These 20 movies turn 20 years old this year

Where did the time go?

(Warner Home Video)

It’s officially 2024, which means that it’s been a whole 20 years since it was the year 2004.

It’s really crazy to think about, and especially makes you wonder where the time went. If you are a millennial, 2004 doesn’t seem that long ago, but 20 years is a long time! It’s crazy to think being in middle school or high school was somehow 20 years ago.

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What is even crazier is that movies that came out in 2004 will turn 20 years old this year. I remember 20 years ago thinking that movies and songs from the 1980s were so old, and now those things are 40 years old! Time is a construct and we are all just living through it.

These 2004 movies are now considered classics I guess, even though it feels like I just watched them for the first time not that long ago. So let’s celebrate 20 movies that are turning 20 this year. Get ready to feel super old!

‘Along Came Polly’

Release Date: Jan. 16, 2004

This was the first of many big movies for Ben Stiller to come out in 2004, and if I remember correctly, this was one of the first big movies Jennifer Aniston did after “Friends” had ended.

‘50 First Dates’

Release Date: Feb. 13, 2004

I actually remember going to see this movie in theaters with my friends, which is crazy that I was like, 11 years-old, and going to the movies all by myself. Regardless, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore have starred in a movie together. Can we change that, please?

‘Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’

Release Date: March 26, 2004

All I have to say about this is that I didn’t even know that the first live action “Scooby-Doo” movie was over 20 years old.

‘13 Going On 30′

Release Date: April 23, 2004

Time is so weird, because I kind of assumed this movie had already been out for more than 20 years? Maybe it’s because Ariana Grande paid homage to it a few years ago in a music video, so it just seemed older than it really was.

‘Mean Girls’

Release Date: April 30, 2004

I need to take a moment of silence for this one. I also remember seeing “Mean Girls” in theaters, and it was one of those movies that felt like it was made for me. It instantly became my favorite movie, and to this day it’s still one of my favorites. I, like many others my age, can quote it endlessly, and I watch it almost every time it plays on TV. The fact that it turns 20 this year just blows my mind.

‘Super Size Me’

Release Date: May 7, 2004

Remember this documentary? I remember watching it in Health class in middle school, as the teacher wanted us to realize just how bad eating fast food was all the time. I still love McDonald’s.

‘Shrek 2′

Release Date: May 19, 2004

This movie makes sense turning 20, because I for sure remember being a lot younger when the first “Shrek” movie came out. Anyway, this has to be one of the best sequels in movie history, and I’ll rewatch it anytime, anywhere. It has a stellar cast, and made the “Shrek” universe even better and funnier.

‘The Day After Tomorrow’

Release Date: May 28, 2004

Remember seeing this movie and being like “yeah, that will never happen.” And then you find out that 2023 was one of the warmest years on record. So yeah, never rewatching this one ever again.

‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’

Release Date: June 4, 2004

Not sure if this is an unpopular opinion or not, but the third “Harry Potter” film may just be my favorite. Director Alfonso Cuarón moved the franchise to a more stylistic and darker place, which really suited the series going forward. The first two films have a glossy kind of finish to them, and “Prisoner of Azkaban” has lots of shadows and dark tones. It’s so great. Still a movie I love to rewatch to this day.

‘Napoleon Dynamite’

Release Date: June 11, 2004

This movie came out of nowhere and became an instant classic because of just how weird, strange and funny the title character, Napoleon Dynamite, was. It became so quotable that I still say “Tina, come get your dinner” out of context to friends still to this day. Can’t believe it’s 20 years old.

‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’

Release Date: June 18, 2004

This was Ben Stiller’s second big movie of 2024, and what a blockbuster it was! This movie was just so ridiculous in every way possible, and now this makes me want to rewatch it to see how well its aged over 20 years.

‘White Chicks’

Release Date: June 23, 2004

Why do I feel like “White Chicks” should be older than 20? It’s giving the same vibe as “13 Going on 30″ and I don’t know why. Regardless, another iconic movie that is constantly replayed on TV. What exactly was going on in 2004, because so many of these movies are still watched today all the time!

‘The Notebook’

Release Date: June 25, 2004

Another movie that is still on TV all the time to this day! It’s the movie that broke all of our hearts, made us fall in love with Ryan Gosling, and made Rachel McAdams even more of a star. I can’t believe this came out the same year as “Mean Girls.” She was booked and busy in 2004!

‘Spider-Man 2′

Release Date: June 30, 2004

2004 had many sequels, including “Spider-Man 2″ starring Toby Maguire and Kristen Dunst. These “Spider-Man” movies really ushered in the modern day of super hero movies that we know today.

‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’

Release Date: July 9, 2004

I can’t believe this movie will turn 20 this year. WIll Ferrell was already a star, but this movie really made him a movie star. It’s also another movie that is constantly replayed on TV. It’s endlessly quotable and one of the best comedies of the last 20 years.

‘A Cinderella Story’

Release Date: July 16, 2004

I loved this movie! Hilary Duff was the teen star we all loved, and Chad Michael Murray was the teen heartthrob that we were all in love with. Plus, it had Jennifer Coolidge and Regina King in the supporting cast! So iconic. I feel so old!


Release Date: Oct. 29, 2004

Can you believe the first “Saw” movie will turn 20 later this year? I can’t! It was a movie that not only started an entire franchise that is going strong to this day, but ushered in an entire new genre of horror films.

‘The Incredibles’

Release Date: Nov. 5, 2004

There are tons of super hero movies out there, but I still think “The Incredibles” has got to be in the top five of all time. It was a huge box office success for Pixar, and I remember watching it over and over again. It was just so much fun! It made me wish my family all had super powers. I can’t believe it is 20 years old.

‘National Treasure’

Release Date: Nov. 19, 2004

Nicolas Cage said “I’m going to steal the Declaration of Independence” and cinema history was made. Well, not really, but “National Treasure” is such a wild and fun movie, that it will forever be played in high school US History classes on half days of school.

‘Meet the Fockers’

Release Date: Dec. 22, 2004

It was the third and final movie for Ben Stiller, and it ended up being a box office hit. It was also another hilarious sequel that came out in 2004. “Meet the Parents” was so funny, but adding Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman as Stiller’s parents was just perfect casting.

Do you remember seeing any of these movies in theaters when they came out? Let us know in the comment section below!

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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