There are a lot of amazing new movies coming in 2019, but there’s also a long list of classic, iconic films that will be celebrating significant anniversaries this year.
We already took a good look at some significant horror anniversaries happening this year. Read all about them here:
There are some huge 40th anniversaries coming up this year for horror fans; as you’ll see (and probably already realised), 1979 was a mighty big year for the genre. But that’s not all. As long as you’re planning one party, might as well recognise these other spooky classics that are marking milestones in 2019.Read more
There is, of course, some overlap in genre but here are the other biggest science fiction, fantasy, and genre movie milestones happening in 2019. (You should probably be prepared to feel old.)
50-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1969)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
It’s been half-a-century since the one and only time George Lazenby played James Bond. The film is generally liked by fans of the franchise and is one of several appearances by one of Bond’s biggest adversaries, Blofeld
45-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1974)
The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre
Before Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, or Jason Voorhees, Tobe Hooper introduced the world to Leatherface and his family. The realistic, gritty, gruesome film basically changed the face of horror as people knew it.
Phantom of the Paradise
Brian De Palma’s weird, wonderful rock opera, inspired by The Phantom of the Opera among others, is one of those films that rarely gets the credit it deserves but enjoys a devoted fan base.
Mel Brooks’ hilarious send-up of the iconic Universal Monster remains a classic of both the horror and comedy genres. Even crazier than it being 45 years old, though, is that Brooks also released Blazing Saddles the same year.
40-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1979)
A gang-infested New York City all team up to take down one gang in particular: The Warriors. Walter Hill’s unique vision resulted in this excellent, memorable, quote-filled New York action film. Can you dig it?
Ridley Scott’s legendary film was on our horror list but deserves another mention. It’s simply one of the best sci-fi movies of all-time and was one of the earliest in both horror and sci-fi to feature a badass woman in the lead, played by Sigourney Weaver.
The Muppet Movie
By 1979, the Muppets were already massive stars thanks to their TV show. Then, they rose to another level with the first of many forays on to the big screen.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Though this slower, more methodical Trek entry is fairly divisive, no one can deny that without the first Star Trek movie, the franchise wouldn’t have ended up going where few franchises had gone before.
35-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1984)
Repo Man is a super weird movie, but that’s why people still love it. Emilio Estevez, punk rock, aliens, what’s not to love?
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
It’s still crazy to think Steven Spielberg and George Lucas followed up Raiders of the Lost Ark with Temple of Doom, a decidedly darker, scarier entry into the Indiana Jones franchise. Not everyone loves it, but I think those people are even crazier.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Fans only needed to wait two years to get all the answers from the cliffhanger ending of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and they got them in a film actually directed by Spock itself, Leonard Nemoy. Trek III isn’t Trek II, but it’s still good.
If you grew up in the ‘80s, there were a few films that were just a part of you. Ghostbusters was one of them. Not only was it a huge, influential hit, but it also permeated the culture to such an extent we are still discussing it 35 years later.
On the same day that Ghostbusters was released, fans were given another classic in the making with this awesome Joe Dante/Steven Spielberg/Chris Columbus collaboration about an adorable creature and his horrible, gross relatives.
The Neverending Story
Fantasy films were fairly common in the ‘80s but one of them that truly became formative was The Neverending Story, a film about a boy reading a book and being sucked into that world with characters like Atreyu, the Childlike Empress, and Falkor.
In 1984, a small time filmmaker and a famous bodybuilder teamed up for a movie about time travel. That movie, The Terminator, and those men, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with Linda Hamilton, changed the course of their own, and movie, history.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Seriously, what a year. Look at all the genre franchises that were started in 1984. But few spawned something as huge as what Wes Craven did when he imagined a killer that haunted kid’s dreams. One, two, Freddy’s still coming for you.
With a remake on the horizon, David Lynch’s adaptation of the iconic Frank Herbert novel is sure to once again come under a microscope in the coming years. And even if this film doesn’t quite live up to the expectations of its ambitious scope, it’s still amazing that it happened.
30-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1989)
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Talk about one of the all-time most wild premises ever. But that idea, of two idiots travelling through time to do a history report and save the universe, is why this movie remains a most-triumphant fan favourite.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Last Crusade is basically Steven Spielberg taking the structure and idea of Raiders of the Lost Ark, adding some fascinating backstory for the main character, and upping the action and drama. It makes an already perfect movie and formula, somehow even more perfect? Is that a thing?
Well, it’s been 30 years since we learned what a disappointing sequel looked like. No, no, I’m kidding. Ghostbusters 2 isn’t that bad. In fact, I kind of love it, but it’s certainly nowhere near the first movie. And yet, it has Vigo, it has pink goo, a walking Statue of Liberty, there’s great stuff.
Sure, everyone had heard of Batman in 1989. But it was Tim Burton’s movie that made him “Batman.” The film was an insane success and set a standard for superhero films that would be hard to reach again for a long, long time.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a movie that simply doesn’t happen anymore. It’s a big budget, high-concept kids movie that captured the imaginations of everyone who saw it. Who didn’t wonder what it would be like to shrink down and go exploring? It’s wonderful.
The Abyss was kind of James Cameron’s way of just throwing down. He’d made The Terminator, been a success, but it was this underwater adventure that made him the guy who would innovate the entire medium of film every time he made a movie.
