From Good Will Hunting to Princess Mononoke - 20 movies turning 20 this year

From Good Will Hunting to Princess Mononoke - 20 movies turning 20 this year

1997 gave us some pretty excellent movies. Here are twenty films that we can't believe are twenty years old


Princess Mononoke is a Studio Ghibli classic.
Photo: Studio Ghibli


It's been twenty years since we first cried over Kate Winslet not letting Leonardo DiCaprio share that door. The film focuses on the romantic entanglement between Jack, an optimisitc, working-class artist; and Rose, a disillusioned aristocrat, after they meet on board the Titanic, the “unsinkable” ship, as it makes it ill-fated voyage to New York. But will they be able to overcome their social differences? Or, indeed, survive the icy waters of the Atlantic? 

Men in Black

This film is worth watching for Will Smith's irrestably catchy theme song alone. Agents K (Tommy Lee Jones) and J (Smith) work for a secret government agency known as the Men in Black, which controls immigration of aliens to Earth and makes sure they stay incognito. While investigating some unregistered aliens, K and J uncover a deadly plot of an intergalactic terrorist.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The second installment of the Jurassic Park series, the story is set four years after the Jurassic Park of the original film was destroyed. We learn that there are still some dinosaurs left, lively freely on a hidden second island. However, the owner, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), discovers that his nephew intends to capture the dinosaurs and take them back to the mainland. He enlists the help of Dr. Ian Malcolm (the ever-engaging Jeff Goldblum), to put a stop to this plan. 

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The Fifth Element

In this intergalactic sci-fi action drama romance set in the 23rd century, New York City taxi driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) meets Leeloo (alternatively, Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat, played by Milla Jovovich), the embodiment of the mysterious fifth element: love. She needs to combine with the other four elements to save the world from the evil Zorg. With the help of a wise priest (Ian Holm) and an eccentric broadcaster (Chris Tucker), Korben and Leeloo save humanity from destruction.

Good Will Hunting

Starring best buds Matt Damon and Ben Affleck when they were mere babies, this uplifting film follows the story of Will Hunting (Damon), a young man from a working-class neighbourhood in Boston who works as a janitor at MIT - and also happens to be a genius. When Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) discoversWill's extraordinary gift, he decides to help Will reach his potential - but at what cost?

Alien: Resurrection

This is the final installment of the horror series. 200 years after Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) sacrificed herself when she discovered the alien Queen embryo inside her, scientists on board a spaceship have made a clone of Ellen, called Ripley 8. They use the clone to breed new aliens, but it seems like they haven't learnt much from the past, and of course, the aliens manage to escape from their compounds. Ripley and other mercenaries have to prevent the infected ship from reaching its destination: Earth.


Who else is excited that this beloved animation is being made into a Broadway musical? When the evil sorceror Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) curses the Romanovs, Russia's imperial family, young princess Anastasia disappears. Years later, Anastasia (Meg Ryan), having grown up an orphan, wants to find out who she really is. Meanwhile, two schemers are plotting to trick a duchess, the last remaining Romanov, into believing they have found her granddaughter, Anastasia - little do they know that the girl they've recruited to play the part really is the lost princess. 

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Greek mythology with a twist! Hercules (Tate Donovan), son of Zeus (Rip Torn) and Hera (Samantha Eggar), was kidnapped as a baby by Hades (James Woods), ruler of the Underworld, and forced to live with the humans. In order to return to his parents on Mount Olympus, Hercules most prove that he is truly a hero.With the help of Philoctetes (Danny DeVito), a satyr, Hercules learns how to use his incredible strength for good. Oh, and did we mention we love the gospel-style songs?


Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) discovers that an intelligent life form is trying to contact Earth from outer space. Dr. Arroway and her team manage to decipher the message, which turns out to contain a plan for a mysterious machine. Not knowing the intentions of the machine, Dr. Arroway has to convince military officials, politicians, religious leaders, and scientists to find a compromise between science and belief.

