These Movies Made 2001 a Great Year for Cinema

Looking back at the year 2001, we come to realize all the great achievements that were made in film. So many classic movies that we know and love were released – some of which would change cinema forever. From dramas, comedies, action, and even fantasy adventure, the wide range of movies filmmakers were working on at the time was endless. One of the most influential movies to come out in 2001 is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Throughout the following decade, the Harry Potter movies would become one of the most successful film franchises of all time.

2001 also gave us iconic films such as Antoine Fuqua’s crime / thriller Training DayBaz Luhrmann’s musical / romance Moulin Rougeand, of course, director Steven Soderbergh‘s crime / comedy Ocean’s Eleven. So much incredible work was being done in Hollywood throughout this year; it’s fun to look back on all the inspiring accomplishments made. Here are some of the greatest films to be released in 2001 that helped make this year so important for cinema.

Related: These Movies Made 1997 a Great Year for Cinema

8 Bridget Jones’s Diary


Bridget Jones’s Diary is one of Academy Award-winning actress RenĂ©e Zellweger’s most iconic roles of all time. She stars as Bridget Jones herself, the lonely 32-year-old who decides it’s time to take control of her own life and starts writing in a diary, sharing her thoughts and opinions on all subjects. The romance / comedy is filled with great and hilarious performances from both Zellweger and Colin Firth who were involved in the next two installments of the Bridget Jones’s DiaryBridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones’s Baby.

7 Iris


Kate Winslet is one of the most acclaimed and sought-after actresses in Hollywood. She has starred in some of the most successful films and television series including Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Reader, and most recently Mare of Easttown. Irisreleased in 2001 and directed by Richard Eyre, follows the brilliant author Iris Murdoch who graced the world with her talent. Winslet received her third Academy Award nomination for her role in the film.

6 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first installment in the Harry Potter films, one of the most successful franchises in all of cinema. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint play Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley, respectively, the stars of the series who go on wild and dangerous adventures throughout their years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each one of the films in the series grossed almost $ 1 billion at the box office, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 being the highest grossing of them all earning $ 1.34 billion.

5 Ocean’s Eleven

Brad Pitt and George Clooney looking cool in
Warner Bros. Pictures

One of the most compelling aspect of Steven Soderbergh’s crime / comedy Ocean’s Eleven is the huge and incredibly talented cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, and Casey Affleck. Despite the fact that the film was so successful at the box office and received an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, it was snubbed at 74th Annual Academy Awards, not receiving any nominations at all.

4 The Princess Diaries


Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews star in the Disney Channel original movie The Princess Diaries. Almost everyone growing up in the 2000s was a huge fan of this film and loved the story of an average dorky girl discovering that she is secretly royalty and the princess of a small European principality called Genovia. Hathaway plays the princess herself Mia Thermopolis, and Andrews is her grandmother, the Queen.

Related: Best Anne Hathaway Movies, Ranked

3 Moulin Rouge


Moulin Rouge was the most popular musical / romance to be released in 2001. This Baz Luhrmann film stars Nicole Kidman, Natalie Mendoza, Ewan McGregor, and John Leguizamo, who all gave great performances. Moulin Rouge was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance of a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture, and Nicole Kidman was nominated for Best Actress in a leading role at the Academy Awards in 2002.

2 Training Day


Training Day, starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, follows a veteran LAPD officer who takes a rookie on the streets to learn how to fight crime straight from the source. This movie makes the audience think about the fine line between fighting crime and keeping people safe and the abuse of power. Training Day is a cult classic film that is loved by many, especially for the great performances given. Both Washington and Hawke were nominated for Oscars for their roles as Alonzo Harris and Jake Hoyt, respectively.

1 A Beautiful Mind


Movies about mental health are so important especially now. When life gets challenging we turn to art and movies, seeing characters go through the similar issues and struggles we have give us hope and make us feel less alone. A Beautiful Mind is an incredible and emotional film that everyone should get the chance to see. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 2002 winning in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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