The Most Memorable Hollywood Blockbusters Of The Last 20 Years

The Most Memorable Hollywood Blockbusters Of The Last 20 Years

We’ve nearly reached the end of the 21st century’s first 20 years. As amazing as that is to think about, it means we now have two decades’ worth of cinema to look back on since the year 2000. Here, we’re looking at some of the most memorable blockbusters of them all.

Gladiator (2000)

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Gladiator wasn’t quite the box office phenomenon most other films listed here were, but it’s hard to pick a better or more impactful movie from the century’s first year. It at once surpassed all previous attempts at a classical civilization drama and established a new template for historical epics that would be followed for years. It also catapulted Russell Crowe to the top tier of Hollywood, helping him to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. Today, many can still readily quote and reference the film, and rumors of a sequel have persisted even to this year. None of us have looked at an open wheat field in the same way since the film came out.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)

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At the time, The Lord Of The Rings was perhaps the boldest and grandest franchise in film history. The Return Of The King was the last of three films, the biggest of the bunch, and a sort of coronation for the entire effort by director Peter Jackson. Even though the franchise has already ended, spinoffs such as The Hobbit prove that the magic will forever remain alive and well. From Hobbiton tours in New Zealand to online forums that teach Elvish, the spirit of Tolkein’s fantasy is strong all over the world.

The Wolverine (2013)

Image credit: The Verge
Few action heroes are iconic as Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. While the X-Men franchise has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs, the Wolverine franchise has consistently garnered great reviews thanks to Jackman’s stellar performances and storylines that stick close to the original comic. The Wolverine was no exception, with its Japan-based storyline drawing hordes of excited audiences both locally and internationally. With Asian gaming site Expat Bets citing Japan as a prime entertainment destination, it’s no surprise that the movie was a hit with local fans when it premiered. Jackman still cites Japan as one of his favourite places to visit, owing to the great fans who go above and beyond to welcome the Australian actor each and every time. A new X-Men era may be on the horizon, but true fans know that Jackman’s tenure as Wolverine will be hards to beat.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 (2011)

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No single piece of fiction or pop culture dominated the first decade of the 21st century to the extent that Harry Potter did. Book releases meant midnight lines at local stores; new movies meant crowds of fans in wizards’ robes; online forums and communities took off, discussing theories, fan fiction and the like the way we now expect them to for major shows and movies. So naturally, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2—the final film out of eight in the series—has to go down as one of the biggest movies of the century so far. We should note that it was by no means the end of Harry Potter mania, which has continued almost unbelievably to this day. Wizards Unite Hub recently reported that a new Harry Potter mobile game is in the works, which means we’re not done with Hogwarts just yet.

Star Wars: the Force Awakens (2015)

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Particularly as we approach the end of the core Star Wars saga, we have to include 2015’s The Force Awakens as well. Just a few years prior, the idea of the Star Wars story being continued would have seemed fairly unlikely. And yet, director JJ Abrams and Co. were able to bring it back in grand and satisfying fashion, marking not only the beginning of a new trilogy that will end this December but also the opening of the door to spinoffs and TV adaptations that will continue onto big screens and Disney’s new streaming service alike.