Princess Mononoke

This Japanese anime tells the epic tale of the battle between the gods of the forest and the humans who want to take its resources. On his journey to find a cure for a curse placed upon him, the young prince Ashitaka (Yōji Matsuda in the original Japanese version, Billy Crudup in the English version) finds himself stuck between two opposing sides. Lady Eboshi (Yūko Tanaka and Minnie Driver) and her clan is looking to exploit and destroy the forest that Princess Mononoke (Yuriko Ishida and  Claire Danes) and her fellow animal inhabitants live in. An anime classic.

Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery

Austin Powers (Mike Myers), a renowned playboy and special agent, is defrosted and brought back to life after 30 years in cryogenic freezer, in order to face his nemesis Dr. Evil (...also, Mike Myers). With his old-fashioned spy skills and 60s mannerisms, Powers must save the world from Dr. Evil, while trying to fit into the modern world. Groovy, baby.

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Con Air

After 8 years in prison, Army Ranger Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) is finally released from prison on parole and is on his way home. His ride? The Jailbird, a plane used for transporting prisoners. Unfortunately, some of the country’s most dangerous criminals are also onboard the plane, on their way to be transferred to another jail. When they manage to seize the aircraft and plan to fly it out of the country, Cameron has to find a way to stop them without them suspecting him.


Played by the hilariously brillaint Rowan Atkinson, Mr. Bean works as a guard at the Royal National Gallery in London, but he seems to break everything he touches. The board decides to send Mr. Bean away to a Los Angeles gallery under a fake identity of a brilliant art scholar. Unfortunately for the curator at the gallery, Mr. Bean still continues to cause chaos.

Air Bud

Josh (Kevin Zegers) is struggling to adapt to his new home in Washington until he meets Bud, a stray golden retriever. When Josh signs up to be the manager of the local local basketball, he discovers that Bud has some amazing skills on the court. Bud joins the team, and Josh’s life brightens up. However, things take a turn for the worst when Bud’s former owner Norm Snively (Michael Jeter) wants him back..

Tomorrow Never Dies

Agent 007 James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is on a mission to stop a media tycoon from sparking World War III by starting a fight between China and Britain. The situation seems hopeless until Bond discovers that the wife of the tycoon is a former lover. (What are the chances of that happening! Pretty high when you're Bond.) With the help of Chinese Army agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), Bond embarks on the journey to save the world.

Liar Liar

Successful attorney Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey) is great at twisting the truth, which makes him great in the courtroom, but his lies ruin all his relationships; including with his family. His wife leaves him, and he constantly forgets his commitments to his son, Max (Justin Cooper). When Max's wish that his dad would be honest for 24 hours comes true, Fletcher suddenly finds unable to lie, and with a court case that could make or break his career. Will he learn that honesty is the best policy?

Air Force One

After giving a fiery speech about zero-tolerance towards terrorism in Moscow, the President of the United States (Harrison Ford), his family, and other passengers are taken hostage by terrorists while on board Air Force One. The terrorists plan to slaughter each hostage every half hour until the President meets their demands. The President is faced with an impossible dilemma: give in to the demands, or sacrifice the lives of those on board the plane, inlcuding his family.

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My Best Friend’s Wedding

Childhood friends Julianne (Julia Roberts) and Michael (Dermot Mulroney) made a deal to marry each other if they were still single by the time they're 28. Days before Julianne’s 28th birthday, Michael announces that he is getting married. Naturally, his news comes just as Julianne realises that she’s in love with him, and she decides to risk everything and stop the wedding. To make matters worse, she’s appointed the maid of honour.

Starship Troopers

In the distant future, the world is at war with giant alien insects. The story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) as he and the Mobile Infantry travels to alien planets to battle their insect enemies. The soldiers only have one mission: survival of their species.

Life is Beautiful

This Italian comedy-drama finds humour in an unlikely subject matter. Guido (Roberto Benigni), a Jewish-Italian waiter meet Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a schoolteacher. They fall in love and eventually marry, but their happiness is thwarted when Guido and their son are taken away by Nazis to concentration camps during World War II. In an attempt to protect his son from the terrible realities of the camp, Guido convinces his son that the whole situation is just a game. This movie will make you laugh out loud and break your heart.


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