What Movies Were Popular in Early 2000s?

Last Updated on September 16, 2023 by EarthTechy Staff

Ah, the early 2000s—a time when flip phones were the epitome of cool, low-rise jeans were all the rage, and the silver screen was graced with films that would become cultural touchstones for a generation. As we navigate the cinematic landscape of the 2020s, it’s worth taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane to revisit the movies that captured our hearts and minds at the dawn of the millennium.

1. Gladiator (2000)

Director: Ridley Scott
Box Office: $457.6 million
Awards: 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture
Ratings: 8.5/10 on IMDb

Let’s kick things off with a bang—or should I say, a sword clash. Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” was not just a film; it was an experience. With Russell Crowe’s iconic performance as Maximus, the film redefined the historical epic genre. The box office numbers spoke volumes, but it was the film’s critical acclaim, including five Academy Awards, that solidified its place in cinematic history. “Are you not entertained?” Maximus roared, and the answer was a resounding yes.

2. Shrek (2001)

Director: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Box Office: $491.8 million
Awards: First-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
Ratings: 7.9/10 on IMDb

If “Gladiator” was the film for the history buffs, “Shrek” was the movie for, well, everyone. This animated masterpiece turned the fairy tale genre on its head and became a cultural phenomenon. The box office numbers were staggering, and it even won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Plus, who could forget the soundtrack? Smash Mouth’s “All Star” became synonymous with the film and the early 2000s.

See Also: Free Hollywood Movies Download in HD – Top 10 Websites

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Director: Peter Jackson
Box Office: $887.8 million
Awards: 4 Academy Awards
Ratings: 8.8/10 on IMDb

Peter Jackson’s ambitious adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnum opus was nothing short of a cinematic marvel. The film was a box office juggernaut, raking in nearly $900 million worldwide. Its critical acclaim was equally impressive, bagging four Academy Awards. The film’s success spawned two sequels, creating one of the most beloved trilogies in film history.

4. Spider-Man (2002)

Director: Sam Raimi
Box Office: $825 million
Awards: N/A
Ratings: 7.4/10 on IMDb

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became a cultural mainstay, Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” swung into theaters and changed the superhero genre forever. Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker became iconic, and the film’s box office success proved that superhero movies were here to stay. While it didn’t win any major awards, its impact on pop culture was undeniable.

5. Finding Nemo (2003)

Director: Andrew Stanton
Box Office: $940.3 million
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
Ratings: 8.2/10 on IMDb

Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” was not just a movie; it was a phenomenon. The tale of Marlin and Dory’s quest to find Nemo captured the hearts of audiences young and old. The film was a box office sensation, becoming the highest-grossing animated film at the time. Its Academy Award win was the cherry on top of an already impressive resume.

6. The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Director: Mel Gibson
Box Office: $612 million
Awards: N/A
Ratings: 7.2/10 on IMDb

Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” was as controversial as it was popular. The film’s graphic depiction of the crucifixion drew both praise and criticism, but there’s no denying its box office success. While it didn’t win any major awards, it sparked conversations around the world, proving that a film’s impact can extend far beyond the screen.

So there you have it, folks. These movies not only dominated the box office but also left an indelible mark on our collective cultural psyche. They were the stories we needed at the time, and they continue to resonate with audiences today. As we look forward to the cinematic gems the 2020s have to offer, let’s not forget the films that made us who we are. Ah, the early 2000s—what a time to be alive and at the movies.

Also Read: What Is Better Than Apple Watch for Fitness?

7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Director: Chris Columbus
Box Office: $1.017 billion
Awards: 3 Academy Award nominations
Ratings: 7.6/10 on IMDb

The film that launched a franchise, a theme park, and a whole new generation of wizards! “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was the magical beginning of a series that would captivate audiences for a decade. The film was a box office sensation, coming close to the billion-dollar mark. While it didn’t win any Oscars, its three nominations were a nod to its quality. The real magic, however, was in how it turned millions into lifelong fans of the Wizarding World.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Director: Gore Verbinski
Box Office: $654.3 million
Awards: 5 Academy Award nominations
Ratings: 8.1/10 on IMDb

Ahoy, mateys! Who could forget Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling performance as Captain Jack Sparrow? This film took us on a thrilling adventure across the high seas and into the depths of supernatural lore. The box office numbers were impressive, but what really caught everyone’s eye were the five Academy Award nominations, including one for Depp. The film spawned several sequels, but none could quite capture the magic of the original.

9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Director: Michel Gondry
Box Office: $72.3 million
Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Ratings: 8.3/10 on IMDb

While not a box office smash like the others on this list, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” was a critical darling that has since gained a cult following. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and it’s often cited in discussions about the most innovative films of the 21st century. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet delivered unforgettable performances in this mind-bending romantic drama.

10. The Incredibles (2004)

Director: Brad Bird
Box Office: $631.6 million
Awards: 2 Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature
Ratings: 8.0/10 on IMDb

Last but certainly not least, we have “The Incredibles.” This Pixar gem gave us a fresh take on the superhero genre, long before the MCU dominated the box office. The film was a commercial and critical success, winning two Academy Awards and earning over $600 million worldwide. It’s a family film in every sense of the word, appealing to both kids and adults with its wit, charm, and action-packed sequences.

Must Read: Best Adblocker Apps For Android


And there we have it—our expanded list of the movies that defined the early 2000s. These films not only entertained us but also shaped the cinematic landscape in ways that are still felt today. Whether you’re a fan of epic battles, magical quests, romantic dramas, or animated adventures, the early 2000s had something for everyone.


EarthTechy Staff

EarthTechy Staff

EarthTechy is a trusted tech news platform that provides information, opinion, and advice on technology and helps you get the most out of it.