Do you remember which films you were watching and enjoying back in 2001? Hard to believe, but those movies are already fifteen years old.

Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc.

We take a look back at some of the great movies that were released back in this year and are celebrating an important anniversary this year.

- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Yes, it was fifteen years ago when we all settled down to watch the first instalment of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Many believed that J.R.R. Tolkien's novel could not be made into a live-action movie... but Jackson and co proved everyone wrong and delivered one of the best film franchises in recent years.

As well as being in the director's chair, Jackson also penned the screenplay, along with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. The first film saw the Fellowship brought together and set out on their quest to destroy the One Ring and the Dark Lord Sauron.

Elijah Wood took on the central role of Frodo Baggins and, while he was no stranger to the big screen, this was to be the film that turned the young actor into a global star.

Wood was joined on the cast list by Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Christopher Lee, and Hugo Weaving.

Upon release, The Fellowship of the Ring was both a critical and commercial smash and went on to gross over $871 million at the global box office. It ended 2001 as the second highest-grossing film of the year and kicked off what was to become a much-loved trilogy.

The film went on to pick up thirteen Oscar nominations; including Best Picture and Best Director. It went on to win Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

- Monsters Inc.

In 2001, Monsters Inc. became the fourth feature film from Pixar - following on from the success of Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Toy Story 2. However, British audiences had to wait until the beginning of 2002 until they got their chance to see the movie.

The movie saw Pete Docter in the director's chair as he made his feature film debut - Lee Unkrich and David Silverman served as co-directors on the film.

Monsters Inc. brought John Goodman and Billy Crystal together as voiced the characters of James P. Sullivan aka Sulley and Mike Wazowski - it proved to be a terrific film partnership.

Goodman and Crystal were joined on the cast list by Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Bob Peterson, and John Ratzenberger.

Monsters Inc. remains my favourite Pixar movie and it is one that is a lot of fun as well as being packed with heart and charm.

In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, two monsters realize things may not be what they think.

The movie was a big success upon released and grossed $577.4 million at the global box office by the end of its theatrical run. It was the most successful Pixar movie to date and helped cement Pixar as a huge animation force.

However, fans of Sulley and Mike had to wait a whopping twelve years until they returned to the big screen in Monsters University.

Monsters Inc

- A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind was one of the most acclaimed dramas of 2001 as Ron Howard returned to the director's chair.

The movie was based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, and the book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar, which was released in 1998.

Oscar-winner Russell Crowe took on the role of Nash as he teamed up with Howard for the first time; they would go on to work together again with Cinderella Man in 2005.

The movie follows Nash from his days as a graduate at Princeton University to his struggles with paranoid schizophrenia, which put a strain on his marriage.

Howard brought together an impressive cast list as Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, and Christopher Plummer all starred alongside Crowe.

While the movie was criticised for some of the inaccuracies in Nash's life, the movie was met well by the critics and we a big box office hit - grossed $313 million; easily making back its $58 million budget.

A Beautiful Mind was nominated for eight Oscars and it went on to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Crowe was nominated for Best Actor but lost out to Denzel Washington for his work in Training Day.

A Beautiful Mind

- Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down was another film to hit the big screen in 2001 - although, it was 2002 if you were in the UK, and marked the return of Ridley Scott to the director's chair.

The movie was based on the book of the same name by Mark Bowden, which in turn was based on a real-life U.S. military operation in Mogadishu in 1993. Ken Nolan adapted the book into a screenplay.

Josh Hartnett took on the central role of Matt Eversmann and was joined by an all-star cast that included Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Ewen Bremner, Jason Isaacs, Sam Shepard, Eric Bana, and William Fichtner.

123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Black Hawk Down is one of my favourite war movies of recent years as it is an action-packed and visceral movie that never gives the audience a moment to catch its breath.

The movie was met positively by the critics but was perhaps not as big a box office hit as it deserved to be. The film grossed $173 million at the box office - making back its $92 million budget.

Black Hawk Down was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director, and went on to win Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

Black Hawk Down

- Amélie

Audrey Tautou was no stranger to acting and the big screen when she took on the title role in Amélie in 2001, but this was the film that was to send her star rocketing.

The romantic comedy was the fourth feature film from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and followed Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children, and Alien: Resurrection. He would reunite with Tautou three years later for A Very Long Engagement.

Tautou took on the central role of Amélie Poulain, an innocent girl living in Paris who sets out to help those around her and change their lives for the better. In doing so, she frees herself from her isolation and finds love along the way.

Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Serge Merlin, Lorella Cravotta, and Clotilde Mollet starred alongside Tautou in what was to be one of the most charming movies of the year.

Amélie went on to become one of the most acclaimed movies of the year and is widely regarded as one of the best French films of all time.

As well as being both a critical and commercial success, the movie was nominated for five Oscars; including Best Foreign Language Film, where it lost to No Man's Land.


- Shrek

Another big animated film to be released in 2001 came in the form of Shrek... which was to go on and become one of the most successful animated film franchises of recent years.

Shrek hit the big screen in the summer of 2001 and saw Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson team up in the director's chair; it was to be the feature film directorial debut for both of them.

The movie was based on the 1990 fairy tale picture book of the same name by William Steig and saw Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, and Roger S.H. Schulman team up to pen the screenplay.

All Shrek wants is to be left alone in his swamp but when his peace is interrupted by a string of fairytale characters who have been exiled he takes matters into his own hands. In a bid to get his swamp back, he sets out on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona for Lord Farquaad. Along the way, Shrek discovers that his life could be filled with friendship and love.

Shrek was a huge box office success grossing over $484 million worldwide. It finished the year as the fourth highest-grossing film behind Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Monsters Inc.

Shrek was also the first winner of the Best Animated Feature Oscar; seeing off competition from Monsters Inc. and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

Since the release of the first film, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After hit the big screen in 2004, 2007, and 2010 and is a franchise that has grossed almost $3 billion.


- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

It was way back in 2001 Harry Potter came to the big screen for the first time and we saw Daniel Radcliffe take on the role of the boy wizard in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

The movie was based on the book of the same name by J.K. Rowling, which had been released back in 1997. It was the start of the Harry Potter phenomenon that was to sweep the globe for a decade.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone turned Daniel Radcliffe into a star overnight and as the film series continued, we saw Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grow up in front of our very eyes.

Chris Columbus was in the director's chair for the first Harry Potter film. He has brought us movies such as Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire but this was his first film since Bicentennial Man in 1999.

The movie follows Harry as he starts his first year at Hogwarts, where he begins his magical education.

The director brought together an impressive cast as Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane, John Cleese, Richard Griffiths, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, and Julie Walters all starred alongside Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was an enormous box office smash and went on to gross over $974 million at the global box office. It ended 2001 as the highest-grossing film of the year.

In fact, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the highest-grossing film in the series until it was surpassed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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