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The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked

Updated November 18, 2020 15.1k votes 990 voters 32.8k 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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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring1
    291
    136

    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by...  more

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  • Monsters, Inc.2
    275
    145

    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

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  • Shrek3
    280
    136

    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

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  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone4
    230
    160

    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

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  • Black Hawk Down5
    145
    81

    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

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  • The Others6
    125
    75

    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

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  • Mulholland Drive7
    168
    121

    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

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  • A Beautiful Mind8
    149
    109

    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

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  • Enemy at the Gates9
    110
    67

    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

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  • Spirited Away10
    172
    118

    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

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  • Donnie Darko11
    175
    135

    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

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  • Ocean's Eleven12
    165
    128

    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

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  • The Royal Tenenbaums13
    110
    71

    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

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  • Training Day14
    135
    117

    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

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  • The Fast and the Furious15
    133
    111

    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

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  • Legally Blonde16
    132
    94

    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

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  • The Believer17
    62
    37

    The Believer

    Ryan Gosling, Billy Zane

    Released2002

    Directed byHenry Bean

    The Believer is a 2002 American drama film co-written and directed by Henry Bean. The film...  more
  • A Knight's Tale18
    108
    87

    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

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  • Frailty19
    72
    50

    Frailty

    Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton

    Released2001

    Directed byBill Paxton

    Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and...  more

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  • Moulin Rouge!20
    117
    112

    Moulin Rouge!

    Nicole Kidman, Ozzy Osbourne

    Released2001

    Directed byBaz Luhrmann

    Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Australian–American pastiche-jukebox musical film directed, produced,...  more

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  • Hannibal21
    85
    65

    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

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  • Jeepers Creepers22
    103
    73

    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

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  • The Curse of the Jade Scorpion23
    122
    47

    The Curse of the Jade Scorpion

    Charlize Theron, Woody Allen

    Released2001

    Directed byWoody Allen

    The Curse of the Jade Scorpion is a 2001 comedy film written by, directed by, and starring...  more

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  • Amélie24
    100
    97

    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

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  • Joy Ride25
    64
    50

    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

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