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100 Must-See Films of the 21st Century

Hello and welcome. We’re proud to present the result of months of consideration from the Film4 website team and the votes of 30 carefully selected film critics: this is our collectively collated 100 must-see movies of the 21st century so far.

100. Casino Royale (2006)

Film4 Casino Royale

UK. dir. Martin Campbell

Blond Bond had his doubters, but Daniel Craig reinvented 007 post-Bourne in a film that threw out the crusty old formula and made the franchise relevant again. From the brutal torture, close-quarters fist fights and free-running action, to a fantastic villain, ‘Bond girl’ and gun barrel sequence, Casino Royale brought something new to the series while executing classic elements better than ever. JC

99. A Knight’s Tale (2001)


USA. dir. Brian Helgeland

Heath Ledger delivers a true movie star performance in Brian Helgeland’s gleefully anachronistic tale of medieval jousting that strikes a charming balance between the silly and the serious. Paul Bettany’s delirious ‘let’s get ready to rumble’ take on Geoffrey Chaucer and the film’s ‘Golden Years’ dance sequence have to be seen to be believed. JC

98. Irreversible (2002)

  • Irréversible

    France. dir. Gaspar Noe

    A deliberate provocation, and a bracing full-body experience from squalid start to cosmic climax. Non-stop Noe goes every which way with his dazzling display of imagination, empathy, energy and technique. DC

97. Goon (2011)

96. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Film4 Slumdog Millionaire

UK. dir. Danny Boyle

Releasing his boundless energy onto the colourful, conflicted streets of Mumbai, Danny Boyle found a perfect match for his wide-eyed filmmaking style, pushing Vikas Swarup’s novel and Anthony Dod Mantle’s handheld cinematography to the limit with this by turns romantic and harrowing underdog’s tale, which culminates in one of cinema’s most euphoric feel-good endings. ML

  • Film4

    Ireland/UK. dir. Ken Loach

    Winner of the 2006 Palme d'Or at Cannes, Ken Loach's Irish period piece is the most assured 21st century film from the master of making politics personal. CB

94. Nymphomaniac (2013)

93. The Avengers (2012)


USA. dir. Joss Whedon

“If we can’t protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we’re going to avenge it.” The culmination of an ambitious, unprecedented plan to assemble the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in one film, with geek deity Joss Whedon bringing his trademark wit and quippy dialogue to keep the characters as prominent as the action. JC

92. Finding Nemo (2003)

Film4 Finding Nemo

USA. dirs. Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich

Fast becoming the gold standard for Pixar’s enviable run of critical and box office successes, this underwater family adventure found the studio perfecting its mixture of classic storytelling and CGI spectacle, leaving Disney, Dreamworks and all other animated competitors in the dust. ML

91. Adventureland (2009)

Keep reading's 100 Must-See Films of the 21st Century. Skip to:

90 - 81, 80 - 71, 70 - 61, 60 - 51, 50 - 41, 40 - 31, 30 - 21, 20 - 11, 10 - 1.

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