The 140 Essential 2000s Movies

#70

Collateral (2004)
86%

#70
Adjusted Score: 92.504%
Critics Consensus: Driven by director Michael Mann's trademark visuals and a lean, villainous performance from Tom Cruise, Collateral is a stylish and compelling noir thriller.
Synopsis: A taxi driver is unexpectedly taken on the ride of his life in this stylish thriller from acclaimed director Michael... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#69

Ghost World (2001)
92%

#69
Adjusted Score: 97.039%
Critics Consensus: With acerbic wit, Terry Zwigoff fashions Daniel Clowes' graphic novel into an intelligent, comedic trip through deadpan teen angst.
Synopsis: Set during the summer after they graduate from high school, two ultra-hip friends, Enid and Becky fear drifting apart when... [More]
Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

#68

Avatar (2009)
82%

#68
Adjusted Score: 91.535%
Critics Consensus: It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking.
Synopsis: "Avatar" is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#67

Inside Man (2006)
86%

#67
Adjusted Score: 92.625%
Critics Consensus: Spike Lee's energetic and clever bank-heist thriller is a smart genre film that is not only rewarding on its own terms, but manages to subvert its pulpy trappings with wit and skill.
Synopsis: The volatile showdown between a determined cop and a perfectionist bank robber is sent spiraling toward disaster when a scheming... [More]
Directed By: Spike Lee

#66

Star Trek (2009)
94%

#66
Adjusted Score: 104.891%
Critics Consensus: Star Trek reignites a classic franchise with action, humor, a strong story, and brilliant visuals, and will please traditional Trekkies and new fans alike.
Synopsis: Mission: Impossible III director and Alias creator J.J. Abrams resurrects the classic science fiction franchise created by Gene Roddenberry with... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 85.827%
Critics Consensus: The Royal Tenenbaums is a delightful adult comedy with many quirks and a sense of poignancy. Many critics especially praised Hackman's performance.
Synopsis: Royal Tenenbaum and his wife Etheline had three children--Chas, Richie, and Margot--they were a family of geniuses and then they... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#64

Broken Flowers (2005)
87%

#64
Adjusted Score: 93.272%
Critics Consensus: Bill Murray's subtle and understated style complements director Jim Jarmusch's minimalist storytelling in this quirky, but deadpan comedy.
Synopsis: The resolutely single Don has just been dumped by his latest lover, Sherry. Don yet again resigns himself to being... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#63

28 Days Later (2003)
86%

#63
Adjusted Score: 92.475%
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory.
Synopsis: After breaking into a primate research facility, a group of animal rights activists discover caged chimps chained up before banks... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#62

Superbad (2007)
87%

#62
Adjusted Score: 93.618%
Critics Consensus: Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience.
Synopsis: Operating under the assumption that by procuring alcohol for an upcoming party they will finally be able to break their... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 93.808%
Critics Consensus: This understated romance, featuring good performances by its leads, is both visually beautiful and emotionally moving.
Synopsis: For his first film since the 1997 Hong Kong handover, auteur filmmaker Wong Kar-wai directs this moody period drama about... [More]
Directed By: Kar-Wai Wong

#60

Almost Famous (2000)
89%

#60
Adjusted Score: 94.924%
Critics Consensus: Almost Famous, with its great ensemble performances and story, is a well-crafted, warm-hearted movie that successfully draws you into its era.
Synopsis: Writer and director Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenage rock journalist -- he was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#59

Tropic Thunder (2008)
81%

#59
Adjusted Score: 89.89%
Critics Consensus: With biting satire, plenty of subversive humor, and an unforgettable turn by Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder is a triumphant late Summer comedy.
Synopsis: Ben Stiller's satirical look at Hollywood, Tropic Thunder concerns the production of an epic Vietnam War film that quickly derails... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#58

Finding Nemo (2003)
99%

#58
Adjusted Score: 106.705%
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Synopsis: In this stunning underwater adventure, with memorable characters, humor and heartfelt emotion, Finding Nemo follows the comedic and momentous journey... [More]

#57

Whale Rider (2003)
91%

#57
Adjusted Score: 94.984%
Critics Consensus: An empowering and uplifting movie, with a wonderful performance by Castle-Hughes.
Synopsis: On the east coast of New Zealand, the Whangara people believe their presence there dates back a thousand years or... [More]
Directed By: Niki Caro

#56

Talk to Her (2002)
92%

#56
Adjusted Score: 95.287%
Critics Consensus: Another masterful, compassionate work from Pedro Almodovar.
Synopsis: Pedro Almodóvar follows his international success All About My Mother with an offbeat drama that explores the friendship of two... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

#55

Amores Perros (2001)
92%

#55
Adjusted Score: 95.462%
Critics Consensus: The brutality of Amores Perros may be difficult to watch at times, but this intense, gritty film packs a hard wallop.
Synopsis: Three stories of life along the margins in Mexico City converge in this inventive thriller. Octavio is sharing an apartment... [More]

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 96.27%
Critics Consensus: A road movie that's not only sexy, but intelligent as well.
Synopsis: Alfonso Cuarón directed and co-wrote this sexy art-house hit from Mexico. The funny and moving coming-of-age story centers on two... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

