The 140 Essential 2000s Movies

#105

Bad Santa (2003)
78%

#105
Adjusted Score: 84.431%
Critics Consensus: A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn't for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.
Synopsis: The Christmas season just got a lot less joyous in this very dark comedy. Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton)... [More]
Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

#104

Oldboy (2005)
82%

#104
Adjusted Score: 86.783%
Critics Consensus: Violent and definitely not for the squeamish, Park Chan-Wook's visceral Oldboy is a strange, powerful tale of revenge.
Synopsis: South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook directed this violent and offbeat story of punishment and vengeance. Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is... [More]
Directed By: Park Chan-wook

#103

Cloverfield (2008)
78%

#103
Adjusted Score: 86.043%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Blair Witch Project crossed with Godzilla, Cloverfield is economically paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares.
Synopsis: Producer J.J. Abrams teams with writer Drew Goddard and director Matt Reeves for this frenetic tale of a powerful destructive... [More]
Directed By: Matt Reeves

#102

Step Brothers (2008)
55%

#102
Adjusted Score: 62.745%
Critics Consensus: Step Brothers indulges in a cheerfully relentless immaturity that will quickly turn off viewers unamused by Ferrell and Reilly -- and delight those who find their antics hilarious.
Synopsis: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly re-team with that film's director, Adam... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#101

Waking Life (2001)
81%

#101
Adjusted Score: 85.588%
Critics Consensus: Waking Life's inventive animated aesthetic adds a distinctive visual component to a film that could easily have rested on its smart screenplay and talented ensemble cast.
Synopsis: A boy has a dream that he can float, but unless he holds on, he will drift away into the... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#100
#100
Adjusted Score: 85.916%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: A young African-American couple navigates the tricky paths of romance and athletics in this drama. Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince-Bythewood

#99
Adjusted Score: 85.398%
Critics Consensus: May leave you exhausted like the theme park ride that inspired it; however, you'll have a good time when it's over.
Synopsis: A tale of adventure set during the 17th Century in the Caribbean Sea. For the roguish yet charming Captain Jack... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#98
#98
Adjusted Score: 85.204%
Critics Consensus: Though there was controversy over the choice of casting, Zellweger's Bridget Jones is a sympathetic, likable, funny character, giving this romantic comedy a lot of charm.
Synopsis: Based on Helen Fielding's hugely popular novel, this romantic comedy follows Bridget (Renee Zellweger), a post-feminist, thirty-something British woman who... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#97

Barbershop (2002)
83%

#97
Adjusted Score: 86.208%
Critics Consensus: Besides bringing on the laughs, Barbershop displays a big heart and demonstrates the value of community.
Synopsis: An ensemble comedy about a day in the life of a barbershop on the south side of Chicago. It's Calvin's... [More]
Directed By: Tim Story

#96

The Hangover (2009)
78%

#96
Adjusted Score: 85.829%
Critics Consensus: With a clever script and hilarious interplay among the cast, The Hangover nails just the right tone of raunchy humor, and the non-stop laughs overshadow any flaw.
Synopsis: A blowout Las Vegas bachelor party turns into a race against time when three hung-over groomsmen awaken after a night... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#95

Sin City (2005)
77%

#95
Adjusted Score: 85.792%
Critics Consensus: Visually groundbreaking and terrifically violent, Sin City brings the dark world of Frank Miller's graphic novel to vivid life.
Synopsis: The Eisner Award-winning comic series Sin City comes to life in this live-action feature adaptation from director Robert Rodriguez and... [More]

#94

Ocean's Eleven (2001)
83%

#94
Adjusted Score: 88.86%
Critics Consensus: As fast-paced, witty, and entertaining as it is star-studded and coolly stylish, Ocean's Eleven offers a well-seasoned serving of popcorn entertainment.
Synopsis: A rag-tag group of con artists and ex-cons team up for the heist to end all heists in this high-profile... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#93

Battle Royale (2000)
88%

#93
Adjusted Score: 88.999%
Critics Consensus: Battle Royale is a controversial and violent parable of adolescence, heightening teenage melodrama with life-or-death stakes.
Synopsis: A long-unavailable underground hit that anticipated The Hunger Games novels by eight years, veteran director Fukasaku's epically violent, still-controversial and... [More]
Directed By: Kinji Fukasaku

#92

Elf (2003)
84%

#92
Adjusted Score: 89.557%
Critics Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.
Synopsis: For his sophomore stab at directing, actor/writer/director Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made), took on this holiday comedy starring Saturday Night Live-alum... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#91
Adjusted Score: 71.676%
Critics Consensus: Filled with inspired silliness and quotable lines, Anchorman isn't the most consistent comedy in the world, but Will Ferrell's buffoonish central performance helps keep this portrait of a clueless newsman from going off the rails.
Synopsis: Marking the directorial debut of Adam McKay, former head writer for Saturday Night Live and founder of the Upright Citizen's... [More]
Directed By: Adam McKay

#90

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
82%

#90
Adjusted Score: 88.865%
Critics Consensus: Extremely one-sided in its indictment of the Bush administration, but worth watching for the humor and the debates it'll stir.
Synopsis: An expose which reflects upon what has happened to America since the events of September 11, 2001 that touches upon... [More]
Directed By: Michael Moore

#89

Mulholland Drive (2001)
83%

#89
Adjusted Score: 88.937%
Critics Consensus: David Lynch's dreamlike and mysterious Mulholland Drive is a twisty neo-noir with an unconventional structure that features a mesmirizing performance from Naomi Watts as a woman on the dark fringes of Hollywood.
Synopsis: Along Mulholland Drive nothing is what it seems. In the unreal universe of Los Angeles, the city bares its schizophrenic... [More]
Directed By: David Lynch

