Photo: New Line Cinema
The other day I was looking for a movie to turn on in the background while I was working. I didn’t want to watch anything recent because I would end up getting distracted and just focus on it the whole time. So I sorted my movies by year and went back 14 years (how in God’s name is 2003 FOURTEEN YEARS AGO??) and came to a shocking realization: 2003 was arguably the greatest guilty pleasure movie year of all time. Seriously, it gave us pretty much every movie (besides Twister) that you’ll watch on cable no matter how many times you’ve seen them. Let’s take a look at this magical year and appreciate the glorious trash we’ll treasure forever.
50 Films From 2003 That You Secretly Love
There has never been a less accurate movie of what it’s like to be part of a S.W.A.T. team, but that cast is absolutely incredible.
2. Freddy vs. Jason
Remember when, out of nowhere, Monica Keena says, “Wait, Jason is afraid of water and Freddy is afraid of fire. How can we use that?” Plus, KELLY ROWLAND!
John Woo at his most John Woo-ness with a Philip K. Dick story that stars Ben Affleck and Aaron Eckhart. What more could you possibly want?
Have you ever wanted to watch the silhouette of Ben Affleck do karate moves to an Evanescence soundtrack? Then you’re in luck!
5. 2 Fast 2 Furious
This is like attending John Lennon’s first birthday. You had no idea you were witnessing the first anniversary of what would grow up to be pure greatness.
6. The Recruit
In 2003, we were like, “Hey, can Colin Farrell be in literally every movie that’s released?”
7. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
I would watch 100 more Tomb Raider sequels if they made them. None of them have to be good, they just have to exist.
8. Bad Boys 2
Every comedy that parodies an action movie scene was inspired by Bad Boys 2. It’s perfect in every way.
9. Stuck on You
Remember back in simpler times when the most edgy thing you could experience was a Farrelly Brothers movie?
10. Phone Booth
It’s Colin Farrell…but this time he’s in a phone booth!
11. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
The first movie was only half throttle. This time we’ve gone FULL THROTTLE. Is this Bill Murray’s finest work? Probably not. In fact, he didn’t even sign on for this sequel and was replaced with Bernie Mac.
Identity had the twist ending that literally every writer has come up with and was then told, “Ah sorry, Identity already did this.”
13. The Last Samurai
Tom Cruise saves all the Asian people! Hooray white people!
Do you think Kate Beckinsale expected she’d be doing these movies for the rest of her life? Because I hope she realized that.
15. Freaky Friday
Lindsay Lohan should’ve won an award for her performance. A Teen Choice Award, but nonetheless, an award. I miss pre-breakdown Lindsay.
16. Agent Cody Banks
Maybe the only franchise that could convince us Frankie Muniz could be an action star.
17. Final Destination 2
It might not have been good enough for Devon Sawa, but it’s good enough for me.
18. Bringing Down the House
We finally got that Steve Martin/Queen Latifah collab we’d all been begging to see for decades!
19. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Sean Connery passed on Lord of the Rings to make this, so the least you could do is watch it when it comes on FX at 2 A.M.
20. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Can I be honest? This is the best version of the story since the original and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.
21. The Italian Job
Marky Mark made Mini Coopers look cool!
22. Kangaroo Jack
I would give anything to have been in the room when Jerry O’Connell heard the pitch for Kangaroo Jack and said, “Yes. I’ll do it.”
The ’90s were pretty rough for horror, but this was one of those in between films that wasn’t quite good, but wasn’t completely terrible. It’s like a really good demo.
24. Old School
Your brother still quotes it like it just came out yesterday.
25. The Rundown
As soon as you watched The Rundown you knew The Rock was going to be a star that didn’t have to share a headline with Seann William Scott.
26. X2: X-Men United
Remember when there were two or three superhero movies every year and not two or three movies that aren’t from DC or Marvel?
27. Shanghai Knights
Seriously, who was demanding to know more of the story from Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan’s version of Rush Hour in the old west?
28. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Is this the greatest romcom of all time???? Is it????
29. Out of Time
I feel like Denzel would wake up and say, “I want to play a cop again.” Then the studio would greenlight it and just start writing a script around him as they went. But like, in a good way?
30. Love Actually
You will see GIFs of Rick from The Walking Dead holding that “to me you are perfect” sign for the rest of eternity. Just accept it.
31. National Security
We used to build movies around Martin Lawrence catchphrases. What a time to be alive.
32. Cradle 2 the Grave
The marketing should’ve just been “THIS IS A MOVIE THAT STARS JET LI AND DMX. “
33. American Wedding
Try saying “The dramatic conclusion to the American Pie trilogy” with a straight face.
34. Darkness Falls
Aren’t we due for a remake of this movie about an evil version of the tooth fairy? OK, maybe not right now.
35. The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions
Remember how excited you were to go see these, and then how not excited you were to hear your weird cousin explain the spiritual and philosophical messages of the movie for the next decade?
36. The Core
IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT TRAVELING TO THE CORE OF THE EARTH TO SET OFF NUCLEAR BOMBS AND JUMP-START IT.
I feel like the pitch for Honey was Jessica Alba walking into a meeting, showing her abs, and then signing a contract.
38. Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star
Life used to be so simple.
39. Cabin Fever
Nothing will ever be better than that kid yelling “PANCAKES” while doing karate. Quote me on that.
40. Wrong Turn
They’re still making Wrong Turn movies, but none will ever be better (worse?) than the original story about inbred mountain mutants.
Did you know Danny DeVito directed this???
42. Malibu’s Most Wanted
We were REALLY into Jamie Kennedy for a few years and he milked it for all it’s worth.
Paul Walker is a time traveling archaeologist. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.
44. Biker Boyz
“So the movie is called Biker Boys, but get this…’boys’ IS SPELLED WITH A FREAKIN’ Z!” (confetti falls from the ceiling and someone fires off an air horn a dozen times)
45. Anger Management
Jack Nicholson, arguably the greatest actor of our time, stars in a movie with Adam Sandler where he gets really mad all the time.
46. Hollywood Homicide
We finally got that Josh Hartnett/Harrison Ford buddy cop movie!
47. Spy Kids 3D: Game Over
I blame Spy Kids for the 3D movie craze that nearly ruined all of our lives.
48. The Cat in the Hat
Do you know how hard it is to be the WORST Mike Myers character of all time?
49. From Justin to Kelly
I SAID I WAS DONE. YOU CAN STOP DOING THIS NOW.