20 Underrated Movies From 2000 You've Probably Never Seen

Let's all meet up in the year 2000.

Quills movie
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Simultaneously feeling like just a couple of years ago and a whole different age, it's now a whole two decades since the turn of the century. There are adults today who weren't even born then.

At the movies, 2000 was the year that Gladiator, both the year's Oscar Best Picture winner and second highest box office earner, ushered in a brief return of the historical epic genre. X-Men kickstarted the comic book superhero boom even as Unbreakable made an early attempt to deconstruct it.

Steven Soderbergh took on himself as the year's Best Director (Traffic beating Erin Brockovich to the Oscar), Christopher Nolan arrived on the scene by proving that revenge was a dish best served backwards in Memento, and Ang Lee got everyone excited by wuxia epics with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks had his first go at social distancing by befriending a volleyball.

It wasn't all great, though. 2000 was also the year of Battlefield Earth. And let's not mention the dreadful Dungeons & Dragons movie, which came out just twelve months before Fellowship Of The Ring but seems to belong to a different age entirely.

Those are the big movies that people know and remember, though. 2000 also gave us a heap of more under-the-radar delights, both small-scale indies that have struggled to maintain an audience across twenty years and treats that were underappreciated at the time. So, come with us as we rediscover twenty of those underrated gems that began the new millennium.

20. The Cell

Quills movie
New Line Cinema

Released: 17th August 2000 (US)

With Hustlers reminding everyone that, yes, Jennifer Lopez can act when she wants to, maybe it's time to return to this early example of Jenny From The Block as a genuinely engaging screen presence.

In this slice of gothic sci-fi, J-Lo plays a psychologist who uses some fancy new technology literally to enter the mind of a serial killer to find his latest victim.

Director Tarsem Singh came from a background directing music videos, most notably REM's Losing My Religion, so has a strong handle on imagery and visual storytelling. The movie's dreamscapes are packed with memorable, suggestive and disturbing iconography.

Dismissed by some at the time as an overblown exercise in style over substance (a critique that has dogged Singh's later movies like The Fall and Immortals), The Cell isn't for everyone. Don't watch it if you're looking for in-depth, complex narrative or character. But if what you're after is an innovative serial killer thriller with imagery that will stay with you long after the fact then perhaps The Cell is the movie for you.


Loves ghost stories, mysteries and giant ape movies