25 Early 2000’s Movies That Are Perfect for Your Next Movie Night

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In this article, we’ll break down some of the best movies from the early 2000s, all of which would be perfect for your next movie night! Honorable mentions include The Parent Trap (1998), Clueless (1995), and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). However, they all came out before 2000 and are, therefore, ineligible for this list. This list was cultivated according to movie release dates, Letterboxd lists, and overall audience perception.

1. Freaky Friday (2003)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Productions.

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, Freaky Friday follows a mother-daughter duo when they accidentally swap bodies and are forced to live each other’s lives. After body swapping, the duo learns to have more patience and compassion for one another after the curse is broken and they return to their everyday lives. A movie highlighting the relationship between mothers and daughters, especially during the teenage years, this movie is a lighthearted watch with a great message: don’t take each other for granted.

2. Legally Blonde (2001)

Photo Credit: MGM.

Starring Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde follows sorority girl Elle Woods as she enrolls at Harvard Law School. The movie has a sequel, Legally Blonde 2, which follows Elle Woods as she travels to Washington, D.C., to advocate for animal rights. In 2023, it was announced that there would be another movie in the Legally Blonde franchise, Legally Blonde 3. Though no other release information is known, Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor will write the upcoming installment.

3. The Notebook (2004)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

The Notebook follows the tumultuous love affair between Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Noah and Allie are high-school sweethearts turned lost lovers who reunite years into the future. Can they rekindle their romance? Or, with Allie set to marry another man, is it too late for them? The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams and is one of the most popular romantic dramas of the past two decades.

4. Almost Famous (2000)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Almost Famous follows a young man who gets the job of a lifetime writing for Rolling Stone, goes on tour with his favorite rock band, and writes about life on the road. Starring Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Anna Paquin, and Patrick Fugit, the film is the semi-autobiographical story of Cameron Crowe, who wrote and directed it.

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5. The Princess Diaries (2001)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios.

The Princess Diaries follows high school student Mia Thermopolis after a visit from her grandmother reveals her royal heritage. An awkward teenager, Mia feels unfit to take over the role of queen one day. Will she rise to the occasion? Or will Genovia need to find another queen? The movie stars Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway. The sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, was released in 2004.

6. A Cinderella Story (2004)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Starring Chad Michael Murray and Hilary Duff, A Cinderella Story is a modern retelling of the classic Cinderella story. In the movie, Duff plays teenager Samantha Montgomery, who has a difficult home life caused by her turbulent relationship with her stepmother. Meanwhile, Sam begins an anonymous relationship with a boy at her school, the football team’s quarterback. However, she hides her identity from him, convinced that the popular boy would never like her back in real life. When Austin Ames finally discovers her real identity, how will he react? The movie has all the classics of a great movie night: teenage angst, low stakes, funny jokes, and a compelling, albeit silly, storyline.

7. Aquamarine (2006)

Photo Credit: Fox 2000 Pictures.

Aquamarine follows the lives of three teenage girls, one of whom is a mermaid. The mermaid, Aquamarine, washes ashore one night after a terrible storm. During her time on land, Aquamarine is determined to experience the one thing that makes you most human: falling in love. Aquamarine is similar to the classic tale The Little Mermaid and is perfect for those who love all things mystical, mermaids, and girlhood antics.

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8. Scooby-Doo (2002)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Scooby-Doo is based on the popular animated series of the same name and follows the Mystery Inc. gang as they solve crimes and capture monsters. The movie stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, and Linda Cardellini. Although the movie received pretty poor reviews, it is still beloved by fans today, and I think it’s safe to say it can be labeled a cult classic. The sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, was released in 2004 and is also cherished by its dedicated fanbase.

9. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Little Miss Sunshine follows the Hoover family, who embark on a cross-country road trip after enrolling their daughter in a beauty pageant. The movie depicts a dysfunctional family who, at their core, love one another deeply. Several themes prevalent in the film are that of body image, winning vs. losing, and the irony of beauty pageants. Although the movie is aimed primarily at adults, there are also fun family moments for all ages, and this is a movie the whole family can enjoy.

10. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada follows Andy Sachs (Hathaway), a recent college graduate who gets a job as an assistant at a top fashion company in New York City. Can the bright-eyed new intern stick it out to achieve her dreams? Or will she become disillusioned and beaten by her hard-to-please boss, Miranda Priestly (Streep)? The movie perfectly encapsulates the young angst of college graduates everywhere, stuck between wanting to change the world and trying to find their place within it.

11. Erin Brockovich (2000)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

The star-making vehicle for beloved actress Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich follows a single mother who gets a job as a legal assistant and begins fighting for citizens of her small town who have complaints over their polluted water supply. For her hard work, Brockovich single-handedly brings down the corrupt power company poisoning everyday residents. For her performance in the movie, Roberts won the award for Best Supporting Actress at the 73rd Academy Awards.

