Monday, December 27, 2021

The 100 Project: The Top 50 Movies of the 2000s

After having gone through every year of the 2000s and writing about every movie that made my top 10 in the year they were released, it was time to compile them into a top 50 for the decade. In case you don't remember, the goal of The 100 Project is to arrive at my top 100 movies of all-time. That will be easier to do with one list for each decade rather than trying to pull from what will be about 40 yearly lists when it's all said and done. However, I'm not going to make you read about them all over again. If you want to do that, click on the tab labeled The 100 Project near the top of the page (or the link at the bottom of this post) then click on the corresponding year. These are just a bunch of numbered pictures I'm passing off as...

My Top 50 Movies of the 2000s

  • According to my Letterboxd account, I've seen about 1,200 movies released from the years 2000 through 2009.
  • The reign of the superhero begins with 6 making the list, along with several others based on comic books and/or graphic novels.
  • Six animated movies make the list
  • Ten non-English movies show up

50. Zombieland (2009)

49. Elf (2003)

48. Hairspray (2007)

47. Hustle & Flow (2005)

46. Memento (2000)

45. Ocean's Eleven (2001)

44. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

43. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

42. Underworld (2003)

41. Training Day (2001)

40. Battle Royale (2000)

39. Bad Santa (2003)

38. American Psycho (2000)

37. Blade II (2002)

36. Road to Perdition (2002)

35. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

34. Finding Nemo (2003)

33. Iron Man (2008)

32. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

31. The Incredibles (2004)

30. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)

29. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

28. American Gangster (2007)

27. Spirited Away (2001)

26. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

25. Gone Baby Gone (2007)

24. The Departed (2006)

23. The Hangover (2009)

22. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

21. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

20. Shrek (2001)

19. Persepolis (2007)

18. Batman Begins (2005)

17. Let the Right One In (2008)

16. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

15. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

14. Sin City (2005)

13. City of God (2002)

12. Bamboozled (2000)

11. Thirst (2009)

10. No Country for Old Men (2007)

9. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

8. Mary and Max (2009)

7. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

6. Children of Men (2006)

5. Black Dynamite (2009)

4. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

3. Love & Basketball (2000)

2. Oldboy (2003)

1. The Dark Knight (2008)


  1. So far, the ones I haven't seen are: Mary & Max, A Tale of Two Sisters, Black Dynamite (in its entirety) Bamboozled (in its entirety), Kung Fu Hustle, and Gone Baby Gone.

    I don't get the love for Napoleon Dynamite as I didn't like it when I finally saw it on TV and I still don't like it.

    1. Of course, I suggest seeing all of the ones you haven't. As for Napoleon Dynamite, I get it. It's a love it or hate it kind of film, and I know plenty of people who hate it.

    2. Hmm. Don't know what happened, I went to post and it vanished so here we go hopefully this one goes through.

      As I said are list are massively divergent, but that shows how much quality there was out there during the decade. That’s great that you know how many of the various genres are on your list, I have no idea other than the fact that I’m sure there are no animated films…. A shocking surprise! 😊

      1 Frost/Nixon (2008)
      2 Pride & Prejudice (2005)
      3 The Trip (2002)
      4 Latter Days (2003)
      5 Wonder Boys (2000)
      6 Gosford Park (2001)
      7 The Italian Job (2003)
      8 Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
      9 Shelter (2007)
      10 Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
      11 Catch Me if You Can (2002)
      12 Make the Yuletide Gay (2009)
      13 Casino Royale (2006)
      14 Legally Blonde (2001)
      15 Last Holiday (2006)
      16 Love Actually (2003)
      17 The Queen (2006)
      18 A Home at the End of the World (2004)
      19 Undertow (2009)
      20 Finding Neverland (2004)
      21 The Aviator (2004)
      22 Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
      23 Fired Up! (2009)
      24 My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
      25 The Bourne Identity (2002)
      26 Inside Man (2006)
      27 Good Luck and Good Night (2005)
      28 Seabiscuit (2003)
      29 Bootmen (2000)
      30 Thank You for Smoking (2005)
      31 Serenity (2005)
      32 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
      33 Spider-Man (2002)
      34 Love and Other Disasters (2006)
      35 Freshman Orientation (2004)
      36 Far From Heaven (2002)
      37 Atonement (2007)
      38 Gladiator (2000)
      39 In the Mood for Love (2000)
      40 Swimming Pool (2003)
      41 8 Women (2002)
      42 Kinky Boots (2005)
      43 Brokeback Mountain (2005)
      44 Loggerheads (2005)
      45 Walk on Water (2004)
      46 Plan B (2009)
      47 Girl 27 (2007)
      48 Man on a Wire (2008)
      49 My Beautiful Son (2001)
      50 Paragraph 175 (2000)

    3. Joel, I've seen most of your list as well. You have lots of good stuff. I agree it shows how much quality there was during that decade. Frost/Nixon, Gladiator, Man on a Wire, The Bourne Identity, and Good Night and Good Luck were close to making my list.

      A bit strange to me, given my affinity for Spike Lee, that Inside Man made your list, but not mine. It was in that group above of films that were close.

      Some of the ones I haven't seen yet: Wonder Boys, Gosford Park, Seabiscuit. My most egregious misses: I've only seen bits and pieces of both Legally Blonde and Catch Me If You Can. One of these days, I'll get to them both.

