Entertainment

The Best Movies of the 2000s  

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List Rules Films that had their debut theatrical run between 2000 and 2009

List of the best films released between the years 2000 and 2009, the era frequently referred to as the '00s or the "aughts." Though the actual decade is typically counted from the first year (2001) through the tenth (2010), for movies, it seems easier to organize it differently. (Most people don't consider movies released in 1990 to be '80s movies, for example.) So, what are the best 2000s movies? 

The following list mixes films from every genre, and originating in nations from all around the globe. (European cinema seems overall more predominant, with a number of French, British and Italian films making appearances, but several Asian productions - from China, Japan and Korea - are also represented.) There is also a significant overlap of popular mainstream films (such as Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" and Peter Jackson's blockbuster "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) along with more art house or niche titles. Interestingly, a number of films that were not massive box office successes or particularly noteworthy on theatrical release have grown in esteem over the years. David Fincher's "Zodiac" was seen as a bit of a let-down when it came out, and was overshadowed by other notable 2007 releases like "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Bood," but now outperforms most of the director's other work in this decade. Similarly, the low-key comic adaptation "Ghost World" from Terry Zwigoff came and went in 2000 and now makes a high appearance on this list. (This may owe in part to the ongoing popularity of Scarlett Johansson, for whom "Ghost World" provided a breakthrough role.)

Vote for your favorite '00s movies on the list below, and if you want to have more of an impact on the rankings (and maybe sneak some of your own favorite films on there), re-rank the list and make your own version.

list ordered by
1
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more
2
The Lord of the Rings: The Fel... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the first ...more
3
The Lord of the Rings: The Ret... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
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
4
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin
The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack ...more
5
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen
Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more
6
WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy
WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a ...more
7
There Will Be Blood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Daniel Day-Lewis, Ciarán Hinds, Paul Dano
There Will Be Blood is a 2007 American epic drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano. The film was inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel ...more
8
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more
9
Up is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman
Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an ...more
10
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American romantic science-fiction comedy-drama film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, written by Charlie ...more
11
Memento is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more
12
The Prestige is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman
The Prestige is a 2006 mystery drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, from a screenplay adapted by him and his brother Jonathan Nolan from Christopher Priest's 1995 World Fantasy ...more
13
Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger
Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 German-American war black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael ...more
14
The Lord of the Rings: The Two... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson and based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings. It is the second ...more
15
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter
Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more
16
Kill Bill Volume 1 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, 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
17
Iron Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges
Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film directed by Jon Favreau, based on the Marvel Comics character. After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark (Robert ...more
18
Amélie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Audrey Tautou, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett
Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in ...more
19
Pirates of the Caribbean: The ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Zoe Saldana
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
20
Children of Men is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Michael Caine
Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James's 1992 novel of the same name, was credited to five ...more
21
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Doug Jones, Ivana Baquero, Sergi López i Ayats
Pan's Labyrinth, originally known in Spanish as El laberinto del fauno, is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film written and directed by Mexican Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and ...more
22
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles
The Bourne Identity is a 2002 American-German action spy film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name. It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man suffering from extreme memory loss ...more
23
Gran Torino is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker, Scott Eastwood
Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Christopher Carley, Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This was Eastwood's ...more
24
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Zhang Ziyi, Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han actors, ...more
25
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of the 2000s
Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana
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