IMDb's Power of Film: Top Rated Films of the Millennium

August 18, 2009
Source: IMDb

IMDb's Power of Film

To be honest, this list isn't that shocking or surprising, it's just interesting to see what's on it, as is always the case. IMDb has launched some sort of new feature as part of their Power of Film series called The Top Rated Films of the New Millennium, "looking at the 15 films made since 2000 that our users have rated as the best of the new millennium." Essentially it's a filtered version of the IMDb Top 250 featuring only films made during or after the year 2000. Why they're doing this, I don't know? Though I suggest you check out the full list and argue about what should, and shouldn't, be on here, because that's only normal!

Here's the complete line-up of the 15 top rated films from the new millennium according to IMDb:

15. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
13. Spirited Away (2001)
12. The Pianist (2002)
11. The Lives of Others (2006)
10. The Departed (2006)
9. Amélie (2001)
8. Wall-E (2008)
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
6. Memento (2000)
5. Up (2009)
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
3. City of God (2002)
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
1. The Dark Knight (2008)

I have to thank MTV for first pointing this out, as Terri Schwartz wrote an interesting article about this list and the separation between the Best Picture winners and the general public's picks (as in, this list). "Many complain that the Academy –- which is supposed to honor the best films of the year -– is out of touch with the general public, and IMDB's list certainly makes that point loud and clear. Hopefully, the expanded Best Picture category and object examples such as this list will foster a new respect for the power of art-house and foreign films, as well as more high concept blockbuster fare." I hope so, too! But only time will tell.

Terri's article ends by saying that maybe Up or District 9 could get an Oscar this year. It's a very hopeful and optimistic prediction, and I wouldn't be surprised if they at least get a nomination. It's too early to tell what else there is, but thanks to the decision to increase the Best Picture noms to 10, that might happen.

Find more posts: Discuss, Editorial



Lord of the Rings should not be on there at all. Never, ever, ever has such film junk been praised as much as those pieces of filth. Sorry, Mr. Jackson, but your talents as a filmmaker have gone to waste until District 9. Three movies that should be on that list, in no particular order, instead of "LOTR" (there's some corn for the geeks); Watchmen - best ever page to screen adaptation, ever. Crash - best emsemble piece that came out of left field. Batman Begins - best reboot of a dead franchise. Honourable mention goes to Sin City. Debate that fellow cinephiles...

Big Red Moose on Aug 18, 2009


Finding Nemo deserves to be there 1000X more than Up.

Alfredo on Aug 18, 2009


I didn't like half of those movies. T___T The only good movies are with Ryan Reynolds D:

Scott on Aug 18, 2009


The LOTR are overrated, but don't call them junk. They're not. They're very long, elaboratedly staged, epic blockbusters that have actual storytelling, acting, and pushed CGI and, especially, motion capture forward. They're not perfect, but they're are accomplishments. And Howard Shore's score for them is quite possibly the most detailed, perfect piece of work of this milennium.

Timothy on Aug 18, 2009


I couldn't disagree with #1 more. LOTR as a whole was fantastic. Watchmen was laughably bad due to horrendous acting and ridiculous tone shifts throughout that destroyed the pacing. Crash was a melodramatic, manipulative piece of garbage. Batman Begins was a great reboot but nothing special in terms of film. It was entertaining, and that's about it. The only thing I agree with is that Sin City deserves a mention. I still don't think it belongs on the list, though.

dqniel on Aug 18, 2009


Oh, and as for the list. I agree with it for the most part, even though Wall-E and Up were two of the worst Pixar films. Both of them should have been shorts or possibly like 60 minutes a piece and shown back to back. Both were completely mainstream and forgettable past their first acts. TDK is somewhere in the top 50 but not the top 15. Infernal Affairs is better than The Departed, even though I love both films.

dqniel on Aug 18, 2009


ugh I hope all this D9 vs. Avatar talks die. Both are completely different films.

JoJo on Aug 18, 2009


to quote David Thomson: "[Someone might ask me] 'What's You, the Living?' Oh nothing, just one of the best films of this century."

