Y2K movies

The Best Y2K Movies to Watch

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The Best Y2K Movies to Watch 1

Y2K Movies

Y2K, a.k.a 2000, was a year that started a new millennium. It was the beginning of a new era and constant changes. Since the beginning of the new millennium, changes in pop culture have emerged in various forms, especially in Y2K movies.

A perfect display of Y2K is a look back at movies released in the year 2000 and other movies in the early 2000s. These Y2K movies display what life was like during that time. They became classics, popular franchises, and breakthrough performances that made the actors/actresses famous for their roles in the movies that made them stars.

1. Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)

This movie right here is definitely one of the best Y2K movies on this list. Similar to 2009’s The Hangover (also on this list), Dude, Where’s My Car? is a comedy about two best friends and stoners, Jesse and Chester, who wake up after a night of heavy partying with no recollection of what they did, especially the location of Jesse’s car. So, throughout the movie, trying to find Jesse’s car, they come across various characters, some of whom claim to be aliens (spoiler alert: this movie does have aliens in it), thus being caught up in outrageous yet hilarious situations.

This movie stars Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott as Best buds, as well as Jessie and Chester. If anyone wants to feel nostalgic for the year 2000, I highly recommend watching this movie.

2. The Fast and The Furious (2001)

One of the best Y2K movies to kick off a popular franchise and a breakthrough performance by the late Paul Walker is The Fast and The Furious. In this pop culture classic, Paul Walker (1973-2013) plays Brian O’Connor, an undercover LAPD cop who becomes fascinated with the world of underground street racing, which is also one he has to expose. Once undercover, the lines of loyalty begin to blur. Needless to say, this is an action-packed thrill ride to enjoy with fun and nostalgic vibes of the early 2000s.

3. Harry Potter (2001)

This Y2K film is the very first movie in the Harry Potter franchise. Based on the best-selling series written by J.K Rowling, Harry Potter is about an orphaned by who discovers he’s a wizard. His father was a wizard, and his mother was a witch. Harry discovers his parents were murdered by an evil wizard named Thomas Riddle, a.k.a Lord Voldermort (the name Thomas Riddle isn’t revealed until the second movie).

Trailer to the very 1st movie.

The Harry Potter franchise has a total of 8 movies. The series has seven books, but because of the length of the seventh and final book, the movie for it was broken into two parts: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

4. Legally Blonde (2001)

If you want to watch a Y2K movie about overcoming obstacles and self-discovery, watch Legally Blonde, starring Reese Witherspoon, who plays Elle Woods, a sorority girl at UCLA who believes her boyfriend, Warner, will ask her to marry him, but instead, he breaks up with her because he has ambitions to be a lawyer and go into politics. He views her SoCal lifestyle as a burden. To win Warner back and prove him wrong, Elle decides to go to law school and to Warner’s surprise, she gets accepted into Harvard Law School with a 4.0 GPA and a 179 score on her LSATs.

As Elle is learning the ropes of Ivy League life and trying to find her place, her enthusiastic personality begins to impress some of her classmates and professors. Yet, once Elle is selected as an intern on a high-profile case in which one of her sorority sisters is on trial for murder, Elle is bound and determined to help prove her fellow sorority sister’s innocence.

Fun fact: this film was nominated for two Golden Globes, which are Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Reese Witherspoon).

5. The Perfect Score (2004)

For any late 80s and early 90s babies who want to reminisce on life in the early 2000s, here’s another Y2K movie that is a must-watch. The Perfect Score stars Chris Evans and Scarlet Johannsen (before they became Captain America and Black Widow in the MCU), and it’s about a group of classmates who conspire to steal the answers to the SATs. Some critics described this movie as The Breakfast Club meets Ocean’s 11 (another movie on this list of Y2K movies to watch).

6. Iron Man (2008)

The movie that started the beginning of the MCU franchise., starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

What makes this comic book movie stand out from all the others is that Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t start off like other superheroes. He’s just very chill and laid back and makes it known to the whole world that he’s Iron Man in a press conference at the very end of the movie. Gwyneth Paltrow stars as Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s assistant, and becomes a love interest in later Marvel movies. She’s not a damsel in distress; instead, she helps him while he works on his iron suit, and Tony Stark doesn’t seem to keep any secrets from her either.

Where it all began with the MCU.

This movie is the beginning of more films to follow and even TV shows streaming on Disney+. Robert Downey Jr. has portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man from 2008 to 2019, and with that being said, along with creating a popular comic book franchise, this Y2K film makes the cut on this list of Y2K movies to watch.

7. The Dark Knight (2008)

A sequel to Batman Begins stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman and the late Heath Ledger as Joker. This film makes the list of Y2K movies to watch because of the action, thrills, and Heath Ledger’s riveting performance as the Joker.

