Best Action Movies of 2001

1.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

7.3

Young hobbit Frodo Baggins, after inheriting a mysterious ring from his uncle Bilbo, must leave his home in order to keep it from falling into the hands of its evil creator. Along the way, a fellowship is formed to protect the ringbearer and make sure that the ring arrives at its final destination: Mt. Doom, the only place where it can be destroyed.

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Release date: 2001-12-18
2.

Band of Brothers

6.5

Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as their journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men from paratrooper training in Georgia through the end of the war. As an elite rifle company parachuting into Normandy early on D-Day morning, participants in the Battle of the Bulge, and witness to the horrors of war, the men of Easy knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear - and became the stuff of legend. Based on Stephen E. Ambrose's acclaimed book of the same name.

Release date: 2001-09-09
3.

Black Hawk Down

6.2

When U.S. Rangers and an elite Delta Force team attempt to kidnap two underlings of a Somali warlord, their Black Hawk helicopters are shot down, and the Americans suffer heavy casualties, facing intense fighting from the militia on the ground.

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaacs, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Release date: 2001-12-28
4.

Training Day

6.2

On his first day on the job as a narcotics officer, a rookie cop works with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears.

Starring: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Harris Yulin
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Release date: 2001-10-05
5.

Enemy at the Gates

6.2

A Russian and a German sniper play a game of cat-and-mouse during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Starring: Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ed Harris, Joseph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Release date: 2001-03-14
6.

A Knight's Tale

5.7

William Thatcher, a peasant, is sent to apprentice with a Knight named Hector as a young boy. Urged by his father to "change his Stars", he assumes Sir Hector's place in a tournament when Hector dies in the middle of it. He wins. With the other apprentices, he trains and assumes the title of Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein.

Starring: Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell, Shannyn Sossamon, Paul Bettany, Laura Fraser
Directed by: Brian Helgeland
Release date: 2001-05-11
7.

The Fast and the Furious

5.6

Domenic Toretto is a Los Angeles street racer suspected of masterminding a series of big-rig hijackings. When undercover cop Brian O'Conner infiltrates Toretto's iconoclastic crew, he falls for Toretto's sister and must choose a side: the gang or the LAPD.

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Release date: 2001-06-22
8.

Rush Hour 2

5.5

It's vacation time for Carter as he finds himself alongside Lee in Hong Kong wishing for more excitement. While Carter wants to party and meet the ladies, Lee is out to track down a Triad gang lord who may be responsible for killing two men at the American Embassy. Things get complicated as the pair stumble onto a counterfeiting plot. The boys are soon up to their necks in fist fights and life-threatening situations. A trip back to the U.S. may provide the answers about the bombing, the counterfeiting, and the true allegiance of sexy customs agent Isabella.

Starring: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, Zhang Ziyi, Roselyn Sánchez, Ernie Reyes, Jr.
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Release date: 2001-08-03
9.

The Mummy Returns

5.3

Rick and Evelyn O’Connell, along with their 8-year-old son Alex, discover the key to the legendary Scorpion King’s might: the fabled Bracelet of Anubis. Unfortunately, a newly resurrected Imhotep has designs on the bracelet as well, and isn’t above kidnapping its new bearer, Alex, to gain control of Anubis’s otherworldly army.

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Oded Fehr, Arnold Vosloo
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Release date: 2001-05-04
10.

Swordfish

5.3

Rogue agent Gabriel Shear is determined to get his mitts on $9 billion stashed in a secret Drug Enforcement Administration account. He wants the cash to fight terrorism, but lacks the computer skills necessary to hack into the government mainframe. Enter Stanley Jobson, a n'er-do-well encryption expert who can log into anything.

Starring: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Sam Shepard
Directed by: Dominic Sena
Release date: 2001-06-07
11.

Spy Game

5.2

On the day of his retirement, a veteran CIA agent learns that his former protégé has been arrested in China, is sentenced to die the next morning in Beijing, and that the CIA is considering letting that happen to avoid an international scandal.

Starring: Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Stephen Dillane, Larry Bryggman, Catherine McCormack
Directed by: Tony Scott
Release date: 2001-11-18
12.

The Last Castle

5.2

A Court Martialed general rallies together 1200 inmates to rise against the system that put him away.

Starring: Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Burton, Delroy Lindo
Directed by: Rod Lurie
Release date: 2001-10-19
13.

Jurassic Park III

5.1

In need of funds for research, Dr. Alan Grant accepts a large sum of money to accompany Paul and Amanda Kirby on an aerial tour of the infamous Isla Sorna. It isn't long before all hell breaks loose and the stranded wayfarers must fight for survival as a host of new -- and even more deadly -- dinosaurs try to make snacks of them.

Starring: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Trevor Morgan, Alessandro Nivola
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Release date: 2001-07-18
14.

The Score

5.0

An aging thief hopes to retire and live off his ill-gotten wealth when a young kid convinces him into doing one last heist.

Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, Angela Bassett, Jamie Harrold
Directed by: Frank Oz
Release date: 2001-07-13
15.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

4.9

English aristocrat Lara Croft is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and in the middle of a battle with a secret society. The shapely archaeologist moonlights as a tomb raider to recover lost antiquities and meets her match in the evil Powell, who's in search of a powerful relic.

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor, Daniel Craig
Directed by: Simon West
Release date: 2001-06-11
16.

Planet of the Apes

4.9

After a spectacular crash-landing on an uncharted planet, brash astronaut Leo Davidson finds himself trapped in a savage world where talking apes dominate the human race. Desperate to find a way home, Leo must evade the invincible gorilla army led by Ruthless General Thade.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Kris Kristofferson
Directed by: Tim Burton
Release date: 2001-07-25
17.

Kiss of the Dragon

4.8

Liu Jian, an elite Chinese police officer, comes to Paris to arrest a Chinese drug lord. When Jian is betrayed by a French officer and framed for murder, he must go into hiding and find new allies.

Starring: Jet Li, Bridget Fonda, Tchéky Karyo, Max Ryan, Ric Young
Directed by: Chris Nahon
Release date: 2001-07-06
18.

Bandits

4.8

Two bank robbers fall in love with the girl they've kidnapped.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Troy Garity, William Converse-Roberts
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Release date: 2001-10-12
19.

Along Came a Spider

4.7

When a teacher kidnaps a girl from a prestigious school, homicide detective, Alex Cross takes the case and teams up with young security agent, Jezzie Flannigan in hope of finding the girl and stopping the brutal psychopath. Every second counts as Alex and Jezzie attempt to track down the kidnapper before the spider claims another victim for its web.

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Dylan Baker, Mika Boorem
Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Release date: 2001-04-06
20.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

4.7

Led by a strange dream, scientist Aki Ross struggles to collect the eight spirits in the hope of creating a force powerful enough to protect the planet. With the aid of the Deep Eyes Squadron and her mentor, Dr. Sid, Aki must save the Earth from its darkest hate and unleash the spirits within.

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi
Directed by: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Motonori Sakakibara
Release date: 2001-07-02

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