Matthias Galvin on Aug 18, 2009


guys don't hate the list, hate the people who vote. #1 LOTR does belong there, but I'mm say this I loved the Dark Knight but really its overrated. But I understand why its up there, but why is Up on the list, if anything I'd give it to Monster's Inc. or Finding Nemo even though that movie wasn't all that good either. #6 the only terrible pixar movie is Cars, Up and Wall-E are good pixar films. But it IMDB and most of us don't really care about what they say, hell most don't care about what I say, so its never ending, somebody going to have a problem with this list.

Xerxex on Aug 18, 2009


I'd like to see your Top 15/20/25 list of the decade Mr.Billington!

iheartsubtitles on Aug 18, 2009


D9 will be on that list soon. imo equal to tdk, as they're different kinds of films. two towers should not be on that list. watchmen as the best adaptation, maybe, but a decent movie at best. nemo was better than up. Up was just more of an accomplishment as it was their 1st in 3D. and pretty much what #5& 6(dqniel) said.

lego on Aug 18, 2009


Up over WALL-E and Spirited Away? No Ratatouille? Um, no.

immature on Aug 18, 2009


With regards to Lord of the Rings' place on the list, I believe only the first one (Fellowship of the Ring) should be present. I shook my head when the Return of the King won the Oscar, even if it was in recognition of the trilogy. They were all great movies, but the first was easily the film. To replace those two I would add Gran Torino and the Wrestler. I'm also glad Spotless ended up on the list; really a great film. In response to the first post: Watchmen was likely the best literally page-to-screen adaption (every scene looks like it is from the novel) but given it's a graphical novel that is not a terribly grand feat to accomplish if that is your goal. Aside from that, it had it's flaws which certainly should have, and did, keep it out of the top 15. Don't get me wrong, it was good but not great. Crash was weighted down by it's narcissistic self-importance. Batman Begins are awesome fun, and likely the best reboot as you stated - what held it back was the villains. Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul were fairly shallow compared to the Joker, which we all know is who transcended the film to such a height. The Batman-Joker dichotomy makes for great analytical comparison to other existing dichotomies that everyone came out of the movie with something to compare it to. As a result, The Dark Knight became a great film, while Batman made a fun movie unworthy of the top 15.

Mark on Aug 18, 2009


I'm so dyslexic, god.

Mark on Aug 18, 2009


where's the cronicles of narnia? this list is bullshit

Susan on Aug 18, 2009


#1's taste in movies is horrible. The only thing that is even decent is the Honorable mention to Sin City. It doesn't deserve to be on the list at all but it it does deserve a mention If i could add anything it would be "The Fall" which in my opinion is by far the best movie made in the last 10 years. Seriously if anyone hasn't seen it, watch it... you wont regret it at all.

DoomCanoe on Aug 18, 2009


The Fall was a bumbling mess. Visually stunning, however. I agree wholeheartedly with everything #13 said. "Crash was weighted down by it's narcissistic self-importance." Thanks for putting my thoughts into words in a manner better than I could do :p

dqniel on Aug 18, 2009


Some may disagree, but Kill Bill deserves to replace one of the movies on this list

J on Aug 18, 2009


Up sucks.

King Nick and MAN do on Aug 18, 2009


Awesome list. Crash? Hahahahahahahahaahahahhahahah Kill Bill? Blahhhhahahahahahahahhaha

Cinemassive on Aug 18, 2009


Just saw 'Requiem for a Dream' for the first time last week, well deserving to be on the list. For all you people hating, the list is perfect and nothing should be moved or added.

Jimmy on Aug 18, 2009


@1 ok the only thing that Jackson did with District 9 is produce it he didn't write it or anything except put money it. His best movie in my opinion was Frighteners, but i also like LOTR but as pure entertainment. REally it has been pissing me off that soooo many people think that Jackson directed and wrote D9, but most are not movie guys like me.