When it was announced that Heath Ledger would play the Joker, some were skeptical because the only actor we could associate with the famous villain in the movies was Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman. Heath Ledger’s performance as The Clown Prince of Crime not only proved the audiences and critics wrong, but he managed to make Jack Nicholson’s Joker look like a kiddy version.

Unfortunately, Heath Ledger passed away before the movie was released. Apparently, he went to great lengths to make his performance as dark as possible, such as staying in dark rooms and keeping himself isolated as much as possible. Some would even argue that the steps he took to prepare and perform as the Joker is what cost him his life.

This movie also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Michael Cain, and Cillian Murphy.

This movie was a hit at the box office worldwide. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, two of which were winners, including Heath Ledger for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. Though he won that award posthumously, Heath Ledger’s family accepted the Oscar on his behalf and gave a standing ovation and love to the late actor.

This movie also has another sequel, which is also the last performance Christian Bale gives as Bruce Wayne/Batman and the last Batman movie directed by Christopher Nolan.

8. A Walk to Remember (2002)

A movie based on the best-selling book by Nicholas Sparks. It stars Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan and Shane West as Landon Carter. In a small North Carolina town, Landon Carter is the most popular guy in school and considered a bully, and Jamie Sullivan is the daughter of a local Reverand. Landon and Jamie are polar opposites, and their lifestyles are in contrast to each other. Yet, when Landon gets in trouble and is forced to partake in extracurricular activities, he works with Jamie, and they eventually fall in love despite how different their worlds are.

If you watch this movie, have some Kleenex nearby because it will make you cry. The movie is different from the book because it takes place in 1998, whereas Nicholas Sparks’ novel of the same name takes place in the 1950s. The director and producers of A Walk to Remember made the movie’s setting in the late 1990s so it could attract teenage audiences in the current time.

9. The Notebook (2004)

Like A Walk to Remember, The Notebook is based on a best-selling book by Nicholas Sparks, which is considered a classic. The movie starts off with an elderly man reading a story from a notebook about two young lovers who meet in 1940s South Carolina. The film goes back and forth from the 1940s to the current year in the movie, 2004.

It’s a movie about romance standing the test of time and definitely worth watching for anyone who wants some early 2000 nostalgic vibes.

10. Sin City (2005)

What I like about this film is that it’s a neo-noir type of film. I also enjoyed watching Sin City, which is based on a graphic novel series by Frank Miller, who also co-directed this movie with Robert Rodriguez. The movie has a few subplots; each character has their own story, and all the stories converge in a crime-ridden metropolis known as Sin City.

11. Ocean’s 11 (2001)

If you want to watch a movie with laughs and thrills, Ocean’s 11 is a must. George Clooney is a professional thief who recruits 10 other career criminals to help him rob three casinos simultaneously. Along with George Clooney, this film also stars Bradd Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, and more.

This movie was followed by two sequels, Ocean’s 12 (2004) and Ocean’s 13 (2007), and a spinoff, Ocean’s 8 (2018).

12. The Hangover (2009)

Unlike Dude, Where’s My Car?, this movie is about a group of guys going to Las Vegas for a Bachelor party. The next morning, the three groomsmen try to figure out what they did the night before to find their friend, Doug, who is the groom and is nowhere to be found. Although this movie doesn’t involve aliens, it does involve retracing steps in Las Vegas.

Some of these crazy situations the three groomsmen encounter while trying to find their friend, Doug, involve waking up to find a TIGER in the bathroom of their hotel suite (later revealed that they stole the tiger from Mike Tyson), a stolen police car, a random guy in the trunk of their car, and one of the groomsmen got married to a cocktail waitress and lost his tooth.

This movie is followed by two sequels that are just as hilarious to watch, and they star Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, and Mike Tyson as himself

13. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

One of the things I love about Y2K movies is how filmmakers got more creative and broadened the scope of movies in general. An example of this is the 2003 film, in which legendary horror movie monsters not only faced off with their victims but also faced off against each other. Jason Vorhees and Freddy Kreuger battling each other is fun to watch, and the movie’s plot made sense enough for these polar opposite movie monsters to battle it out.

Related Article: By the way, I also mentioned this Y2K movie in another blog post.

14. The Departed (2006)

Of course, a mob movie directed by Martin Scorsese with Brad Pitt working as one of the producers, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg would make the list of the best Y2K movies to watch. This movie is about an undercover cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) infiltrating the Irish Mob run by Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). However, Nicholson’s character also has a mole/spy (Matt Damon) who works as an investigator with the Massachusetts State Police. Throughout the movie, the characters of Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio race to figure out each other’s identity before the other does.

This movie won four Academy Awards, including Motion Picture of The Year and Best Achievement in Directing for Martin Scorsese. Mark Wahlberg was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but he did not win that Oscar.