#88

Billy Elliot (2000)
85%

#88
Adjusted Score: 88.915%
Critics Consensus: Billy Elliot is a charming movie that can evoke both laughter and tears.
Synopsis: The life of a miner's son in Northern England is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Daldry

#87

Serenity (2005)
82%

#87
Adjusted Score: 88.209%
Critics Consensus: Snappy dialogue and goofy characters make this Wild Wild West soap opera in space fun and adventurous.
Synopsis: A band of renegades on the run in outer space get in more hot water than they anticipated in this... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 89.505%
Critics Consensus: Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.
Synopsis: A haunted house makes no secret of the fact it's not pleased with its new tenants in this independent tale... [More]
Directed By: Oren Peli

#85
#85
Adjusted Score: 89.246%
Critics Consensus: Inspiring, compassionate, and with a sly undercurrent of social commentary, Bend It Like Beckham is a lively feel-good movie that genuinely charms.
Synopsis: An Indian family in London tries to raise their soccer-playing daughter in a traditional way. Unlike her traditional older sister,... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#84

Erin Brockovich (2000)
84%

#84
Adjusted Score: 89.165%
Critics Consensus: Taking full advantage of Julia Roberts's considerable talent and appeal, Erin Brockovich overcomes a few character and plot issues to deliver a smart, thoughtful, and funny legal drama.
Synopsis: Julia Roberts stars in this legal drama based on the true story of a woman who helped win the largest... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#83

Walk the Line (2005)
82%

#83
Adjusted Score: 89.096%
Critics Consensus: Superior acting and authentic crooning capture the emotional subtleties of the legend of Johnny Cash with a freshness that is a pleasure to watch.
Synopsis: "Walk the Line" follows the early years in the career of American music legend Johnny Cash. The young Cash sets... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#82

Shrek (2001)
88%

#82
Adjusted Score: 94.939%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ornery ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is... [More]

#81

In Bruges (2008)
84%

#81
Adjusted Score: 91.531%
Critics Consensus: Featuring witty dialogue and deft performances, In Bruges is an effective mix of dark comedy and crime thriller elements.
Synopsis: Bruges (pronounced "broozh"), the most well-preserved medieval city in the whole of Belgium, is a welcoming destination for travelers from... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#80

Donnie Darko (2001)
86%

#80
Adjusted Score: 89.547%
Critics Consensus: Richard Kelly's debut feature Donnie Darko is a daring, original vision, packed with jarring ideas and intelligence and featuring a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled title character.
Synopsis: Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a bright and charming high-school student who also has a dark and willfully eccentric side; he... [More]
Directed By: Richard Kelly

#79

The Descent (2006)
86%

#79
Adjusted Score: 92.112%
Critics Consensus: Deft direction and strong performances from its all-female cast guide The Descent, a riveting, claustrophobic horror film.
Synopsis: A group of close female friends on a yearly adventure vacation find themselves trapped and hunted in a series of... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#78

Coraline (2009)
90%

#78
Adjusted Score: 98.896%
Critics Consensus: With its vivid stop-motion animation combined with Neil Gaiman's imaginative story, Coraline is a film that's both visually stunning and wondrously entertaining.
Synopsis: Coraline Jones is a girl of 11 who is feisty, curious, and adventurous beyond her years. She and her parents... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick

#77
#77
Adjusted Score: 83.748%
Critics Consensus: Though the movie may be too intense for some to stomach, the wonderful performances and the bleak imagery are hard to forget.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., this gritty drama concerns four people trapped by their addictions. Harry (Jared... [More]
Directed By: Darren Aronofsky

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 91.286%
Critics Consensus: Steve Carell's first star turn scores big with a tender treatment of its titular underdog, using raunchy but realistically funny comedy to connect with adult audiences.
Synopsis: One man nervously ventures forth into the final frontier in this comedy starring comic actor Steve Carell. Andy Stitzer (Carell)... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 91.97%
Critics Consensus: Kill Bill is admittedly little more than a stylish revenge thriller -- albeit one that benefits from a wildly inventive surfeit of style.
Synopsis: An entire wedding party is slaughtered during a dress rehearsal in a rural chapel: the pregnant woman in the blood-splattered... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 92.571%
Critics Consensus: A clever, offbeat romantic comedy, 500 Days of Summer is refreshingly honest and utterly charming.
Synopsis: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel star in director Marc Webb's wry, nonlinear romantic comedy about a man who falls head... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#73

The Pianist (2002)
95%

#73
Adjusted Score: 100.079%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and dramatically moving, The Pianist is Polanski's best work in years.
Synopsis: An adaptation based on the autobiography of the acclaimed Polish composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman, who detailed his survival during World War... [More]
Directed By: Roman Polanski

#72

Shaolin Soccer (2004)
90%

#72
Adjusted Score: 92.073%
Critics Consensus: The plot is utterly ridiculous, and the soccer in the movie is unlike any ever played anywhere on Earth, but watching Shaolin Soccer, you will probably find it impossible to care.
Synopsis: One of Hong Kong's top screen comics, Stephen Chow, co-wrote, co-directed, and headlines this three-way blend of sports, action, and... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chow

#71

X2: X-Men United (2003)
85%

#71
Adjusted Score: 92.272%
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.
Synopsis: When a failed assassination attempt occurs on the President's (Cotter Smith) life by the teleporting mutant Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), it's... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

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