also delves into the celebrated aspects of Hughes' later day existence as the reclusive germaphobe -- someone who watched Ice Station Zebra every day of the final years of his life.

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Design: Uday Kuckian



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