Finally Legal: The 18 Most Memorable Movies Turning 18 This Year

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

We all remember that wonderful feeling of finally turning 18 — having the ability to drive without a guardian in the car, going out to vote in our first political election and buying that pack of smokes you used to have to sneak from an older friend. While movies might not be able to enjoy some of these perks, turning 18 is a big milestone anyways, especially ones that have remained in the spotlight since their original debuts. Let’s take a look at the funniest, most action-packed (and a few of the worst) films turning 18 this year.

18 Memorable Movies Turning 18 In 2017

The Iron Giant

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Warner Bros. Family Entertainment

  • Director: Brad Bird
  • Stars: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 96% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 90% from Audiences

He’s been known as one of the kings of the Pixar library, delivering the widely-acclaimed family films The Incredibles and Ratatouille, but Brad Bird made his debut long before these with the sci-fi comedy The Iron Giant at Warner Brothers’ still blossoming animation branch. Though significantly falling short of its budget at the time, the film telling the story of a boy protecting a giant metal robot from space from the paranoid US government received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences, who praised it for its intelligent and complex storytelling and its beautiful animation. Featuring a stellar sense of warmth, emotion and adventure — as well as wonderful performances from its voice cast, especially Vin Diesel as the titular hero — the film’s ending brings a tear or twelve to every audience member’s eye.

The Sixth Sense

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (Getty).

  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis, Toni Collette
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 85% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 90% from Audiences

While he’s finally making his comeback in the industry after making some of the biggest stinkers of the mid-2000s, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan quickly became a household name in 1999 with his mainstay genre debut The Sixth Sense. Following a young boy who can see and speak to the dead and the troubled child psychologist who tries to help him, the film drew in audiences thanks to its moody atmosphere, engaging performances and — most of all — its twist ending that is still shocking people to this day. While Shyamalan would begin to drag viewers’ hopes down in the following years due to his affinity for twist endings, The Sixth Sense will always hold a special place in people’s hearts for his first and best twist, and still holds the record for the highest-grossing horror movie of all-time with $672 million made worldwide.

Fight Club

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: 20th Century Fox

  • Director: David Fincher
  • Stars: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 79% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 96% from Audiences

As much as it pains me, I need to break the first and second rules of this club, because we need to talk about the masterpiece that was Fight Club. Adapted from the 1996 Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name, the film follows an unnamed protagonist/narrator who is fed up with his white-collar life and forms the titular club with soap salesman/anarchist as more and more members feeling disillusioned with their lives. Combining satire of the Generation X angst, consumer greed and distaste for the characters’ white-collar lives with intelligent storytelling, hilarious dialogue and stellar performances from its two leads, the film established itself as one of the smartest and most thrilling films of the decade. Plus, it delivers another twist ending that is still a topic of intense debate 18 years later.

Pokemon: The First Movie

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Toho (Getty).

  • Director: Kunihiko Yuyama
  • Stars: Veronica Taylor, Rachel Lillis, Eric Stuart
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 14% from Critics, 62% from Audiences

While those who are not fans of the video game franchise might not closely connect to it like hardcore fans of the series, the nostalgia factor on this first film adaptation of the classic Nintendo property still resonates with viewers nearly 20 years after its release. Following the ever-popular protagonist Ash Ketchum, his friends Brock and Misty and primary Pokemon companion, Pikachu, the film tells the story of the creation of super-powered Mewtwo through biological engineering and his journey to make other super-powered Pokemon like him. While the story offered some intriguing messages about biological engineering and cloning, it truly hit deep with audiences during the climactic battle as Ash is nearly killed by another Pokemon’s attack and is revived at the last minute by a tear from his yellow and black companion in what is still regarded as one of the best tearjerker moments in the Pokemon franchise.

Galaxy Quest

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Murray Close (Getty).

  • Director: Dean Parisot
  • Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 90% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 75% from Audiences

Long before Seth MacFarlane delivered his love letter to the classic sci-fi franchise with his comedy TV series The Orville, DreamWorks delivered their own parody/take on Star Trek with the comedy Galaxy Quest — which was so well-loved by fans of the original series. In fact, it has landed on lists of the best Star Trek films in the years since its release. In the film, 20 years after their cult classic series was cancelled, the cast of the titular series-within-a-movie Galaxy Quest are still making appearances at sci-fi conventions in their original costumes, but resent that their lives have come to this. However, after meeting an alien race who believes their series was real, they are recruited to help save them from an alien warlord bent on destroying anything in his way. By both parodying the genre and using its tropes to its advantage, the film was both thoroughly hysterical and thrillingly fast-paced, resulting in a fun and intelligent film for fans of either comedy or Star Trek.

Toy Story 2

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

  • Director: John Lasseter
  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 100% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 86% from Audiences

It’s been one of the most successful franchises in the family genre’s history while only needing to release three films to do so. The second entry into the Toy Story franchise was a good sign that it would not fall victim to the sequel curse, but instead prove itself as a rival worthy of the first. When Woody is stolen by a toy collector who seeks to keep him in a museum, his friends from Andy’s toy collection go on a journey to rescue him while he himself wrestles with the temptation to be immortalized in the museum. In seeking to dive deeper into the character personalities and their sense of loyalty for each other and their owners — as well as retaining many of the fun jokes and beautiful animation of the first film — this sequel captured both critics’ and audiences’ hearts, especially with the powerful and tearjerker Jessie flashback featuring the unforgettable “When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan.

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