Movieguy on Aug 18, 2009


would have liked to see black hawk down whale rider the prestige but i guess its all a matter of opinion anyway

rowdy on Aug 18, 2009


#1 Peter Jackson didn't MAKE District 9...he produced it. His talents as a filmmaker have nothing to do with producing a film, he read a script he liked and tried to help Neil create Neils vision.

Nick on Aug 18, 2009


Children of Men should be on this list. So should Once.

James on Aug 18, 2009


#1 so watchmen is better than godfather? nice call.

mcgruff on Aug 18, 2009


No country for old men should definetely be on that list haha everyone hates #1

jmac on Aug 18, 2009


@25 Definitely agree with Children of Men... My only other discrepancy would be to replace one of LOTR with Gladiator. Amazing story, phenomenal acting and directing and historically accurate!

GreekTiger on Aug 18, 2009


Gladiator maybe...but children of men?

jmac on Aug 18, 2009


Return of the King should be first, and maybe The Dark Knight second, IMO.

bltzie on Aug 19, 2009


The Academy has alway's been out of touch with what people have thought was the best picture and what the academy as seen has the best picture it's not a new thing.

Allen Reeve on Aug 19, 2009


mcgruff: i wasnt aware that the godfather came out in this past decade...

newbie on Aug 19, 2009


Let's be honest with ourselves; Lord of the Rings was a good film. Epic, sweeping, beautifully scored, decently acted. But what made it what it was? Nostalgia factor and the power of the faithful nerd. It's the same reason Star Trek was so good; it relied heavily on what we already knew as the source material, and we were able to fill in the blanks. It allowed for spaces and gaps. That isn't to say they weren't good movies, but they had a lot of momentum and a lot going for them to begin with. I do not feel they belong in the top 15, based on those reasons alone. More movies did more with less; Up and District 9 provide good examples of this. Working outside the limits of a licensed franchise to create something completely unique. I think Gran Torino needs to be in the top 15. District 9, Children of Men. Memento.

Soapdish on Aug 19, 2009


Where's Scarface or Godfather? Those movies are truly epic.

Ryan on Aug 19, 2009


Watchmen wasn't better than any of the lord of the rings movies. You are in fact, wrong.

jules on Aug 19, 2009


The Pianist and The Dark Knight were the only two on there that I think really deserve to be on there. There were a few I haven't seen and a few I didn't care for. The LOTR, while a great technical achievement, had a HUGE plot hole. They could have just rode on an eagle and dropped the ring in the lava for God's sake! Besides that, those movies are mostly boring dialogue, besides a few battle scenes. It's really not anything for me that has any staying power that makes me want to watch them over and over again. If I had to pick a few to add to that list, at least some that's recent and fresh on my mind... "The Wrestler" - I'm 27 years old and it really made me think about getting old, what is important about life, and being comfortable with that. It's certainly a movie that will leave you thinking, which is what I really love about it. A lot of people watch movies to escape reality, which is fine, but I really want to watch them to expand my mind and think about stuff I might not have before. "The Hurt Locker" - This is the best war movie to come out in years. I don't even know if you'd call it a war movie, or thriller. Whatever it is, it's just a really great movie. It could have just been a bunch of crazy explosions, gunfire, blood and guts everywhere, like every other war movie, which there are some, but it went mainly with constant suspense to draw you in. "Let The Right One In" - It's sickening that everyone was going crazy over that piece of junk "Twilight", while one of the best vampire movies ever made went unnoticed. I've heard they're remaking this for American audiences, but IT DOESN'T NEED IT!!! You can't make perfect better. This movie is less of a horror/vampire movie and more of a twisted love story. "Thank You For Smoking" - This is a movie I think everyone should see. It has this whole James Stewart quality about it, where there's a moral about freedom that kind of reveals itself at the end. That, and it's a pretty good comedy too.

bracomadar on Aug 19, 2009


What a bullshit list!!! Who are these idiots that make these lists up!? Whatever... I hate these fuckin' lists they create. It's one persons (or a few) opinion. I would have a completely different list, might have a couple from the above. And DK #1... really thou??? A very overrated movie! Batman Begins was much better.

