The 2000s were marked by iconic trends: Juicy Couture tracksuits, thin eyebrows, low-rise jeans, MTV's Cribs, and so much more. And, of course, the films of that time were equally iconic. We've scoured the archives to round up the best movies that'll remind you just how great of a decade it was. From Elle Woods reminding all of us that we can do anything we feel like to The Notebook making us all believe in love, the '00s just hit differently. Maybe it's because it was one of the last decades before streaming made it big (RIP Blockbuster), so we were able to watch all of our favorites in a not-so-comfortable seat at the movie theater with a large bucket of buttery popcorn. Or maybe it's because it was the decade in which many of us felt like we were coming of age. The '00s were a kiss goodbye to the old Hollywood tropes as Tinseltown welcomed in all new kinds of stories. Here are the 40 greatest '00s movies.
The high school comedy written by Tina Fey is the '00s pop culture staple. Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), the new girl at school, is taken in by the uber-cool mean girl group "The Plastics." Everything is going well until Cady has eyes for the leader of the pack, Regina George's (Rachel McAdams) boyfriend. Chaos ensues!
The story of an ex-Marine (Sam Worthington) sent to the moon Pandora in disguise as one of the aliens who live there to find out information about the species captivated audiences when it dropped. Like any James Cameron film, it won big at the Oscars and has a longer runtime than most, but don't let that stop you from taking in this glorious cinematic journey.
By the time you finish watching the love story of Allie and Noah, there will not be a dry eye in the house. This famous Nicholas Sparks novel is the classic poor boy (Ryan Gosling) who falls in love with a girl from the upper class (Rachel McAdams) kind of drama. Still, it's a classic romance movie I can't stop watching years later.
A kid is offered the chance to follow an up-and-coming band on tour and write about the experience for Rolling Stone. What sounds like a dream for many aspiring music journalists is loosely based on what happened to rock journalist Cameron Crowe in real life. You'll be forever jealous after watching this one.
Say what you will about Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, but in my heart, there's the one true supreme: Heath Ledger. In the second installment of Christian Bale's journey as Batman, he's put to the test when the Joker torments the city of Gotham with his psychological and physical tests. There are so many twists and turns, you won't be able to guess how it ends.
Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) has just graduated journalism school when she lands a highly sought-out position at Runway magazine, the fictional equivalent to Vogue. She soon realizes working as the assistant to editor in chief Miranda Presley (Meryl Streep) requires a lot of guts and some life-altering choices.
Hear me out: Twilight was a cultural reset! The story of a teenage girl (Kristen Stewart) who moves to the sleepy town of Forks, Washington, where she meets a handsome dude (Robert Pattinson) with a bloodthirsty secret rocked my world as an adolescent. Maybe you watch for the plot or a young Taylor Lautner, but real cinema fans know it's all about the scene of Pattinson getting out of his Volvo at school wearing Ray-Bans.
The newest mission for an undercover cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) is to infiltrate one of the biggest mafias in South Boston. At the same time, a member of that very same mob starts to work undercover for the police department to report everything concerning said mob group to its head boss (Jack Nicholson). The stakes are high, and no one wants to get found out as a rat.
Who knew eye contact could be so sexy? In this retelling of Jane Austen's novel of the same name, we meet Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew McFayden), two people who fall in love from different social classes. Can they put their pride and, yes, prejudice aside to be together?
Three friends on a bachelor party in Vegas wake up after a wild night to find the bachelor is missing. The friends find themselves tracing their steps to find the soon-to-be groom, from returning Mike Tyson's tiger to figuring out how they ended up carrying around a baby. It's highly inappropriate at times, but oh, is it funny.
Ever gone through a nasty breakup and wished you could forget it ever happened? That literally happens here. Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) is upset about his ex-girlfriend Clementine's (Kate Winslet) decision to undergo a procedure to erase him from her memory, so he decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he starts to realize the feelings for her are still there.
Two L.A. basketball-loving next door neighbors have always been intertwined in each other's lives. When they get to USC and start playing college basketball, they begin to explore their hidden feelings for each other. As they make it to the big leagues, they still struggle to make the ultimate shot: committing to a life together.
A not-so-popular teenager named Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) decides to help the new kid at school, Pedro (Efren Ramirez), run for class president against the ever-so-popular Summer Wheatly (Haylie Duff). The story is one that most audiences will be familiar with, but with characters like these (Uh, hello Uncle Rico? Kip?), it becomes a tale all its own.
