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The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked

Updated November 18, 2020 14.6k votes 963 voters 31.6k views140 items

List RulesOnly movies released in theaters in 2001.

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 Eleven. 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
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    298
    143

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
    237
    163

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe

    Released2001

    Directed byChris Columbus

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (released in the United States, India and Pakistan as... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Monsters, Inc.
    284
    143

    Monsters, Inc.

    Billy Crystal, John Goodman

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Silverman, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich

    Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Pete Docter,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Shrek
    287
    138

    Shrek

    Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy

    Released2001

    Directed byAndrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

    Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film produced by PDI/DreamWorks,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Black Hawk Down
    145
    87

    Black Hawk Down

    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Mulholland Drive
    174
    124

    Mulholland Drive

    Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Lynch

    Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    The Others
    127
    78

    The Others

    Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston

    Released2001

    Directed byAlejandro Amenábar

    The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar.... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Donnie Darko
    183
    138

    Donnie Darko

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale

    Released2001

    Directed byRichard Kelly

    Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Spirited Away
    179
    123

    Spirited Away

    Miyu Irino, Bunta Sugawara

    Released2001

    Directed byHayao Miyazaki

    Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    A Beautiful Mind
    153
    114

    A Beautiful Mind

    Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe

    Released2001

    Directed byRon Howard

    A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Royal Tenenbaums
    113
    73

    The Royal Tenenbaums

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Alec Baldwin

    Released2001

    Directed byWes Anderson

    The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Enemy at the Gates
    111
    71

    Enemy at the Gates

    Rachel Weisz, Jude Law

    Released2001

    Directed byJean-Jacques Annaud

    Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The film's title is taken... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Ocean's Eleven
    166
    138

    Ocean's Eleven

    Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts

    Released2001

    Directed bySteven Soderbergh

    Ocean's Eleven is a 2001 American comedy heist film and the remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Training Day
    137
    124

    Training Day

    Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg

    Released2001

    Directed byAntoine Fuqua

    Training Day is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Legally Blonde
    136
    96

    Legally Blonde

    Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson

    Released2001

    Directed byRobert Luketic

    Legally Blonde is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Robert Luketic, based on the novel... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Fast and the Furious
    137
    116

    The Fast and the Furious

    Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez

    Released2001

    Directed byRob Cohen

    The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 American street racing action film directed by Rob Cohen... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Frailty
    77
    49

    Frailty

    Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton

    Released2001

    Directed byBill Paxton

    Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Behind Enemy Lines
    80
    52

    Behind Enemy Lines

    Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman

    Released2001

    Directed byJohn Moore

    Behind Enemy Lines is a 2001 action film directed by John Moore in his directorial debut, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    A Knight's Tale
    110
    90

    A Knight's Tale

    Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany

    Released2001

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

    A Knight's Tale is a 2001 medieval adventure comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Moulin Rouge!
    122
    116

    Moulin Rouge!

    Nicole Kidman, Ozzy Osbourne

    Released2001

    Directed byBaz Luhrmann

    Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced,... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Amélie
    106
    98

    Amélie

    Audrey Tautou, Spencer Tracy

    Released2001

    Directed byJean-Pierre Jeunet

    Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Hannibal
    85
    68

    Hannibal

    Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    A.I. Artificial Intelligence
    119
    126

    A.I. Artificial Intelligence

    Meryl Streep, Robin Williams

    Released2001

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    A.I. Artificial Intelligence, also known as A.I., is a 2001 American science fiction film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Jeepers Creepers
    110
    74

    Jeepers Creepers

    Justin Long, Eileen Brennan

    Released2001

    Directed byVictor Salva

    Jeepers Creepers is a 2001 American horror film written and directed by Victor Salva. The film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Joy Ride
    67
    51

    Joy Ride

    Paul Walker, Leelee Sobieski

    Released2001

    Directed byJohn Dahl

    Joy Ride, also known as Roadkill, is a 2001 American thriller road film. The film was written... more on Wikipedia

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