Let's hit that rewind button again, and go back to 2000. Largely, this was an era in which movies were trying to find some footing. This was just coming off that era of disaster movies, and the biggest name in movies was pretty much 'Star Wars Episode I', so... yeah. There were a few gems in between it all, but for the most part, there weren't a lot of great movies during this time. But the superhero era would soon find it's place, following on the heals of R-rated 'Blade', with PG-13-rated and far more popular 'X-Men'.
The story here is that mutants are among us, and feared for what they could be capable of. Senator Kelly (Bruce Davidson) tries to pass a "Mutant Registration Act" in congress which would make mutants have to reveal what they can do to the world, taking away their basic freedoms.
On one side of the mutant coin is Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), a mutant on the side of peace who has the ability to enter, read and manipulate people's minds. He runs a school for mutants who don't fully understand their abilities, and can learn how to use them to their advantage. They can also get their basic education here, and feel safe among others who are much like them.
On the other side of that coin is Eric Lensherr/Magneto (Ian McKellen), a mutant who sees a war in the making based on his experiences in Nazi concentration camps as a child. He understands hatred toward race all too well, and is willing to go to extremes to put an end to things.
The main plot, however, revolves around Rogue (Anna Paquin), who has an ability she fears as it doesn't allow her to touch anyone without seemingly sucking the life out of them. But of course, she's only half of it. The obviously more important half being Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who has since been in every single 'X-Men' movie (except technically 'Deadpool'). Xavier promises to help him to understand his foggy past if he helps out.
Truth be told, I haven't gone back and rewatched the 'X-Men' films in quite some time, so one might wonder how it all holds up. I think the funny part of it is that the uniforms are the black leather 'cause it looked cooler than "yellow spandex" at the time, which is an actual joke quote from the movie in which Cyclops references Wolverine's comic/cartoon costume. But nowadays, that's what we want to see. We wanna see what we see in the comics brought to life in a much more physical sense. While the 'X-Men' films have grown that way to some degree, they still seem to like slapping that leather on them for some reason, save maybe 'First Class' and the end of 'Apocalypse'.
Costume accuracy aside, however, this movie hasn't dated itself really at all. The effects hold up pretty well, and the roles are nearly perfect casting, but besides the basics, it's a great idea to bring to the screen. The 'X-Men' are mostly compared as a metaphor for homosexuality, how things are confusing, few understand what it means to be in those shoes, and yeah, some of the more ignorant people may even fear you. But I tend to consider it more about prejudices of all sorts, and that's what makes the 'X-Men' so incredibly relatable. You can understand what these mutants are going though if you've ever experienced any kind of prejudice first hand, really.
In this particular day and age where movies about that sort of thing are praised ('The Shape of Water'), this is a pretty solid title to go back and check out again.