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The Best Movies Of The 2000s

Updated June 22, 2020 68.0k votes 4.5k voters 129.3k views457 items

List RulesFilms 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.

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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King1
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    Released2003

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • Monsters, Inc.2
    419
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    Monsters, Inc.

    Billy Crystal, John Goodman

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Silverman, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich

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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring3
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    Released2001

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • Shrek4
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    Shrek

    Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy

    Released2001

    Directed byAndrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

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  • Gladiator5
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    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

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  • The Departed6
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    The Departed

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson

    Released2006

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

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  • Finding Nemo7
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    Finding Nemo

    Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe

    Released2003

    Directed byAndrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

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  • Fight Club8
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    Fight Club

    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto

    Released1999

    Directed byDavid Fincher

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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers9
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    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellen

    Released2002

    Directed byPeter Jackson

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  • Up10
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    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

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  • Catch Me If You Can11
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    Catch Me If You Can

    Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Released2002

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of...  more
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  • Kill Bill Volume 112
    602
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    Kill Bill Volume 1

    Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu

    Released2003

    Directed byQuentin Tarantino

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  • The Incredibles13
    391
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    The Incredibles

    Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter

    Released2004

    Directed byBrad Bird

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  • Cast Away14
    410
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    Cast Away

    Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt

    Released2000

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • WALL-E15
    566
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    WALL-E

    Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman

    Released2008

    Directed byAndrew Stanton

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  • Iron Man16
    556
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    Iron Man

    Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard

    Released2008

    Directed byJon Favreau

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  • The Dark Knight17
    1,130
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    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • Gran Torino18
    311
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    Gran Torino

    Clint Eastwood, Dreama Walker

    Released2008

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl19

    Released2003

    Directed byGore Verbinski

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  • Batman Begins20
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    Batman Begins

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2005

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

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  • No Country for Old Men21
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    No Country for Old Men

    Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

    Released2007

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

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  • Spirited Away22
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    Spirited Away

    Miyu Irino, Bunta Sugawara

    Released2001

    Directed byHayao Miyazaki

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  • Casino Royale23
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    Casino Royale

    Alessandra Ambrosio, Eva Green

    Released2006

    Directed byMartin Campbell

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  • Donnie Darko24
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    Donnie Darko

    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale

    Released2001

    Directed byRichard Kelly

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  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?25
    279
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    O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    George Clooney, John Goodman

    Released2000

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure comedy film written, produced, edited, and...  more
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