15. Mean Girls (2004)

Mean Girls is also a must-see. It stars Lindsay Lohan as a new student experiencing life outside of homeschooling. As Lindsay Lohan’s character, Cady Heron, navigates the world of high school, she joins a clique known as The Plastics, where she learns all about “Girl World” versus the life she lived being homeschooled in Africa.

This film also stars Tina Fey (who wrote the screenplay), Rachel McAdams, Amy Poehler, Amanda Seyfried, and Lacy Chabert.

The Best Y2K Movies to Watch 2
The DVD I personally own
Related Article: Along with this post, check out this one I wrote, An Honest Review of Mean Girls (2004) & Its Real-Life Relevance.

16. Spiderman (2002)

The first live-action Spiderman movie to be made makes the list of Y2K movies to watch. Starring Toby McGuire as Peter Parker/Spiderman and also stars James Franco, Kirsten Dunst, and Willem Dafoe as Harry Osborn, Mary Jane Watson, and Norman Osborn/Green Goblin.

Toby McGuire was Peter Parker/Spiderman in Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3, but over the years, Spiderman has been portrayed by Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland in different films.

If you want to check out more on Spiderman, check out my blog post: Marvel Comics The Amazing Spiderman: 1 of Marvel’s Beloved Superheroes

17. Transformers (2007)

A movie based on toys created by Hasbro, Transformers is about two Cybrotronian races, the Autobots and Decepticons, waging their war on Earth. In the midst of this ancient rivalry come to planet Earth, a teenage boy (Shia LaBeouf) gets an old Camaro, which is actually an Autobot named Bumblebee in disguise.

Trailer to the very first Transformers movie circa 2007.

The Transformers film series has become a popular franchise and has starred Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Mark Wahlberg, Partick Dempsey, Hailee Steinfeld, and John Cena in various Transformers movies (Steinfeld and Cena were in a spinoff called Bumblebee).

18. Lords of Dogtown (2005)

This movie is based on a true story about the Legendary Z-Boys, who became known for turning the sport of skateboarding into a worldwide phenomenon. This movie takes place in 1970s Venice Beach, California, and explores the trends of surfing lifestyle as well as skateboarding.

What makes Lords of Dogtown one of the best Y2K movies to watch is that it goes back in time to a different era of how surfers and skateboarders lived life in SoCal in the 70s. In the film, some would describe skateboarding as surfing, but on land and during the summers, these skateboarders and/or surfers would be able to ride their skateboards in empty pools in the backyards of their local residents (they would usually sneak in their neighbors’ backyards and run away when caught).

The Z-Boys became famous for transforming the sport of skateboarding, and it’s definitely a fun movie to watch, especially for anyone who grew up riding skateboards, grew up in the 1970s, and/or was a native of SoCal during that decade (or any decade for that matter).

Oh, and BTW, one of the Z-Boys, Stacy Peralta, is known for discovering famous skateboarder Tony Hawk for his skateboarding talents and even sponsored Tony Hawk for 11 years.

19. Scary Movie (2000)

Another Y2K movie that started a film series. Scary Movie is a parody that makes fun of other horror/slasher films like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Sixth Sense, and The Blair Witch Project.

This parody film is followed by several sequels that make fun of other horror movies released within the same years as they were, and they’re worth watching because you definitely get some laughs while watching. Therefore, this classic parody makes the list of Y2K movies to watch.

20. Final Destination (2000)

For all the Y2K movies to watch on this list, you have reached your Final Destination. This movie stars Devon Sawa as Alex, a high school senior going on a class trip to Paris. While aboard Flight 180, he has a vision of the plane blowing up during takeoff. He manages to get off the plane with one of his teachers and several of his classmates, and to their shock, they watch the plane blow up as it’s flying away.

However, after a few months go by, the people who got off the plane at the last minute start dying one by one, usually by freak accidents. The survivors soon discover that the Grim Reaper/Death causes the freak accidents as an invisible force who is claiming their lives because they cheated death and were never meant to get off the doomed flight. Once Alex and some of his friends realize this, they seek guidance from a creepy mortician, played by Tony Todd and known for being the Candyman, in order to figure out a way to beat death.

This movie has spawned several sequels, thus creating another horror movie franchise that’s part of pop culture today. Final Destination also stars Ali Larter, Sean William Scott, and Tony Todd.

Final Thoughts on Y2K Movies

Y2K was the beginning of a new millennium and a new generation of movies that influenced audiences and pop culture in general. So, for anybody who wants to watch a movie of a certain genre or from a certain time, look at this list of Y2K movies to watch (some of these movies have sequels that follow) because they are bound to be entertaining. If you’re looking for a movie that will give you thrills, chills, suspense, laughter, and even tears, watch a Y2K movie on this list.

Related to Y2K Movies to Watch

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Postmodernism in Wes Craven’s Scream is an essay I wrote in my Intro to Cultural Studies class my senior year of college, which I also have in my portfolio,

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