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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Jess Molyneux

22 unforgettable films that turned 20 this year from Spider Man to Bend It Like Beckham

It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since films such as Bend It Like Beckham and Spider-Man first hit our screens.

Over the last two decades, we've witnessed film history be made with new releases and technology and special effects develop to a level we didn't know was possible years ago. But we still love a number of films that often remind us of childhood or when times were simpler.

From animated movies that proved well at the box office to the latest instalments in a successful franchise, many of us return to watch our favourites or wait for them to reappear on streaming services of on our TV's. And for many of us, it feels like only yesterday that we were in the cinema seeing them for the first time, or held them as a VHS or DVD.

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Here, we take a look back at a number of hit films that have turned 20 this year. From kids favourites to cult classic, you'll be able to reminisce about what life was like when these films first premiered.

This list isn't intended to be comprehensive, we've chosen a number of films that were released in 2002. But if there are some you would like to see included, let us know in the comments section.

1. Spider-Man

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst looking at one an other in a scene from the film Spiderman (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

In the last two decades, there have been numerous Spider-Man movies, with the latest, Spider-Man: No Way Home hitting cinemas last year. But, before Tom Holland and Zendaya, there was Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst as Spider-Man and MJ.

Directed by Sam Raimi, 2002's Spider-Man was the the first instalment in the Spider-Man trilogy. It also starred James Franco, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris and Willem Dafoe as terrifying villain the Green Goblin and remains a favourite amongst fans.

2. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

Actors Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint attend a photocall for the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ((Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

It's hard to believe that its been two decades since Harry, Ron and Hermione returned to Hogwarts for their second year. The second instalment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets follows the group trying to uncover the mystery behind the Chamber of Secrets in the school, as it is opened by the Heir of Salazar Slytherin and a monster is unleashed.

The film sees many see beloved characters 'petrified' and trust in Harry doubted. But it is also the first time we are introduced to lovable house elf, Dobby.

3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

John Corbett with Nia Vardalos and Rita Wilson at a My Big Fat Greek Wedding screening (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)

Another classic romcom from 2002 is My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which follows Toula, a Greek woman, who falls in love with a non-Greek man, welcoming him into her giant family and all of its traditions. Directed by Joel Zwick, the film boasted many hilarious moments.

And it even spawned a sequel, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, in 2016. Starring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett - we still haven't forgotten Ian's paddling pool baptism, Aunt Voula's story about the lump in her neck and the healing powers of Windex glass cleaner.

4. Scooby-Doo

The cast of Scooby Doo at the film premiere in 2002 (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)

The first instalment in the Scooby-Doo live-action film series, the plot revolves around Mystery Incorporated, who reunite after two-years to investigate a mystery at a horror-themed tropical island resort. Directed by Raja Gosnell, it stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Isla Fisher and Rowan Atkinson.

The cast also returned as Mystery Inc for the sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, in 2004.

What was your favourite film from 2002? Let us know in the comments section below.

5. 8 Mile

Eminem looking over at Brittany Murphy in a scene from the film 8 Mile ((Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

In his movie debut, Eminem starred as B-Rabbit in 8 Mile, an aspiring rapper who enters a rapping contest in the hopes that it will change his life for good. Containing autobiographical elements from his own life and career, the film's soundtrack was also a success.

Eminem won an Oscar 20 years ago for Best Song for Lose Yourself. Directed by Curtis Hanson, the late Brittany Murphy also starred.

6. The Bourne Identity

Matt Damon in a scene from the film The Bourne Identity (Photo by Universal Pictures/Getty Images)

Based on Robert Ludlum's 1980 novel, The Bourne Identity was directed and co-produced by Doug Liman. Starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, this film follows a man who lost his memory while on the run from the CIA and goes on a dangerous journey to discover his identity.

Damon's co-stars include Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Brian Cox, Walton Goggins, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The first Jason Bourne movie to debut, the film series was followed by The Bourne Supremacy , The Bourne Ultimatum , The Bourne Legacy and Jason Bourne which was released in 2016.

