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21 movies that millennials love are turning 20 this year, and get ready to feel really old

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Movies turning 20 in 2021 slideshow Insider 3x4
"Carmen: A Hip Hopera," "Monsters Inc.," and "The Princess Diaries" were all released in 2001. MTV Films and Disney

"Save the Last Dance" premiered on January 12, 2001.

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Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas costarred in "Save the Last Dance." MTV Films

MTV's dance-drama movie starring Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas became a surprise hit movie in the early months of 2001.

Twenty years later, Stiles and Thomas told Insider how they had a "shared mission" to pull the movie off because they knew people were doubting them.

"Something that I really learned while making that movie was how to ignore those voices," Stiles said. "That was my first experience of it, but I've learned that that is a huge part of studio filmmaking."

"Joe Dirt" premiered on April 11, 2001.

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David Spade starred in "Joe Dirt." REUTERS

Comedian David Spade brought mullets and "white trash" culture into movie theaters with this comedy, cowritten by himself and Fred Wolf.

The movie was generally panned, but for some comedy fans it became a cult classic of the early '00s.

"Carmen: A Hip Hopera" premiered on May 8, 2001.

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Beyoncé starred in "Carmen: A Hip Hopera." Warner Bros and MTV

During the '00s run of MTV-created movies, Beyoncé costarred alongside Mekhi Phifer in the imaginative remake of the opera by Georges Bizet. This was then-19-year-old Beyoncé's first time acting in a movie. She went on to costar in more movies like "Austin Powers: Goldmember" and "Dreamgirls" as her solo music career skyrocketed.

"A Knight's Tale" premiered on May 11, 2001.

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Heath Ledger starred in "A Knight's Tale." Sony Pictures

A beloved medieval tale of heroics and knighthood, this movie's anachronistic soundtrack brought classic music like Queen, David Bowie, and AC/DC into the worlds of young 21st century moviegoers.

The unique blend of action, romance, and of course dashing performances from Heath Ledger (and future franchise superstars Paul Bettany and Mark Addy) made this an instant classic for many.

"Shrek" premiered on May 18, 2001.

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Cameron Diaz and Mike Meyers voiced two of the main characters in "Shrek." DreamWorks

Another 2001 movie with an iconic soundtrack, "Shrek" was a must-see DreamWorks animated movie that flipped the genre on its head. Stuffed with innuendos and pop culture references, all while poking fun at fantasy tropes, it remains one of the best comedies of the 2000s.

"Moulin Rouge!" premiered on June 1, 2001.

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Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor costarred in "Moulin Rouge!" 20th Century Fox

If young people in 2001 didn't already have a crush on Ewan McGregor from the "Star Wars" prequel movies, then "Moulin Rouge!" surely sealed the deal. Baz Luhrmann's lavish pop-music-laden musical led to a best picture Oscar nomination (as well as a best actress nod for Nicole Kidman).

"Atlantis: The Lost Empire" premiered on June 15, 2001.

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Michael J. Fox and Cree Summer voices the main characters in "Atlantis: The Lost Empire." Disney

One of Disney's more underrated animated movies from this era is "Atlantis: The Lost Empire." The gorgeous animation style and soundtrack heightened the epic tale of an explorer searching for the mythical city.

"The Fast and the Furious" premiered on June 22, 2001.

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Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in "The Fast and the Furious." Universal Pictures/"The Fast and the Furious"

The "Fast and Furious" franchise is going strong 20 years later, with "Fast 9" set to premiere this summer. The action-packed movie series all began in 2001 with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster starring as a heist crew working in the underground car scene of Los Angeles.

"Legally Blonde" premiered on July 13, 2001.

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Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde." IMDb/MGM

Reese Witherspoon's indelible performance as Elle Woods, a sorority leader turned lawyer, debuted 20 years ago. The movie is praised to this day for feminist storytelling and pushback against "dumb blonde" stereotyping.

"Spirited Away" premiered on July 20, 2001.

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Rumi Hiiragi voiced the main character in "Spirited Away." Studio Ghibli

"Spirited Away" is one of many acclaimed movies from Studio Ghibli. Though writer and director Hayao Miyazaki's animated masterpiece didn't come to US theaters until 2002, the film premiered in Japan in 2001.

"Wet Hot American Summer" premiered on July 27, 2001.

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Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks costarred in "Wet Hot American Summer." Sam Rega

Satirical comedy "Wet Hot American Summer" had a star-studded ensemble cast that included Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks, Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Poehler.

