It’s hard to believe that the year 2000 was almost 20 years ago! For many of us, that year is still a very vivid memory that can’t be more than a handful of years ago. But alas, time is flying forward. Pop culture is one of the ways we best preserve the past, and movies are an excellent example. There are a bunch of classic 2000 films, many of which we’ll still watch happily today. And chances are, we have many of these still in our movie collections. They clearly withstand the test of time.
Classic 2000 films featured some of our favorite actors, and introduced us to new ones. Many of them are critically acclaimed, creating new standards for their genres. We were truly #blessed with some really awesome movies in the year 2000. How many of these movies did you rush to rent from Blockbuster on a Friday night? Some of them may have even been your first DVD purchase when that was the cool new thing. Several movies have gone to have a new life in our current culture, becoming memes or other internet jokes. While there are a bunch of movies that came out in 2000, these classic 2000 films are tried and true favorites.
Credit: Twentieth Century Fox
After seeing Cast Away, you’ll never look at a volleyball the same way again. In the film, Tom Hanks plays a man who is stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. He carries the entire movie, alongside his best co-star ever, a Wilson volleyball appropriately named “Wilson.” Over the course of the movie, Hanks becomes unrecognizable due to his shaggy beard and long hair. But he really captures the essence of loneliness, survival, and what that does to the human condition. When he cries out for Wilson, your heart can’t help but break. It’s is certainly one of the classic 2000 films.
Credit: Columbia Pictures
The film that made us all fall in love with Kate Hudson. When a teenage boy gets to fulfill his dream of becoming a rock journalist, he realizes that it’s not everything it seems. Fifteen-year-old William Miller gets the opportunity to feature band Stillwater for Rolling Stone. He begins to grow closer to the band after being initiated into their inner circle. During his time working on the feature, he also grows closer to professional groupie Penny Lane. Just as his big feature is about to run, he realizes that being in the inner circle doesn’t mean much. But in the end, reconciles with the band kind of, and his feature runs.
Credit: Lionsgate Films
Only Christian Bale could play a serial killer who we still think is hot. Patrick Bateman is your stereotypical 80s yuppie. He’s obsessed with status, material things and keeping up with the latest trends. But what no one seems to know is that he quite literally has a killer streak. This unexpected cult film includes an incredibly iconic scene. Bateman, clad in a clear raincoat, murders his coworker Allen brutally with a chrome axe while “Hip to be Square” by Huey Lewis and the News plays in the background. Even now, American Psycho remains one of the classic 2000 films with an amazing soundtrack.
Credit: Universal Pictures
This hilarious comedy is definitely part of the 2000 classic films purely because of Robert DeNiro. Sure, Ben Stiller as Gaylord “Greg” Focker is brilliant. But it’s really DeNiro’s Jack Byrnes that makes the film iconic. How can you not laugh when he says in all seriousness, “I have nipples Focker, can you milk me?” Just thinking about it makes me crack up. And how many of us had never heard the name “Gaylord” before we found out that was Greg’s real name? The film was so successful that it spawned two sequels, Meet the Fockers, with Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as Greg’s parents, and Little Fockers.
Credit: Dimension Films
Don’t let the title fool you, Scary Movie is anything but. It’s the first in a steady stream of movies that parody various genres. Written by Shawn and Marlon Wayans (aka The Wayans Brothers) and directed by their brother Keenan Ivory Wayans, it’s a parody of the popular teen horror/slasher movies. Much of the movie borrows plots and characters from the first two movies of the Scream franchise, and I Know What You Did Last Summer. It spawned four sequels, and introduced us to the comedic genius of Anna Faris. Plus it opened the doors for movies like Not Another Teen Movie a few years later.
Walt Disney Pictures
The Emperor’s New Groove is an underrated Disney gem. It tells the story of Kuzco, an incredibly immature, selfish leader of the Incan Empire. After firing his advisor Yzma (voiced by absolute legend Eartha Kitt) she seeks revenge. But because of her sidekick Kronk’s carelessness, instead of killing Kuzco, they turn him into a llama. With the help of Pacha, the local llama herder he’s trying to displace, Kuzco must learn about himself to not be a selfish jerk anymore. This member of the classic 2000 films is great for kids and grownups alike. Even though Kuzco is kind of a brat, he’s funny, and Yzma and Kronk will have you in stitches!
