20 movies released 20 years ago

As 2020 is about to come to a close, we can look back at a simpler time, without a global pandemic and a contentious presidential election. A time when we actually could go to the movies and enjoy a big batch of buttered popcorn and an ungodly amount of soft drinks. 

These movies, believe it or not, came out a staggering 20 years ago. In no particular order, heres a list that might make you feel ancient. 

Scary movie

Scary movie is the first movie in an incredibly popular franchise spaning 5 films. Directed by and starred the Wayans brothers. Scary Movie parodied teen horror movies from the previous decade, in particular Scream, which actually had the development title ’Scary Movie’, with it’s iconic ghost face killer. 

Miss Congeniality

Sandra Bullock stars in this fish out of water comedy filled with comedic tropes about an FBI agent infiltrating a beauty pageant. Spawning a sequel, love it or hate it, it sure was popular.

Almost Famous 

Cameron Crowe’s semi-biographical film about a teenage boy writing a piece about the fictional band ’Still Water’ for the Rolling Stone. The film went on to receive four Oscar nominations, including a win for best original screenplay.

American Psycho

The film based on Bret Easton Ellis seminal novel of the same name stars Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman. Bale’s performance elevates this creepy but yet humorous film.

Remember The Titans

Remember The Titans may be predictable as far as sports movies go. But a spectacular performance by Denzel Washington makes this inspirational movie go the extra yards. 

Gladiator 

Ridley Scott’s immensely popular Gladiator is a surefire classic. Starring Russel Crowe as the once honored general Maximus, his rank stripped by Joaquin Phoneix’s Marcus Aurelius PowerPlay. Maximus is left to fight in the gladiator arenas to win his freedom.

X-Men

The first in a long line of X-Men movies established the franchise for the following two decades and was arguably the start of the renaissance of superhero films. It also cemented Hugh Jackman as the one and only Wolverine imaginable. 

High Fidelity

In this Rom-Com, based on Nick Hornby’s novel, John Cusack’s character own’s a record store selling music the old way, on Vinyl.
Dumped by his girlfriend and equipped with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, he navigates his feelings with the help of music. The movie spawned a short lived spin-off series starring Zoë Kravitz. 

Cast Away

A modern take on Robinson Crusoe starring Tom Hanks, FedEx and a Volleyball. If you didn’t shed a single tear for Wilson, what’s wrong with you?

Beach

The movie that got a whole generation to backpack in south east Asia. Starring the at the times biggest heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, this movie showed the no-holds-barred traveling style involving sex, drugs and secret beaches. 

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon became extremely popular in the west even though it was only spoken in mandarin. Racking up 10 Oscar nominations and winning four, including best foreign film and best cinematography. 

Battle Royale 

A bunch of teens stuck on an island massacring each other might not sound like the most viable film. But this Japanese classic has stayed in our consciousness for two decades, spawning a whole plethora of games using it’s concept as a mechanic, including Fortnite. Even though Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger games claims she’s never seen the film, you can clearly see the influence. 

Requiem for a Dream

Is there another piece of cinema that works better as a drug deterrent than this? Some would say Trainspotting, but the decadence and sheer tragedy of this film, starring Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans and Jennifer Connely, shows you the reality of addiction. 

Memento

Guy Pearce stars in this Christopher Nolan movie about a retired insurance investigator that’s unable to create new memories while he investigates the murder of his girlfriend. This film heralded in Nolan’s reign as the king of ”mind fuck” movies. 

The Emperors New Grove

What is there to be said about this Disney classic? There’s a murder plot, the emperor turns into a llama and then there’s Kronk, the best Disney character ever.

Erin Brockovich

Based on the real life events of the titular character Erin Brockovich, Played by Julia Roberts, Brockovich discovers a cover up involving contaminated water causing devastating consequences in a local community. 

Finding Forester

The newly deceased great Sean Connery stars in this unlikely friendship/protégé story. As a mentor Sean Connery plays a stellar role as actor Rob Brown’s mentor about an athlete that shares his skill an excellent writer. 

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Regarded as a weaker Coen Brother’s film when it released. O Brother, Where Art Thou has in later days become a crowd favorite. Starring George Clooney as a fugitive, this movie has bestowed us with a timeless rendition of ”Man of Constant Sorrow” by Dick Burnett performed by the film’s The Soggy Bottom Boys.

Snatch

Raise your hand if you could understand a word of what Brad Pitt’s character was saying in this film. If you could, I guess you’re a Pavee (depending how accurate Pitt’s performance was). This Guy Richie classic centers around a stolen diamond, boxing and gangsters. 

Coyote Ugly

It’s trashy, it’s sexist. But hey, people seem to like it. Centered around a seedy bar with hooters like aspirations and young girl’s trying to reach for the stars. This is a classic 00’s cliché that brings… something to the table. 

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