Underrated 2000s Movies That Got Overshadowed By Their More Successful 'Twin Film'



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Help shape these rankings by voting on this list of Underrated 2000s Movies That Got Overshadowed By Their More Successful 'Twin Film'
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Vote up the most underrated 2000s twin movies that deserve more attention.

The film industry doesn't play fair, and sometimes really good movies get ignored because of circumstances out of their control. In the 2000s, a bunch of underrated movies released to little to no fanfare because of "twin films" arriving at the same time - essentially, these are features that have similar plots or characters, or at the very least appear that way in their marketing. 

While “twin films” don't have to explicitly be rivals, it's often unfortunate if one of the pair is forgotten or less successful due to its similarity with another film, when it may still be very entertaining in its own right. From Surf's Up to The Book of Eli, let's take a look back at these less-remembered gems that deserve their time in the sun.

  • Year of Release: 2010

    Released Before or After The RoadAfter

    While Mad Max made post-apocalyptic wastelands appealing, The Book of Eli and The Road provided their own twists on the genre. Based on Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name, The Road connects with the audience primarily because it sees a father (Viggo Mortensen) protecting his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) from cannibals and other dangers as they head toward safety.

    On the other hand, The Book of Eli follows Eli (Denzel Washington) as he wanders through America while protecting a book that holds the key to save humanity. Naturally, Washington delivers nothing less than a sensational performance here, while he is supported by a stellar cast including Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis. The movie also features an interesting twist ending, so it's a shame that due to coming out the year after The Road, it didn't get as much attention.

    26 votes
  • Year of Release: 2000

    Released Before or After The Emperor's New GrooveBefore

    Without a doubt, The Emperor's New Groove received more attention as far as animated releases of 2000s were concerned because it had Disney's marketing muscle behind it. Of course, the audience also falls in love with the stylish animation and the humorous adventure of Incan Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) after he's accidentally turned into a llama.

    However, DreamWorks Pictures's The Road to El Dorado also boasts an extraordinary adventure as Tulio (Kevin Kline), Miguel (Kenneth Branagh) and Chel (Rosie Perez) head on their own journey. At the same time, this is a dive into the lore surrounding the legendary City of Gold and the price that needs to be paid to find it. It's a shame that The Road to El Dorado was largely forgotten while the other animated feature set in Latin America that year reached much more fame.

    15 votes
  • Year of Release: 2005

    Released Before or After FlightplanBefore

    The late Wes Craven never missed. Even though he's primarily remembered for his contributions to the horror genre, he directed an anxiety inducing thriller called Red Eye in 2005. The film follows hotel manager Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) who is approached by terrorist Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) on a plane and he forces her to help him in his mission to assassinate a government official. It's a supremely tense affair that leaves hearts racing as the audience wonders what Lisa will do.

    The biggest issue for Red Eye is that it was followed a month later by another air-based thriller: Flightplan, starring Jodie Foster. This film follows Kyle (Foster) who wakes up from a nap on a plane to find her six-year-old daughter is missing and she needs to get her back. Flightplan found more popularity and box office success, leaving Red Eye in the dust.

    21 votes
  • Year of Release: 2006

    Released Before or After The PrestigeBefore

    Magic is a fascinating topic to cover in film. Throw in a love story to boot and people can't part with their money soon enough. Both The Illusionist and The Prestige focus on a combination of love and magic. Yet, director Christopher Nolan's involvement in the latter - especially so soon after Batman Begins - along with a leading cast containing Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman brought more eyeballs to this project.

    This was a shame for The Illusionist, which sees Ed Norton put in a magical performance as Eisenheim the Illusionist who tries to use his powers to free the love of his life from marrying an evil man. The supporting cast includes Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, and Jessica Biel, making this film one which deserves to be remembered in its own right.

    17 votes
  • Year of Release: 2002

    Released Before or After Orange CountyAfter

    Colin Hanks and Jack Black's chemistry works wonders in Orange County as teen Shaun Brumder (Hanks) embarks on a mission to get into Stanford University after his application is denied because of a mix-up. Of course, desperate times call for desperate (and funny) measures to win an acceptance, and this comedy classic is full of them.

    Similarly, Stealing Harvard follows an any-means-necessary plot surrounding the topic of education. However, in this film, John Plummer (Jason Lee) and his pal Duffy (Tom Green) turn to crime to help John's niece pay for tuition at Harvard University, while also ensuring that John can meet his mortgage payments. Hijinks ensue, though in the end, unlike Orange County, this movie was a critical and financial flop.

    12 votes
  • Year of Release: 2006

    Released Before or After World Trade Center: Before

    The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks changed America forever. It was one of the most traumatic moments in the history of the country as US citizens felt scared and powerless in the wake of such a catastrophe. In 2006, two harrowing films were released covering the events of that fateful day. The more widely remembered World Trade Center shines the light on the first responders who were trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center after the attacks, featuring notable performances from Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña.

    United 93, on the other hand, turns the attention to the bravery of the people on United Airlines Flight 93 who gave their lives to fight back against the hijackers and prevent from crashing the plane into the intended target. Both films are uneasy watches, but they do an excellent job of highlighting the courage of ordinary citizens on one of America's darkest days. Given their distinct nature and how they shine light on different parts of the tragedy, it's too bad that United 93 didn't meet the same success as World Trade Center.

    10 votes