Best Movies From 2002 – Top Rated by Critics

2002 was seen as a transformative year for film. Many of the popular franchises of that year, such as Spider-Man and Harry Potter, are still seeing iterations being made in the current years. 2002 also featured a dazzling array of films. 

The films competed for an Oscar and brought millions to the box office. 2002 was a diverse year for movie fans offering a little bit of something for everyone. Hence below is a list of the best movies from 2002.

Top 15 Movies of 2002

There’s an old saying “Old is Gold”. Films that had won Oscars are considered to have the most iconic story and message to society and the moves that were made in 2002 are considered to be the most entertaining in all group of age. here is the list of best movies with the highest rating in 2002.

1. The Pianist (2002) – 8.5/10

  1. Director: Roman Polanski
  2. Writer: Wladyslaw Szpilman, Ronald Harwood
  3. Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox, Adrien Brody

Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, saw Warsaw change gradually as World War II began. Szpilman was forced into the Warsaw Ghetto but was later, during Operation Reinhard separated from his family.

 From this time until the concentration camp prisoners were released, Szpilman tried to hide in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw.

2. City Of God (2002) 8.6/10

  1. Director: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
  2. Writer: Bráulio Mantovani, Paulo Lins
  3. Cast: Leandro Firmino, Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergael

Several children were raised in one of the violent neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro during their childhood. They grew up observing galling and nettlesome behaviors that turn some into criminals and some into poltroons. 

One photographer boy in the middle stays out of their informal war until it is over. He then narrates the complicated story of what had happened in that neighborhood and the ascending rates of crime committed between men who were once innocent children.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 8.8/10

  1. Director: Peter Jackson
  2. Writer: Philippa Boyens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Fran Walsh
  3. Cast: Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen

Frodo and Sam take Gollum prisoner and continue on the mission to Mordor to destroy The One Ring. At the same time, their former companions, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, and Pippin, make new friends in the Ents.

 The Riders of Rohan, and the Stewards of Gondor, launch an assault on Isengard. All the while, as the Dark Lord’s Army marches on to Gondor, a growing Shadow falls upon Middle-earth. Therefore the War of the Ring started.

4. Internal Affairs (2002) 8.0/10

  1. Director: Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
  2. Writer: Felix Chong, Alan Mak
  3. Cast: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Eric Tsang, Andy Lau, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
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Chan Wing Yan, a young police officer, has been sent undercover as a mole in the local mafia. A young mafia member, Lau Kin Ming, infiltrates the police force. 

As years passed, their older counterparts, Chen Wing Yan along with Inspector Lau Kin Ming, respectively, raced against time to expose the mole within their midst.

5. Catch Me If You Can (2002) 8.1/10

  1. Director: Steven Spielberg
  2. Writer: Stan Redding, Frank Abagnale Jr., Jeff Nathanson
  3. Cast: Tom Hanks, Nathalie Baye, Christopher Walken, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Sheen

The movie depicts a true story about Frank Abagnale Jr. He successfully conned millions of dollars worth of checks before his 19th birthday as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

An FBI agent makes it his mission to arrest and put him behind bars. But Frank not only escapes the capture, but he also enjoys the pursuit.

6. Ice Age (2002) 7.5/10

  1. Director: Carlos Saldanha, Chris Wedge
  2. Writer: Peter Ackerman, Michael J. Wilson, Michael Berg
  3. Cast: John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Denis Leary

Some years back, when glaciers were overrunning the Earth, and animals were running away to save themselves from the upcoming Ice Age, a sloth named Sid, a woolly mammoth named Manny, and a saber-toothed tiger whose name was Diego was forced to become unlikely heroes. 

The three reluctantly come together when they have to return a human child to its father while braving the deadly elements of the impending Ice Age.

7. 25th Hour (2007) 7.6/10

  1. Director: Spike Lee
  2. Writer: David Benioff
  3. Cast: Barry Pepper, Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson, Philip Seymour Hoffman

The 25th Hour movie shows a young man’s last day of freedom before he starts to serve a seven-year jail term for drug dealing. 

Wandering through the city until dawn with his two close male friends and his girlfriend, he is forced to re-examine his life and how he got into his unpleasant situation, leading to a shocking, disturbing finale.

8. The Twilight Samurai (2007) 8.1/10

  1. Director: Yôji Yamada
  2. Writer: Yoshitaka Asama, Shûhei Fujisawa, Yôji Yamada
  3. Cast: Rie Miyazawa, Ren Ôsugi, Hiroyuki Sanada

Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai, lives a life without glory as a bureaucrat in mid-XIX century Japan. He is a widower and has charge of two daughters and a senile mother; therefore, he must work in the fields and accept piecework to make ends meet.

 New opportunities seem to open up when Tomoe, his long-time love, divorces her brutal husband. However, even as the Japanese feudal system was unraveling, Seibei was bound by the samurai’s code of honor despite his sense of social precedence. Hence the consequences were cruel. 