K on Aug 19, 2009


Having seen all of these movies with the exception of "Up," I am both in agreement and disagreement with the list. For example, "Momento" is a fun movie but not a "great" movie especially compared to Gladiator for instance, as some of the above comments mention. In response to #1, LOTR as a cinematic feat was momentous itself not just because of the zeitgeist and nostalgia of fans. Watchmen on the other hand was visually impressive, but the story was completely ridiculous and contrived not to mention the abominable acting. Regarding Crash, #17 could not say it clearer. Children of Men, an entertaining film, but an awful book-to-film adaptation, and the acting was nowhere near on par with some of the others mentioned on this list.

Chris on Aug 19, 2009


i live in india and have a diffrent take............... where is the gladiator.where is matrix. have not seen some of them so cannot say but tdk does not deserve to be there.agree with lotr

NEO on Aug 19, 2009


i hear no one talking abt trainspotting!!

A.B on Aug 19, 2009


No Oldboy?!?

Matt on Aug 19, 2009


@ 40, Trainspotting came out in 1996. Love the movie, but it came out too early to be on the list.

bracomadar on Aug 19, 2009


I don't understand the following comment made in the post: "Many complain that the Academy –- which is supposed to honor the best films of the year -– is out of touch with the general public, and IMDB's list certainly makes that point loud and clear." How many of these movies won an Oscar for Picture of the Year or Best Animated Film? Most of them have won SOME Oscar. 14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - Best Screenplay. 13. Spirited Away (2001) - Best animated movie. 12. The Pianist (2002) - Best Director, Best Screenplay. 11. The Lives of Others (2006) - Best Foreign Film. 10. The Departed (2006) - Best Picture, Screenplay, Director... 8. Wall-E (2008) - Best Animated Movie 2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - Best Picture And they were ALL in the list nominated for SOME Oscar. So it's not like the Academy is snubbing the general public, they're simply not choosing what they exactly want. Hey, the general public can be pretty dumb.

Korm on Aug 19, 2009


I wont list it cause there all awasome for te Millenium!!! Gladiator Black Hawk Down Requim for a Dream The Matrix Wall-E Up District 9 The Wrestler The Hurt Locker Letters from Iwo Jima The Lord of The Rings Trilogy Batman Begins The Dark Knight Slumdog Millionare The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Spirited Away The Wrestler Iron Man The Bourne Trilogy City of God Pan's Labyrinth Children of Men Babel Hotel Rwanda Star Trek