7. About A Boy

Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult at the About A Boy premiere (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

An adaptation of the 1998 novel of the same name by Nick Hornby, it's hard to forget the Single Parents Alone Together chant and a young Nicholas Hoult singing Killing Me Softly. The film follows Hugh Grant as Will, who used single parent meetings as a chance to meet women, but instead meets a young Marcus, played by Nicholas and his mum.

A romantic comedy, the pair teach other throughout the film. Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz also star.

8. Die Another Day

Actor Pierce Brosnan poses with an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish for the new James Bond film (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

The 20th film in the James Bond series, Die Another Day, was released in 2002 and was the fourth and final film starring Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent. The film was directed by Lee Tamahori and starred Halle Berry as NSA agent Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson.

Die Another Day was also the only film to feature John Cleese as Q and the last with Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny. Though divisive due to its heavy use of CGI and over-the-top action, many Bond fans have a soft spot for Brosnan's last outing as 007.

9. Signs

Joaquin Phoenix and Mel Gibson at the world premiere of Signs (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Signs is now considered a cult classic. The sci-fi horror follows a family who find a series of mysterious signs on their farm, suggesting the existence of alien life.

Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin star.

Join our Liverpool memories and history Facebook group here.

10. Bend It Like Beckham

Singer Shazney Lewis with actresses Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra at the Bend It Like Beckham premiere (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

After it hit cinemas in 2002, Bend It Like Beckham became an instant hit. Produced, written and directed by Gurinder Chadha, the film broke down barriers by putting young women in star athlete roles.

Bend It Like Beckham helped launch Keira Knightley's career to new heights and introduced the world to Parminder Nagra, who went on to shows like NBC's ER and Netflix's 13 Reasons Why. A stage musical version also opened at London's Phoenix Theatre in 2015.

11. Lilo & Stitch

Singer Gareth Gates who featured on the movie soundtrack with Stitch at the UK premiere of Disney's Lilo and Stitch (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Disney's animated hit Lilo & Stitch is still loved by those who were kids when it came out and new generations still being introduced to the dynamic duo. The film follows young Lilo who adopts a dog, Stitch, who turns out to be a scientific experiment gone wrong.

Lilo & Stitch was Disney 42nd animated feature film. Its popularity saw three sequels and also the launch of three spin-off series.

12. Sweet Home Alabama

Touchstone Pictures World Premiere of Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon (Evan Agostini / Contributor/Getty)

A year after Legally Blonde hit cinemas, Reese Witherspoon returned to our screens as Southern gal Melanie in Sweet Home Alabama. The film follows Reese's character who leaves her hometown to became big in the fashion world in New York and meets an eligible bachelor.

But the lead character has to return to Alabama to get a divorce from her childhood sweetheart. Directed by Andy Tennant, Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey also star.

13. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Christopher Lee with Samuel L Jackson and George Lucas and Hayden Chritensen arriving for the charity premiere of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Andy Butterton/PA Wire)

Starring Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, and Samuel L. Jackson, fans may not feel like it's been 20 years since Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones hit our screens.

Directed by George Lucas, it was the first big budget film to be shot on digital cameras and featured extensive use of computer-generated effects.

The sequel to The Phantom Menace (1999), the story is set ten years later as the Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos.

14. Maid In Manhattan

Ralph Fiennes and Jennifer Lopez on location for Maid in Manhattan (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Jennifer Lopez has starred in a number of hit films throughout her career, but Maid In Manhattan is still a stand-out for many. Set in New York City, Jennifer's character, Marisa, works as a hotel maid who falls in love with a high-profile politician, played by a pre-Lord Voldermort Ralph Fiennes.

Directed by Wayne Wang, Marisa, single mother to son Ty, played by Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey, pretends to be one of the rich guests when she is mistaken for the woman who's coat she tries on. The late Natasha Richardson and Stanley Tucci also star.

