Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), 145 minutes, D: Steven Spielberg
This futuristic science-fiction fairy tale was a re-telling of Disney's Pinocchio (1940) about the search of a puppet to become a real boy and find real love. It starred Haley Joel Osment as 11 year-old Pinocchio-questing David, a Cybertronics android child "mecha" (robot of the future). Wrongly believing that he had real emotions and unconditional love with his adoptive parents, David was abandoned and forced to take a journey to find the "Blue Fairy" that could make him "real" and cause his mother Monica Swinton (Frances O'Connor) to love and accept him forever.
Amelie (2001, Fr./Germ.) (aka Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain), 121 minutes, D: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
A Beautiful Mind (2001), 134 minutes, D: Ron Howard
Black Hawk Down (2001), 144 minutes, D: Ridley Scott
Donnie Darko (2001), 122 minutes, D: Richard Kelly
Fat Girl (2001, Fr./It.) (aka A Ma Soeur!), 93 minutes, D: Catherine Breillat
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), 106 minutes, D: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Moto Sakakibara
Ghost World (2001), 111 minutes, D: Terry Zwigoff
Gosford Park (2001, UK/US), 137 minutes, D: Robert Altman
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001, UK/US), 152 minutes, D: Chris Columbus
See Harry Potter series.
In the Bedroom (2001), 138 minutes, D: Todd Field
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, US/NZ), 178 minutes, D: Peter Jackson
See The Lord of the Rings series.
Peter Jackson's monumental, big-budget action/adventure epic (all three films) was a dazzling synthesis of many fantastical elements from J.R.R. Tolkein's masterwork about Middle-Earth: an heroic quest, good vs. evil, war stories, sci-fi creatures (dwarves, elves, goblins, orcs, etc.) and ancient wonders. Multiple story lines and epic battles were interwoven together in a story of friendship, loyalty, honor and courage. The quest was specifically to destroy a powerful artifact known as the One Ring, created by the Dark Lord Sauron (the eponymous "Lord of the Rings"), in order to end Sauron's lordship over the Elves and Middle Earth. A series of awe-inspiring battles culminated with the defeat of Sauron, an end to corrupted Wizard Saruman the White (Christopher Lee), and the destruction of the Ring. Innovative motion capture created the unforgettable, Ring-addicted creature of Gollum (Andy Serkis) (once a good hobbit named Sméagol), who served as the wretched guide to young hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and friend Sam (Sean Astin) during their mission - to return the Ring to Mordor and destroy it in Mount Doom's molten lava.
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), 116 minutes, D: Joel Coen
Monsoon Wedding (2001, India/US/Fr./It.), 114 minutes, D: Mira Nair
Monster's Ball (2001), 111 minutes, D: Marc Forster
Monsters, Inc. (2001), 92 minutes, D: Peter Docter, Lee Unkrich, David Silverman
Moulin Rouge! (2001, US/Australia), 126 minutes, D: Baz Luhrmann
Mulholland Dr. (2001), 146 minutes, D: David Lynch
The Others (2001), 101 minutes, D: Alejandro Amenabar
The Piano Teacher (2001, Fr./Austria) (aka La Pianiste), 130 minutes, D: Michael Haneke
The Pledge (2001), 124 minutes, D: Sean Penn
Director Sean Penn's psychological thriller involved the gruesome murder of a little blonde girl named Ginny Larsen (Taryn Knowles), whose body was discovered in the snowy area around Reno, Nevada. Retiring cop Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) pledged his "soul's salvation" to the farm-owning mother, Margaret Larsen (Patricia Clarkson), that he would find the killer. Unsatisfied when a mentally unstable Native American (Benicio Del Toro) was arrested and committed suicide following a botched interrogation, Jerry began to suspect a tall, black-garbed killer, seen in one of Ginny's hand-drawn pictures, who may have committed similar murders of two others. He soon set up a surrogate family with an abused single mother Lori (Robin Wright) and her 8-year-old daughter, using the girl as bait for the child killer. The unsettling film ended without closure, except for Black's hallucinatory insanity and the realization that his assumptions were right about numerous possible suspects.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), 108 minutes, D: Wes Anderson
Spirited Away (2001, Jp./US) (aka Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi), 124 minutes, D: Hayao Miyazaki
Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki's acclaimed animated fantasy, an Alice in Wonderland self-discovery tale, combined beauty with mystery and the supernatural. In the middle of her family's move to the suburbs, spoiled and sullen 10-year-old girl Chihiro entered a magical world in an abandoned amusement park - actually a holiday resort for a group of bizarre gods and spirits. A spell turned her disobedient parents into pigs as punishment for eating food meant for the gods. During her coming-of-age navigation of this dream-like other-world mostly inside sorceress-witch Yubaba's spirit bathhouse, she had to complete ritualistic tasks during her quest to survive, heroically free herself and escape back to the human world. Chihiro was symbolically renamed Sen - to mark the start of her rite of passage. She was challenged to learn the strange illogical rules of existence, engage with many gods, creatures, natural spirits and monsters, and show bravery, self-confidence, and loyalty before reuniting with her parents.
Waking Life (2001), 99 minutes, D: Richard Linklater
Winged Migration (2001, Fr.) (aka Le Peuple Migrateur), 98 minutes, D: Jacques Perrin
French director Jacques Perrin's miraculous wildlife documentary tracked bird migrations through all kinds of weather and perilous situations in 40 countries and all seven continents over a period of four years. Gliders, helicopters, balloons and small planes equipped with ingeniously-designed cameras intimately filmed the wondrous beauty and grandeur of flight, providing a sense of soaring over magnificent landscapes and flying by landmarks - the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall, Mont-Saint-Michel, the Statue of Liberty, and Monument Valley. There were V-shaped flocks of Canadian geese winging their way across verdant backdrops and snowy mountains. Pelicans skimmed their dinner from the surf, storks strutted across creamy African sand dunes, geese flew from an avalanche in Nepal, colorful parrots soaked in an Amazonian jungle downpour, and a lone sharp-eyed bald eagle hunted in the Grand Canyon.
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001, Mex./US) (aka And Your Mother Too), 105 minutes, D: Alfonso Cuaron