Based on the true story of the football team of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA, Remember the Titans is arguably one of the best football movies ever made. Starring Denzel Washington as Coach Herman Boone, it’s a fictional account of the team’s 1971 season. In the film, the team and the high school are becoming “integrated,” meaning, black students were attending. Racial tensions run high, but over the course of the season, the boys and the town learn to embrace each other. It has a great soundtrack of 70s throwback songs. And Ryan Gosling, very early in his career plays one of the members of the Titans.
Credit: New Line Cinema
If you didn’t believe in premonitions or omens, you definitely did after seeing Final Destination. After Alex (played by 90s teen heartthrob Devon Sawa) has a premonition that the plane he’s on with his classmates will crash, everything in his life changes. After the plane explodes without Alex and a handful of other classmates and their teacher, the coincidence cannot be ignored. Soon, Alex and student Clear learn that they’ve cheated death, but Death always collects. And it surely does, as eventually, every survivor falls prey in the same order they were slated to die on the plane. This movie gave a lot of us a ton of fears as teens.
“I said brr, it’s cold in here. There must be some Clovers in the atmosphere!” If you hear those words, you know exactly where they’re from. Bring it On, one of the classic 2000 films about rival cheerleading squads has never truly left us. One of the reasons its stood the test of time is Kirsten Dunst’s character Torrance, whose spirit simply could not be beat. And can we talk about how much we wanted to be like Gabrielle Union’s Isis (but also, how has that woman not aged?) It’s the perfect 2000s teen movie due to its infectious nature, quotable dialogue and general awesomeness.
A quiet addition to the classic 2000 films, Billy Elliot tells the story of a young boy who yearns to be a ballet dancer. Billy’s father wants him to take up boxing, but the boy longs to be a ballet dancer. While the ballet class is rehearsing at the boxing gym, he begins attending class. His teacher believes that Billy has the skills to become a professional ballet dancer, but his father is afraid he will be preceived as gay for being a ballet dancer. Eventually, his father gets over his own pride and allows Billy to dance. In the end, Billy achieves his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.
Julia Roberts’s Oscar Award winning performance in the film Erin Brockovich is certainly iconic. The film tells the story of Erin Brockovich, a single mother who becomes the secretary of a lawyer. While working on a case, she begins talking to a couple with cancer whose bills are being paid by PG&E, the gas and electric company. After digging deeper into the case, Brockovich discovers that the residents of the town are being poisoned by a contaminant the company told people was safe. She helps mount a large class action suit against PG&E with the help of a former employee.
In the first adaptation of the popular 1970s television show, (a remake comes out later this year!) Charlie’s Angels introduced a new generation of girls to the kickass group of women. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu were totally hot, super smart, and incredibly fashionable. The three of them could fight in a pair of high heels, but they were also hilarious and super down to Earth. As much as we love the film, which is a lot, we also owe it a lot. Destiny’s Child sing the theme of the movie, “Independent Women,” which has become just as iconic over time, if not more than the movie.
Credit: Castle Rock Pictures
By time at this classic 2000 film was released, Sandra Bullock was already incredibly popular. But playing Grace Hart in Miss Congeniality is what makes her a freaking icon. This movie is full of memorable moments. Sandra Bullock in lederhosen, demonstrating self defense moves on Benjamin Bratt is one. Or her emerging from the glam squad makeover in that super cute mini dress only to fall flat on her face at the end. And can we talk about how hot Benjamin Bratt is? No, seriously. Plus, the film gave us one of the best memes for April 25th. It’s the perfect date, because “all you need is a light jacket!”
In What Women Want, Mel Gibson stars as Nick Marshall, a misogynistic ad exec. His misogyny has alienated most of the women in his life. At work, he’s passed over for a promotion in favor of Darcy, a woman brought in to help the company appeal more to women. While he’s testing a hairdryer, Nick falls into the bathtub and his electrocuted. When he awakes, he realizes he can hear the thoughts of women. He is advised to use his new gift to help repair the relationships he’s damaged, including the one with his teenage daughter. After using it to hurt Darcy for “stealing” his promotion, he does use it for good.
