Special Report

The Best Movies of the 2000s, According to Film Critics

The 2000s proved that animated movies aren’t just for children. With computer generated imagery (CGI) effects improving, animated films like “Finding Nemo” and the Shrek series brought family-friendly entertainment to the forefront, leading the Academy Awards to add a category for Best Animated Feature in 2001.

The highest grossing movie of the decade was the CGI film “Avatar.” It grossed over 2.7 billion dollars worldwide, making it one of the biggest worldwide box office hits of the last 20 years.

The 2000s also saw Studio Ghibli, a Japanese Animation studio, release two cult classics including the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away.”

Using ratings from Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes, 24/7 Tempo has compiled the best movies you’ll remember if you grew up in the 2000s, and a surprising number of them are animated.

The 2000s were also a huge decade for fantasy lovers. The biggest box office successes from 2000-2009 were sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero themed, including all three films from director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series, which each grossed over 300 million dollars in the U.S. Here are the best movie franchises to marathon from home.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman film “The Dark Knight” grossed over 500 million, making it the biggest superhero movie of the decade. These are the biggest box office hits since 2000.

Click here for the best movies of the 2000s


To identify the best movies you’ll remember from the 2000’s, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the 3,912 movies that had at least 50,000 reviews on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes. For the 1,147 of these movies that were released in the 2000s, we calculated an index of each movie’s IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score. All ratings were weighted equally. Supplemental data on domestic box office came from industry data site The Numbers. Data was collected in April 2021. Each movie’s stars and directors came from IMDb. Box office gross was ranked out of the 1,350 movies released in the 2000s for which we had box office data.

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