Love Actually is one of those films where everyone's connected in some way. Set in London five weeks before Christmas, eight very different pairs of people are going through it. From the Prime Minister falling in love with his assistant to a girl finding out her husband's best friend is in love with her, it gets very, very complicated.
Hilary Swank plays Maggie Fitzgerald, a 31-year-old boxer who pleads for trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) to take her on. At first he says no, but soon gives in. The pair start to fill holes in each other lives that were always unfulfilled, but when Maggie faces a troubling hit in the ring and asks Frankie for a favor, their lives become forever changed.
This biopic of Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) follows his early years in his career and his relationship with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), who helps him find his greatness. Sure, you come for Cash's story, but you'll stay for the spark between Phoenix and Witherspoon. After all, it's the role that got Witherspoon her Oscar.
Ah, the first of the eight movies based on J.K. Rowling's popular book series! Harry Potter gets a letter (many letters actually) informing him that he is, in fact, a wizard, and is invited to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. There he discovers a magical world he never knew and, also, the darkness that ultimately waits for him.
Brokeback Mountain walked so Call Me By Your Name could run! I said what I said. The Oscar-winning love story between two cowboys played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal brings tears to my eyes no matter how many times I see it.
When your boyfriend dumps you and heads off to Harvard Law School because you're too "blonde," you get into said law school and prove you're far more than just a pretty face. Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) soon finds out that she'll have to do more than what made her stand out at her college in L.A. to win him back and close her case. What, like it's hard?
In the year 2032, the U.K. is under the rule of the fascist and tyrannical Norsefire Party. Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman) finds a target on her back after she has an accidental run-in with a freedom fighter named "V." The masked man persuades her to come underground for a year, during which time a bond quickly forms between the two that neither of them saw coming.
A teenager in Mumbai (Dev Patel) is one question away from winning 20 million rupees on India's Kaun Banega Crorepati? (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) when he's arrested for cheating. At the police station, he tells his life story of growing up in the slums and how his adolescent adventures have helped him answer the show's incredibly hard questions.
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meets Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) at his greeting card company job and instantly falls in love with her. To his surprise, Summer tells him she doesn't believe in love. Over 500 days, we see the highs and lows of what happens next.
Judd Apatow's directorial debut is very funny and has a lot of heart. Andy Stitzer (Steve Carrel) is a 40-year-old geeky guy who works at his local electronic store. On the outside, he seems happy with his life, but one poker night he lets it slip to his friends that he's never been intimate with a woman. His friends then make it their own mission for Andy to meet "the one."
Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is kicking off the new year by keeping a diary, swearing off bad men, and abandoning her other bad habits. As luck would have it, when she starts to do these things, she meets two men that pique her attention. Bridget soon has to find out not only which one likes the real Bridget, but also must dig up the self-love she's had for herself all along. Can I tempt you further by saying Hugh Grant has ridiculously great hair in this?
When 16-year-old Juno (Ellen Page) finds herself pregnant, she tries to get an abortion but then finds herself deciding to give the baby up for adoption to a wealthy couple. Juno was one of the first films to start a discussion about teenage pregnancy, and the Oscar-winning screenplay still holds up years later.
Viewers finally see Frodo and Sam finish their mission of destroying the One Ring at the fires of Mount Doom. The final movie of the Lord of the Rings franchise is at its best, and its 11 Academy Awards aren't too shabby either. Also, Orlando Bloom with elf ears? Unforgettable.
You didn't think I was going to talk about the '00s and not mention the movie that brought Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt together, did you? This film is about a married couple who each don't know that the other is a highly skilled assassin. They're then hired by competing agencies to kill each other. Typical marriage stuff.
Did someone call for one of the best musical films ever made? Because Mamma Mia answered. A bride-to-be, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried ) doesn't know who her real father is despite pleading with her mom (Meryl Streep) for the answer. Logically, instead of walking down the aisle alone, she invites all three of her potential dads to the wedding. There's a lot of ABBA music and dancing, which is equally as great as the all-star cast.
A sleepy-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal plays Donnie Darko, a teen who narrowly escapes death when an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom when he's not there. Soon, he finds himself committing crimes ordered by his imaginary friend Frank, a man in a large rabbit suit. This cult classic is definitely odd, but a must-see.
By the magic of the blue jean gods, one pair of pants somehow fits four best friends who are splitting up for the summer. Before they all part ways, they decide to stay in touch by passing around the jeans along with letters about their adventures. This coming-of-age story covers love, loss, finding yourself, and a really hot Greek guy named Kostas.