The Little Mermaid
Historically, Walt Disney Animation has its peaks and valleys. And after several decades of valleys, the release of this musical would mark the beginning of an improbable run of success that changed the entire company. And for good reason. It’s a banger.
Back to the Future Part II
When it comes to pure economy of story, few films are as genius as Back to the Future. So the idea to make a sequel that literally revisited that film was both shocking and genius. It’s not as good as the first movie, few films are, but it remains one of the most audacious sequel ideas ever. Plus, its vision of the future changed how a generation thought of what was to come.
25-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1994)
Because star Brandon Lee was tragically killed during production, the fact he was making such a great comic book film sometimes gets forgotten by history. But The Crow deserves to be mentioned among the genre’s best.
The Lion King
It The Little Mermaid is where the Disney Animation boom started, The Lion King was kind of its ending. But what a run it was, ending in this stunning work that’s still so good, they’re remaking it this year.
When the first Stargate movie came out, no one knew where the franchise would go: multiple TV shows, spinoffs etc. No, it was just a cool sci-fi movie that kind of ended up being not big enough for its premise. Thankfully, the later work corrected that. But it started here.
20-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 1999)
I’ll never forget the first time I saw The Matrix. I went in thinking it was just some Keanu Reeves action movie. I walked out changed, having experienced a mix of action and intellect that helped define the kind of movies I love to this day. It’s the gold standard for sci-fi action.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Historically few movies, if any, have ever been as highly anticipated as this return to Star Wars almost two decades after Return of the Jedi. And while it didn’t live up to the expectations of many, it was the biggest film event many of us had ever seen.
South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
When this movie came out, we didn’t really know what to expect. We knew it was an R-rated version of the already dirty show and Trey Parker and Matt Stone were likely to take advantage of that. But not only did that happen, we were also treated to one of the most clever movie musicals of all time. I’ll put it up against West Side Story or Phantom of the Opera any day of the week.
The Iron Giant
Unfortunately, because of the success of The Sixth Sense on the same day, another movie got a little overlooked. It was this Brad Bird animated film. Thankfully, while it didn’t hit at the time, history has been more than kind to The Iron Giant and these days its considered a classic.
Being John Malkovich
A music video director makes a movie about a portal that goes inside the mind of actor John Malkovich. Sure. OK. Whatever. And yet, Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman made one of the best films of one of the best years of all-time with this incredible work.
Galaxy Quest, a send-up of sci-fi and geek culture, probably came out a decade too soon. The film did ok and still holds up to this day, but it feels much more like a film that would have been appreciated more now, when the culture it’s referencing is so much more mainstream.
15-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Science fiction can work in any genre, but one where it doesn’t get a lot of love is, well, love. But this Charlie Kaufman penned, Michel Gondry directed film about two lovers who mess with their memories to remove each other is a stone cold stunner.
Shaun of the Dead
The world was introduced to the genius of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost with this hilarious and clever rom-zom-com the sent up not just the zombie genre, but zombie movies, romantic comedies, and everything in between.
Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man is good, but it’s an origin story. You only get so much actual “Spider-Man.” So it was no surprise that its sequel, Spider-Man 2, was even better. It still holds a place in the pantheon of all-time superhero movies.
Before they made Aquaman and the Invisible Man, indie filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell burst on to the screen with this Sundance hit that didn’t just start a new franchise, it ushered in a genre called “torture porn.”
Pixar has made a lot of incredible movies over the years but The Incredibles, about a family of superheroes in a world that doesn’t want them, may be the most incredible one of all.
10-Year Anniversaries (Films Released in 2009)
Zack Snyder loves a good comic book adaptation and though 300 may be his best, Watchmen was his most ambitious. The film is way better than it had any right to be and still holds up as a decent vision of the Alan Moore Dave Gibbons series. Unrelated to the film, we are getting a TV adaptation this year on HBO.
2019 has a lot of Trek-iversaries and the most recent may be the most shocking. It’s been a decade since J.J. Abrams took the mostly dormant franchise and made it popular again by recasting the crew and bringing a little Star Wars edge.
Up is basically two movies. The heartbreaking first act, then the over-the-top remainder. The second part is nowhere near as good as the first but the first is so good, the whole movie is pretty damn incredible.
One of the best sci-fi films in recent memory, Duncan Jones’ film about loneliness and cloning, is a fascinating, rich film, anchored by a stellar lead performance by Sam Rockwell.
Alien invasion films are a dime a dozen but the team of Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson made one of the best in recent memory with District 9. Its found footage style, high-end effects, and strong social grounding gave the film a leg up on the rest of the genre.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
This animated film about food become weather is really, really good, but it’s mostly notable because it’s when the world was alerted to the genius of its directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who’ve since gone on to do one or two good things.
Ten years earlier, The Blair Witch Project ushered in an era of found footage horror. Then, ten years later, Paranormal Activity gave it a shot of adrenaline, reminding audiences after a decade of diminishing returns, just how scary the genre could be.
With a sequel on the way (finally), it’s a bit easier now to remember just how fun this zombie comedy is, thanks in large part to its fantastic cast and hyper-stylised filmmaking.
It’ll be 11 years when we finally see the continuing adventures of Jake Sully and his Na’vi friends, which is shocking, considering this film went on to become, and still is, the world’s highest grossing film of all time.