The 2000s brought us some truly amazing cinematic achievements, with era-defining classics like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Children of Men, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, among countless others. The same decade also brought us films like Gigli, The Wicker Man, Garfield, and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever - irredeemable filmmaking failures that made us question whether or not we, as a society, should even keep making movies.
But what about those films that fall somewhere in between? The 2000s movies that we were all too hard on? Like the underrated, oft-maligned passion projects and overly ambitious epics that failed to connect with audiences and sharply divided critics, leaving them relegated to cinematic purgatory. Movies like The Fountain - Darren Aronofsky's metaphysical, time-spanning love story - or Richard Kelly's ahead-of-its-time sci-fi political satire Southland Tales.
Revisiting some of the most divisive, financially disappointing movies of the 2000s, it becomes clear why they tanked so hard at the time. Many were doomed from the start, with advertising campaigns that misrepresented them or casting choices that predisposed many to underestimate them. However, with some time having past, we can turn a critical eye to these films and see how many were truly underrated films that have earned their cult status - or at least deserve to have one.