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The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated July 2, 2019 15.1k votes 879 voters 27.6k views 174 items

List Rules Only movies that were released in theatres during the 2001 calendar year

A list of the best movies of 2001, from comedies like Zoolander to cult classics like Donnie Darko. The '00s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters and 2001 was no exception. Some the best movies of this year are some of the best teen, coming of age, adventure, comedies and dramas in history. The films on here are very memorable and had audiences on the edges of their seats, and still pack a punch so many years after they were first released. You shouldn't be too surprised by the movies listed on here.

As stated before, some of the best movies of the decade were released in 2001. Who could forget I Am Sam with Sean Penn, Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon, and of course, Ocean's 11. And let's not forget about Blow with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. The best movies of 2001 featured some of the biggest stars in the movie business. Whether it was the aforementioned stars continuing their success or the breakout performances featured in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, or established stars like Will Smith starring in Ali and Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in Vanilla Sky.

Some of the best movies of all time were released in 2001. This is the ultimate list of the best movies of 2001, which shouldn't feature the best movies of 2000. Vote and re-rank this list according to how you think the best movies of that year should be reflected. If you notice that there's a movie from this year that should be on this list but is missing, feel free to add it.

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1
Monsters, Inc. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

Released: 2001

Directed by: David Silverman, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich

Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Pete Docter, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and released by Walt Disney Pictures. John Lasseter and Andrew ...more

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2
Shrek is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers

Released: 2001

Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film produced by PDI/DreamWorks, released by DreamWorks Pictures, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, featuring the voices of ...more

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3
The Lord of the Rings: T... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler

Released: 2001

Directed by: Peter Jackson

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the first ...more

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4
Harry Potter and the Sor... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough

Released: 2001

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (released in the United States, India and Pakistan as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus based on ...more

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#23 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #40 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #55 of 344 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

5
Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George

Released: 2001

Directed by: David Lynch

Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

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6
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

Released: 2001

Directed by: Richard Kelly

Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

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7
A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Ron Howard

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ron Howard

A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva ...more

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8
Ocean's Eleven is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney

Released: 2001

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Ocean's Eleven is a 2001 American comedy heist film and the remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film of the same name. The 2001 film was directed by Steven Soderbergh and features an ensemble cast ...more

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#104 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #321 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

9
Ranker Video
Miyu Irino, Bunta Sugawara, Ryunosuke Kamiki

Released: 2001

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film stars Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, ...more

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10
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

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11
The Others is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
looksharp added Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

Released: 2001

Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar

The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for ...more

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12
The Royal Tenenbaums is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Gwyneth Paltrow, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray

Released: 2001

Directed by: Wes Anderson

The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. The film stars Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, ...more

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13
The Fast and the Furious... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster

Released: 2001

Directed by: Rob Cohen

The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 American street racing action film directed by Rob Cohen and starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. The film is the first ...more

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14
Training Day is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington

Released: 2001

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Training Day is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics officers over ...more

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15
Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Ed Harris

Released: 2001

Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The film's title is taken from William Craig's 1973 nonfiction book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, which ...more

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16
Moulin Rouge! is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Nicole Kidman, Ozzy Osbourne, Kylie Minogue

Released: 2001

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It tells the story of a young English poet/writer, Christian, who ...more

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17
A Knight's Tale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
wiabux added Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Shannyn Sossamon

Released: 2001

Directed by: Brian Helgeland

A Knight's Tale is a 2001 medieval adventure comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Brian Helgeland. The film stars Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, Rufus ...more

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18
Legally Blonde is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
looksharp added Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair

Released: 2001

Directed by: Robert Luketic

Legally Blonde is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Robert Luketic, based on the novel by Amanda Brown. Sorority girl Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) decides to enroll in Harvard Law School ...more

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19
Monster's Ball is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Halle Berry, Sean Combs, Heath Ledger

Released: 2001

Directed by: Marc Forster

Monster's Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by German-Swiss director Marc Forster starring Halle Berry, Billy Bob Thornton and Heath Ledger. The film tells the story of a poor ...more

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20
A.I. Artificial Intellig... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Meryl Streep, Robin Williams, Jude Law

Released: 2001

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

A.I. Artificial Intelligence, also known as A.I., is a 2001 American science fiction film written, directed, and produced by Steven Spielberg, and based on Brian Aldiss's short story Super-Toys ...more

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21
Frailty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe

Released: 2001

Directed by: Bill Paxton

Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. It marks Paxton's directorial debut. The plot focuses on the strange ...more

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22
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
muzziac added Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence ...more

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23
I Am Sam is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer

Released: 2001

Directed by: Jessie Nelson

I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film directed by Jessie Nelson. A mentally handicapped man (Sean Penn) fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) and in the process teaches ...more

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24
Jeepers Creepers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
wiabux added Justin Long, Eileen Brennan, Victor Salva

Released: 2001

Directed by: Victor Salva

Jeepers Creepers is a 2001 American horror film written and directed by Victor Salva. The film takes its name from the 1938 song "Jeepers Creepers", which is featured in the film.

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#29 of 812 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #21 of 128 The Best Horror Movie Franchises #28 of 64 The Most Rewatchable Horror Movies

25
In the Bedroom is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
Marisa Tomei, Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson

Released: 2001

Directed by: Todd Field

In the Bedroom is a 2001 American drama film directed by Todd Field, and dedicated to Andre Dubus. The film stars Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, and William Mapother. The ...more

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