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From Crouching Tiger to No Country
Here at TV Guide, sometimes we make lists just for the fun of it. If you Google "best 2000s movies to stream" and find this list, that's a bonus. We love when that happens. If you clicked this link and found a movie to watch, we provided a service. And we are in the service business.
This is a list of 25 great movies released between the years 2000 and 2009 that are available to stream on subscription services. It's not comprehensive, because a lot of movies are not available on these services. Which is very sad. If movies aren't easy to stream they basically don't exist anymore. I'm glad I was in high school when Netflix was a DVD service that had almost every movie made. (It still technically is, but it's not really.) If I hadn't seen movies like Donnie Darko and Amelie at a formative time I might not be doing this job today. Anyway, I'm wildly digressing. These are great movies from the end of the Clinton administration to the beginning of the Obama administration.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - Netflix
Ang Lee's majestic martial arts classic is unforgettable, not only for its balletic fight scenes, but for its soulful performances by Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi.
Snatch (2000) - Netflix
Guy Ritchie has made a lot of bad movies since this one, but this clever crime comedy about a stolen diamond bouncing around the London underworld still owns. It introduced the world to Jason Statham and contains what might be Brad Pitt's single weirdest performance.
Pootie Tang (2001) - Starz
Chris Rock's trilogy of ridiculous early-00s comedies -- Pootie Tang, Down to Earth, and Head of State -- is severely underrated. Linguistically innovative blaxploitation satire Pootie Tang is the least underrated and also the best.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001) - Netflix
The number of quotable lines per minute in David Wain and Michael Showalter's deliriously silly summer camp comedy is extremely high, especially when you account for the fact that every line is basically a non-sequitur that you can use in just about any context. I'm gonna go hump the fridge.
Zoolander (2001) - Starz
Ben Stiller's fashion world satire is still packed to the merman gills with quotable lines and goofy setpieces.
City of God (2002) - Netflix
This sprawling Brazilian crime drama shows how all the pieces matter in a way unmatched by anything except The Wire, and it does it in just two hours.
The Rules of Attraction (2002) - Tubi
Roger Avary's cult classic college-set black comedy takes some of the most iconic teen idols of of the era (James Van der Beek, Jessica Biel) and puts them in outrageously depraved scenarios, courtesy of wicked novelist Bret Easton Ellis. And the sequence where Victor goes to Europe is maybe the single best movie scene of the decade (or at least the most transcendent scene in an otherwise imperfect -- though still great! -- movie).
28 Days Later (2003) - Starz
The most influential zombie movie since Night of the Living Dead, and one of the scariest movies of the decade. That Godspeed You Black Emperor! song still slaps.
Oldboy (2003) - Shudder
This brutal Korean revenge thriller has some of the most memorable moments of the decade: The hallway fight! The twist ending! The octopus! You may never eat sushi again!
Anchorman(2004) - HBO
One of the funniest movies ever made. Not up for debate. A million bros quoting it will never change the fact that every scene has something that will make you laugh like Brendan Fraser.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - Netflix
Director Michel Gondry and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's whimsical and sad exploration of love and memory is unforgettable. Gondry and Kaufman have never before or since, together or separately, so perfectly married visual and narrative experimentation with crowd-pleasing romance.
Mean Girls (2004) - HBO
Of all the great movies on this list, this is probably the one cited as "my favorite movie" by the largest number of people. Lindsay Lohan's career may not have held up, but Tina Fey's sharp script sure did.
Ray (2004) - Starz
The musician biopic -- along with "torture porn" horror and gimmicky romcom -- was the defining movie genre of the 2000s. This is the best of the lot, thanks to Jamie Foxx's electrifying, Oscar-winning performance.
The Descent (2005) - HBO
A fearless all-female cast + unusually well-drawn characters for this kind of thing + an incredible sense of claustrophobia established by setting, score, and pace + scary as hell creature design = one of the best horror movies of the decade. Natalie Mendoza's performance as secretive expedition leader Juno should have made her a big star.
Children of Men (2006) - Starz
Alfonso Cuaron's dystopian masterpiece about a near-future where everyone is sterile was prescient when it came out and is basically a documentary now. And its influence on cinematography cannot be understated. Every long, unbroken action shot since that burning car rolled down the hill in front of Clive Owen's path owes a debt to Children of Men.
The Departed (2006) - Netflix
America's greatest living director has made approximately seven better movies than this one, but this is the best one Scorsese made between 2000-2009. Plus, this the one that won Best Picture. Also, it's great.
The Lives of Others (2006) - Netflix
This quiet thriller from director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck tells the story of an East German secret policeman surveilling a playwright. Its story of selfless kindness at great personal peril has been known to move even the most stoic Germans to tears.
Pan's Labyrinth (2006) - Netflix
Guillermo Del Toro's dark fairy tale is still the greatest work of fantasy for grown-ups this side of Game of Thrones.
No Country for Old Men (2007) - Netflix
The Coen Brothers' bleak, Best Picture-winning neo-Western masterpiece is as unsettling as you remember. Javier Bardem's performance as relentless hitman Anton Chigurh, whose code of ethics is as rigid as it is inscrutable, is one of the most chilling ever captured on film.
There Will Be Blood (2007) - Showtime
Paul Thomas Anderson's epic is almost certainly the best movie of the century so far, fueled by Daniel Day-Lewis' uncompromising performance as misanthropic oil prospector Daniel Plainview. No other American movie has grappled with the soul-corroding effects of capitalism as effectively.
The Dark Knight (2008) - Hulu
Christopher Nolan's second Batman movie is still the gold standard for superhero stuff. Like a Michael Mann movie with capes.
The Hurt Locker (2008) - Netflix
Most War on Terror movies are brainless jingoism, but Kathryn Bigelow's anxious drama about bomb defusers in Iraq is more complex. It's a pro-war and anti-war movie at the same time.
In Bruges (2008) - Netflix
It's rare that a movie walks the gut-busting comedy/stomach-turningly violent thriller line as deftly as this low-key classic starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two Irish hitmen hiding out in the titular Belgian city.
Let the Right One In (2008) - Hulu
I haven't borne this out all the way, but I have a theory that the prestige horror boom began with this understated Swedish vampire movie. This is when arthouse horror went semi-mainstream.
Observe and Report (2009) - Netflix
Eastbound & Down co-creator Jody Hill's black comedy was misunderstood when it came out, but now it's essential viewing for understanding how the alt-right happened. Seth Rogen plays an alienated young man who wants to be a cop but has to settle for being a mall security guard.