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shrek- best movies of 2001

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Looking Back: The Top 10 Best Movies Of 2001

Ranking the best movies from 2001.

Looking back at the best movies from 2001.

2001 was the Year of the Franchise. Many of this year’s blockbusters were based on bestselling books, setting up expectations that there would be a part 2 and 3 … and so on. 

Unlike the weighty dramas of 2000 (Gladiator, Erin Brokovich), this year was marked by pure escapism. Whether it was young wizards, blood-thirsty Orcs, or hilarious Ogres, 2001 brought on some of the biggest movie series of the new millennium.

Here are the best movies of 2001.

1. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

This three-hour epic was director Peter Jackson’s masterpiece. Based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novel, Lord of the Rings (part one) brought together stellar acting, visual effects, and costume design. Even the musical score was inspiring, from the sweet melody of the ‘Shire to the heavy, dramatic main theme.

Tolkien wrote LOTR after his traumatic experiences in the war. The struggle of the innocent hobbits, sent on a journey across foreign lands to defeat the terrifying army of darkness, was an inspiring tale that left audiences clamouring for more. 

IMDb: 8.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 91% Critic Score

  • Classification: M
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
  • Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen and more

Read more:

Stream Now On Netflix

2. A Beautiful Mind

Now we move into the dramatic heavy hitter on our list. This beautiful, poignant film walked away with Best Picture and a Best Director Oscar for Ron Howard in 2001. 

It was inspired by true events in the life of John Nash, who won the Nobel Award for Mathematics and then lost (and found) his mind. At its heart, it’s a romance and a moving tribute to the power of love. 

IMDb: 8.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% Audience Score

  • Classification: M
  • Genre: Drama/Romance
  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany and more

Stream now on Stan

3. Amelie

Amelie was a little gem of a movie. Shot in over 80 locations around Paris, this quirky independent film features a lonely waitress (played by the delightful Audrey Tautou) who decides to travel about, orchestrating other people’s lives.

This romantic comedy was a critical darling and a perfect date night movie if you missed it the first time around.

IMDb: 8.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Critic Score

  • Classification: M
  • Genre: Romance
  • Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Jamel Debbouze and more

Stream now on Apple TV

4. Monsters, Inc.

An animated kid’s movie loved by children and adults alike, the brilliant Monster’s Inc. 

Billy Crystal and John Goodman star as monsters who work at the energy-producing “Monsters Incorporated”. Their job is to generate power by scaring children. In the monster world, kids are considered toxic and when they accidentally let one come through their portal, all hell breaks loose.

The movie was nominated for several awards, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “If I Didn’t Have You.” 

IMDb: 8.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% Critic Score

  • Classification: G
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Cast: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi and more

Stream now on Disney+

5. Shrek

Shrek offered a fresh, witty take on the animated movie genre, bringing it into the new millennium with its sassy, irreverent take on the well-tread standard “fairy tale”. 

With Mike Myers as the Ogre and Eddie Murphy as the annoying-but-lovable donkey, the laughs are non-stop. It was the perfect movie for both parents and kids, with goofy slapstick, sarcastic banter and a groovy soundtrack that makes this film a watch-again winner.

IMDb: 7.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 88% Critic Score

  • Classification: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and more

Stream Now On Netflix

6. Training Day

Denzel Washington roars in this powerful police drama that gave him his long-overdue Academy Award for Best Actor. Denzel plays a crooked inner-city cop, who bends (and breaks) the law as he spends the day “training” the new rookie, played by Ethan Hawke.

It’s tense action and a wild ride.

IMDb: 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Audience Score

  • Classification: MA15+
  • Genre: Crime/Thriller
  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Eva Mendes and more

Stream Now On Netflix

7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Harry Potter book series was a worldwide phenomenon. The story of the young orphan who discovers he is a wizard was so popular internationally that there was intense pressure on the filmmakers to live up to the expectations from fans of the beloved book.

The movie version turned out to be a hit, with Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, Percy Jackson and the Olympians) directing the movie and the perfect casting of talented newcomers Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. The movie grossed a stunning $317 million dollars and resulted in 7 sequels. 

IMDb: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 81% Critic Score

  • Classification: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Cast: Danielle Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and more

Stream Now On Binge

8. Moulin Rouge

This Baz Luhrmann smash hit almost single-handedly resurrected the Hollywood musical. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor sing and dance their way through spectacle after spectacle, bringing the awestruck audience to the heart-wrenching final scene.

The soundtrack is tour de force with songs from Elton John, Sting, David Bowie, Pink, Bono and more. This is your next Friday night movie.

IMDb: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% Critic Score

  • Classification: M
  • Genre: Musical
  • Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo and more

Stream now on Disney+

9. The Fast and the Furious

This high-octane action movie was not a critical success, but it was a massive audience favorite earning over 150 million at the box office. Vin Diesel (Saving Private Ryan, Guardians of the Galaxy) heads a gang of street racers, trying to avoid being framed for a crime they didn’t commit.

This movie spawned one of the longest-running, most popular franchises, with the tenth installment in production this year.

IMDb: 6.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 74% Audience Score

  • Classification: M
  • Genre: Action
  • Cast: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and more

Read more: How to stream Fast and Furious In Australia

10. Bridget Jones Diary

This is the definitive chick flick. A young “aging” (according to her mother) 30-something has yet to find the man of her dreams. It doesn’t help that she’s a horrible employee, an appalling public speaker and a pretty good klutz. 

Renée Zellweger stars as the title character, falling for the charming bad boy (Hugh Grant) and trying to ignore the annoying Mark Darcy (played by “Mr. Darcy” himself, Colin Firth). It’s a sweet, hilarious film that never loses its charm. 

IMDb: 6.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 80% Audience Score

  • Classification: M
  • Genre: Romance
  • Cast: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and more

Stream Now On Netflix

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