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The Best Movies of 2003 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated December 16, 2019 10.5k votes 662 voters 21k views 149 items

List Rules Only movies that were released theatrically in 2003

A list of the best movies of 2003, from dramas like Mystic River to critically acclaimed films like American Splendor. The '00s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters and 2003 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 2003. Who could forget School of Rock with Jack Black, Big Fish with Ewan McGregor, and of course, Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Vol. 1. And let's not forget about Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell and Luke Wilson in Old School either.

The best movies of 2003 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 Thirteen, or established stars like Bill Murray starring in Lost in Translation and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Some of the best movies of all time were released in 2003. This is the ultimate list of the best movies of 2003, which shouldn't feature the best movies of 2002. 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
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana

Released: 2003

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, it ...more

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#57 of 598 The Best Animated Films Ever #12 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
The Lord of the Rings: T... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler

Released: 2003

Directed by: Peter Jackson

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is ...more

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#2 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #39 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

3
Pirates of the Caribbean... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana

Released: 2003

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a 2003 American fantasy swashbuckler film based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks. It was directed by Gore ...more

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#32 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #35 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made The Best Characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies

4
Elf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, Peter Dinklage

Released: 2003

Directed by: Jon Favreau filmography

Elf is a 2003 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau and written by David Berenbaum. It stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, and Zooey Deschanel. It was ...more

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#88 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #41 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

5
Kill Bill Volume 1 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Quentin Tarantino

Released: 2003

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Kill Bill: Volume 1 is a 2003 American martial arts film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. the Bride, who swears revenge on a team of bad guys and their leader Bill after they try to ...more

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6
School of Rock is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove

Released: 2003

Directed by: Richard Linklater

School of Rock is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, written by Mike White, and starring Jack Black. The main plot follows struggling rock singer and guitarist, Dewey ...more

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#157 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #68 of 373 The Best Musical Movies of All Time What Happened To All The Kids From School Of Rock

7
X-Men 2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin

Released: 2003

Directed by: Bryan Singer

X2 is a 2003 American superhero film, based on the X-Men superhero team appearing in Marvel Comics, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the second installment in the X-Men film series. The ...more

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#21 of 174 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #509 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

8
Mystic River is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon

Released: 2003

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Mystic River is a 2003 American mystery drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood. It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. ...more

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#25 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #444 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Monster is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
wiabux added Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Rose Byrne

Released: 2003

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Monster is a 2003 drama film about Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida in 2002 for taking six men's lives in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron, and ...more

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#17 of 20 20 Horrifying Crime Movies Whose True Stories Are Way More Terrifying #219 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard

Released: 2003

Directed by: Tim Burton

Big Fish is a 2003 American fantasy drama film based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace. The film was directed by Tim Burton and stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy ...more

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#94 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #220 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

11
The Last Samurai is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall

Released: 2003

Directed by: Edward Zwick

The Last Samurai is a 2003 American epic film directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with John Logan. The film stars Tom Cruise, who also co-produced, as well ...more

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#51 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #169 of 347 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

12
Freaky Friday is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Lindsay Lohan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Harmon

Released: 2003

Directed by: Mark Waters

Freaky Friday is a 2003 comedy film based on the novel of the same name by Mary Rodgers. It stars Lindsay Lohan as Anna Coleman and Jamie Lee Curtis as her mother. In the film their souls are ...more

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#322 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #23 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

13
Underworld is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen, Wentworth Miller

Released: 2003

Directed by: Len Wiseman

Underworld is a 2003 action horror film directed by Len Wiseman about the secret history of Vampires and Lycans. It is the first installment in the Underworld series. The main plot revolves ...more

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#320 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #55 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on List of Silent Movies

14
Lost in Translation is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Anna Faris

Released: 2003

Directed by: Sofia Coppola

Lost in Translation is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It stars Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, and Fumihiro Hayashi. The ...more

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#206 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #111 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Bad Santa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Lauren Graham, Billy Bob Thornton, Cloris Leachman

Released: 2003

Directed by: Terry Zwigoff

Bad Santa is a 2003 American Christmas black comedy film directed by Terry Zwigoff, and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, and Lauren Graham, with Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, and ...more

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#113 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #123 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

16
Seabiscuit is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Elizabeth Banks, Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire

Released: 2003

Directed by: Gary Ross

Seabiscuit is a 2003 American biographical sports psychological-drama thriller film based on the best-selling non-fiction book Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand. The film is ...more

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#47 of 181 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #48 of 181 The Greatest Animal Movies Ever Made

17
Oldboy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
wiabux added Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Oh Dal-su

Released: 2003

Directed by: Park Chan-wook

Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean mystery thriller neo-noir film directed by Park Chan-wook, based on the Japanese manga by Garon Tsuchiya. After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh ...more

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#76 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #294 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

18
Bruce Almighty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Jennifer Aniston, Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman

Released: 2003

Directed by: Tom Shadyac

Bruce Almighty is a 2003 American religious comedy-drama film directed by Tom Shadyac, written by Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe and Steve Oedekerk and stars Jim Carrey as Bruce Nolan, a ...more

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#91 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #26 of 135 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies #87 of 165 Live Action Films with the Best CGI Effects

19
Old School is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Elisha Cuthbert, Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell

Released: 2003

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Old School is a 2003 American comedy film released by DreamWorks Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company and directed by Todd Phillips. The story was written by Court Crandall, and the film ...more

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#167 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #36 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

20
Identity is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Alfred Molina

Released: 2003

Directed by: James Mangold

Identity is a 2003 American psychological thriller film directed by James Mangold from a screenplay written by Michael Cooney. The film stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, ...more

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#35 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #378 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

21
Cold Mountain is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law

Released: 2003

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier. It stars Jude Law, Nicole ...more

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#410 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #118 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Something's Gotta Give ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Diane Keaton

Released: 2003

Directed by: Nancy Meyers

Something's Gotta Give is a 2003 American romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers for Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures. It stars Jack Nicholson and Diane ...more

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23
The Italian Job is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Charlize Theron, Kelly Brook, Mark Wahlberg

Released: 2003

Directed by: F. Gary Gray

The Italian Job is a 2003 film directed by F. Gary Gray, written by Wayne and Donna Powers and produced by Donald DeLine. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Edward ...more

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#262 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #52 of 113 The Best Mafia Filmslisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

24
Secondhand Lions is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine

Released: 2003

Directed by: Tim McCanlies

Secondhand Lions, a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Tim McCanlies, tells the story of an introverted young boy who is sent to live with his eccentric great-uncles on a ...more

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#577 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #4 of 28 The Best Movies About Old People

25
Anger Management is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 2003
Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Heather Graham

Released: 2003

Directed by: Peter Segal

Anger Management is a 2003 American slapstick comedy film directed by Peter Segal, written by David S. Dorfman, and starring Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, and Marisa Tomei . It was produced by ...more

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