generalwoundwort on Aug 19, 2009


I think it's an interesting list, but I don't think any list like this will ever really be worth anything. People will like or dislike whatever they want. I don't agree with a few of these, either, but I won't knock the list. At least none of the films up there are really BAD - as in poorly made, poorly shot poorly acted piles of crap like Transformers 2. On the topic of "Best Picture vs General Opinion"... I think there's a disconnect because there's a disconnect for a lot of people as to what exactly film IS. Most people out there consider it purely an entertainment medium. That's great, and those films are fun to watch. This list is a mix of the two ideals, I think. "City of God" and "Requiem" aren't really 'entertaining' in the same sense that "The Dark Knight" is, but they're easier to relate to in a lot of ways, and thus absorb some people more. I'd rank both of those above The Dark Knight, but that's just my opinion, i guess. All of these films are well-made. I think the Academy is looking at more than just "How fun was it", and i know they're ignoring "How much did it make" entirely. The Academy looks more at the art and craft rather than the resulting film. Some people look at a Rembrandt and see a painting of a dude's portrait. Nothing really amazing. Some people - people who have studied the craft of painting and know what they're looking at - will see the incredible detail along with the efficient brushwork and see a masterpiece of subtlety and confidence. This is the same sort of disconnect at play, I think. The academy are made up largely of people involved in film, and they know what they're looking at better than most. That's not to discredit either camp, tho. Many people just like to see entertaining films. The only film on there that I really object to is Wall-E. Wall-E was totally fucking brilliant for about 30-45 minutes. After they got onto the ship, tho, it went downhill fast, but I would have forgiven them that had they ended the film better. The "happily ever after" sort of ending killed it. It sucked all the weight out of the moral. "Don't worry, kids... if you totally destroy the planet and make it unable to sustain life, all you have to do is plant some trees!" So yeah, while i was watching it i was thinking "holy crap, this is possibly the best Pixar film - no, the best animated film - I've ever seen!" and later "oh my god, they totally ruined it!" @40: Trainspotting was released in 1996. @41: Oldboy is overrated. It's not bad, but I think people are obsessed over the hallway scene and the fact that the subject matter and a couple of scenes are somewhat controversial. Making a film about a controversial subject can go one of two ways for me... either it's used to make a point about something - social commentary - or it's used purely to be controversial and thus generate buzz. I think Oldboy falls into the latter category. @39: Matrix was released in 1999. @37: This isn't just a few people's opinions... these are the highest ranked films on IMBD from the year 2000 to now. Thousands of people have rated these as the best of the new millenium. @36: It would be interesting to see where "The Wrestler" and "Let the Right one in" fall on a larger list on IMDB. Maybe they're in the top 20 or 30 somewhere. I disagree with the Hurt Locker. Again, I liked it, but it feels more like a short film that got padded out to be feature length to me. There are a number of scenes that you could cut without hurting the film much, and for as 'realistic' as it's supposed to be, there are a lot of inaccuracies in procedure (aside from the obvious bomb-disposal recklessness of the main character). The suspense was lacking for me as well. @34: I can forgive suggesting "the matrix" or "trainspotting", as maybe those guys didn't know they were done before 2000. You simply need to learn how to read before commenting.

Squiggly_P on Aug 19, 2009


Well, there is this top rated 2000s list... http://www.imdb.com/chart/2000s There's only a top 50, but both "The Wrestler" and "Let the Right One In" are in it. Same with "Children of Men!"

James on Aug 19, 2009


@44: I don't know why people like Pan's Labyrinth, it was weird and had 2 totally different stories going on. I didn't like The Orphanage or whatever his next movie was called either. The Wrestler is much more overrated than Dark Knight and you listed it twice. No to Black Hawk Down It's sad that the only comedies were animated or foreign...any movies from the Frat Pack? Apatow gang? Maybe comedies should just be separate. Also, you're an idiot if you don't think at least one of the LOTR movies should be up there.

Branden on Aug 19, 2009


You all have horrible taste in movies. The list is fine the way it is, and the only thing its missing is Fight Club and Gladiator

Leon on Aug 19, 2009


@45 Great talk about public opinion vs. the academy. However I totally disagree with you about Wall-E, as I thought it was brilliant all around. 🙂

Korm on Aug 19, 2009


#1, your simply an idiot!

phil on Aug 19, 2009


@49: Hehe, yeah... I seem to be in a minority on Wall-E. I still enjoy watching it, but I think when I first saw it I noticed some parallels in the film that apparently Pixar didn't notice or intend or forgot to follow through on. For the first half hour I was looking at Wall-E and the Earth as having a dual relationship. I felt that the character of Wall-E was a representation of the earth. He was fixing a broken planet while at the same time he was falling apart and fixing himself. At the end, the planet was still in a state of ruin but there was a new hope of it returning to it's former state. Wall-E was in a similar situation. He had been 'fixed', but was gone... his personality was lost. But then a little static 'kiss' totally fixed him. That one little thing at the end of the movie really bothers me to this day. Had they just had him only remember one part of his past... only hum that little tune or something... that would have been fitting with the duality between himself and the Earth. He was still there, but it would take time for him to return to his former state. Another ending I thought would have been more fitting would have seen Wall-E and the earth have an opposing relationship... again, as he was fixing the earth he was falling apart. If he had actually died at the end of the film, that relationship would have also been fulfilled. The earth returns to it's former state while Wall-E succumbs and dies. Surely a bittersweet sort of ending, but one that would have given more gravity to the film. I guess in my head either of those would have made for a better ending. The first leaving you with hope for the future without blatantly coming out and doing the typical animation "Happy ever after" sort of cliche. The second would have been harder for a lot of people to swallow, but would have been a better fit for the metaphors going on. I guess I was just really excited towards the end of the film because I could see either of those two playing out in my head, and totally wanted one of them to happen. I just KNEW it wasn't going to be the standard cliche ending. I just knew it. And then they dropped the cliche on me. I was just a bit upset by that. 😛