9. Road to Perdition (2007) 7.7/10

  1. Director: Sam Mendes
  2. Writer: David Self, Richard Piers Rayner, Max Allan Collins
  3. Cast: Tyler Hoechlin, Liam Aiken, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Jason Leigh
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Mike Sullivan worked as a hit man under the crime boss John Rooney. Sullivan saw Rooney as his father figure.

However, after his son is witnessed a killing he had done, Mike Sullivan finds himself on the run, trying to save the life of his son and simultaneously looking for revenge on those who wronged him. Jude Law co-stars as a hit man who was hired to kill Sullivan.

10. The Man Without a Past (2007) 7.6/10

  1. Director: Aki Kaurismäki
  2. Writer: Aki Kaurismäki
  3. Cast: Kati Outinen, Markku Peltola, Juhani Niemelä

The movie is the second part of Aki Kaurismäki’s “Finland” trilogy. The film shows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up brutally, as a result of which, he develops amnesia

He is unable to remember his name or anything from his past life. Due to this, neither he can get a job nor an apartment. Therefore, he starts living on the city’s outskirts and gradually starts putting his life back on track.

11. Bus 174 (2007) 7.8/10

  1. Director: Felipe Lacerda, José Padilha
  2. Writer: José Padilha, Bráulio Mantovani
  3. Cast: Rodrigo Pimentel, Sandro do Nascimento, Luiz Eduardo Soares

The Bus 174 documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12, 2000. Bus 174 was taken by an armed young man who threatened to shoot all the passengers. The incident was transmitted live on all Brazilian TV networks. 

This shocking and tragic-ending event became one of violence’s most shocking portraits. It became one of the scariest examples of police incompetence and abuse in recent years. 

12. Panic Room (2007) 6.8/10

  1. Director: David Fincher
  2. Writer: David Koepp
  3. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Jodie Foster

Meg Altman was recently divorced, and her daughter Sarah had bought a new home in New York. While they were touring around the mansion, they came across the panic room. The room is so secure that no one can get in. 

When three burglars break into their house, Meg moves to the panic room. But all her troubles do not resolve there. The criminals knew where she was hiding and what they required the most in the house was present in that very room.

13. Edi (2007) 7.4/10

  1. Director: Piotr Trzaskalski
  2. Writer: Piotr Trzaskalski, Wojciech Lepianka
  3. Cast: Jacek Braciak, Henryk Golebiewski, Jacek Lenartowicz

Edi used to pick up scrap in Lodz. He spent his idle hours poring over books found in the trash. He lived silently, avoiding “the brothers,” who were booze-running thugs who ruled their neighborhood. 

The brothers were maniacally protective of their sister, Princess. Edi is hired to tutor her, and he becomes embroiled in her affair with a gypsy. As a result, they manifest a gentleness and self-knowledge that belies his lowly social station.

14. Bloody Sunday (2007) 7.6/10

  1. Director: Paul Greengrass
  2. Writer: Paul Greengrass
  3. Cast: Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, James Nesbitt
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The movie is a documentary-style drama showing the events that led up to the tragic incident on January 30, 1972, in the Northern Ireland town of Derry.

A protest march headed by civil rights activist Ivan Cooper was fired upon by British troops, killing 13 protesters and wounding 14 more.

15. Amen (2007) 7.2/10

  1. Director: Costa-Gavras
  2. Writer: Jean-Claude Grumberg, Costa-Gavras, Rolf Hochhuth
  3. Cast: Mathieu Kassovitz, Ulrich Tukur, Michel Duchaussoy, Ulrich Mühe

SS assigned the sanitation engineer and family man Kurt Gerstein to be the Head of the Institute for Hygiene to purify the German Army’s water in the front.

Later, he was said to participate in the termination of plagues in the concentration camps for which he developed the lethal gas Zyklon-B.

 When he realizes that the SS is killing Jews instead, he decides to denounce the genocide to the Pope, expose it to the world, and save the Jewish families.

The idealist Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana, who came from an influential Italian family, gave his best efforts as both Gerstein’s liaison and the leaders of the Vatican.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What was the movie of the year in 2002?

Spiderman was the movie of the year in 2002, with a total gross of $403,706,375.

What are the highest-grossing movies of 2002?

Some of highest grossing movies of 2002 are

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Ice Age

What movie won the Oscar in 2002?

A Beautiful Mind won the Oscar in 2002.

What was the #1 movie in May 2002?

Spiderman was the number one movie in May 2022, with a total gross of $403,706,375.


Hence these were some of the best movies in 2002. The year was notable for children as it saw Spiderman’s release, a blockbuster. After this year, audiences were looking forward to such blockbusters. 

Note: All the movies featured in this list are based on various factors – Story plot, critic reviews, Audience appreciation and more.

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