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

Where does the time go?

Grant Hermannsby Grant Hermanns
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

Tarzan

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

  • Directors: Kevin Lima, Chris Buck
  • Stars: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 88% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 75% from Audiences

If a sense of warmth doesn’t creep in to your heart any time “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins plays, then you haven’t seen the epic Disney adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel Tarzan of the Apes. Following a man raised by gorillas after his parents are killed, audiences witness as Tarzan discovers other humans on his island and watch as he struggles to learn where his place is in the world and whether he should stay with his gorilla family or return to the mainland with the explorers that discover him. Featuring stellar animation that broke new ground in computer visual effects for the time, a moving take on the story and a beautiful soundtrack combining the adventure and emotion, this was easily a classic of both the ’90s and Disney.

Wild Wild West

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Director: Barry Sonnenfield
  • Stars: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 17% from Critics, 28% from Audiences

Need I describe how bad this motion picture adaptation of the classic ’60s TV series is? I do? Then off to the waste dump I go. The film follows a US Army Captain (Smith) and a US Marshall (Kline) as they are recruited by US President Ulysses S. Grant (Kline again) to hunt down a Confederate General in post-Civil War America after he’s kidnapped the country’s key scientists. In trying to update the film to then-modern audiences’ tastes with bigger set pieces, outrageous special effects and a partnership that based itself on rivalry, it lost all of the charm of the original series and resulted in a thoroughly unfunny and lackluster adaptation that remains one of the worst reviewed movies of the year.

Big Daddy

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Columbia Pictures (Getty).

  • Director: Dennis Dugan
  • Stars: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Joey Lauren Adams
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 40% from Critics, 74% from Audiences

He’s made some of the most critically reviled movies over the past decade, but before he got in to the business of schlock, comedian Adam Sandler had a streak of hits on his resumé in the ’90s including Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy. But the one that made us all laugh and simultaneously cry was the ’99 hit Big Daddy. The film followed immature slacker Sonny Koufax (Sandler) as he is forced to reexamine his life when a five-year-old boy (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) claiming to be his roommate’s (Jon Stewart) son shows up on their doorstep. He must then take care of the boy until his roommate returns from his business trip in China. Though it featured many of Sandler’s typically crude jokes, they blended nicely with a story that offered some good introspection from Sandler and some truly heartwarming moments that certainly made this the epitome of my Sandler childhood films.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Paramount Pictures

  • Director: Trey Parker
  • Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 81% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 88% from Audiences

Dead Baldwin brothers, Satan and Saddam Hussein as a couple and the blaming of Canada for every American problem — it must be the South Park movie. Still early into its long-stay on Comedy Central — only having finished its second season — the creators of South Park worked to deliver a feature-length experience of the series that touched on the theme the show itself has fought hard against since the start: censorship. When the boys sneak into an R-rated adaptation of their favorite Canadian comedy “Terrance and Phillip,” they emerge with a whole new vocabulary featuring endless swearing and rude humor — more so than their parents are used to and comfortable with — which sparks a protest over censorship of the Canadian series and an all-out war between the neighboring countries. In blending clever satire and outright crude humor with a hilarious and fast-paced musical setting, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were able to deliver a solo feature-length outing filled with heart and intelligence that delivered some very poignant messages.

American Pie

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Universal Pictures (Getty).

  • Directors: Chris and Paul Weitz
  • Stars: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 60% from Critics, 61% from Audiences

Have you ever heard the expression, “No more apple pie for the boy?” No? Well after the events of American Pie, it certainly opened up parents’ eyes to the horrible things a teenage boy could do to the pastry. Following a group of high school friends who make a pact to lose their virginity by graduation, this coming-of-age teen comedy has connected with audiences over the years and become something of a cult classic for its super-relatable characters and its earnest humor. Also for that unforgettable story about…that one time at band camp.

The Blair Witch Project

movies turning 18 in 2017

Photo: Artisan Entertainment (Getty).

  • Directors: Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez
  • Stars: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86% “Certified Fresh” from Critics, 56% from Audiences

Though it’s been constantly mocked and parodied in various films over the years, there was no denying that the original Blair Witch Project was thoroughly successful in popularizing the found footage genre for horror movies and attained its goal in gaining public attention over its story and the debate over whether it was real or fake. The film followed three student filmmakers who enter the Black Hills in Maryland to make a documentary about a local urban legend known as the Blair Witch, and though the three go missing, the video and audio equipment are found and pieced together for what the audience is watching. Rather than focus on extensive jump scares that modern audiences love, Blair Witch returned to the moody atmosphere of older horror flicks and created a terrifying sense of dread as more questions are created than answered and the mystery around the titular villain still remains to this day.

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