Squiggly_P on Aug 19, 2009


ok, one last thing... Imagine if Wall-E had actually died at the end, and they planted the tree on his grave. THAT would have been a fucking great ending. It would have been sad as hell, but it would have been fucking great. And if they had done the ending credit animation bit right, they still could have make it a sort of happy-ish ending. I'll shut up now.

Squiggly_P on Aug 19, 2009


I am #1 and I am back!!! For all you folks who keep ripping me about Jackson being the producer, I AM WELL AWARE OF THAT. His name is what he lent to the project when he realized it was going to be huge. It take great talent and vision to recognize brilliance, and big balls to put your name on it. But that doesn't excuse putting Jack Black in a semi-lead role for a three hour drama and taking ten years to make three shitty movies that should have been left alone. For McGruff who asked me if Watchmen is better than Godfather, re-read the title of this article you dumb idiot. Interesting though how most people who saw and hated Watchmen didn't read the book. "Hrrmmm.." And yes, I read LOTR in original release format for a project in school. Great book, too much fat, just like the movies. My taste in movies is mine and mine alone. I enjoy movies that deliver on what they promise and nothing less (Waiting... is great example of that, no plot with fantastic humour). That way, I don't feel ripped off like so many of you over analytical types that think you know what your talking about. Peace.

Big Red Moose on Aug 19, 2009


What? No love for Michael Haneke's Hidden? ...or Lynch's Mulholland Drive? ...or Anderson's There Will Be Blood? Sheesh!

Sleepykid on Aug 19, 2009


I'd just like to add that this is NOT the "best films of the new Millennium", this is what the general audience voted for, that's all it is. The actual Top films are often intellectual and brings something extra and different to the cinema. Such examples, in my oppinion, are Watchmen, Cloverfield and Dark Knight - quite few, cba to get a larger list, those are just at the top of my head, havn't seen District 9 yet because it hasn't had premier in Sweden (sigh... Globalization my ass) but I think it will be on the list, same goes for Inglourious Basterds.

Felix on Aug 19, 2009


I don't really agree with most of the list. These posts are amusing though. So much diversity on what people think should be on the list. I think Lotr deserves to be there though, as well as The Dark Knight. Someone commented Chronicles of Narnia, that made me giggle.

Sabes on Aug 19, 2009


generalwoundwort ur list sucks except for the movies already on the list and #48 fightclub was in 1999..nice and why do u ppl like children of men so much and #33 gran torino? children of men? district 9? the only one that actually deserves to be on the list is memento and it is

jmac on Aug 19, 2009


No "Observe and Report" ??!! Or any other Rogen tripe? Alex must be seething!!!!!!!

Clover on Aug 19, 2009


Where are all the Seth Rogen pieces of crap!???????

D-9 on Aug 19, 2009


No Apatow filcks, please, this is for GOOD movies, not funny melodramas. Funny People was crap by the way.

Big Red Moose on Aug 19, 2009


Revenge Of The Sith. I think they should include this film, as Lucas did finally 'get it right' in the final installment of the Star Wars prequels, and it is a pretty meaningful, important bridge to the original trilogy. I suspect that in a few years, after the Jar Jar bruises go away from the collective skins of Star Wars geeks, Revenge at least will get some recognition.

Scott Reed on Aug 19, 2009


#61 being one of those Star Wars geeks, i should blow up your planet for such an insulting & stupid remark.

DoomCanoe on Aug 19, 2009


transformers should have been on there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheTruth on Aug 19, 2009


Where the hell is Freddy Got Fingered?

Frank N. Stein on Aug 19, 2009


#61, thanks for proving my point.

Scott Reed on Aug 22, 2009

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