Here Are the Best Movies From Every Year Since 2000, According to Critics

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(New Line Cinema)

(New Line Cinema)

Out of all the Hollywood films released each year, there are only a handful that truly stand out from the rest, and are crowned the best motion picture of that year by critics—if not the Academy.

If you’re looking for some stellar movies to watch, Metacritic compiled a master list of the best films of each year since the turn of the century, based on their “composite critical reception.”

And so, according to Metacritic and Business Insider, here are the best critically acclaimed movies of each year since 2000.

2000: "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Critic score: 93/100

Summary: "In 19th century China, a magical sword given by a warrior to his lover is stolen and the quest to find it ensues. The search leads to the House of Yu where the story travels in a different direction with the introduction of a mysterious assassin and another love story."

2001: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"

Critic score: 92/100

Summary: "An epic adventure of good against evil, a story of the power of friendship and individual courage, and the heroic quest to pave the way for the emergence of mankind, J.R.R. Tolkien's master work brought to cinematic life."

2002: "Spirited Away"

Critic score: 96/100

Summary: "A young girl, Chihiro, becomes trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world."

2003: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"

Critic score: 94/100

Summary: "Sauron's forces have laid siege to Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor, in their efforts to eliminate the race of men. The once-great kingdom, watched over by a fading steward, has never been in more desperate need of its king."

2004: "Sideways"


Critic score: 94/100

Summary: "Two old friends set off on a wine-tasting road trip ... only to veer dizzily sideways into a wry, comedic exploration of the crazy vicissitudes of love and friendship, the damnable persistence of loneliness and dreams and the enduring war between Pinot and Cabernet."

2005: "The Best of Youth"

Critic score: 89/100

Summary: "Spanning four decades, from the chaotic 1960s to the present, this passionate epic follows two Italian brothers through some of the most tumultuous events of recent Italian history."

2006: "Pan's Labyrinth"

Critic score: 98/100

Summary: "Young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother."

2007: "Ratatouille"

Critic score: 96/100

Summary: "Despite his sensational sniffer and sophisticated palate, Remy's dreams of becoming a chef seem hopeless due to one small detail — he's a rat!"

2008: "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"

Critic score: 97/100

Summary: "During the final days of communism in Romania, two college roommates Otilia and Gabita are busy preparing for a night away. But rather than planning for a holiday, they are making arrangements for Gabita's illegal abortion and unwittingly, both find themselves burrowing deep down a rabbit hole of unexpected revelations."

2009: "The Hurt Locker"

Critic score: 94/100

Summary: "When a new sergeant, James (Jeremy Renner), takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Eldridge (Brian Geraghty), by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat."

2010: "The Social Network"

Critic score: 95/100

Summary: "On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea."

2011: "A Separation"

Critic score: 95/100

Summary: "Set in contemporary Iran, 'A Separation' is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage. Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. Simin sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father."

2012: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Critic score: 95/100

Summary: "For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden."

2013: "12 Years a Slave"

Critic score: 96/100

Summary: "In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery."

2014: "Boyhood"

Critic score: 100/100

Summary: "Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes."

2015: "Carol"

Critic score:95/100

Summary: "Set in 1950s New York, two women from very different backgrounds find themselves in the throes of love."

2016: "Moonlight"

Critic score: 99/100

Summary: "The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man's struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality."

2017: "A Fantastic Woman"

Critic score: 96/100

Summary: "The story of Marina, a waitress and singer, and Orlando, an older man, who are in love and planning for the future. After Orlando suddenly falls ill and dies, Marina is forced to confront his family and society, and to fight again to show them who she is: complex, strong, forthright, fantastic."

H/T: Business Insider / Metacritic