When a film is made well, it lasts forever. The best movies contain a deeply personal meaning for an individual while simultaneously creating a universal point that impacts everyone. There are films that define each year, and 1997 was no exception.
It’s unbelievable that 25 years have passed since the release of classics like “Titanic” and “Good Will Hunting.” Even sci-fi movies like “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” seem more accurate now than we should feel comfortable with.
So, let’s take a moment to reflect on films that significantly impacted cinema before diving into a new year of possible groundbreaking releases. Here are 5 movies celebrating 25 years in 2022.
After its release on Dec. 19, 1997, the renowned film, “Titanic,” directed and produced by James Cameron, left audiences heartbroken, mostly because Rose (Kate Winslet) did not try to save Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) from his devastating death. We all knew Rose had enough room on that float for Jack.
The film is focused on young Rose who boards the Titanic on April 10, 1912, along with her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater (Frances Fisher), her fiancé, Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane) and the other upper-class passengers. The story of her romance with third-class passenger Jack is told by an elderly Rose, now 100 years old. After winning 11 Oscars, many people believe “Titanic” is undoubtedly the greatest film to ever be made.
“Titanic” can be streamed on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
2. “Good Will Hunting”
The Los Angeles premiere of the movie, “Good Will Hunting,” which made childhood friends Ben Affleck and Matt Damon famous in Hollywood, took place on Dec. 2, 1997. Then, on Jan. 9, 1998, “Good Will Hunting” debuted in theaters nationwide.
Damon stars as the titular character, Will, a troubled math prodigy from South Boston. Affleck plays Will’s best buddy, Chuckie, alongside Robin Williams, who plays Will’s psychologist, and Minnie Driver, who plays Will’s girlfriend.
“Good Will Hunting” was a huge box office hit that won nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Damon) and Best Supporting Actress (Driver). It also won the gold statue for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Williams).
“Good Will Hunting” is streaming on HBO Max, Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
3. “Men in Black”
It was truly an amazing summer in 1997, as the film, “Men in Black” was released on July 2. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, the science fiction comedy film, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, raked in more than $250 million alone in America and contributed to Smith becoming one of Hollywood’s most marketable leading men.
“The Men in Black” by Lowell Cunningham, published in the early 1990s, served as the inspiration for the film. The film is centered around Smith and Jones, in the roles of Jay and Kay, two secret agents tasked with keeping an eye on alien activity on Earth.
According to IMDb, the only other movie to earn more money in 1997 than “Men in Black” was “Titanic.”
“Men in Black” is available to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
4. “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”
After the 1993 “Jurassic Park” was introduced — successfully grossing $402.45 million at the US and Canada box office — director Steven Spielberg gave fans the second film in its trilogy, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”
Released in May of 1997, the film features a research team dispatched to an island 87 miles from Jurassic Park’s former location to record and take pictures of the dinosaurs that have since been set free. InGen, a bioengineering business, has deployed a larger crew to the same island to capture, tranquilize and transport certain dinosaurs to San Diego, where they will be used in a new Jurassic Park location.
“The Lost World: Jurassic Park” is available to stream on HBO Max, Peacock and Hulu.
One of Disney’s most beloved films, “Hercules” was released on June 27, 1997. The film was the most successful Disney film of 1997, grossing $99.1 million worldwide.
Despite having Zeus and Hera as parents, Hercules, voiced by Tate Donovan, had his godlike abilities taken away by Hades (James Woods) when he was a kid. He is sent from the skies to Earth, where he must build himself into a hero from nothing, with Phil’s (Danny DeVito) and Pegasus’ assistance. When Hades threatens Megara (Susan Egan), the woman he loves most in the world, Hercules is put to the ultimate test.
“Hercules” can be streamed on Disney +, Tubi, Amazon Prime and The Roku Channel.