#53

School of Rock (2003)
91%

#53
Adjusted Score: 96.512%
Critics Consensus: Black's exuberant, gleeful performance turns School of Rock into a hilarious, rocking good time.
Synopsis: The world's least-employable heavy metal guitarist is entrusted with the minds of upstate New York's best and brightest in this... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#52

Adaptation (2002)
91%

#52
Adjusted Score: 96.827%
Critics Consensus: Dizzyingly original, the loopy, multi-layered Adaptation is both funny and thought-provoking.
Synopsis: Despite the success of his first produced script, "Being John Malkovich," for which he received an Academy Award nomination for... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 96.994%
Critics Consensus: Unlike more traditional spy films, The Lives of Others doesn't sacrifice character for cloak and dagger chases, and the performances (notably that by the late Ulrich Muhe) stay with you.
Synopsis: A man who has devoted his life to ferreting out "dangerous" characters is thrown into a quandary when he investigates... [More]

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 98.562%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.
Synopsis: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran boxing trainer who has devoted his life to the ring and has precious... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#49

Hot Fuzz (2007)
91%

#49
Adjusted Score: 97.507%
Critics Consensus: The brilliant minds behind Shaun of the Dead successfully take a shot at the buddy cop genre with Hot Fuzz. The result is a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody.
Synopsis: A top London cop who is so good at his job that he makes his fellow officers look like slackers... [More]
Directed By: Edgar Wright

#48

The Host (2007)
93%

#48
Adjusted Score: 97.584%
Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.
Synopsis: When a young girl is snatched away from her father by a horrifying giant monster that emerges from the River... [More]
Directed By: Bong Joon Ho

#47

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
76%

#47
Adjusted Score: 82.616%
Critics Consensus: A love-it-or-hate-it experience, Moulin Rouge is all style, all giddy, over-the-top spectacle. But it's also daring in its vision and wildly original.
Synopsis: The third film from pop-music-obsessed director Baz Luhrmann tweaks the conventions of the musical genre by mixing a period romance... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#46

Man on Wire (2008)
100%

#46
Adjusted Score: 105.416%
Critics Consensus: James Marsh's doc about artist Phililppe Petit's artful caper brings you every ounce of suspense that can be wrung from a man on a (suspended) wire.
Synopsis: August 7, 1974. A young French man named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire suspended between the Twin Towers... [More]
Directed By: James Marsh

#45

Zodiac (2007)
90%

#45
Adjusted Score: 97.986%
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the 70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Synopsis: Based on the true story of the notorious serial killer and the intense manhunt he inspired, Zodiac is a superbly... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 75.483%
Critics Consensus: A charming, quirky, and often funny comedy.
Synopsis: The directorial debut of filmmaker Jared Hess, who also co-wrote the screenplay, Napoleon Dynamite is a quirky, offbeat comedy set... [More]
Directed By: Jared Hess

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 98.043%
Critics Consensus: Little Miss Sunshine succeeds thanks to a strong ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin, as well as a delightfully funny script.
Synopsis: When a pudgy, bespectacled seven-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin), voices her desire to take home the coveted Little Miss Sunshine crown... [More]

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 97.987%
Critics Consensus: A classic Tarantino genre-blending thrill ride, Inglourious Basterds is violent, unrestrained, and thoroughly entertaining.
Synopsis: "Inglourious Basterds" begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#41

Memento (2000)
92%

#41
Adjusted Score: 98.132%
Critics Consensus: Christopher Nolan skillfully guides the audience through Memento's fractured narrative, seeping his film in existential dread.
Synopsis: A man is determined to find justice after the loss of a loved one, even though he is incapable of... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#40
Adjusted Score: 98.232%
Critics Consensus: Part satire, part shockumentary,Borat gets high-fives almost all-around for being offensive in the funniest possible way. Jagshemash!
Synopsis: Journalist Borat Sagdiyev leaves his native Kazakhstan to travel to America to make a documentary. As he zigzags across the... [More]
Directed By: Larry Charles

#39

Best in Show (2000)
94%

#39
Adjusted Score: 97.671%
Critics Consensus: A fine example of writer-director-star Christopher Guest's gift for improv comedy, Best in Show boasts an appealingly quirky premise and a brilliantly talented cast.
Synopsis: A "behind the scenes" look into the highly competitive and cut-throat world of dog-shows through the eyes of a group... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Guest

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 98.357%
Critics Consensus: Widely touted as a masterpiece, this sparse and sprawling epic about the underhanded "heroes" of capitalism boasts incredible performances by leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano, and is director Paul Thomas Anderson's best work to date.
Synopsis: Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson steps outside his contemporary world of dysfunctional Angelenos to explore a very different dysfunctional man --... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#37

Amélie (2001)
89%

#37
Adjusted Score: 94.847%
Critics Consensus: The feel-good Amelie is a lively, fanciful charmer, showcasing Audrey Tautou as its delightful heroine.
Synopsis: One woman decides to change the world by changing the lives of the people she knows in this charming and... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#36

District 9 (2009)
90%

#36
Adjusted Score: 99.674%
Critics Consensus: Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.
Synopsis: Director Neill Blomkamp teams with producer Peter Jackson for this tale of extraterrestrial refugees stuck in contemporary South Africa. It's... [More]
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

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