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As we approach 2025 and the end of the 21st century’s first quarter, we wanted to look back to see which actors, actresses, directors, and movies have stood the test of time. With that in mind, for the rest of the year, the Bitesize Top Five will be giving a consensus view on what we think are the Bests of everything since 2000. We are only looking at work released since January 1, 2000, so don’t get mad because your favourites of the 90s didn’t make it.

As always, each writer ranks his or her top 15 in the category. Those lists are then weighted on a reverse point system. After all the points are tallied up, the entries with the most total points make up the Bitesize Top Five.

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Olivia Colman is the best part of some of my favourite films and TV series ever. Her versatility and talent are unmatched, from her hilarious roles in iconic British shows like The Office, Peep Show, and Fleabag, to her Oscar-nominated performances in The Father, The Lost Daughter, and The Favourite. I don’t know another actress who has mastered comedy while also being able to outshine everyone else in any dramatic scene. Colman is a once-in-a-generation talent who has shown time and time again that she is one of the greatest actresses of the last 25 years and likely all time. - Katie

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If you ask me, Tilda Swinton is the female equivalent of Nic Cage. Even if I don’t love the movie she may be starring in, she is always doing something interesting as a performer. Giving knockout performances in both indies and blockbusters across a wide range of genres, including horror, fantasy, drama, sci-fi, comedy, romance, comic book movies, and even voice acting, Swinton seems like one of the few actresses out there that acts purely for genuine love of the craft and for inhabiting a character, which permeates everything she does on screen. There is a reason a slew of the world’s most decorated directors, including Wes Anderson, Pedro Almodóvar, David Fincher, Bong Joon-ho, Jim Jarmusch, and The Coen Brothers have repeatedly sought out her services. - Quentin

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What can I possibly say about Cate Blanchett that hasn't been said already? She's quite simply one of the single most versatile actresses currently working, if not ever. From her badass portrayal as Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, to her Oscar-winning performance as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator, to her electric interpretation of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, to her heartbreaking turn in Carol, to her alluring mysterious performance in Nightmare Alley, to the unrecognizable and mesmerizing role as Lydia Tár in TÁR, Cate Blanchett is not just someone that can do it all, but she'll kill it in the process. Easily one of the greatest actresses of all time. - Adriano

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Even with very limited screen time, I could see there was something special about Viola Davis the first time I saw her in Antwone Fisher. More than two decades later, you can put her in any genre for any amount of time and she’s almost guaranteed to steal the film. Just ask Meryl Streep, Will Smith, or Denzel Washington. She’s an absolute force, and all it takes is one look, one word, and, yes, one very snot-filled cry, to automatically be in the Oscar, or Tony, or Emmy, or even Grammy, conversation year in and year out. EGOT winners don’t come around often, and none of them are like Viola Davis. - Amarú

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From her big screen debut in Superbad, Emma Stone has consistently demonstrated why she is one of the most fascinating actresses working today. She has become one of the most successful and layered performers of this generation, having received five Academy Award nominations, including taking home, not one, but TWO Best Actress Oscars. Stone has demonstrated that she can play in whatever sandbox she wants, whether it be her comedic work in Easy A, her musical dramatic work in La La Land, or the combination of the two in Poor Things — her strongest performance to date. Over the last almost twenty years, she has proven that she is one of the best in the business. - Paige



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