Ten Years of Metacritic: The Best (and Worst) Movies of the Decade

  • Publish Date: December 17, 2009
  • Comments: ↓ 112 user comments

The top movies of the decade by genre

ImageThrilled to be at #1

Now that we have reviewed the top overall movies of the decade, let's look at the best films in individual categories. Click on a category name to jump to that list, or simply scroll down the page to see them all.

Comedies (#1 = Sideways)
Dramas (The Hurt Locker)
Action (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Animated (Ratatouille)
Blockbusters (Ratatouille)
Comic Book Adaptations (American Splendor)
Documentaries (My Voyage to Italy)
Family/Kids (Lassie)
Horror (The Host)
Musicals (Once)
Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Pan's Labyrinth)
Sports (Million Dollar Baby)
Thrillers (No Country for Old Men)
Video Game Adaptations (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within)
Westerns (Brokeback Mountain)

The Best-Reviewed Comedies of the Decade, 2000-09
(Excluding Animation, Musicals and Foreign-Language Films)
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Sideways 2004946.1
2American Splendor 200390 8.0
3Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan 2006896.9
4Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004898.6
5Knocked Up 2007856.4
6About Schmidt 2002855.4
7 Adaptation. 2002837.4
8In the Loop 200983 8.0
9Up in the Air 2009837.9
10School of Rock 2003829.3
11Mighty Wind, A 2003817.5
12Juno 2007818.5
13Hot Fuzz 2007818.5
14Little Miss Sunshine 2006807.4
15High Fidelity 2000798.5
16Shanghai Noon 2000777.5
17Adventureland 2009766.5
18Shaun of the Dead 2004768.7
19Superbad 2007767.4
20Royal Tenenbaums, The 2001756.9
21Prairie Home Companion, A 2006756.1
22Waitress 2007757.3
23Ocean's Eleven 2001747.8
24Meet The Parents 2000736.7
25Zombieland 2009738.1
26Hangover, The 2009737.4
2740-Year-Old Virgin, The 2005737.4
28Ghost Town 2008727.6
29Thank You for Smoking 2006717.5
30Intolerable Cruelty 2003714.7

Movies released between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009 and having 7 or more reviews in Metacritic's database were eligible for all lists on this page. Re-releases and alternate versions (e.g., director's cuts) are excluded. All Metascore data is from December 16, 2009, and all data on this page will be updated at the end of the year (if necessary) to reflect any late 2009 releases. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). User scores represent an average of scores assigned by Metacritic.com site visitors.

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The Best-Reviewed Dramas of the Decade, 2000-09
(Excluding Foreign-Language Films)
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Hurt Locker, The 2009947.6
2There Will Be Blood 2007927.1
3Queen, The 200691 6.0
4No Country for Old Men 2007916.9
5Bloody Sunday 2002908.4
6Before Sunset 2004908.2
7Almost Famous 2000908.3
8Gosford Park 2001906.1
9United 93 2006907.5
10Lost in Translation 2003896.3
11Goodbye Solo 2009897.5
12Letters from Iwo Jima 2006898.1
13Ghost World 2001888.4
14Capote 2005887.9
15Away from Her 200788 8.0
16Brokeback Mountain 2005878.2
17Million Dollar Baby 2004867.8
18In the Bedroom 2001867.4
19Traffic 200086 8.0
20This Is England 2007867.4
21Sweet Sixteen 2003868.5
22Departed, The 2006867.7
23Before Night Falls 200085 9.0
24Pianist, The 2002858.6
25You Can Count On Me 2000858.5
26Savages, The 2007857.4
27Education, An 2009858.3
28Half Nelson 2006857.6
29Atonement 2007857.2
3024 Hour Party People 2002857.8

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The Best-Reviewed Action Movies of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 200093 7.0
2House of Flying Daggers 2004897.7
3Bourne Ultimatum, The 2007857.7
4Hero 200484 7.0
6Spider-Man 2 2004837.7
7Kill Bill: Volume 2 2004837.3
8Dark Knight, The 2008828.8
9Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 2003815.6
10King Kong [2005]200581 7.0

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The Best-Reviewed Animated Movies of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Ratatouille 2007968.6
2Spirited Away 2002949.3
One of three films on this list by Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki
3WALL-E 2008938.9
4Triplets of Belleville, The 2003917.8
5Waltz with Bashir 2008918.1
It might be animated, but it's definitely not for kids; "Waltz" is an animated war documentary
6Incredibles, The 2004908.7
7Persepolis 2007908.1
8Finding Nemo 2003898.5
9Chicken Run 2000887.1
10Up 200988 9.0
11Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 2005878.2
12Ponyo 2009867.6
13Shrek 2001848.7
14Fantastic Mr. Fox 2009838.2
15Tim Burton's Corpse Bride 200583 7.0
16Paprika 200781 8.0
17Howl's Moving Castle 2005808.8
18Simpsons Movie, The 2007807.2
19Coraline 2009807.8
20Monsters, Inc. 2001788.7

