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The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked

Updated September 4, 2020 15.5k votes 951 voters 31.0k views162 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 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
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fel is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    289
    142

    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' is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    230
    162

    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
  • 3
    Monsters, Inc. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    280
    140

    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 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    278
    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 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    142
    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 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    174
    120

    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
  • 7
    The Others is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    124
    74

    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

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  • 8
    A Beautiful Mind is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    150
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    179
    136

    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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  • 10
    The Royal Tenenbaums is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    113
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Spirited Away is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    174
    122

    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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  • 12
    Ocean's Eleven is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    162
    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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  • 13
    Enemy at the Gates is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    108
    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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  • 14
    Legally Blonde is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    136
    93

    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
  • 15
    Frailty is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    76
    48

    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
  • 16
    The Fast and the Furious is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    131
    115

    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
    A Knight's Tale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    108
    89

    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
  • 18
    Behind Enemy Lines is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    79
    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
    Moulin Rouge! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    122
    113

    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
  • 20
    Training Day is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    131
    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
  • 21
    Amélie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    106
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    84
    67

    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
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    32
    9

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh

    Released2000

    Directed byAng Lee

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Jeepers Creepers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    108
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Monster's Ball is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 2001, Ranked
    86
    79

    Monster's Ball

    Halle Berry, Sean Combs

    Released2001

    Directed byMarc Forster

    Monster's Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by German-Swiss director Marc... more on Wikipedia

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