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Top 5 Films of 2001

Counting down our favourite films from 20 years ago, the year 2001

In the first in a new recurring feature, we count down our Top 5 films of 2001. It's been 20 years since this franchise-beginning, animation-defying year graced cinema, from Zoolander to Mulholland Drive, the variety was incredible, and it started the new century off with a bang.

5. Spirited Away

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

"Once you've met someone you never really forget them."


As animations go this is pretty groundbreaking, but as films go this is a 21st century classic. We've rewatched it numerous times and it's just beautiful.

A perfect gateway anime for someone who hasn't watched loads of the animated style in the past, it is undoubtedly one of the best films of 2001. The year was full of mainstream animations, yet this is the one that continues to find new audiences and grow in popularity.

4. Ocean's Eleven

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

"We'll get one more!"


This is the perfect heist film. It collects the coolest cast imaginable and has them work together in a criminally suave capacity. It's exceptionally well-paced, and although very male-orientated, it's a film about men's flaws. The music, the script, the camera work; this is kids stuff made for adults; it's just so much fun!

Don Cheadle's attempt at a British accent may give Dick Van Dyke's a run for its money, but it somehow adds to the charm of it all.

3. Monsters, Inc

Directed by Pete Docter

"Your stunned silence is very reassuring."


When rewatching this more and more, the attention to detail is amazing. Although the animation may be a little dated now the hair on Sully's back and designs on bedroom doors are so well crafted, it's breathtaking.

John Goodman and Billy Crystal provide amazing vocal performances; you believe in Sully and Mike, it doesn't feel like you're listening to two actors in a booth.

This film really highlights Pixar coming in to their stride.

2. Shrek

Directed by Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson

"What are you doing in my swamp?"


Shrek came out of nowhere when it was released. It was massive, hilarious and very different to what Pixar were doing. It was balls-to-the-wall funny.

With it being full of jokes for adults too, it has become a fan favourite on repeat viewing, creating some much-loved and some much-hated sequels that still back up one sure theory: Shrek is a cultural icon, with one of the most quotable voices in modern-day cinema.

1. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Directed by Peter Jackson

"A wizard is never late, nor is he early...he arrives precisely when he means to."


Our favourite of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring is one of the best starts to a franchise. It's up there with the likes of Star Wars and Alien. It knew exactly the film it needed to be and delivered on every level.

The set-up, the world building, the performances, the music, the quest, the scene in the cave, the Hobbit feet, Boromir...this is a stunning film, and is without a doubt, a masterpiece.

Worthy Contenders

Films that came close, but for whatever reason, didn't quite make the cut


The Others - Gareth would rate it either a 3 or 4*, but it's a must watch.

Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone - Full to the brim with nostalgia; a classic.

Amélie - Would almost definitely be on the list if we'd seen more of it.

Wet Hot American Summer - Fun, stupid and full of comedy greats. Worth a watch.


The Fellowship of the Ring available now on NowTV & Sky Cinema

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