    4. I love your list Joel and love Wonderboys, Seabiscuit, Casino Royale..younhave so many here that I love.

    5. I have little affinity for Spike Lee, there are a few (Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, Crooklyn) that I thought were good films but overall his stuff leaves me cold and I cannot stand him as a person) but Inside Man was his most accessible picture for me.

      Gosford Park is an acting master class with Altman putting his distinctive touch on the cozy mystery.

      Catch Me if You Can really needs to be seen from start to finish to capture all the intricacies of the plot and dynamic between DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

      Wonder Boys is apparently one of those films that elicit strong opinions. I saw it with my sister, we sat right next to each other and watched the exact same film and I loved it utterly and she really disliked it. So is moviegoing.

    6. Inside Man is definitely the Spike Lee film for people who don't like Spike Lee, lol. I plan on seeing Catch Me if You Can sooner, rather than later.

  2. I love this list! I've seen the majority of the films on it and I'd definitely have The Dark Knight being #1 as well.

    I feel attacked with that ipod photo though. I still have one.

  3. I've seen most of these. I think I've got all the ones I haven't already on my giant list of movies that aren't on my other lists of movies, but I will check.

  4. Very impressive Dell!

    I must admit right off that there are a slew of these I haven’t seen (American Psycho, Bad Santa, Bamboozled, Battle Royale, Black Dynamite, Blade II, City of God, Elf (I loved the stage show but my disdain for Will Ferrell has kept me away), Finding Nemo, Hustle & Flow, The Incredibles, Kill Bill Vol. 2 (I didn’t care for the first so I’ll never watch this), Kung Fu Hustle, Let the Right One In, Love & Basketball, Mary and Max (another on my long too see list), Napoleon Dynamite, Oldboy, Persepolis (this has been on my too see list for a long while, I really should get to it), Shaun of the Dead, Shrek, Spirited Away, A Tale of Two Sisters, Thirst, Training Day, Underworld, Zombieland) but of those I have I’ve liked the majority.

    We only have two matches on our lists (Little Miss Sunshine and Oceans Eleven) but there are several I loved (Akeelah and the Bee, Children of Men, Hairspray, Memento and Spider-Man 2) and would be in my runner-up list, fifty seems like so many but when you’re talking about a whole decade it’s a pittance.

    Then there are many strong films that I liked (American Gangster, Inglorious Basterds, Iron Man, No Country for Old Men (wonderfully done but too grisly for me to fully embrace), O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Pan’s Labyrinth, Road to Perdition and Y Tu Mama Tambien) but I cannot see myself going back to watch any time soon.

    Only a few I was neutral on, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight (sorry I know it’s your number one, but it didn’t do much for me-probably part of my superhero burnout) and Gone Baby Gone.

    Then unfortunately there are the ones I hated-The Departed, The Hangover, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Requiem for a Dream (brilliant acting, particularly Ellen Burstyn but a thoroughly unpleasant viewing experience) and Sin City-but hey there are only five!

    1. Of the ones you haven't seen, I think you'll like Love & Basketball best. You might also really enjoy Let the Right One In, and possibly Training Day. Oldboy, Thirst, and A Tale of Two Sisters are all on the unsettling and/or grisly side of things.

      I'm curious to see what you would think of Napoleon Dynamite, Black Dynamite, Shaun of the Dead, Kung Fu Hustle, and Zombieland. You'll either love their styles of comedy and hate them. The two zombie flicks are both pretty gory, of course.

    2. I'm in and out on Denzel. More out than in though he's grown on me somewhat over the years and is capable of very good work but he is so frequently dour it's off-putting. What really has kept me from Training Day was the pairing of him with perpetual dirtbag Ethan Hawke whose appeal completely eludes me.

      I watched Hot Fuzz with Simon Pegg because so many people were talking it up but I thought it was dumb as dirt which led me to believe that Shaun of the Dead would be much the same.

    3. Oh yeah, I forgot about your disdain for Ethan Hawke. If you didn't like Hot Fuzz, you probably won't like Shaun of the Dead.

  5. i am loving your list but Memento and Inglorious Basterds would be higher on my list and I can stand American Psycho even though I love Christian Bale. I made up a list as well here.
    1. Lord Of The Rings Trilogy..sorry Joel, I know you hate them
    2. Pan’s Labyrinth
    3. Good Night and Good Luck
    4. Under The Tuscan Sun
    5. Seabiscuit
    6. Shadow Of The Vampire
    7. Gladiator
    8. Open Range
    9. Brokeback Mountain
    10. Memento
    11. The Italian Job
    12. Gosford Park
    13. Road To Perdition
    14. Love, Actually
    15. American Gangster
    16. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    17. Return To Me
    18. Calendar Girls
    19. Batman Movies with Christian Bale
    20. Wonder Boys
    21. InGlorious Basterds
    22. Iron Man
    23. Far From Heaven
    24. Shrek
    25. Bad Santa
    26. Little Miss Sunshine
    27. The Hangover
    28. Ocean’s 11
    29. Zombieland
    30. Mamma Mia

    Ok only 30 for me but there ya go. Hope you had a nice holiday and time off.

    1. Nice list! Lots of good stuff here. Crouching Tiger was sooo close to making mine. Great job!

  6. I'm in awe of the work it's taken you to put this together. So many movies on here that I'm yet to see but equally, so many I'm happy to see listed! Napoleon Dynamite is so good, it took me way too long to eventually watch it.

    1. Awwww, thanks! And I'm always happy to see someone else give Napoleon Dynamite some love.