15. The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

The cast of the second Lord of the Rings (Photo by Pool LE FLOCH/TRAVERS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Just one year after The Fellowship Of The Ring amazed audiences, Peter Jackson followed it up with this iconic movie. Nominated for six Oscars, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers properly introduced the cunning Gollum, memorably performed in motion capture by Andy Serkis .

Based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings, the adventure film continues the plot of the
The Fellowship Of The Ring as Frodo and Sam continue their quest to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom. The main cast returned for the sequel, including Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, and Ian McKellan.

16. Ice Age

Ice Age director Chris Wedge with writer Michael Berg (Photo by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

It's hard to believe it's been two decades since we got our first instalment of Ice Age. The successful franchise has seen six more films released over the last 20 years, with the most recent, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, premiering this year.

The film follows a group of animated animals trying to survive the Paleolithic ice age. And who could forget first being introduced to Scrat, a speechless "saber-toothed squirrel" perpetually trying to get hold of his just-out-of-reach acorn.

17. Austin Powers In Goldmember

Mike Myers with Beyonce Knowles from Destiny's Child and Michael Caine (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

The third and final film in the Austin Powers franchise, Goldmember, follows lead Mike Myers as he attempts to save his kidnapped father by travelling back in time. It was also one of the first films starring Beyoncé, who played Foxxy Cleopatra.

Directed by Jay Roach, Myers also played the roles of Dr Evil and Goldmember. The 2002 film also starred the late Verne Troyer and Michael Caine as Austin's dad.

18. Men In Black II

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in publicity portrait for Men In Black II (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

Five years after the hit original, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith returned for sequel Men In Black II in 2002 - and the pair confronted even more aliens. The second instalment in the series, the film was followed by Men in Black 3 in 2012, and MIB: International in 2019.

The film also saw cameos from Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart.

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19. Panic Room

Kristen Stewart is held by Jodie Foster in a scene from Panic Room (Photo by Columbia Pictures /Getty Images)

American thriller Panic Room was directed by David Fincher and starred Jodie Foster along with a pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart. The film follows the mother and daughter who find their new home invaded by burglars and lock themselves in their home's panic room.

The three burglars are played by Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam. The film saw Jodie Foster nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress.

20. Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams

Daryl Sabara with Director Robert Rodriguez and co stars Alexa Vega and Carla Gugino at the premiere of Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)

The second instalment in the Spy Kids film series, a lot of the orginal cast were back alongside some new faces for Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams. Now fully-fledged Spy Kids, Carmen, played by Alexa Vega, and Juni, played by Daryl Sabara, were back for their latest mission which took them to a distant island where they take on a mysterious man and his imaginative creatures.

But the siblings also had to compete with Gary and Gerti Giggles to solve the mission. Directed by Robert Rodriguez., the film stars Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Mike Judge and more.

21. The Ring

Walter Parks with Naomi Watts and Gore Verbinski and Laurie Macdonald (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

A remake of Hideo Nakata's 1998 Japanese horror film Ring , this film is based on Koji Suzuki's 1991 novel of the same name. The supernatural horror film was directed by Gore Verbinski and, 20 years on, is still considered one of the scariest movies of the generation.

The storyline follows a woman determined to figure out the mystery behind a videotape after everyone who watches it dies within seven days. Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, and Daveigh Chase star.

22. Like Mike

Hip-hop star 'Lil Bow Wow runs down the NBA All Star Game court while crews shoot film footage for his new movie Like Mike (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Adults of a certain age will remember being kids and feeling the excitement of when Lil' Bow Wow's character got basketball talents after finding a pair of Michael Jordan's shoes. Produced by NBA Productions, Like Mike also saw a number of cameos from NBA stars of the time.

Directed by John Schultz, Morris Chestnut, Jonathan Lipnicki, Robert Forster, Crispin Glover and Eugene Levy star alongside Lil' Bow Wow in the cast. In later years, the film remains a fan favourite among basketball enthusiasts.

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