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The Best-Reviewed Blockbusters of the Decade, 2000-09
(High Scores Among Top 100 Box Office for Decade)
  Title Year Metascore Users Total Gross (Rank)
1Ratatouille 2007968.6$206M (62)
2Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The 2003948.6$377M (7)
3WALL-E 2008938.9$224M (50)
4Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The 2001928.4$313M (18)
5Incredibles, The 2004908.7$261M (33)
6Finding Nemo 2003898.5$340M (11)
7Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The 2002888.9$340M (10)
8Up 200988 9.0$293M (23)
9Bourne Ultimatum, The 2007857.7$227M (48)
10Shrek 2001848.7$268M (30)
11Spider-Man 2 2004837.7$374M (8)
12Star Trek 2009837.9$258M (35)
13Chicago 2002827.9$171M (92)
14Dark Knight, The 2008828.8$533M (1)
15Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004816.6$250M (39)
16Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2005817.8$290M (26)
17King Kong [2005]200581 7.0$218M (52)
18Casino Royale 2006817.7$167M (95)
19Simpsons Movie, The 2007807.2$183M (78)
20Iron Man 2008798.3$318M (15)

For a movie to be eligible for the above list, it had to finish as one of the 100 highest-grossing movies of the decade. Source for box office figures: Box Office Mojo (as of December 14, 2009). Box office figures do not include foreign receipts.

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The Best-Reviewed Comic Book Adaptations of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1American Splendor 200390 8.0
2Ghost World 2001888.4
3Spider-Man 2 2004837.7
4Dark Knight, The 2008828.8
5History of Violence, A 2005816.8
6Iron Man 2008798.3
7Hellboy II: The Golden Army 2008787.2
8Sin City 2005747.5
9Spider-Man 2002737.9
Currently fourth on the box office chart for the decade, although Avatar may bump it to #5
10Road to Perdition 2002727.1
11Superman Returns 2006725.7
12Batman Begins 2005708.6
13X2: X-Men United 2003688.2
14Wanted 2008646.4
15X-Men 2000647.8

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The Best-Reviewed Documentaries of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1My Voyage to Italy 200190 7.0
Martin Scorsese's four-hour guided tour of Italian cinema history was a hit with the few critics who reviewed it
2Capturing the Friedmans 2003908.5
3Man on Wire 2008898.1
4No End in Sight 2007898.2
5Fog of War, The 2003878.7
6Tarnation 2004877.3
7Murderball 200587 9.0
The documentary for people who don't like documentaries, and a great sports movie too
8Grizzly Man 2005876.7
9To Be and to Have 200386 10.0
10Deliver Us from Evil 2006868.5
11Beaches of Agnes, The 2009868.2
12Our Daily Bread 2006867.7
13Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film 200686 8.0
14Children Underground 2001859.8
15Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition, The 2001858.2
16Los Angeles Plays Itself 2004857.8
A captivating movie about movies, and about a city seen and not seen
17Festival Express 2004858.6
18Street Fight 2006858.8
19Domestic Violence 200285 9.0
20Love & Diane 200385 10.0

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The Best-Reviewed Family/Kids Movies (Live Action) of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1 Lassie [2006] 2006 84 8.4
2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004 81 6.6
3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2005 81 7.8
4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2009 78 6.6
5 Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The 2005 75 5.0
6 Enchanted 2007 75 8.0
7 Millions 2005 74 8.5
8 Bridge to Terabithia 2007 74 7.3
9 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005 72 6.6
10 Akeelah and the Bee 2006 72 8.3
11 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2007 71 6.8
12 Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, The 2007 71 7.6
13 Spy Kids 2001 71 8.7
14 Where the Wild Things Are 2009 71 6.7
15 Holes 2003 71 9.0

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The Best-Reviewed Horror Movies of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Host, The 2007856.3
2Drag Me to Hell 2009836.1
328 Weeks Later... 200778 7.0
4Hellboy II: The Golden Army 2008787.2
5Grindhouse 2007777.4
6Shaun of the Dead 2004768.7
7Others, The 2001748.1
8Orphanage, The 2007748.5
928 Days Later... 2003736.9
10Zombieland 2009738.1
11Hellboy 2004726.7
12Land of the Dead 2005716.6
13Descent, The 2006718.2
14Pulse 2005705.9

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The Best-Reviewed Musicals (Live Action) of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Once 200788 8.0
This Irish musical charmed audiences and spawned a successful music act, The Swell Season
2Hedwig and the Angry Inch 2001859.3
3Passing Strange 200985n/a
4Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 2007837.4
5Chicago 2002827.9
6Hairspray [2007]2007817.7
The rare movie > stage musical > movie musical transition that actually works
7Dreamgirls 2006767.2
8Enchanted 200775 8.0
9Moulin Rouge 2001668.9
10Dancer In The Dark 200061 9.0

