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The Best Movies of 2003

Updated September 4, 2020 11.9k votes 768 voters 33.3k views200 items

List RulesOnly movies released in theaters 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 with new stars and big blockbusters and 2003 was no exception. Some of the best movies of this year are some of the best teen, coming of age, adventure, comedy movies, 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 good 2003 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 came out in 2003. This is the ultimate list of the best and most popular 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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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King1
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    Directed byPeter Jackson

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    Small Details From 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King' That Would Make Tolkien Proud#40 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

  • Finding Nemo2
    266
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    Finding Nemo

    Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe

    Directed byAndrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

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    Small But Interesting 'Finding Nemo' Details That Fans Noticed#383 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl3

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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    The Best Characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies#10 of 69 The Best Movies That Are Super Long

  • Kill Bill Volume 14
    175
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    Kill Bill Volume 1

    Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Kill Bill'#137 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • Elf5
    178
    99

    Elf

    Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell

    Directed byJon Favreau

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    #55 of 126 The Greatest Date Movies Of All Time#17 of 126 The Funniest Movies Starring SNL Cast Members

  • School of Rock6
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    School of Rock

    Sarah Silverman, Jack Black

    Directed byRichard Linklater

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    What Happened To All The Kids From School Of Rock#223 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time

  • X-Men 27
    140
    89

    X-Men 2

    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman

    Directed byBryan Singer

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    #41 of 166 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made#249 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • The Last Samurai8
    104
    65

    The Last Samurai

    Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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    #80 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#206 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • Monster9
    98
    62

    Monster

    Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci

    Directed byPatty Jenkins

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    #30 of 275 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#17 of 20 20 Horrifying Crime Movies Whose True Stories Are Way More Terrifying

  • American Splendor10
    95
    54

    American Splendor

    Paul Giamatti, Josh Hutchersonm

    Directed byRobert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman

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    #45 of 51 Great Quirky Movies for Grown-Ups#41 of 82 The Best Movies About Writers

  • Freaky Friday11
    117
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    Freaky Friday

    Lindsay Lohan, Jamie Lee Curtis

    Directed byMark Waters

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    #76 of 95 The Best Film Adaptations Of Young Adult Novels#68 of 109 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

  • Mona Lisa Smile12
    89
    49

    Mona Lisa Smile

    Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst

    Directed byMike Newell

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    #9 of 84 Great Movies That Take Place in Autumn#28 of 141 The Best College Movies Ever

  • Paycheck13
    78
    46

    Paycheck

    Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman

    Directed byJohn Woo

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    #135 of 167 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#153 of 178 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

  • Underworld14
    82
    63

    Underworld

    Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen

    Directed byLen Wiseman

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    #266 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#10 of 51 The Most Exciting Movies About Female Assassins

  • Seabiscuit15
    79
    56

    Seabiscuit

    Elizabeth Banks, Jeff Bridges

    Directed byGary Ross

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    #16 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books#45 of 204 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

  • Big Fish16
    99
    83

    Big Fish

    Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor

    Directed byTim Burton

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    #132 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books#65 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • Oldboy17
    90
    75

    Oldboy

    Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae

    Directed byPark Chan-wook

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    #63 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#74 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies Of All Time

  • Mystic River18
    111
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    Mystic River

    Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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    #20 of 170 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#22 of 247 The Best Whodunit Movies

  • Lost in Translation19
    108
    103

    Lost in Translation

    Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray

    Directed bySofia Coppola

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    #9 of 75 50+ Quirky Romance Movies That Are Unique in Their Own Way#87 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies

  • Bad Santa20
    85
    69

    Bad Santa

    Lauren Graham, Billy Bob Thornton

    Directed byTerry Zwigoff

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    #35 of 127 The Best Christmas Movies of All Time#59 of 264 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

  • Something's Gotta Give21
    61
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    Something's Gotta Give

    Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves

    Directed byNancy Meyers

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    #141 of 781 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#452 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • The Italian Job22
    94
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    The Italian Job

    Charlize Theron, Kelly Brook

    Directed byF. Gary Gray

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    #14 of 49 The Very Best Movies About Hackers#59 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time

  • Old School23
    84
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    Old School

    Elisha Cuthbert, Snoop Dogg

    Directed byTodd Phillips

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    #154 of 450 The Best Movies For Guys#213 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • Bruce Almighty24
    117
    101

    Bruce Almighty

    Jennifer Aniston, Jim Carrey

    Directed byTom Shadyac

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    #35 of 151 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies#124 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • Cold Mountain25
    67
    57

    Cold Mountain

    Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman

    Directed byAnthony Minghella

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    #7 of 28 Civil War Movies List#118 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made