The 2000s were a remarkable era for movies, and film enthusiasts of all ages could find something to enjoy. From classic comedies to hyperkinetic action features, there truly was something for everyone. But in case you’re after some of the best of the golden years, then you’re at the right place; here are our 15 most quintessential 2000s movies! We believe that different generations can appreciate these tales in their own unique ways: whether you’re a Gen X-er, Millennial or Gen Z-er, anyone with an affinity for films will be taken on an extraordinary journey through stories brimming with emotion and cinematographic beauty.
1. Legally Blonde (2001)
Kicking off the list as well as the millennial is the iconic, one and only Legally Blonde, which has stood the test of time for over two whole decades. This romantic comedy stars Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen who follows her ex-boyfriend to law school. With positivity and humour in abundance, Elle defies expectations and stays true to herself while navigating through law school. It’s a fun-filled journey with witty dialogue and memorable characters, leaving a lasting impression even on those born long after the movie was released.
Legally Blonde offers not just entertainment but also serves as a strong reminder that staying true to yourself helps conquer all obstacles. Feeling nostalgic or uninspired, give watching (or rewatching) this inspiring yet delightful 2000s hit a try today!
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Victor Garber, and Jennifer Coolidge.
2. A Cinderella Story (2004)
Are you a fan of THE Cinderella Story? Mark Rosman’s masterful direction brought this timeless tale alive almost two decades ago, and it continues to enchant audiences of all ages today. Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray deliver fantastic performances as they tell the story of Sam, a high schooler who endures the abuses of her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Dreaming of Princeton, she sparks an anonymous texting relationship with a boy she meets at a school dance, leading to a beguiling but ill-fated romance.
This movie boasts charming characters with witty and heartwarming dialogue, becoming a classic for teens, young adults, and adults alike. Hilary Duff fans and aspiring princesses are sure to love it; this movie is perfect for anyone seeking a fun and nostalgic movie night with their loved ones. Don’t miss A Cinderella Story rewatch on your next movie night; undoubtedly one of the best teen flicks of our time.
Starring: Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Jennifer Coolidge, and Regina King.
3. 13 Going on 30 (2004)
13 Going on 30 is an incredible movie that you cannot afford not to experience! It’s one of the most beloved films from the early 2000s among millennials, and now, Gen Z is starting to uncover its magic as well. This 2004 American fantasy romantic comedy written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith follows the story of Jenna Rink, a 13-year-old who wishes to become 30 overnight and wakes up as a gorgeous 30-year-old woman (played by Jennifer Garner).
However, when Jenna wakes up 30, she realises that life is not as facile as it seems, especially since she still longs for Matt, her childhood best friend (played by Mark Ruffalo). The movie takes you on an unforgettable journey where laughter, tears, and excitement are guaranteed. Don’t miss out on rewatching and reexperiencing this magical fairy tale that proves that friendship and love can conquer all and that age is truly just a number.
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, and Andy Serkis.
4. She’s the Man (2006)
If you have yet to see She’s the Man, you’re missing out. It’s one of those iconic movies that every millennial love and every Gen-Z’er needs to see. This romantic sports-comedy film directed by Andy Fickman in 2006 features a star-studded cast including Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum and Laura Ramsey, and it’s actually inspired by Shakespeare’s play ‘Twelfth Night’.
This laugh-out-loud movie follows Viola Hastings (Bynes) as she disguises as her twin brother to attend his prestigious boarding school and ends up falling head-over-heels for Duke Orsino (Tatum), the school’s exceptional soccer player. It’s a cult classic that will make you laugh out loud while also dealing with genuine issues of identity, companionship, and love. Do yourself a favour and watch She’s the Man; you won’t regret it!
Starring: Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, and Robert Hoffman.
5. Mean Girls (2004)
Calling all millennials and Gen Zers! If you haven’t seen Mean Girls, it’s time to stop living under a rock and check it out! This film hits all the high notes of high school life in an over-the-top but totally relatable way, following the journey of protagonist Cady Heron. The performances from Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried are top-notch, making this a comedy gem.
But wait, there’s more! Mean Girls has taken on a life of its own, with references popping up everywhere in pop culture, books, and TV shows. It’s a true coming-of-age tale that’ll make you gasp, laugh, and maybe even shed a tear. So, take our advice, and add this classic to your watch list pronto. You won’t regret it!
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, and Tina Fey.
6. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The Devil Wears Prada, a film that Millenials adore and Gen Z must watch, is an iconic masterpiece that leaves a very lasting impression. This American comedy-drama by David Frankel is a love letter to those chasing their dreams, starring Anne Hathaway as Andy, a wide-eyed college grad who lands a job as Miranda Priestly’s assistant, the powerful editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.
Prepare for a wild ride as Andy tries to hold on to her values in the midst of fashion’s fast-paced world. This timeless must-watch film, with its clever quips, unforgettable characters, and uplifting message of self-discovery, has truly become a beloved classic for the ages. Get ready for an inspiration-packed movie night; The Devil Wears Prada won’t disappoint!
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, and Adrian Grenier.
7. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is undoubtedly one of the most captivating rom-coms of the 2000s. Directed by Donald Petrie, the movie stars the talented duo Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey and bases itself on the book by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long. Ben – a charming womaniser – is ambitiously determined to make a girl fall for him in only ten days as part of an office bet. Enter Andie: a sharp-witted writer. As fate would have it, they both find themselves caught in each other’s world, even though their goals are too far apart.
With plenty to laugh at and countless moments of heartwarming romance, this movie packs a punch that even your granny would appreciate. With its star-studded cast and humorous banter, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is definitely one for the books!