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The Best-Reviewed Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies of the Decade, 2000-09
(Excludes Superhero and Comic Book Movies)
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Pan's Labyrinth 2006988.3
2Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The 2003948.6
3Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The 2001928.4
4Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The 2002888.9
5Children of Men 2006847.6
7Star Trek 2009837.9
8Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004816.6
9Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 2005817.8
10District 9 2009817.9
11Paprika 200781 8.0
12Minority Report 2002807.5
13Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2009786.6
14Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The 200575 5.0
15Serenity 2005749.1
16Scanner Darkly, A 2006737.2
17War of the Worlds 2005736.3
18Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2007716.8
19Sunshine 2000716.7
20Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 2005686.9

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The Best-Reviewed Sports Movies (Non-Documentary) of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Million Dollar Baby 2004867.8
2Sugar 2009829.1
3Damned United, The 2009819.5
A period piece about an English football manager (that's "soccer coach" to you), it's like few sports movies that have come before it
4Wrestler, The 2008818.2
5Seabiscuit 2003727.2
6Rookie, The 2002727.6
7Friday Night Lights 2004706.7
8Love and Basketball 2000709.5
9Girlfight 2000709.3
10Cinderella Man 2005697.8

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The Best-Reviewed Suspense/Thrillers of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1No Country for Old Men 2007916.9
2Bourne Ultimatum, The 2007857.7
3Lantana 2001848.5
This intricately-plotted Australian drama was a big award-winner in its home country
4Before the Devil Knows You're Dead 2007846.8
5Spider 200283 7.0
6Tell No One 2008827.7
A U.S. remake of this nifty French thriller (based on Harlan Coben's bestseller) is in the works
7Constant Gardener, The 2005826.9
8Michael Clayton 200782 7.0
9Eastern Promises 2007827.2
10History of Violence, A 2005816.8

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The Best-Reviewed Video Game Adaptations of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 200149 7.1
2Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life 200343 8.3
3Resident Evil: Extinction 200741 6.4
4DOA: Dead or Alive 200738 6.3
5Resident Evil: Apocalypse 200435 5.7

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The Best-Reviewed Westerns of the Decade, 2000-09
  Title Year Metascore Users
1Brokeback Mountain 2005878.2
2Shanghai Noon 2000777.5
3Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The 2005777.8
43:10 to Yuma 2007766.5
5Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The 2007687.4

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Coming soon ...

We'll continue our best movies of the decade coverage with a roundup of lists from top film critics and publications. In a few weeks, we will also present Metacritic's top directors and actors of the decade.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (112)

  • Seth  

    Which Harry Potter movies did not make the list?

  • Wes  

    Not trying to be homophobic, but "Brokeback Mountain" is the best Western of the past decade? It's not even a Western. Metacritic doesn't even have it listed as such on the movie's own page (they've got it as a "Drama" & "Romance". If cowboys are the only requirement for being a Western (which is the only way you could consider "Brokeback" a Western) "No Country for Old Men" should've taken this category as well.

  • Friday night movie n  

    [...] According to Metacritic, the best reviewed film of the decade is…”Pan’s Labyrinth.” Not a terrible [...]

  • Brad  

    Hellboy is "horror"? Don't think so.

  • Ngandu  

    I just love the fact that the sublime Jerry O'Connell classic "Tomcats" made the list. I was seriously starting to wonder if any of the movies that I had seen would make the "worst-of" list


  • Chloe  

    Or you can just watch the IMDB's top 250 and be done with it. http://www.imdb.com/chart/top
    If you really only want this decade, http://www.imdb.com/chart/2000s
    The best thing about IMDB is its hard to game, and very obscure movies rate as highly as blockbusters.

  • Scott Kirby  

    Well, I've seen all but one of the top 6 Best Reviewed (and still want to see 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days). I've seen 20 of the top 30 Best Reviewed, and absolutely NONE of the worst. Thanks for a great list. (Oh, and I've seen 74 of the 100 Wide Release films, but then I go to a lot of movies.)

  • Ebrahim Kabir  

    The first list shows a great diversity. I wish I can watch the best reviewed of this decade!!!!

  • brian  

    Top 10 lists are always provocative. But at least Metacritic's is a distillation of overall critical consensus and not just a single critic's viewpoint. As a cheerleader of documentary, which has experienced a halcyon period over the last decade, I am disappointed to see the omissions of "Up the Yangtze" and "the Betrayal." The former is unquestionably a minor masterpiece.

  • Best Reviewed Movies  

    [...] Metacritic has released their list of the best and worst reviewed films of the decade. Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth sits in the #1 spot.  I’ve included the top 10 after the jump [...]

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