In 2017, Netflix premiered a sequel series of the same name and featuring many of the original stars.

"The Princess Diaries" premiered on August 3, 2001.

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Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway costarred in "The Princess Diaries." Buena Vista Pictures

Based on Meg Cabot's 2000 novel of the same name, "The Princess Diaries" had an incredible cast that included Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Oh, Héctor Elizondo, and Mandy Moore.

A few years later, the movie's sequel brought in Chris Pine and writer Shonda Rhimes, adding to the magic of the film series for millennials and Gen-Xers.

"Osmosis Jones" premiered on August 7, 2001.

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Chris Rock voiced the main character in "Osmosis Jones." Warner Bros.

If you were around middle-school age in 2001 like I was, there's a high likelihood that you watched "Osmosis Jones" in some sort of science class setting.

Though at its core the movie plays like a buddy-cop story, the police officer in question is a white blood cell named Osmosis Jones while his partner is a cold pill. The movie cuts between the live-action people and an animated imagining of what's happening inside their bodies.

"American Pie 2" premiered on August 10, 2001.

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Alyson Hannigan starred in "American Pie 2." Universal

The first of many sequels in the "American Pie" franchise hit theaters at the end of summer 2001. Bringing back the ensemble cast of Jason Biggs, Eugene Levy, Alyson Hannigan, and many more, "American Pie 2" delivered more raunch and college humor for an R-rated audience.

"Zoolander" premiered on September 28, 2001.

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Ben Stiller starred in "Zoolander." Paramount

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have starred in many movies together over the years, and "Zoolander" is quite possibly the best of the bunch behind Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums" (which also premiered in 2001).

From the male models' gasoline fight to Will Ferrell's character Mugatu and a cameo from Billy Zane, "Zoolander" is packed with tons of jokes and references emblematic of this '00s-era comedy style.

"Donnie Darko" premiered on October 26, 2001.

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Jake Gyllenhaal starred in "Donnie Darko." Pandora Cinema

For many millennials and Gen-Xers, "Donnie Darko" was likely the first of many modern cult classic indie films they saw. The R-rated psychological thriller follows a series of bizarre incidents, and costarred the now-famous Hollywood sibling pair Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

"Monsters, Inc." premiered on November 2, 2001.

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John Goodman and Billy Crystal voiced the main characters in "Monsters Inc." Disney / Pixar

Pixar's "Monster's Inc." was the directorial debut of Pete Doctor, who went on to direct "Up," "Inside Out," and last year's "Soul."

Taking the scary legend of monsters hiding under children's beds and turning it into a factory-setting workplace comedy, "Monsters Inc." was many kids' first introduction (after "Toy Story" of course) to the creative storytelling style of Pixar.

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" premiered on November 16, 2001.

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Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in the Warner Bros. movie. Warner Bros. Pictures

The first in an eight-film series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" brought J.K. Rowling's famed books to life. This installation in the series was directed by Chris Columbus, and introduced the world to now-superstars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and many more.

"Ocean's 11" premiered on December 7, 2001.

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George Clooney and Brad Pitt in "Ocean's 11." Warner Bros.

Director Steven Soderbergh and writer Ted Griffin masterfully remade the original 1960 Rat Pack film with Hollywood superstars George Clooney and Brad Pitt, plus an ensemble cast that included Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, and Bernie Mac.

"Not Another Teen Movie" premiered on December 14, 2001.

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Chris Evans in "Not Another Teen Movie." Columbia Pictures

In the midst of a run of teen sex-comedy films like "American Pie," "EuroTrip," "10 Things I Hate About You," "Cruel Intentions," and many more, "Not Another Teen Movie" put a parody spin on all the tropes Hollywood had been leaning on since the popularity of John Hughes movies in the '80s.

Starring Chris Evans ("Captain America") and Chyler Leigh ("Grey's Anatomy"), any millennial or Gen-Xer will now delight in seeing this superstar cast before many of them had become household names.

The first movie in the "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy premiered on December 19, 2001.

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Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen as Frodo and Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." New Line Cinema

Director Peter Jackson's trilogy, adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's seminal books, were the foundation for multiple generations' obsession with fantasy. The first of these movies, "The Fellowship of the Ring," debuted at the tail-end of 2001.

Whether you're a superfan whose watched the movies over and over, or a newcomer to the franchise, you can read Insider's deep dive into all the best details from "Fellowship of the Ring" that people might have missed.

Read the original article on Insider