Only a few days left, so time to tackle the best of the 00s, Film, TV, and Music, three in each category should be sufficient.
First up, the not quite dishonorable mentions, rather than well regarded films that don't hold up like in 2000, 2001 features some films that were almost something, but lack a key ingredient. AI, 2/3rds of a fantastic film, but the last third sinks that film. Josie and the Pussycats, there are some smart, satirical aspects to this film, but the overall execution doesn't rise to the potential, it really could have been great. Vanilla Sky, why oh why Cameron, why did you attempt to remake Abre Los Ojos?
Honorable mentions, these films are solid, but not up to the level of the top three. Y Tu Mama Tambien, Zoolander (yes, Zoolander), Waking Life, Ghost World, Metropolis, Millennium Actress, Monsters, Inc., and the Royal Tennenbaums are all solid pictures worth watching, there are others, 2001 was a good year for movies, but these are the ones that stand out.
Now, the three most essential films of 2001 (not in order of merit)
Stephen Chow's fantastic melding of sports and martial arts movies, this film defies description, but it's well worth seeking out if you haven't experienced it for yourself.
Wet Hot American Summer
Yes, I'm one of those people that think this film is brilliant. But the thing is, it really is a brilliantly put together dumb comedy. It's hard to execute dumb comedy smartly, and not become overly smarmy. This film goes back and forth between smart, dumb, and smarm, but put it all together and it's tremendously entertaining.
Hayao Miyazaki's ode to childhood and Japanese folklore, is one of the best animated film of all time. It's a dream writ real, as long as you can accept the dream logic that drives what plot there is, it's a remarkable experience. The best work of one of the world's greatest filmmakers.