Summer is finally in full swing. And in between beach days, BBQs, and poolside hangs, we all need some time to cool down indoors with something good to watch.
This month, ScreenAge Wasteland is celebrating all things 2000s. In honor of that celebration, we scoured through Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney Plus to find some awesome 2000s movies to add to your watchlist.
Netflix: The Mist (2007)
I’m always quick to recommend The Mist to people. And while I usually wait for Halloween season to do the recommending, I truly believe that this movie can be enjoyed year round. It’s one of the best big screen adaptations of a Stephen King piece, but it doesn’t get the same love as some of King’s other cinematic treatments. Director Frank Darabont, who also directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile clearly has an admiration for and understanding of King’s works.
A good horror movie will utilize its monsters to highlight the unfortunate monstrosities that exist within humankind. The Mist is as good of an example of that as any horror movie from the decade. The ending will leave you speechless and will sit with you well beyond your time with the movie.
FOR FANS OF: The Thing; Cloverfield; The Shining
Prime Video: Shaun of the Dead (2004)
I promise this will not be a horror themed list. Shaun of the Dead is simply too fun to not include as a recommendation. This hilarious riff on the zombie film might be one of the best entries in the sub-genre’s history. Who says a zombie movie can’t be exciting, terrifying, and laugh out loud hilarious all at the same time?
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are absolutely delightful as the bumbling best buds at the center of the proceedings. Their unbreakable bromance can’t be shaken by even the existential threat of a zombie apocalypse.
In his directorial debut, Edgar Wright shows that he has a unique eye behind the camera. He flexes his technical proficiencies while never allowing the flick to drift into pretentious territory. The aim is to entertain, which exactly what Shaun of the Dead excels in doing.
FOR FANS OF: Night of the Living Dead; Hot Fuzz; Dawn of the Dead
HBO Max: Collateral (2004)
There’s a moment in Michael Mann’s Collateral where a rogue coyote crosses an empty Los Angeles road while an Audioslave needle drop plays in the background and it’s one of the single most badass moments in any movie from the 2000s. The badass cherry on top is that the moment leads into one of the most thrilling action sequences you’ll see.
It’s no surprise that Collateral, like many of Mann’s other films, is filled to the brim with badass moments. The big surprise in this film comes for fans of everyone’s favorite movie star – Mr. Tom Cruise. In Collateral, Cruise sheds his typical nice guy hero persona in order to take on his most sinister role as ruthless hitman Vincent. Cruise and co-star Jamie Foxx are dynamic together, playing off of each other to draw out two strong performances.
In typical Michael Mann fashion, the action is simultaneously exciting, pensive, and purposeful. And the dramatic beats between are strong enough to keep you intrigued through the end.
FOR FANS OF: Heat; The Departed; *Any movie with Tom Cruise*
Hulu: Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
When it comes to quirky high school movies, none hold a candle to Napoleon Dynamite. The film’s offbeat charm is unmatched by anything I’ve seen. It’s what keeps the movie so timeless.
Napoleon is an unlikely hero. He wears moon boots, pockets tater tots, and boasts masterful nunchucks skills (despite never actually proving it to us). However, we can’t help but root for Napoleon and his crew of misfits as they navigate the terrifying world of being high school students.
Napoleon Dynamite is fairly light in the narrative department, but makes up for it in spades with its ~vibes~. The humor is dry, the characters are unforgettable, and the heart is abundantly evident. Sometimes that’s really all we need from a movie.
FOR FANS OF: Little Miss Sunshine; Superbad; Rushmore
Disney Plus: Wall-E (2008)
Wall-E is not only one of Pixar’s crowning achievements, but it’s also one of the best science fiction movies of the 21st century. Like many Pixar greats, the beauty of Wall-E is the ability to tackle very adult themes communicated in ways that younger viewers can understand.
Despite being about humanity’s blind gluttony leading to an inability to inhabit our home planet, Wall-E is an immensely heartwarming flick. Our main hero is an adorable little robot who can communicate more with his big puppy-like eyes than most human actors can communicate with scripted lines.
As a film, Wall-E contains the wonder, joy, magic, and hope of Hollywood classics that came before it. The admiration for that golden age of filmmaking is apparent. If you haven’t seen Wall-E yet, it’s time to drop everything that you’re doing and watch it right this moment.
FOR FANS OF: 2001: A Space Odyssey; The Incredibles; The Iron Giant
Alas! Five awesome flicks to add to your watchlist for the month. Make sure to add these to your queues and check back in next month. Until then, happy streaming!
What’s the best hidden gem you’ve streamed recently? Share in the comments and help me expand the list!