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12. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

Photo Credit: Dungaree Productions.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants follows four best friends living in Maryland who share a pair of jeans that they take turns wearing. Rotten Tomatoes states, “No matter where they are, they are connected by a pair of jeans that they take turns sharing—pants that fit all four girls and exemplify their tight bond.” The film stars America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel and emphasizes the importance of friendship. No matter where you go or what you do, your friends will always be there for you.

13. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Photo Credit: Kintop Pictures.

Bend It Like Beckham follows two girls who dream of playing professional soccer, although they struggle to gain their parents’ approval to pursue their dreams. Starring Parminder Nagra and Kiera Knightley, it is one of the highest-grossing soccer movies ever, ranking third behind Kicking and Screaming and She’s the Man. The movie encourages young people to pursue their dreams despite any resistance that might befall them, making it an excellent watch for your next family movie night!

14. She’s the Man (2006)

Photo Credit: Paramount Home Entertainment.

Starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, She’s the Man follows high school student Viola Johnson as she poses as her twin brother and takes his place on his all-boys soccer team. The movie focuses on equality within sports, especially how women’s sports are treated compared to men’s, and how we as a society tend to view female athletes as less than their male counterparts.

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15. Mean Girls (2004)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Mean Girls follows a popular high school clique, the Plastics, as they welcome new student Cady Heron to their group. The film chronicles Cady’s adjustment to the group, high school politics in general, and the importance of being yourself in an environment where most people are just trying to fit in. The movie stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Jonathan Bennet, Lizzie Caplan, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler. It has become a staple in popular culture since its release, often referenced or quoted, and even spun off into a Broadway musical and a recent film adaptation.

16. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This popular romcom, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, follows Kate Hudson as a journalist writing a piece on men and their dating habits. She bets her coworkers that she can date a guy and get him to dump her within ten days. In contrast, the man she chooses for her experiment, ladies’ man Benjamin Barry (played by Matthew McConaughey), bets his friends that he can make any woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Who will prevail? Will Ben and Andie find their happily ever after? You’ll just have to watch to find out!

17. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen follows high school student Mary Elizabeth Cep, whose plans to become a famous actress are derailed when her family moves to New Jersey. Determined to persevere, Mary Elizabeth decides to make the best of it and become the most popular girl at her school, which she quickly realizes will be a competition between her and another student, Carla Santini. The film stars Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox and can be streamed on Disney+.

18. Bring It On (2000)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

Bring It On follows a nationally ranked high school cheerleading team after discovering their captain stole most of their routines from an inner-city school’s cheerleading team. From there, they must scramble to create a new routine before the next championship. Can they do it in time? Watch and see.

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19. Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Cheaper by the Dozen follows the lives of the Baker family. Parents Tom and Kate Baker are learning to balance raising their twelve children with their relationships and careers. The film stars Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff, Tom Welling, Alyson Stoner, and Piper Perabo. The sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, was released in 2005 and follows the family as they embark on a summer vacation to a remote lake house.

20. 13 Going on 30 (2004)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Starring Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner, 13 Going on 30 follows schoolgirl Jenna Rink on her 13th birthday. On her birthday, her wish is to become a grownup. While living out her fantasy of being an adult, Jenna learns that life as a grownup isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The movie examines adulthood through the lens of a child and all the hilarity that comes along with that. It also asks why we were all in such a rush to grow up. The film serves as a reminder to enjoy your youth while you can.

21. The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Based on the Disney Channel series, The Lizzie McGuire Movie follows Lizzie and her friends as they embark on a summer trip to Italy. A story of middle school crushes, romantic interests, and pop star dreams, this movie is every middle girl’s fantasy come to life.

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22. Ella Enchanted (2004)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Productions.

Another retelling of Cinderella, Ella Enchanted follows Ella as she sets out on a journey to break the curse put upon her by her evil fairy godmother. The story also includes a friendship with a handsome prince, lovable mystical creatures, and a fun musical sequence to “Somebody to Love.” For Anne Hathaway’s iconic performance of the hit Queen song alone, this movie would be worth the watch!

23. Miss Congeniality (2000)

Photo Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment.

Starring Sandra Bullock, Miss Congeniality follows an FBI agent forced to go undercover in a beauty pageant. While hilarity inevitably ensues, the film also serves as a reminder that beauty is what is on the inside, and we should not be so quick to judge others.

24. Fever Pitch (2005)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, Fever Pitch follows two young thirty-somethings named Lindsey and Ben, who begin dating and fall in love against the backdrop of the Red Sox’s 2003 championship season. But will Lindsey be enough for a die-hard sports fan like Ben? Or will his passion for baseball get in the way of their relationship? If you like romantic comedies, baseball, and belting “Sweet Caroline,” this movie is for you!

25. The Game Plan (2007)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Starring Dwayne Johnson, The Game Plan chronicles the life of NFL quarterback Joe Kingman, whose life is turned upside down when a little girl shows up on his doorstep claiming she is his daughter. A Disney movie, The Game Plan is a heartwarming family story about finding your priorities and what it means to be a good parent.

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