We can never forget this most epic of the classic 2000 films that brought Russell Crowe to fame. In Gladiator, he plays Maximus, a Roman general. When the emperor is killed by his own son, Maximus refuses to pledge his allegiance to the new regime. Because of this, the new emperor, Commodus has Maximus’s family killed and Maximus ends up in jail. During his imprisonment, he trains and becomes a gladiator. Alongside his gladiator trainer, he begins to excel, knowing this is his way to seek revenge and free himself. After conspiring with some of his old cohorts, Maximus is able to dethrone the emperor and restore some order to the Roman people.
Credit: Touchstone Pictures
Aside from Say Anything, the movie High Fidelity is one of the best known John Cusak movies. It’s an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s popular novel, though it does change the location from London to Chicago. Cusack plays Rob Gordon, a music snob record store owner who doesn’t have the best track record with women. After his girlfriend dumps him, he seeks out his previous partners for insight on what makes him bad at relationships. After a tragic moment bring him and his ex back together, he begins to realize what his shortcomings are. In the end, he proposes and makes her a mixtape to show his commitment.
Credit: Sony Pictures Classics
Never before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had we seen quite an artistic martial arts movie. This is one of the classic 2000 films because it is just amazing to watch. Never before had we seen fight scenes where the actors were floating in trees. Apparently, the actors did most of their stunts, which makes them even more incredible. The film was a surprise hit, even though it was made largely for Western audiences. The dialogue is all in Mandarin, and it has subtitles, but that doesn’t lessen its appeal. It was the most Academy Award nominated foreign language film until 2019. It lost Best Picture, but won Best Foreign Language Film.
Credit: Paramount Pictures
In the second movie sequel to the hit Nickelodeon show, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie has our favorite babies going on an international adventure. Stu Pickles brings the entire crew, including the family dog Spike to Paris. He has to repair a robot version of Reptar at a Reptar theme park. After lamenting the fact that he’s the only one of his friends without a mom, Chuckie’s dad Chaz meets a woman. She turns out to be absolutely horrible, but her sweet assistant saves the day. In the end, Chaz marries her, and Chuckie gets a new mom and a little sister Kimmie.
After the success of his first movie, Guy Ritchie directed the crime comedy Snatch. Starring Benicio del Toro, Jason Statham, and Brad Pitt, the movie is an entertaining romp. It all revolves around a diamond. There are a series of heists and thefts and you get to witness Brad Pitt doing a spectacularly terrible Irish accent. All of the characters are petty mid level criminals with names like “Four Fingers,” “The Head,” and “Brick Top.” Plus you get a bunch of laughs (the diamond is found in the stomach of a dog) and some better accents than Brad Pitt’s terrible one.
If you like old timey heist movies, then you’ve probably seen O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Coen Brothers comedy starring George Clooney is a Depression-era adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey. Three men who are on a chain gang for petty crimes team up to free themselves and find a “treasure” buried by Clooney’s character. As they make their way through the American South, they encounter all kinds of characters to aid or hinder their quest. The most memorable thing about the film is likely the soundtrack, filled with spirituals, gospel and good old time bluegrass. The soundtrack even won two Grammy Awards.
If Center Stage did nothing else, it shows you that ballet can be incredibly cool. In this cult of classic 2000 films, a group of young ballet dancers find their way through an intensive program at a prestigious NYC ballet school. We must thank this film for introducing us to Zoe Saldana, who plays the cigarette smoking, smart mouth Eva Rodriguez. Center Stage has everything that makes for a great rom-com. A bad boy with a motorcycle, a sweet straight boy who can dance, and Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows. Plus, we learned that you could do an amazing ballet routine to a Michael Jackson song. Amazing.
Arguably one of the most ridiculous movies of the early 00s, you can’t deny that Dude, Where My Car? is definitely one of the classic 2000 films. We already knew Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott for their bonehead characters. But Jesse and Chester give Kelso and Stifler a run for their money without a doubt. They spend the entire movie trying to find the car they’ve lost after a night they can’t remember. In their pursuits, they encounter a group of aliens looking for the device that is allegedly the key to the universe. It’s incredibly strange, but gave us a truly iconic pop culture moment.