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The Best Movies of 2003

Updated September 4, 2020 11.9k votes 734 voters 31.1k 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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  • 1
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    275
    107

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • 2
    Finding Nemo
    273
    111

    Finding Nemo

    Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe

    Directed byAndrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

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    #383 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#19 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 3
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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  • 4
    Elf
    183
    100

    Elf

    Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell

    Directed byJon Favreau filmography

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    #55 of 115 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time#3 of 134 The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

  • 5
    Kill Bill Volume 1
    179
    106

    Kill Bill Volume 1

    Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • 6
    X-Men 2
    142
    91

    X-Men 2

    Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman

    Directed byBryan Singer

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    #47 of 167 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made#62 of 164 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

  • 7
    School of Rock
    161
    85

    School of Rock

    Sarah Silverman, Jack Black

    Directed byRichard Linklater

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  • 8
    The Last Samurai
    102
    65

    The Last Samurai

    Tom Cruise, Billy Connolly

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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    #84 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#201 of 554 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • 9
    Monster
    99
    66

    Monster

    Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci

    Directed byPatty Jenkins

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    #28 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#17 of 20 20 Horrifying Crime Movies Whose True Stories Are Way More Terrifying

  • 10
    Oldboy
    95
    75

    Oldboy

    Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae

    Directed byPark Chan-wook

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    #62 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#74 of 88 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

  • 11
    Freaky Friday
    121
    60

    Freaky Friday

    Lindsay Lohan, Jamie Lee Curtis

    Directed byMark Waters

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    #66 of 97 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies#18 of 18 18 Movies With 'Happy Endings' That Were Actually Unspeakably Tragic

  • 12
    Seabiscuit
    79
    58

    Seabiscuit

    Elizabeth Banks, Jeff Bridges

    Directed byGary Ross

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  • 13
    Underworld
    85
    65

    Underworld

    Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen

    Directed byLen Wiseman

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  • 14
    Mystic River
    113
    102

    Mystic River

    Emmy Rossum, Sean Penn

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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    #19 of 160 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made#326 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • 15
    Big Fish
    98
    85

    Big Fish

    Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor

    Directed byTim Burton

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  • 16
    Something's Gotta Give
    60
    45

    Something's Gotta Give

    Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves

    Directed byNancy Meyers

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    #453 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#142 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 17
    Lost in Translation
    106
    108

    Lost in Translation

    Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray

    Directed bySofia Coppola

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  • 18
    Bad Santa
    84
    70

    Bad Santa

    Lauren Graham, Billy Bob Thornton

    Directed byTerry Zwigoff

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  • 19
    Old School
    86
    84

    Old School

    Elisha Cuthbert, Snoop Dogg

    Directed byTodd Phillips

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  • 20
    The Italian Job
    94
    70

    The Italian Job

    Charlize Theron, Kelly Brook

    Directed byF. Gary Gray

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  • 21
    Cold Mountain
    69
    56

    Cold Mountain

    Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman

    Directed byAnthony Minghella

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  • 22
    Bruce Almighty
    117
    104

    Bruce Almighty

    Jennifer Aniston, Jim Carrey

    Directed byTom Shadyac

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    #131 of 165 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects#27 of 142 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies

  • 23
    Open Range
    57
    36

    Open Range

    Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall

    Directed byKevin Costner

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    #16 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#3 of 59 The 30+ Best Modern Western Movies

  • 24
    Anger Management
    75
    76

    Anger Management

    Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler

    Directed byPeter Segal

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  • 25
    Brother Bear
    69
    47

    Brother Bear

    Joaquin Phoenix, Pauley Perrette

    Directed byAaron Blaise, Robert A. Walker

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    #118 of 572 The Best Animated Films Ever#741 of 926 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films