Starring: Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Hahn, Annie Parisse, Adam Goldberg, Michael Michele, and Shalom Harlow.
8. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones’s Diary is undoubtedly a timeless classic that stole the hearts of millennials and continues to do so today. It’s a charming romantic comedy that follows Bridget Jones, a 32-year-old single gal, in her pursuit of love. Along the way, she documents her journey in a personal diary, which brings a wave of laughter.
Bridget Jones’s Diary quickly became iconic with its witty dialogue, memorable soundtrack, and unforgettable moments that have now become pop culture references. So if you are a part of Gen Z, don’t miss the chance to experience this delightful and inspiring masterpiece, which is sure to leave you with a big grin on your face.
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Gemma Jones.
9. What a Girl Wants (2003)
What a Girl Wants, released in 2003, is more than just a popular movie cherished by Millenials; it’s a feel-good flick bursting with endearing moments and life lessons. Following the brave journey of Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes), an adventurous 17-year-old who traverses the pond to locate her wealthy British dad (Colin Firth), What a Girl Wants is chock-full of humour, heart, and a coming-of-age narrative that never ceases to inspire.
This uplifting PG-rated feature is ideal for anyone in search of warm and fuzzy feelings, easy listening, and lighthearted comedy. Give it a chance, and you might come away with more than just fond memories.
Starring: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Eileen Atkins, Anna Chancellor, and Jonathan Pryce.
10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall, directed by Nicholas Stoller, is a 2008 American comedy featuring an all-star cast including Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Russell Brand. The movie follows the story of Peter Bretter, who tries to mend his broken heart after splitting up with TV star Sarah Marshall by going on a Hawaiian getaway, only to realise she’s checked into the same hotel with her new boyfriend!
With its witty script, refreshing plot, and laugh-out-loud moments, it’s no surprise that Forgetting Sarah Marshall has become somewhat of a cult favourite among millennials. But with its timeless humour and charm, even newer generations are sure to love it!
Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand.
11. The Hangover (2009)
The Hangover, a 2000s classic, is a Todd Phillips masterpiece that’s wild, debaucherous, and packed with hilarity. It’s a must-watch! Following three friends who set out for a bachelor party in Las Vegas and awaken with no memory of the previous night or the groom-to-be, the humour is unrelenting. As they embark on a mission to find their friend, one outrageous event leads to the next.
This unforgettable comedy is written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, directed by Todd Phillips, and co-produced by the talented Daniel Goldberg. The star-studded cast features Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, and Justin Bartha, ensuring it’s appreciated by all generations, from millennials to Gen Z.
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha, and Jeffrey Tambor.
12. Freaky Friday (2003)
Freaky Friday is an absolute icon of the 2000s movie scene, and it’s high time a new generation got to experience it! Everyone knows the storyline: an overworked mum and daughter, who can’t see eye-to-eye, suddenly find themselves in each other’s bodies for the freakiest Friday ever.
With stellar performances from Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, plus sharp writing packed with laugh-out-loud moments, Freaky Friday was a smash hit back in 2003, raking in a giant $160 million worldwide. Now, two decades later, it’s still a huge hit among us Millennials, and it’s an absolute must-see classic for all you Gen Zers out there!
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Mark Harmon, Chad Michael Murray, and Harold Gould.
13. Easy A (2010)
Easy A is one of the most memorable and iconic films from the 2000s, and frankly, a must-watch for Gen Z and millennials alike. Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci star in this teenage romcom about Olive (Stone), an ordinary high-school student whose life spirals out of control when a small white lie about her virginity gets out.
Although the film’s premise may seem simple, Easy A strikes an intelligent balance of laughs and bitter-sweetness as we witness Olive grappling with the consequences of her dishonesty. The witty script, hilarious dialogue and relatable characters are all to blame for Easy A‘s well-earned place among millennials’ hearts and are guaranteed to make it a fave for generations to come. If you haven’t already, hurry up and watch it!
Starring: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, and Patricia Clarkson.
14. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, an iconic 2000s movie, has become a timeless gem for millennial cinema lovers. The movie portrays four super-tight best friends on their first-ever summer apart, played by America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel. The captivating plot revolves around these characters sharing a mysterious pair of secondhand pants that magically fit each of them perfectly, helping them stay connected despite the physical distance.
The movie beautifully captures the power of true friendship and the bond that transcends time and place. It’s an invigorating tale of female companionship that continues to captivate millennials and deserves a place on Gen Z’s must-watch list.
Starring: Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, Bradley Whitford, and Nancy Travis.
15. Superbad (2007)
Superbad is one of the most iconic movies of the 2000s that has captured the hearts of millennials, and now, the new generation needs to experience this classic piece of cinema. The side-splitting comedy was unleashed upon the world in 2007 and remains a beloved coming-of-age flick directed by the talented Greg Mottola and produced by the legendary Judd Apatow. It portrays the story of two highly-dependant seniors who find themselves grappling with separation anxiety when their plan to throw an epic party goes haywire.
Featuring an all-star cast with Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, the movie also showcases Emma Stone, Bill Hader, Martha MacIsaac, and Seth Rogen. Critics have hailed this iconic comedy as “a true classic of its times,” and rightfully so. But Superbad is more than just a humorous jaunt through teenage antics and wild parties. It imparts valuable lessons on self-discovery, friendship, and growing up, making it a timeless masterpiece that will continue to transcend generations with tear-inducing, laugh-out-loud moments.
Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, and Bill Hader.
These are just some of the amazing films from this era that generations need to experience! So, grab some popcorn, and settle in for what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime cinematic adventure. Don’t miss out on these classic stories that have impacted generations throughout history; it’s time to discover the true golden age of movies!