watchworthy presents

The 2000s Movies That Stuck with You the Most 

Ann Casano
Updated February 22, 2020 1.6k votes 302 voters 3.4k views 28 items

List Rules Not necessarily the best, your favorite, or the most rewatchable movies, but rather films that - for whatever reason, perhaps something poignant, perhaps something disturbing - have stuck in your brain long after seeing them.

Most movies we see totally wash over us. We may enjoy them in the moment, but the second the lights come up and the credits roll, we go about our day and forget the story that we’ve just been told. Unfortunately, most films are escapist, simply there for our entertainment, they are disposable, forgettable. However, every once in a while, we get to experience films that make a lasting impression. These are the 2000s movies that stuck with you the most.

There are all kinds of films on this list, from all different genres. They are certainly memorable for different reasons. Cinema has always been credited for pushing cultural boundaries. What do you think would have happened just 20 years ago if a motion picture depicted an explicit love affair between two men? Not only did Brokeback Mountain visually tell the story of two closeted gay cowboys, but the two male leads were straight men, who were not afraid that the roles might ruin their careers .

There were so many memorable 2000s movies. The decade began with Christopher Nolan's 2000 brain-bender Memento. The neo-noir told the story of a man with short-term amnesia trying to find his wife’s killer by tattooing clues on his body. The innovative narrative wowed audiences by telling Leonard’s story in reverse. Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Twilight all started their respective franchises in the early 2000s. Additionally, acclaimed director Martin Scorsese finally won his Oscar in 2006, for The Departed.

In short, the first decade of the 21st century was a banner decade for cinema. Be sure to make your voice heard and upvote the 2000s movies you remember most.
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 2000s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo: flickr/CC0

Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane accident in the South Pacific. The film depicts his attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Hanks was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 73rd Academy Awards for his performance. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Chris Noth, Frederick W. Smith, Jenifer Lewis, + more

Released: 2000

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Screenplay by: William Broyles, Jr.

Genres (Film): Airplanes and airports, Adventure Film, Drama, Action/Adventure

Tagline: At the edge of the world, his journey begins.

Rated: 12+ (RU), PG-13 (USA)

Agree or disagree?

More Cast Away 

#17 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #33 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #387 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

Shrek is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 2000s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo: flickr/CC0
2

Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film produced by PDI/DreamWorks, released by DreamWorks Pictures, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow. It is loosely based on William Steig's 1990 fairy tale picture book Shrek!, and somewhat serves as a parody film, targeting other films adapted from numerous children's fantasies. The film made notable use of popular music; the soundtrack includes music by Smash Mouth, Eels, Joan Jett, The Proclaimers, Jason Wade, Baha Men, and John Cale. The rights to the books were originally bought by Steven Spielberg in 1991, before the founding of ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, John Lithgow, Vincent Cassel, + more

Released: 2001

Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

Screenplay by: Roger S. H. Schulman, Joe Stillman, Terry Rossio, Chris Miller, Ted Elliott, + more

Genres (Film): Animation, Family, Adventure Film, Comedy, Parody film

Tagline: The greatest fairy tale never told.

Rated: PG (USA)

Sequel: Shrek 2

Agree or disagree?

More Shrek 

#201 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry 12 Things You Never Knew About The Making Of 'Shrek'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 2000s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

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 tells the story of the overprotective clownfish named Marlin who, along with a regal tang named Dory, searches for his son Nemo all the way to Sydney Harbour. Along the way, Marlin learns to take risks and let Nemo take care of himself. The film was re-released for the first time in 3D on September 14, 2012, and it was released on Blu-ray on December 4, 2012. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana, Allison Janney, Albert Brooks, + more

Released: 2003

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Screenplay by: Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds

Genres (Film): Animation, Family, Adventure Film, Comedy

Tagline: There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean. They're looking for one., Grab shell dude!

Rated: G (USA), UK: U

Sequel: Finding Dory

Agree or disagree?

More Finding Nemo 

#57 of 598 The Best Animated Films Ever #76 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Crylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

Mean Girls is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 2000s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film. Mark Waters directed, and Tina Fey wrote the screenplay, which is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which describes female high school social cliques and the damaging effects they can have on girls. Lindsay Lohan stars. The supporting cast features Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Jonathan Bennett and Amanda Seyfried. Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels produced the film. Screenwriter and co-star of the film, Tina Fey, was a long-term cast member and writer for SNL. Also featuring appearances from SNL cast members Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, + more

Released: 2004

Directed by: Mark Waters

Screenplay by: Tina Fey

Genres (Film): Teen film, Comedy

Tagline: Watch your back.

Rated: PG-13 (USA)

Sequel: Mean Girls 2

Agree or disagree?

More Mean Girls 

#253 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #2 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Of 'Mean Girls'