The turn of the millennium was a time of significant change. The world seemed to be evolving faster than ever before. But in the midst of all this change, there were some constants that we could always rely on. One of those constants was the movies. Watching movies that are released in the early ’00s can be some kind of break in this modern world. Who wouldn’t want to give back to those flip phones and low-waist skinny jeans?
So, while it’s not a comprehensive guide to the decade, this list of the finest movies of the 2000s has a lot of comfortable memories you can add to your rotation right now. We’ve compiled a list of 41 of our favorites, in no particular order, along with links to where you can watch them online via services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video!
Zac Efron, in a nutshell! This is the story of 37-year-old Mike, whose life is on the verge of disintegrating. When he was 17, he was granted the opportunity to relive his high school basketball glory days in a time machine.
17 Again is a 2009 American comedy film directed by Burr Steers. The film stars Zac Efron and Matthew Perry. Efron plays a 37-year-old man who is transported back in time to his 17-year-old body. He soon learns that he must change the course of his life in order to get the future he wants.
The movie was generally well-received by movie critics. Rotten Tomatoes has a 73% rating, based on 141 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site’s critical consensus reads: “Zac Efron makes for an appealing teen protagonist, and 17 Again offers a few amusing moments — but it ultimately feels too familiar.”
The Princess Diaries
Anne Hathaway plays Mia Thermopolis, a 16-year-old shy misfit who learns she’s the heir to Genovia’s kingdom in this cinematic version of Meg Cabot’s books. On top of that, she has to deal with high school bullying, romance, and the question of whether or not she is ready to be Queen Clarisse Rinaldi (Julie Andrews). This movie also includes the most acceptable use of the phrase “shut up!” ever.
The Princess Diaries was a 2001 American comedy film directed by Garry Marshall and written by Meg Cabot, based on her 2000 novel of the same name. The film stars Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis, a teenager who learns that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia. Julie Andrews plays her royal grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi.
The film became a major success with audiences, grossing $165 million worldwide against a budget of only $37 million. Critics praised Hathaway’s performance and Marshall’s direction. A sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, was released in 2004.
A Walk To Remember
A Walk to Remember is one of those classic love stories that everyone seems to know and love. The film, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, follows the unlikely romance between a small-town girl and a bad boy who end up falling in love with each other.
The story begins with Landon Carter (Shane West), a popular high school student, getting into trouble with the law. As punishment, Landon is sentenced to community service, where he meets Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), a shy girl who is also volunteering. Even though they come from very different backgrounds, the two eventually fall in love.
This touching tale of the blossoming romance between two young people from quite different socioeconomic backgrounds will have you reaching for the Kleenex. It sounds straightforward until you consider that she has leukemia and is not responding to therapy. This is so extraordinary, Mandy Moore.
Lindsay Lohan portrays Cady Heron, a former homeschooled high school student, as she adapts to the political and social landscape of public high school for the first time. The fact that it’s one of the most well-known films in this genre, and one that helped start Rachel McAdams’ career, is probably not news to you.
The Mean Girls movie is based on the real-life experiences of Tina Fey, who was a student at Albany High School in New York. The movie is set in a fictional high school, but many of the scenes and characters are based on things that happened to Fey and her friends when they were in high school.
The movie received good reviews from critics, and it was a box office success. It grossed over $86 million worldwide, making it one of the most popular comedies of 2004.
The Devil Wears Prada
As a recent college grad, Andy (Anne Hathaway) possesses a bright future ahead of her. In her new position as an assistant to fashion editor Miranda Priestly at Runway, she finds herself in a position of power (Meryl Streep). While on her tour as a whipping girl, Andy has doubts about her abilities to avoid being burned.
There’s no question that “The Devil Wears Prada” is one of the most popular and polarizing films in recent memory. For some, it’s a hilarious satire of the high-stakes world of fashion publishing. For others, it’s a painfully accurate portrayal of what it’s really like to work in an extremely demanding and often ruthless industry.
No matter where you stand on “The Devil Wears Prada,” there’s no denying that the film is extremely instructive when it comes to understanding the real inner workings of the fashion world.
50 First Dates
An American romantic comedy-drama film, 50 First Dates was directed by Peter Segal, with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in the lead roles. A womanizing marine veterinarian named Henry falls in love with an art teacher named Lucy in the film.
The 50 First Dates movie is about a man who falls in love with a woman who has short-term memory loss. Every day, she wakes up forgetting what happened the day before, so the two of them have to start fresh every day. Although it’s a lighthearted romantic comedy, the film touches on some pretty heavy themes, like how we all eventually lose our memories and become someone new entirely. What’s really interesting about the film is that it makes you think about how people build their own individual identities based on their memories and experiences.
Still can’t get enough of these movies?
After watching these movies with your friends, maybe you can pull off some funny locker pranks on your friends as these pranks are mostly seen on any high school-themed movies in the early 00s. So, Whether you’re looking for a feel-good movie to watch or something that will make you think, these films are worth another viewing in 2024. With amazing performances from the cast and great storylines, these movies will keep you entertained all over again. What other classic films would you add to this list?